Pregnancy is an exciting and challenging time where a woman goes through great physical and emotional changes. In order to learn more about these changes and find out can be done to make pregnancy go as smoothly as possible, many women look for pregnancy tips on the internet. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around the wide web, and it can be tough to find reliable information about pregnancy. Knowing how things stand with online pregnancy tips, our team of experts at Consumer Health Digest have decided to help pregnant women learn about reliable measures to experience a problem-free pregnancy, and to ensure their baby grows healthy.
Our experts at Consumer Health Digest understand the confusion and anxiety that pregnant women experience. From food choices during pregnancy to the Zika virus scare and the constant debate about vaccination risks, there are so many questions in need of answers. At our Consumer Health Digest Pregnancy Center, our experts have shared their knowledge and experience on these topics to help clear any doubts you may be having. By visiting our Pregnancy Center, you can learn more about pregnancy in general, the diet you should follow while pregnant, the risks associated with medication during pregnancy, the kind of behavior that is safe during pregnancy, and you can also read other valuable bits of information.
A Balanced Diet Is Essential For A Healthy Pregnancy
Our experts all agree on the importance of eating a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy sources of protein. This diet is essential for the baby’s development and the mother’s health. Women also need to focus on nutrients when making their food choices. Deficiencies in key nutrients such as folate and iron can negatively affect a pregnancy, so make your nutrition a priority during this special period in your life.
Exercising During Pregnancy For A Risk-Free Delivery
Being physically active during pregnancy is completely safe, and even highly recommended to increase your chances of a risk-free pregnancy. By staying physically active, your chances of developing pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and joint problems are greatly reduced. Special exercises for pregnant women can also help prepare for delivery.
Avoid Medication Whenever Possible
Our team of experts generally agrees that you should avoid taking medication during pregnancy whenever possible. This is because almost all medication can cross the placenta, and this can affect your baby’s development. Also, avoid taking nutritional supplements other than those prescribed or approved by your OB/GYN. Many nutritional supplements claim to be natural but are tainted with dangerous ingredients.
While these simple tips are enough to ensure a low-risk pregnancy goes smoothly, there’s plenty of other information provided by our many experts that you can make use of during your pregnancy. All the information provided on our website is written, reviewed, and edited by our team of medical experts and other knowledgeable individuals. If you’d like to see what our team members have to say on how to improve your pregnancy outcomes, then click on their names below and you will be linked directly to each expert’s individual tips. You can scroll down this page to see what tips our team has to offer or you can simply click on the links below to navigate.
We’d also like to thank our team at Consumer Health Digest for taking the time to share the knowledge and opinions that made this post possible.
Please use the links below to navigate.
Consumer Health Digest’s Expert Roundup on Healthy Pregnancy Tips
Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), NDDr. Pamela Frank is a highly sought after licensed Naturopathic Doctor with 16+ years of experience. She is the Clinic Director of Forces of Nature Wellness Clinic located at Yonge & Eglinton in Toronto. She was twice voted “Best Toronto Naturopath” by the readers of NOW magazine & twice by the readers of the City Centre Mirror. Pamela maintains a busy practice treating all health conditions including common concerns like allergies, skin disorders, PMS/menopause, PCOS, acne, hormone imbalances, infertility, weight issues & digestive problems as well as chronic conditions like hypertension & diabetes. Her unique no-nonsense approach incorporates the most well-researched natural treatments such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, TCM & clinical nutrition. Professionalism, extensive investigation into the root cause of disease, efficacy & caring are the cornerstones of any treatment at Forces of Nature. Since 1999, Pamela has helped thousands of patients restore their hair (women), have healthy babies, clear their skin, balance their hormones & enjoy greater vitality.
1. Take the RIGHT form of folic acid which is L-5MTHF. This is ACTIVE folic acid and will help prevent birth defects for your baby. Any other form of folic acid, won't necessarily. The label on your folic acid or prenatal should say ""L-5MTHF"" or ""L-5Methyltetrahydrofolate"". If it doesn't switch to one that does.
2. Watch your carb and sugar intake. Maintaining a stable blood sugar can help with nausea of pregnancy, help you and your baby maintain a healthy body weight and help prevent gestational diabetes, which carries health risks for both you and your baby.
3. Stay active. Maintaining a certain level of physical activity in pregnancy helps to prevent gestational diabetes, helps you maintain a healthy body weight and helps strengthen the placenta - the organ that nourishes your baby during your pregnancy. "
Brigitte Mars"Brigitte Mars is an herbalist and nutritional consultant of Natural Health with almost fifty years of experience. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, and The School of Health Mastery in Iceland. She has taught at Omega Institute, Esalen, Kripalu, Sivananda Yoga Ashram, Arise, Envision and Unify Festivals, and The Mayo Clinic. She blogs for the Huffington Post and Care2. She is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. Brigitte is the author of many books and DVDs, including The Home Reference to Holistic Health and Healing, The Country Almanac of Home Remedies, The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Beauty by Nature, Addiction Free Naturally, The Sexual Herbal, Healing Herbal Teas, Rawsome! and co-author of The HempNut Cookbook. DVDs include Sacred Psychoactive, Herbal Wizardry for Kids of all Ages, Natural Remedies for Childhood Ailments, Overcoming Addictions, and Natural Remedies for Emotional Health. Her latest project is a phone app called IPlant.
Brigitte and her daughter, Sunflower Sparkle Mars run Herb Camp for Kids in Boulder, Colorado. Brigitte's other daughter is world famous activist/yogini-actress/ international model, Rainbeau Mars.
Please check out www.brigittemars.com
Raspberry leaf tea, nettle tea, prenatal yoga
Linda HobbisLinda Hobbis writes the UK parenting & lifestyle blog Mother Distracted. After 20 years as a marketing professional, she is now a full time blogger and a stay at home mum.
1. Remember every pregnancy is different, and so is every birth. Don't fall into the trap of constantly comparing yourself with other mums and make sure you don't miss your midwife appointments - they are the best people to ask if you're worried about anything.
2. You don't need to eat for two. In fact you only really need an extra 200 calories a day. Make every bite count with lots of healthy fruit and veg and drink loads of water.
3. Sleep might become more challenging towards the end of your pregnancy so do what you can to catch up on lost sleep with a nap if possible. You can buy maternity pillows and cushions shaped to support your bump while you sleep for extra comfort.
Kristin McGee"Kristin McGee, nationally recognized celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor, speaker, mompreneur, and author of Chair Yoga: Sit, Stretch, and Strengthen Your Way to a Happier, Healthier You (HarperCollins January 17, 2017), has appeared on Access Hollywood, CNN, Fox, Good Morning America, The Early Show, and the Today Show. She’s been featured in Fitness, Glamour, Health, InStyle, People, Prevention, Shape, Vogue, and Women’s Health. She is a contributing editor at Health Magazine, a spokesperson for Power Pilates Gym on HSN, and a brand ambassador for multiple companies. Kristin is a proud mom to three boys: a toddler, Timothy and newborn twins, Robert and William."
1. Exercise is key, try and get at least 30 minutes of movement in every day.
2. Nutrition and diet is super important, eat whole grains, veggies, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats.
3. Keep a positive attitude and minimize stress, you may want to try meditation and prenatal yoga.
Janessa SolemJanessa is a wife and mother of 4 young children. She started Thrifty Nifty Mommy in 2010 to provide quality reviews of family-friendly products, so families could save time and money by purchasing the right product for their family the first time. Today on Thrifty Nifty Mommy you'll continue to find great reviews, but also recipes, crafts, giveaways, and a glimpse into the life of her busy family.
1. Growing a baby takes a lot of extra energy, so make sure you're getting a full night's rest every night. When you feel tired, go to bed. Chores and other activities can wait!
