HOW TO KEEP COOL WHEN YOU’RE ONE HOT MAMA (you know, in Summer).

Wondering why you’re feeling the heat more than usual? When you’re pregnant your body temperature generally sits a little higher than average, so when the mercury rises outside it can prove extremely unpleasant. In some cases, excessive heat can cause health concerns (dehydration, respiratory illness, chest pains etc). In an effort to keep you ‘hot’ mamas from heating up even more, we have compiled some pretty ‘cool’ tips for you: 1) We know this one is probably obvious, but DRINK more water than usual. Sometimes when we’re carrying extra weight on top of our bladder and are already having to go to the bathroom every hour – we often slow down on our fluid intake in an effort to minimise the number of times ‘we have to go’. But if you’re in the midst of summer and dealing with extreme heat, it’s important to ensure that you’re consuming an adequate amount of water. The general rule of thumb is to aim for 2 litres a day. Struggle with water? Try jazzing up your drink bottle with fresh fruit, lemon, mint or by freezing some of your favourite herbal teas into ice-cubes (add three cubes to your drink!). A refreshing daily smoothie is also a great option (we’ve included our Executive Chef’s favourite recipe below). 2) Try and stay INDOORS during the hottest parts of the day as much as you can. Particularly in air-conditioned spaces (extra  shopping dates can totally be justified to beat the heat, right? Well, that’s one excuse for your partner!). The more you can dodge the humidity and direct sunlight during peak heat times, the...

HEALTHY WEIGHT GAIN IN PREGNANCY by Dr Donald Angstetra, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

It is important to keep track of your weight during pregnancy for your and your baby’s health. You should balance your nutritional needs with healthy weight gain and eating to appetite. Women who do not gain enough weight may increase risk of preterm birth or small baby. Women who are overweight or gain too much weight have a higher risk of: High blood pressure or Pre-eclampsia Gestational diabetes Large baby Caesarean sections Birth defect Difficulty losing weight after birth Recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy How much weight should I gain? The weight you should aim to gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI). How do I work out my BMI (Body Mass Index)? Pre-pregnancy weight in kg; Height in metre; BMI = weight/ (height x height) kg/m² How much should I gain in my first trimester, second and third trimesters? As well as having an overall weight gain goal for your pregnancy, there is a trimester-by-trimester guideline to follow: All women can expect to gain 1-2 kg in the first trimester. In the second and third trimester, this depends on your pre-pregnancy BMI. If your pre-pregnancy BMI was Less than 18.5 kg/m² = ½ kg/week weight gain; 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m² = 400g/week and Above 25kg/m² = Less than 300g/ week Where does all the weight go? Not all the weight you gain during pregnancy is the baby’s weight; most of it is used by your body to nourish and support a healthy baby. Sometimes women who have morning sickness early in pregnancy find it difficult to gain enough weight. If this happens to...

IRON FOR PREGNANT WOMEN by Dr Donald Angstetra, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Studies show that 50 per cent of pregnant women do not have enough iron in their body. The iron demands during pregnancy and breast feeding are particularly evident due to the expanded red blood cell volume, demands of the developing baby and placenta and blood loss around the time of delivery. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron for women aged 19 to 50 years is 18mg per day.  For pregnant women, this RDI increases to 27mg per day; whilst for breastfeeding women, the RDI decreases to 9mg. This is thought to be due to the fact that the lactating mother cannot increase the iron levels in her milk by eating iron rich foods or taking supplements. Also menstruation does not normally resume until after 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. What is the role of iron in the body? Iron is found in haemoglobin, a substance in the red blood cells that carries oxygen in the body. Your body makes more blood when you are pregnant due to the demand from baby. It needs iron to make healthy blood. A blood test that looks at haemoglobin (Hb) level is usually offered at the first antenatal visit and again at 26-28 weeks’ gestation. Having low iron levels may result in anaemia. Any anaemia should be investigated and treated. Low iron will make you feel tired, have poor concentration and an increased risk of infection. Very low iron levels may cause low birth weight of the baby. Iron in food There are two forms of dietary iron: Iron from animal foods (called haem iron) and iron from plant foods (called non-haem...

SAVING TIPS from Gold Coast Private Physiotherapist, Tina Parker

Preparing for the arrival of new baby is an exciting time.  Your first visit to the baby store can be quite daunting; there are so many pieces of equipment that you have not seen before, had never thought of, hadn’t considered, and some you don’t even understand!  Don’t let the salesperson sweep you off your feet and guilt you into buying things they tell you that you “mustn’t do without” and that “your baby deserves”.  What your baby deserves is a loving home, plenty of cuddles, and to feel loved, nurtured and wanted.  Plus a place to sleep, and a few other important bits and pieces. So how do you negotiate the minefield of baby world without coming home with lots of expensive and unnecessary items whilst still providing the essentials for your baby and your own changing body?  Here are a few tips to help you with your preparation, but remember – what is best for you and your baby is exactly that: what is best for YOU and YOUR baby, so what works for one family, might not work for another.  These ideas might help you make some of your shopping decisions, but ultimately you are the one in control, and no sales person (or parent, or in-law, or well-meaning friend, or stranger in the shop or on the street) should be the reason for you making, or not making, any particular purchase. Maternity clothing can be expensive. Depending on the climate, your own personal clothing preferences, and your own body shape, you may be able to avoid buying too much in specific maternity wear.  In warmer...

SELF-CARE THE KEY TO A HAPPY, HEALTHY MUM by Gold Coast Private Social Worker Tracie Roozendaal

Self-care is important for all of us, however during pregnancy it becomes even more necessary to dedicate time to take care of yourself. Tending to your personal needs during pregnancy will help to boost your physical and emotional wellbeing, which is an extremely important part of antenatal care as it prepares you to care for yourself and your new baby both mentally and physically. You can practice self-care in many ways. Some expectant mothers like to allocate some ‘quiet time’ during the day allowing them to reflect and acknowledge their inner needs.  There are so many emotions that accompany the pregnancy journey and taking some time out will assist you to get in touch with your own feelings about your pregnancy and explore any worries or concerns you may be having. It is completely natural to feel a little overwhelmed with all the changes going on with your body, your emotions, the financial costs of having a baby and new looming responsibilities. Allow yourself the time to acknowledge these feelings and work through them. This ‘quiet time’ for you may consist of a walk on the beach, soaking up the fresh air and peaceful surrounds, or curling up on your couch reading a book, or writing in a journal. A journal is also a really nice way to document your pregnancy. Gentle exercise is also really healthy for both your body and your mind. Keeping your body moving will help you to maintain a healthy weight during your pregnancy and lead to an improved mood, reduce insomnia, an easier labour and a quicker recovery. Many pregnant women have concerns...