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Taking Care of Yourself

If you are planning a pregnancy, are already pregnant or are nursing, it is more important than ever that you take care of yourself. After all, it’s not just you your body has to take care of now!

Eating Right
As a pregnant or nursing mom, your body becomes a productive machine, using what you eat as energy. The better the energy, the more efficient the machine, so to say. Getting the best possible nutrition through what you eat each day (and taking your neonatal vitamins!) should be a priority for you.

For detailed information, click on this which will provide you with details on nutrition, including what to eat for morning sickness and how to eat for pregnancy when you are a diabetic.

This offers answers to frequently asked questions about nutrition during pregnancy.

Morning Sickness
Morning Sickness, as the nausea many women feel during the first trimester is often called, can sometimes last even longer, possibly throughout the entire pregnancy.

Changing your eating habits can help keep morning sickness at bay.

  • Eat six to eight meals a day, instead of three larger meals
  • Avoid hunger; it can increase nausea
  • Eat foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates.
  • Eat plain, starchy foods, like toast, crackers, melba toast, rice, noodles, dry cereal, etc. They are digested easily and less likely to cause nausea.
  • Drink plenty of fluids between meals.
  • Concentrate your nutrients in them if you are not tolerating solids well.
  • Drink milk shakes, pureed soups, fruit sorbets, sherbet , cottage cheese with fruit or yogurt.
  • Do not drink while you eat. Separate solids from liquids by at least one hour.
  • Avoid fat, fried, spicy or rich foods. Eat very bland, simple foods.
  • Avoid the sight and smell of foods that make you queasy. Some women cannot tolerate food preparation in early pregnancy.
  • Some herbal teas have been recommended to help with nausea. Raspberry (also recommended as a general pregnancy tonic) and mint, peppermint, spearmint teas. Pennyroyal and grated fresh ginger tea are to be avoided.
  • Your prenatal vitamin is insurance for adequate nutrition. It is especially important if your daily intake is decreased related to nausea. Take your vitamin at the time of day when it will most likely stay down. Adequate nutrition is especially important to your baby during early pregnancy, as the organs are forming.
  • Physical and mental fatique also may contribute to nausea. Listen to your body and get extra rest as needed.
  • Brush your teeth after vomiting to decrease nausea. You may need to use a child’s toothbrush to prevent gagging.
  • If you are unable to keep anything down for 24 hours, be sure to call the office, because this will not correct itself and may be cause for concern.
  • If you have more questions about diet, nutrition and morning sickness, ask your doctor on your next visit.

The Importance of Exercise While You’re Pregnant … and After
Only your doctor can provide you with personalized advice as to the importance of exercise during your individual pregnancy. But experts agree that prenatal exercise can be beneficial for both mom and baby.

Women who exercise during pregnancy have:

  • less nausea
  • less tiredness
  • fewer bachaches
  • fewer leg cramps
  • fewer swollen ankles
  • more strength and flexibility
  • more energy
  • better posture and circulation
  • more stamina for labor and childbirth
  • less stress

Women who exercise after giving birth:

  • add strength and muscle tone
  • have more energy to keep up with a new baby
  • return to pre-pregnancy shape faster than those who do not exercise

More on Exercising
Follow this for helpful advice and the most up-to-date information available about exercising during pregnancy. There is also an informative section of frequently asked questions about prenatal exercise.

Sample Exercises
Check out this for sample exercises to do during your pregnancy.

Christiana Care Hospital Exercise Classes
Christiana Care Hospital offers exercise classes geared to the special needs of pregnant women and new mothers. The classes are taught by a trained fitness instructor and meet the safety guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Classes are held twice a week for four weeks at many sites in new Castle County. These classes are a great way for you to meet other new mothers and their babies. To sign up for classes, call 302.661.3000.

Drink Your Water
Did you know your body is 98% water? Did you know that the amniotic fluid is 99% water? It’s a pretty important substance and not one to be ignored. If you don’t think you’re drinking enough water, drink more.

The general rule is “drink to thirst.”
In other words, if you’re thirsty, drink. Your doctor can give you a more personalized recommendation. Even if you’re not thirsty, you should drink between 8 to 10 cups of liquid each day. That can come from water, fruit juice(mixed with ½ water), milk, Gatorade, Crystal Light or other non-caffeinated beverages and even foods. You may need more if you exercise and lose water through sweating.

Sex During Pregnancy
If you are concerned about whether you can continue with your normal sex life during pregnancy, this provides many answers.