Health and wellbeing for first time mums
Congratulations on becoming a new-to-be mum! This is such an exciting time, but it is normal for first time mums to feel overwhelmed with the journey that lies ahead. We strongly advocate all women to prioritise their own health and wellbeing give your baby a healthy start in life. We’ve found that actively preparing for pregnancy with the aid of good health care and support from people close to you is going to help you with the whole process, from falling pregnant to starting a life with your new baby. There are a number of important things to consider during pregnancy, focussing on self-care is a great way to start.
Self-care during pregnancy
Pregnancy is different for ever new mum, and there will be a lot of changes in your daily routine as well as your body. Preparing for these changes will hopefully aid in keeping you positive, relaxed and healthy throughout your pregnancy and into the early stages of motherhood.
Diet and exercise
Firstly, adopting healthy eating habits is so important in pregnancy because it helps the baby develop and growand helps achieve a healthy weight gain- all while keeping the mum to be healthy too. We recommend drinking plenty of water and eating a variety of different foods everyday from the following food groups:
- bread, rice, pasta, noodles and other grain foods
- vegetables and legumes (legumes means dried beans and peas, lentils and soy foods such as tofu)
- milk, yoghurt, semi-hard or hard cheeses (reduced fat)
- freshly cooked meat, fish, poultry and eggs (no raw eggs)
Raw fish and seafood such as oysters, sashimi, smoked salmon or smoked oysters should be avoided all together by pregnant women.
Exercising can also help keep you keep active and stay fit while you’re pregnant. It can also help decrease any physical discomforts such as back pain. It is important to first check if there are any health concerns with your midwife or doctor before you continue or start with exercise routines. We recommend spending 30 minutes on moderate exercises such as walking or swimming on most days of the week.
Alcohol, illicit drugs & smoking
Consuming alcohol, illicit drugs and smoking should stop when you are trying to conceive or when you fall pregnant. This is because alcohol travels from your bloodstream into the baby’s bloodstream, and most drugs will reach the baby through the placenta. Consuming alcohol, illicit drugs and smoking, especially whilst pregnant is linked to higher rates of complications such as miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and other issues that are harmful to both you and your baby.
If you need help quitting smoking, drugs or alcohol, please let Dr Hong know so she can discuss available support options for you.
Infections in pregnancy
Most infections such as the common cold don’t cause any problems during pregnancy, but some that are more harmful can be passed onto the baby. It is important that you tell your midwife or doctor if you think you may have one of the following infections:
- Pertussis (Whooping cough)
- Influenza (flu)
- Rubella (German measles)
- Chickenpox (varicella)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Parvovirus, also known as slapped cheek disease or fifth disease
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- Strep B (group B streptococcal infection)
- STIs (such as Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Genital herpes, Genital warts)
Depending on the type of job or how physically straining it is, most women can still work throughout most of their pregnancy. Jobs that involve heavy physical work, occupational hazards, or expose you to various chemicals, infections and some cases of radiation may have an impact on your unborn baby. To make sure your work is safe in pregnancy, ask your Dr Hong, your GP, occupational health and safety officer, union representative or employer.
As there is so much to take in when expecting a new baby, it’s recommended that new parents attend antenatal classes. Here you can be guided through the various stages of pregnancy by a midwife and ask any questions you may have, all whilst being supported by other new parents experiencing similar situations.
Personalised, Compassionate Care
Dr Hong understands that all women have different needs and priorities, and that is why she offers a highly personalised care approach for new mums and all other patients. To discuss your health and wellbeing during pregnancy in more detail, please arrange a consultation by calling us on (07) 4230 0030.