3 reasons to have a healthy pregnancy
- Staying healthy during pregnancy is just as important as staying healthy during any other phase of life
- Furthermore, the foods you eat during pregnancy impact your chances of developing gestational diabetes
- Pregnancy is the perfect time to start taking care of yourself, emotionally, mentally, and physically
Pregnancy is a delicate and exciting time for most women; a time when you start focusing on the little life growing inside of you.
But pregnancy can also be hard on a woman’s body and health. Between morning sickness and food aversions, it can be hard to stay healthy during pregnancy. And contrary to common advice, you really aren’t eating for two, and you really shouldn’t let yourself go too much when making healthy choices.
Staying healthy during pregnancy is just as important as staying healthy during any other phase of life, and even more so!
Here are three reasons why it’s important to stay healthy during your pregnancy.
1. You Are What You Eat
What you eat affects your baby. Studies show that babies can start tasting the food we are eating in utero, which means if you are eating a donut a day, so is your baby! That would be an unfortunate way to start life with for a newborn baby. What we eat during pregnancy is vital to our health and also to the health of our babies.
Furthermore, the foods you eat during pregnancy impact your chances of developing gestational diabetes, which increases your risk of retaining diabetes post pregnancy and also increases the risk of your child developing diabetes later on in life. To top it off, gestational diabetes also increases the likelihood of giving birth to a larger baby; which, for those women who want to go natural, is a big deal!
The nutrient-density of the foods eaten is also critical. Making every calorie count will ensure that you are getting the nutrients you need, and are benefiting baby in the process. Foods rich in protein, folate, and iron will keep you and the baby nourished.
Healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and omega-3 rich foods such as salmon will also help with baby’s brain development. Getting a variety of protein foods, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, while also taking a prenatal vitamin, will ensure that you are giving the most nutrition to yourself and your baby.
2. Move & Stretch To A Healthy Pregnancy
Moving your body during pregnancy makes for a smoother delivery.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women should exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day, six or seven days a week.
So as long as your doctor has cleared you for exercise, getting regular exercise will be beneficial for you and your baby.
There are many maternity workouts to choose from such as prenatal yoga and stretching, and walking is another tried and true exercise for pregnant women.
Exercising during pregnancy will not only help keep your weight gain in check, but will also prepare your body for an easier labor.
Regular exercise can also ease common pregnancy discomforts such as back pain, sciatica, constipation, and even morning sickness.
3. Wait, How Much Weight?
You actually don’t need to gain THAT much weight. The recommendation for weight gain during pregnancy is 25-35 lbs if you are starting pregnancy at a healthy weight. It is recommended to gain more if you are underweight, and less if you are overweight. But overall, you do not need to be “eating for two.”
According to research, pregnant women do not need extra calories in the first trimester, and only need 300-500 more calories per day as the pregnancy progresses to the second and third trimesters. This means that adding an extra snack or mini-meal will be sufficient in gaining enough weight for you and baby!
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can lead to pregnancy complications, the development of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia. However, pregnancy is NOT the time to diet. Just a time to make sure you are eating enough for you and your growing baby, without overindulging on a regular basis.
Pregnancy is the perfect time to start taking care of yourself, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Consuming healthy foods, moving around often, and maintaining healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy will help you and your baby have a healthy nine months together, giving you the best chances of having an easy pregnancy!