Health Tips For Pregnant Women
Staying healthy during pregnancy provides a long list of benefits to you and your baby. It aids in the proper growth and development of your baby, reduces the risks of pregnancy complications and birth defects, and it can help you maintain your energy levels and manage stress. So if you’re pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, it’s important to prioritize your health to increase your chances of having a successful pregnancy without complications. Here are 4 tips to stay healthy during pregnancy.
While you’re pregnant, whatever you eat you share with your baby. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy diet rich in calcium and protein. You’ll also want to up your caloric intake to about 300 extra calories per day during the second trimester and an extra 450–500 calories per day during the third trimester.
The best foods for pregnant women are those that are high in calcium and protein, as both are critical for the growth and development of your baby. Dairy products often are rich in both, and are great additions to your diet as long as you aren’t lactose intolerant. Lean meats and proteins are also recommended. Folate is another important mineral for your baby’s development. You should include folate rich foods like dark leafy greens (also a good source of calcium) and legumes to your diet alongside your prenatal vitamins.
Doing light exercise during pregnancy can do wonders for your energy levels and overall mental well-being. Be sure to stay active during pregnancy and try to incorporate some light cardio into your daily routine. Avoid strenuous workouts such as intense cardio and heavy weight-lifting, as these can do more harm than good.
For expectant mothers, knowledge is key to understanding your risks and formulating a pregnancy health plan. Be sure to write down all questions and concerns you may have and ask your OBGYN during one of your pregnancy checkups. There is a wealth of online resources for pregnant women where you can educate yourself on maternal health, CDC recommendations, and risks. Another great way to educate yourself is to take pregnancy classes. It’s a great way to bond with your partner and learn more about what to expect during delivery and parenthood.
There are some things you’ll want to avoid while you’re pregnant as they’ve been linked to a number of pregnancy complications and birth defects. You’ll want to stay away from:
- Drugs & Alcohol
- Excessive caffeine
- Raw and undercooked seafood
- Seafood high in mercury
- Pesticides and herbicides (wash your fruits and veggies!)
- Raw, undercooked, and processed meat
- Unwashed produce
- Unpasteurized dairy and fruit juice
- Organic solvents
- Cat litter
- Some acne medications