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Pregnancy Lifestyle Do's

Katlyn Joy |22, July 2011


Not all the lifestyle changes you make when you find out you're pregnant are eliminating negatives. Some changes involve starting positive routines that will benefit baby, and you.

Take Your Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are supercharged with essential vitamins and nutrients that you need to help your baby grow healthy and to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. Taking a regular vitamin will not provide all the essentials so be sure to take the one your provider prescribes.

Tips: If your prenatal vitamin makes you feel wretched, or like retching, then try to take it later in the day rather than first thing in the morning, or after you've successfully kept some food down. Rest assured in a few weeks they will become more easily tolerated. If you have an iron formula and are having lots of constipation then speak to your doctor about healthy solutions.

Eat healthy and often.

No, you aren't supposed to double your food intake since you aren't truly eating for two. However, you should opt for more frequent and light meals rather than a few heavy ones each day. Also, you'll be less prone to morning sickness if you never let your stomach become completely empty. Aim for a nice variety of whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies and lean proteins. Avoid empty calories like sweets and simple carbohydrates.

Tips: Get 75 to 100 milligrams of protein, a 1000 milligrams of calcium, 27 milligrams of iron, 600 to 800 micrograms of folic acid and 85 milligrams of vitamin C foods each day.

Get moving

If you were a couch potato before becoming pregnant, expecting a baby makes the perfect excuse to start that a pregnancy exercise regimen you've been putting off. Just make sure you start gradually and listen to your body. Walking, stationary bikes, swimming and pregnancy aerobics or yoga are ideal choices.

Tips: Stay hydrated and don't allow yourself to become overheated. Also, be aware that pregnancy hormones make you more likely to get certain injuries so don't overstretch and be certain to always warm up prior to your work out.

Get a good night's rest every night

If you are a chronic insomniac, you may need to take extra efforts to become well rested. Have a regular bedtime and wind down each evening. Keep the tv off in your room and do relaxing and calming things before bed. If you wake up thirsty or hungry, keep a glass of ice water and some crackers on the nightstand.

Tips: If you have a lot of difficulty falling asleep, ask your physician what natural and safe methods you can use to help get to sleep. Some teas or supplements are safe for pregnant women, but you need your doctor's approval.

Chill out

If you are a driven, high energy person you may need to learn to readjust your settings while pregnant. Pregnancy can be stressful with all the changes within you, as well as all the changes to your life. Learning to relax is not optional, it's essential.

Tips: Take up meditation, try prenatal yoga, or practice visualization techniques which will also aid you during labor and childbirth. Practicing each day will help you be ready to be relaxed during the big moment.

Exercise your baby muscles

Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, are a great way to prepare for childbirth. Women who exercise this area have easier births in general and heal more quickly afterwards. It also helps keep this area in shape and helps prevent incontinence.

Tips: To discover where this muscle is while peeing, cut off the flow of urine. The muscle you use to stop the flow is the same one you'll exercise. When not urinating, exercise this area by tightening, holding a few seconds then releasing repeatedly. Don't tense other muscles or hold your breath while doing Kegels. If you aren't sure you are doing them correctly talk to your doctor.

Keep your appointments.

If you are someone who never visits a doctor, pregnancy will or should change all that. In the beginning you'll be seeing your doctor every month and by the end of the pregnancy, each week. You'll become accustomed to tests, peeing in a cup, having blood work and getting checkups. Stepping on a scale will become routine as well. Don't forget the dentist while pregnant either. Pregnancy can create problems for some women regarding their dental health and that can compromise your pregnancy.

Tips: Stay on top of your health by asking your physician questions and take a notebook to all appointments to write down any instructions you are given. Make sure you understand why tests are done and what the results mean.

Drink up

If you were never a big water drinker, pregnancy gives you a perfect reason. You will become dehydrated much more easily while expecting a baby. Remember, if you are thirsty you waited too long and let yourself get dehydrated. Aim for eight glasses a day.
Tips: Some women find it easier to drink the needed amount of water each day if they fill a water jug and keep it icy cool in the frig. When the jug is empty, they got their necessary intake. However, remember to drink more when active and on hot days.

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