Every pregnant woman’s top concern is the safety and health of her growing bub. To put your mind at ease, read through these essential tips for pregnant women wishing to maintain their own health as well as their baby’s.
Get proper sleep
Rest is integral to healthy development and growth, but unfortunately can be hard to attain when your body is suddenly a very different size and shape to what it used to be!
Registered Osteopath Dr. Fiona McIntyre of Ascot Vale Osteopathy understands the body mechanics behind good sleep, telling us:
“Sleep is crucial at the best of times, let alone when you are pregnant! As an osteopath, I regularly treat pregnant women that complain of pain at night that disturbs their sleep. Sleeping on your left side is ideal when pregnant (to take the pressure off the main vein that returns blood to the heart). Staying in this position for too long can put pressure on the hips, so one way to counteract that is by placing a thick pillow between the legs - so the knees are separated wider than the hips, and the ankles are in line with the hips. This will also help to support your lower back.”
Set up your nursery
It’s not too early to start furnishing your nursery area! In fact, it will become harder to labour over putting your nursery together as your pregnancy goes on, so it is better to do it sooner than later. Keep functionality and safety in mind when choosing nursery furniture. Ensure furniture is stable and won’t topple over, and also lay out your space so you can reach all your nappy-changing supplies without leaving your baby’s side.
We’ve all heard the old adage that while pregnant, women need to eat for two. However, it’s not enough to simply stock up on empty calories in the form of junk food. Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist Stefanie Valakas APD from The Dietologist suggests to:
"Start taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement (as well as your prenatal multi-vitamin) as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Omega-3 fats, especially DHA, is essential for your baby's brain and eye development and new research has shown that women with a higher intake of omega-3 fats have a reduced chance of a pre-term delivery and all the associated risks of a premature baby."
Some other foods to fill your plate with include whole grains, fruit, vegetables, calcium, protein and fish (however, avoid fish with high mercury levels and don’t eat raw fish in sushi, sashimi and the like).
Strengthen your core
Pregnant women’s bodies will undergo all sorts of stress, especially when it comes to the delivery. Dahlas Fletcher, a fully certified Pregnancy and Post Natal Trainer from Body Fabulous stresses the importance of strengthening your core during pregnancy:
“Strengthening your core during pregnancy is important. If your deep core is not correctly engaged while you are carrying a baby, injury and excessive abdominal separation can occur.
When I say core, most people think ‘6-pack and abs’, however your core is SO much more than that! The foundation of your core is your pelvic floor and if this is not functioning correctly the rest of your core is compromised. During pregnancy, understanding how to strengthen and release your core and pelvic floor can really help you; especially when it is time to push a baby out and to recover from birth (including a c-section). Plus, effective core training is crucial for every women’s long term health and well-being.”
By incorporating the above tips and visiting your GP and OB/GYN regularly, you’ll be on track to having a safe and healthy pregnancy.