2. Eating a healthy diet is vital for good nutrition during pregnancy. Try to make sure you are getting plenty of protein, vegetables, and fruits every day.
3. Red raspberry tea is a great beverage to sip on during pregnancy. It's naturally decaffeinated and is said to help prepare your uterus for labor.
Sarah AnguishSarah is a busy mum of three, who juggles working on her blog with looking after the children, running the house, being a wife and attempting to have a life.
Keep hydrated / Listen to your body, if you need to rest then rest, if you need to eat then eat / Stay active
Leah OuttenLeah is a mom of five and a proud birth mother of one daughter in an open adoption. She is a freelance writer for Big City Moms and YourCareEverywhere when she isn't folding laundry or wiping yogurt off the walls.
Having had many pregnancies, I've learned how important health is for both momma and baby. My midwife keeps tabs on my nutrition to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. Eating a healthy diet filled with vegetables and protein is key, along with keeping hydrated (I keep a big 30 oz cup with me constantly!). I also make sure to take food based supplements instead of synthetic so that the nutrients absorb better. To have a relatively pain free pregnancy and easier birth with baby in a good position, I see a chiropractor often throughout pregnancy. It makes such a difference!
Hilary EricksonHilary is a part time nurse, full time mom and the curls behind Pulling Curls. After 15 years of experience in labor and delivery she loves sharing that knowledge with expectant moms everywhere!
Stay hydrated, do your kick counts and find a doctor who you can trust!
Dr. Eva MartinEva Martin, MD is the CEO of Elm Tree Medical Inc., a medical device company focused on improving women's health. Eva graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School and completed her internship training in OBGYN. In June 2015, she founded Elm Tree Medical Inc. Elm Tree Medical is currently developing a tool (DilaCheck™) to increase accuracy of cervical dilation measurements.
1. Squats! These will help with everything from back pain to pushing during labor.
2. Drink tons of water. Dehydration can cause dizziness, fainting, uterine cramping, and constipation. Drink 3 liters of water daily during pregnancy.
3. Take 400 mcg of folic acid every day. Check your multivitamin to make sure you aren't missing this important supplement.
Kathryn FlynnKathryn Flynn is the author of the Cooking for Fertility cookbook and Founder of FertileFoods.com. For over 10 years, she has been supporting women in fertility and healthy pregnancy nutrition consults. To learn more about please visit www.fertilefoods.com and www.moontimetea.com.
1. One of the most important things you can do in pregnancy is eat a healthy diet. Your food choices during pregnancy not only nourish you and the baby but they may also shape your baby's habits and food preferences later in life according to epigenetic studies.
2. Make sure you get adequate protein in your diet. As a rule of thumb eating a protein and carbohydrate balanced meal and snack every 3 hours to set the stage for balanced blood sugar levels and help to prevent gestational diabetes which effects 2-5 % of pregnant women.
3. Include relaxation activities every day. This improves our ability to handle stress by boosting feel good chemicals in the brain, helps with labor pains and our ability to bond with the baby after birth.
Erin NicholsErin is a full time blogger and the mom of two girls. She writes on topics of motherhood, family life, pregnancy, and quick, family-friendly meals. When she gets time to herself she likes to spend it sweating and pretending to be a rapper.
Take a Folic Acid Supplement for baby's brain health. Be active for at least 30 minutes every day, even if it's just going for a walk or stretching. Eat a high protein diet.
Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE, CLT
"Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, and one of the country’s most sought after ‘real food for pregnancy’ experts, who embraces integrative medicine and mindful eating. Lily's book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes: An Effective Alternative to the Conventional Nutrition Approach, is the first to advocate for a nutrient-dense, lower carb diet for managing gestational diabetes.
You can learn more about Lily by visiting her popular blog, www.PilatesNutritionist.com and get her book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes (and snag an exclusive FREE guide on managing gestational diabetes), at www.realfoodforGD.com."
1. Eat mindfully. Mindful eating means listening to the signals your body sends you about food and honoring what it has to say. It means eating when you’re hungry and stopping when your body has had enough. This has been found to be more effective than calorie counting at matching your food intake to your body's actual needs.
2. Eat plenty of real foods, like grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit, and grass-fed dairy products. These nutrient-dense foods support your overall health and the development of your baby. The benefits of food extend beyond what you'd find in a prenatal vitamin.
3. Eat enough protein. Proteins are quite literally the building blocks of human life. Every cell in your body contains protein and you require the amino acids in protein to build new cells. As you can imagine, there are a lot of new cells being created during pregnancy, making protein an absolute necessity to supply your growing baby (and your growing uterus and other tissues) with the raw materials to carry out the job effectively.
Lindsay Stenovec, MS, RD, CEDRD, CLECLindsay Stenovec, MS, RD, CEDRD, CLEC is the founder of TheNurturedMama.Club – an online body positive wellness community for moms and moms-to-be and the owner of Nutrition Instincts® - a San Diego-based nutrition private practice specializing in eating disorders, intuitive eating, maternal wellness and family feeding.
I recommend getting in touch with your body's hunger and fullness cues and bring non-judgmental awareness to factors that can impact your eating - like stress, anxiety or heartburn. Allow yourself to eat more when your body is asking for it and gently come to a stop when you're comfortably full. Seek movement you enjoy that feels good in your body and helps relieve any aches and pains that come with pregnancy. Finally, body dissatisfaction can be common during pregnancy and can have an impact on eating and stress management. If you're struggling with this, find body positive books and online resources that can help you improve your body image and accept and embrace the changes that come with pregnancy.
Chelsey TobiasonChelsey writes her sassy blog Girl from the North Country in between changing dirty diapers, burning dinners and drinking wine.
1. Listen to your body. If you're tired, sleep. Hungry? Eat. Need to cry-- turn on The Notebook and sob in solidarity.
2. Find a community of other pregnant women. Whether it's a local mom's group, a Facebook group or an old friend who's a phone call away, these women will understand everything you're going through.
3. Go buy yourself something that makes you feel good. Especially in the late stages of pregnancy, it can be hard to feel like you have a body. But a beautiful maternity dress or a new pair of shoes can make you forgot the trunks you used to call ankles.
Dolores Andrew-Gavin, is the Founder of IrishHealthHour, The Global Emotional Health Summit, Author, Energy, Soul Care Practitioner and Mum.
She blogs on all things health and wellness with a particular emphasis on emotional and mental health.
1. Listen to Your Body! We live in a world of excess where there is a lot of emphasis on clearing and detoxing. However, during pregnancy there can be more of an emphasis on nourishing and building as your body adapts to creating and birthing a beautiful new life.
Your body is the best gauge for what you need at all times.
Perhaps pre pregnancy you were a morning person and were most productive then, but now you find you can’t function at all in the morning.
Listen to your body and allow it what it needs; remember you have a wonderful new life inside of you who is seeking nourishment just like you are.
2. Listen to what your body is craving? Is it really another sticky bun or is your body really craving more protein? Healthier treats, either homemade or shop bought can be packed with powerful foods to keep our blood sugars level.
Treats during pregnancy are, in my opinion totally acceptable and can be seen for what they are; treats.
A good balanced diet will actually leave you far more likely to reach for treats than one that is deficient in necessary proteins, minerals and vitamins.
If you can, engage a friend or your partner to make up a large batch of soup at the weekend to freeze, so that you can have a healthy soup at hand when you suddenly, out of the blue feel starving.
Or when you have a bit more energy yourself freeze a few yoghurts with some fruit to make homemade lollies instead of reaching for more sugary ones.
Everything in moderation I say!!
3. If you find you are flying off the handle more than usual remember your hormones are readjusting too. Don’t beat yourself up, grab an essential oil and breath in its properties.
You can also use aroma to help you create the appropriate environment for your body to be more in balance by diffusing different essential oils at different times of the day. Smell reaches our limbic or the emotional part of our brain and so we can support our emotions with the proper use of essential oils.
