Pregnacare A-Z Guide To Pregnancy And Nutrition – Letter M

Letter M With Glass Of Milk Background

Are you pregnant? Make sure you read our Pregnacare A-Z of Pregnancy and Nutrition, covering everything important for parents-to-be. Next, we take a look at the letter M during pregnancy

Our Pregnacare A-Z is a series of posts, one for each letter of the alphabet, designed to help you understand your nutritional needs, how they change and the best foods to choose during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

This A to Z answers many of the important questions mums-to-be have about pregnancy and nutrition. It covers everything from antenatal care through to water intake, via pregnancy vitamin supplements. You can download the full version of the guide in PDF format here.

If you have any further questions, make sure you ask your midwife or GP.

Pregnacare A-Z Of Pregnancy And Nutrition – What Does The Letter M Stand For?

Meat

What Meat Can I Eat During Pregnancy?

Burger On A Table

Meat provides protein and iron but make sure you cook all meat thoroughly (be especially careful with poultry, pork, sausages and burgers) so that there is no trace of pink or blood. Always wash hands thoroughly and clean all surfaces and utensils after touching raw meat. This will help to avoid infection with Toxoplasma, which may cause toxoplasmosis, which can harm your baby.

Make sure that raw foods are stored separately from ready-to-eat foods, otherwise there is a risk of contamination which may cause other types of food poisoning from meat including Salmonella, Campylobacter and E.coli 0157. Also make sure you use a separate chopping board for raw meats.

Menstrual Cycle

How Will Breastfeeding Affect My Periods?

Person Holding Baby

Breast-feeding delays your periods returning or restarting. If you have a baby who sleeps through the night from an early age, your periods are likely to return sooner — typically in three to eight months. In other words, the more often your baby nurses, the longer it will be before you get your period again.

However, breast-feeding is not a reliable form of contraception so don’t rely on this if you want to avoid unexpected surprises!

Migraine

What Causes Migraines In Pregnancy and What Home Remedies Can I Try?

Person With Headache

If you are prone to getting migraines you may experience stronger headaches or find that they diminish whilst pregnant. Some women also experience a migraine for the first time when they are pregnant. Some studies have found a slight correlation between migraines and hormones.

Common triggers may include but are not limited to:

· Stress

· Chocolate

· Cheese

· Coffee

· Weather

· Hormones

Common home remedies for migraine headaches include:

· Applying a cold towel to your head

· Taking a cold shower

· Taking a nap

· Exercise

· Biofeedback (ask your doctor)

· Relaxation such as meditation or yoga

You may need to consult your GP about the best form of pain relief medication for your migraines.

Milk

What Type Of Milk Should I Drink During Pregnancy?

Glass Of Milk

There’s no need to switch from skimmed or semi-skimmed milk to whole milk as the only nutrient whole milk contains that skimmed milk doesn’t, is fat. And while fat is important during pregnancy, you’re probably getting enough unless you’re consciously eating a low-fat diet. You should avoid any

unpasteurised cow’s milk, goats’ milk or sheep’s milk and any foods made from these products such as soft goat’s cheese.

To get adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D during pregnancy, drink four 8fl. oz (236ml) glasses (32fl. oz or 946ml) of pasturised skimmed milk each day, or eat a variety of other calcium rich foods such as 1 cup (245g) plain pasturised skimmed milk yoghurt, 1 cup (225g) non-fat pasturised cottage cheese, and 1 cup (250ml) calcium-fortified orange juice.

Minerals

What Role Do Minerals Play During Pregnancy?

Minerals help your body use the energy provided by food for both yourself and your baby. They also help repair and maintain cells and tissues. You can get most of the vitamins and minerals you need from a healthy diet, however many women find it difficult to get enough iron, folic acid and calcium from food and choose to take a pregnancy specific vitamin every day such as Pregnacare.

Mood Swings

Why Am I So Moody When I’m Pregnant?

Woman Sitting With Eyes Closed

It is quite common to have fluctuating moods and emotions during pregnancy. Although progesterone and oestrogen are thought to be partly responsible, feelings of moodiness are often simply due to the fact that pregnancy is a time of tremendous change. It’s common for women to experience mental ill health for the first time in pregnancy. Women may feel more vulnerable and anxious. Pregnancy and birth can trigger depression in some women. If you are worried, talk to your midwife or GP.

Morning Sickness

What Is Morning Sickness In Pregnancy And Why Do I Suffer From It?

Woman Laying On A Bed

It is estimated that approximately 80% of pregnant women experience discomfort from the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, which can actually occur at any time of the day or night. Most cases spontaneously resolve by the end of weeks 16 to 20 of your pregnancy, however one in five women experience nausea and vomiting for a much longer period of time. A small number may develop hyperemesis gravidarum (severe nausea, vomiting and dehydration) which requires specialist care. If you are at all concerned about morning sickness speak to your GP or midwife.

There are a great deal of theories on why women suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy, the most popular being:

· A combination of the changes in the body - rapidly increasing oestrogen levels, an enhanced sense of smell, excess stomach acids and fatigue.

· Increased stress and emotion levels.

· The build-up of hCG (human chorionic gonadotopin) in your system. hCG is a hormone produced after implantation takes place. It continues to increase until about the 12th week of your pregnancy, at which point the levels of hCG start to decrease. This is usually when morning sickness ceases.

Morning sickness will not affect your baby as long as you eat a well-balanced diet and avoid dehydration by drinking lots of fluids. The best approach to morning sickness is to eat plain carbohydrate foods frequently. Eating crackers or ginger biscuits before getting out of bed in the morning also helps some women.

Make sure you also check out the rest of our Pregnacare A-Z Guide to Pregnancy and Nutrition:

A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / L / M / N / P / S / T / U / V / W 

While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained in this guide is accurate and reliable, this is intended as a guide only and not a substitute for advice from a health professional. Please note: Vitabiotics cannot guarantee the reliability of facts obtained from other third party information sources. Information correct at time of being published (May 2020)

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Alexandra Phillips

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