Being pregnant can be an intensely exciting, deeply moving and satisfying experience, culminating in the birth of your baby. During this journey from conception to birth, your body will undergo numerous changes – all of them needed to safeguard your baby.
You will find that pregnancy is not only an experience of your body, but also of the mind. Your emotions may fluctuate, as a result of hormonal changes. Pregnancy is a time to be good to yourself, to give yourself time to adjust and enjoy your pregnancy.
You also have a new responsibility, that towards your unborn child. This responsibility begins by taking good care of yourself and looking after your own health. This is done by:
- Prenatal care. The medical care you receive before the baby is born is aimed at keeping you and your baby in excellent condition. Visit your caregiver/doctor regularly and report any discomforts or problems to him or her.
- Tests. A number of tests are done routinely and some are recommended in certain circumstances. Work together with your caregiver to determine which tests you should have. Also check with your medical aid scheme beforehand, as not all tests may be covered by your scheme.
- Scans. Expectant parents usually can’t wait for that first image of the life growing inside you. Scans are done to determine the position and size of your baby and placenta, and of course to determine the gender of the baby.
- Healthy diet. Although it isn’t true that you have to “eat for two”, it is important that you eat healthily. Your body needs to sustain itself and your baby’s growth in the womb. Eat breakfast every day and don’t skip meals. Regular small meals will help you to beat nausea associated with morning sickness. You will need to drink more fluids and you may need extra minerals and vitamins. Consult your caregiver or pharmacist to find out what is best for you.
- Healthy habits. The detrimental effects of nicotine, drugs and alcohol on your unborn child are well recorded. Stay away from these substances, thus giving your baby a good start in life.
- Stress management. Don’t let your job stress you out. Take up yoga or take regular walks to keep your stress levels under control.
- Rest. Get enough sleep at night and take a quick nap in your lunch time if possible.
- Regular exercise. If you didn’t exercise or train before your pregnancy, you must first consult your caregiver/doctor before embarking on an exercise routine.
- Information. Gather information from your caregiver, at childbirth education classes, your medical aid scheme and your EWP about interventions during labour (e.g. induction, epidural), breastfeeding, birth options (e.g. home birth) and the signs of labour.
Your own health and well-being will be crucial to the health of your baby. “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one” (J. Churchill). So, start right now and follow this advice.
Our Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) is available 24 hours a day if you want to know more about a healthy pregnancy. Call us on the EWP number or email us at
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