As soon as you think you might be pregnant, schedule an appointment with your doctor! You’ll need to ensure that sure you’re healthy living and
clear from complicated risk factors. You’ve taken care of yourself
your entire life by eating right, getting enough rest and exercising.
Now you have another life – one growing inside of you, and one that you are responsible for!
Once you find out you’re pregnant, you’ll be asking yourself plenty of questions: What should I eat? Can I exercise?
How much should I weigh? Do I need more sleep? What can I do to stop
morning sickness? FITTODO will guide you in making the right choices
during this wonderful time of your life. Throughout your pregnancy,
your doctor will give you check ups to monitor the growth and
development of your baby. You’ll also get prenatal tests, blood tests,
urine tests, cervical tests and ultra sounds.
You’ll be eating for two, so now is not the
time to cut calories and worry about your weight. You want to maintain
a healthy weight as directed by your doctor, but weight gain is
expected in pregnancy. You will need extra calories, especially later
in your pregnancy as your baby grows. Maintain a balanced diet
of lean meats, dried fruits like prunes or raisins, vegetables, whole
grains, and low-fat dairy products. Your doctor will also give you
prenatal vitamins and let you know exactly how much weight you should
gain during your pregnancy.
Your baby’s calcium needs will be high
to ensure development of bones, strong nerves, muscles, and heart, and a
normal heart rhythm and blood-clotting abilities. Make sure you get significant amounts
of calcium from whole foods such as tofu, beans, almonds, dark green
leafy vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. You can also get
calcium-fortified foods, such as drink mixes (like Carnation Instant
Breakfast) or whole grain cereals and breads.
Iron is another necessity in your diet;
you’ll need to create more hemoglobin and provide iron for your baby’s
development. Additionally, anemia in pregnancy (iron deficiency) can
cause preterm delivery or low birth weight. Iron rich foods also
include red meat, salmon, dark leafy greens, beans, lentils, soybeans,
eggs, and blackstrap molasses (use it as a sweetener!). Almost all of
these foods contain folic acid, or folate. Folic acid is a necessary
supplement during your pregnancy because it decreases the risk of
neural tube defects (such as incomplete spinal cord or brain
development) up to 70%. Citrus and poultry are also good sources of
Foods that contain omega-3
fatty acids are essential during pregnancy for your baby’s brain, eye
and heart development and health. Coldwater fish such as salmon, lake
trout and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3s. Carbohydrates
such as whole grain pasta and bread, bran, oats and crackers can be
lifesavers during first-trimester nausea, or “morning sickness”. They
calm the stomach and are an essential part of a nutritious pregnancy
diet. Whole grain carbohydrates are also excellent sources of energy
and fiber (which should be eaten every day to avoid constipation during
pregnancy). Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts and
Eat breakfast every
day. Whole grain cereals contain folic acid, which is essential during
pregnancy. Fruits and vegetables are also extremely important during
pregnancy because they contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that
both you and your baby need. Be sure to get a minimum of six servings
Load up on protein
rich foods. Pregnant women should get 70 grams per day. Look to lean
meats, fish, nuts, dairy, eggs, soy, beans and poultry to get your
daily intake. Avoid raw fish (this means no sushi!), fish high in
mercury (including swordfish and mackerel), raw eggs, soft cheeses
(such as feta, brie, and gorgonzola) and deli meats. During pregnancy,
the immune system is suppressed, so it’s best to avoid ingesting
harmful bacteria that may exist in these items that could make you
sick. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent common pregnancy problems, like
constipation and dehydration.
Exercise is recommended during your
pregnancy because of all the benefits; it prevents excess weight gain,
reduces pregnancy related problems like back pain, swelling and
constipation, improves sleep, and increases energy levels. However, you
should never exercise to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness.
This is a sign that your baby and your body cannot get the oxygen
supply needed. Wear comfortable exercise clothing
and footwear; drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after
exercise and take frequent breaks. Avoid exercising in extremely hot
weather, as this can quickly lead to overexertion or heat exhaustion.
Contact sports should be avoided during pregnancy to avoid injury to
you or the baby. You should also avoid lifting weights above your head,
and using weights that strain lower back muscles. Avoid activities
where falling is possible, such as horseback riding and skiing. Falling
can cause serious pregnancy complications.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep!
You should avoid alcohol, recreational drugs and cigarette smoking to
avoid pregnancy complications. Limit caffeine, as it may have effects
on babies’ birth weight, as well as cause other complications. Avoid
saccharin – artificial sweeteners have been shown to cross the through
the placenta and end up in your baby’s blood stream. Use natural
sweeteners instead, such as honey or molasses.
Take all necessary safety precautions in
the workplace! You should tell important loved ones in your life that
you’re pregnant right away. Some couples wait until they’re out of the
first trimester, since the odds of a successful pregnancy greatly
increase after this milestone is passed. However, waiting to tell your
close loved ones might be too stressful, so you may want to consider
sharing the good news earlier.
Continue to work on your relationship
with your significant other! This is a crucial time to bond with your
mate, as time to yourselves will be significantly reduced when the baby
arrives. Have date nights with your significant other, and encourage
them to attend preparatory classes with you. Pregnancy can be a very
difficult time in a woman’s life, and the support of your partner will