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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...

BREASTFEEDING: HOW TO AVOID A ‘PLUGGED DUCT’ by Gold Coast Private Maternity Manager, Judy Ross

While for many women breastfeeding is an enjoyable and even wondrous time, some mothers may experience bumps along the way.  One of the most common issues that can occur is a ‘plugged duct’.  A clogged duct can occur at any time during your breastfeeding journey, so it is important to recognise the factors that can lead to this issue and signs you should look out for.   What is a plugged duct? A plugged duct occurs when there is a blockage in the breast preventing milk flow.  It occurs gradually and usually in one breast.   Signs to look out for It is important that you recognise the symptoms of a plugged duct, as an unresolved lump may go on to cause mastitis.  Signs you could have a plugged duct include: You may notice a lump or wedge shaped area, which may be hot and painful to touch It may feel like the breast is bruised You may find the milk supply decreases from the affected breast   What causes a plugged duct? A number of factors can lead to a plugged duct, including: Engorgement Inadequate milk removal. This can be caused by an  incorrect latch, nipple pain, tongue tie, limiting time at the breast, skipped feeds or dummy use Pressure on the duct, particularly from wearing tight clothing, fingers pressing on the breast, or pressure from a nappy bag strap or straps of a baby carrier   What treatments are available? The treatment for a plugged duct generally involves fixing the underlying problem that is causing the issue, if possible.  This may include: Removing tight clothing Removing fingers...

HOW TO INTEGRATE YOUR BABY WITH YOUR PET by Gold Coast Private Physiotherapist Tina Parker

For many parents, our pet is our first baby, and bringing our new baby home is akin to bringing a sibling home.  Will your pet be jealous of all the attention?  Will you inadvertently neglect your pet with the arrival of the new baby?  Will they get along? The good news is that pets are great for children, and studies have shown that children with pets have less allergies and better immunity.  The integration of your new family member with your existing family is an important step in the future development of the bond between your pet and your baby. This integration should not be something that you attempt the day before the baby comes home.  It is a process that should start long before there is even a cot in the nursery.  You have to consider how your pet’s lifestyle is going to change.  Will your dog’s daily walk routine change?  Is the pet’s food bowl on the floor in a central area where a crawling toddler might later have access to it?  Are sleeping arrangements going to change?  Will your pet still be allowed to jump on the couch or your lap? Is the future nursery currently your pet’s favourite hiding spot?  Discuss with your partner how your pet’s life is going to change well in advance of these changes becoming necessary, so these can be implemented over a period of time.  It won’t serve your pet and your baby’s relationship well if your dog currently sleeps on your bed, is walked twice a day, eats in the dining room and has his own toy room, and...

NUTRIENTS OF IMPORTANCE DURING PREGNANCY by Gold Coast Private Dietitian, Fiona Brown

FOLATE Folate (or folic acid) is needed for the growth and development of your baby, even before you know you are pregnant.  It is especially important you take a vitamin supplement containing 500mg folic acid for at least one month before you fall pregnant and for the first trimester (three months) of pregnancy.  Studies show that a good intake of folate can help to significantly reduce the risks of neural tube defects (such as spina bifida) in babies, as well as help prevent preterm birth.  Dietary sources high in folate include green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, bokchoy and salad greens.  Also be on the lookout for breads and cereals with added folate and include these as part of a healthy diet. IRON Large amounts of iron are essential to form red blood cells for you and your baby.  It helps to carry oxygen in your blood and is needed for your baby to grow.  During pregnancy you need a lot more iron than when you are not pregnant, and it is best to get the iron you need from your diet.  Iron from animal food sources is absorbed more easily than iron from plant foods.  The best sources of iron are lean meats (especially red meat), some vegetables (especially leafy greens), legumes and cereals with added iron.  If you are vegetarian or vegan then talk to your dietitian to make sure you are getting enough iron from your diet.  Eating foods rich in vitamin C at the same time as iron rich foods will help to increase the absorption of the mineral by your body.  For many...

MANAGING MENTAL WELLBEING OF FATHERS AND PARTNERS DURING PREGNANCY by Gold Coast Private Social Worker Tracie Rozendaal

Most people know that depression and anxiety can affect new mothers but it is important to remember that fathers are also at risk. Beyond Blue reports that five per cent of fathers develop depression in the year after the baby’s birth, and anxiety is just as common. Unlike mothers, fathers or partners do not experience the physical changes of pregnancy and giving birth, so they may not begin to adjust to parenthood until the baby is actually born. The reality of becoming a new parent can be extremely overwhelming and may bring with it some unexpected challenges. It’s one thing to mentally prepare yourself for a restless baby but once the baby arrives, reality kicks in, likely in tandem with sleep deprivation and constant worry. Screaming tantrums and sleepless nights can wear out the whole family and can seriously test Mum and Dad’s patience. While learning to care for a new baby, a father has the added responsibility of dealing with the mother’s emotional wellbeing and supporting her during one of the most important, emotional and physically taxing milestones of her life. If the mother is experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression or other mental health issues, this will likely contribute to the father’s stress. It’s natural to feel some pressure but some fathers or partners can experience difficulty in adjusting to their new role and the new family dynamics generally which can lead to frustration and confusion surrounding his place in the family. Feeling the need to fill the role as the protector and provider, while also experiencing a range of unfamiliar paternal emotions, can be daunting and can...

HEALTHY EATING DURING PREGNANCY by Gold Coast Private Dietitian, Fiona Brown

Healthy eating during all stages of life is important, especially during pregnancy. The choices you make regarding what to eat and drink at this time can affect your health and the health of your baby. Whilst you are “eating for two”, there is only a small increase in the amount of food you need to eat while you are pregnant. It is more important to focus on making good food choices for a healthy nutritious diet that provides you and your baby with the essential nutrients required to promote healthy growth and a healthy pregnancy. Your daily food requirements during pregnancy are outlined in the table below: Food Group Number of serves per day 1 serve equals… Vegetables, legumes and beans 5 ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (e.g. broccoli, carrot, pumpkin or spinach)½ cup cooked, dried or canned beans, chickpeas or lentils (no added salt) 1 cup raw leafy green vegetables ½ medium potato, or other starchy vegetable (sweet potato, taro, or cassava) ½ cup sweet corn 75g other vegetables e.g. one small-medium tomato Fruit 2 1 piece medium sized fruit (e.g. apple, banana, orange, pear)2 pieces smaller fruit (e.g. apricot, kiwi fruit, plums) 1 cup diced, cooked or canned fruit ½ cup 100% juice 30g dried fruit (e.g. 1½ tbsp sultanas, 4 dried apricot halves) Grains (mostly wholegrain) 8½ 1 slice of bread½ medium bread roll or flat bread ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, quinoa, barley, porridge, buckwheat, semolina, cornmeal ⅔ cup breakfast cereal flakes ¼ cup muesli 3 crisp breads 1 crumpet or 1 small English muffin or scone Lean meat and poultry,...

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