Alcohol and breastfeeding

You’ve decided breast is best for baby – but should you stay off the bottle yourself? Many mothers are unsure. While women are cautioned not to drink during pregnancy, advice on what to do after the baby’s been born isn’t so clear. Read more here:

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  • Be Diet Conscious

    A healthy, balanced diet is a must for a mom-to-be. Make sure you take at least five portions of fruits and vegetables, plenty of carbohydrates and fibre in the form of wholegrain items, and lots of proteins (especially fish). Don't worry about eating for two during the first six months of pregnancy but in the last trimester, you need an extra dose of about 200 calories for your baby.

    Healthy snacks can help you keep up your energy levels.

    Food Supplements
    400 mcg of folic acid during the first three months of pregnancy (prevents neural tube defects such as spina bifida in babies)
    10 mcg of Vitamin D daily (for healthy bones of your baby)
    Fish oil supplements. Fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil, may contain retinol form of Vitamin A which is not good for pregnant women.

    What not to eat?
    Unpasteurized milk, undercooked ready meals, pate, soft and mould-ripened cheese or blue-veined cheese may cause a rare bacterial infection called Listeriosis which may lead to pregnancy complications and even miscarriage. Heat destroys this kind of bacteria.
    Undercooked poultry may harbour salmonella, which may cause food poisoning.

    Be extra cautious about food hygiene during pregnancy. Wash fruits or vegetables, utensils, boards and your hands thoroughly. Cook eggs until the yolk and white parts are solid. Cook meat and ready made meals thoroughly and wear gloves when you handle dirty things like garden soil or cat litter.

    Exercise Routine

    Regular exercise is essential for mom-to-be. It helps them to keep off depression, back ache, build strength and endurance to bear extra weight of pregnancy and labour pains, and get back into shape post delivery. Brisk walking, swimming, yoga, pilates and aqua-natal classes are some of the activities you must indulge into.

    You may continue to play your favourite sport until it is comfortable for you to play it. However, if it has a risk of falls or knocks or extra pressure on joints, it is advisable to keep off it during the pregnancy period.

    Pelvic floor exercises (especially eight pelvic floor squeezes three times a day) help you tone your pelvic muscles to support bladder, vagina and back passage? exactly where you feel extra pressure during pregnancy. Strong pelvic floor also helps in smooth delivery of baby.

    You also need proper rest during pregnancy. If you are not able to sleep at night, try to take a quick 30-minute nap during the night. To relieve backache, try lying down on the left hand side with your knees bent and a wedge shaped pillow under your bump.

    New moms are also advised to cut down on their addictions like alcohol, caffeine or smoking as it they pose dangers like miscarriages, low birth weight and birth defects in babies