Probiotics sound like medicine, don’t they? They became popular as a food supplement because of the unpleasant side effects of antibiotics (which kill good as well as bad bacteria in your gut). This has been identified as the cause of the vaginal thrush, nausea or diarrhoea some people get from a course of antibiotics. Probiotics are bacteria, but only the “good” bacteria, which many (though not all scientists) believe can help your body with digestion, constipation, diarrhoea and urinary tract infections. There are many different kinds of probiotic bacteria, which all affect the body in different ways – far too many to list here. If you have found a product that you believe helps you with pregnancy niggles such as flatulence or sluggish digestion, there’s no reason to stop taking it. Studies have shown no adverse effects from taking probiotics, even in pregnant or lactating women. Many doctors now prescribe probiotics with antibiotics.
Probiotics are an expensive investment, though, and there is no known benefit to your unborn baby from taking them. If you are feeling healthy and well, and especially if money is tight, there is no special reason to start taking probiotics while you are pregnant.
It looks so innocent, that “Mg” on the periodic table of elements. But you really do need a steady supply of magnesium in your preggie diet – about 350mg (milligrams) per day on average. Magnesium is good for building and repairing your
Notify your employer of your pregnancy, if you have not done so already.
Find out about maternity benefits and leave.
Make sure your working environment is safe for pregnancy.
Start thinking about the birth you would like. Although this may seem early, don’t leave things for the last minute when it is hard to make big changes.
Check with your caregiver and start to exercise if you haven’t already. Walking, yoga, Pilates and swimming are good, or join a preggie exercise class. body’s tissues, bones, cartilage and teeth, it helps regulate blood sugar levels, and it also relaxes muscles (sportspeople use it to reduce leg cramping), and having good levels of magnesium in your body can help guard against premature labour (by preventing the uterus from contracting). It even aids against heartburn and anxiety (and can make you sleep better). If you’re critically low on Mg, you are in danger of preeclampsia and a low birthweight baby.
Signs of a magnesium deficiency include high blood pressure, weakness, memory loss, cramping and dental trouble. You can find this magic mineral in seeds, grains and pulses, green leafy veg, eggs and fish. If you are eating a healthy, varied diet then you are probably meeting your magnesium requirements, and magnesium will be in your prenatal multivitamin, if you are taking one. But if you are struggling to eat or vomiting a lot, a supplement could be a good idea.
You will have heard the term essential fatty acid. The Omega fatty acids are “essential” because our bodies don’t make them, we only get them from our diets. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids build and maintain cells and are good for your eyes, brain and nerves. They are polyunsaturated fats, which are accepted in the mainstream as healthier for your heart, and protective against diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Most of us get plenty of Omega 6s from vegetable oils, nuts and seeds in our diet, but are lower in Omega 3s, which you get from fatty fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil. Pregnant women are on a “fish limit” of two servings per week (because of the potential mercury content found in our seafood). Fish that is not high in mercury can be consumed more often, such as yellowtail, trout, pilchards and sardines.
Gynaecologist and obstetrician, and YP resident expert, Dr Bronwyn Moore says: “I recommend that my patients take an Omega 3 supplement unless they have a good dietary intake of Omega 3s. However, I tell them to stop taking the supplement at 36 weeks. Omegas, and other oils, prolong your blood clotting time and so they can increase bleeding, bruising and ooze from a tear or episiotomy site, or from a caesarean section incision site.”
A food eaten by superheroes? Nope, it’s an umbrella term for foods that are densely packed with nutrients – meaning that eating them is supposed to deliver a nutritional punch above its weight class. Socalled “superfoods” keep being “discovered” every day, and there is no consensus on what exactly constitutes one. But they are far from harmful, so you can add all these “flavours of the day” to your diet with confidence. Be aware, though, that you can get the same nutrients (though sometimes in lower concentrations) for far less money if you substitute. So while we say a big tick to these foods, you can supplement them for cheaper foods for the same benefits.