You’re pregnant and can’t wait to welcome a new member to your very own family. Amidst the excitement, however, lies a particular fear and uncertainty – the good kind.

Mount Alvernia Hospital Pregnancy Exercise

You start to think: how can pregnant mummies-to-be embark on a beautiful pregnancy journey? Well, a healthy pregnancy journey requires prioritising your health and well-being. Maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in safe exercises, and being aware of essential information can help lay the foundation for a healthy and fulfilling pregnancy.

Understanding Pregnancy: Must-knows

With so much information from social media (and well-meaning relatives), it’s easy to be inundated with pregnancy and dos and don’ts. While most advice is well-intended, we need to sift out old wives’ tales which can lead to stress and information overload.

Cutting through all the noise, here’s a rundown of what you need to know:

  • The incredible process of pregnancy spans approximately 40 weeks, divided into trimesters. Familiarising yourself with the various stages of pregnancy, the developmental phases of your baby, as well as the transformations happening within your body can prepare you for what’s to come.
  • Your healthcare provider will provide the best information on lifestyle choices you should or should not make for a healthy pregnancy journey.
  • Regular prenatal check-ups, educational resources, and open communication with your healthcare provider are crucial in ensuring a smooth and informed pregnancy journey.

Mount Alvernia Hospital Diet During Pregnancy

Diet During Pregnancy: Nourishing Yourself and Your Baby

If you’ve read our piece on Understanding Nutrition For Pregnant and New Mums, you’d know that there are 6 essential nutrients for pregnant mummies.

But how can you include these nutrients in your daily diet? Mount Alvernia Hospital’s senior dietitian, Tan Shiling shares with us some practical meal plans and snack options that you can follow on your pregnancy journey:

  • Whole-grain toast topped with avocado slices and a poached egg
  • Sliced fish soup
  • Steamed rice with vegetables and meat
  • Greek yogurt with fresh fruits/dried fruits and nuts
  • Yong tau fu bee hoon soup (with at least 3 vegetables options and tofu and egg as part of the selected options)
  • Stir-fried vegetables (such as broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas) with tofu &/or lean meat
  • Steamed broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes or pumpkins

Pregnancy Diet Mount Alvernia Hospital

In addition to these delicious meals and snacks, don’t forget to stay hydrated! Aim for at least eight glasses of water, incorporating milk, calcium-enriched plant-based milk, clear soup, fruit juices, or other drinks (e.g. barley water, Cheng Tng, other brewed teas, etc). For caffeinated beverages, studies have shown that pregnant women consuming 200mg or more of caffeine were found to have an increased risk of miscarriage. This not only includes coffee, but also, soft drinks, tea and hot chocolate. To conclude, it is recommended to limit caffeinated beverages to no more than 2 cups per day; and for sweetened beverages (like fruit juices and other brewed drinks like barley water, Chrysanthemum tea, red dates drinks etc) to no more than twice a week!

For mummies who need to keep their blood sugar in check, or watch their weight during their pregnancy, avoid any form of added sugar to your drinks. If you’re sick of meal planning, consider consulting with your healthcare provider or a dietitian.

Safe and Beneficial Exercises During Pregnancy

You’ll need plenty of rest when you’re pregnant, but that doesn’t mean that you should be sedentary. Some moderate physical activity is beneficial for you and your baby! Here are some beneficial exercises that are safe and appropriate for your changing body:

  • Prenatal yoga: Yoga can help improve flexibility, promote relaxation, and strengthen your muscles. There are prenatal yoga classes specifically designed for pregnant women.
  • Walking: Don’t underestimate this low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed throughout pregnancy. It helps maintain cardiovascular fitness, improves circulation, and even boosts your mood!
  • Swimming: Because swimming is an activity that reduces strain on your joints, it’s an activity that’s good for those who get backaches due to their growing bellies. It’s also a great choice for those looking to alleviate swelling and discomfort.
  • Prenatal Pilates: Like yoga, pilates helps to strengthen your core muscles and improve your posture and stability. Research suggests that women who incorporate pilates into their prenatal fitness routine have been found to experience better tolerance of uterine contractions and prenatal discomfort. Furthermore, they may have smoother childbirth experiences and report reduced labor pain.
  • Kegel exercises: Kegel exercises are targeted at your pelvic floor muscles. Such exercises promote better control of the bladder and even reduce the risk of urinary incontinence.

Pregnancy Exercise Mount Alvernia Hospital

Congratulations on taking the amazing first step in deciding to prioritise a healthy pregnancy journey. Through this transformative time, nourish your body with nutrient-rich foods, participate in suitable physical activities, and stay educated about pregnancy essentials to set the stage for a healthy and joyful pregnancy!

This post is brought to you by Mount Alvernia Hospital.

By Joanne Heng.

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