In support of Pregnancy Awareness Week 2019, here are 10 tips for pregnant women.

1.       Zero alcohol, zero cigarettes and no drugs. This includes prescriptions drugs, such as anti-inflammatories, pain killers and anti-nausea medicines. Avoid them as far as possible or use them as prescribed by your health care professional.

2.       Exercise in moderation. Walking, yoga, swimming and Pilates are very good forms of exercise for pregnant ladies. Controlled exercise is recommended for the mother and the baby, but always listen to your body. Every day is different.

3.       Eat a balanced, moderate diet – you don’t need to eat for two. Eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, cereals, fish and lactose products that are low in fat. This will help the baby grow healthy and you will not gain a lot of weight. Please ensure to take note of the selected types of vegetables, fish, etc. not recommended during pregnancy.

4.       Reduce the consumption of coffee, tea and any fizzy drinks. The main reason for this is to regulate the amount of caffeine intake. Herbal teas like Rooibos are naturally caffeine free. Drink plenty of water on a daily basis.

5.       Rest whenever your body is asking for it. Your body is making a big effort to give the baby all it needs to develop.  Sleep as much as you can – you need the energy.

6.       Don’t miss any doctor appointments and strictly follow all the instructions of your gynecologist. Feel free to ask your doctor any questions you may have.

7.       Use appropriate shoes and clothing – you can be comfortable and pretty at the same time.

8.       Drink supplements like folic acid, iron, etc. They are essential for the baby. Your doctor will most probably prescribe them to you at the beginning of your pregnancy.

9.       Look after yourself. Ensure you do not neglect yourself during your pregnancy as looking good will lead to a boost in your self-esteem.

10.   Last but not least, spoil yourself and let others spoil you. Enjoy your pregnancy, as your positive energy will have an impact on your baby.

For more information on Pregnancy Awareness Week, please visit the Department of Health’s website www.health.gov.za.