167 Woodland Street 11 #02-23 Singapore 730167 ♦ Reservation : +65 6417 9690
The doctor advised me to do X, but my mother tells me to do Y, and my grandmother tells me to do Z, while my aunt says that they are all wrong and that I should do ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVW…does that sound familiar? Perhaps you are going through that very experience right now and are probably wondering to yourself which of these well-meaning people is actually giving the right advice and which ones may have some practical use that wasn’t sanctioned by a licensed medical professional either because those doctors have not heard about them before or that their way is more effective.
Pregnancies are already anxiety-inducing enough as it is without having to sift through all the information that’s online and, on top of that, all of the advice coming from your family doctor AND your family ‘doctors’, the latter of which consists mainly of your family telling you what they did or did not do during their own pregnancies. This is not to say that everything they say holds no weight, on the contrary, it may have a practical effect and some grounding in logic, just that we have to qualify their practices as being unorthodox while medical practitioners will usually advise that which works, or tends to work, for the majority of people.
Here, we have compiled a list of the most popular pregnancy self-care habits that we could find so that you don’t have to go scouring the web and can conveniently just show this to your doctor to see if they are right for you.
For starters, let’s get the obvious ones out of the way and look at what you should not do.
1. Do not smoke
According to America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking while pregnant runs the risk of health problems for developing babies which could include preterm birth, low birth weight, birth defects, and the most feared sudden infant death syndrome(SIDS). Nicotine use can also damage a developing baby’s brain and lungs. The basic idea behind this is that the chemicals in the cigarette can get into your bloodstream which then gets transported to the baby via placenta and since this also transports oxygen to the baby, the amount of oxygen you have may be displaced by the smoke thus cutting an amount of oxygen flow to the baby.
2. Do not drink alcohol
Once more, to quote the CDC – “There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant”. So, for those of you ‘a glass of red wine a day’ people out there…please do not recommend that to pregnant ladies…or even those who are trying to get pregnant. This is also reflected in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service’s (NHS) stance that alcohol goes into your bloodstream and then gets passed onto your baby via the placenta. The very fact that a baby’s liver is one of the last organs to develop and does not mature until the later stages of pregnancy mean that they are basically defenceless against and cannot process alcohol.
Some problems that may occur include the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, poor growth, and learning and behavioural problems.
3. Do not eat everything
Yes, we understand that craving and some of them may not be entirely logical nor particularly healthy. We’ve heard of mothers eating only chicken pot pies throughout their pregnancy, another wanted to eat onions and mustard, while there was one who craved the taste of toothpaste…
Counter-intuitively, we recommend not giving in to those cravings if they will harm the baby. One example of this is seafood that is high in mercury content. These are most commonly found in polluted waters. While you may have the immune system necessary to fend off trace levels of it, the effects of mercury poisoning will be compounded for the baby. Fish such as cod, salmon, tilapia, or even freshwater trout are good options especially Salmon and Anchovies as they are generally a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are important for your baby.
This may go without saying too that the same advice goes for uncooked seafood such as those oysters or raw fish as they may lead to serious consequences for both you and your baby.
4. Stay hydrated
Now that the don’ts are out of the way, let’s take a look at what you should do instead.
Drinking a lot of water, preferably around eight to twelve glasses a day is optimal. This helps in the formation of the placenta which is what your baby relies on to get all the necessary nutrients during pregnancy, and later in the pregnancy, water is used in the formation of the amniotic sac. Some side effects of dehydration during pregnancies include premature labour, birth defects, neural tube defects, and, after birth, inadequate breast milk production.
5. Get plenty of rest
We all know that sleep is important and we all love our naps. Not getting enough sleep is associated with many chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, depression, and even heart disease. Being pregnant compounds that and not getting enough sleep can put you at risk of delivery complications like longer labours and may even necessitate caesarean deliveries. If this carries on into your later trimesters, you are more likely to develop preeclampsia which is a condition linked to pregnancy-related high blood pressure, swelling of hands and feet, and protein in your urine.
While there may be a lot of mines to manoeuvre around during pregnancy, adhering to this list will help you navigate those waters a little easier.
Speaking of things to do during pregnancy. Here’s a bonus self-care tip – get a massage pregnancy therapy when you can. Yes, do consult with your doctor first if you can have a massage, it will help with those aches and pesky swellings caused by water retention.
Our PNSG massage can confer benefits such as promoting better sleep and soothes those pregnancy aches. Your massage will be served by one of our many certified and well-trained massage lady Singapore. You can even get a massage after giving birth, but again, please check with your doctor as to when it would be suitable for you to have one. Learn more about our prenatal massage today!