1. TALK TO HIM. Your baby loves to hear your voice(and Dad’s too!) while he’s still in the womb. Studies show that, as soon as he is born, a baby recognizes the sound of his Mum’s voice and this helps to calm him. Hers is the voice he will turn to. Talk to your baby as if he’s there. Say good morning when you wake up, goodnight at bedtime and during the day, speak to him about what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, what you plan to do and so on.
2. EAT CHOCOLATE! A study of more than 300 pregnant women by University of Helsinki researchers found that babies of mums who eat a bit of chocolate every day during their 40-week pregnancy laughed and smiled more than babies whose mothers didn’t have the delectable treat. Not that we need an excuse!
3. SWIM. Gentle swimming is the perfect exercise that helps optimal blood flow to the fetus, and when your body feels that weightlessness in the water, baby enjoys somersaults in her amniotic environment too.
4. GRAB SOME GARLIC. Garlic reduces the likelihood of getting preeclampsia, a risky condition in pregnancy marked by high blood pressure, swelling and protein in the urine.
5. FEEL THE BABY. Rest your hands on your belly and gently massage your bump. Research shows that even while still in the womb, babies can see, hear, feel, remember and think, says Dr Carista Luminare-Rosen, author of Parenting Begins Before Conception: A Guide to Preparing Body, Mind, and Spirit for You and Your Future Child.
6. EAT FISH. Fish is a rich source of important nutrients for baby’s growth such s vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA which support the development of baby’s brain and eyes.
7. DO DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES. When you practice deep breathing techniques, baby gets plenty of oxygen. Not to mention the sense of relaxation that this gives you.
8. BUY FLOWERS. Flowers make your environment beautiful and smell good, naturally. Flowers are a better alternative to scented candles and air fresheners, which may contain harmful chemicals.
9. MEDITATE. Any kind of quiet reflective time will, among other benefits, ease your anxiety, improve immunity, and elevate your mood, which will buoy up baby’s mood too.
10. WATCH A COMEDY. Laughter takes away any worries or anxiety you may be feeling. And research shows that when you find something funny, your baby does too. In fact, if you’re having an ultrasound and start to laugh, your baby may start bouncing up and down. Laugh harder and you’ll see your foetus bounce even more!
11. EAT A SPINACH OMELETTE. The choline in eggs is central to developing your baby’s memory and learning capabilities. Spinach is rich in folic acid, vitamins A B6 and C, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.
12. GET A HUG! A 20-second hug will reduce stress and boost the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which is also the “maternal” hormone. If you feel good, your baby who is directly affected by your emotions, will feel good too.
13. GET A PLANT. Indoor plant absorb hidden chemicals from your home, including those from household cleaners and paint.
14. LISTEN TO CLASSICAL MUSIC. Although the Mozart Effect- the theory that listening to Mozart will give you a smarter baby – is no longer widely accepted now, it is true that classical music will soothe your baby as early as at five months into your pregnancy. This applies especially to the slower Baroque-type compositions by Vivalde and Mozart. Such rhythms match Mum’s heartbeat, and will soothe baby.
15. TAKE A WALK. All types of exercise help to rev up your baby’s brain and tissues. The motion of walking goes a little further. The rocking and rhythm provide a feeling of security too.
16. READ A STORY. Research has found that baby will remember stories that he hears over and over again while still in the womb. After baby leaves the womb, these stories will help calm her.
17. GET HUBBY TO SING. In the final trimester, baby will recognise Daddy’s voice too. Get him to sing regularly to baby so that when baby is born, Daddy can belt out his signature tunes to soothe her to sleep.
18. TAKE A NAP. Pregnancy can be exhausting, from the first trimester, where your body is supporting the developing foetus, to the third trimester, where you’ll get tired moving around with an almost full-term baby inside you. A nap will boost energy and give your baby an excellent start.
19. DRINK A BANANA SMOOTHIE. Bananas boost your energy the low-cal way. They’re full of calming potassium which combines with the calcium in milk to boost baby’s growth.
20. GET A MASSAGE. Ask your doctor when is a good time – he may suggest waiting after the first trimester. Not only will you feel rejuvenated, oxytocin released during a massage will give your baby a great day too.
The above 20 ways may not be suitable for every expecting mothers. For some food, please consult your doctor whether they are suitable to both you and your unborn baby. For some physical activities, please also consult your doctor when is a good time to exercise. For others, please know whether you are allergic to the things mentioned above. So far, most of the ways have been tried by parents-to-be who have found them useful.