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Family Fun For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy Week 1-5: Preparing to Conceive

Are you and your partner planning for a baby?

If so, it is vital that ladies start on folic acid supplement ideally two months before conceiving to reduce baby’s risk of neural tube defects, congenital heart defects, cleft palate and cleft lip. The recommended dosage is 400mcg daily.

Prior to conceiving, here are some of the things which you can do to increase your rate of conception:

  • Schedule a visit to the gynaecologist
    A gynaecologist will review your medical history as well as any medications that may affect fertility.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking and excessive amounts of caffeine
    Cigarettes and alcohol have been shown to reduce fertility rates and it is wise to cut down on those as well as cut down on caffeine. Limit your daily intake of coffee to not more than two cups.
  • Aim for a healthy weight
    If you are overweight or underweight, it makes conception a little bit harder and could cause complications. Try to aim for a healthy weight range to increase your chances.

Folic acid can be found in green leafy vegetables and is an essential nutrient which supports a healthy pregnancy.

WEEKS 1 & 2:

At weeks 1 and 2, you’re not actually pregnant yet! That’s because the estimated due date (EDD) is calculated from the beginning of your last menstrual period. This means that the period before conception is also taken into consideration.

In order to get pregnant, you need to understand when you are ovulating. If your period generally lasts about 28 days, ovulation is about 14 days from the first day of your period. This is thus the best time to try conceiving, as an egg only lives about 12 to 24 hours after leaving the ovary. Each cycle sees about 20 eggs being released from the ovary.

WEEK 3:
If fertilisation is successful, the egg will move from the ovary into the uterus, where it will attach to the uterine lining. At this stage, it doesn’t resemble anything like a baby as it is a group of 100 rapidly multiplying cells and is about the size of a strawberry seed.

You won’t even notice that you’re pregnant at this stage as there are no noticeable signs and you wouldn’t have missed your period yet. This is because most early pregnancy symptoms are caused by pregnancy hormones and the level in your body is not high enough to cause a reaction yet.

Smoking greatly reduces the chances of conception – women who smoke are 30% less likely to conceive than non-smokers

WEEK 4:
The outer layer of the ball of cells is now splitting into the placenta and the inner layer, into the embryo. Your baby’s neural tube which is the building block of the brain and spine, is already formed. This is when you will start to notice that you have missed your period and suspect that you might be pregnant. Over the counter pregnancy test kits should be able to detect pregnancy, though sometimes the pregnancy hormone (hCG) levels are not high enough to be detected. If so, try again after a few days.

WEEK 5:
Congratulations! You’re pregnant! Your baby is now the size of an apple seed, or about 3.3mm. You should have noticed some visible early pregnancy symptoms by now, such as nausea, vomiting, sore breasts and fatigue. This is termed as morning sickness, except that the symptoms last throughout the day for weeks.

Continue taking folic acid supplements and be aware of the foods to avoid during pregnancyand the necessary nutrients required for pregnant mumsto help your foetus develop healthily.

How did you discover your pregnancy? Let us know in the comments!

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Family Fun Pregnant

5 Simple Exercises Pregnant Mums Can Do At Home

Exercise doesn’t have to stop when you’re pregnant. In fact, it’s generally safe to continue workouts at the same level of intensity that you had before pregnancy! As a safety precaution, it’s always good to get an all-clear from your gynaecologist before embarking on exercise since your doctor would know your pregnancy journey best.

Exercising during pregnancy gives you more energy, reduces back pain and aids in a smoother delivery process as more oxygen-rich blood courses through your body.

Here are some simple exercises that you can do at home throughout your pregnancy!

  1. Breathing

Breathing exercises help pregnant mums remain calm and relaxed during labour.

 

We breathe all the time, but often shallowly. Deep breathing provides your body with ample oxygen which in turn gives relief from aching joints and muscles.

One breathing exercise you can try is counting breaths. Lie down on the floor, back facing down. Place one hand on your belly and breathe in deeply, counting to five. Hold your breath for 8 seconds and breathe out slowly, counting to 9 seconds. As you breathe out, push all the air out of your lungs whilst relaxing your body.

 

  1. Standing Push Ups

Standing push ups strengthen your upper body strength. Stand at an arm’s length from a wall and extend your arms so your hands are flat at shoulder height with your thumbs touching. Breathe in and press your body towards the wall to replicate a push-up.

 

  1. Triceps Dip

Sit on the floor with bent legs and your feet hip-width apart. Place your arms behind you and point your fingers towards your toes. Engage your core and pull your shoulders back and down while pushing your hips up through your hands. Bend your elbows back while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Push through the heel of your hand back to starting position. Try to do three sets of 10 triceps dips, resting 30 seconds in between.

 

  1. Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga can be practised throughout pregnancy. However, should you have prior health concerns, always inform your yoga practitioner.

 


If you are a veteran at yoga, you’ll be glad to know that you can practise it in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. If you’re a beginner, it’s ideal to go for a prenatal yoga class at a studio where an instructor can correct your poses.

Prenatal yoga is beneficial as you’ll learn how to breathe deeply and consciously relax. There is very little impact on your joints and your muscles will be more toned and your balance will be improved.

Try the Cobbler’s Pose – sit straight against a wall, touching the soles of your feet together. Press your knees down slowly and stay in this position for as long as you’re comfortable. This is a basic pose which helps to open up your pelvis.

Another is the Wide Knee Child’s Pose, where you kneel on the ground with your buttocks on your heels and top of feet against the floor. Touch your big toes together and spread your knees wider than your hip. Lower your chest to the mat and extend your arms overhead until your forehead touches the mat. You can also choose to lay your arms alongside your body with your palms facing up.

 

  1. Kegels

Kegel exercises can be done anywhere and anytime during pregnancy or even after delivery. It’s so discrete, others would be none the wiser!

 

Pregnancy and childbirth are factors which may cause weakened pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles become loose, you may experience urinary incontinence. To prevent this, start by doing Kegel exercises.

To start, identify your pelvic floor muscles by stopping your urine midstream. Once you’ve done so, you can start the exercise by tightening and holding the muscles for five seconds and relaxing for five seconds. Attempt five sets and gradually increase the duration to 10 seconds. Breathe normally during the exercises and aim for at least 30 repetitions in a day.

As with all types of activities, don’t stress out your body and know your limits. Stop if you feel any discomfort and avoid overexerting yourself. Before embarking on the above exercises, you may like to inform you gynaecologists – these simple exercises can be safely attempted in the comfort of your own home throughout pregnancy! If you have other simple exercises that pregnant women can try out, let us know in the comments!