TIPS FOR MOM-TO BE
What you have to
you are pregnant
Nutrition tips for
the mother and infant
Managing your weight during pregnancy
Daily exercises for
Try these exercises
with the baby
in your belly
Various symptoms of pregnancy
What you have to know when you are pregnant
There will be many surprising changes in your body during pregnancy. There are a few things that you may have been unconcerned about before your pregnancy that should be of more concern when you are pregnant.
As your baby grows within your belly, your center of gravity will shift forward. This causes many individuals to lean back more than before. Be aware of your posture and actions to prevent back pain during pregnancy.
Stand straight with both feet apart. Relax your shoulders and open up your chest, just like when you would stand to attention.
Sitting on the floor
Sitting cross-legged on the floor is a posture that limbers hip joints. It is better to use a cushion for your back.
Getting up from lying down
Always turn to your side before attempting to get up. Then, put both hands on the floor and push up your upper body before the rest of your body.
Take it slow going up or down, always holding the handrail and making sure of each step.
A mother-to-be is connected to her baby by an umbilical cord. When a pregnant woman smokes, carbon monoxide and toxic substances are carried through the umbilical cord and absorbed by the baby. Alcohol also passes through and is absorbed when there is alcohol intake. Refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol during your pregnancy. What’s more, caffeine found in coffee, green tea and black tea has a vasoconstrictive effect on circulation. It is better to restrict caffeine intake to one or two cups of coffee or tea a day.
Consult your physician on medicine intake during weeks four to seven of your pregnancy, as the baby’s major organs are formed during this period.
Treatment of ailments such as cavities
Some pregnant women find it impossible to brush their teeth because of the nausea that comes from morning sickness. This makes one more susceptible to cavities and gingivitis. If you are planning on receiving treatment for your teeth, the fourth to seventh month of pregnancy should be the best times to do so. Bacteria from periodontal disease may pass through the blood and be carried to the uterus and placenta. Although rare, it is said to hold a possibility of triggering premature birth. In any case, everyday oral care is very important.
Going on trips
Going away on a trip during the stable period of a pregnancy can be relaxing. Make sure to plan out a reasonable schedule for your trip. Enjoy yourself, but do not forget to check medical facilities in the area beforehand, and watch what you eat. Transportation by plane should be avoided in the early weeks and at the end of the pregnancy.
Nutrition tips for the mother and infant
There is a need for an ample amount of nutrients for the baby!
Maintaining good prenatal health is essential for an infant to thrive. A well-balanced diet is important for adequate nutrient intake.
Make sure to eat three balanced meals every day, while actively adopting dishes with protein and iron in your menu.
*1 Final stages of pregnancy
*2 Recommended intake
Supplementing 400 μg of folic acid daily from one month before pregnancy to the third month of pregnancy reduces the risks of neural tube closure in babies. This nutrient can be found in spinach and beans.
*Be careful not to exceed 1000 μg a day.
Creates strong teeth and bones. It is found in foods such as milk, dairy products, small fish and soy beans.
This nutrient is very important in forming the baby’s body. Make sure to have a balanced diet with meat/fish/beans.
Supports the metabolism of calcium and corrects blood circulation. It can be found in foods such as almonds, green and yellow vegetables and bananas.
Iron creates red blood cells and is essential for preventing anemia. It is found in foods such as liver, eggs, oysters and freshwater clams.
Dietary fiber is helpful in preventing constipation in pregnant women. It is found in foods such as kelp, almonds, konjak, mushrooms and potatoes.
■Avoid salt as much as possible
Unlike the previously described six nutrients that you should be actively getting, salt is an ingredient that should be avoided as much as possible. Salt causes swelling and high blood pressure, and is known to lead to pregnancy-induced hypertension (pregnancy toxicosis) as well. Avoid non-homemade soup for noodles, processed foods and pickled foods. Also try to keep your salt intake under 7.5 g a day.
＊Dietary Guideline for Expectant Mothers (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)
Managing your weight during pregnancy
Beware of gaining too much/not gaining enough weight!
Gaining too much weight during a pregnancy will make you susceptible to pregnancy-induced hypertension. However, recent trends have been seeing mothers-to-be that are too slim. It is said that not gaining enough weight will result in not only a smaller infant but also makes you susceptible to lifestyle related diseases. In any case, weight control during gestation is very important.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT GAIN IS NORMAL DURING PREGNANCY?
The weight a pregnant woman gains until birth mostly consists of the weight of the infant (fetus), placenta, amniotic fluid and blood.
A newborn’s average weight is approximately 3 kilograms. It is said that a mother-to-be’s body stores up necessary nutrients for birth and breastfeeding during pregnancy as well. In recent times, weight gain calculated according to each individual’s pre-pregnancy weight seems to be the most ideal.
WEIGHT GAIN GUIDELINES ACCORDING TO BODY TYPE!
