How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnant? Congratulations!

I am too, as of the time I’m writing this blog post (10/11/18) I am 23 weeks and 4 days.

Which explains why I’ve been MIA for quite some time.

Even though this is my second, pregnancy has been a huge change for me, and I am very envious of women who have energetic and easy pregnancies.

I’ve had all day sickness, constant fatigue, dizzy spells, and I am at risk for preeclampsia.

I was 20 years old when I had my first child (who is about to be 11, where does the time go), and pregnancy was a breeze compared to this one.

But I wouldn’t trade it for anything, as long as my baby girl is born healthy.

So I’m doing everything I can to make sure that I’m healthy and my baby is healthy.

 

Here are my best tips for ensuring that you have a healthy pregnancy as well.

 

Take your prenatal vitamin every day.

I have forgotten a few times, (pregnancy brain is a real thing y’all) so I just set an alarm on my phone to remind myself every day.

I like to do research when I’m looking to purchase a product. Especially when my choice could affect my baby.

 

So I scoured the internet to find the best prenatal vitamin, and I came across these. Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal.

Why are these my favorite?

They’re non-GMO.

They have probiotics for a healthy gut.

They have ginger to help reduce nausea.

They’re completely packed with necessary nutrients, such as 800mcg Folate, and 18mg iron.

Plus, they contain a raw, organic blend of nutritious fruits and veggies.

The only thing they don’t contain, is DHA, unfortunately.

But you can also take a separate DHA supplement, like this one.

Or, if you’d rather have a prenatal with DHA, I think this one is a good choice as well. And it is a cheaper option if you’re on a budget. Gotta save money for diapers, I get it.

Whichever vitamin you choose, just remember to take it every day.

 

Exercise.

When I talked to my doctor about exercising while pregnant, she actually gave me the OK to continue lifting weights. She said that I have more muscle than the average person, but not to go too heavy.

I found that to be great news, but I just couldn’t continue my workout routine that I was doing before. I suffered from all day sickness in my first trimester, and I get SO winded easily by just walking up a flight of stairs. Which is due to increased blood volume and my heart is working a lot harder these days.

So I found that the best pregnancy workout routine for me, is doing bodyweight exercises and walking.

You should exercise in whatever way is best for you, and has been approved by your doctor.

Yoga

Walking

Lifting weights

Running

Swimming

Elliptical

Group classes

These are all great choices for exercise during pregnancy, but you should always talk to your doctor before you begin.

pregnant woman doing yoga

 

Avoid alcohol and smoking.

Ok, this one is obvious.

No drinking, smoking, or drugs.

Alcohol can cause miscarriage, low birthweight, stillbirth, birth defects, and Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders which include developmental and physical disabilities.

Smoking can cause low birthweight, placental abruption (when the placenta separates from the uterine wall), birth defects, and an increased risk of SIDS.

All illegal drugs are off limits too.

 

Eat nutrient rich foods.

Okay, you know you should be doing this anyway. But especially now since you have a little one to grow!

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, dairy, and grains. You’re going to need all of the energy you can get, because pregnancy tiredness is no joke. Plus you definitely want your baby to be getting all of the important vitamins and minerals he or she needs.

Here are some of the most important nutrients you need during pregnancy.

Iron: Pregnancy can lower your iron, so it’s important to replenish it. Low iron can lead to low birth weight. Eat plenty of meats (especially red meats) to give you an iron boost. If you’re not a big meat eater or have an aversion (like me, I still can’t eat ground beef) talk to your doctor and he or she may suggest you take a supplement.

Folate: This is one of the most important minerals for the baby. Folate helps prevent birth defects, especially in the brain and spinal cord. As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, start taking folate. You can find it in fortified cereals and leafy greens. Prenatal vitamins also contain the adequate amount of folate you’ll need.

Protein: Protein not only supports your muscle health, but it helps the baby’s organs grow and develop properly. Make sure you’re eating plenty of meats or eggs, which are rich in protein. Talk to your doctor about supplementing if you’re struggling to meet the daily requirement.

Calcium: Baby needs strong bones and teeth too, and if you’re not meeting the daily requirement for calcium, then it’s possible that your body will take the calcium from your bones and give it to the developing baby. Yes, the baby is already taking stuff from you! Just make sure you’re getting plenty of calcium. Dairy is a great source.

DHA: DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid that helps brain and eye development. You can find it in low mercury fish, like salmon. Remember to stay away from fish that is high in mercury. If you’re not a fish eater you can take a supplement, just check with your doctor.

kiwi chia power bowl

 

Limit caffeine.

Many studies show that pregnant women can safely consume less than 200mg of caffeine per day, which is a little more than a cup of coffee.

Any more caffeine than that increases your risk of miscarriage or low birthweight.

There are also studies that show that babies can become dependent on caffeine, when consumed in large quantities.

So just stick to your one cup of coffee per day. Or switch to half caff, or decaf. I like decaf, because coffee is a comfort drink for me, and that way I can have more than one cup.

 

Attend your doctor appointments.

Never skip your appointments! I know they seem kind of pointless in the beginning when they’re just checking vitals and not much more than that. But every appointment is very important to document how you’re feeling and keep track of your vitals, and hear the baby’s heartbeat (the main thing I look forward to).

If a problem were to arise further in your pregnancy, the doctor will be able to look back and compare your current stats to your previous ones and find the best way to take care of you and baby.

 

Get some sleep.

Growing a human is tiring. Especially during your first trimester.

If you can, take a nap! The fatigue will pass as you progress further along. Your body is working overtime trying to create life, and it is exhausting.

You’ll be getting less sleep once you have a newborn in the house, so please try to get as much rest as you can.

 

Drink more water.

Yeah, I say this all the time. Water is important. And you need even more of it when you’re pregnant.

Water helps deliver necessary nutrients to the baby, helps prevent UTI’s, swelling, headaches, and getting overheated.

Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go and refill it often.

Use a water tracker to encourage your to meet your daily water requirement.

I know drinking water makes you pee a lot anyway, and being pregnant on top of that, you’ll be spending tons of time in the bathroom.

But it’ll all for a reason, and having a healthy baby will be worth it.

 

Again, congratulations on your pregnancy! I hope it goes very smoothly for you. Remember to make the healthiest choices for not only yourself but for your baby as well.

Here is to a healthy pregnancy.

 

Are you expecting a boy or a girl? What is your favorite thing about being pregnant?

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