Month one Q&A

Your Pregnancy - - Con­tents - Lind­say Archibald-Durham Di­eti­cian YP

Q:My first preg­nancy was spoilt by so many diet-re­lated nig­gles that this time I’m de­ter­mined to get it right. I suf­fered from nau­sea in the first trimester, and when that was over the heart­burn started in the third trimester, joined by the most ter­ri­ble con­sti­pa­tion and leg cramps – ap­par­ently due to some short­age in my diet. Is there any way to avoid these an­noy­ances sec­ond time around?

A:Lind­say an­swers: Morn­ing sick­ness is a com­mon prob­lem dur­ing preg­nancy, par­tic­u­larly in the first trimester. It helps to eat small, fre­quent meals through­out the day to avoid be­com­ing too full or overly hun­gry. It is rec­om­mended to avoid strong flavoured and highly sea­soned foods be­cause they can in­crease nau­sea. Cold meals may be bet­ter than hot ones, as cook­ing smells may bring on feel­ings of nau­sea. Foods such as crack­ers, toast, dry ce­real, pret­zels, nuts, gin­ger bis­cuits, gin­ger ale, lemons and pep­per­mint tea are thought to be help­ful. Heart­burn (or acid re­flux) is fre­quently ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing preg­nancy be­cause the hor­mones re­leased by the pla­centa re­lax the lower oe­sophageal sphinc­ter, which keeps food con­tents in the stom­ach. These hor­mones al­low acid to go up into the oe­soph­a­gus and cause a burn­ing sen­sa­tion. Heart­burn can be ag­gra­vated if the baby is push­ing up on the stom­ach. Heart­burn is treated in many of the same ways as morn­ing sick­ness. Small, fre­quent meals are rec­om­mended, along with avoid­ance of strong flavoured, fatty and highly sea­soned foods. If acid re­flux is se­vere, avoid­ing tomato based foods, cit­rus fruits, choco­late and caf­feine may also help. Avoid drink­ing large vol­umes of liq­uid whilst eat­ing as this can in­crease the pres­sure on the oe­sophageal sphinc­ter and worsen the heart­burn. Medicines are avail­able for treat­ment, how­ever dis­cuss this first with your doc­tor. Con­sti­pa­tion is most com­mon dur­ing the third trimester as a re­sult of de­creased smooth mus­cle ac­tiv­ity. Treat­ment in­cludes in­creas­ing fi­bre in­take, which is found in fruits, veg­eta­bles, and whole grains as well as adding seeds such as flaxseeds to the diet. Drink­ing plenty of flu­ids each day is known to help re­lieve con­sti­pa­tion, as well as gen­tle reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. If none of the above work, medicine is an­other op­tion that can be dis­cussed with your doc­tor. Mus­cle cramp­ing may be caused by a de­fi­ciency of min­er­als such as cal­cium, mag­ne­sium and potas­sium. Many fruits and veg­eta­bles in­clud­ing ba­nanas, or­anges, pa­payas, melon, kid­ney beans, white and sweet pota­toes are high in potas­sium. Mag­ne­sium is found in dark green leafy veg­eta­bles, nuts and seeds, fish, pulses, whole­grains and av­o­cado. Cal­cium is found in dairy prod­ucts, dark green leafy veg­eta­bles, nuts, seeds and bread. En­sure you stay well hy­drated by drink­ing plenty of wa­ter through­out the day or oc­ca­sion­ally a sports drink to re­place lost elec­trolytes. If you don’t reg­u­larly con­sume these foods, con­sider tak­ing a daily mul­ti­vi­ta­min or pre­na­tal vi­ta­min.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.