23 Mar 2021

Our Top Pregnancy Advice & Tips

Bringing new life into the world is a gift bestowed to all mothers, but it also brings many physical, mental, and emotional challenges. As mothers, we have a responsibility to nurture the health and wellbeing of our babies from day one, while also keeping ourselves healthy throughout pregnancy. There is so much to learn and consider it can become overwhelming. Hopefully the simple information and advice below can aid you in your journey to motherhood.

Lifestyle choices and tips for a healthy pregnancy

Always follow the advice of your GP or obstetrician - it is a different journey for everyone.

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet based rich in nutrients like calcium, folic acid, and iron. You will only need an extra 300 to 500 calories a day during pregnancy. It is important to avoid alcohol and limit caffeine intake to 300mg per day (approx. 2 cups of coffee or 3 cups of tea). Perhaps try decaffeinated products. Stay hydrated and try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day or sip on water throughout the day.

  • You can start taking your prenatal vitamins as soon as you become pregnant. Call to one of our stores and we will choose the right product for you and see some of our product recommendations below.

  • Aim to get 7 to 8 hours sleep per night. If you are having difficulty sleeping, try some relaxation techniques like pregnancy yoga or meditation. This can help alleviate mental and emotional stress.

  • Keep active for as long as you can during pregnancy with medical approval – short walks, swimming and pregnancy Pilates are great for the mind and body and can help prepare you for labour.

  • If you are a smoker, try refrain or speak to your GP about ways to help you quit during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy can result in lower birth weights and health complications for your baby.

  • Make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations to support your immune system. It is recommended that expectant mothers get vaccinated for Flu vaccine (during flu season), Whooping cough vaccine (from 16 to 36 weeks pregnant) and certain covid vaccines where necessary and approved by your doctor. MMR vaccines may be necessary if you have not been vaccinated in the past. You can speak to your doctor about a vaccination plan.

  • Leg cramps are often common in pregnancy. Ensure you wear suitable footwear and try elevating your feet with a pillow when resting to improve circulation and to reduce swelling in the ankle area. Stretching before bedtime can also help and avoid standing for extended periods of time.

  • It can be helpful to attend an antenatal class to know what to expect and answer any questions that you may have. You can create a birth plan and explore your options.

  • Our pharmacy team is always on hand to help with any queries you may have. Were here to help. See some of our favourite products below.

Folic Acid Supplementation

In the first trimester of pregnancy, all women are advised to take folic acid up to 13 weeks (about 3 months) of gestation. Folic acid is essential in preventing neural tube defects like spina bifida. It is easy to take and is usually side effect free. The recommended dose during this time is 400mcg daily. If your obstetrician or GP indicates that you need a higher dose of folic acid, they will provide you with a prescription to reflect this. We recommend Active folic or Clonfolic brands to be taken once daily.

Iron Supplementation

During pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters, women may need up to 30mg of extra iron supplementation alongside their diet.

Diet alone rarely supports the iron requirements during pregnancy. Eating iron-rich foods and taking extra iron as your doctor recommends can help keep your iron level in check. Iron helps move oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body - and to your baby’s body for growth and development. Most prenatal multi vitamins will contain enough iron for your needs once supplemented with a healthy diet.

We recommend taking Active Iron Pregnancy. Take one capsule daily (17mg of Iron Per Capsule)(121 %NRV- Nutritional reference value). It targets the active site of absorption in the small intestine which doubles the absorption compared to other products. It is gentle on the stomach and the formulation prevents nausea, constipation, cramping and flatulence which can sometimes be associated with iron supplements. It is suitable for vegetarians, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Preservative Free, Sugar Free. If you require extra iron your GP or obstetrician will advise you accordingly.

Multivitamin Prenatal Preparations

There are many combination products available for pregnancy.

We recommend the Proecive and Vitabiotics Pregnacare ranges. These products are tailored for your nutritional needs during pregnancy.

Proceive® Pregnancy

This range is designed to meet the nutritional needs of each specific trimester. Each product has a base of core nutrients including Folic acid, in the L-Methylfolate form, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Iron and Zinc. The product is then tailored with additional nutrients added to meet the needs of mother and baby during the specific trimester.

Proceive Pregnancy Trimester 1 (weeks 1-12) is formulated to support cell growth and bone development of the baby and regulates hormones, alleviates tiredness, and supports energy of the mother.

Proceive Pregnancy Trimester 2 (weeks 12-27) is formulated to support bone and heart development in the baby and offer immune and energy support and maintain skin condition for the mother.

Proceive Pregnancy Trimester 3(weeks 28 –40) is formulated to support final stages of growth in your baby and help the mother with fatigue, iron support, and mental performance in the final trimester.

Pregnacare Range

We recommend Pregnacare orignal and Pregnacare max.

Pregnacare original contains 19 important vitamins and minerals including B2,B6,B12, and iron. Pregnacare contains 400mcg folic acid and 10mcg vitamin D which is advised by the European Health board during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy improves maternal vitamin D status and may reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, low birthweight, and preterm birth.

Pregnacare Max offers the ultimate formula for mums-to-be who want the maximum nutritional support. It offers all the regular nutritional support with the added benefit of a 300mg Omega-3 DHA capsule for normal foetal brain & eye development. Research increasingly shows the importance of essential fatty acids in the development of babies and infants. Each capsule provides 300mg DHA to support the development of brains and eyes.

Don’t forget to treat yourself too

Expectant mothers also need some pampering. We have Bio-Oil to help prevent stretch marks, we have magnesium sprays to help with leg cramps and a wide range of skincare to help with the skin related changes in pregnancy.

Call to see our pharmacy teams for further information and advice and the very best of luck on your journey to motherhood.