The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Group Q&A Session Summary – Ali Pickles, Midwife

ali pickles q & aIn The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Support Group we hold Q&A sessions each week or two with experts to talk about relevant topics to do with healthy pregnancy.

On February 23, 2015, Ali Pickles, Registered Midwife held a Q&A session and below is the summary of questions and answers:

Q: I have lost a kilo since becoming pregnant. I am eating well and am never letting myself get hungry. My waist is certainly spreading as my pants are now uncomfortable. Should I be at all worried?

A: Weight loss in the first trimester isn’t too much to be concerned about. If you are eating a healthy diet and have a healthy exercise regimen then continue what you are doing. Be warned though you may have a huge weight gain related to a growth spurt soon, then you’ll be worried you’ve put on too much too quick but that is normal too!!

Q: Is there an average weight gain when pregnant or is everyone really different?

A: Yes it is completely different for everyone. Some will put on lots at the beginning as they are completely well and others who are suffering from morning (all day) sickness may lose weight. On average it tends to even out by the end because people tend to put on roughly 12-14 kg in pregnancy.

Q: What can be done about varicose veins….mainly in the lady region? They don’t get sore but when I’m exercising I really notice the “weight” or pressure of them. I’m nearly 30 weeks and they are just getting worse.

A: Sorry to say, the vulval varicose veins can get worse before they get better. Rest of an evening can help and foods that assist circulation. Other things to try are cold compresses for no longer than 15-20 min. Compression garments if you can find them. Elevate your hips when you lie down. Gentle exercise is also good because it assists circulation?.

Q: How would I go about a healthy diabetes friendly eating plan when I’m 28 weeks and still suffering morning sickness and it’s hit and miss what stays down?

A: The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Eating Plan is diabetes friendly. All the meals have been tried and tested. I personally know someone who followed the regular plan whilst pregnant and it kept her gestational diabetes at bay and she didn’t need insulin?.

Have you tried ginger and other natural things to combat nausea? Eating small snacks regularly rather than three large meals can help with morning sickness too.

Q: Best way to help insomnia?

A: If you can, try and get a rest during the day. If you have young people at home try and just sit on the couch with your feet up for 10 minutes. Maintain a healthy diet and gentle exercise. Develop some relaxation techniques. Have an iPod with some soothing style music you can pop in your ears at night

Q: Just wondering if you know if The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothies would help constipation at all? I am 14 weeks and have had awful constipation since taking Zofran.

A: The new Pregnancy Smoothie is jam packed with fibre so will do wonders for your constipation. Have a read of the info here.

Constipation is very normal in pregnancy. Keep up your fluids and it is safe to add extra fibre to your smoothies just add it slowly not heaps at a time.

The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie is a great source of fibre – over 4g in each serve and the iron in the Smoothie is low constipation iron too.

Q: Is there anything you can do to prevent gestational diabetes or is it just one of those things you either get or don’t?

A: Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a tricky one as research is mixed. As as our society is becoming a larger one with obesity, GDM is becoming more common.

Q: I was doing an hour every night on the treadmill before I got pregnant. Then I got a night job where I am on my feet for 5-8hrs a night. I now do about 13 flights of stairs a night plus lots of walking. Is this ok?

A: That exercise regimen is completely safe because you sound relatively fit anyway. Listen to your body and if you have any strains slow down. Keep up your fluids.

Q: Would the Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Eating Plan also help with the morning sickness?

A: The plan should help with morning sickness because it is packed full of nutrients that boost the nutrients you require during pregnancy. It is a meal plan you can control.

Check out the Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Eating & Exercise Guide and info found on the website as there are great meal ideas and eating plans there, especially designed for pregnant women.

Q: Can you please tell me if tinned tuna is ok in pregnancy. I’ve read that tuna is high in Mercury and that I should avoid it.

A: Tinned tuna is ok in moderation. Not everyday, so restrict to a couple of times a week?.

Q: From a midwife’s perspective why would you recommend the new Healthy Mummy Eating & Exercise Plan and the Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie – tell the mums here what you like about them particularly

A: As a midwife I feel it is important for pregnant mums to have a diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, protein and dairy. The smoothie is an easy, convenient way for mums to intake the essential vitamins required to assist pregnancy.

The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie contains Folate, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Vitamin D, Iodine, Vitamin C, Protein, Probiotics, Fibre and many more nutrients important in pregnancy. These are all vitamins and minerals that pregnant women require but struggle to consume.

The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie is not a meal replacement but an ideal snack to compliment pregnancy supplements. Having easy accessible snacks on hand when you are pregnant can assist acid build up or reflux a common complaint in pregnancy. It assists by helping your digestive system to process smaller meals rather than larger meals, which are harder to digest.

I personally love the idea of the plan because the hard work is done for you!! Following the plan reassures you mummies/mummies to be that you are providing your baby with everything it needs for a healthy pregnancy. Stop worrying about weight gain and enjoy your journey.

A few people have asked about cravings on the site and the plan has great tips on cravings, foods to avoid during pregnancy, exercises and actual food ideas.

Q: I’m interested to know about things that assist in insomnia. Can diet change your sleep?

A: Insomnia is also quite normal in pregnancy. There is a midwives’ theory that it is the bodies way of preparing you for sleepless nights with a baby!!

Q: Is it safe to use the regular Healthy Mummy Smoothies until we finish the tub?

