Great news for all pregnant women: Yes, you can still have coffee, do your daily exercise, travel, or even eat sushi.
Common myths about pregnancy were busted by Dr. Christia Padolina and Dr. Angel Bandola in a recent luncheon hosted by Wyeth Nutrition at Lolo Dad’s Brasserie in Makati. With them were celebrity moms Delamar Arias, Tricia Chiongbian-Concepcion and Amanda Griffin-Jacob.
The doctors clarified, however, that when it comes to coffee, it’s not that particular beverage that’s considered “bad” for one’s pregnancy—it’s the amount of caffeine intake.
“[Taking] up to 200 mg of caffeine (a 12-oz cup) is fine,” said Bandola. “You also have to be aware of other sources of caffeine like tea, chocolate, sodas. So it doesn’t mean that if you abstain from having coffee, you’re not totally abstaining from having caffeine.”
Popular radio host Delamar said that one thing she does to cut back on her coffee intake is to buy decaf. “I would get a tall decaf latte from Starbucks, so it just has a minimum amount of caffeine,” she said. “I would also take a lot of water, not just because it’s healthier, but because my body just craved for it.”
Since she isn’t a coffee drinker, Amanda only had to watch her intake of chocolates to minimize the caffeine in her system. She was pleasantly surprised, however, to hear that sushi, sashimi and other raw food like salad aren’t taboo to eat when one is pregnant.
“You just have to be aware of the preparation, make sure it’s clean,” said Amanda, who is a vegetarian but eats fish when she is pregnant.
“The rawness of the food isn’t what’s bad, it’s the way they are handled. The food may be contaminated with bacteria,” said Padolina, who is also board secretary of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society Inc. “Also, deep-sea fish like tuna may be tainted with mercury; but salmon and shrimps are good. With vegetables, make sure to wash them thoroughly to kill any parasites.”
While it feels good to feast for you and your baby, that eating-for-two myth is also a no-no. It’s only during the second trimester that one should be adding those calories—300 to be exact. And when one’s due date is nearing, only an additional 450 calories are needed.
Traveling while pregnant
It’s common knowledge that traveling while pregnant is tricky, but medical and obstetric complications aside, Bandola said that expectant moms need not restrict themselves from traveling. It is only during that last trimester that one should lessen the jet-setting—unless you’d like an in-flight delivery.
One thing that has absolutely no restrictions is exercise. Tricia is living proof that working out even during pregnancy poses no harm: She runs a couple of miles every day and also finds time to swim. Amanda also runs and is into Bikram yoga.
Even with those myths shattered, pregnant women should still be extra vigilant with their and their baby’s nutrition. Wyeth Nutrition’s Promama, a milk drink, is composed of “pro-nutri builders” that enhance both mom and baby’s immunity.
Its other components are: DHA, a nutrient important for a child’s visual and mental development; folic acid, essential for development of the nervous system and in preventing neural tube defects; zinc, which assists in fetal neurodevelopment; vitamin D, for calcium metabolism and to support bone and teeth development.