8 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

8 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Before you can take care of a newborn, you need to take care of yourself – and that starts with doing everything you can to have a healthy pregnancy. As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, examine your lifestyle; are there ways you can make improvements in your diet or your habits for both of your well-being?

8 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Experts suggest talking to your doctor about any big changes you want to make. For most new moms, slight shifts in just a few areas can make a tremendous difference in health and wellness. Your doctor might encourage you to follow these eight tips for a healthy pregnancy:
• Avoid harsh and toxic cleaning products
• Drink lots of water
• Eat a healthy, balanced diet designed for pregnancy (with vitamins)
• Exercise regularly
• Get plenty of sleep
• Limit your caffeine intake
• Practice relaxation techniques every day
• Take pregnancy, childbirth and parenting classes

Avoid Harsh, Toxic Cleaning Products

Skip toxic chemicals when you’re cleaning, and no matter what you use to wipe away germs, make sure you do it in well-ventilated areas. Wear protective gloves and clothing, because your skin can absorb cleaning products quickly. Don’t lift anything heavy, either – even when your nesting instinct kicks into overdrive.

Drink Lots of Water

It’s always important to drink plenty of water, but when you’re pregnant, it’s twice as important. Water carries oxygen and nutrients to your (and your baby’s) cells, helps ensure you have plenty of amniotic fluid, and helps your little one’s kidneys filter out waste. Also worth noting: Some of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy can be caused by dehydration, so raising your glass can help head them off.

Eat the Right Foods

Empty calories aren’t doing you or your baby any favors. In fact, unhealthy foods can block you from taking in the vitamins and minerals you both need. Your doctor will probably encourage you to take nutrient-packed prenatal vitamins to supplement your diet, which should contain plenty of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables and meat. Foods to steer clear of: mercury-containing fish, sushi, unpasteurized juice, undercooked eggs and cured meats.

Exercise Regularly

Keeping your blood flowing, maintaining a healthy weight and feeling your best can all be traced back to a healthy level of exercise. There’s even some evidence that physical activity might prevent gestational diabetes, and it can certainly relieve stress while keeping you in shape for labor and delivery. Make sure you talk to your doctor about how much exercise is appropriate. For many soon-to-be mommies, the best exercises are walking, stationary cycling, swimming and low-impact aerobics taught by a certified instructor.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Once your little one shows up, he or she will set the sleep schedule for the whole house – so get as much as you can now, while you’re pregnant. Your body is working extra-hard to protect and nurture the baby, so you need to recuperate by catching some Zs.

Limit Caffeine

Caffeine in high levels can cause low birthweight and a whole host of other problems. Experts suggest you should keep your daily caffeine intake under 200 milligrams – and even less is better. If you can, switch to water, juice, fruit-based tea (or other non-caffeinated types), or decaf.

Practice Relaxation and Rejuvenation Daily

Pregnancy is stressful for both mind and body, so take time to rejuvenate your spirit and relax whenever you can. Think about pregnancy yoga, spa therapy (including pregnancy massage), muscle relaxation techniques and meditation, which can all contribute to your overall wellness. And while you’re at it, indulge yourself from time to time by doing things that are just for you; visiting with friends, diving into a hobby or splurging on a new maternity outfit that you just love can all help you (and by extension, your baby) feel your best.

Take Pregnancy, Childbirth and Parenting Classes

No woman is an island – isn’t that how the saying goes? – so it makes sense to get help wherever you can while you’re pregnant. Hospitals, private practitioners and other organizations offer pregnancy, childbirth and parenting classes to educate and inform new parents, so take advantage of what’s available to you when you can.

What Healthy Pregnancy Tips Can You Share?

Were you on the end of sage advice that really worked? What did you do to stay physically and mentally healthy during your pregnancy? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them in the comments below.

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