1) Non-essentials
When you are pregnant, you deserve a massage, but take care when using essential oils. Double-check with your therapist or the manufacturer that the ingredients in the oil are safe.

Read More: Pregnant? Stop using these 6 beauty products NOW

2) High on hormones
Did you know that in one day of pregnancy you can produce as much oestrogen as non-pregnant women produce in three years?

3) Musical babes
Research shows that even before babies are born, music has a beneficial effect on later learning. Children also tend to recognise and prefer music they were exposed to in the womb, for at least a year after they're born.

Read More: 8 freaky facts about babies you didn't know before

4) Healthy bowels
Constipation is common during pregnancy and can be relieved by eating enough fibre, drinking plenty of water, gentle exercise, a mild prescribed laxative and listening to your body - if you've got to go, go, don't put it off.

5) Group therapy
Join a group - if you have a newborn and feel overwhelmed or lonely, share your feelings with other new mothers. There are many groups on Facebook, we would recommend Real Mums of Dubai and Out of the Blues

Read More: What to do if you think you have the baby blues in the UAE

6) Taste buddies
If you are suffering from a bitter taste in your mouth during early pregnancy, relieve it by eating frequent small meals, or nibbling on crackers. The taste should go away by itself by week 12 to 14.

Read More: Do strange pregnancy cravings carry a secret meaning

7) Zap the bugs
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the primary cause of bacterial infection in newborns. Every year around 700 are infected with GBS and 75 die from septicaemia associated with it. A simple swab test in late pregnancy can establish a carrier and the mother-to-be treated with penicillin shots during the birth process, eradicating danger to both mother and baby.

Read More: The five kinds of bacteria pregnant women should watch out for

8) Eye focus
Breastfed babies grow up to have better eyesight than those given formula, a British study shows. They are reported to have better 'stereoscopic' vision, i.e. the ability to discern depth.

Read More: "My son wasn't feeding and no-one could tell why"  


9) Travel safe
Normally it is safe to travel between weeks 13 and 36 depending on the airline's restrictions. If you suffer any complications, check with your doctor first.

10) Airport angst
If you are worried about the body scanners harming your unborn baby at the airport, don't be. X-rays are only used on your luggage; the scanners are perfectly safe.

Read More: Baby On Board: Top things to remember when flying while pregnant

11) Happy parents
Studies at the University of Salzburg showed that babies born to close couples who both bonded with the baby during pregnancy felt direct positive physical impacts, with mothers experiencing fewer premature birth and fewer low-birth weight babies. Loving parents send a strong message of security to the baby, letting it know it is loved and safe.

Read More: To raise happy children, you need to put your marriage first

12) Cell storage
Stem cell storage is something you may want to think about during pregnancy, as umbilical cord stem cells can be frozen and later utilised by your child to help treat blood diseases, lymph system diseases, certain tumours and other potentially fatal diseases.

Read More: A second chance at stem cell banking

13) Poor dad
Forty per cent of fathers felt useless during the birth of their children, according to research by the Royal College of Midwives. Include him by encouraging your partner to read child birth books and by joining an antenatal class.

Read More: Why we need to lose the 'useless husband' stereotype

14) Don't stress
Mother's stress can affect the development of a baby's brain, causing anxiety, depression, behavioural problems and learning disorders later in life, according to researchers at the Imperial College of London.

Read More: Why your pregnancy mood swings may be something more sinister

15) Fit mothers
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) recommends women to continue exercising at pre-pregnancy levels. According to studies, women who engage in regular and demanding exercise during pregnancy, such as running, have easier deliveries.

Read More: 7 Rules of prenatal fitness every pregnant woman should know

16) IQ pollutants
A study from the Columbia Centre for Children's Environmental Health found that airborne pollutants released into the air by burning substances such as fossil fuel may be as detrimental to a child's IQ as low-level lead exposure.

Read More: 8 ways to lessen your eco guilt (even while living in the desert)

17) Focus on you
Self-diagnosis is crucial when it comes to postpartum depression. More than half of new mothers suffer from 'the blues' after birth, but 13 per cent of new mothers develop postpartum depression. Have a good look at yourself and seek help if necessary.

Read More: Postnatal depression in UAE: what you need to know and how to seek help

18) Feeling queasy?
Eat small amounts regularly, sip ginger tea, try acupressure bands designed for travel sickness and yes, nibbling crackers is not a myth, but helps.

Read more: 'A UAE mum's experience of the extreme morning sickness condition Hyperemesis Gravidarum'

 

19) Fat free
Eating a high-fat diet during pregnancy could result in early puberty and adult obesity in your baby, according to University of Auckland.

