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Pregnancy Made Easy

Pregnancy has been going on since the advent of humanity. If that were not the case none of us would be here. It pre dates the invention of doctors and hospitals. Today it is the one part of medicine where people are, by and large, not sick.

The involvement of modern medicine has been generally a good one. There are arguments about excessive intervention but nobody wants to return to the situation of say 100 years ago when there was a fair element of doubt about the ability of mothers and babies to survive pregnancy and labor.

That said, for the vast majority of women pregnancy is a normal part of life and, consistent with humans not having died out eons ago, compatible with doing normal things in the normal way.

The commonest question I get asked by newly pregnant women is what can I eat and do? With some exceptions (for example some soft cheeses, dubiously cooked seafood and processed meats) you can eat the sorts of foods you normally would. Listeria is something you hear a lot about but in reality is exceedingly rare and there are question marks about whether the strains found in foods are the ones linked to stillbirth.

Some women will experience nausea in pregnancy. For some it will be quite marked and for most, fairly mild. Again in a few instances it persists during pregnancy but for most is settled by the 12-week mark. Alcohol and pregnancy gets a lot of airplay. Many women get concerned that if they have had a drink before they knew they were pregnant it will be a problem. Relax-the odd drink here or there is not a problem and has never been shown to be so. Consistent drinking of 2 or more drinks every day is a problem but repeated surveys show this applies to less than 1% of women.

Exercise is good during pregnancy. Common sense applies here and mixed martial arts are not the best option. Most cardiovascular exercises like jogging, swimming or bike riding is fine as is gentle work with weights that does not create maximal strain in the abdomen. Sports like tennis and golf are fine although as weeks go by and you get bigger you will become more restricted in what you can comfortably do and feel like doing.

Most women can continue to work, if they want to, up to 34 weeks and some want to go to 38 weeks. I hear stories of women going straight from work to the labour room-not the best way to go in my opinion.

Be actively involved in your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about options fordelivery and pain relief. You do have choices and it is important to know the prosand cons of them.

All up pregnancy and childbirth are positive experiences for the vast majority of women. Having the right attitude, being actively engaged and seeing it as a normal part of life are the three guiding principles.