Citrus oils are uplifting and can raise our moods and tree oils are more balancing.
It is wonderful to diffuse essential oils at night too to support your sleep.
Clary Sage is not advised during pregnancy and I would always recommend getting the advice of an expert before using them and use the best quality oils you can get your hands on.
Dr. Alan GreeneDr. Alan Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, and author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, and the Dr. Oz Show.
1. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables that you enjoy. Your baby is already learning tastes and food preferences from you even before it is born. Give your little one the best chance of liking all kinds of foods in the future.
2. Go for relaxing daily walks. This helps prevent things like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, and also gets your baby used to enjoying movement every day. A few lungfuls of fresh air feels good too.
3. Choose organic products and avoid unnecessary chemicals, smoking, alcohol, and drugs. Your baby deserves the healthiest possible start, so loving and taking care of your own body will help your little one too.
Julie BurtonJulie Burton is a mother of four, a wellness expert, speaker, founder of the Twin Cities Writing Studio, and award-winning author of The Self-Care Solution: A Modern Mother’s Must-Have Guide to Health and Well-Being. You can connect with Julie on her website, julieBburton.com, on Facebook /julieBburton2 or twitter and instagram @julieBburton
1. Honor your body. Be diligent about listening to your body's signals regarding nutrition and rest. Fill up your body (and your baby's growing body) with nutrient-rich foods, plenty of water, and make sure to get ample rest.
2. Move your body. While many pregnant women experience higher levels of fatigue throughout pregnancy, it is essential for your physical and mental health to exercise regularly. Even a daily 15-minute walk is a great way to elevate your mood, energy level, and keep your body healthy and strong.
3. Practice extra self-care and self-love. As you undergo the many physical, emotional, and mental changes that occur during pregnancy, make sure to be extra kind to yourself so that you can feel your best during this ever-important time (studies show that your baby picks up on your feelings in utero). Be gentle with your self-talk regarding your body image; talk to your partner, friends, or family members about worries or concerns you may have about your transition to motherhood; and allow yourself some extra pampering during these amazing nine months when you are doing the incredible work of growing a baby.
Audrey Sourroubille ArnoldAudrey is the Founder of Lotus Power Health! She is on a mission to support women who are ready to achieve body balance, awakened wisdom, and hormone harmony. Both an endometriosis and a fertility expert, she coaches women on the journey to become pain free from endometriosis, and helps them increase their fertility chances using her Fertility Formula. As a certified Women’s Health & Nutrition Coach, one of her tools of choice is to show women how to hack their biology and harness their female cycle for sustainable success and happiness.
1. Dark green vegetables are especially healthy because of their folic acid content. Folic acid is the most important vitamin for child development, so you’ll need to eat a lot of spinach and kale when expecting. Also use vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and broccoli as well as fruits like strawberries, kiwi and citrus to help boost your Vitamin C.
2. Oily fish contains lots of essential fatty acids your baby needs to grow, especially for their brain and visual development. You should also aim to eat enough red meat due to its high iron content.
3. Look for these compounds and amounts in your own prenatal vitamin:
- 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid.
- 400 IU of vitamin D.
- 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium.
- 70 mg of vitamin C.
- 3 mg of thiamine.
- 2 mg of riboflavin.
- 20 mg of niacin.
- 6 mcg of vitamin B12.
- 10 mg of vitamin E.
- 15 mg of zinc.
- 17 mg of iron.
- 150 micrograms of iodine.
And if your gut needs some support during pregnancy, besides eating enough fiber, I'd highly recommend adding probiotics and magnesium supplements to your diet.
Lynne HuysamenLynne Huysamen is a married mom of two children, living in South Africa. She is an enthusiastic parenting blogger.
1. Looking after your mental health and getting plenty of rest is essential for a healthy pregnancy.It is common for Postnatal Depression to start in the third trimester, so make sure you know the signs and symptoms. Having PND and a new baby is not easy!
2. As much as you may crave junk food try your best to stick to a healthy, balanced diet. Eating properly will help you avoid physical health problems during pregnancy as well as benefit your mental well being.
3. Try and exercise every day. Keeping fit during pregnancy will help you to pick up minimal pregnancy weight, it will also help you to have an easier birth and a quicker recovery too. Picking up exercising after the birth of your baby will be so much easier if you were fit before the birth.
Sara HaleySara Haley is an LA-based fitness specialist and creator of three award-winning programs; the excuse-proof workout, Sweat UNLIMITED, the prenatal workout, Expecting MORE and the postnatal program, Expecting More®:The 4th Trimester Workout. With over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry and 7 years as a Reebok Master Trainer, Sara has a passion for helping people stay fit, healthy and strong in the safest and most effective ways possible. For more check out SaraHaley.com and follow her at @SaraHaleyFit on Instagram and Facebook.
1. "Listen to your body. Being pregnant is kind of like living with an injury (a happy injury). Each day you have to wake up and say, ""What does my body (and my baby) need today? How does it feel?"" Sometimes it's a day where you need to take it slow, be more mindful and sleep more. Other days it can exercise more, eat more and be more functional."
2. Don't compare your pregnancy to anyone else's. It's so easy to get sucked in by social media and seeing what other expecting moms are doing or look like. Each body is different and each pregnancy is different. As someone who is currently pregnant with my 3rd baby, I can tell you that it is very much true and challenging to accept. The more you can embrace your pregnancy and changing body, the healthier and happier the 9 (really 10) months will be.
3. Be smart. Be safe. This has a lot to do with listening to your body and not comparing (or doing) what you see on social media. There are several exercises that might seem okay for pregnancy because they don't hurt the baby or feel bad, but they can be a detriment to your body and postnatal recovery. I'm specifically referring to how you train your core.
Tenille LafontaineTenille Lafontaine is a married mom of three, living in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. She has been blogging at Feisty Frugal & Fabulous since 2008.
1. Listen to your body - don't try to be a superhero and push harder. Even when baby is the size of an orange the stress on your body is immense.
2. "Eat for 1 - don't overdo it just because of the old addage of ""eating for 2"" but ensure that you are eating a well balanced and nutrient rich diet full of all the food groups. Because your body is building a baby, of course treat yourself when the mood strikes - baby will enjoy those cookies
3. Embrace your body - take photos monthly in the beginning and then weekly after 6 months. It's so amazing to see your body grow and change, and more than ever this is the time to love every curve. You are building a miracle!
"Health and Wellness Women's & Children's Practitioner with more then 20 years experience in Fitness, Sports, Health and Nutrition industries. Pre/Post Natal Health, Menopause and Children's Wellness.
Masters Degree in PE, studying Naturopathic Medicine in London at the moment. "
Any pregnancy, at any age, ideally require:
1. Preconception period or preparation. Which can involve not only phisical side, but emotional, psychological and certain testing, possible too.
2. Psychological side ,serenity, happiness during pregnancy is crucial
3. Please, do not start new exercise regime,new foods,supplements. .or anything new in your day to day routine, unless you talk to professional 1 st.
Pamela HigginsManchester-based blogger and freelance recipe developer working with health food brands. Music lover, fitness fanatic, first baby due in July 2017.
1. Stay active. Whether that's getting outside and going on long walks, going swimming or doing light weights in the gym, it's important to keep your body moving and boost your mood.
2. Eat well. There are some things you might be craving - but make sure you try and stick to wholegrains, slow-release carbohydrates, lean protein, dairy products and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
3. Listen to your body. The first trimester can be tough so if you feel like you need to rest - do it, don't push yourself.
Rima Kleiner, MS, RD, LDNRima Kleiner, MS, RD, LDN is a national nutrition and food expert, writer, spokesperson and speaker, and contributes to blogs like Dish on Fish and Whole Foods Market. Rima specializes in family nutrition, weight loss, culinary nutrition, women's health, food allergies and sports nutrition. She consults with individuals, food companies and media.
