Breastmilk is the best for babies. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. After six months of age, infants should receive age-appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.​

Pregnancy Tips: Cope with Common Symptoms

Learn some of the tips to cope with the common symptoms faced during pregnancy.


Tips to overcome nausea

  • You may want to consider making a hot drink or having some crisp bread, rusks or banana before bed. So you will feel better and improve your appetite in the morning.
  • It is also proven that by snacking small portions of dried fruits throughout the day may help to relieve your stomach and keep your blood sugar levels constant.
  • Drink a lot! You may have diluted fruit juices, fruit or herbal teas, but water is the best!
  • Morning showers keep the circulation going: take a warm shower for the first 2 to 3 minutes, followed by a cold shower for 10 to 15 seconds. It is ideal to repeat the whole process twice.
  • Try to eat a balanced diet despite feeling nausea.


Tips to help relieve heartburn

  • Take several small meals throughout the day. This will place fewer burdens to your stomach and does not build up as much stomach acid.
  • Your last meal should be at least three hours before bedtime, because when you are lying down, it is particularly easy for the stomach acid to ascend into the oesophagus. You may want to consider elevating your upper body with an extra pillow in bed.
  • Prepare your meals to be low in fat and mildly seasoned, greasy and strong flavoured foods can irritate the oesophagus.
  • Coffee and fizzy drinks are allowed sparingly as they increase acid production in the stomach. Unfortunately, heartburn is often exacerbated; having a cup of mint or peppermint tea can help to sooth and relax the closing force of the gastric sphincter. Therefore you should enjoy it from time to time.
  • Nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts, and milk will help to neutralize the stomach acid.


To help relieve backaches

  • Treat yourself to some rest.
  • Try to sleep on the side position to release the pressure off the back.
  • Sports: pregnancy gymnastics and swimming, especially backstroke can help to ease tension and strengthen back muscles, or try gestational yoga. Yoga relaxes stretches and strengthens the muscles and aid to relieve pain in the back and joints and may even be a good preparation for the birth.
  • Do not wear high heels.
  • Consider getting a proper chair for the benefit of your ergonomics when you are often sedentary at work.

Consult your doctor if you have a burning sensation during urination or lower back pain, or even when there is a presence of a very slight bleeding accompanied with the back pain.


Tips to help improve insomnia

  • Get support by using a nursing pillow when lying on the side of your belly.
  • Lie on the bed with a pillow in between your knees.
  • Avoid consuming black tea or coffee.
  • You may only take a light supper, not to overeat.
  • Avoid watching exciting films or reading books that cause you great excitement before going to sleep.
  • Take a walk or a swim in the evening.
  • Take a glass of warm milk or a cup of herbal tea.
  • Perform relaxation exercises from your antenatal classes. 


To overcome with shortness of breath

  • Give yourself as much rest as possible.
  • Insert more breathers.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.

For other symptoms, such as severe nervousness or restlessness, discuss with your doctor.


Tips on leg swelling

  • Allow your legs to elevate whenever possible.
  • A cool foot bath may bring relief.
  • Wear flat, wide shoes.

Contact your doctor if the swelling suddenly increases and are accompanied by abdominal pain and/or headache. 


Tips to help prevent varicose veins

  • Prevent standing and sitting for long hours.
  • Be active! Exercises such as cycling or walking are good.
  • Level your heart and your legs in bed.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Do not use saunas and warm baths.
  • Try support stockings or tights.


Tips to reduce leg cramps

  • Green vegetables and sunflower seeds provide magnesium.
  • Choose wholegrain bread, pasta and rice.
  • Mineral water contains more than 100 milligrams of magnesium per liter.

Your doctor may recommend or advice you on magnesium supplement.


Tips to prevent constipation and indigestion

  • Eat high fibre foods such as cereals, whole grains and vegetables.
  • It is best to slowly increase the amount of wholegrains intake so as not to overwhelm the sluggish bowel.
  • Stir in some linseed, wheat or oat bran in your yoghurt.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.


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