30 Ways to Stay Healthy During Pregnancy
Whether this is your first pregnancy or your third, you’ve probably already realized that your body is changing! As your body puts energy into creating a healthy new baby, you need to put energy into maintaining your health as well.
Juggling everything else you have on your plate during pregnancy sometimes makes self care seem impossible or even selfish, but taking care of yourself = taking care of your growing baby. Here are 30 ways that you can keep yourself (and baby!) healthy during pregnancy.
- Take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, iron, calcium and DHA. These vitamins play an important role in bone, vision, and brain development.
- Practice relaxation techniques daily. Things you can try include yoga, stretching, deep breathing, and massage.
- Continue to get regular exercise but don’t overdo it. Choose moderate activities that aren’t likely to hurt you, such as walking or water or chair aerobics. Don’t engage in sports where you could fall or injure your abdomen, such as soccer or basketball. Avoid exercises that call for you to lie flat on your back after week 12 in your pregnancy.
- Practice your kegels. Done correctly, this simple exercise can help make your delivery easier and prevent problems later with incontinence.
- Spread your nutrients out over 5-6 well balanced meals during the day.
- But don’t overeat. You only need 300-500 additional calories per day.
- Eat plenty of folate-rich foods like lentils, asparagus, oranges, and fortified cereals.
- Eat enough calcium-rich foods such as dairy, canned fish, and soy.
- Eat more fish (except those high in mercury). Choose from many safe seafood choices such as cod, canned light tuna, shrimp, salmon, pollock, or catfish. Limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces per week. Do not eat king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, or tilefish.
- Avoid saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs. You can quickly overheat, which is dangerous for your baby.
- Eat plenty of foods with fiber. It will help you prevent becoming constipated.
- Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Raw sprouts and radishes can carry a risk of bacterial contamination.
- Don’t eat soft cheeses. Unpasteurized styles like Brie and feta may contain bacteria that can cause fever, miscarriage, or pregnancy complications.
- Remember to stretch before bed. It will help you avoid leg cramps.
- Limit your caffeine. Around two cups of coffee a day is safe.
- The CDC recommends not eating hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, or other deli meats unless they are heated to over 165ºF or until steaming hot to avoid the risk of listeria.
- Drink plenty of fluids. That’s about six 8 ounce glasses of water per day.
- Whenever you are in the car, always wear your seatbelt and turn off the airbag.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
- Don’t smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Don’t take medication unless it has been cleared as safe by your gynecologist and obstetrician.
- Don’t take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without consulting your doctor.
- See your dentist. Your hormonal changes put you at higher risk of gingivitis and the infections that can come with it.
- Track your weight gain. Your doctor can help you determine a healthy goal weight.
- Go over your chore list. You’ll want to avoid tasks that use harsh or toxic chemicals and anything that requires heavy lifting.
- Avoid changing cat litter. It carries the risk of toxoplasmosis.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
- Wash your hands frequently. Group B streptococcus, Fifth disease, cytomegalovirus, and chickenpox can cause complications and birth defects.
- Always wear sunscreen. Your skin is especially sensitive right now.
- Be sure to invest in some comfortable shoes. Your back and joints will thank you. Stable shoes will also help protect you from falls.
Bonus tip: your skin is your first line of defense from toxins and pollutants, so be sure to nourish your skin as well. Our Maternity Stretch Mark cream is a great way to nourish your belly as it stretches and expands.