Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

Food hygiene, morning sickness and avoiding the common cold

When you are pregnant, your immune system is naturally supressed and it can be easier to fall ill, which is why it’s more important than ever to take good care of yourself. Here is our guide to help prevent feeling unwell during pregnancy as well as some tips to deal with common morning sickness symptoms

What can I expect from morning sickness?

Feeling nauseous and vomiting in the early stages of pregnancy are common morning sickness symptoms. Morning sickness is quite normal, and despite the name, it can occur at any time of day (or night). To help ease the effects:

  • Rest: Take regular breaks from activity as tiredness can make nausea worse
  • Drink fluids: Sip water little and often to stay hydrated without feeling too full
  • Graze: Eat small amounts of healthy foods high in carbohydrates and low in fat
  • Serve cold: Cold meals can be better than hot meals as they produce less odour
  • Practice good hygiene: Make sure to wash your hands after each bout of morning sickness to help prevent the spread of germs.
  • Separate raw food: Store and prepare raw food away from cooked and ready-to-eat foods
  • Control pets: Keep any pets or animals away from food preparation and eating areas.

Diet & food hygiene during pregnancy

From the very first stages of pregnancy you need to be careful about what you eat and how you prepare food. Pregnancy can make you more susceptible to certain bacteria that can have an adverse effect on your health and your unborn baby, so good diet and hygiene is essential.

To ensure you give your baby the best possible start, make sure you have a healthy, balanced diet and avoid the following:

  • Soft and unpasteurised cheeses and dairy products.
  • Raw or undercooked eggs.
  • Liver, pâté and cured meats such as parma, ham and salami, and undercooked meat.
  • Eat no more than two portions of oily fish a week.
  • Try not to have more than 200mg of caffeine a day (the equivalent of two mugs of instant coffee)

To help reduce the risk of harm to you or your baby, you also need to be more careful about how you prepare food.

  • Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing or eating food. If soap and water aren’t available, Dettol Hand Sanitiser will kill 99.99% of germs
  • Raw food: When preparing meals, take particular care with raw food – germs found in raw meat, fish and eggs can be easily spread around kitchen surfaces. Using an automatic soap dispenser such as the Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System is an easy way to help avoid cross-contamination.
  • Chopping and Cooking: Clean any utensils and chopping boards that you have used with detergent and rinse them with hot water. Wipe down surfaces with disinfectant and a disposable cloth. Reusable cloths are also fine, but remember to clean and disinfect them regularly.
  • Food waste: Always use bin liners and disinfect your bin after it has been emptied. And as a general rule, keep your bin lid closed so as not to attract flies and vermin.

Common colds during pregnancy

You may not need an introduction to the common cold– chances are you’ve suffered the familiar cough and sore throat of a cold before. Good hygiene practices will help to reduce the risk of picking up the common cold.

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces regularly, especially taps, door handles and switches
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing
  • Put used tissues in a bin and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards