Everyone wants the best for a healthy baby, and make sure they are giving their baby the best chance.
How can you keep your baby healthy in the womb?
There is the usual things you should and shouldn't eat
Eat a balanced and nutrious diet
Medical organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the World Health Organization (WHO)  recommend diets to include:
- Iron-rich foods which are important for the growth of the fetus and for preventing anemia in the mother.
- Calcium is important for the development of the baby's bones and teeth.
- Folic acid helps to prevent neural tube defects in the fetus.
- Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is important for the growth and development of the baby's bones.
Avoid consumption of certain foods during pregnancy.
- Raw or undercooked meat, fish with high levels of mercury, and certain types of cheeses and unpasteurised products that may contain listeria.
Avoid smoking, drugs and alcohol 
- Tobacco: Smoking tobacco during pregnancy can increase the risk of complications such as preterm labor, low birth weight, and stillbirth. It can also affect the growth and development of the baby's brain, increasing the risk of learning and behavioral problems later in life.
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects, including fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause physical and intellectual disabilities..
- Drugs: Using illegal drugs during pregnancy can increase the risk of complications such as preterm labor, low birth weight, risk of SIDs and birth defects.
Keeping your baby healthy in the womb is not just about what you eat and avoid. Good maternal blood flow is of vital importance.
Many think that only what you eat or don't eat, is important to your baby getting the appropriate nutrients. While this is true, the fact that good blood flow is needed to deliver the nutrients to your unborn baby is not so well known.
Why is good blood flow and circulation to the health of your baby in the womb?
While in the womb, everything that needs to be delivered to the baby through the umbilical cord and placenta is through facilitated through maternal blood flow. Healthy blood flow is of vital importance during pregnancy to ensure that nutrients, oxygen and antibodies from maternal blood is delivered to your baby. Waste products from your baby are carried out back to through your blood flow so your body can expel them.
How do you know if your blood flow is adequate during pregnancy?
It is known that up to 80% of pregnant women will have circulation issues during pregnancy, with most women not even knowing if their circulation is compromised.
During pregnancy the body creates average up to 50% more blood and the heart is working up to 30% harder than usual to push blood around the body and to the growing foetus . Swollen feet, dizziness and fatigue, varicose veins are all side effects of poor circulation.
It has been found that if you sit for or remain sedentary for 4 hours or more a day, blood circulation can be negatively affected .
So, for those with desk jobs, standing all day, babymoon road trips, flights or even if you are just planning to binge the latest series on Netflix, you won’t be starving your unborn baby, but you may need some extra help to improve circulation and ensure your maternal blood is flowing through adequately to baby.
How can you increase maternal blood flow and circulation when you are pregnant?
Staying hydrated during pregnancy is important for both the mother and the baby. Adequate fluid intake helps to maintain the volume of blood in the body, regulate body temperature, and support the production of amniotic fluid.
- Supports the growth and development of the fetus: Amniotic fluid, which surrounds the baby in the uterus, is essential for protecting the baby and allowing for movement. Adequate fluid intake helps to maintain the volume of amniotic fluid.
- Reduces the risk of preterm labor: Dehydration can lead to an increase in the hormone vasopressin, which can cause the uterus to contract and increase the risk of preterm labor.
- Promotes healthy placental function: The placenta, which provides nutrients and oxygen to the baby, requires an adequate blood supply to function properly. Dehydration can reduce blood volume, which can affect placental function.
It's recommended that pregnant women drink at least 8-12 cups of water a day, depending on individual needs and circumstances. It's also important to avoid beverages with caffeine and excessive amounts of sugar, as they can lead to dehydration.
Graduated compression leggings and socks
Studies found that graduated compression leggings and socks can help improve blood flow. Graduated compression is engineered to gently exert pressure to the limbs. Graduated maternity compression leggings such as those from TheRY, exert a higher amount of compression at the ankle and decreases the level of compression up the leg. The constant pressure gradient helps improve venous return. TheRY compression leggings are TGA assessed and listed, and are 15-20mmhg moderate medical grade compression.
Poor circulation and deficient blood flow has negative health outcomes for both mother and baby and should not be ignored. Poor blood flow and can compromise the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your unborn baby and cause babies to be small for their gestational age 
Only a graduated compression maternity legging can help to improve circulation and blood flow. Be wary of brands claiming to be compression without any credentials as they could you harm. A quality pair of leggings is worth the investment for the health of yourself and your growing baby.
 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2020). Nutrition During Pregnancy.
 World Health Organization. (2021). Nutrition during pregnancy.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Nutrition for a healthy pregnancy.
 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2020). Substance Use During Pregnancy.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Substance Use and Pregnancy.
 Wang Y, Zhao S. Vascular Biology of the Placenta. San Rafael (CA): Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences; 2010. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53247/
 Monika Sanghavi and John D.Rutherford. Cardiovascular Physiology of Pregnancy. Circulation. 2014;130:1003–1008. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.009029
 Sophie E. Carter et al. Regular walking breaks prevent the decline in cerebral blood flow associated with prolonged sitting, Journal of Applied Physiology (2018). DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00310.2018
 Stanford Medicine Children's Health. Small for Gestational Age.
 Graduated compression is engineered to gently exert pressure to the limbs. Graduated compression leggings exert a higher amount of compression at the ankle and decreases the level of compression up the leg. The constant pressure gradient helps improve venous return. TheRY compression leggings are TGA assessed and listed and are 15-20mmhg moderate medical grade compression.
All information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as and does not replace medical advice.