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A young pregnant woman sitting comfortably on a curtained bed and hugging her belly gently. Next to her is a book and a glass bowl with fruits.

Take care of your health Pregnancy is quite a challenge for a woman's body. It is a period during which various health problems may develop. Find out how to avoid them.

Pregnancy is the perfect motivation for a lifestyle change: to start exercising, to start a healthy diet. Because of it you will feel healthier and prettier after birth than ever before. During the nine months of pregnancy, the future mum can enjoy thicker hair, a more beautiful skin, and more delicate face contours. However, sometimes the changes brought by pregnancy may have a negative effect on a woman's health and disposition. Fortunately, this doesn't have to be the case.

How can I survive pregnancy in good shape?

A little exercise

Regular exercising will help you overcome the physical strain of pregnancy, as well as prepare you for labour. Exercising 10-20 minutes every day increases the efficiency of your heart and lungs, improves the circulation and strengthens the muscles of your spine. Active mums usually have a shorter and less painful birth, and recover faster after the birth. Attention! Future mums will find water exercise, yoga and gentle stretching very helpful. Physical exercise, combined with a healthy diet and bodycare, help you avoid gaining weight and stretch marks.

Keep smiling!

Pregnancy hormones often cause swelling of gums and they can bleed intensively during brushing. During pregnancy it's also easier to develop inflammations or bacterial infections, which can sometimes be dangerous for the foetus. In order to prevent this, you should visit a dentist at least twice during pregnancy (in the first and third trimester) and have even the smallest cavities treated. Pregnancy is not a contraindication for dental care! Attention! In order to prevent irritating your swollen gums any more, change your toothbrush for one with soft bristles, and brush your teeth longer but more gently than before pregnancy. You can also use dental floss and fluoride mouthwash.

Intimate area

The same pregnancy hormones also cause a change in the pH level of your vagina which is now more prone to fungal and bacterial infections. These, in turn, can not only cause foetal infections but also miscarriage. Therefore, intimate hygiene is one of the most important things to take care of during pregnancy. You should switch to airy, cotton underwear and take refreshing showers instead of long, hot baths. As a matter of fact, such underwear is recommended for everyday use, not just for pregnancy. Attention! If you notice heavy vaginal discharge, or itching or burning in the vaginal area, you should consult a gynaecologist. Don't take any medicine without consulting him first, as only a doctor can make the decision about the proper treatment.

Menu for two

Proper diet will protect you not only from gaining weight, but also from the loss of vitamins and microelements. In addition, it will provide you with all the healthy nutrients that you need for the proper development of pregnancy.

How to design such a diet? It should be rich in vegetables and fruit, lean meat, wholewheat cereals and dairy products. During pregnancy you only need 300 calories more than normally, therefore there is no need to increase the portions or number of meals radically. Attention! Avoid food products that could harm the baby: unpasteurized mould cheese (they can cause listeriosis, which is dangerous for the foetus), raw meat, e.g. in tartar steak (it can cause toxoplasmosis) and uncooked eggs, e.g. in tiramisu or homemade ice-cream - they can be infected with salmonella. Avoid also coffee and strong tea, highly processed food and sweets - they only contain empty calories that can lead to obesity.

When should I see a doctor?

Although pregnancy ailments can make an expecting mum's life miserable, they usually pass without a trace after labour. However, you should always consult a doctor when:

- You notice spotting or bleeding from the vagina, in any phase of pregnancy;

- You feel strong pain or cramps in your lower belly, or your belly feels hard all the time;

- Your feet and hands are swollen, and the swelling doesn't pass even after rest;

- You feel heavy dizziness;

- You haven't felt your baby's movements for a longer period of time (after twenty weeks);

- You feel a heavy, blunt pain in your lower back;

- You can't stop vomiting;

- You suspect leaking of amniotic fluid.

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