Folic Acid Supplements in First Trimester

When you first find out that you are pregnant or are trying to conceive you will find that the wold of baby making and babies can be quite an overwhelming place. Thrown at you will be information and words you’ve never heard of before, advice from all angles, information to process and the only thing you are probably wondering to yourself is where to really begin? So one of the most important things that I talk about throughout my pregnancy series is Folic Acid.

All over the world pregnancy care differs, this may be due to culture, climate, religious, health differences, but after researching thoroughly I have found that one thing that remains the same is that the supplement folic acid is prescribed to every women from any corner of the world, regardless of background differences.

So what is Folic Acid? Folic acid is one of the B vitamins, it is used as a supplement during pregnancy to prevent NTD (neural tube defects) it is also used to treat amnesia caused by folic acid defects. Folate is essential for the body to make DNA, RNA and used in the process of metabolization of amino acids, as humans our bodies cannot make folate and therefore it is required from the diet. So as you can see folic acid plays an essential role in our bodily functions but even more of an essential role during pregnancy, therefore if you are trying to conceive or are pregnant and are aware of the pregnancy, then folic acid is a must and here are more reasons why…

  • Women who take folic acid supplements when trying to conceive have a higher change of falling pregnant quicker.
  • Taking folic acid before conception reduces the risk of neural tube defects by up to 70%
  • Prevents the risk of birth defects on baby’s brain and spinal cord
  • Plays an important role in the production of red blood cells
  • Helps the neural tube of baby develop into the brain and spinal cord.
  • As well as taking a supplement of folic acid a day, it can also be found in food.
  • Can be found in leafy greens and citrus fruits (yummy)

 

So as you can see Folic acid is a true superhero to pregnancy and if you are trying to make babies, or you are already in first trimester, do not forget to take your folic acid!

Next Blog Post: Week 6 

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Exercise during Pregnancy

It is a common misconception that during the 9 months of pregnancy, exercise is not allowed, or that it even can be dangerous to a pregnancy. As long as your pregnancy is a healthy pregnancy (and if you are concerned about a work-out affecting your pregnancy then please seek medical advice) then exercise is most probably one of the most beneficial things you can do throughout your pregnancy – even if you have never exercised before! Pregnancy is a great time to begin and heres why…

 

1. Fights Fatigue

Fatigue, one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy (I mean you are making another human here, if that’s not tiring, then I don’t know what is!). Starting as early as 4 weeks and for some lasting right up until week 40 the chronic, intense tiredness can be a true downer on a daily basis. Already well known to be a fighter of fatigue, new research shows that the cure may be as simple as doing a small amount of exercise every day (even if it is the last thing you feel like doing). Even better, new research shows the best type of exercise to combat fatigue is low – intensity exercise. So if pregnancy fatigue has hit you hard and you really don’t feel like a torturing workout at the gym, it actually can be as simple as lacing up your trainers and going for a walk round the block! 

2. Prepares you both mentally and physically for birth

Having strong muscles can greatly ease labour and delivery, why? The strength helps them to push the baby out more effectively. Being able to manage your breathing, having a healthy heart etc. all plays a massive role in pain endurance during labour and in the case of a long labour (hopefully not the case) exercise massively aids by teaching the body pain endurance. In other words, a stronger, fitter, pregnancy equals to a stronger, fitter woman during labour.

3. Bowel Movements

A really unspoken, yet ever so common (and ever so uncomfortable) symptom of pregnancy is constipation. Exercise increases movement in the intestines, therefore increasing bowel movements. 

4. Relieves the aches and pains

A pregnant woman’s body is growing another human, and alongside that other human, with all the other extra baggage, like the placenta, amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, totals to a minimum of an extra 10kg of weight that her body has to carry around with her. In turn, this extra strain can cause all types of aches and pains, especially the back. Exercise increases the strength and posture of the back,  butt and thighs by toning them up, making carrying that little baby love around just that much easier!

5. Activating that lubricating fluid

Due to hormonal changes the joints throughout the body become much looser which in turn may cause joint ‘wear and tear’. Exercising helps activate the lubricating fluid in the joints, keeping them in tip top shape!

6. Promotes a healthy weight gain

Exercising during pregnancy ensures that less fat weight is gained. With less excess fat gained during the period of pregnancy it means that post birth you can be on your way to getting that pre-pregnancy body back much quicker than if you hadn’t exercised at all!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

Okay, before I start this post you’re probably already aware that the title states ‘breakfast bowl’, however, my picture of this recipe is on a plate – that is purely for texture purposes so you can see how the dish looks like, but in a more normal situation, I just advise you to eat it from the same bowl you mixed it in!

An awesome recipe to start your day with as a sweet breakfast or even as a quick, sweet snack throughout the day. Not only does it taste like dessert but it’s at the cost of nothing as only made with pure goodness! Try it out and let me know what you think! 

