Pregnancy can be a daunting time for women. Besides major body changes, women have to deal with societal pressures, financial planning, work-related decisions and possibly relationship stress.
In line with Pregnancy Awareness week, Clinix Health Group says the most important things to remember are that a healthy lifestyle will make coping with pregnancy easier and finding the right support is essential.
While there is much advice available on how to live a healthy lifestyle, Clinix suggests that by just sticking to these five basics pregnant women can make meaningful changes to their everyday lives during their 40 weeks of pregnancy:
- Avoid alcohol and stop smoking and taking drugs.
- Don’t overindulge and aim for a balanced diet complete with protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with a minimum of sugar and fatty foods.
- Drink water.
- Take a pregnancy-specific multi-vitamin daily.
- Stay active with light to moderate exercise.
“It’s also important to manage any existing medical conditions that may be aggravated by the pregnancy such as hypertension, diabetes, infections, anaemia and so on. If you’ve been avoiding an HIV test now is the time to do it so you can get the necessary help and advice not only for you but for your unborn child too,” says Clinix.
Finding the right support is key. “Find a doctor as soon as possible. You will benefit greatly from these appointments if you use them as an opportunity to educate yourself on your pregnancy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and share your concerns.”
Having a companion that will provide support during pregnancy and birth can also make all the difference. “This can be a partner, friend or family member. Someone you trust who will be a positive influence on you and ensure your rights are respected.”
Lastly Clinix recommends choosing a hospital that has your best interests at heart. “Ask about what pre- and post-natal care is offered, medical aid support, doctors on call, and find out if hospital tours are available.”
It’s important to minimise the stress in your life, because stress can worsen some of the side effects of pregnancy such as nausea, fatigue, backache, headache and indigestion. This means you have to be especially kind to yourself during this special time in your life – don’t take on too much work, listen to your body, and get plenty of rest,” concludes Clinix.
Did you know?
Smoking has been identified as a high risk factor during pregnancy which can result in illness, abnormalities and even death. Small babies are born to mothers who smoke, and weigh on average 200g less than those born to mothers who do not smoke. These infants have smaller lungs and wheeze more frequently with lung infections. Smoking can also lead to a number of problems during the actual birth.
Note to Editor:
The Clinix Health Group will be hosting Open days during Pregnancy Week at some of its hospitals. For more information on these activities and general information on a healthy pregnancy, visit any one of the following Clinix hospitals in your area:
– Clinix Botshelong- Empilweni Private Hospital (011) 863 2400,
– Clinix Tshepo-Themba Private Hospital (011) 983 0300,
– Dr S.K Matseke Memorial Private Hospital (011) 933 5000,
– Clinix Naledi-Nkanyezi Private Hospital (016) 420 3000,
– Victoria Private Hospital (018) 381 2043, or
– Clinix Phalaborwa (015) 101 300