Are you looking forward to having your baby? Pregnancy is wonderful, but not always associated with feeling well. Hormonal changes result in lots of changes at a physical level. A balanced diet, good circulation and relaxation are all especially important for making both you and your baby feel well.
Nutrition tips for pregnant women
Eat and drink a balanced diet according to the Nutritional Pyramid. By doing this you create good conditions in which you and your baby can both receive the nutrients you require. Since blood volume increases significantly during pregnancy and the cells of your baby are being formed at this time, those vitamins and minerals that are involved in blood and cell formation are especially important. This includes, for example, folic acid and vitamin B12. Because it can be difficult to get a high enough quantity from food alone, experts recommend adding separate nutrients to your diet (e.g. folic acid) via dietary supplements. Talk to your doctor about this. To find out more useful information about a healthy and balanced diet in pregnancy, read our article on this, “Pregnancy and diet”
Important: fish and high-quality cooking oils
Fish provides valuable iodine for your baby’s physical and mental development. When you opt for cold-water fish such as herring, salmon and mackerel, these provide a rich supply of omega 3 fatty acids. These are also important – both for your baby’s brain development and for its eyesight. In addition, Danish scientists have discovered that the risk of premature birth is lower in pregnant women who eat salt-water fish at least once a week. You should nonetheless avoid some sorts of fish, since these contain a relatively large amount of mercury. Examples of these are eel, tuna and halibut. Rapeseed oil is also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Why not try “THOMY GOLD Raps & Sonnenblumenöl”. This high-quality vegetable oil is a mix of rapeseed and sunflower oils. It goes very well with cold food, e.g. salads, dips and spreads, but is also good for pan-frying, cooking and baking.
Foods you should avoid
Raw or only half-cooked meat and uncooked meats like salami, raw ham or raw fish can contain pathogens that are harmful for you and your baby. It is also best to keep raw milk and foods containing raw milk off the menu during pregnancy. To avoid salmonella, make sure you only eat eggs that are hard-boiled. Take great care with offal, particularly liver. Liver contains a significant amount of vitamin A. Although you need more of this vitamin during pregnancy, too much of it can lead to development problems in your child. Offal is, moreover, often full of heavy metals. You should give up alcohol and cigarettes completely during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Nausea and vomiting are typical symptoms of pregnancy – especially in the first three months. The following tips may alleviate the discomfort:
- Start the day slowly and, when you wake up in the morning, spend a few moments lying still before getting up. Maybe your partner can bring you a cup of lukewarm tea and a biscuit or piece of toast in bed.
- Avoid highly spiced and fatty food. This irritates the stomach.
- You don’t have to give up your cup of coffee or caffeinated tea altogether. Do not overdo the caffeine, however. Instead, try some tasty caffeine-free alternatives, e.g. NESCAFÉ Gold.
- Eat small portions more frequently – your stomach finds this easier to cope with and blood sugar levels stay balanced.
- Nausea can also be caused by stress. So allow yourself daily quiet times – for reading, listening to music, or lying on the sofa.
Being active with a baby belly?
Exercise is good for mothers-to-be. This is because sport relaxes you and keeps you fit for giving birth. You should always check with your doctor first before starting a sport or activity. Aqua-jogging is especially good – and can be done all through pregnancy. This entails walking or running in water, keeping contact with the floor. Or you are supported using a buoyancy belt or vest. The advantages of aqua-jogging are as follows:
- Your circulation is gently stimulated, but there is not too much pressure on it.
- It can reduce water retention (oedema).
- Aqua-jogging is especially gentle on the joints. Ensure that your heartbeat does not go over 140 bpm. The best way to monitor your heart rate is by using a heart rate monitor.