5 Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy
Published on 02/22/22
Doctors talk a lot about the risks of pregnancy. Which can be daunting and scary. It may be time for some positive essentials and reinforcement to help mama have a safe and healthy pregnancy.
All pregnancies are different and all women experience them differently but there are a few definite rules you could follow to ensure you are doing your best to feel, and be at your best.
Taking care of yourself can be a lot already but taking care of you and your growing baby can entail a whole lot more. Think of this as a small step towards motherhood before the full-time TLC begins. Minus – the you part and plus – all the baby.
Eat For Baby
To begin, let’s start with food. Nutrition is something that most people struggle with on its own. Knowing what to eat, when to eat, and what is actually beneficial versus the new decade trends.
But… you’re eating for two now. Responsibility for health foods becomes a lot bigger when it affects your growing newborn.
Eating for two doesn’t necessarily mean double calories either. Calories are dependent on the mother and baby but most women increase their caloric intake by an additional 300 calories a day. Nutritious calories. Because calories are not all created equal. This is exceptionally important when you’re feeding a baby.
Your body will depend on more protein intake prior to the beginning of your pregnancy. And avoiding potentially dangerous foods such as raw seafood and specifically, fish with high levels of mercury, unpasteurized dairy such as feta and brie cheeses, under-cooked meats, eggs, and deli meats.
Some women experience nausea and heartburn. Eating small meals throughout the day will help while keeping blood sugar levels even. Foods that are folate-rich keeps those meals well-balanced. Foods such as:
- Orange juice
- Wheat Germ
Folic acid is very important for the baby’s development, neutral tube and red blood cells.
Doctors also recommend eliminating caffeine from your diet. This, in large quantities, can be harmful to you and your baby but cutting out your morning coffee can be tough. Helping with energy in the morning can be replaced with fruits. Fruits have a natural sugar that can aid in the morning struggles that might be missing when coffee is away.
Studies have also shown that women who ate the most fish during pregnancy developed babies with higher I.Q.s, motor and communication skills. Nutrients and vitamins found in fish are vital for our development without being pregnant. Equally, a direct result shown in babies during pregnancy who reap the most benefits from the omega 3(s) contained in fish. Although fish is known to help brain development, some should be avoided. Fish with high contents of mercury like shark, swordfish, mackerel, and tile fish are a few of the highest among the many.
It is recommended that women don’t consume more than 12 ounces of fish during a week. Fish such as shrimp, salmon, and catfish are all safe to consume in those quantities.
You can develop a healthy eating plan with your healthcare provider based on your needs and pregnancy. Nutrient-rich foods and beverages such as:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal and whole grains that contain fiber and vitamin B
- Fat-free or low-fat milk or none dairy products like cashew, almond, rice, and coconut milk that have added calcium and vitamin D
- Healthy sourced protein not just from meats and low mercury seafood but from foods such as beans, peas, and nuts/seeds
Limit salts, fats like shortening, lard and butter, and sweetened drinks and foods. This keeps your food plan healthy and sustainable for you and yours.
…but don’t forget to allow yourself to indulge in your cravings – once in a while. If your diet is healthy overall it is OKAY to give in to cravings. Sometimes it’s nature’s way of filling in the gaps nutritional[ly] and sometimes it’s emotional.
Drink For Baby
With foods comes drinks.
I’m sure you’ve heard how important drinking water is for you. Well now it’s extremely important for you and your baby. You will need a lot of water to support higher blood volume. Keep caffeine to 200 milligrams a day to avoid mal-absorption of needed iron which can add to bad sleep and cause headaches.
Your blood is supplying oxygen and nutrients to your baby through the placenta and needs all the water it can get. This also helps with hemorrhoids, constipation, fatigue, swelling, and UTIs.
Sleep For Baby
A lot of women complain about exhaustion during their first and third trimester. Some women feel tired throughout their entire pregnancy. This may be your body telling you to slow it down. Take naps, rest, and do everything you can to take it easy.
Sleep is a common complaint for pregnant women. Relaxation techniques like yoga can help, a massage or meditation may make you more comfortable. Or something as simple as finding the right position and comfortable mattress can ease lack of sleep during your pregnancy.
Move For Baby
Women should be just as physically active during pregnancy as before pregnancy. As long as she is cleared by a doctor. Physical activity helps:
- Gain the appropriate amount of weight
- Reduce the risk for gestational diabetes and postpartum depression
- Reduce backaches, leg cramps, and bloating
- Reduce the risk for preeclampsia
- Reduce the length of labor and postpartum recovery
Most women who were active before pregnancy normally can continue the same amount of physical activity as before becoming pregnant. Aerobic activity usually involves endurance or cardio where large muscle groups are being used such as the back, chest, and legs. Talking to your health care professional can help you figure out how your exercise routine may or may not need to change to continue a healthy pregnancy. If you have health issues your level of activity and the safety of your baby may vary.
Staying active while pregnant can mean:
- Moving around one an hour if the majority of the day you’re sitting. Simple activities like walking in place can help.
- Going for a walk around where you live in a local park, shopping mall, or having a family outing.
- Activities such as prenatal yoga first thing in the morning, or maybe during lunch or after dinner. Whatever works for you within your plans.
De-Stress For Baby
Exercise is not only for a healthy baby and healthy body, it’s for a healthy mind. Pregnancies can be stressful, actually life is stressful. Yoga and meditation can help relieve added stress during pregnancy and reduce risk of premature labor or additional complications. Hormones change and becoming a new mom is life altering. Which, all comes with a lot of stress.
Surround yourself with family and friends for support during the pregnancy and labor of it all.
Call The Doctors at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine In NYC About Your Healthy Pregnancy
From questions about nutrition and weight gain, to concerns about whether your medications are safe or an unexpected cramp signals a problem, expecting moms have a lot of questions.
The team at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine are prepared to give you answers and provide top-notch medical care so that you have a healthy pregnancy. If you’d like to schedule prenatal care or have questions about pregnancy, call their office in the Midtown East area of New York City, or schedule an appointment online.