Staying healthy during pregnancy

Food hygiene, morning sickness and avoiding colds and flu

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 preventing illness 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 bacteria.

  • Store and prepare raw food away from cooked and ready-to-eat foods
  • Keep any pets or animals away from food preparation and eating areas.

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 and infections that can have an 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.
  • 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 reduce any risk to you or your baby, you should be careful about how you prepare food.

Hand Hygiene Wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing or eating food.

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.

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. You may not need an introduction to the common cold and flu – chances are you’ve suffered the familiar cough and sore throat of a cold, and the achy muscles and fever of flu, before. Good hygiene will help to reduce the risk of picking up the cold or flu viruses on the hands.

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