The recommended weight gain standard during the entire pregnancy based on body type
- Body Type
- Underweight (thinner): less than BMI 18.5
- Normal: more than BMI 18.5 less than 25.0
- Overweight: more than BMI 25.0
- Recommended weight gain
- 9 to 12 kg
- 7 to 12 kg #1
- To be calculated individually #2
-Body type is based on each individual’s pre-pregnancy weight.
-BMI (Body Mass Index): Weight (kg) /Height(m)2
#1 For individuals in the “normal” body type category but close to the “low body weight (thinner)” category, use the area in the lower limit of the recommended weight gain chart as a guideline.
#2 For individuals who are slightly over BMI 25.0, approximately 5 kg should be your recommended weight gain. Pregnant women markedly over 25.0 should be consulted individually with clinical states and other risks put into consideration.
Daily exercises for the mother-to-be!
Try these exercises with the baby in your belly
Pregnant women often suffer from lack of exercise.
Exercise to boost your spirits as well!
Daily exercise does not only allow better control of your weight, it is optimal for promoting blood circulation and preventing back pain, swelling and constipation.
Make sure to exercise moderately and refresh your mood as well.
When can I start prenatal exercise?
Start exercising at around 16 weeks, the beginning of the stable period.
Make sure you consult your physician before starting any exercise.
Make sure to stop exercising whenever you feel tightening in your abdominal area.
- Lie on your back, draw up your knees and stretch one leg up high.
- Flex your ankles a few times while holding this pose.
- Bend your upraised knee and slowly lower your leg.
(Alternate between both legs)
-Promotes blood circulation in the feet
-Prevents varicose veins
Hip joint exercises
- Sit cross-legged with your back straight and extended. Place your hands on your knees and press down.
Limbers the muscles around the vagina/anus/urethra
Stomach muscle exercises
- Get down on all fours and arch your back while tightening your stomach.
- Slowly relax into a neutral position while breathing out, and lift your face.
*Make sure not to bend your elbows.
Prevents back pain
- Align your knees and breathe out while rolling your knees to the left. Return to a neutral position and roll to the right.
- Bring your left foot up while maintaining a straight pelvis position, and roll your left leg out while being aware of your leg joints. Alternate between both legs.
- Lie on your back and bend both knees, spreading your legs out to your hip width. Place both hands, palm down, on your sides.
- Bring up your back while breathing out, and maintain that pose for ten seconds while breathing. Slowly return to a neutral position while breathing out.
-Tightens the gluteus maximus muscles and the kegel muscles
-Prevents incontinence and back pain
Various symptoms of pregnancy
The changing body of a pregnant woman.
As the baby grows, you may feel changes in your body and physical condition.
This part introduces some symptoms that occur during pregnancy. Consult your physician at an early stage if you find your symptoms to be severe or showing no sign of improvement.
Nausea from morning sickness
Morning sickness symptoms differ greatly between individuals. Some women have severe morning sickness, where others have almost no symptoms. As an empty stomach tends to aggravate symptoms, it is better to always have a small snack ready with you.
Stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched to accommodate the rapidly growing belly and breasts during pregnancy. Prevent stretch marks by caring for the skin with creams or baby oils from the early stages of pregnancy, when the belly is still small.
The enlarged uterus puts pressure on the bottom half of the body during pregnancy, causing poor blood circulation. For this reason, a pregnant women becomes more susceptible to leg cramps when she turns over when sleeping or hastily stretches her legs. When you do get a leg cramp, stretch your muscles by flexing your toes toward the top of your foot or gently massaging the entire foot. Insufficient calcium intake and lack of exercise also may cause leg cramps, so make sure to actively eat calcium-rich foods and do regular prenatal exercises.
Orthostatic hypotension may occur when less blood is being delivered to the brain due to thinner red cell concentration or unstable autonomic nerves during pregnancy. Try not to stand up quickly, and take your time with all your actions. What’s more, because the fetus receives iron from the mother’s body, pregnant women are also susceptible to anemia. Actively eat foods rich in iron, and also try to get vitamin C at the same time, as it will help iron absorption.
As the body produces more blood and bodily fluids during mid-pregnancy to late-pregnancy, a pregnant woman may often suffer from swelling. Exercise and stretching are effective in promoting blood circulation. If the skin in the swollen area becomes temporarily dented when pressed, or if you find it difficult to clench your fists, make sure to keep your feet warm and watch your salt intake.
Skin during pregnancy tends to be very sensitive, and many women feel itchiness in their skin. Moisturizing well after bathing, avoiding underwear using lace or elastic, and maintaining clean skin is the first step toward preventing itchiness.
Pregnant women are susceptible to constipation. This is caused by effects from larger amounts of progesterone during pregnancy, which decreases intestine functions. Be sure to eat food rich in fiber along with a good amount of water. Eat three balanced meals with a sufficient amount of exercise.