5 secrets to a happier and healthier pregnancy

Congratulations, you’re expecting! Amongst all the conflicting emotions, foremost in your mind will be the well being of your growing bump, so here are a few tips to help you stay on top form throughout pregnancy.

Eat well - Go Folic!

Folic Acid is proven to reduce the risk of certain birth defects known as neural tube defects. The charity Shine, which supports those living with Spina Bifida (a neural tube defect), hosts a Go Folic! website to educate and support women about the benefits of Folic Acid and how to get enough. 

Cut out alcohol

If you drink when you’re pregnant, alcohol from your blood crosses the placenta and enters your baby’s blood. According to Tommy’s – a charity which funds research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage – cutting back on alcohol should be a priority. The charity advises: “Alcohol can harm your developing baby, so you should think about giving up drinking while you are pregnant, or cutting right back. The safest approach in pregnancy is to choose not to drink at all. However, small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy (not more than one to two units, not more than once or twice a week) have not been shown to be harmful.” 

Stop smoking

Conventional cigarettes contain nicotine, as well as up to 4,000 other toxins. Although full tests are still underway, advice on www.babycentre.co.uk suggests that if you have to smoke, e-cigarettes are likely to be less harmful than normal cigarettes. A pregnant woman needs to be doubly sure of what she's putting into her body - click here to view a website which sells only fully analysed UK manufactured eliquid. Also, www.elscience.co.uk has lots of useful information on how to stay safe and see exactly what's in their bottle of eliquid.

Eat well

‘Eating for two’ doesn’t mean eating twice as much! Eating to keep you and your baby healthy is important during pregnancy, but this means eating well, not eating more. Eating a balanced diet and getting the vitamins and minerals you need, will help you protect your baby while he or she is growing – the NHS has a helpful list of the foods you need to avoid during pregnancy, such as raw meats, shellfish, some cheeses and others. Check out the list and plan your diet around them. The website also has helpful tips on getting a healthy breakfast and avoiding hidden sugars and fats.

Gentle exercise

Walking, swimming or pregnancy yoga all help you to stay active while you’re growing your new baby. As well as helping you to have a more enjoyable pregnancy, some people believe that exercise during pregnancy could lead to an easier birth (well, relatively!).

Keep your appointments

When you know you’re pregnant, see your doctor and they will help you to organise your antenatal care. You’ll get advice for a healthy pregnancy from the start and you’ll access all the scans and antenatal appointments you need. Keep these appointments (for which you’re entitled time off from work), and you’ll get advice, support and proper care throughout your pregnancy.

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