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Fertility Getting Healthy

Here are some basic general health tips our acupuncturist will advise you and and provide basel body temperature charts so you can work out when you are most likely to concieve.

You have the best chance of having a problem-free pregnancy and a healthy baby if you follow a few simple guidelines:

1. Organise your pregnancy care early speak to your hatfield practice specialist Helen or Eva for advice.

Good care during pregnancy is essential to your baby’s health. Organising your care early means you’ll have months to build a good relationship with your acupuncturist, midwife or doctor, ready for the birth.

2. Eat well

It is important to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Ask your midwife or doctor for diet advice, particularly if you find you no longer want to eat certain foods during pregnancy.

3. Be careful about food hygiene

It is better to avoid eating certain foods in pregnancy because they carry a health risk for your baby. For example:

• some types of soft cheese

• undercooked or raw meat

• unwashed vegetables and salads

• undercooked poultry, and raw or soft-cooked eggs

Ask your midwife or doctor for more information about foods that are safe to eat in pregnancy.

4. Take folic acid supplements and eat fish

Folic acid (also called folate) is essential in pregnancy to help prevent spina bifida and other disabilities in babies. All women planning a pregnancy are advised to take a daily supplement of 400mcg of folic acid during the first three months of pregnancy. Folate is also found in vegetables and some breakfast cereals.

Oily fish (such as herring, mackerel, salmon or sardines) is good for your growing baby, but the government recommends that you do not eat it more than twice a week. However, you can eat other types of fish as much as you like. If you don’t like fish, fish oil supplements are available, but check the brand is suitable for pregnant women.

5. Exercise regularly

Exercise can give you the strength you’ll need to carry the weight you gain during pregnancy and to handle the hard work of labour. It will make it easier to get back into shape after your baby is born. Exercise can also boost your spirits and help ward off depression in pregnancy. Try gentle exercise such as walking, swimming or yoga.

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6. Begin doing pelvic floor exercises

It’s very common for women who are pregnant or who have had children to have a small amount of urine leak out when they sneeze, laugh or exercise. You can help stop this happening by doing regular pelvic floor exercises, starting before you get pregnant or during pregnancy. Ask your midwife or doctor for more information.

7. Limit your alcohol intake

Since any alcohol you drink quickly reaches your baby through your blood stream, you may decide to cut out drinking alcohol completely. If you do decide to drink, limit yourself to one or two units of alcohol, no more than once or twice a week. One unit of alcohol is approximately:

• half a pint of ordinary strength beer, lager or cider

• half a glass of 12 per cent-strength wine

Women who drink heavily (more than six units a day) regularly during pregnancy are at greater risk of giving birth to a baby with problems ranging from learning difficulties to more serious birth defects.

8. Cut back on caffeine

Coffee, tea, and cola drinks contain caffeine, which affects the way the body absorbs iron. High levels of caffeine have been linked to poor birth weight and miscarriage. Up to four cups of coffee (or six cups of tea or eight cans of cola) a day won’t hurt your baby. However, you may prefer to cut out caffeine. Try decaffeinated coffee, tea, or fruit juices or a glass of mineral water with a twist of lime or lemon.

9. Stop smoking

Women who smoke increase their risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth and cot death. It is best to give up smoking before you even try to conceive, but any reduction in the number of cigarettes you smoke each day will give your baby a better chance.

10. Get some rest

Have regular acupuncture,our stress clinic at the Hatfield Practice is an ideal way to start.The tiredness you feel in early and late pregnancy is your body’s way of saying “slow down”. A nap in the middle of the day is good for you and your baby. If you can’t sleep, put your feet up and relax for 30 minutes or more.

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