11 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Here are 11 ways to have a happy and healthy pregnancy, including what foods to eat, information on prenatal vitamins, and more. 

Taking care of your health during pregnancy is very important for both you and your unborn baby. Here are 11 things you can do for a healthier pregnancy.

Disclosure: This post is underwritten by Pure Prenatal. Pure Prenatal provides high quality and organic prenatal vitamins for a healthy pregnancy. Buy three bottles, get one free!

Everyone wants a healthy pregnancy, right? While there are some health-related issues that pregnant women have no control over, there are quite a few thing she can do to take care of herself. There will always be that woman who did everything right, and still had everything go wrong, and that other woman who did everything wrong and their baby was perfect…but remember, those are the exceptions, not the rule.

Here’s a few tips to help you have a healthy pregnancy!

1. Prenatal Care

Getting proper prenatal care can make a world of difference. By having a medical professional regularly monitor your pregnancy, you can be alerted to problems early on, learn about issues (such as being rH negative, or gestational diabetes) before they become a problem. As soon as you find out you are pregnant, I would recommend calling your doctor, midwife, etc. to schedule an appointment. Many offices are scheduled out several weeks, and they like to see you between 8 and 10 weeks. Be sure to read my guide on how to find the right physician for your pregnancy!

2. Prenatal Vitamins

Part of prenatal care includes prenatal vitamins. In fact, you should start taking prenatal vitamins before you even get pregnant! Some recommend up to six months before conception. Prenatal vitamins are so important for your baby’s development. Prenatal vitamins have an increased amount of folic acid (which help prevent disorders such as spina bifida) and iron, which are essential for your baby. You can get prenatal vitamins everywhere, but be sure to check the ingredients before buying. You want something that is as pure as possible. I wrote more about prenatal vitamins several months ago, if you want more details on what ingredients to look for.

Sometimes, prenatal vitamins can actually upset your stomach and make you sick (which really stinks if you already have morning sickness!) For the reason, I recommend buying a prenatal vitamin that says it is easy on the stomach, and is made with organic ingredients.

3. Water, Water, Water!

Drinking water is always important, but especially while pregnant. At a minimum, drink 8 glasses, but more if you can. I know I had a hard time drinking water when I was pregnant, but it’s something you just have to do. Here are a few reasons:

  • It helps deliver all those important nutrients to your baby. According to What To Expect, water “facilitates the absorption of essential nutrients into the cells and transports vitamins, trace elements, minerals, and hormones to the blood cells,” and “it’s those nutrient-rich blood cells that reach the placenta and ultimately your baby . . ” all because of water!
  • Water can help reduce swelling that many women experience during pregnancy. I was lucky, and never had swollen ankles, but I know many women who do, and dread the day it happens. It helps prevent water retention (ironic? yes.)
  • Water is the body’s cooling system, and can help prevent headaches (which are very common during pregnancy — you know, with all those hormones going crazy!)
  • It’s good for your skin!

4. Exercise

I’m not talking about running a marathon, or doing heavy weight lifting, but remaining active during your pregnancy will help you in so many ways. Not only will the endorphins raise your mood, but exercising regularly can help you gain less fat weight, help you sleep better at night, and relieve constipration (an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy), just to name a few things. Exercise can also help prepare your body for giving birth, AND help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight faster after having a baby.

Many people will ask what kind of exercise you can do while pregnant, and really, that’s something I would discuss with your doctor. My doctor said I could exercise until the day Jack was born, and I did. However, if you have a high risk pregnancy, start to experience a lot of back pain, or bleeding, definitely talk with your doctor. For most people, exercise won’t do any harm, but in some cases, it can. Just be careful!

I personally loved water aerobics during the last trimester of my pregnancy. LOVED it. Sure, I was probably the youngest person in the pool by about 40 years, but it was the best exercise. Whenever I would try to run or use the elliptical, I would always get Braxton Hicks, and it drove me crazy. Never experienced that in water aerobics (plus I felt so weightless. Awesome.)