 

I N G R E D I E N T S 

Sweet potato (roughly 300-400g but depends on how hungry you are)

1.5tsp shredded coconut

2tsp all natural peanut butter

pinch of the following;

  • ginger powder
  • nutmeg powder
  • cinammon powder
  • cardamom powder

2tsp of honey (varies depending on how sweet you want it)

 

R E C I P E 

  1. Steam or microwave the sweet potato, wait for it to cool down and then scrape out of the skin into a bowl
  2. Mash the potato with a fork until it has a smooth consistency
  3. Add all remaining ingredients
  4. Mix well with a fork, make sure it’s all mixed and mashed in
  5. Sprinkle with some shredded coconut for decoration
  6. ENJOY!

 

 

10 Things No One warns you about in First Trimester

1. Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is all day sickness, morning sickness actually means all day and all night sickness. Whoever came up with the term ‘morning sickness’ obviously lied. The thing with this ‘morning sickness’ that we hear about before pregnancy is that it actually hits at any time of day, sometimes all day, every day, accompanied by dry heaving, gagging, actually throwing up. Sometimes this ‘morning sickness’ is so bad that the only time you get a break from it is when you’re sleeping, oh but wait, point number…

2. Insomnia

From the moment you find out that you’re pregnant you may spend many of your nights awake, at the beginning you’ll just assume that it’s because you’re so excited at the wonderful news, but as the days go on, you begin to notice that you are never sleeping, you don’t care about the reasons why and frankly you just want some damn sleep.

3. FDW Syndrome

You expected this to hit you only later on in the pregnancy but actually it seems to have hit you now and you’ve only just found out that you are pregnant, what?! If you’re wondering what FDW Syndrome stands for – Fat Deflated Whale Syndrome. You used to be the most active non-lazy person, but now everything has changed. Whilst you may not have gained any weight, for some reason you still feel fat, lazy and whale like. You have absolutely no will to do anything in life except for chill on the couch, consume carbs to get rid of the nausea, and pray your way into second trimester. (I know none of us actually do that, but a girl can dream right?)

4. Pregnancy Bloat

Technically speaking we don’t actually start looking pregnant until the end of the first trimester due to the fact that our uterus only rises out of the pelvic cavity around week 11.  Lies. You actually have started looking 5 months pregnant even though you’re only 7 weeks gone. Thanks to pregnancy hormonal changes you have a bloat, a bloat that is so round and bump like you’re considering switching to maternity clothes already.

5. Tightness

You have an increased sense of everything. Everything feels so tight (doesn’t make sense, because you actually haven’t gained any weight, but hey, it’s pregnancy, nothing makes sense). Clothes feel like they get tighter the more you move, you either live in your partner’s clothes, or you wish you could walk around naked – but for fear of being arrested you don’t do that. NB. underwear is totally an unneccesary feature in your life, why have you been wearing it until now?

6. Fatigue

Growing this poppy seed (size at 4 weeks pregnancy)  into a lime (size at 12 weeks pregnancy) is a tiring task. Whilst you may not have announced your joyful news yet, you are yawning your way through work meetings, and conversations with friends and family, making yourself seem like a heartless, uninterested, tired A-hole.

7. Hating your dog

All of a sudden your dog will have this smell which you could swear he/she never had before. You’ll consider giving him up for adoption purely because you can’t stand the smell. (Okay, a little exaggerated but really, did our dogs always smell this way?)

8. Hiring a personal slave

You find that due to your lack of ability to do anything, you hire a personal slave and you don’t pay them. Sometimes you will refer to this slave as ‘husband, boyfriend, partner.’ but for the majority part of the time he is your slave and your wish will be his command otherwise you are getting a divorce.

9. You are a cry-baby

You are definitely not the type of woman to cry in front of others, or cry at bambi (bambi isn’t even that cute, c’mon). Now all of a sudden you’re bawling your eyes out at anything you deem ‘cute’. Like puppies, or babies, or you know, the fact that your husband looked cute whilst driving you to the supermarkets and you realise at precisely that moment that you’re just so in love with him and for some reason now you’re crying about it like a baby – making him in turn wonder what he did wrong this time.

10. No symptoms at all

You meet some fellow pregnant women who don’t seem to suffer any of the symptoms you are having, or in fact any symptoms at all. So you then come to this conclusion

  • they are aliens, or something else but definitely not human and you definitely cannot relate to them
  • these symptoms simply must hit them at some point in the upcoming weeks, if not, there is something wrong with them (in reality some women really just have a wonderful first trimester and yes we hate them)
  • you must cease all conversation with them because they for sure cannot understand you and they do not belong in the ‘first trimester club’ if they’re so happy then please, they should just skip onto second trimester. (Yes, we are jealous of you, and no we have nothing to speak about until we reach second trimester.)