A: The regular smoothies do not have any caffeine, chemicals or artificial sweeteners in and are safe as a one a day snack in pregnancy or nutrition boost. However, we do not recommend following any weight loss plan in pregnancy unless under your Doctor’s supervision.

Please note that one smoothie contains 180mcg RE vitamin A. The RDI of Vitamin A for pregnancy and breastfeeding is 700-800mcg daily, while the upper level of intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women is 2800-3000mcg.

But the NEW PREGNANCY smoothie is actually created for pregnancy with all the added nutrients a woman and baby in pregnancy need, so much better for you.

Q: I have a question regarding gestational diabetes, I don’t have it myself but my cousin who is 12 weeks pregnant does and she had been following the diet her dietician set but after a couple of days of stable sugar levels her levels shot up high. What might cause this and is it of concern? She was on the phone to me a few days ago rather concerned and I’m just not that knowledgable on the topic yet.

I’ve told her about the pregnancy plan here, but she’s currently following the guide the dietician that she has seen has set for her

A: That’s the best option. Best not to argue with the professionals following your/her pregnancy.

Q: My weight gain in my pregnancy is OK, I have lost 8kg and not put any weight on yet and I am 28 weeks. My question is when I do all my house work I am in so much pain in my hip. I can’t get off the lounge or sit and I am starting to wake up with sore hips. My weight right now is 88kg.

A: You could have sciatica or pelvic hip pain related to pregnancy. I personally suffered from it with all my pregnancies and it can become quite debilitating. Firstly sleep with a pillow between your legs. I personally found seeing a physio fantastic and got a lot of relief from pregnancy compression shorts.

Q: With my first pregnancy (twins) I suffered from swollen feet & ankles which became uncomfortable especially towards the end. Is there anything I can do to avoid that this time around?

A: Unfortunately it is unavoidable however if you ?maintain a healthy pregnancy and increase fluid intake and eat a well balanced diet including lean proteins, beans and pulses. Decrease sugars ad salts in the diet and drink plenty of water. Watercress, celery, apples citrus and parsley are natural diuretics (assist you to pass waste water out of your cells/body).

Follow the Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Eating Plan and you’ll have all those healthy foods included and you won’t even have to think about it – it’s all done for you. More time to put your feet up and rest them.

Q: Will the Pregnancy Smoothies help with hemorrhoids? I suffer terribly when pregnant. Sorry for the TMI question!

A: Don’t be sorry, haemorrhoids are also a common pregnancy problem. Yes the Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Meal Plan will help because being constipated can aggrevate haemorrhoids . The plan and the Pregnancy Smoothies are rich in fibre so yes they will help?.

Here’s part of a blog I wrote on haemorrhoids: during normal actions of using your bowels the sacs are compressed as the bowel empties. When this all becomes abnormal is when there is damage to these sacs causing a small prolapse and thrombosis of the blood vessels. These are the haemorrhoidal blood vessels hence being called haemorrhoids.

During pregnancy your pelvic floor muscles are altered as the weight of the growing uterus pushes down on them. This allows the vessels to become more exposed and allowing more risk for damage.

Symptoms for haemorrhoids can include a burning sensation, intermittent itching, bleeding, leakage of mucous, increased flatus, discomfort and pain.

The severity of the symptoms will determine how they are managed. Starting by having a diet rich in fibre and increasing fluid intake is the start. Taking a fibre supplement or a stool softener is the next option. Medication treatments can include topical creams such as Proctosedal, suppositories, anti-inflammatories and steroids can help.

More often than not haemorrhoids resolve after pregnancy but can be worsened by childbirth in the short-term.

Q: Diarrhoea and weight loss/gain?…. I’m 18 weeks and I have recurrent episodes of diarrhoea and subsequently am not gaining weight, at my last appointment I was a kilo lighter.

I guess it’s probably the same as generally feeling ill in pregnancy and previously asked questions. But my obstetrician said I may have developed an intolerance to something I’m eating. My diet is relatively balanced mostly veg and fruit etc and I avoid a lot of dairy due to not tolerating that too well generally.

Could the diarrhoea just be hormone related or should I be more concerned about what I’m eating?

A: Diarrhoea can be hormone related but is usually diet related. If you pass blood in your poo best get checked out by a doctor (if it’s not related to haemorrhoids). Diarrhoea is more common at the later end of pregnancy and can be an early sign of labour. At the 18 week stage I’d recommend keeping up your fluids and maybe go back to a blander diet for 10 days to see if it makes a difference?.

Q: I get migraines when taking pregnancy tablets so I have been told by my doctor not to take them. Do you think the Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie will do the same??

A: It depends what sets your migraines off. For me it’s citrus acid so i know to avoid foods with that in it. In the Smoothies there are smaller doses of the vitamins and it’s designed to compliment the pregnancy tablets so it’s worth a try.

It could also be what the tablets are made from. Have you tried different ones?? You might need to get your levels checked as you may already be high in a certain vitamin that might be causing your migraines.

Q: I have already had one baby and am 24 weeks with my second. I seem to be always busting to go to the bathroom what is the best way to deal with this? Is there any exercise I can do to help?

A: Work on your Pelvic floor exercises! And try drinking cranberry juice to see if it helps.

Healthy Pregnancy

Disclaimer: Always speak to your doctor before changing your diet,taking any supplements or undertaking any exercise program in pregnancy. The information on this site is for reference only and is not medical advice and should not be treated as such, and is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional medical advice..

Our plans promote a health weight gain in pregnancy to benefit the mother & baby and you can read more on this here 

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