Ten Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

Author: Shannon Miller

Shannon Miller Healthy and Balanced Pregnancy Cookbook.

As Mom’s we all want our children to be healthy, happy and safe.

One way to get a head start is to maintain a healthy and fit pregnancy. Not only is it good for your baby, but these tips help you out as well. Pregnancy is an incredible and joyous time; however, it can also be filled with questions, concerns and downright fear.

Never feel bad about calling your physician, even when your question seems silly. If you feel it can wait until your next appointment, keep a notebook with questions you want to ask. Don’t leave the Doctor’s office until each question has been answered to your satisfaction. This is no time for guess work.

Check out ten of my favorite tips from physicians, nurses and moms:

1. Snack Healthy. Try to keep healthy snacks on hand at home and on the run. Some of my favorites are:

  • Low fat yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Pasteurized Cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Almonds
  • Crackers
  • Fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Apples
  • Bananas

2. DHA is the omega 3 fatty acid that helps in your baby’s brain development (sharper vision, memory, better motor skills, and improved language comprehension) and is found in low mercury fish such as salmon, cod, tuna or omega-3 supplements.

3. Deli Meats can contain Listeria. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), pregnant women are 20 times more likely to become infected than non-pregnant healthy adults. It’s important to be cautious when eating deli meats unless they are properly reheated to 160F.

4. Fish Lovers. Avoid fish that contain high levels of mercury. Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. Some fish high in mercury include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.

5. Skip Happy Hour. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other developmental disorders. Be safe and avoid alcohol throughout all stages of your pregnancy.

6. Quit Smoking. If you smoke, there is no better reason to stop. Smoking during pregnancy is always a no-no. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of low birth rate babies and miscarriage. If you live with others that smoke, be sure to remind them that second hand smoke can also adversely affect your baby.

7. Load up on Veggies. Vegetables are a fantastic way to fill up on nutritious, vitamin rich foods. However, remember to wash all raw vegetables thoroughly to avoid potential exposure to toxoplasmosis.

8. Maintain a Fit Pregnancy. Thirty minutes of cardio most days is a terrific way to relieve stress and stay fit. Here are some great ideas for cardio during pregnancy:

  • Prenatal yoga, lotus position.Walking
  • Biking (until your balance makes this difficult or unsafe)
  • Swimming
  • Light weights (2-3lb)
  • Prenatal Yoga/Pilates
Extra TIP: Always make decisions with the help and advice of your personal physician. Use common sense and always err on the side of safety for you and your baby.

9. Try to avoid lying flat on your back for a prolonged period of time. Lying on your back for an extended period of time could interfere with the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your developing baby when your uterus presses on the vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart.

10. Weight Gain? A pregnant woman needs approx 300 extra calories a day. For women carrying multiples it may be more. Talk to you doctor about how much weight you should gain. Women who are underweight may need more where those that are overweight may need less.

For more great TIPs on a healthy and fit pregnancy, and 50 delicious recipes by Chef Jessica Bright, check out Shannon’s Healthy & Fit Pregnancy Cookbook. It makes a wonderful shower gift!
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