Pregnancy is an exciting time for new mums, but it can be difficult to know what are the best ways to look after yourself and your baby during this time.
We sat down with Kate Williams, a midwife from the Royal Women’s Hospital in Sydney with over 10 years’ experience, to talk about the best things you can do in the lead up to birth.
Listen to your body.
Our bodies change during pregnancy, and so too does the amount of strain and pressure they can take. “During pregnancy, we try to keep up with full time work, social commitments, housework, and every other type of pressure that we women place on ourselves. But we so often forget that growing a baby is actually a big job” says Williams. “It’s okay to feel tired and to slow down, so make sure you listen to your body and get plenty of rest during this period.”
You need to listen to your body. Image: iStock.
Get a flu vaccination.
As pregnant women are a high risk medical group, the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your baby from the disease.
“The annual flu shot is highly recommended for pregnant women, as it is the best protection against the flu virus, which can be very dangerous for those in high risk health groups,” says Williams. “As a pregnant woman, your immunity is naturally much lower than usual, so if you catch a bad strain of the flu, it can lead to premature labour, and in some extreme cases, death. These risks are heightened if you have other underlying medical conditions.”
“Also, if a pregnant woman has the flu shot, it means that her immunity is passed onto her baby, and is the best way to protect bubs under the age of six months old from the disease.”
The flu shot is safe and free for pregnant women, and is easily organised through your GP.