Back in my mother's pregnancy days she claimed to have simply got on with her pregnancy without being bombarded with advice about what to do and what not to do. Some of the stories she tells me is scary for today's standards of our super cautious society. But a lot has changed since her day, knowledge and research has progressed significantly and today's mums to be are subjected to different environmental stresses and worries.
What does this mean? Well, it's simply paying closer attention to your responsibilities. As we all know, pregnancy is a very special time but also demanding for the mum to be who must now consider their own state of health more seriously for the sake of their baby.
This means stopping or at least cutting back on some of our not so healthy indulgences, such as alcohol, caffeine and smoking. Sugar is another up for consideration, especially artificial sweeteners.
Some of us need to take prescribed medications on a regular basis. Sensibly we need to check with our doctor that any drugs, even simple over the counter medications, are safe to continue during pregnancy.
Then there are the less obvious ones that we need to avoid such as household chemicals found in many cleaning products. If you fancy a bit of gardening then this includes any pesticides.
A great time to exercise
There is no shortage of research proving the incredible benefits of regular exercise for all of us including pregnant mums. Exercise routines need to be tailored with pregnancy specific movements led by a professionally trained instructor who understands any increased risks associated with the pregnant body.
We see mindful women joining our pregnancy Pilates classes and some who may not have been keen exercisers before becoming pregnant. Pilates is the ideal form of exercise during pregnancy because it is low impact, emphasis is placed on core strength which will enable you to cope better as the baby grows, floor mat routines are safe and exercising in small groups of other pregnant mums can be more fun and motivating.
Referenced articles from Merrion Fetal Health Blog
By Simon Coghlan MSc, BSc Hons, DipMedAc, MISCP
Simon holds a Master of Science Degree in Physiotherapy and is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. A post graduate Diploma in Medical Acupuncture entitles him to accredited membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Simon specialises in the integration of medical acupuncture techniques with manual therapy and therapeutic exercise for the treatment of musculo-skeletal pain and dysfunction.