1. Take a prenatal vitamin every day for folic acid for proper spinal cord development,
2. Walk or get other exercise for 15-30 minutes every day to help with digestion, mood and maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight and
3. Eat omega-3 rich seafood 2-3 times every week to help with optimal baby brain and eye development.
Bridget Swinney MS, RDBridget Swinney MS, RD, LD is an award-winning author, well-regarded nutrition expert and founder of EatRightMama.com. She is a registered dietitian and through her writing, speaking and counseling has helped thousands of moms eat a healthier diet. Bridget is the author of three books; her latest book is Eating Expectantly: Practical Advice for Healthy Eating Before, During and After Pregnancy.
1. Be carb smart. Carbs are important for energy and brainpower but don’t go overboard! Try to get most of your carbs from vegetables and fruits, whole grains like oats, quinoa, whole grain breads/cereals; starchy veggies like beans, corn and yes, potatoes. The fiber in these foods will help your digestion run smoothly and help you feel full. Try to stay away from sweetened beverages and other concentrated sweets. Fruit juice is a concentrated source of nutrients, especially orange, pomagranite, berry and cherry juice. However, they also contain a concentrated amount of carbs, so limit to a half-cup serving at a time. Balance out your carbs at meals and snacks with protein and fat.
2. Watch your weight gain. Most pregnant women in the US gain more or less than recommended and this can have a profound effect on pregnancy and health of the baby. Women who gain too much weight are at higher risk of having a larger baby and that baby is at greater risk of being overweight later in life. Women who gain too much are also at higher risk of having gestational diabetes and pregnancy hypertension as well as delivery complications.
What’s the best way to gain a healthy amount of weight? Don’t “eat for two!” You only need about 350 extra calories in the second trimester and 450 extra calories in the third trimester--and that’s for women in the “normal” weight range. (If you are overweight or underweight to start with, you’ll need fewer or more calories.)
No increase in calories is recommended for the first trimester, though a higher quality diet is needed because the need for almost all nutrients does increase.
One way to keep a handle on weight gain is to eat more low-calorie foods like veggies. If you fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, I guarantee you will eat less of high calorie foods. Tips for eating more veggies can be found here: http://eatrightmama.com/eatmoreveggies/
Some women have trouble gaining enough weight. That can be a problem too. For more information on how to gain more weight while pregnant, see the post here. http://eatrightmama.com/pregnant-what-if…t-gaining-enough/
3. Watch what you put ON your body as well as IN it. Environmental chemicals such as phthalates, parabens and BPA have been shown to not only have an effect on fertility but also on pregnancy outcomes. For example, research indicates that exposure to some phthalates increased the risk of preterm birth. Phthalates are found in some plastics, vinyl and PVC. One large source of phthalates for women is in beauty and home products, such as lotion, shampoo, makeup, cleaning products and air freshener. Polycarbonate is a plastic that contains BPA. Styrofoam can leach styrene, a known neurotoxin.
A few tips to limit exposure to BPA and other environmental chemicals:
- Avoid cooking or reheating food in plastic. Never reheat in Styrofoam.
- Buy oil, mayonnaise and other high fat foods in glass bottles or jars instead of plastic.
- Look for plastics with the recycling code of 1,2, 4 and 5. Some newer environmentally friendly plastics are made from corn, rice and other starch. They are labeled with a 7 recycling code. But “7” is also the number for polycarbonate, which you should avoid if possible because they contain BPA.
Saira PerlSaira Perl is a busy mom, wife & founder of www.MomResource.com, a fast growing community of mom bloggers who work together to improve their personal, family & professional lives. She currently lives in South Florida after 10 years in Europe (Barcelona, London & Paris).
1. Listen to your body: Rest when you can & don't take ""no"" for an answer from your doctor if you have a nagging concern. I ended up going to see a mid-wife that provided natural solutions for problems my doctor couldn't help with.
2. Stay active: Prenatal yoga is fantastic & walking is so good for your body. Even during early labor, I walked & walked & walked to keep that baby moving down.
3. Minimize stress: You will get TONS of advice, so try to tune most of it out & stay confident in your own mind & body.
Lauren BarthLauren Barth is the Editorial Director of Momtrends Media, and mom to two young and very energetic little ones. She lives with her family in the suburbs of NYC.
1. Sleep Now: If I could tell my pre-child self one thing, it would be to nap unabashedly--and stock up on sleep while you can! Napping is good for the mind, body, and soul--and will especially help during that exhausting first trimester.
2. Eat multiple small meals: This is especially useful if you suffer from morning sickness. Eat small meals often--and listen to your cravings. Pregnancy is the time to indulge--within reason, of course!
3. Enjoy some me-time while you can: Life will soon change in dramatic and major ways. Make sure you take the time now to do something for yourself and it will do wonders for your mind and mental well-being. Take a prenatal yoga class, go on a babymoon, of just read a book in bed. (I used to go for long scenic car rides when I was pregnant--just cause!) Pregnancy can be overwhelming and all consuming--so make sure you don't lose sight of your own needs and wants.
Tamara Walker, RNTamara Walker is the Founder of MomRN & Host of Ask MomRN. Tamara Walker, R.N. is your go-to advisor for support, information, advice and encouragement when it comes to your child’s health. She is a registered nurse, speaker, radio & television personality, and mom of two. Tamara blogs at MomRN.com and hosts Ask MomRN, a weekly podcast discussing children’s health and parenting issues. She has been featured on the Rachael Ray Show, national and local news networks, and has contributed to multiple national publications.
1. Start Prenantal Care Early: Ideally, start taking steps to improve your health before becoming pregnant. Once you are pregnant, start seeing your healthcare provider as soon as possible for testing and monitoring to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
2. Monitor Your Mental Health: Pregnancy affects your mental and emotional health as much as your physical health. Hormone changes can cause mood swings, anxiety and even depression. It's important to talk with your healthcare provider if you are feeling very anxious and/or depressed for more than a couple of weeks.
3. Visit Your Dentist: Pregnancy can negatively impact your dental health. Hormone changes can increase the risk of gum disease and lead to future problems. Take good care of your oral health and visit your dentist if you have not been seen within the past six months.
Haley BradleyI'm Haley, a work from home mom of 3. I am the creator of Haley's Vintage. My favorite topics to blog about are DIY, Parenting, Blogging, and Printables! My goal is to encourage other moms to find unique ways to parent.
1. Being pregnant doesn’t mean you need to stop all activity! Unless you are under doctors orders to rest your body will love to be active. You may need to adjust to that growing belly, but being active has so many benefits to you and your unborn baby.
2. Focus on whole, clean, and fresh foods. You may be craving that junk food, but fresh and nutritious foods do so much for healthy pregnancy.
3. Focus on getting plenty of sleep! It may be hard as your body changes, but it will help you stay healthy during these nine months. http://haleysvintage.com/sleep-well-while-pregnant/
Bert AndersonBert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.
Understand that even though you may not feel like you need to watch your weight, the real value are the nutrients that you're putting into your body. Food is fuel. Your body will take what it needs to sustain the baby and leave you with the leftovers so make every meal count nutrient-wise. Take Magnesium supplements, it really helps to keep those pesky middle of the night Charlie horses away. Keep hydrated!! The more water you have the better you'll feel especially later on in your pregnancy when you're starting to experience Braxton Hicks contractions.
Ashley BatemanI'm a momma to Four Babies, wife to my Prince Charming, and a happy Mommy Blogger. I'm always on the hunt for the hottest new mom/kid/baby products to make life as parents a little easier and more fun.
