Dhealthwellness.com – Your body and the fetus go through tremendous changes in early pregnancy. To stay healthy and comfortable, follow these tips.
Drink Water and Liquids Containing Other Nutrients
Drink enough fluids. Drink water and fluids that contain other nutrients, such as fruit juices or non-caffeinated tea and coffee. Be sure to let all of your health care providers know you are pregnant. This will help them take into account any prescription medicines you might be taking.
If you eat well during early pregnancy, your body and baby will get all the nutrients they need. Eat a variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fat-free or low-fat dairy products and protein sources like nuts and seeds. Avoid foods that are high in added sugars, saturated fats and sodium (salt). Try to eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week, including fish and shellfish with healthy oils, such as salmon, sardines or mackerel. Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish because they have high levels of mercury, which can harm your unborn child’s brain development.
It’s important to start taking folic acid supplements before you get pregnant, and continue taking them during your first trimester. It helps prevent two serious birth defects, spina bifida and anencephaly. Getting regular exercise before and during pregnancy is a good way to stay in shape. It also can help reduce back pain and shorten labor time. Talk to your health care professional about safe workouts for you and your growing baby. Avoid exercises that put too much pressure on your stomach and joints, like jumping or high-impact aerobics. Choose walking, swimming or water aerobics that offer buoyancy and support your weight without straining muscles or joints.
Good Exercise for Early Pregnancy
Experts recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking. Women who were exercising regularly before becoming pregnant can usually continue their workouts, but check with a health care provider to be sure. Exercise can also help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of preeclampsia. It can also ease swollen feet and legs, which often happen in early pregnancy. (2)
It’s important to get a good night of sleep, especially during early pregnancy. Your hormones are changing quickly, and the growing bump can make sleeping soundly feel like a luxury. Getting enough sleep will also help ensure that your immune system is functioning properly. A few tips for healthy sleeping during pregnancy include:
Sleeping on your side may help prevent heartburn that can occur due to the expanding uterus pushing on the stomach. It’s also recommended to avoid spicy or acidic foods close to bedtime. Lastly, you can try stacking pillows to support your head and belly, or using a special pregnancy pillow. Many women experience vivid dreams or nightmares during the first trimester, which is normal. If this is making it difficult to get adequate rest, talk with your doctor or midwife for advice.
Protein Rich Foods are Important for Promoting a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet and exercise are essential to staying healthy during pregnancy. However, it’s also important to get enough sleep and reduce stress. In addition, pregnant women should meet other pregnant people in groups like prenatal yoga or childbirth classes, a neighborhood parents group, or online parenting forums for support and resources. In the early stages of pregnancy, protein-rich foods are important to promote a healthy diet. These include lean meats, fish (especially salmon and sardines), tofu and other soy products, whole grains, eggs, nut butters, and dairy. If you eat dairy, choose low-fat options and make sure your meals are well-balanced.
Avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar, and limit caffeinated drinks, as these can affect your moods. You should also wash your hands and utensils after handling raw meats, seafood, poultry, lunch or deli meats, unpasteurized juices or milks, and raw sprouts to prevent food poisoning. Finally, you should take a prenatal vitamin daily to help ensure you’re getting enough folic acid and iron.