Make your unborn baby healthier and happier with these top tips for weeks 13 to 28 of your pregnancy
Gentle belly dancing prepares your body for labour and soothes your baby. Plus, dancing helps you connect in a really fun way. 'Babies respond to the feel-good chemicals you release when you dance, and also to mum’s behaviour,' says Dr Thomas Verny, author of The Secret Life of the Unborn Child .
From as early as 5 months, your baby loves to hear your voice. Studies show that babies recognise their mum's dulcet tones as soon as they're born, and this calms theirheart rate, too.
Fish provide important nutrients, including vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, essential for your baby's brain and eyes.
Doing a few laps in a pool is the perfect exercise for your baby. Gentle swimming, face down, promotes optimal blood flow to the foetus, and makes your baby feel extraweightless, so she can do even more somersaults!
Massage reduces anxiety and stress levels, although it's best to wait until the second trimester. Some experts also believe the oxytocin released in your body when you're touched spreads the feel-good factor to your baby, too. Make sure your masseur is trained in pregnancy massage.
Forget whales – research shows that unborn babies love dolphin sounds and the high-pitched frequency stimulates brain development. Dolphin Love by Chris Mitchell is available on CD.
Garlic can cut the risk of pre-eclampsia and boost the birth weight of babies destined to be too small. From about 14 weeks, your baby can taste what you eat through theamniotic fluid, so she’ll be getting a little gastronomic treat as well.
If you're feeling low, a 20-second hug will reduce stress and boost oxytocin, the hormone associated with maternal love. Your emotional chemistry has a direct affect on your baby, so she’ll be enjoying it, too!
Flowers are a healthy way to make your home smell fab, as scented candles and air fresheners aren't great for your unborn baby. Lavender reduces anxiety, while roses help if you feel vulnerable – and calm mum means calm baby
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