Now that you have a little one on the way, it is the perfect time to pick up a few healthy habits if you have yet to do so.
WORDS JOANNA ONG
It’s now or never to cultivate healthy habits to ensure both mother and baby are healthy and strong throughout the pregnancy. Since what goes into your body or what you do with your body is crucial to the healthy development of your baby, it’s super important to develop healthy habits even before you’re pregnant. These are some ways to get you started:
Good Sleep Habits
According to Dr Lim Min Yu, consultant OBGYN at Gleneagles Hospital, sleep quality matters. Try to avoid stimulants before bedtime such as coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks. Watching television or surfing the internet can also be stimulating, so it is actually a good sleep habit to avoid doing these things in bed. Relaxation techniques, such as yoga, stretching, visualisation or deep breathing can help to prepare you for a good night’s rest.
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This might be especially difficult for the Singaporean lifestyle but Dr Ann Tan, OBGYN at Women Fertility & Fetal Centre in Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre advises mums to try to slow down the pace of life as pregnancy does take a toll on a woman’s body. According to Dr Tan, the blood volume increases during pregnancy and thus the heart has to work harder to pump the increased volume throughout the whole body. You might also feel relatively anaemic and as a result, feel breathless more often and tire more easily. Thus, it is important to reduce your physical activity.
Eat and Hydrate Well
According to Dr Tan, an increase in protein and fluid intake is necessary to provide the necessary growth factors for the baby and ensure good hydration to allow the amniotic fluid and maternal circulation to be well supported. A high sugar and carbohydrate diet is detrimental as the blood sugars might be become too high and cause gestational diabetes.
Wherever possible eat small meals more frequently when
pregnant to reduce bloating and regurgitation.
Dr Christopher Ng, OBGYN at GynaeMD Women’s & Rejuvenation Clinic at Camden Medical Centre encourages couples to be actively involved in making decisions about their antenatal care. During your pregnancy, you will be given a series of antenatal appointments to check on your health and your baby. Becoming a parent is a major commitment filled with many challenges, rewards, and decisions. Making healthy choices during your antenatal visit is an important step to a healthy and happy pregnancy so setting aside ample time for the visit and going as a couple is always a good idea. Your obstetrician will want details about your past pregnancies, menstrual cycle, use of contraceptives and allergies or other medical conditions. You should inform him if you are currently consuming any medication. It is imperative that you highlight any significant family history of congenital abnormalities or genetic diseases as this may affect your current pregnancy.
Take it Easy on Chores
Dr Ng advises that you know your limits and do the chores that won’t strain your back so much (otherwise employ a helper or if you cannot afford one then there is always your husband).
Cut Down on Work Trips
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to give up work unless you are an air stewardess or your work involves high impact contact or is risky, Dr Ng cautions.
Take frequent breaks at work to snack or just put your feet up. Many pregnant women work throughout
their pregnancy until they go into labour or up to the last one to two weeks before their due date.
If your work involves frequent travelling then perhaps it’s better to cut down on the unnecessary business trips.
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