10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

As soon as you found out you were pregnant, you probably started to look for ways to improve your health. Many women find that pregnancy gives them a renewed interest in healthy eating, exercise and clean living. All of a sudden your body goes from being taken for granted to having the ability to create and sustain life. Some women describe pregnancy as giving them a deeper respect for their body. With this in mind, now is the perfect time to improve your health.

  1. Take your vitamins – lots of people have a dusty tub of vitamins in the cupboard that they take sporadically when they stumble upon them looking for the oregano. Now that you’re pregnant, you should start taking your vitamins seriously. Invest in some vitamins specifically formulated for pregnancy – these have higher levels of folic acid and iron than regular vitamins. You should take the vitamins daily during the first trimester, and can continue even longer if you wish.
  2. Eat a heathy diet – now is the perfect time to cut down on take aways, reduce your intake of fatty foods and up your fresh fruit intake. There’s no need to eat for two. In fact, you only need to be eating an extra 300 calories per day by the end of the pregnancy – that’s the equivalent of two slices of buttered wholemeal toast.
  3. Exercise – if you exercised before you became pregnant, then you should aim to continue exercising throughout the pregnancy. If you’ve never exercised before, then now is the perfect time to start. Your pregnancy, and your baby, will both benefit from regular light exercise. Walking, swimming and yoga are firm favourites amongst mums-to-be.
  4. Cut it out – there’s a whole host of things you should avoid during pregnancy – smoking, alcohol and drugs are the most notable. You should also avoid certain foods and medications. Speak to your healthcare provider and find out what you should cut out. If you need help to quit smoking or drinking, ask for it – there’s plenty of help available.
  5. Up your fluids – during pregnancy, you may find yourself feeling thirstier than usual. Increase your fluid intake to ensure your body is getting enough fluids. The healthiest drink you can choose is water.
  6. Get some zzz’s – if you’re feeling sleepy, have a lie down. You are growing a whole other person, so don’t beat yourself up for falling asleep on the sofa. If you are tired, it’s because your body needs to rest. You might be surprised just how much sleep you need, especially during the first trimester, but try to get as much as you can to help you feel and stay healthy.
  7. Don’t overdo it – thanks to pregnancy hormones, you are more susceptible to muscle sprains. Take it easy to avoid ending up with unnecessary aches and pains. If you have a physically demanding job, ask to relinquish some of your more hazardous duties. Lifting boxes, pushing heavy loads, even lifting your toddler may cause sprains, so be cautious or even avoid doing these things.
  8. Talk about it – you may feel during pregnancy you are expected to be happy, excited and blissful at your approaching motherhood, but it’s not true for everyone. Hormonal mood swings, financial worries, concerns over the birth, and even uncertainty about what kind of mother you will be are all to be expected during pregnancy. Don’t keep all of your worries bottled up inside, but instead find someone you can talk to. You could talk to you partner, friends or even an online community of pregnant women. Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health, so please do seek help if you feel you need it.
  9. Relax – pregnancy can be an overwhelming time. You may feel you can’t possibly get everything done in time, and this might lead to feelings of stress. Dedicate fifteen minutes each day (more if possible) to relaxing. Meditation, yoga or even simply taking a warm bath are all great ways to unwind at the end of the day. Clear your mind, stop thinking about your to-do list, and let yourself focus on you and your developing baby.
  10. See a professional – you should contact your healthcare provider as soon as you discover you are pregnant, or even before you start trying. Your healthcare provider will be able to provide you with the information to allow you to enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will be your go-to person for the next nine months, so the sooner you get to know each other, the better!

What else are you doing to enjoy a healthy pregnancy?

Written by Fiona, proud owner of a toddler, @fiona_peacock

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.