Being pregnant doesn’t have to mean that you now have a justified reason to eat everything and anything you want, stop working out and become sedentary. In fact, this is the time of your life to do exactly the opposite. Never has it been more important for women to eat well and be healthy, for it is no longer just about you. It is about that little bambino inside. You want to create the optimal conditions for baby’s development while living within you!
One of the first things to remember about staying healthy and fit during pregnancy is to consult your doctor – with pretty much everything. If you aren’t sure if you should be doing something or eating something, ask the professional.
Secondly, every body and every pregnancy is different. So what is great for one person may not even be possible for another. Now being in my third pregnancy, I now know that even the same person can have radically different pregnancies.
So if you are expecting, this is what I personally think are “DO’s” for pregnancy health:
- Look at the Big Picture. Don’t just view being healthy as eating well and exercising. Also look at your own emotional and psychological well-being. Take time for yourself, pamper yourself, meditate, do yoga, have warm baths or whatever provides you with a “zen” experiences. Baby will be much better off if mama is happy and relaxed. Try not to let stress of work or everyday life get in the way of your emotional health.
- Be Active. “They” say that you can do anything you did before you got pregnant after you are pregnant. So if you ran before, you can still run. If you did aerobics or spin, you can keep doing that too. As mentioned before, ensure you confirm with your doctor (in case of any ‘weirdisms’ you have in the pregnancy). If you stay active and fit during pregnancy, not only will this help your body stay healthy during pregnancy, it will also likely make labour easier and will help your body bounce back more quickly after your baby arrives.
- Eat well. Again, this is the time in your life when you need to feed your baby the best food you can for optimal growth and development. Things that are at the top of the list nutritionally are:
- Water Intake – Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses per day, plus one 8-ounce cup for each hour of light activity.
- Prenatal Vitamin – This should balance out and fill in any gaps in what you are getting in your daily food intake. (check amounts in your vitamin for the ones listed below)
- Folate and folic acid — 800 micrograms daily – Why? Prevent birth defects
- Calcium – 1000 milligrams daily
- Vitamin D – 600 IU daily
- Protein – 71 grams daily
- Iron – 27 milligrams daily
- Lots of fruit and veggies – naturally loaded with vitamins and minerals listed above
- Omega 3 – 300 mg DHA daily – not only is this good for the baby’s neurological development but studies have shown that there is a connection between Omega 3 deficiencies in pregnant women and post-partum depression. The baby will drain the Omega stores from the mother in order to develop. Therefore, if this is not supplemented or increased in the mother’s intake, then it will leave them deficient.
Pregnancy is an incredible time of a woman’s life – if she chooses to or is lucky enough to experience it. It is also the best time for women to take care of themselves. Not only for their own health but for that of your future “little bugger!” This information is based on my own experience and research. Remember that you should always consult with your health care professional for your own personal health and circumstances.