Feeling sick? You're not alone! Many women experience nausea and vomiting during their pregnancy. That's because changes in hormones can make you feel sick to your stomach. Certain smells and movements can make the nausea worse. The good news is that the nausea usually disappears after the first trimester.
To help cope with nausea and vomiting, you can:
You need calcium throughout your pregnancy to build strong bones and teeth for your baby. Vitamin D is also needed to absorb and use calcium. Getting enough calcium will help your teeth and bones stay healthy too! Eat foods rich in calcium, such as milk (all types), cheese, yogurt, and fortified soy beverages. Also eat foods that provide vitamin D such as milk, fortified soy beverages, fish and margarine.
your baby's teeth start forming in the womb?
Too much caffeine isn't good for you or your baby. For women of childbearing age the recommendation is a maximum daily caffeine intake of no more than 300 mg —a little over two eight-ounce (237 ml) cups of coffee. This total should include natural sources of caffeine, including herbs such as guarana and yerba mate.
Start trying to limit how much coffee, strong tea and soft drinks you consume. Water, pure fruit juice and milk are good alternatives that will provide you with more of the nutrients your baby needs.
Warning! Some herbal teas, such as chamomile, aren't good to drink when you're pregnant. You'll also want to avoid teas with aloe, coltsfoot, juniper berry, pennyroyal, buckthorn bark, comfrey, labrador tea, sassafras, duck root, lobelia and senna leaves. Other herbal teas, such as citrus peel, linden flower*, ginger, lemon balm, orange peel and rose hip, are generally considered safe if taken in moderation (two to three cups per day).
Many women get constipated during pregnancy. It happens because food passes through your body more slowly when you are pregnant so you can absorb the extra nutrients you and your baby need. Eating foods high in fibre - like vegetables and fruit, whole grains and cooked or canned beans, peas and lentils - can help. So can drinking more fluids, especially warm or hot fluids. Being physically active is also important. There's nothing like a good walk around the block to move things along!
Warning! If you are pregnant, do not use a laxative to treat constipation without checking with your doctor or health care provider first. Laxatives can trigger the onset of labour contractions.
Iron is important for healthy blood. It is also needed for your baby's brain to develop properly. You need to get enough iron so your baby can grow properly and build up a good store of iron for after the birth. Babies without enough iron may have more illnesses and problems learning. To increase your iron intake, eat foods rich in iron such as red meat; eggs and poultry; whole grain and enriched breads and cereals; cooked or canned dried beans; and peas and lentils.
Don't overdo it! If you are taking a vitamin-mineral supplement that contains 16 - 20 mg of iron, you don't need an extra iron supplement unless it's recommended by your doctor, nurse or dietitian.
Healthy eating doesn't have to cost a fortune! Choosing basic foods that are not pre-packaged and processed will cost less and will be healthier for you and your baby. Check out these low-cost nutritious choices from the four food groups.
Milk and Alternatives: milk powder, plain milk or yogurt and canned milk.
Vegetables and Fruits: in-season vegetables and fruit, squash, potatoes, turnip, unsweetened fruit juice (canned or frozen), canned vegetables, canned fruit packed in juice, apples, cabbage, carrots and vegetables from your own garden.
Grain Products: bread, rice, macaroni or spaghetti, barley and rolled oats.
Meat and Alternatives: baked beans, fish and birds, dried beans, peas and lentils, ground beef, eggs, canned fish and chicken thighs.
Many women notice some swelling in their feet and ankles in the third trimester. Pregnant women naturally retain more water in their bodies, so this is perfectly normal. Now is not the time to cut back on your fluid intake. Even when you feel bloated, you still need to keep drinking water and other fluids (like milk, fruit juice and soup) to stay healthy.
To reduce swelling, put your feet up, avoid crossing your legs, wear loose clothing and get plenty of rest and exercise.
Heartburn is common during pregnancy. It's caused by the pressure of the growing baby and hormone changes during pregnancy that allow stomach acid to move up to your throat.
The following suggestions might help:
Some women take an antacid medicine to help with heartburn. An antacid reduces the amount of acid in your stomach. Not all antacids are safe for pregnant women. Check with your doctor or health care provider before you take one.
Your baby is always thirsty so it's important for you to drink plenty of water while you're pregnant. Water carries nutrients to your body and to your growing baby, carries away waste products from your baby and from you, keeps you cool, helps prevent constipation and helps to control swelling. Drink plenty of fluids every day, including water, milk, pure juice and soup. Drink water regularly and drink more in hot weather or when you are active.
water makes up about half of our body weight?
Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in your life, and, at the same time, one of the most daunting. There are many changes to adjust to and many unknowns to face. With this in mind, it is important to remember that the most precious gift you can give your child is a healthy start in life.
For more information on specific topics in order to reduce the risk of injury and illness and to promote the healthy development of their infants, new parents can visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's Healthy Pregnancy pages at www.healthycanadians.ca/pregnancy
* Stages of pregnancy information within the calendar section was reprinted with permission
from womenshealthmatters.ca © 2000–2006 Women's College Hospital.