Monday, September 26, 2011

13 weeks Pregnant the story so far

Low Immune system, DHA supplementaion, Constipation, Headaches, Low blood Pressure and Exercise!

I also forgot to mention nausa and tierdeness!

Almost into the 2nd Tri-mester so what am I most looking forward too?

Well I’m hoping to completely shake off the cold I have carried for 8-9 weeks. I have had bronchitis, 2 rounds of anti-biotics a cough and sinus headaches at least I have had minimal pregnancy sickness or tiredness. I am sure I have had fewer pregnancy symptoms with number 3 due to a new eating plan that I am following which I will blog separatly about.

Unfortunately we have to cope with a very low immune system during pregnancy. In pregnancy, immune system suppressing cells (called regulatory T cells) increase in number to protect the baby from attack by the mother's immune system. Because these cells are busy protecting the developing baby, pregnant women aren't able to curb off infections. This is why pregnant women are more prone to catching common illnesses’ but also potentially serious disease-causing bacteria, such as Listeria. This lower immune system didn’t bother me during my 1st pregnancy , I didn’t even notice! But with a toddler during number 2 and now 2 pre-schoolers during pregnancy number 3 bringing home every winter bug out there; there isn’t much chance of me staying cold free unfortunately.

I have had to take paracetomol and antibiotics which are apparently safe to consume during pregnancy at the time of me writing this although you only have a couple of anti-biotic options. Make sure if you do need to take a pain killer that you stay away from ibrufen/neurofen. Ibrufen/neurofen is an anti-inflammatory; they can bring on miscarriage and premature labour.

I have decided to take daily folic acid, vitamin C to boost my immune system and after all the latest research cod liver oil-DHA fatty acid Omega 3.

Research indicates that the two most beneficial omega-3s are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Although EPA and DHA naturally occur together and work together in the body, studies show that each fatty acid has unique benefits. EPA supports the heart, immune system, and inflammatory response. DHA supports the brain, eyes, and central nervous system which is why it is important for pregnant and lactating women. The essential Omega 3’s can be found in oily fish such as tuna and salmon. DHA can also help improve your babies’ immune system once born and with all the other benefits of this vital nutrient it seems silly to ignore.

The headaches I have been feeling although they feel like a sinus headache it seems strange that I documented strong headaches during weeks 12 and 13 in my diaries of my first 2 pregnancies so maybe the headaches are pregnancy related and not a new sinus infection? Headaches feeling like a migraine can be mild to severe during pregnancy and there is still no explanation or reason for them.

I am quite lucky during this pregnancy that I only felt a “bit off” during weeks 7-9. I go off coffee in these weeks and don’t feel like many foods I would normally eat. I am still off dates which I am normally addicted too. I call this phase “The Pregnancy Hangover” you feel hung-over everyday but have not enjoyed a night out or a drink prior to your sickness you can also feel like your butt is glued to the couch!

I have still managed to stay fairly active, not as much as I would have liked due to the coughs and colds. I didn’t really feel like exercising weeks 6-7 so I didn’t do anything during this time. Your body sometime just needs to rest, you are growing a baby and it is best you get use to listening to your body now.
I do find though that exercise during your 1st tri-mester has many benefits if you don’t feel too tired or nauseas- I will have a separate blog, photographs and videos for all the exercise I do and why during this pregnancy so you can follow.

Benefits of Exercise during the first 5-12 weeks:
1 Can set you up for the rest of your pregnancy: maintain a routine, get use to exercising at a slower pace and lower intensity and you can start to concentrate on specific pregnancy exercise and posture correction.

2 Can help with constipation which is a condition that is common due to the pregnancy hormone progesterone. Progesterone slows down the food process and your intestines get squished out of the way quite quickly making way early for your growing uterus.

3 Can help increase low blood pressure. Low blood pressure can be another early pregnancy symptom but tends to be more common from weeks 11-23. Exercise can help to increase low blood pressure which may stop you from feeling dizzy or lightheaded during the day. If you do suffer from low blood pressure I have also found that eating small amounts of food every 2 hours really helps.

Please comment, let me know where you are up to during your pregnancy or if you need further information on pregnancy exercise, nutrition or pregnancy symptoms. Follow me on facebook Pregnancy Exercise-link on this blog page and you can purchase your own pre or post natal exercise program designed by me from