I’m pregnant! What now?

Essential dos and don'ts to start your pregnancy on the right track

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    Congratulations on your new pregnancy! There’s an endless amount for your to consider over the next few months, but here are our essential pointers to get your pregnancy off to a healthy start.

    Dos

    • Take a pregnancy vitamin supplement every day. Most important is folic acid which is crucial for your baby’s development. Calcium and iron are also very important
    • Make a first appointment with your doctor to: confirm your pregnancy, start your antenatal care and discuss any medication or herbal remedies you have been taking
    • Make sure you get a well-balanced diet incorporating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and cutting back on empty calories
    • Drink plenty of fluids. You should be getting at least eight 250ml glasses of fluids a day, or two litres (but limit your intake of caffeinated, sugary and carbonated drinks)
    • If you haven’t already, then start a moderate exercise programme which will help give you energy and lessen pregnancy aches and pains – but consult your doctor before embarking on a new exercise programme
    • If you smoke or use recreational drugs then you should stop or cut back drastically. If you have trouble quitting then seek professional help and make sure your doctor is aware of any substance addition
    • If you drink alcohol then you need to either stop or cut back to very light drinking
    • Cut back on caffeine
    • Make sure you’re aware of what foods you should avoid during pregnancy as some foods such as raw fish, raw meat and blue cheeses can harbour dangerous bacteria
    • Make sure you maintain very high standards of food hygiene
    • Be particularly careful when handling pets and leave changing the litter to someone else for the duration of the pregnancy
    • Pay special attention to dental hygiene: It’s common for pregnant women to suffer from gum infections

    Don’ts

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    • Don’t start eating for two: The baby growing inside you doesn’t need the same number of calories as a fully grown human, so you only need to eat slightly more than usual, and most important is that you eat better foods
    • But even more importantly, don’t diet. Pregnancy isn’t the time to try to lose weight: If you’re not getting the energy, vitamins and minerals you need then neither is your baby and she won’t be able to grow healthily. Don’t worry about losing the weight after birth now, just eat sensibly and well
    • Don’t take vitamin A supplements during your pregnancy and avoid vitamin A–rich foods, like liver and liver products
    • Don’t take over-the-counter, homeopathic or herbal remedies, even aspirin, for any condition without getting the ok from your doctor
    • Don’t use essential oils without consulting an aromatherapy expert on which are safe for use during preganancy
    • Don’t undertake strenuous exercise and particularly not in hot weather
    • Don’t agree to an x-ray when pregnant unless it’s necessary and your health provider is aware that you are pregnant and taking precautionary measures to protect the fetus

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