When you are pregnant, the health choices you make affect both you and your baby, so it is important to live a healthy lifestyle before, during, and after pregnancy. Doing these simple things will help prevent pregnancy complications and ensure that you and your baby stay healthy.
Eat a nutritious diet
The things you eat are the things your baby eats. While those cravings for unhealthy junk food may come, it is important to fill your diet with fruits and veggies, whole grains, and foods low in sugar and fat. Aim for more fresh produce and fewer processed foods.
You should avoid foods like rare meat, sushi, raw eggs, and unpasteurized milk as these can cause food poisoning.
Drink lots of water
It is always important to stay hydrated, but it is especially important for a pregnant woman. When you are pregnant you need more water than normal. Aim for at least the recommended eight cups per day; but drinking even more than that is best.
If you find it difficult to remember to drink water throughout the day, try carrying a reusable water bottle around with you that you can refill as needed.
Take your vitamins
If you eat a healthy diet, you will likely be getting the vitamins and minerals you need. Folic acid and calcium are especially important for a pregnant woman. You can get these vitamins from foods like:
You can also talk to your doctor about taking a prenatal multivitamin, which will ensure that you are getting any vitamins and minerals you need.
Stay away from smoking and alcohol
These are two of the biggest don’ts in pregnancy. Drinking alcohol while pregnant or breastfeeding may cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in your baby, which may case abnormalities and developmental and learning disabilities.
Avoid smoking even when you are not pregnant as it can lead to multiple health problems. If you smoke while pregnant, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, miscarriage, and premature birth is increased.
As always, it is good for most pregnant women to exercise. However, the type and amount of exercise you do may need to change. Talk to your doctor about what exercise will be best for you while pregnant.
It is important for both your body and mind to get the rest they need. Generally, pregnant women need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.
It is also important that you reduce mental stress. Avoid stressful situations and let yourself rest and relax when you need to.
Get the flu shot
Getting the flu can be especially harmful for pregnant women. Getting the flu shot before you even become pregnant can help ensure that you stay healthy during and after pregnancy.
Yours and your baby’s health is of utmost importance throughout pregnancy and afterwards. Talk to your doctor about the ways you specifically can have a healthy pregnancy and birth.