5. Eat Balanced Meals

So, let’s get one thing straight. When you are pregnant, you are not eating for two. Well, you technically are eating to nourish two bodies, but that doesn’t mean you should just go hog wild eating. You actually only need about 300 extra calories a day. That’s really not a lot.

While you only need 300 extra calories, it can be beneficial to eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. It will help keep you from getting too exhausted or hungry, and keep your energy levels up. Don’t just fill up on junk food either. I mean, we all have those cravings for something super unhealthy from time to time while pregnant, but making sure to fill up on healthier food (with essential vitamins for pregnancy) will benefit you more in the long run. Here is a list of foods, from BabyCenter.com, that are good for you during pregnancy.

  • Eggs (hard boiled eggs with a piece of whole wheat toast is great for an easy meal!)
  • Salmon
  • Beans
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole grains and popcorn (be sure to try out my brown bag microwave method)
  • Walnuts
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Dark green leafy veggies
  • Lean Meats
  • Colorful fruits and veggies.

6. Sleep

Even as it gets increasingly difficult while pregnant, sleeping at least eight hours at night is so important. It’s time for your better to rest, grow your baby, and prepare for the sleepless nights ahead. Getting enough sleep is good for everyone (just do a quick Google search if you don’t believe me). Though, don’t be surprised if your baby thinks that is the best time for them to be awake! Your moving body throughout the day soothes them, so when you are resting…they think it’s time to play! It’s recommended that you sleep on your left side during pregnancy, though that may not always be possible.

If you find yourself having a hard time sleeping, talk to your doctor for recommendations. I know a lot of people swear by pregnancy pillows, and I know I really want to get one next time around!

7. Relax!

I don’t care what anyone else says — pregnancy is a time to feel like you don’t need an excuse to relax. Whenever you get a chance

Put up your feet every chance you get! This will help prevent swollen feet, and really…it just makes you more comfortable. It’s also important to have shoes that aren’t super constricting, yet have support and are comfortable.

8. Avoid Alcohol

I don’t drink alcohol, ever, so I never had to worry about this while I was pregnant. However, I know that’s not the norm in the world. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can harm your child. I think I read a study recently that drinking a glass of wine a week probably won’t hurt your baby…but really, when it comes to your unborn babe, wouldn’t you rather err on the side of caution?

9. Don’t Smoke or Do Drugs

I would hope that this would just be common sense, but don’t do illegal drugs or smoke during your pregnancy. Nothing good can come from it, and there is a great potential for harming your unborn baby (and yourself!) If you are participating in any of these activities when you find out you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about the best way to stop.

10. Cut back on caffeine

It is recommended by the March of Dimes to limit the amount of caffeine you have during pregnancy to less than 200 mg per day. There have been various studies done on the effects of caffeine during pregnancy, some of which have indicated an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.

11. Do Things That Make You Happy

Pregnancy can be rough. I’ve mentioned this many times, but I really struggled during mine to be happy (much of which, I feel, was beyond my control.)  However, I believe that a happy spirit and outlook can effect your overall health to. When you’re happy, you feel like eating, and exercising, and you just feel better. Read a book you love, get a pedicure, or treat yourself to a movie — surround yourself with uplifting people and situations. Here’s a quote that I love, that I’m trying to make my mantra in everything:

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Hopefully some of these tips will help you have a healthy and happy pregnancy!

Disclosure: This post is underwritten by Pure Prenatal. Pure Prenatal provides high quality and organic prenatal vitamins for a healthy pregnancy. Buy three bottles, get one free!

photo credit: Altamar via photopin cc

Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor or a medical professional. This information comes from my own research and experience, but please, consult your physician with any questions concerning your health. 

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  • I really took as much rest as I could. It really helps if you have someone around that can help you while your at home.
  • Balanced diet, exercise and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated are the keys to healthy pregnancy. Thank you sharing such valuable tips, will help mums to take care of their baby in the womb.