First things first, congratulations! Pregnancy is a rewarding (and challenging) time in any person’s life, and we want to celebrate this moment with you!
The first thing you will notice is that everyone will give you advice, even if it is unsolicited. In some ways, it’s beautiful because they are trying to help, but in other ways it can be unhelpful because it is what worked for them, and that might not work for you. This article will strip some of the subjectivity and emotions away from the topic, and give you some basic principles that will help you deliver a happy and healthy bub.
Note: What we don’t want to do is set up unrealistic expectations, or to make you feel like you will be ‘failing’ your baby if you did anything different. At the end of the day, your love for your baby is the most important thing.
Without wishing to put any added pressure on you in this delicate moment of your life, research shows that your physical health going into and during pregnancy has an impact on the child. We have found a great number of very insensitive analogies (mostly from male scientists who won’t ever understand this experience) about ‘baking brownies and a broken oven’, and to that, we say, rubbish! Instead, we would encourage you to try and be as healthy as you can in this process because this will be an added bonus for your baby. After all, a woman’s body is a ridiculously capable thing at a baseline, and no amount of pizza or chocolate could ever make it a ‘broken oven’. Sigh. This is what will give your bub an added boost though:
- Watch your diet. The temptation is to feast on any and everything (which is fair enough because you are literally building a human), but it is best to keep it balanced. Ideally, you would be getting lean meats, fruits and vegetables in, as these are low fat and cholesterol options.
- Keep up the physical activity. We get it, this one is hard if you are beginning to feel enormous. Add summer into the mix, and getting off the couch feels like a chore, let alone exercising. The good news is that it can be lighter than your usual programme. You don’t need to be running a marathon to keep a healthy weight during pregnancy. It might be as little as doing some cardio that raises your heart rate for 20 minutes just a few times a week. Even though you may be a bit anxious, moderate physical activity won’t hurt your bub in any way. Remember how we stressed to you how impressive the female body is? This is one of the reasons.
- Stay well hydrated. This will keep you feeling fuller for longer, which means you are less likely to cave to those cravings of ice cream and chips (and if your cravings are extra weird, maybe those two things in the same bowl).
It is probably worth pointing out here that there are a few things which we might consider non-negotiables. For example, smoking and drinking during pregnancy has negative effects on your unborn bub. If in doubt, consult your paediatrician.
You can also pick up some supplements to make sure that your baby is getting everything they need for healthy development. Again, I want to caveat this: you are not being neglectful of your bub if you don’t supplement. In a perfect world, you would get all of these in your diet, and an online chemist wouldn’t need to sell them at all. However, we live in the real world, and if you think that your diet isn’t hitting everything you need, you should try and change it so it does. If that isn’t possible, there are supplements available from this very online chemist which will sort you out.
A few things to consider
- You will begin sharing all of your nutrients with your baby as they grow bigger and bigger, so it is likely that you will need an extra load in this time.
- Talk to your GP or paediatrician if you have even the slightest concerns. They know you, your body and your unique circumstances. They are the expert in this situation.
All nutrients are important, but when you are pregnant there are six that play a significant role in the development and growth of your baby.
- Folic Acid - every cell in your (and their) body needs this for growth and development. It also helps to prevent birth defects in your baby’s spine and brain called Neural Tube Defects. This will eventually become spina bifida which could result in partial paralysis or incontinence. It also minimises the risk of heart defects and cleft palate.
- Iron - Your body uses iron to make haemoglobin, the protein that carries all of your oxygen from your lungs. During pregnancy, you need almost twice as much iron as you did before. Iron helps the baby make its own blood. You can get this in lean meats and leafy greens, or you can supplement it for a while if eating is a problem for you.
- Calcium - This is crucial for your baby forming teeth, bones, a heart, muscles and nerves. Basically, most parts of your body. You can always get this in milk or yoghurt, as well as the leafy greens.
- Vitamin D - This helps your body absorb calcium, and is also crucial in helping your bub to form an immune system.
- DHA - This is a kind of fat which assists with brain development, and is usually found in fish. Many people find the smell of fish to be a bit off putting when feeling nauseous, and so a supplement can be a convenient way of getting DHA in.
- Iodine - This mineral helps your baby to form the brain, spinal cord and nerves that it needs to think, feel and move.
Browse our wide range of supplements on our online chemist. We’ve got everything you need.