7 Easy Ways to Have a Healthier Pregnancy
Find out seven simple, easy ways to give your pregnancy a health boost
Craving a creamy treat? Skip the line at the ice cream parlor and pick up a single serving cup of yogurt instead. Yogurt is packed with calcium, contains a decent amount of protein (especially if you choose Greek yogurt), and most brands contain less than 150 calories per container. When it comes to “eating for two,” did you know that the March of Dimes and other health groups actually recommend that moms-to-be, in general, only need an extra 200-400 calories per day tops for health prenatal weight gain? To make those extra calories yummy, try a container of yogurt topped with granola and fresh fruit. It equals about 200 calories.
Put Fish on the Menu
Fish is an excellent source of protein and provides your diet with essential fatty acids that can be a boost to Baby’s brain development. In fact, one study found that children with moms who ate at least two servings of fish per week during pregnancy had a 60 percent lower risk of developing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)! However, there’s just one trick to this easy tip. Choose your fish wisely. Fish known to contain high levels of mercury are out, and fish with minimal mercury levels are in. Which is which? Check out this handy guide to eating fish during pregnancy.
Keep Taking Your Prenatal Vitamins
It’s recommended that women start taking prenatal vitamins even before they become pregnant as a way to make sure they are getting enough folic acid and other vitamin and minerals during those first critical weeks after conception. But what about later on in pregnancy? A prenatal vitamin can still make a big difference. According to one study, getting enough folic acid can cut your risk for preterm birth! Most prenatal vitamins contain the RDA for folic acid.
Cut the Trans Fats
Trans fats, listed on ingredients labels as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, can be found in many brands of packaged and prepared foods including doughnuts, potato chips, many kinds of candy and cookies, and fast foods fried in hydrogenated fat.
Due to health concerns, some food manufacturers have opted to stop using trans fats over the past few years. Others have not. Why is it worth reading labels carefully and avoiding trans fats? Research shows that consuming too many of these chemically altered fats during pregnancy may put women at increased risk for preeclampsia.
Go For A Walk
From keeping weight gain in check to making delivery easier, exercise can benefit pregnancy in many ways. And best of all, you don’t need to join a pricy gym to get them — just get out and walk! Walking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises for moms-to-be because it’s safe enough to continue throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Walking is also one of the easiest ways to start exercising if you haven’t previously been active. Just check with your doctor to make sure physical activity is safe for you before you lace up. Try a brisk 20-minute walk after dinner or during your lunch break a few times a week and work up from there. Easy!
Get A Massage
Need an excuse to book a massage? When you’re pregnant, some of the many benefits of massage include helping with sleep, improving posture, improving circulation, and reducing stress. Ummmm…yes, please! If you do see a massage therapist or masseuse, just make sure they are experienced working with moms-to-be and have the needed adaptive equipment for safe positioning. Better yet, why not enlist your partner to give you a massage? Here’s an easy pregnancy massage how-to for couples.
Skip the Sugar
Oh sugar, why do you have to be so bad? During pregnancy, eating too many sugary foods can lead to excess prenatal weight gain, which can trigger a snowballing risk for problems including gestational diabetes, larger birth weight babies, and the need to have a cesarean section. Need to tame your sweet tooth? Snack on fruit, switch from soda to seltzer water with a splash of juice, and when you do need to pour a little something sweet on your foods, stick with maple sugar and honey.
Spice up your diet (and stay on the healthy track!) with these fun and tasty ideas to satisfy those pregnancy cravings!view gallery
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