A healthy beating heart, ten toes, and ten fingers are what you hope for when giving birth. Yet, there is more to giving birth to a healthy baby than meets the eye.
What you do to take care of them while they are still in the womb can affect them once they are born. Being prepared can keep you one step ahead when it comes to protecting your bundle of joy. Here are five essential tips to get you started.
Food plays an important role when you are pregnant. You will feel constantly hungry and get the odd craving, but it’s better to know what types of food to avoid that could possibly harm your baby. Some foods come with increased risk of bacterial or parasitic contamination that you need to be aware of such as:
Furthermore, it will be in your best interest to avoid food that has not been fully cooked. Having a healthy serving of fish can help with helping you absorb Omega-3, but avoid eating 2 or 3 servings of fish per week. This can cause high levels of mercury in your body that can be harmful to your baby. You can balance your diet with food rich in fibre such as fruit and vegetables to decrease your chances of getting haemorrhoids. Remember to consult your doctor to find out which foods will work for your diet to enhance your baby’s health.
Having a baby is not cheap. Raising a child in South Africa can easily cost you R90,000 a year, which is why having a baby budget can save you the financial stress. Whether this is in the form of an emergency savings account or a unit trust set up for your baby, it will come in handy once they are born. You could also invest in MiLittleLife insurance to create a financial safety net to the value of R20 000 and R180 000 for your newborn against some of the most common and severe childbirth complications. When it comes to saving money consider purchasing some of your baby items as second hand rather than purchasing everything new.
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Staying active is important for your health. Not only will this help you reduce stress, but it can also help you control the baby weight, improve blood circulation, and boost your mood by the endorphins that get released. Try to keep your workouts light to avoid straining yourself or putting you and your baby at risk. Walk at a moderate pace in a cool area for 15-20 minutes. Joining a pregnancy class can also keep you motivated since you will be working out as a group instead of alone. Remember to listen to your body and to check with your doctor if an exercise will be suitable for you.
This should be a priority as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. Having a doctor who you can schedule regular check-ups with can ensure that you and your bundle of joy are healthy throughout your pregnancy journey. It can also help you catch any problems before they cause complications.
While it is still possible to work while pregnant, it is vital to work at a pace that will not put a strain on you and your baby. Working a night shift is usually not ideal for someone that's pregnant as this can put you under stress. Avoid work stress as much as you can by pacing yourself unless your doctor has advised you otherwise.