1. Enjoy it while you hate it. I loathed pregnancy, but now that I'm done having babies, I miss the good parts.
2. Get outside! Move your legs in the sunshine. It makes the moving easier.
3. Find a healthy snack that doesn't make you want to puke and keep making it! I fell in love with Apples, Cheese, and an English Muffin with peanut butter.
Janette ShearerJanette Shearer is a parent blogger at Ava to Zoe, a play on her two young daughters’ names, as she blogs everything in their lives A to Z. She allows her blog the freedoms to cover all area’s of interest to not only include parenthood but also food, travel, events and lifestyle.
1. Always communicate your all feelings throughout your pregnancy to your Doctor, your family, your spouse, no matter how small. Depression can pop up anytime!
2. Keep up your physical exercise if allowed.
3. Drink your water and keep fiber a priority!
Marina IlievaMother of a boy, blogger, book lover, interested in healthy food and nutrition, fitness and Yoga enthusiast.
1. Eat healthy - try to have a balanced diet, indulge yourself but do not overeat;
2. Get enough sleep, stay calm, listen to your favourite music and relax as much as you can;
3. Go out for a walk every day if possible, do light exercise, pregnancy Yoga or anything that makes you feel happy and energised, enjoy your pregnancy.
Samantha CurtisSamantha is a newly 30-year old wife, mama, and fashionista. She's an Ohio native living in Washington, D.C. who loves coffee, shopping, and spending time exploring with her little family.
1. Stay active- no need to run a marathon but walking is a great way to stay in shape!
2. Don't forget to take care of yourself- just because you're growing a tiny human doesn't mean you can neglect yourself. You're #1!
3. Don't eat for two- A pregnant woman only needs an additional 500 calories during pregnancy and overdoing it can actually be bad for the baby. Eat healthy fats in moderation (cheeses, nuts, etc) and you'll be just fine.
Kimberly StrohAs a Mother of two, marathoner and writer, Kimberly is dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle to be a good example for her kids.
1. Stay hydrated by carrying a refillable bottle with you.
2. Practicing yoga will help your body adjust to the sudden changes.
3. Eat colorfully by adding plenty of fruits and vegetables to your plate.
Elyssa ToomeyElyssa Toomey, Registered Dietician (RDN) and Registered Yoga teacher (RYT) at the L’ifestyle Lounge (Closter, NJ – www.LauraCipullo.com) has spent her career creating change for individuals, families and communities. Elyssa combines medical nutrition therapy with advanced training in eating disorders, intuitive eating, mindfulness and functional medicine. She believes in an integrative approach, blending evidenced based science with Eastern philosophies to meet her clients’ personal nutritional needs. Elyssa supports her clients in finding their unique work-life-family-self balance. Elyssa is a passionate foodie and yogini who believes that living a life that nourishes you at every level is the answer to authentic health, happiness and success.
"Three Tips for a Healthy and Happy Mama
By Elyssa Toomey, RD, RYT of the L’ifestyle Lounge (Closter, NJ – www.LauraCipullo.com)
Congratulations! Pregnancy is both an amazing gift and a big responsibility. Knowing that you want to do what is best for that growing bundle of joy inside you requires some knowledge of optimal nutrition for you and your baby. Below find my top three tips for a healthy pregnancy.
1. Know What to Eat - While you have likely been cautioned to stay away from too much caffeine, alcohol, soft cheeses, high-mercury seafood and cold cuts, perhaps you could use some advice on healthy pregnancy eating. Research suggests that healthy nutrition during pregnancy can influence a child's well-being at birth and beyond.
Since you are quite literally building another human being, you’ll need the appropriate building blocks for your baby’s development and growth. These include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fruits and vegetables, as well as a prenatal vitamin to help ensure you are getting adequate amounts of folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin D.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for you and your baby’s development. Carbohydrates break down into glucose, which easily moves across the placenta to support your growing baby. Enjoy approximately 9 servings daily, such as such as 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1 cup whole grain cereal or 1/2 cup cooked pasta or rice. If you are like many pregnant women suffering with pregnancy related constipation, choosing high fiber whole grains can help.
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the foundation of your body’s and your baby’s cells. Proteins are responsible for the formation of red blood cells that help transport nutrients and oxygen through the body. Try to incorporate 3 or more servings of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and lentils into your day.
Fats are a great source of long-term energy, essential for nutrient absorption, and help build baby’s immune system, as well as synthesizing critical hormones. Eating foods high in essential fatty acids, like DHA is vital for brain development and growth, since your body cannot make them on its own. Aim for about a third of your daily intake from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in foods like fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocado. The fatty acid DHA is only found in fish oils. Make an effort to eat fish with the exception of shark, king, and tile fish. If you choose albacore tuna, limit it to no more than 6 ounces. Instead focus on fish from different bodies of water, that are lower in mercury. Think salmon, trout, and even shrimp.
We all know that fruits and vegetables are essential for healthy nutrition. The abundance of vitamins and minerals provide your baby with nutrients for growth and help keep you feeling good throughout your pregnancy. Especially important are beta-carotene for cell and tissue development, proper vision, and a functioning immune system; potassium for blood pressure regulation and vitamin C for developing bones and teeth. Eat 4 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Incorporating a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack helps make this recommendation attainable.
The amount of folic acid found in foods like cereal grains helps meet your needs, but is not enough to decrease the risk of neural tube defects; therefore take your prenatal vitamin daily to ensure you are getting 400 micrograms.
Iron is an essential nutrient for maintaining an appropriate level of blood supply to the baby and the placenta. Enjoy foods high in iron like lean red meat, fish, poultry, dried fruits, whole-grain breads, and iron-fortified cereals to help prevent iron deficiency anemia.
The calcium and vitamin D necessary for your baby’s healthy bone development is provided from your supply, so let’s make sure you are getting enough. Four to six servings of dairy products or calcium-fortified foods daily will ensure your baby’s bones develop properly.
2. Move! - Moving your body daily throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel your best. Movement provides so many benefits to mom and baby alike, including relief from pregnancy-related discomforts like backaches, fatigue, stress and may help reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Whether you were an endurance athlete, a weekend warrior or couch potato prior to pregnancy, you can still engage in physical activity. Talk to your doctor about any modifications you may need to make to your current routine. Respect your body and find a movement that feels safe and enjoyable. Your active choices may change during your pregnancy as the body continuously changes.
3. Honor your body - While it is true that energy requirements do increase during pregnancy, this is not a free pass to eat as much ice cream as possible and definitely not a time to “diet.” Incorporating the above nutrient recommendations will go a long way to ensure you are eating enough for you and your growing baby. Pregnancy is a great time to begin listening to your internal cues. When you feel your stomach growling, honor that and choose a meal or snack that will nourish your body. When you feel full, honor that too! As far as cravings are concerned, identify what your body is asking for. Is it in need of more protein or perhaps it is craving fruit for the Vitamin C. Recognize that your body has a beautiful, intuitive knowing and will guide you towards the foods that will satisfy your body, mind, soul and growing bundle of joy!
Heather BrownHeather is a healthy lifestyle blogger at MyLifeWellLoved.com and a Pure Barre teacher in Birmingham, AL. She has an 18 month old son and is married to her college sweetheart.
1. Work out all the way through. I took a Pure Barre class the day that I was induced and I truly believe it helped me bounce back faster than anything else I did.
2. Listen to your body. I had to quit running early on because I was having too much pain and discomfort. By the end I was just doing walks and Pure Barre and I was good with that.
3. Get sleep while you can! If you have the ability to nap or go to bed early, do it. Your body needs rest to prepare for all that is coming and in those first few weeks with baby you certainly won't be getting much then!
Ember JohnstonePurple obsessed blogger. Writes about parenting, crafts, mental health & product reviews.
Make sure you you always have fresh healthy nibbles in the fridge. Drink plenty of water. Stay active.
