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Pregnancy lifestyle


There are a number of things you can do to stay healthy during your pregnancy.

Exercise

It is good to keep active during your pregnancy. It will help you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain and also help you to get back into shape after birth. Swimming and walking are the best forms of exercise during pregnancy. Always consult your docotr before taking up any form of exercise.

Try to exercise at least three times a week and only exercise for as long as you feel comfortable. If you exercised before you were pregnant, you will obviously not be able to exercise at the same intensity. If you were inactive before you became pregnant, start gently. Refer to our section on pregnancy fitness to learn more....

Work

If you work during your pregnancy, make sure you know your rights to antenatal care, maternity leave and benefits.

It is also important that you make sure your job is not putting the health of you and your baby at risk. Jobs that involve working with chemicals, X-rays or heavy lifting may not be suitable during pregnancy. If you have any worries you can talk to your doctor or occupational health nurse.

If you do carry on working during your pregnancy, you may get very tired, especially in the first and last weeks of your pregnancy. Make sure you try to rest in your lunch break and when you get home in the evening.

Medicines

Some medicines can harm your baby's health but some are safe, for example medication to treat long-term conditions such as asthma, thyroid disease, diabetes and epilepsy. Always check with your doctor before taking any kind of medication.

Use as few over-the-counter medicines as possible during your pregnancy. Your doctor should only prescribe you medication where the benefits of taking the medication outweigh the possible risks of not.

Coping with changes

As well as feeling tired and nauseous, hormonal changes may put you on an emotional roller coaster. You may get upset and cry more easily, get irritable more easily or lose your temper more quickly. If you are aware that your hormones are responsible, it may make these times a little easier to cope with. You may go through a range of feelings and worries about the pregnancy, the birth, coping with your baby and being a parent.

Talking about how you feel and the concerns you may have is important and helpful, whether it be to your spouse, a friend or your doctor. A healthy lifestyle will also help you to cope (i.e. eat well, rest, exercise).

Read other articles in pregnancy lifestyle by clicking on the links below.
 
Looking after yourself
Pregnancy shopping planner
Packing your hospital bag


 



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