This article will educate you on the salient pregnancy tips so as to enable you and your baby live healthy and happy during pregnacy and after delivery. Some authors prefer to call it the DO’s and DON’Ts of pregnancy but I find the term rather military, commanding and scary and not liberal and enduring.
Let me pamper you as adults with some salient pregnancy tips below…….. These tips also answer the special concerns of pregnant women on certain topics or issues…
Rest and Exercise
Adequate daily rest and sleep is important for maintenance of good health during pregnancy. If you hold a regular sedentary job, you should continue with it until the time of maternity leave. Please avoid heavy physical jobs when pregnant. Exercise in pregnancy helps to maintain a feeling of wellbeing. Please avoid strenous exercise while pregnant. Your amount of exercise should be maintained at the same level before pregnancy. In Nigeria for example, women have enough exercise from daily housework, trading or farming and do not need extra exercises. Please avoid stressful exercises like jogging and weight lifting when pregnant.
Smoking cigarette and drinking alcohol have adverse effects on pregnancy. Some authors have suggested you reduce your alcohol intake and number of cigarette sticks while pregnant but I think you should please stop entirely. The reason is nobody knows the quantity of alcohol consumed or cigarette sticks smoked that will harm you baby.
Please and please desist from taking herbal medicines or Agbo during pregnancy. Agreed these herbs are natural, but are not properly researched and the concoction contains a lot of teratogenic ingredients that may harm your baby or shut down your kidneys or liver. Please don’t take any in whatever form it comes for the sake of your baby. Always discuss with your doctor when you have concerns.
Travelling by car, train and aeroplane is not harmful during pregnancy. Please avoid long distance travel especially the third trimether (last 3 months of pregnancy). Please avoid travelling if you have any antenatal complications. Most airlines in the Nigeria and globally will require medical certification from your doctor before accepting pregnant women fly with them especially in late conception.
Sexual intercourse during pregnancy is a taboo in many cultures. Being pregnant should not stop you from enjoying sex with your husband but watch it. In early pregnancy, you should avoid sexual intercourse if you develop abdominal pains or vaginal bleeding following such act. Avoid it altogether if you have had a history of premature rupture of membrane or antepartum hemorrhage. You may have normal sexual relationship only if your pregnancy is progressing normally. Please know that labour may follow sexual intercouse if you meet with your husband in the late phase of conception (close to 9 months) because of the prescence of a substance called prostaglandin in seminal fluid. This prostagladin will trigger uterine contraction and labour.
Please wear clothes that are designed to provide comfort in pregnancy. These clothes should be loose. In Nigeria, the traditional wrapper is suitable for pregnancy but always tie the wrapper at the waist instead of the abdomen. Loose gowns are also very good during antenatal visits. You can wear shoes that have low heels or slippers. Please avoid shoes with high heels in pregnancy.
The need for a balanced diet during pregnancy forms the basis of health education talk at every antenatal visit. Ideally, your diet should contain adequate amount of nutrients such as carbohydrates proteins, fats, vitamins, mineral salts and water. In Nigeria, the opportunity of the health education talkk during antenatal visits is taken to drmonstrate the local foodstuffs that contain the nutrients required by pregnant women with emphasis on quality rather than quantity of foodstuffs.
Regrettably, poverty, ignorance, myths, taboos and food superstions in pregnancy contribute to the poor nitritional state seen in most pregnant women. In summary, ensure you eat your normal meal before pregnancy and continue when pregnant. Please add plenty of fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water. Talk to your doctor on the food you should avoid or consume.
Please enjoy your pregnancy. All these counselling is for the well being of your child and you. Safe delivery and I wish you all the very best.
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