Pregnancy can be an exciting journey, but it’s essential that mothers stay healthy throughout. Here are seven strategies on how to do exactly that.
Exercise regularly by engaging in activities like walking, swimming and yoga. Before beginning any new fitness regimens, consult with your physician first.
Folic acid can help protect babies against birth defects of the brain and spine, and is found in fortified foods (like bread and cereal) along with leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans and peas.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Pregnant mothers need plenty of protein, calcium, folate and iron during gestation. Make sure you consume a variety of foods each day such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables to meet these nutrient needs.
Opt for lean proteins like poultry and fish (especially canned light tuna), tofu and other soy products, beans, eggs and nuts as a source of lean proteins. Avoid foods high in saturated fats like butter and fatty meats while instead selecting healthy sources like olive oil and avocados as sources of healthy lipids.
Drink plenty of water throughout your pregnancy to stay hydrated, which also helps alleviate constipation which may become uncomfortable during gestation. Limit caffeine to no more than 200 milligrams daily and avoid raw sprouts like alfalfa, clover and radish as these contain bacteria that could compromise its safety. Refrigerate or place cut fruits and vegetables on ice as soon as they have been cut to prevent spoilage and ensure their freshness.
2. Exercise Regularly
Pregnancy can be physically exhausting, but regular exercise will help you feel more energetic. Be sure to eat enough calories and drink sufficient fluids before, during, and after exercising to feel your best!
Avoid sports that involve contact and activities with an increased risk of falling (like skiing and horseback riding). Also try to limit activities that require much balance like tennis or racquetball as your body might no longer support these.
If you were an exercise enthusiast prior to pregnancy, chances are good you can continue with similar workouts during it – just check with your healthcare provider first! For those starting from scratch or struggling during gestation, start slowly and gradually build strength and endurance over time – aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity each day; if lightheadedness occurs or vaginal bleeding or amniotic fluid leakage occurs during exercise stop immediately!
3. Get Enough Sleep
Finding restful rest can be challenging for all of us, but especially so during pregnancy. Hormonal changes, an expanding belly, pressure on the diaphragm, heartburn, frequent urination, leg cramps and restless legs syndrome all pose obstacles to sleeping through the night.
Nausea, which is common during the first trimester, can make sleep less comfortable. To minimize its effect on sleeping patterns, avoid consuming foods that are spicy or greasy while sipping plenty of fluids throughout the day and avoid lying down immediately after eating to prevent acid reflux; additionally avoid large meals at nighttime.
Another common pregnancy sleep disturbance are leg cramps, which involve painful contractions of calf muscles (commonly known as “charlie horses”). To alleviate these, take an iron supplement and stretch; additionally, it’s also crucial to get enough exercise throughout your day.
4. Take Prenatal Vitamins
Vitamins, minerals and nutrients found in food are vitally important to both you and your baby’s wellbeing. Folic acid – known to help prevent major birth defects like spina bifida – should be consumed daily at doses up to 600 micrograms and can be found in various sources including fortified breads, cereals, leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.
A healthy diet should provide most of the essential nutrients, but prenatal vitamins can fill any gaps. We suggest selecting a multivitamin specially formulated for pregnant women like New Chapter’s Prenatal Vitamins – we’ve designed them to include essential folic acid, iron and Omega-3 fatty acid DHA; take them at any time during your day!
5. See Your Doctor Regularly
Pregnancy requires regular prenatal care appointments, where your physician or midwife will check your weight and blood pressure, listen for your baby’s heartbeat (after 10-12 weeks), take urine and blood samples from you and take urine and blood samples for testing.
They will also advise on ways to stay healthy during gestation, such as eating well and taking prenatal vitamins. In some instances, they may recommend pelvic exams or Pap smears which help detect serious health problems such as cancer and sexually transmitted infections during gestation.
Your doctor will also ask about any medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, supplements or herbs you are taking during your pregnancy that could harm the baby – it’s important to inform them. Some can cause miscarriage so it’s crucial that they know about any risks.