Kellie KearneyMother of four Kellie Kearney established her parenting, lifestyle and travel blog, My Little Babog to provide honest parenting tales, including all of the successes and fails. Kellie updates her followers with easy to make recipes for parents to try with their kids, what it’s like to have three under three, and simple parenting hacks that everyone can use.
My top tips for a healthy pregnancy are to keep hydrated and active. I always recommend an evening walk or light exercise, it always helped me get a better night's sleep. Another tip is to begin doing your pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy. Not only does it help your baby's birth go more smoothly it can help prevent weak muscles post pregnancy and prevent stress incontinence. And the most important, to stay body confident. Our bodies go through some huge changes during and post pregnancy - embrace it!
Andrea UpdykeAndrea Updyke is a married mom of two boys living in Raleigh, NC. Her personal mission is to celebrate the big and small moments in parenting young children. She also encourages moms who are balancing working-from-home and motherhood along with the fun stuff like family travel, easy recipes and making time for the things they love.
1. Be completely open with your doctor/midwife. There is no such thing as a stupid question!
2. Stay hydrated - always keep water nearby and be in the habit of drinking it often! This habit will be important for keeping a healthy milk supply if you plan to breastfeed after the baby comes.
3. Keep moving. It can be awkward and uncomfortable but even just taking a walk each day makes a big difference.
Erica AshmoreOriginally from Winnipeg, Erica and her three kids (includes twin girls!) now call Toronto home. Erica loves to cook and dish about great products; she's a design & travel fanatic and is passionate about organic skincare - an obsession still lingering from her previous life as an aesthetician. Erica is also a Lifestyle & Review Blogger at Everything Mom and Baby.
1. Drinking Alkaline water- Using water filters from brands like Santevia helps to alkaline the water. I have found that it helps decrease leg cramps which can be quite common in pregnancy.
2. Chiropratic Care- Visiting a chiropractor can help adjust your level of comfort, especially if you suffer from back, hip and pelvic pain. And help position baby in an optimal position.
3. 6 weeks before you go into labour, massage your perineum with olive oil. This may help prevent tearing. A brand called Anointment has a balm called ""Push"" that has been very effective.
Sami ConeSami Cone is Editor-in-Chief of Babywise.Life and blogs at SamiCone.com. She is also the best-selling author of "Raising Uncommon Kids", in addition to being a TV personality, radio host & adjunct professor. She is proud to call Nashville home with her husband, Rick, and their two ‘tweenage' children.
Build a loving home environment; practice self-care that will continue after baby is born; talk with your spouse before baby arrives so you know what to expect of each other after baby arrives.
Patricia PettittMother of 2 and blogger at whitecamellias.com
Stay active, eat a varied diet and put your feet up as much as possible
Bridget McGrathBridget is a working mum to Emma and step-mum to James. She lives on coffee and chocolate by the seaside in Brighton and started writing Bridie By The Sea to remember to ordinary moments of their life together.
1. Remember to exercise a little everyday, keeping the blood pumping will make you feel less lethargic in the evenings!
2. Begin your pelvic floor exercises early. As the baby grows, you will be carrying more weight so best to start strengthening those muscles as soon as you can.
3. Trust your intuition. Don’t worry too much about what the books and advice say, you know your body and trust how you’re feeling in the pregnancy.
Janelle RobinsonI am Chicago native, a wife and mother of 2. My children are ages 2 and 13 years old. I have a Master degree in Public Health and I am a Certified Public Heath Educator.
Staying healthy during pregnancy is important to both mother and baby. You don't have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle to have a healthy pregnancy. Here are 3 tips to keep you in the best shape possible to prepare for that special day when you meet your baby.
1. During pregnancy it is important that you maintain a moderate level of activity or exercise. As long as you are safe and cautious, there are many exercises that you can continue throughout your pregnancy. Exercises such as walking, low impact aerobics, and stationary cycling can all be safe. It is best to consult with your physician regarding an exercise plan that best for your fitness level. Staying active will also help with delivery as well. You can check in your area for local prenatal yoga and swim classes to help keep you fit.
2. Maintaining proper nutrition is essential. Eat smart, healthy, snacks. While you are pregnant it is a good idea to snack on things that are not loaded with salt or sugar. When you become pregnant your chances for developing high blood pressure and Gestational diabetes are greater and place your at risk of premature delivery. For most moms-to-be this is not a problem if they are eating a well balanced diets. When it comes to snacking during pregnancy there are several things you can enjoy, Try snacking on a healthy variety of fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables, yogurt, cottage cheese, homemade trial mix, and crackers.
3. Rest well, 9 months of pregnancy may seem long, but before you know it delivery day will be here and you will need all your energy. Remember you have a life developing inside of you. Growing a baby takes rest. When your body is tried it will let you know and if you feel tired you should nap when ever you can and get as much sleep as possible. A short nap during the day can help reduce the feeling of fatigue. It is important to relax your mind and body throughout pregnancy. Now is the time to experience the special changes your body will go through before you meet your new family member.
Nicole ElliottNicole Elliott is the lead blogger at Confident Foundation and mommy to two not-so-littles. She loves helping women, especially moms, embrace life and their own unique beauty.
1. Drop Your Expectations - If you're assuming everything will be smooth sailing, dealing with morning sickness 8 months in still is going to be rough. Don't worry about things, but also realize that sometimes being pregnant is rough, and that's ok. It's worth it!
2. Drink TONS of water! Always an important thing to do, drinking water while pregnant is super vital. It's especially essential if you're dealing with morning sickness or swelling.
3. Go For Walks Whether it's around the block or on a treadmill while watching a favorite show, walking during pregnancy will help you feel better, and it's not so intense that you'll dread doing it!
Brittney Wilson, BSN, RNBrittney Wilson, BSN, RN, the nurse behind The Nerdy Nurse, is an award-winning author and blogger, international keynote speaker, and an influential social media personality in the nursing, technology, and healthcare IT communities.
1. Eat a healthy diet. Pregnancy is not an excuse to eat junk. You are growing a human, not going through puberty again.
2. Drink lots of water. Hydration is one of the best things you can do for you and your baby. You'll feel better and have more energy.
3. People will offer to help throughout your pregnancy. Take them up on it and make a list of people who have offered. After the baby is home, call them and accept their help. It takes a village to raise a child.
Emily PeacockMummy to two little ones, I'm a 20-something family lifestyle blogger from Kent
1. Make sure to take prenatal vitamins, especially ones containing iron and folic acid.
2. Make sure to eat a balanced diet. Don't 'eat for two' as this isn't necessary - instead try to stick to a varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and a minimal intake of foods that are high in fat and sugar.
3. Keep active! There's no need to stop your normal physical activities, and keeping active will help keep you and baby happy and healthy.
Jacinta ZechariahA mum of 3, I run a successful parenting and lifestyle blog. I love travelling and cooking.
Exercise, Eat healthy, Rest
Aimee McNew, MNTAimee McNew is a certified nutritionist who specializes in women's health, fertility, and autoimmunity. She is the editor-in-chief at PaleoPlan, and runs a private practice at aimeemcnew.com.
1. Find a practitioner who will address all of your concerns! Many of the women I work with have dealt with miscarriage, and require extra reassurances while they're going through a pregnancy. A practitioner who aims to keep anxiety low is essential.
2. Stay hydrated! Many women don't realize how much their water needs increase, even in early pregnancy. I ended up in the ER twice from dehydration even though I was drinking a lot of water. Keeping electrolytes balanced is also essential for hydration, so drinking coconut water and adding a pinch of Himalayan sea salt can help to keep them in line.
3. Eat as well as you can. Many women worry that while they're battling nausea and can't get the best foods down that they'll harm their baby. The fact is, your baby is drawing from your existing nutrient stores. While it's great if you can eat vegetables every day, sometimes it's not possible. Just eat the best that you can, and take a high-quality prenatal vitamin.
