Take your prenatal vitamins:
Prenatal vitamins are packed with essential nutrients for mom and baby such as Folic acid. Folic acid is a very important part of fetal development and prenatal vitamins provide just the right amount. Some prenatal vitamins are hard to swallow so you can try the chew-able ones instead. Whatever kind you choose to take, just be sure to take them daily.
Studies show that women who exercised during pregnancy had better moods, less morning sickness/fatigue and easier birth experiences. If you already worked out regularly, it is safe to continue during pregnancy. If you were not on a regular workout routine prior to pregnancy, walking just 30 minutes – 1 hour per day is enough to increase energy levels and get some movement in your day. Of course with any exercise routine, consult your physician should you have any concerns or discomfort.
Drink lots of water:
In general, our bodies need at least 8 full glasses of water per day and even more-so during pregnancy. Dehydration can lead to stomach cramps and other complications. If you have a dry mouth and feel thirsty, that means you are already on your way to dehydration. Drinking lots of water also helps with constipation which is common in pregnancy as well as swelling. Did you know that the more water you drink, the less swelling you have?! So drink up! Your body will thank you!
Eat small meals throughout the day:
Eating 5-6 small, healthy meals per day can help with nausea, heartburn and fatigue. Large meals can leave you feeling really full and uncomfortable. Instead pack healthy snacks such as yogurt, fruits, nuts and vegetables. Eating regularly will also keep you from binge eating which can lead to too much weight gain and bad food choices.
Track your weight gain:
Weigh in regularly to make sure your weight gain is on track. Too much weight gain can lead to complications during birth, gestational diabetes and possibly low birth weight. If you have concerns about your weight gain, consult your physician. Manage your weight by keeping a food diary of everything you are eating along with calories. This will help you identify areas in which you are not making wise food choices and you can replace them with healthier, more nutrient dense options.
Go to all of your appointments:
While pregnant, you will have many visits to your OBGYN, especially towards the end of your pregnancy. Be sure you don’t skip out on any of these appointments. At each appointment the doctor is able to make sure the baby is ok. If there are any complications, catching them early on gives the doctors time to make educated decicions on what to do next as well as a revised birth plan if needed.
Get plenty of iron to avoid anemia:
It is very common for pregnant women to become anemic, especially during the last two trimesters. Anemia makes you feel tired and fatigued. Taking iron helps avoid/treat anemia. Great tip: when taking your iron, drink it with a glass of orange juice. This helps break down the iron in a way that doesn’t constipate you.
Don’t drink alcohol:
Drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects. No amount of alcohol has been proven to be safe, so as a general rule, it is better to avoid drinking alcohol altogether while pregnant.
Don’t smoke & avoid second hand smoke:
This should be a given. Smoking is bad for anyone, so if you plan on becoming pregnant, quit before. If you are already pregnant, quit smoking and get help if you are struggling. You don’t want to put your baby in harms way! Stay away from second hand smoke, as it can be just as bad as smoking.
Get at least 8 hours of sleep or more:
When pregnant, your body works over time around the clock to grow the baby inside of you. You will notice a lot of fatigue in the first trimester, it will subside (for most women) in the 2nd trimester, and return again in the third. Choose to take that extra nap when you can and go to sleep earlier when possible. Sleep while you can, once baby is here, it will be a while before you have another full nights rest!
Wear comfortable shoes:
You will be carrying extra weight and your center of gravity will be off. Wear shoes that are comfortable and safe to walk in. You don’t want to wear four inch heels and trip or twist your ankle. Comfortable shoes will also provide better support for your back. You may also notice your shoes begin to get snug as your feet swell. Wear shoes that are wider, or sandals if you are living in a warmer climate or are pregnant during the summertime.
Although being in the sun for a little without sun screen won’t hurt you, it is wise to wear sunscreen when in prolonged sun exposure. Sun burns can increase body temperature and dehydrate you. There is also an increased risk of skin cancer with too much unprotected sun exposure. Look for natural sunscreens that don’t contain harmful ingredients. Also, wear a hat to keep you cooler and in the shade.
Stay off the sugar:
Processed sugar will make you gain weight. Try to cut out things like cupcakes or sugary drinks. Instead, eat plenty of fruits that are rich in fiber and much needed vitamins.
Practice your kegels:
Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder uterus, small intestine and rectum. Practicing your kegels will give you better bladder control later in pregnancy when the weight of the baby pushes against your bladder. It will also strengthen your muscles for birth and after.
Listen to your body:
As your belly grows your will experience different aches, pains and odd feelings. It is important to listen to the signals your body gives you. Be in tune with your body and rest when needed. It is important that you first take care of yourself, so that baby can be strong, healthy and safe.
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