All you need to do to take care of yourself during pregnancy
What are signs and symptoms of pregnancy?
There are many signs and symptoms which may present with pregnancy. That does not mean that you will experience all of them as every woman is different. Intensity may also vary from person to person as no two pregnancies are ever the same between women and for the same woman. Below is the list of common signs and symptoms that can be expected during pregnancy:
- Fatigue: usually occurs due to changes in hormone levels, particularly the progesterone.
- Nausea with or without vomiting: it is not entirely clear why women feel nauseous during early stages of pregnancy, however, it is suspected that it is due to changes in hormone levels.
- Increased urination frequency: this occurs due to increased blood volume in your body with which water levels also rise.
- Missing a menstrual cycle: this sign can suggest that you might be pregnant, however, do not rely only on this as it may be misleading, especially if your menstrual cycle is irregular.
- Swollen or tender breasts: changes in your breasts are caused by changes in hormone levels. Your breasts may also feel sensitive and sore, however, your body usually adapts to the changes within the first few weeks.
- Mood swings: it is common to have sudden changes in mood during early pregnancy. As many of the other symptoms, mood changes are a result of changes in hormone levels.
- Revulsion for certain foods: due to hormonal changes, you might develop sensitivity to certain smells. Even your sense of taste can change.
- Feeling bloated: usually occurs due to changes in hormonal level. Sensation might be similar to the one you feel before the menstrual cycle.
- Constipation: due to changes in hormone levels, food processing might take a back seat leading to constipation.
Can I exercise during pregnancy?
In general, yes you can, and you should. It is suggested that exercising during pregnancy helps to maintain healthy muscle strength, manage weight gain, reduce the probability of developing lower back pain or pelvic girdle pain and sustain a satisfactory body image. It also helps to maintain fitness levels and good general health. There are many types of exercises that can be performed during pregnancy which can include activities such as: swimming, walking, brisk walking, light jogging, water gymnastics, yoga, Thai Chi and stair climbing. However, you should avoid contact sports or activities that carry an increased risk of falling as it might harm the foetus. If you are unsure whether an exercise or physical activity is suitable for you, we recommend you to seek professional advice.
What should I eat during pregnancy?
This can vary depending on your general health. Also, different doctors may have different opinions on what foods to eat and what you should stay away from. However, generally it is advised to avoid eating undercooked meats, alcohol and unpasteurised dairy products. Moreover, your appetite might increase during pregnancy but that does not mean you ‘need to eat for two’. Try to have a well-balanced diet full of fruit and veg, protein, starch and dairy products to supply your body with needed vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. You will probably have to take folic acid supplements which are important for the development of the baby and for production of red blood cells.
How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?
Recommended measures for weight gain depend on your body mass index (BMI). BMI is the measure which helps to determine if your weight is within the healthy limits by calculating your height and weight. However, there are some exceptions, for example, if you are very athletic you might have significantly higher muscle mass in comparison to other women of your age. That does not mean that you are unhealthy, hence, if you are in this group of women, you should consult your GP regarding the weight gain during pregnancy
In general, it is recommended to gain:
- Normal weight – 25lb (11.4kg) – 35lb (15.9kg).
- Underweight – 28lb (12.7kg)– 40lb (18.2kg).
- Overweight – 5lb (6.8 kg) – 25lb (11.4kg).
- Obese – 11lb (4.9kg) – 20lb (9.1kg).
However, it is still very important to consult your GP regarding your weight gain and the foods that you can eat, particularly if you have an underlying health condition.
What should I avoid during pregnancy?
There are quite a few things on the list which should be avoided or not used in excess as it can harm you and the foetus. The list below contains the information about the most common things to avoid, however, it is not extensive:
- Alcohol consumption.
- Raw or undercooked meats.
- Unpasteurised dairy products.
- Processed meats.
- Excessive amount of caffeine.
- Acupuncture on some body parts.
- Emptying cat’s litter.
- Sauna or steam room.
We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us 3 mins away from Angel station in Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!