Rachel TimmermanRachel is the mom behind The Analytical Mommy. It's a parenting and mom lifestyle blog dedicating to helping moms "Parent Smarter. Not Harder!" Are you looking for great tips and hacks to make your day run a bit more smoothly or to help you make more informed decisions? Then www.TheAnalyticalMommy.com is for you! You'll love her posts and her Mom Efficiency Tools! To get access to them, just sign up for her Resource Library.
1. Trust yourself - If you feel like something is wrong, or like you need more information, do your research, ask a friend, or call your doctor! Trust yourself!
2. Don't hesitate to call your doctor! - Answering your questions and taking care of your and your baby is their job! Don't feel silly. When in doubt, call your doctor and ask!
3. Do your best to get some sleep! - Your body is working really hard to make a baby! Take care of yourself and get some rest so your body can do what it needs to do for both you and the baby. Plus, you will have many sleepless nights once the baby is born, so get it now!
Jacqui PatersonJacqui is a former international journalist-turned-blogger. In 2009 she set up her parenting and lifestyle blog, Mummy's Little Monkey.
1. Take people's advice with a grain of salt - you'll get SO many conflicting opinions about everything that it will twist your brain into knots. Trust your instincts and make the decisions that feel right for you.
2. Eat. LOTS! Your hunger will be insatiable - make sure you always carry a cereal bar or a piece of fruit in your bag. You never know when you'll need that energy boost to make it home.
3. Don't try to be superwoman. Pregnancy - as natural and wonderful as it is - is also gruelling on your mind and body. Accept help when it's offered, and don't be afraid to ask for it when it's not.
Sarahhttp://www.mummuddlingthrough.com is the place to hang out for imperfect parenting advice and a bit of blog based camaraderie. It ain’t no disco, but it ain’t no country club either. You can join Sarah for banter, random crap and a spot of #coolmumclub each Thursday via Twitter @mummuddlingthru, Instagram @mummuddlingthrough, Pinterest @mummuddlingthru (shocker, she doesn’t do facebook).
1. Try to reduce work based stress - it's just not worth it! Speak to your manager and ask for help if needs be. If you have an extremely stressful role, consider an early ramp down to maternity leave so you can de-stress before baby arrives.
2. The best way to stay healthy is to pack your diet with as many fruits and vegetables as you can - there's never a better time to work on healthy eating habits than when you know you are fuelling not just yourself, but that baby on board too.
3. Save your caffeine consumption for when the baby's here...switch in decaffeinated tea varieties (which there are an amazing selection nowadays)
Meghan TelpnerMeghan Telpner is a Toronto-based author, speaker, nutritionist, and founder of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. She’s written two bestselling books: UnDiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health and The UnDiet Cookbook. Meghan’s success in cultivating a global community of UnDiet enthusiasts and Culinary Nutrition Experts has garnered her features in Forbes and ranking her as one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs in Canada. For more visit MeghanTelpner.com.
1. Plan for your pregnancy. Cleaning up your home environment, your diet and your body before you even start trying to become pregnant may be one of the most important things you can do (and can help improve fertility too!)
2. Cravings are optional. Many women give in to cravings thinking that they’re going to get big anyway, so why not eat everything your heart desires. The quality of your food will effect how you feel and the development of your baby.
3. Slow down but keep moving. Pregnancy is not the time to up your fitness regime, but to slow it down and be more gentle. That doesn’t mean hitting the sofa for longer stretches but just being more mindful and easy with your choice of movements. Walking, hiking, gentle yoga and pilates can be excellent for helping the body accommodate all the changes and prepare for the ultimate physical act of giving birth.
Dr. Harvey KarpDr. Harvey Karp is a world-renowned pediatrician, author of the Happiest Baby on the Block series and inventor of SNOO Smart Sleeper. His breakthrough discoveries—the calming reflex, the 5 S’s and Toddler-ese—have benefited millions of parents and his Happiest Baby education classes are taught in over 20 nations. Dr. Karp has devoted his life to helping families raise healthy and happy children.
1. Prioritize Sleep It seems strange that such a tiny being can make you so tired, but it’s normal to feel 10,000% more exhausted during pregnancy. Trust what your body is telling you…and get the rest you need! Good sleep eases just about all of the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy—and reduces your risk for pre-natal depression (less common than postpartum depression, but still a concern). My sleep tips for pregnant mamas? Getting plenty of sunlight during the day, exercise, avoiding screen time / thought-provoking tasks at night…and finding good pillows and props to make your changing body comfy in bed. Plus, sleep is essential to self-care after the baby arrives, so you’ll do yourself a favor read up on some baby sleep tips now. My favorite? The “wake and sleep” method, which teaches infants healthy sleep habits…and works best if you use it from day one!
2. Make Your Body Your Temple Most doctors and midwives will tell you to eat well, avoid certain foods and to give up drinking, smoking and drug use—and I’m with them on all that advice. But what’s less discussed—yet very important—is limiting your toxic load. Here are some easy ways to do just that: Skip the dry-cleaning, let someone else pump your gas, avoid chemical-heavy chores and educate yourself about endocrine disruptors. The Environmental Working Group’s healthy pregnancy guide and easy-to-search database are excellent resources to help you navigate the tricky business of reducing your exposure to harmful chemicals.
3. Communicate with Your Care Provider Many pregnant moms ask me, what are the signs I should call my OB or midwife? The quick answer is also the best answer: Pick up the phone whenever you are worried about…anything! That said, it’s a good to know the top few red-flag symptoms. Anytime you have a fever, dizziness, chest pain, bleeding or contractions (not Braxton Hicks, which come and go)—those are all good reasons to check in with your doctor. Most likely you will be fine, but should there be a problem, getting care quickly is the best way to stay healthy.
Dr. Lori Shemek
"Dr. Lori Shemek is a leading fat cell researcher and recognized authority on inflammation and its role in weight loss, preventing disease and optimizing health.
Dr. Shemek is the best-selling author of ‘How To Fight FATflammation!’ and the best-selling author of “Fire-Up Your Fat Burn!’ She is a leading health and weight loss expert
Dr. Lori Shemek, is a regular health contributor to Fox News, a health expert for the ABC TV show Good Morning Texas, "
1. Drink Water. Getting enough nourishing fluids, like water, is important during pregnancy to prevent constipation and provide for the expanding blood volume that carries oxygen and nutrients to both the mother and baby.
2. Eat Fish. The fats in wild fatty fish, called omega-3 fats, are essential for brain and vision development in the baby. In fact, research shows that if the mother consumes ample omega 3 fat, the child scores higher on I.Q. tests later in life. Add 12 ounces of fish per week.
3. Don’t Gain Too Much Weight. Excess body weight entering pregnancy or accumulated during pregnancy can increase the risks for pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes or cesarean delivery. Be mindful of excess food intake.
Erica Rodefer WintersErica Rodefer Winters is a yoga teacher who helps pregnant and new mamas find more balance in their life through yoga, mindfulness, self-care, inspiration, community, and humor. She spoils her yoga students rotten (in a good way!), and it's her mission to teach mamas that it's not selfish to spoil themselves every now and then, too.
1. Keep moving. Gentle exercise like walking, yoga, and swimming are the three best ways to prevent and/or ease some of the most common aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
2. Practice mindfulness. While exercise can help prepare your body for pregnancy and birth, I think it's even more important to start preparing your mind. Practices like meditation, affirmations, and visualizations coupled with deep breathing can help you prepare mentally for both the discomforts of birth as well as the many parenting challenges that are sure to follow!
