The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life and continued breastfeeding for as long as possible. As babies grow at different paces, health professionals should advise the mother on the appropriate time when her baby should start receiving complementary foods.
Simple Suggestions For Solving Minor Health Problems!
Pregnancy: a period of great happiness, they said, but why did no one tell me about all these minor health problems? Nausea, constipation, cramps, etc.! Desperately looking for suggestions for a serene pregnancy...
After the first few weeks, you will find a new balance as your hormone levels and body changes1. The result: most women suffer from minor ailments which may disappear as the months go by and the body gets used to them. Some advice to get over this hurdle!
Morning sickness and vomiting
During the first trimester, the rise in hormone levels (progesterone and estrogen) may cause your taste to change and your sense of smell to increase. These changes may result in morning sickness and vomiting in many women. This is often one of the first signs of pregnancy! Stress and anxiety also often play a role in this hypersensitivity, in addition to greater sensitivity towards hypoglycaemia and a slowing down of the digestive system.
- Eat three proper meals a day at regular hours and allow yourself one or two balanced snacks.
- For breakfast, opt for dry items such as crackers or cereals.
- Avoid fatty foods that are difficult to digest, and carbonated beverages.
- Take your time when eating, eat in a calm environment and allow yourself a short rest afterwards to aid your digestion. Take a siesta if you suffer from sleep problems.
- Lie down and try to relax!
Constipation, bloating, gastric reflux and heartburn are problems experienced by many mothers-to-be! They are caused by hormones - more specifically by progesterone, which tends to make the muscles of the digestive tract sluggish, while the uterus, as it grows, will compress the other organs.
To counteract bloating:
- Avoid fermenting foods such as cabbage or those that cause bloating, such as carbonated beverages.
- Divide up your meals and rather have several small meals per day.
- Eat your meals without hurrying.
To counteract constipation:
- Choose foods that are rich in fibre: green vegetables, fruits, whole-grain cereals and unrefined starches (pasta, brown rice, etc.). Snack on some prunes.
- Do a little exercise: at least 30 minutes of walking every day.
- Drink sufficient water, i.e. about 1.5 litres per day.
To counteract gastric reflux:
- Avoid very fatty foods.
- Avoid lying down after meals.
- Don't bend down too often - you will risk exacerbating compression of your abdomen.
- Your doctor may also prescribe suitable medication for you - don't hesitate to speak to him about it.
Another common phenomenon in pregnant women is hypersalivation. This is often linked to an irritation of the nerve stimulating the salivary glands and is exacerbated by stress. To solve this problem, try to relax. You could also try homeopathy or acupuncture.
Heavy legs, cramps and haemorrhoids
A calcium and magnesium deficiency, compression of the venous system, the effect of hormones on the elasticity of the venous walls ... poor circulation during pregnancy may have numerous causes. Key symptoms are cramps, a feeling of heavy legs, pins and needles" edema (severely swollen ankles) and even haemorrhoids (sometimes caused by frequent constipation). These symptoms are usually not serious, but it is better to talk to your doctor about it and to adopt some good habits.
- Opt for foods rich in mineral (calcium, magnesium) and vitamin B, such as dairy products.
- Wear flat shoes.
- End your shower with a jet of cold water, working your way upwards from the ankles to the hips. You can also try massaging your legs.
- Sleep with your legs slightly raised (pillow).
- You may need to wear support stockings (your doctor can provide you with a prescription).In most cases there are natural solutions. If your problems do not disappear, never take medication of your own accord. Always speak to your doctor first.
1Cari Nierenberg, Live Science Contributor, accessed 21 March 2019, https://www.livescience.com/50877-regnancy-body-changes.html