So you’ve made the big decision to try to get pregnant – congratulations!
Bringing a baby into the world is a huge responsibility AND A LOT OF WORK.
Everyone will tell you about the dirty nappies, sleepless nights, smell of baby vomit, terrible twos, tantrums and more.
There will be countless people telling you that everything you are doing is wrong; you should be doing it ‘their’ way, because ‘their’ way is the ‘only’ way. You will more than likely be nervous about introducing new foods to your baby because something like a banana can be said to be really healthy one day and really bad the next.
Lack of sleep for you and your partner will probably cause arguments between you both, you may have different ideas on parenting – good cop/bad cop – is a very common occurrence and will definitely cause disagreements.
All this in less than 2 years!
But we are getting way ahead of ourselves here. Yes, you are more than likely going to go through all the above, but what about the pregnancy itself.
Women can feel overwhelmed with the abundance of information available and it can be difficult to know where to start. Taking care of yourself and ensuring your health is in the best possible shape is a great first step if you’re looking to start a family. Making responsible choices and being healthy while trying to conceive is vital for you and your baby.
Lisa Guy is an experienced naturopath and author, and passionate foodie, who runs a Sydney based clinic called ‘Art of Healing’. Lisa has a real love for helping people achieve true health and happiness, through good wholesome food, healing herbs and homeopathic remedies. An avid health writer and regular contributor to leading newspapers and magazines, Lisa is also the author of three internationally sold books, ‘Pregnancy Essentials’ ‘My Goodness: all you need to know about children’s health and nutrition’, and ‘Heal Yourself’.
“A healthy body is essential to make a healthy baby,” explained Lisa. “Although nothing takes away from the importance of a nutritious diet, taking a good quality multivitamin like FABFOL before and during pregnancy is an important way to ensure you and your baby are getting optimal levels of essential nutrients, like folic acid, iron and iodine, to support a healthy pregnancy and growing baby,” says Lisa
Here are some of Lisa’s helpful tips for pre-conception and during your pregnancy:
Visit your GP
Visiting your GP for a pre-conception consultation and regular consults throughout your pregnancy is vital. Your GP will provide you with expert advice on planning your pregnancy and any health problems, concerns, lifestyle issues and supplement requirements throughout your pregnancy.
Boost your system with supplements
Although a well-balanced and healthy diet can generally provide all the vitamins and minerals we need, those needs become greater in pregnancy1 and so it’s important to take an additional supplement. Pregnancy supplements such as FABFOL contain all the essential vitamins and minerals and are known to help prevent congenital defects and malformations caused by nutritional deficiencies. Key vitamins and minerals to be aware of when planning a pregnancy, or when pregnant, are folic acid, iron and Zinc.
Folic acid: essential for healthy foetal development and reducing the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. An October 2015 study has found that taking folic acid before conception significantly reduces the risk of small gestational age at birth. Small gestational age at birth has been linked later in life to chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and mental health problems, states the study.
Iron: iron is necessary to restore energy and support the immune system. According to the Australian Medical Association3 up to one in four Australian women are iron deficient. Insufficient iron stores can have a negative impact on women and their babies; possibly leading to premature births, smaller and underdeveloped babies.
Zinc: Zinc works to support and strengthen the immune system and is important for hormone balance and to boost fertility.
Curb morning sickness
The dreaded dash to the nearest bathroom can become a pregnant woman’s worst nightmare and for some can last all day. It is believed that up to 70 per cent of women will experience some form of morning sickness or nausea, especially during the first trimester. This can continue for weeks and even months throughout pregnancy causing the body to lose fluid and necessary electrolytes. Nausea can also lead to decreased food and fluid intake.
“Sipping on an electrolyte drink like Hydralyte is a great way for expectant mums to help prevent dehydration and keep energy levels up during labour and when suffering from morning sickness,” states Lisa.
Hydralyte is suitable for use during pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding and is available from pharmacies nationally – RRP AU$15.99 – www.hydralyte.com.au
FABFOL PLUS is a daily nutritional supplement for preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is gentle on the stomach with low constipation iron and is available from pharmacies nationally – FABFOL 56 tablets – RRP AU $24.95 – www.fabfol.com.au