Read More: What should I eat more of when I'm pregnant

20) Plenty of fish
Pregnant women should aim to have around 12 ounces (two portions) of oily fish per week that is low in mercury. The omega-3 is vital for your baby's brain and eye development.

Read More: Pregnancy Diet: 12 foods to eat when you're expecting

21) Burning heart
Heartburn occurs because pregnancy hormones relax the muscles, including the one that keeps the stomach closed, allowing acid to escape.


22) Drink for two
Your water intake needs to rise to accommodate the baby: drink 2.5 litres a day at least.

23) But don't eat for two
You will only need an extra 200 or 300 calories per day after week 24, which doesn't even earn you an extra muffin!

Read More: Can you really justify 'eating for two' when you're pregnant?

24) Carrot tops
The Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia has found that babies whose mothers drank carrot juice for three weeks during pregnancy, later reacted more positively towards the drink than babies who had not tasted the stuff.

25) Sleepy head
Did you know babies sleep for up to 20 hours in your tummy? While this unfortunately isn't the case once they've been born, you can prepare to help soothe them into the land of nod by getting one of these recommended sleep-aids for babies.

26) Hot mama
While the spa is great for melting away pre-baby stress, avoid steam rooms, Jacuzzis, hot tubs and even very warm baths while you're expecting. Why? Because water that's warmer than your own body temperature, particularly in the first trimester, could potentially raise your temperature and in doing so reduce blood flow to the baby and cause stress. Normal body temperature is about 37 degrees, so keep your baths at or below 37.8.  

27) Picture perfect
To keep your ultrasound picture safe forever, scan it and then have it laminated. Do not try and laminate the original, as it will melt.

Read More: 5 Sweet mementos to celebrate your pregnancy

28) He's not heavy...
The average baby now weighs in at 3.5kg. However, 10 years ago it was around 500g less. Experts who have been monitoring birthweight say it may be due to older first-time mothers.

29) Big as a house
Although it seems in Hollywood no mum-to-be gains any weight, you should gain between 9kg and 15kg. If you are tall and skinny you can, according to experts, gain the most, around 16kg; if you are short and slightly overweight already, try to keep your weight gain at around 10kg.

Read More: Experts call for regular weigh-ins to stop pregnant women 'eating for two'

30) Feeling icky
Up to 75 per cent of women feel nauseous during the first few weeks of pregnancy. This is because your immune system detects a foreign body, and vomiting is the obvious thing for it to do to try to get rid of it.

Read More: How to treat these 5 common illnesses when you're pregnant

31) Start saving
A child costs around Dh650,000 until its 18th birthday. The same as a decent sports car. Just don't tell the father-to-be.

Read More: Money-saving tips: How to budget for a family in Dubai

32) Posture perfect
Ever wondered why pregnant women don't tip over? Researchers at Harvard University found that women have a more flexible spine than men and produce an s-shaped back that prevents them from falling over.

33) Sweet dreams
Vivid dreams? Pregnancy hormones induce a more dream-intensive REM sleep. The closer the due date, the more vivid the dreams.

34) Down in the mouth
Research has proven that there is a correlation between your mouth and the cervix, it seems a relaxed mouth means less cramps in your cervix during contractions. Try this: relax your tongue until it lies like a slug at the bottom of your mouth. For this you will need to let your lower jaw hang down a little, open your mouth slightly and don't close your teeth. Might not look pretty, but if it helps...

35) Feed your hair
Did you know that some 30 per cent of women experience thinning of hair after giving birth? Eat a healthy diet of fruit, vegetables, and lots of oily fish to combat hair loss.

Read More: Top 5 UAE hair loss myths busted

36) You're so vein
Thirty per cent of mothers-to-be will suffer from swollen veins. This is due to the increased amount of blood circulation through your body and will settle after birth.

37) Don't be a mug
Cut your caffeine intake to two cups a day. An intake of more than 200mg of caffeine can increase the risk of miscarriage and affect the birthweight.

Read More: Caffeine in pregnancy: Why even decaf coffee could harm your baby

38) Acid rights
Take a supplement of 400mcg of folic acid every day as it has been proven to reduce the risk of spina bifida in your baby.

39) Do the 'D'
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphate, so ensure you get your regular dose of sunshine, for the good of your and baby's bones and teeth.

Read More: 6 essentials nutrients to prepare your body for labour

40) Eco nappy
Consider using eco-friendly nappies - you are looking towards 5,000 nappy changes over the coming years!

Read More: Reusable diapers: Why making this eco switch is way easier than you think