Twelve Good Habits for Pregnant Mums

Do you have a bag of tricks and techniques to nurture a healthy child during pregnancy? Simply follow these tips, and enjoy your incredible journey of pregnancy and delivery.

Don't attempt weight loss and avoid becoming overweight
Why?
Pregnancy is not the right time to lose weight. If you try to keep your figure by eating less when pregnant, the baby in your womb will not get the needed balanced nutrition. Also, when your immune system becomes weak, flu might strike you easily and endanger your baby's health.

How?
Gynecologists advise that the best way to limit body weight is to keep your weight in the desired range before pregnancy. If you do turn overweight when pregnant, try tweaking your diet—cut down on high-calorie and high-fat foods, and add fruits and vegetables. Too much weight gain may lead to hypertension, gestational diabetes and other pregnancy complications. Anyway, learn the right way to lose weight from a professional nutritionist rather than doing this your own way.

Increase your level of activity
Why?
During pregnancy, you need the right amount of activity and exercise. Otherwise, metabolism may slow down, stamina weakens, and calories are not used. Result? Weight gain. Gynaecologist advise enough exercise to enhance your cardiovascular system and to strengthen your muscles, which benefit both you and your baby.

How?
As long as no particular conditions bother you, undertake some simple daily exercise routine—walk and stretch. Best to seek help and advice from training coaches of pregnant women, or participate in a variety of activities—swimming, yoga or dance.

Avoid overwork
Why?
In early pregnancy, overwork may cause bleeding or miscarriage. In mid-pregnancy, this can lead to an underweight baby in your womb or premature birth. It can also harm your health as an expectant mum.

How?
If you feel discomfort or tightness in your tummy, get bed rest immediately. If bleeding or uterine contractions occur, get immediate medical attention. Avoid both physical exhaustion and mental exhaustion (e.g. from work stress) during pregnancy. To avoid overwork, give yourself timely breaks and relax your demands and expectations in yourself while pregnant.

Keep a positive mood
Why?
Physicians know that being at peace and being happy helps pregnant mum stay healthy and stable. In contrast, becoming emotional and agitated causes the heart to beat faster and the blood circulation to fluctuate, indirectly affecting the baby inside.

How?
With even greater emphasis placed on prenatal care, experts advise that keeping a positive mood while waiting for your little one's birth will help ensure a smooth pregnancy and delivery. Your child will also become a healthy and calm person.

Avoid smoking and drinking
Why?
If you are pregnant, cigarettes and alcohol are "taboo." If you inhale smoke, you are likely to have underweight babies, premature birth, stillbirth, and other adverse consequences. If you drink alcoholic beverages, your baby inside you might suffer from delays in growth, abnormal brain and nerve development, and physical deformities.

How?
Quit smoking or drinking during pregnancy. Avoid second-hand smoke wherever possible. Best also to avoid coffee or tea, which may cause negative effects such as restlessness of the baby inside you.

Load up on fruits and vegetables—prevent constipation
Why?
Pregnant women suffer from a common problem—constipation. One main cause is that the expanded uterus exerts pressure on your bowels, and limits bowel movements. Hormonal changes also play a role, and less activity can also worsen the problem during pregnancy.

How?
Physicians advise enough fruits, vegetables and drinking water daily for pregnant mums. Moreover, enough exercise helps promote bowel movements. For mums with severe constipation, get the appropriate prescriptions from your doctor instead of taking over-the-counter laxatives on your own. During bowel movement, exercise great care; do not be too forceful, to avoid the danger of premature delivery.

Wear the right clothes for pregnant mums
Why?
When you reach your 4th or 5th month of pregnancy, give your wardrobe a small makeover. Select maternity dresses and loose garments. Tight clothing could now be uncomfortable, limiting your movements.

How?
Because pregnant women could perspire more, absorbent and breathable material are more suitable. Besides updating your outer garments, you might also need new underwear for your changing body shape. With safety as top priority, switch from high-heeled shoes to low-heeled or flat shoes instead, which could also help prevent backaches.

Obtain and read references about pregnancy and parenting
Why?
To become a mother is definitely not an easy occupation. Right at the start of pregnancy, expectant mums might already worry about potential problems. Many first-time mums also fear the arrival of a newborn, at a loss about how to raise their child healthy.

How?
Go to your library and borrow as many relevant books and periodicals, or go online for pertinent references. You may also join preparatory classes for pregnant mums. These should equip you with enough know-how to become ready for motherhood.

Go for regular prenatal checkups
Why?
Regular prenatal checkups are a most fundamental important practice during pregnancy. Go for these checkups to monitor how your baby grows and changes, identify needed precautions, and detect early possible abnormalities or problems needing attention.

How?
If any doubts or questions arise in your mind about pregnancy and delivery, note these down to ask your doctor during your appointment. If you are a first-time mum, you and your partner will find the B-ultrasound examination an exciting way to connect with your little one.

Stick to regular sleeping patterns; avoid late nights
Why?
Late nights affect our immune system, physical strength, and skin. To stay healthy to nurture a healthy baby inside you, establish a regular sleep-wake pattern and stick to this.

How?
Get enough sleep, avoid staying up late, and keep a balanced and healthy diet. Follow these good daily living habits, especially during pregnancy. In addition, avoid and address insomnia, headaches and hiccups, if these are a problem to you.

Watch your baby’s movements inside
Why?
At around your 18th – 20th weeks of pregnancy, you can start feeling your baby’s movements. These will clue you in on your child's wellbeing, development and progress. Note that these foetal movements will be the most apparent during your 28th – 38th weeks. Starting from your 7th month, pay more attention to your little one’s movements.

How?
Normally, your baby will move at least 3 times per hour, or 30 - 40 times every 12 hours. If you notice a drastic reduction in your baby’s movements, or he becomes inactive for a prolonged period, see your doctor at once.

Take care of your skin
Why?
With bodily changes during pregnancy, your skin more actively secretes sebum. Your facial skin will tend to be oilier, which could lead to acne.

How?
If you suffer from severe oiliness and acne, change your skin care products, or seek advice from your dermatologist.