Most of us know the basics when it comes to staying healthy while pregnant (stay away from booze, cigarettes, and extreme aerobics, right?). But surely in this day and age of advanced science and nutrition thereâ€™s more than just a â€œwhat NOT to doâ€ list when it comes to ensuring a healthy pregnancy! So, we did a little research and came up with the following list of best things TO do when thereâ€™s a bun in the oven. (And we know not all our readers are pregnant... So feel free to pass this on to someone who is, or file it away for future reference!)
Healthy Eating While Pregnant
- Eat lots of high fiber foods (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables).
- Stick with plenty of iron-rich foods (lean red meats, dark leafy vegetables, legumes, blackstrap molasses).
- Consume at least four servings of dairy or calcium products a day.
- Get plenty of folic acid foods (dark leafy greens and legumes) to decrease your babyâ€™s chances of birth defects.
- And as a reminder... DONâ€™T consume alcohol, more than 300 mg of daily caffeine, raw fish, soft cheeses, mercury-rich fish, foods high in cholesterol, and saccharin sweeteners while pregnant.
Healthy Exercise While Pregnant
- Check with your doctor first! Your personal fitness history and individual pregnancy needs will affect the extent to which you can work out during pregnancy.
- For most women, participating in moderate-intensity areobics while pregnant can increase overall health, improve sleep, strengthen strained back muscles, prepare the body for an easy delivery, and increase chances of a quick return to pre-pregnancy weight and figure.
- Try lower impact workouts that are equivalent to your pre-pregnancy fitness level. Elliptical machines, cycling, and swimming are all great (and safe) ways to strengthen muscles and get the heart pumping.
Healthy Lifestyle While Pregnant
- Take a daily prenatal vitamin.
- Practice relaxation techniques (try a prenatal yoga class!).
- Drink plenty of water (it can help reduce stretch marks).
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