If you’re thinking about getting pregnant—or if you already are—then staying healthy during your pregnancy is probably at the top of your mind. You know the basics about keeping healthy. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Limit your caffeine. But here are a few more tips to help make sure that you have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
1. Prenatal supplements
Prenatal supplements are sometimes called an insurance policy. That’s because they catch all the nutritional gaps that you miss on a day-to-day basis. The supplements are full of nutrients like folate, calcium, iron, and magnesium, all of which help with your baby’s development. Prenatals can also
- keep your hemoglobin levels high,
- provide you with energy, and
- play an important role in helping your circulatory, muscular and nervous system.
Prenatals are like a safety net. Be sure to start them immediately if you haven’t already.
2. Keep active
Exercise during pregnancy might sound counterintuitive. However, the American Pregnancy Association (APA) actually recommends exercise during pregnancy because it reduces
- bloating, and
It is also thought that exercise can increase your energy and improve your mood1. Before you hit the gym though, be sure to check with your doctor and get the all-clear prior to starting any exercise program.
3. Put a plan in place
Depending on your personal circumstances you might be considering the use of a doula, a home birth, a caesarian section, or an epidural for pain relief. These are all important decisions that you need to make (hopefully in consultation with your OBGYN). Whatever your personal choices may be, put it all together in a birthing plan. Make sure that your partner, healthcare provider, and of course your doctor are all aware of these choices well before your due date. They say the best laid plans go astray and while that’s sometimes true (especially when it comes to childbirth) it’s better to have a plan that you don’t use than no plan at all.
4. Attend a class
Most new moms and dads have many questions about the pregnancy process itself. What should we expect during delivery? When is it time to go to the hospital? What warning signs to look out for? Prenatal classes are a popular way for new parents to get all of these questions answered. Such classes provide a friendly and welcoming environment where knowledgeable instructors can address your questions and help you feel a little more comfortable about the whole process. Think about going to regular antenatal classes, Lamaze classes, or newborn & parenting classes.
5. Buy yourself a new pair of shoes
As your pregnancy moves from the second to third trimester you’ll notice that it’s not just your belly that is getting bigger. So are your feet. Your foot size didn’t just suddenly change. The build-up of fluid in your feet will make it seem like they have. The added weight also throws off your center of gravity, putting extra pressure on your feet. All these factors will probably make your current shoes extremely uncomfortable, if not downright painful. So buy a new pair of comfortable shoes that are an extra size bigger. Make sure they have good support and can be worn for long periods of time without causing you discomfort. You’ll thank yourself later.
5. Add some omega-3s to your diet
Fish is high in omega 3s, a nutrient that is critical to brain development. For example, coldwater fish contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids which helps with your baby’s brain development and vision2. Pregnant women should avoid fish that is high in mercury such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel2. Go for salmon, shrimp, and canned light tuna instead1. Additionally, for those that don’t like fish but still want the great benefits of it, consider pregnancy supplements which contain omega-3s.
1- American Pregnancy Association. Exercise During Pregnancy. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/exercise-during-pregnancy/
2- WebMD. The Top 7 Pregnancy Myths. Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on August 12, 2016. http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/top-7-pregnancy-myths#1