Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
She should ensure that even prior to her pregnancy, she is taking a folic acid. A diet low in folic acid increases the risk of birth defects specifically neural tube defects. These are defects of the baby's spine and brain. She should start the supplement about one month before, and continue during the first three months of pregnancy. She should also ensure that she is drinking enough water and should not wait until she is thirsty. In addition, she should ensure sufficient intake of other minerals such as iron and calcium.
Eat more calories
A healthy diet includes a variety of foods which contain proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats. She will need about 300 more calories per day than usual. If she is carrying twins, her calorie needs will be increased.
A woman starting at a normal weight needs to gain between 25-35 pounds during her pregnancy. If she is underweight, this increases to 28-40 pounds and even if she is overweight she should gain 15-25 pounds.
Don't eat hot dogs
There are certain foods that she should avoid. These include alcohol, certain prescription medications (she should confirm with her doctor) and illegal drugs. She should also avoid certain types of fish such as shark, swordfish, barracuda or king mackerel. These have high levels of a kind of mercury which can be harmful to the developing baby. A certain kind of canned tuna called albacore may also be high in mercury but the chunked light tuna commonly sold locally can be eaten in small amounts.
She should also avoid unpasteurised milk, soft cheeses made with unpasteurised milk, hot dogs, luncheon meats and smoked seafood. If she does eat hot dogs and luncheon meats she should reheat them until they are steaming hot. These foods may have certain bacteria which may also be harmful to her and the baby.
Caffeine, in small amounts, (for example in a cup or two of coffee) is safe in pregnancy.
Exercise in pregnancy
Exercise has numerous health benefits and these are not limited to the non-pregnant person. If a woman is active prior to pregnancy she can continue to be active during pregnancy although she will have some limitations. Even if she has not been exercising prior to the pregnancy, it is still a good time to start. Her aim should be 30 minutes of exercise on most if not all days of the week. This does not have to be done all at once but she can gradually build up to that time.
Benefits of exercise include increased energy level, relieving constipation, leg cramps, bloating and swelling, improved mood, helping with relaxation, improved posture, promoting muscle tone and stamina, improved sleep, and controlling and possibly preventing diabetes of pregnancy. Safe exercises include walking, swimming and other low impact activities.
Avoid playing football
Certain sports should be avoided during pregnancy as they increase a pregnant woman's risk of falling. These include racquet sports, horseback riding and contact sports such as football, basketball and volleyball. Scuba diving is also unsafe in pregnancy because it may put the baby at risk for decompression sickness. Certain positions should also be avoided. She should avoid lying on her back and prolonged standing without moving.
Unfortunately, there are a number of conditions that make exercise unsafe in pregnancy, therefore, it is important that she consult with her physician prior to starting or continuing an exercise programme.
Source: Jamaica Gleaner News
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
- Newborns don't need a bath every day. Every other day is fine, as long as your baby is properly cleaned up after feedings and diaper changes.
- Your newborn will need a sponge bath at first -- don't submerge her in water until the umbilical cord has fallen off.
- Use a bath thermometer to be sure the water is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a bath sponge or nonslip pad at the bottom of the sink or tub to keep your baby from slipping or sliding around in the water.
- Keep your hand on the baby at all times, and never leave her unattended.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
- Leg Cramps
- Morning Sickness
- Stretch Marks
- Back Aches
- Skin Changes
- Pelvic Pressure
- PUPPP- "Pregnancy Rash"
- Carpal Tunnel
- Fatigue/Shortness of Breath
- Swollen Ankles
- Spider veins/Varicose veins