Some of your most common pregnancy questions answered!
Mums-to-be often ask questions about what they can or cannot do during their pregnancies. They carefully make plans for their babies, to ensure that their lifestyles are healthy and leading to the best outcome for their pregnancies.
Flying is not harmful to mums or their babies in most pregnancies, however most airlines do not allow pregnant women to fly after 37 weeks. This is because a woman at that stage of pregnancy may go into labour during the flight. Some airlines even impose restrictions on earlier stages in pregnancies based on this reason.
Air travel during pregnancy, especially on long haul flights, does increase the chance of a blood clot in the legs or pelvis, also called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). You should take measures to reduce the risk of a DVT by drinking plenty of water, choosing an aisle seat if possible, as well as standing up and doing light exercises during the flight by moving your legs. Please also check that you have adequate travel insurance during your travel.
How much alcohol can I drink during pregnancy?
In short: no safe amount, no safe time, no safe type. No amount of alcohol is proven to be safe in pregnancy. Scientific research has clearly shown that alcohol causes problems in pregnancy, affecting the mum and baby.
If you are not ready to announce that you are pregnant, you can always use other excuses e.g. “I am having an alcohol-free-period to reset my body”. For women trying for a baby, alcohol is also known to affect fertility and may reduce the chance of natural conception.
How many baby movements do I need to feel?
Most women first become aware of their babies’ movements at about 18-20 weeks or even slightly later, especially in their first pregnancy. The number of movements tends to increase until 32 weeks of pregnancy. After that time the number stays mostly the same, but the type of movement may change as the pregnancy advances.
As we know, babies get bigger and have less space to have big kicks, or punch, so they may have to shuffle around but they still need to move every so often, quite frequently in fact.
If you are unsure about your baby’s movement, try lying down on your left side and focus on the movements. As a very rough, generally guide, usually there should be about 10 movements over a 2-hour period.
How much exercise should I do in pregnancy?
Exercise is recommended for most pregnancies, apart from some conditions in pregnancies, for example if there is a risk of preterm-labour or a low-lying placenta. Certain activities are to be avoided e.g. you should avoid lying on the back in late pregnancies, contact sports, or other higher risk activities like mountain climbing, scuba or sky diving. I don’t think a rollercoaster is a good idea as well! Other intensive or competitive fast-paced training is also not
What activities are beneficial? Generally they include brisk walking, modified Yoga or Pilates, light jogging is ok early in pregnancy. Stationary cycling is better; in late pregnancy you may be more prone to fall due to the size and weight of the belly, and also a reduced range of movement. It is recommended that pregnant women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity in total every week. I would advise pregnant women to drink plenty of water and avoid overheating during these sessions.