Healthy living is important, but a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is essential. Your activities and diet can affect the health of your baby. We will of course discuss this with you during the consultations and we are always happy to answer your questions. In the meantime, we have listed a number of important lifestyle tips here, to which you can refer back.
Diet and supplements
By eating a healthy and varied diet, pregnant women consume sufficient nutrients. It is certainly not necessary to eat for two. However, it is advisable to take folic acid and vitamin D supplements. We recommend taking a pregnancy supplement daily, for example, Gravitamon or Davitamon. These contain iron and folic acid in addition to essential vitamins and minerals.
Foods that are best avoided
Some foods are best avoided while pregnant. These include:
- Liver and liver products; do not eat liver and do not use liver derivates such as paté, liverwurst or Hausmacher on more than 1 sandwich per day.
- Liver has a high vitamin A content, which can be very harmful to the baby.
- Raw meat; do not eat raw meat such as carpaccio or steak tartare. These increase the risk of toxoplasmosis.
- Soft cheeses; soft cheese made of raw, unpasteurised milk, i.e. raw milk, can be harmful to your unborn baby because of the risk of listeria poisoning.
- Pre-packaged fish; fish such as smoked salmon and eel, when pre-packaged, can pose a risk of listeria poisoning. Instead, buy it fresh from the fishmonger, in which case you could even eat it raw. You can also eat sushi while pregnant, provided it is fresh.
- Liquorice; liquorice contains a substance called glycyrrhizin, which can raise blood pressure. Thus, it is better to avoid liquorice during pregnancy, unless you have low blood pressure, in which case you should eat liquorice occasionally.
- Excessive coffee; do not drink more than 4 cups of coffee per day. Caffeine has an adverse effect on your baby.
- Take care with fresh products and raw foods; if you store these for too long, there is an increased risk of listeria poisoning.
Alcohol and smoking during pregnancy
It is logical, but it is so important we cannot emphasise it enough: alcohol and nicotine are taboo while pregnant. Smoking is harmful to the baby because nicotine impedes the baby’s oxygen supply. What’s more, second hand smoke is just as dangerous. Alcohol also has an adverse effect; the baby consumes alcohol via uptake through the placenta and just 2 glasses of alcohol a day can cause retarded development.
Drugs and medication
Drugs are certainly harmful to an unborn baby. That applies to all forms of drugs. Do you use drugs, or have you used drugs? Then let us know so that we can offer you the appropriate care. Medication can also be harmful, but is sometimes necessary. Therefore, you should always tell your GP and pharmacist that you are pregnant. If you have any questions about the use of medication, we would naturally be happy to assist.
Hygiene during pregnancy
While pregnant, it is best to let someone else clean out the cat litter tray. The same goes for gardening. Soil and cat litter trays may contain bacteria from cats’ excrement and these can cause toxoplasmosis. If you want to put new plants in the soil anyway, wear a good pair of gloves and always ensure you wash your hands and practise good hygiene. This applies to interaction with small children especially. That way, you reduce the risk of CMV infection.
Sport and exercise during pregnancy
In principle, we always recommend sport and exercise during pregnancy, but listen well to your body. Stop if you experience stomach pain, or if you regularly experience a hard belly, and respect your body’s changing boundaries. As a rule, stomach exercises, contact sports and scuba diving are not advised while pregnant. If you experience physical symptoms nevertheless, discuss these with us. Often, specific pregnancy complaints caused by softening of the cartilage and ligaments, for example, can be reduced with therapy. Or you could follow a programme especially developed for pregnant women or new mothers, such as Mom in Balance.