Tuesday, 6 September 2011 | By: The One Woman



I pushed the peddle on the bin, watched the lid flip up and the box of Marlborough Lights 
fall in. I had been a 20-30 a day smoker since the age of 15 
and never saw myself quitting, In this case I just had to. I then went all out and emptied my coffee jars, liqueur bottles and medications into the bulging bin. It was like a clear out of all the crap I knowingly put into my body. Its a daunting thing just throwing away all of these things at once and I really wasn't prepared for the cravings, crippling headaches, insomnia and mood swings that I went through in the following weeks. It's shocking to think that these things played such an important part in how I functioned, yet I knew they were really bad for me and I knew before reading anything or seeing any doctors that they would harm my unborn baby.

By this point I have been to my local GP and registered as pregnant. The doctor didn't give me a pregnancy test or any information regarding nutrition. I was given a number scribbled on a piece of paper to book the midwife, a box of folic acid and then went on dumbfounded from there. My appointment with the midwife isn't for another week or 2, so in the meantime I'm researching a bit about nutrition in the first trimester on my own.

The Supplement 
Firstly I knew that I had to invest in some decent supplements ASAP, as I knew that I had a poor diet. I searched on amazon, google and Yahoo for product reviews and also spoke to a few pharmacists in several different chemists. The product that came up trumps, with the most stars was Pregnacare plus (Product Info) Most importantly it contains the 400 Micrograms of Folic Acid that the baby needs to avoid developing Spina Bifida (Spina-bifida information). I've found that my skin is a lot clearer, my eyes are brighter,  my hair is softer, nails harder and I generally feel so much better after taking these for just 4 weeks.

 Taken From http://www.vitabiotics.com/pregnacare (click image to enlarge)

I also made sure that I swapped medications for alternative remedies, for example I went to a herbalist for tailored heat packs for my back also headache gels and bags of hops to replace codeine. No medications should be taken in the first trimester (unless the doctor says its ok), as this is when the baby develops its spinal cord and brain. 

Myths explained
The next step was to figure out what I can and cannot eat. I was being told all different types of horror stories about foods deforming the baby and causing miscarriages so I decided to check everything out with the NHS and stop scaring myself. The best website I found for this information was the NHS choices, heres the link NHS ChoicesThe worst thing to do is look on any old website that comes up on a google search, they are full of rubbish and scary statements that aren't at all justified.
I make sure that I follow the NHS eating guide as closely as I can and if I'm not in the mood for my 5 a day due to fatigue and morning sickness, I put it all in a blender and swallow the lot in a pint glass. I also made changes to my liquids such as drinking 8 glasses of water a day, switching my coffee and tea to decaf and I have 1 large glass of red wine or guinness every 3 to 6 days. 

I also figured out that the 'eating for two' theory is a myth, the last thing I want is a weight problem and then to palm that bad habit off on the child. This is why I haven't given up exercise, I still get on my bike for 45 minutes daily, or go for a long walk with my dog to keep my fitness and most importantly my endorphin levels up to prevent depression during this transition. I'm going to look into pregnancy classes in yoga and aqua aerobics when I develop past 16 weeks (first Trimester), as at this point I should be taking it very easy.

This is all a massive learning process for me, in a way I'm re-educating myself with all of this information. 

In my next post I will be talking about how I researched my benefit, financial aid and tenancy rights in the North of England. 

Links (please click the underlined web addresses)
**For Vitabiotics website www.vitabiotics.com
**For NHS nutritional advice www.nhs.uk
**For exercise guidelines www.babycentre.co.uk
**For help quitting smoking during pregnancy www.smokefree.nhs.uk


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