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It’s always important to have healthy habits, but even more so when you’re pregnant.
Now that you’re eating for two (or more), you have to be extra mindful of what you’re consuming, how you’re moving, and how you deal with stress. With a healthy pregnancy, you are more likely to have a healthy birth.
Remember these tips to keep you and your baby healthy:
- Maintain a healthy diet
When you’re pregnant, you need better nutrition and even more calories.
However, this does not mean that you need to eat twice as much. You just have to make sure to eat more of the right things: lean meat, fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, and low-fat dairy products.
Doctors recommend that you consume about 300 extra calories a day, but just make sure it comes from food rich in protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid. This will help aid your baby’s growth and development.
Aside from adding healthy food to your diet, you should also be careful to avoid certain things.
Don’t eat food that isn’t fully cooked, including raw or rare meat, liver, sushi, and raw eggs. Try to limit your intake of fish, especially shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish as these contain high levels of mercury. You should also try to avoid soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk.
- Stay hydrated
A proper diet wouldn’t be complete without enough water intake. Your body simply needs more water than usual when you’re pregnant, so try to get in about 10 cups of water every day.
Remember that you also get water from the food you eat. And fluids here include not just water, but also juices, coffee, and tea. Just don’t wait until you’re too thirsty before you get a drink in.
This would also be a good time to note that pregnant women like you shouldn’t drink alcohol. When you do, especially in the earliest stages of pregnancy, you increase the risk of preventable birth defects like fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which in turn causes abnormal facial features, behavioral issues, and severe learning disabilities.
How about coffee, you might ask? Well, you can actually consume moderate amounts of caffeine. Just to be safe, don’t drink over 200 mg or 12 ounces of coffee each day.
- Take vitamins
Aside from getting regular prenatal care, it is also recommended that you take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. This, you can easily get by taking prenatal vitamins.
Like all other items in this list, this will help your baby grow and develop in a healthy manner. With enough nutrients in your body, you can also prevent other problems like low birth weight.
Take note though that you should always consult with your doctor first. Don’t take vitamins or supplements without her or his approval.
- Exercise regularly
Unless your doctor says otherwise, you should also make sure to get in some regular exercise, at least 30 minutes each day.
Even though it might not seem like it, being active could actually help ease discomfort for you. Some women even say that it helps labor and delivery go easier.
Try not to go for intensive aerobic activity, contact sports, or any exercise that requires high amounts of activity. Instead, consider doing some walking, yoga, and swimming.
These habits are things people should maintain, pregnant or not. But you should still take extra care, and just believe that it will all be worth it in the end.