Looking After Yourself

Exercise during and after pregnancy
Exercise has emotional and physical benefits.

  • Improved core muscle strength
    • This allows you to maintain good posture as your body changes and minimises problems such as back pain and joint pains
  • improved pelvic floor muscle function
    • More likely to achieve a vaginal delivery
    • Less likely to have an injury to your perineum
  • Weight management
  • Stress relief
  • Improved sleep
  • Faster return to normal after delivery
  • Faster return to pre-pregnancy weight and fitness

Suggested exercise during pregnancy

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Pregnancy Yoga/Pilates/Exercise Classes
  • Aqua Aerobics
  • Dancing

Some exercises and pregnancy classes are inappropriate for pregnancy so it is important to discuss your exercise plan with your doctor. For example, some Pilates classes are “high cardio” and are inappropriate if you are not accustomed to this level of exercise.

Looking After Yourself

Diet

A healthy and nutrient-filled diet is all-important in pregnancy. Be aware that your eating habits will be passed on to your children and their children. Developing healthy eating patterns starts with you and your partner.

Pregnant women are more prone to infection than non-pregnant women. Of particular concern in pregnancy is a food poisoning (gastroenteritis) or listeria infection.

Foods to Avoid

  • Brie, camembert, ricotta, fetta, blue vein
  • Soft serve ice cream or deep fried ice cream
  • Unpasteurised or raw milk
  • Raw eggs
  • Processed meats, Salami, ham, luncheon, chicken
  • Raw meats
  • Cold meats
  • Pate or meat spreads
  • Raw seafood or ready-made sushi
  • Pre-prepared or pre-packaged salads
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid buffets/ smorgasbords/ salad bars

Foods to eat with caution:

  • Takeaway of any sort
  • Left overs
    • Store in refrigerator in sealed containers
    • Use within a couple of days
    • Reheat till steaming hot
  • Eggs, ensure they are well cooked

Hints:

  • Don’t skip meals especially breakfast
    • As your belly grows you may not be able to eat a full meal
    • It is better to have 6 – 7 smaller meals during your waking hours
    • There is no need to snack in the middle of the night
  • Enjoy a full range of foods; baby will be receptive to different flavours
  • Indulge your cravings within reason; it is your body’s way of asking for something it is lacking
  • There is no known ill-effect from caffeine consumption in pregnancy. Be mindful of how much coffee/ tea/ coke you are having. Less is better.