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Nutrition and Exercise Until D Day - Pregnancy Tips
Author: Dr. Preethika Shetty MBBS, DNB, M.S (OBGY), Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine (ICOG)
Consultant - Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Kharadi - Pune
Maintaining good health during the weeks of pregnancy provides your baby with the nutrition it needs as it steps into the world. Doing regular exercise, following a balanced diet and keeping up with scheduled appointments with your doctor are some of the pregnancy care tips that help you to have a healthy pregnancy. Let’s learn more about the steps you could take right from the first month of pregnancy:
1. Focus on eating healthy - Inculcate a healthy and balanced diet in your regime: Here is what you could include:
- Have five portions of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Consume fresh fruits or fresh juices and avoid drinking packaged or canned ones. Along with this, also avoid vegetables that come packed in saltwater. Do not forget to drink plenty of water.
- Starchy foods such as pasta, rice, bread and potatoes should make more than one-third of all the food you are eating. Furthermore, always choose whole grain variants instead of the white ones since you need plenty of fibre. Also, leave the skin on potatoes while cooking to provide more nutrition for you and your baby.
- Have daily servings of protein from good sources like eggs, fish (two portions weekly should be oily such as mackerel, salmon or sardines), pulses, lean meat, beans, or nuts.
- Consuming dairy foods such as yoghurt, milk and cheeses is also recommended right from the first trimester of your pregnancy.
2. Take your supplements
During your pregnancy, you and your growing baby need to have regular folic acid and Vitamin D supplements. These will be required even if you are having a well-balanced diet. Although it is recommended to eat healthily and have your daily quota of vitamins, minerals and nutrients from your diet, if you are having issues with consuming the right kind of food, talk to your doctor for all the required supplements your body might need for a healthy pregnancy.
3. Regular exercise
Regular exercise gives your body several benefits not only during pregnancy but also in post-pregnancy care. Make sure to include the following exercises during your pregnancy weeks:
- Brisk walking
- Aquanatal classes
Get in touch with your exercise instructor and inform that you’re pregnant so he/ she can tailor classes or exercises specifically for you.
4. Perform pelvic floor exercises
The wide sling of muscles present at the base of your pelvis is what’s known as your pelvic floor. The functionality of these muscles is to support your bladder, vagina and back passage. During the weeks of pregnancy you may feel these muscles are getting weaker because of the extra pressure on them. To ensure adequate strength is maintained in these muscles, perform pelvic floor exercises including Kegel exercises regularly. Do take your doctor’s advice on which type of exercise best benefits you. The benefit will be experienced once you start building up to 10 long squeezes of 10 seconds followed by 10 short squeezes thrice a day.
5. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol
Regardless of the concentration, alcohol of any type will reach your baby rapidly via your bloodstream and placenta. Hence, there is no safe or minimum level of alcohol to drink during your pregnancy and one should avoid drinking to put the baby under any harm. Similarly, smoking during pregnancy can expose you and your baby to serious health problems such as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or placental abruption.
6. Stop caffeine intake
High caffeine content elevates the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage late in pregnancy. Hence try not to consume too much coffee, energy drinks, cola, tea or chocolates. Apart from the mentioned risks, caffeine can also contribute to having a low-birth-weight baby or premature birth.
At Motherhood Hospitals, we have a team of expert doctors, super specialists and highly trained nurses backed by the latest in infrastructure and facilities. We ensure complete care and advice to ensure a safe delivery at any of our centres. All our centres are equipped with modern equipment and the expertise to handle complex deliveries. Do take an appointment at a centre closest to you with our doctor and have a safe delivery of your baby.
If you wish to get in touch with Dr. Preethika Shetty, please book your appointment here
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