Being a first-time mum, pregnancy can be a confusing maze of do’s and don’ts. No doubt, that I appreciate all the good advice, I get from experienced mothers, doctors and midwifes – but not everybody agrees on, whats best for me and my baby, so what to do?  Well, first of all, stay away from Google! Google only leads to more confusion and everybody there seems to be experts – but they are not! For me I have decided to go through my pregnancy with the help of my gut feelings and common knowledge about staying healthy. What works for me, might not work for someone else, but I am pretty sure, that there are certain things, that without doubt will be good for a pregnant lady. Here are my 9 steps to a healthy pregnancy

Congratulations! You are pregnant! Now is the time to book an appointment with your midwife and your doctor

What a feeling! I can hardly describe how happy I was, when I got the results! Finally we were going to have a baby!

As soon as you find out you are pregnant, get yourself registered for antenatal care! It is super important to be organised as early as possible! I had no idea, what to do, so for me good advice for a healthy pregnancy was crucial to get it right from the start. (Also you will have time to organise your diary for ultrasound scans and tests that you may need)

Take a supplement

Omega 3 Fish Oil, Mum-2-Be and Vitamin D3 from Higher Nature

There are certain supplements, that are extremely important to take before and during pregnancy. Having difficulties getting pregnant – and undergoing IVF treatments, I was advised to start taking folic acid even before getting pregnant. By taking 400 micrograms of folic acid a day for at least one month before you conceive (and during your first trimester), you can cut your chances of having a baby with neural-tube defects such as spina bifida by 50 to 70 percent. Taking folic acid helps prevent other birth defects as well. You can get folic acid separately or you can buy a complete formulation with a range of vitamins and minerals at specific levels to help maintain the health of you and your baby before and during pregnancy

Many people in the northern hemisphere are deficient in vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight. Living in London – and being pregnant during winter, meant that my blood test showed that the amount of vitamin D in my body was pretty low. So my doctor advised me to take a daily supplement, which is important for the development of my baby’s skeleton and future bone health.

If your diet is good but you don’t eat fish, you could take a fish oil supplement. Even though I am Scandinavian, I was never a big fan of fish, so there was no doubt, that fish oil was the answer for me  When buying fish oils it is important to ensure that the fish is uncontaminated. I use the one from Higher Nature, as their fish oils are free from pollutants such as PCBs and each batch is screened and tested. This best selling flagship product is from sardines and anchovies. They are small oily fish, which feed on plankton, unlike large predatory oily fish like tuna and swordfish.

Don’t forget to exercise 

Even though it can be tempting to jump directly into the couch with chocolate and Netflix, when being told that you are pregnant – you must not forget that regular exercise has many benefits for you (and therefore your baby!). I am currently pregnant in week 30 – and I find it harder and harder to get around! I don’t think there is a golden rule, when it comes to how much, you should move around. The important thing is to listen to your body! If your body tells you, that it is tired, you should REST. Otherwise make sure to get a lot of fresh air and doing gentle exercise. This will help you to to cope with changes to your posture, keep a healthy weight, boost your mood and increase of straightforward labour and birth!

Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat!

Keep your partner healthy!

Let’s face it! Even though we women are the ones carrying the “heavy load” (literarily speaking) during pregnancy, it’s not always easy being the supporting partner either!

Luckily Frenchie is good at taking care of himself – and he always has a stash of vitamins lying around! His favourite is the Super Antioxidant Protection from Higher Nature, which provides a great combination of vitamin, mineral and plant extract antioxidants to protect the whole body throughout the year. I seriously think, that they are working! He hasn’t been ill in ages – something I really appreciate, as I need him to help me with many things the bigger I become! (I can’t pick up things from the floor anymore! (a new – and quite annoying experience for me!)

Foods to avoid!

Being a lifestyle blogger, who loves doing food-reviews, there were certain things, that I needed to learn about pregnancy and food! There are some foods to avoid or take care with when you are pregnant, as they might make you ill or harm your baby!

I love going out for dinner, but I don’t drink alcohol – and I am very much aware of what I eat! 

Some of the worst foods for pregnancy are: high mercury seafood, unpasteurised milk and juices, raw or undercooked meat, energy drinks and excessive coffee, pate,  foods with trans fats, high sodium foods – and what I miss the most… unpasteurised cheese!

Even though I try to avoid spicy food, it is almost impossible to avoid stomach acid – and yes, I get constipated as well!

A way to maintain a healthy digestive and immune system is to use Pro-IntensiveThis high potency, well-researched, special strain friendly bacteria is designed to help maintain a healthy gut flora. Each of the four strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium lactis and Bifidobacterium bifidum have been chosen to act synergistically for greater effect.  As the formula is highly stable, it is resistant to stomach acid and bile salts, which means that the bacteria reach the colon alive. Oh… and don’t forget, that you must drink plenty of water! It is extremely important to stay hydrated during pregnancy!

Speaking of food! Have you ever considered  using superfoods such as  coconut oil when cooking?

Coconut oil is one of the safest and healthiest cooking oils, because it is heat-stable and does not create toxic trans-fats when heated. It is perfect for baking, stir-frying, roasting and sauté cooking and has all the benefits of coconut oil without the coconut taste and aroma

Bonus-info: Lauric acid found in coconut oil and breast milk has been found to have antiviral, antibacterial and parasiticidal (kills parasites) properties that support proper immune function. This may help to protect your and your baby’s health in pregnancy

Things, that I can’t live without during my pregnancy

My unicorn feeding/support cushion! This one is multi-functional, as you can use it to provide comfort, when lying on the side and support both mother and baby when breast feeding!

Comfortable shoes! So my feet have basically grown half a size up (if not more) – and I really don’t enjoy wearing heels due to back-pains! Make sure to be the happy owner of flat and comfortable shoes (preferable a bit bigger than your normal size), when going through your pregnancy

Taking a break with a cup of caffeine free tea! Some studies mention that pregnant women who worked until their eighth month of pregnancy had babies half a pound lighter, than those who stopped working earlier. Pregnancy can be a huge stress on your body, so make sure to take frequent breaks from time to time

My to-do list for every trimester!

A pregnancy to-do list is important! It helps me keep on track with all the tasks, from prenatal appointments and tests to antenatal classes, breastfeeding classes, baby showers, baby names and so much more. If you decide to make a pregnancy to-do list, I recommend that you split it up in all three trimesters (and make sure to include the must-do’s for your health and your baby’s as well as the fun stuff that makes pregnancy so memorable)

These are some of the advice, that I could think of, if a new mum-to-be would ask me, how to stay healthy during pregnancy! There are many more things, that you can do, which I haven’t mentioned here, but if in doubt always ask you GP and midwife!

X Louise

This post is sponsored by Higher Nature. As always all opinions are my own!