feel great during pregnancy
Feelings

8 ways to feel great during pregnancy

How do you manage to feel great during pregnancy? Let us count the ways..!

But be warned – these are sometimes easier said than done, so if you fall short of the mark – don’t worry!

1. Let go of stress

It’s important to take time for yourself and release any tension. A gentle walk around the block can work wonders for reducing stress. Yoga is another effective tension reliever and is a good exercise to take up while pregnant, as it can help you learn to breathe deeply and relax – this will come in handy when you go into labour. Just make sure you book classes with a certified instructor who is qualified in prenatal yoga. Check with your midwife/doctor before taking up any type of exercise.

2. Dress your bump

A couple of pairs of good, stretchy leggings are brilliant for seeing you through your pregnancy and even post birth– just buy them a couple of sizes bigger for comfort. Inexpensive trousers and tops in a size or too bigger are great for that transitional stage when you’re not ready for maternity wear. When your bump has fully ‘popped’, go for a-line or empire-waist shirts and dresses: this type of style flows away from the tummy and has a seam right under the bust so that there’s plenty of room for an expanding midsection. Belly bands are also handy – they overlap the top of your unzipped trousers or skirts and hold them up while leaving room for your growing stomach.

3. Put your feet first

An increase in weight and water retention can cause swelling in your feet. When you’re sitting down in the evening, get into the habit of flexing your feet, which can help to to keep the circulation going. It’s time to put those heels away – as you grow bigger, the extra weight can push you forward, this and the increase of the hormone relaxin in your body can soften body tissue, so your ankles will not be strong enough for stilettos. Get yourself a comfortable pair of flat shoes that include a support arch.

4. Get your vitamins in

It is advised that pregnant women get their vitamins and minerals from the food they eat, but you may need to take some supplements recommended by your midwife or GP, to make sure you are getting everything that you need. You will require extra folic acid, calcium and iron while you are pregnant. Some women may need supplements to target specific vitamin deficiencies such as iron or B12 – always check with your midwife or doctor for advice first.

5. Be good to yourself

A relaxing salon treatment can really help to give you a boost during pregnancy. Massage is a great way of relieving tension and soothing muscular aches and pains. But make sure that you book your massage with a therapist who is certified in pregnancy massage – it’s a good idea to remind the therapist that you are pregnant before your treatment as certain aromatherapy oils are not suitable for use during pregnancy. The same rule applies to other spa treatments Let them know how many weeks pregnant you are when you book your appointment. They can tailor your pampering sessions to ensure they are all safe for your particular needs.

6. Go for healthy foods

Focus on eating the foods that will give you and your growing baby the best nutrition and include high-fibre foods and lots of fruit and vegetables in your daily diet. Avoid foods containing raw or undercooked eggs or meats, certain kinds of fish that are high in mercury, unpasteurised dairy foods, and cold cut meats, unless they have been heated through. Never skip breakfast, and eat healthy snacks in between meals. Drink between 1.5 and two litres of liquids a day. Top up your levels by drinking a variety of juices, herbal teas, sparkling water, etc. Avoid fizzy drinks, as they make you feel bloated and are full of sugar.

7. Fight fatigue

Sleeping and eating well are the best cures for helping you to feel sprightly. Going to bed an hour earlier than normal can help and if you can, having catnaps of 15 to 20 minutes can help to revitalise you. 10 to 20 minute walks a few times a week will help you to energise you.

8. Empower yourself

Read up as much as you can about pregnancy and motherhood. The more you know about what’s going to happen to your body and when, the more in control you will feel and the more confident you will be.

“The ultimate treat for me while I was pregnant was to get into bed after a long day with a magazine and a cup of tea. There’s nothing better! Because pregnancy is a time where you must be careful with what you eat etc, it was nice to treat myself to some facials. A bit of pampering can really help to lift the spirits.” – Bernice Barrington

More like this:

Pregnancy weight gain
Yoga during pregnancy
Beating pregnancy fatigue

Ask Sarah

Q I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and as I am very interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and grain based meals my family eats, we are considering following this diet. From what I read it seems to be a back-to-basics type of eating. Is a Paleo diet safe for children? My kids are aged seven and nine.

A The Paleo diet is one of the most fashionable diets around at the moment. It is also known as the ‘caveman diet’ and is based on cutting out processed foods, starchy foods like bread and potatoes and eating more meat, vegetables and fruit.
As fad diets go, it is not the worst but there are some good and bad sides to it. Reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is always a good idea and by doing that you will usually reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, which is a good thing! The problem with the Paleo diet is that it also cuts out dairy (on the basis that cavemen didn’t drink milk) and this means that the diet is very low in calcium. For this reason it is really not suitable for children who do need a lot of calcium for growing bones. How did cavemen manage without dairy? They ate a lot more food than we do (up to 10,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 most of us eat). By eating that amount of food they were able to pick up just enough calcium from green vegetables and seeds. To put it in perspective, you would need to eat 16 servings of broccoli a day to get all the calcium you need. This is easier to do if you eat 10,000 calories per day rather than 2,000.
The other problem with the paleo diet is that it is not entirely based in science. Many of the Paleo diets out there say you should not eat wheat, even though we know that cavemen did in fact eat wheat and other grains. These diets also don’t recommend that you eat blubber and the big lumps of fat that were also a large part of the caveman diet!
A final problem is that many Paleo diets encourage people to cut out beans and lentils and to get their protein from meat and fish instead. Many studies over the last few years are clear that eating too much animal protein is linked with more cancer and heart disease. Eating some vegetarian meals based on beans and lentils is a great way to get your protein without always going for meat.
Is this a diet we should follow? I think there is a lot we can learn from the Paleo diets. We could all do with eating less salt, sugar and processed foods and adding in more nuts and seeds as well as more vegetables. However, I think following a strict Paleo diet could lead to low levels of calcium and vitamin D and so it is not suitable for children or teens and adults would need to think about a calcium supplement.

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ASK LUCY

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….