The Wonder of Water
Water is so sacred, it's a wonder it's free. Don't forget for even a second the importance of drinking enough water each day.
According to Dr. Susan Warhus, an obstetrician based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the author of Countdown to Baby: Answers to the 100 Most Asked Questions About Pregnancy and Childbirth, "Drinking water is important for everyone's good health, even more so during pregnancy. Drinking water helps to prevent preterm contractions, keeps your skin hydrated, assists in maintaining regular bowel function, and helps to prevent urinary tract infections." During pregnancy, "maintain regular bowel function" can be translated as "avoid hemorrhoids." Believe me, you'll feel much better if you do not have to contend with these!
Try to focus on drinking at least eight glasses of water per day. Purchase a thermos-style container that not only fits into the cup holder of your car, but also has a straw-like attachment. (If you're trying to take a sip from a wide-mouth opening while going 60mph down the freeway, I promise you're going to go over a bump just as the liquid begins entering your mouth. It will then appear to everyone at your destination that perhaps you're suffering from another potential pitfall of pregnancy: incontinence.) Using a thermos with a volume indicator also makes it easier to keep track of daily intake; if you are using a 32-ounce container, you know that to meet your daily minimum you need to fill it and finish it at least twice.
No one would suggest training for a triathlon or sustaining an exercise routine that would make Jennifer Garner's trainer proud, but to the extent permitted by your doctor provides numerous benefits.
According to Martha Hazel, BS, ACE certified personal trainer, "Women who exercise during pregnancy can generally expect to see less ankle swelling, fatigue, constipation, and shortness of breath. Other benefits include easier recovery from labor, greater energy reserves, and enhanced psychological well-being."
Warhus concurs. "Many women find that [exercise] provides them with extra energy and stamina, and is also a way to blow off steam and deal with anxiety." However, Warhus cautions, "If you are not used to exercising, be sure to begin cautiously and slowly."