A list of useful tips
Healthy living is important, but a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is essential. What you do and don’t do, and what you eat and don’t eat, can play a decisive role in the health of your child. Of course, we will tell you more about this during the consultations and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. And in case you want to check something, here is a list of useful tips for a healthy lifestyle.
Nutrition and supplements
A healthy and varied diet provides pregnant women with sufficient nutrients. In this respect it is definitely not necessary to eat for two. It is, however, wise to increase your intake of folic acid and vitamin D. We therefore recommend that you take pregnancy vitamins every day. In addition to the essential vitamins and minerals, these also contain iron and folic acid.
Foods best avoided when pregnant
It is better to avoid certain foods when pregnant, such as:
- Liver and liver products: do not eat liver and do not eat more than one slice of bread each day with a liver-based spread, such as pâté, liverwurst or Hausmacher. Liver has a high vitamin A content, which can be very harmful to the baby.
- Raw meat: do not eat any raw meat such as carpaccio or steak tartare. This increases the chances of toxoplasma exposing you to the risk of toxoplasmosis.
- Soft cheeses: soft cheeses made from unpasteurised milk could be harmful to your unborn baby due to the risk of listeria infection.
- Pre-packed fish: when pre-packed, fish such as smoked salmon and eel could cause a listeria infection. So buy this fish fresh from your fishmonger, and then you can even eat it raw. You can also eat sushi during the pregnancy, as long as it is fresh.
- Liquorice: this contains glycyrrhizin which could increase your blood pressure. So liquorice is best avoided during pregnancy, unless you have a low blood pressure, in which case you can eat it every now and then.
- Too much coffee: drink no more than four cups of coffee a day. Caffeine is not good for your baby.
- Be careful with fresh products and raw vegetables; keep these too long and it will increase the risk of listeria infection.
Alcohol and smoking during pregnancy
It seems so logical but we keep on stressing the point because it is so important. Alcohol and nicotine are off limits during pregnancy. Smoking harms the baby as the nicotine reduces the oxygen flow to the baby. This increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and even cot death. Incidentally, passive smoking is just as harmful. Alcohol also has adverse effects. The alcohol reaches the baby via the placenta and can cause complications, even in small quantities, and negatively affect the baby’s brain development.
Drugs and medication
Drugs are harmful, certainly for an unborn baby. This applies to any type of drugs. If you use drugs or have done in the past, let us know so that we can provide you with suitable care. Although they are sometimes necessary, medicines can be harmful too, so always let your GP and pharmacy know that you are pregnant. If you have questions about the use of medication, please feel free to ask us at any time.
Hygiene during pregnancy
Cleaning the cat box is best left to someone else during pregnancy. The same applies to gardening. The cat box or garden soil may contain bacteria from cat faeces that can cause toxoplasmosis. If you really cannot wait to plant your new plants in the garden, wear good gloves. And make sure you always wash your hands, keeping hygiene in mind, especially when caring for small children. It will decrease the risk of a CMV infection.
Sport and exercise during pregnancy
In principle, we always recommend sport and exercise during pregnancy but make sure you listen closely to your body. Stop if you regularly have an abdominal pain or hard belly and respect the changing limitations of your body. We definitely advise against abdominal muscle exercises, contact sports and deep-sea diving during pregnancy. If you experience a physical problem, discuss it with us. Specific pregnancy-related complaints that are caused by the weakening of cartilage and ligaments, for example, can often be alleviated through therapy. Or you could follow a programme specially developed for pregnant women or women who’ve just given birth, such as Mom in Balance.