so you’re growing a baby:
how to stay healthy (and happy) during pregnancy

mothercare advice on having a healthy pregnancy

Congratulations, you’re having a baby. The excitement has probably already hit you with a side of ‘what do I do next?’ Here are a few changes you can make so that you and bump have a happy and healthy journey:

your pregnancy diet

You’ll hear lots of myths about what you should and shouldn’t eat. In fact, as long as you’re healthy, your diet should largely be able to stay the same. You don’t need any extra calories until your final trimester (and then you just need 200 more per day).

Eating your five a day will give you lots of minerals that are essential to your baby’s growth, and a third of your diet should be made up by wholegrain carbohydrates like pasta and bread. Get plenty of protein and dairy and choose low-fat options where possible.

cut it out

You don’t need telling that smoking and drinking during pregnancy can harm your baby. As well as making you feel sick, smoking can lead to birth defects and a low birth rate, so it’s important to stop as soon as you know you’re pregnant.

People have different views on drinking during pregnancy. During your first trimester it can increase your chances of miscarrying. It can also lead to birth defects. If you choose to carry on drinking you should only have two units once or twice a week.

supplement your pregnancy care

When you’re researching what to do during pregnancy, you’ll be bombarded with information on supplements to help your baby. In fact, you should get just about everything you need from a healthy, varied diet. The only supplement experts recommend taking is folic acid. You should take 400mcgs a day up until 12 weeks. 10mcgs of vitamin D is also recommended throughout your pregnancy to help regulate calcium while your baby’s bones develop.

keep moving

Exercise is probably the last thing on your mind right now, but getting moving is important for your health and your baby’s. It can help build stamina for pregnancy (and impending motherhood!), give you an energy boost and improve your mood.

Exercises to try:

  • pelvic floor exercises
  • swimming
  • brisk walking
  • playing with older children (well if you really have to exercise, it might as well be fun…)

getting ready for your newborns

You’re going to be pretty busy when your babies come. It can help to start planning ahead. Can you batch cook and freeze some meals? Where do you want your babies to sleep? Can anyone offer a bit of extra help in the early days? And then there are names to choose for your twin babies…

see your doctor

Make an appointment to see the doctor as soon as you think you’re pregnant. They’ll be able to organise all of your antenatal care and give you advice on how to stay healthy. Your GP will also organise ultrasounds and scans so you can get a glimpse of your baby.

enjoy yourself

Last but by no means least – enjoy yourself. Pregnancy is a magical time for new mums. Take some time out to plan ahead for your life as a mother and don’t forget to have some fun.