How to Stay Healthy during Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a challenging time. While some women bloom and glow, others struggle with the daily aches and pains and wild variety of symptoms that come and go throughout the trimesters. You may be overwhelmed by health advice from well meaning friends and family, with much of it contradicting each other. At the end of the day, you want to do what’s best for your baby and your body, and it doesn’t have to be complicated.

• Nutrition!

The best way to keep your body in peak condition during those long 40 weeks is by providing it with the right fuel. Try to include as much protein as you can get, along with complex carbohydrates to keep your energy levels stable. Once the morning sickness has worn off the urge to overeat can be overwhelming, but you only need to increase your intake by around 300 calories per day, so focus on adding more vitamin-rich foods to get the most out of what you eat. Remember to take an antenatal vitamin daily to cover any areas your diet may be lacking in.

• Fitness!

Don’t be tempted to overdo it, but moderate activity every day can help keep you in good shape even as your baby and belly grow. Consider walking, antenatal yoga and swimming as safe, relaxing exercise throughout your pregnancy.

• Things to Avoid!

Although you can’t wrap yourself in cotton wool until the 9 months are up, there are certain things you will want to stay away from. Alcohol and cigarettes have to be left behind, and you may want to cut down on your caffeine if you’re an avid coffee drinker. Unless your doctor has cleared it, stay away from medications as much as possible as these can be harmful to your baby. Paracetamol is fine if pregnancy headaches are a problem, but otherwise check with your doctor to stay absolutely safe.

Sometimes the most important thing you can do to stay well while pregnant is simply to relax! Sleep as much as you can while the house is still quiet, and try and let go of any unnecessary stress. Your baby, your body and your mind will thank you for it.

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