3. Find mama friends. If I could do my first pregnancy all over again, I'd put a lot more emphasis on finding other pregnant moms to befriend. Having a supportive network of other like-minded moms who can give advice and lend a sympathetic ear definitely enriches pregnancy and the first years of parenting. New mamas always need someone to remind them to be kinder to themselves and make time for themselves—and that's what mom friends do best!
The Mum ProjectThe Mum Project is an honest account of my life. I am not your typical mother. I'm down to earth, I love beer pong and swimming naked in pools, working in digital and making a difference.
1. Relax! Your baby is healthier when you are calm. I went to hypno-birthing classes and learned how to belly breathe which really helped me during my pregnancy and the labour.
2. Pre-Natal Vitamins. Although make sure you have food with this as I remember when I was three months pregnant I took a pre-natal vitamin in the morning before breakfast and felt nauseous, but other than that they made me feel better and my hair grew longer!
3. Exercise. This is a hard one because when you are 8 months pregnant you don't feel like doing anything, but even just a walk around the neighbourhood makes you feel better. I certainly felt better, more energised and less moody.
Parijat DeshpandeParijat Deshpande is the leading high-risk pregnancy expert who educates and guides women on how to manage their stress, anxiety and overall wellness so they can have healthier pregnancies, decrease their risk of preterm birth and give their baby a healthy start to life. Parijat is a clinically trained therapist, a women’s wellness expert, lifestyle medicine practitioner and an experienced speaker on the impact of stress on health and wellness.
1. Listen to your body and trust it's signals. Your body is always communicating with you and telling you what it needs. From needing more water to needing more rest to needing less activty. Whatever it is, your body's signals are always correct. Pay attention and follow through.
2. Keep your anxiety low! Emotional stress and anxiety has been shown to be associated with numerous pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, preterm contractions, low birthweight babies and preterm labor. Exercise, journaling, deep breathing, yoga and meditation are great ways to manage your anxiety during pregnancy. If they're not working, reach out for professional support.
3. Get enough good quality sleep. You may need extra pillows for support, extra help to care for your other children or household responsibilities so ask for it. But good quality sleep for 7-8 hours a night for most nights during your pregnancy is essential for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Tabitha BlackI’m Tabitha, a boy mom and expecting a girl June 2017, wife, and blogger! I love to cook and try new foods. I’m a bargain shopper, health nut but sweet fanatic at the same time, traveling is a passion, the thrill of being a tourist even in my own town. I'm a mental health advocate and animal lover!
1. Pay attention to your bodies cues. Take breaks when needed, have a snack, if you feel somethings wrong call your Doctor, exercise to your limit.
2. Print a healthy snacks alternatives for those cravings and try the suggestion when your having a craving for a junk food.
3. Take time for yourself every day. Whether you're a first time Mom or not, take at least 10 minutes to yourself each day. It's very important for your health along with your families including the baby growing in you.
Dr. Jolene BrightenDr. Jolene Brighten is a licensed Functional Medicine Naturopathic Doctor, best selling author, speaker, and mother. Dr. Brighten specializes in women’s health, from fertility to postpartum care, adrenal and thyroid support, autoimmune conditions, and digestive disorders. She is considered an expert in autoimmune thyroid disease and has helped thousands of women heal from this condition. In her patient centered practice, Dr. Brighten thrives on navigating the space between conventional and alternative medicine, all while working with patients to help them achieve optimum balance, health, and happiness.
1. Check Your Nutrients. It is not enough to rely on a prenatal alone, specific nutrients like vitamin D, iron, B12 and folate are critical for a healthy pregnancy and many women do not get enough of these nutrients.
2. Monitor Your Thyroid. Thyroid testing should be completed early in pregnancy and include a TSH, Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antibodies if those have not been tested previously. Because pregnancy is literally a stress test for your thyroid, you may not be making adequate amounts of hormone for you and baby. Hypothyroidism in pregnancy is associated with miscarriage, preeclampsia and results developmental delays in baby.
3. Practice self care. Moms are amazing at putting their family first, but during pregnancy and postpartum it is vital that your nourish yourself. Meditate, walk, eat whole foods, get a massage and do whatever else makes you feel energized and vibrant, while reducing stress. Mom's stress hormones during pregnancy have been shown to influence baby's stress response in life — the more stressed mom is, the more likely her child is to have an heightened response to stress.
Dr. Angela Jones OB/GYN
"Dr. Angela Jones, M.D., FACOG knew she wanted to be a physician from the age of four and would profess her passion for medicine to whomever would listen growing up in Columbus, OH. The daughter of a well-known pastor, Angela Jones is a “tiny, black, woman of color with a HUGE voice” as she describes herself, while her patients might say she is a brilliant doctor and witty “giggle-starter” with wildly contagious energy!
An award-winning and board-certified obstetrics and gynecology expert, Dr. Angela is also a wife and mother who has been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, TheBump, Shape, Self, Women's Health, Care.com and more!
“Women are the foundation of the world – the pillars of society – and it is a privilege and an honor to care for ALL women; young and old. The breadth of patients that I see is truly amazing; judges, lawyers, physicians, students, artists, dancers (technically and not so technically trained), prostitutes, survivors of sex trafficking and more,”– Dr. Angela
Dr. Angela completed her residency at Christiana Care Health System, where she served as chief resident and earned multiple awards for clinical excellence. She received her undergraduate degree from Centre College, in Danville, KY and her medical degree at The Medical College of Ohio. In addition, Dr. Angela received certification to perform Da Vinci Robotics during her tenure at Barnabas Health System – and remains one of a handful of female, board certified, robotic surgeons in NJ. She currently works for Healthy Woman in Monmouth County, NJ.
With the success of her Ask Dr. Angela Podcast on iTunes, the Ask Dr. Angela blog, and the Ask Dr. Angela website, a book was a natural next step, providing Dr. Angela another means for her to pursue her passion of empowering women via education and best practice and standard of medicine. Dr. Angela compiled a list of the questions her patients asked her on a daily basis and the answers she provided. Nothing remains uncovered in her new book.
“I am living my dream…not just my dream…but the dream of my aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, and great grandparents who didn’t have anywhere close to the opportunities that I have been afforded as a tiny, African-American woman…..but you know what? I’m here because of them.”– Dr. Angela"
1. Go with the flow. For once, YOU are no longer in charge. The baby that is growing inside of you pretty much calls the shots. A good lesson to learn, especially for first time moms. That growing fetus moves when it wants to move, sleeps when it wants to sleep, lays where it wants to lay, which may translate into sleepless nights, back pain or bladder pressure or any of the numerous other nuances I can think of(swelling in hands and feet, heartburn, gas…….). Pregnancy is such a dynamic state, full of lots of bodily changes. As uncomfortable as it may, at times, be, embrace the changes your body is going through and focus on the amazing human being that is growing inside of you.
2. Ask lots of questions. As GI Joe always says, “knowing is half the battle.” A well informed patient is a happier patient and a more in control patient. None of us comes into this world knowing how to be a mom, and many of us have no idea if all the changes our bodies go through during the course of pregnancy are normal, or not. There are never any dumb questions….I tell my patients this a lot. The more knowledgeable you are, the less stressed you will be, and the healthier baby will be.
3. Remember, it takes a village. This is a concept I used to hear a lot growing up; mostly because more folks were involved in helping to ensure that children were being well taken care of and raised “appropriately”. I think this concept can be included and should be included in pregnancy as well. It takes a village. That village being your partner/spouse, your team of physicians, the nurses at the hospital, family and friends, to get you through a pregnancy from that first prenatal visit to leaving the hospital with the baby, to those first few weeks as a mom at home. Remember, you are not alone. Pregnancy is a team sport. Your team is always there to support you, whether or not that be via showering you with compliments when you “feel like an F’in whale”, to when you have back pain and can’t sleep at night, to when you need someone to hold your hand during the throws of labor……Depend on the village. That’s what we’re there for.