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Getting Fit for Pregnancy & Birth

“The girl becomes the woman when she begins her childbirth journey”

For some of you becoming pregnant is the easy part. For others your body may not be in perfect health when you decide you want to start a family. There are things to consider, the body works well if the body is in great Condition. We are at a time when promoting good health is essential for our long term health.

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Today we live in a busy society.  There are many extrinsic factors that may impact on our ability to become pregnant; such as stress, physical illness, poor diet and obesity.

If you are looking to start a family the best thing you can do for yourself is to get fit and look at your diet. Pregnancy complications are common in women with a high BMI, so consider changing your diet for at least three months prior to pregnancy.  Chuck away the high sugar snacks and drinks and embark on a fitness program. Three months prior to pregnancy it is advised you take Folic Acid see the link for more information.

Once you discover you are pregnant then you can get on with preparing for childbirth. Get to know your midwife and research the hospital where you will given birth.

There has been much discussion over the last month regarding the effectiveness of taking a multi vitamin sample. For a healthy woman who eats a balanced diet which includes, Fish, meat, pulses, nuts, vegetables, leafy greens like spinach and kale and good fats. There should not be a problem and you should only take the advised vitamin D 10mg and possibly vitamin C. Minerals are just as important as vitamins so please ensure you do have a great mix of foods.Irish foodpyramid

This can be difficult if your suffer from morning sickness and you are having trouble keeping everything down, but if you enter pregnancy healthy then your body will cope.  Sipping drinks and eating little and often can help.  If the sickness is out of control speak to your GP he can prescribe an anti sickness drug.

It is advisable to avoid alcohol during pregnancy, One glass at a wedding or Christmas won’t do any harm, but regular drinking has some serious implications for baby and is the cause of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome so please limit drinking to special occasions.

Take regular exercise, there are many pregnancy fitness classes available, yoga and swimming are great ways to stay fit.  You may be lucky that your local sports centre has facilities for pregnant women and speak to the midwife she may know of special classes for women who’s BMI is over 30. If your BMI is on the higher side of normal then now is the time to embark on a keep fit program.  Healthy women have good outcomes, if you are trying to conceive loosing weight can be really helpful. Conversely if you are seriously under weight then maybe speak to the GP low BMI women need to take just as much care of their body’s

You can look great in pregnancy there are so many websites now offering great products for women so check them out. Make time for you.

As the big day is approaching and your starting to think ‘Oh my god how am I going to get this baby out of my body?’ It is an age old question.  How does the body work during labour? See my other posts Coping with Childbirth and The latent phase of labour for more information.

Childbirth is one of the most intimate experiences in a woman’s life.  When we conceive our baby we are not on show to the public we do so in a private setting away from the madding crowds.  Conception usually takes place in a very private setting. Unless you and your partner have been very daring of course, maybe on that remote beach on your holiday if you get my drift!!

The journey to motherhood is one of the most challenging experiences in a woman’s life, if we were to run a marathon, or if we were to take our driving test we would ensure we were prepared.  Childbirth is no different the key is preparation.

Thanks for listening Wendy Richert Registered Midwife

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