Pregnancy is a serious condition that is different to every couple. Most of what is taken in by the mother has a high  chance of affecting the baby. Often you will have questions about what is safe to eat, and what activities should be avoided during pregnancy.

Healthy eating during pregnancy

It is commonly asked; what foods are best not to eat during pregnancy? You will hear many remarks from relatives, neighbours and even your own parents on what you should eat.

You can ideally eat anything you are not allergic to. This means your diet can include cuttlefish, prawns, pineapple or in other words what people call “healthy” foods.

Exercising during pregnancy

Avoid damage to your body by being mindful of your weight as it could result in back pain and joint pains. Exercises that can be done during pregnancy;

  • Pregnancy Yoga
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Swimming

Exercises that you should avoid during pregnancy

  • Some stomach exercises

Rest and sleep during pregnancy

Rest is very important during pregnancy. It is however possible to carry on working on usual activities. Care must be taken not to take up and excessive activities during the first and last few weeks of pregnancy. Generally about 8-10 sleeps is adequate for most pregnant mothers, however it is normal for pregnant women to feel tired and restless, though it is not a general reason to be concerned.

Hygiene and cleanliness during pregnancy

  • Daily baths are recommended but you should avoid slipping as you can tend to feel dizzy or imbalance during pregnancy
  • Wearing lose fitting clothing, avoiding high heels and belt specially during the last trimester is important
  • Wearing supportive cotton bras are best, as they wil provide support and comfort
  • Dental care – Its best to take care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy and to go for a routine check up to avoid any cavities and to get necessary treatments

Travelling while being pregnant

Travelling is difficult during the first and final weeks of the thirst trimesters, and most women agree that travelling is easiest during the second trimester. It is best to avoid long trips and plan ahead as you might want to make stops to go to the toilet. Often there could be swelling in the legs which could be avoided by stopping and walking around. Most modes of transport are safe, however you will find discomfort on bumpy roads and vehicles with big jerks should be avoided. Wearing a seat belt though recommended should be worn with care, and should be under the abdomen.

Air travel is recommended mostly till only the 36th week, and should be avoided if you are suffering from any ailments such as pre-eclempsia (high blood pressure), sever anemia or placenta praevia. If you are still in any doubt, consult your doctor before travelling by plane.

Having sex while being pregnant

There is no reason to avoid having sex during pregnancy unless it is advised by the doctor due to certain complications such as increased risk of miscarriage.

Smoking or alcohol consumption during pregnancy

As smoking will affect pregnancy in two ways (active and passive smoking) advise should be given to refrain from smoking. Smoking causes large number of adverse affects in pregnancy including small baby, miscarriages and still birth, delivery before expected date and placental problems; such as premature seperation of placenta also known as abruptio placentae.

Alcohol consumption too causes serious adverse effects which results in fetal alcohol syndrome which includes small baby, mental retardation, abnormal babies and behavioural problems.

Exposure to radiation and chemicals during pregnancy

We come across radiation from our televisions, electrical appliances, mobile phones and computers. It is often a worry to mothers and fathers if it will affect chances of getting pregnant, or if it will more importantly affect the fetus.

In General;

  • Exposure to computers (video display units) will not harm the fetus
  • Exposure to non-toxic paints will not harm the fetus
  • Exposure to chemicals and pesticides in small traces will not harm the fetus

Medications and illness

There are drugs that can be taken during pregnancy that will not affect the fetus. It is important to assess the condition you are having and to make sure you mention your doctor that you are either trying to get pregnant or that you are pregnant before taking any type of drug.

Other serious illnesses that need to be considered if getting pregnant:

  • Hypertenstion
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epileptics
  • Prosthetic heart valves

Unfortunately there are certain illnesses that are too risky for pregnancy. If you have any of the following illnesses you are putting yourself at risk as it is not recommended that you get pregnant if you have any of the following;

  • Primary Pulmanary Hypertension
  • Eisenmonger Syndrome

Do you have psyciatric illness such as manic depression or phsycosis consult your doctor regarding medications you are taking, as some medicines such as Lithium Carbonate can cause fetal heart abnormalities. Any other mental illness that the woman has also needs to be discussed with the doctor as medication needs to be adjusted or changed.

Perfect mental health of father and mother is necessary for good fetal development so following your religious and spiritual development also may be conducive for good fetal brain and mental development.