Taking care of your health and eating the right foods during pregnancy would result in a smooth pregnancy and lessen its undesirable side-effects.
During the first trimester, pregnancy hormones start to elevate
in your blood and your body will start to change gradually. These changes in your hormones will cause you some disagreeable symptoms which may appear strong and undesirable in some women, while none in others.
Some of these symptoms are:
- Nausea and Vomiting: Often occurring during the first trimester and called morning sickness, because it mostly happens during the first few hours of the morning while the stomach is empty but it can also happen at any time during the day. You can reduce this feeling of nausea by changing some of your eating habits:
- Avoid smoking environments
- Avoid strong odours of food and perfumes
- Avoid high fat and fried foods
- Take 6 small, frequent meals instead of 3 large ones that can make you feel uncomfortable
- Keep at the side of your bed some crackers, plain biscuits or kaak so you can have some before you get out of bed
- Do not drink liquids in the early morning or with meals
And always remember to compensate water lost during vomiting by drinking enough of it and other liquids between meals.
- Constipation: This usually happens during the last trimester of your pregnancy. Its cause is most often hormonal as the increase in progesterone levels in your body will cause a slow down in bowel motility. Constipation can also be aggravated because of the decrease in physical activity due to increase in body weight and the feeling of heaviness, and also due to the low intake of fiber in your diet.
This problem can be easily solved and prevented by increasing your intake of liquids especially water as well as increasing fiber-rich foods in your diet such as vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, whole grains and legumes.
Do not use laxatives as it has many side-effects, one of which it might make you lose some vitamins and minerals.
- Heartburn: This can be attributed to the uterus' enlargement adding more pressure on the intestines and the stomach which causes some of its acids to go back through your esophagus, thus making you get heartburn. Heartburn can be reduced by eating slowly in a comfortable and relaxed environment and also by increasing the frequency of your meals and decreasing the quantity on each meal. It is best to avoid foods that might increase your heartburn like spicy and high fat foods.
Other recommendations include light walking, not lying down directly after a meal and wearing light and comfortable clothes.
The best way is to watch your diet especially if you have some of the previously mentioned side effects of pregnancy:
- Balance your food from the essential food groups: fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products, meat and legumes, whole grains and healthy fats in moderation
- Minimize intake of high-fat and fried foods which increase undesirable symptoms
- Don't surrender to heaviness. Try to move as much as you can in order to maintain a healthy increase in your weight, get rid of retained excess water and toxins from your body and improve bowel motility and prevent constipation
- Drink plenty of water to maintain your overall health and skin health
- Avoid stress and anxiety which might worsen the symptoms
- Always consult your doctor so that he is aware of any side effect you may have and advise you accordingly
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