Our family GP gives advice, facts and tips about pregnancy
While many women prefer to rest when they have some bleeding, research fails to show it reduces the risk of miscarriage. While strenuous and dangerous activities are generally not recommended, normal activity is thought to be ok. A lot of doctors advise avoiding sex if you have bled until the cause is found, so discuss this with your GP.
Don’t get complacent, as the period when no contraception is needed after pregnancy is VERY short – just three weeks. Remember that you ovulate (release an egg) before you have a period so you could get pregnant before you ever have a period. Contraception should be started at three weeks after delivery as ovulation can occur from the 28th day after you have given birth.
1. Check your BMI. Both men and women should aim for a BMI of 20-25 as this optimises fertility.
2. Supplement his diet. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, as well as folic acid, zinc and selenium may improve sperm function, although the evidence is not completely conclusive.
3. Drop the drink. Alcohol reduces both male and female fertility. Men shouldn’t drink more than the recommended 21 units per week. Women should ideally cut out alcohol completely while trying to get pregnant, some studies have shown that even a few units can affect fertility.
4. Stop smoking. Smoking affects sperm production and significantly reduces female fertility.
5. Lose the lube. Some lubricants can affect sperm motility so try to avoid these.
Many women experience heartburn in pregnancy. Although treatments such as antacids may relieve symptoms, some women continue to suffer. But acupuncture could help, according to a new study.
Researchers in Brazil asked women to monitor their heartburn levels while they addressed the problem – of those having acupuncture 75% said they felt better, compared to 44% of those taking antacids.
So, are the little needles the answer to pregnancy indigestion? While some experts welcome the idea, others said they feel more research is needed. If you’re thinking of exploring acupuncture as a treatment in pregnancy for heartburn or other problems, speak to your midwife and a registered practitioner before going ahead.
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