Finding out you’re pregnant can be both exciting and daunting. Suddenly, you need to worry about what you’re putting into your body, as well as the environment you’re surrounded by. There’s so many things you start to worry about as you strive to make sure your baby develops healthily in the womb.
There’s also the potentially nasty side effects to think about, as well as the effect stress could have on both you and your unborn baby. It can be overwhelming and many moms-to-be are understandably confused as to what they should and shouldn’t be doing.
So, if you’re looking to enjoy a healthy pregnancy, below you’ll discover 15 awesome tips that will help!
1. Ensure You Seek Prenatal Care As Early As Possible
The first step to a healthy pregnancy is ensuring you get high-quality prenatal care as early as possible. So, as soon as you discover you’re pregnant, be sure to call your doctor and arrange your very first prenatal appointment.
Prenatal care is vital for the health of your baby as you’ll be screened to check whether you have any conditions which could cause potential complications. You’ll also need to let them know whether you’re taking any current medications.
It’s also important to note that you should take your time to find the right prenatal care provider. It is an important decision so you need to be sure you don’t rush into it. Ask family and friends for recommendations.
2. Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins provide baby with essential vitamins and minerals they need for healthy development. Within the first month of pregnancy, baby’s neural cord develops and it needs nutrients such as iron, folic acid and calcium in order to develop into the spinal cord and brain – something prenatal vitamins have an abundance of.
You can buy these vitamins over the counter at your local drug store, or your doctor may also be able to prescribe them. Some women find these vitamins make them feel a little nauseous. If you start to feel queasy after taking them, it’s a good tip to start taking them either with a light snack, or at night time. Some women also find chewing gum or sucking on a hard candy also helps to reduce the feeling of nausea.
3. Drink Lots Of Fluids
Keeping the body hydrated is essential during pregnancy. However, you’ll want to focus on drinking plenty of water and avoiding drinks containing caffeine, as well as artificial colorings.
It’s advisable to make sure you’re drinking around 8-10 glasses of water each day. It’s tempting to skip a few glasses as pregnancy does tend to make you urinate more frequently so drinking more water seems like a bad idea. However, it’s partially for the reason you do urinate more frequently that you need to keep your hydration levels topped up.
You’ll also want to avoid alcohol for the duration of the pregnancy. While it is generally safe to consume a tiny amount of alcohol while pregnant, such as the odd glass of wine, it is advised against if you feel you can hold off for nine months.
4. Be Mindful Of What You Eat
One of the great things many women look forward to during pregnancy is “eating for two”. However, did you know you should only be eating approximately 300 extra calories each day?
In terms of what you should be eating, a healthy and balanced diet is key, but there are certain nutrients you’ll want to focus on. Protein is a good example, as during pregnancy you need to start consuming around 70g of protein instead of 45g. You’ll also need to ensure you meet your recommended daily calcium intake.
As well as focusing on what you’re eating, you also need to pay attention to how you cook it. Eating any raw foods (besides fruit and vegetables) can be really harmful to baby. Undercooked and raw eggs, seafood, juices and meats can contain bacteria which will harm your little one. So, make sure all foods are cooked thoroughly.
Some experts suggest pregnant women should be eating five or six balanced meals each day, rather than the three large meals most of us consume.
5. Exercise Regularly
It’s understandable you might feel a little uneasy about exercising when you’re pregnant. However, provided you follow strict guidelines, exercising is actually really healthy for you and baby.
There are specialist prenatal exercise classes you can attend which focus on safe, gentle exercises. Walking is also a great gentle exercise you can do to keep fit. Just 15-20 minutes each day is all you need to feel fantastic.
Not exercising is one of the biggest mistakes women can easily make during pregnancy. As you’re eating more, exercising will ensure you don’t gain too much pre-baby weight, which in turn will help you to feel healthier and happier both during and after the pregnancy.
It’s important to note here that you should get approval from a doctor before embarking on any exercise program. They will be able to advise you on which types of exercise are better and whether there’s any reason you shouldn’t exercise while pregnant.
6. Ensure You Get Plenty Of Rest
While exercising gently throughout your pregnancy is advised, it’s also important to ensure you get plenty of rest too. In some cases, rest is unavoidable and your doctor may even prescribe bed rest if you have high-blood pressure or there’s a medical reason you need to rest more than the average pregnant woman.
Sleep is especially important, but it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you’re pregnant. Whether it’s frequent trips to the lavatory or you develop bad heartburn during the night, there’s a lot of things that can interrupt your usual sleep routine. In these cases, it may be a good idea to try and sneak in a nap the day after. If you’re experiencing regular sleep troubles however, it’s advised you speak about it with your doctor and see what help is available.
Resting will give your baby the best chance of developing healthily and it will also limit your stress levels.
7. Be Careful If You Visit The Spa
What better way to relax during pregnancy than visiting your local health spa? However, there’s a few treatments and facilities you’ll actually want to avoid.
The Sauna and hot tub for example, can both be detrimental to your baby’s health. This is because they can cause the body to overheat pretty quickly. The American Pregnancy Association claims that just 10-20 minutes sitting in a hot tub can cause the body’s temperature to increase up to 102 Degrees Fahrenheit. This is just about safe for pregnant women, but any longer and your temperature could reach dangerous levels.
You’ll also need to be wary of any essential oils you come into contact with. Many women are unaware that some essential oils can trigger uterine contractions during the first or second trimester. Just some of the oils you’ll want to avoid include clary sage, juniper and rosemary. It’s best to talk to the therapist to ensure any oils being used are safe for pregnant women.
8. Start Creating A Birth Plan
Putting together a birth plan is extremely important. Very few babies are born on their actual due date. So, if you leave the birthing plan until the last minute, you could be caught off guard if your baby decides to make an early appearance.
The birth is a stressful and anxious time and if you don’t have a plan in place, things can go wrong. So, think about the type of birth you’re hoping to have. Add any specific instructions you want your birthing partner to follow and if you already have children, decide whether or not you want them present on the day of the birth.
Some other useful things you’ll want to think about include whether there’s any procedures you’d prefer to avoid, what kind of pain medications you want and if there’s any particular clothes you’d prefer to wear. Be as detailed as possible in your birth plan, but remember, things won’t always go according to the plan!
9. Don’t Deny Those Cravings
Not all pregnant women develop unusual cravings, but if you do, don’t deny them! As long as you’re eating a mainly balanced diet, it’s perfectly fine to enjoy the odd indulgent craving. Most tend to consist of ice cream, pickles or some pretty unusual food combinations. However, if you find your cravings are a little more bizarre, it could be time to head to the doctor.
A lot of pregnant women experience non-food cravings such as chewing on a new sponge or eating charcoal. Some even love the smell of dust particles. They may be humorous, but non-food cravings can actually be a sign of a condition known as “Pica”. Eating the non-food items you’re craving can affect yours and your baby’s ability to absorb nutrients, as well as contain potentially harmful chemicals.
So, if your cravings are food related, don’t feel guilty about giving into them. However, be sure to visit the doctor if you start craving non-food items.
10. Try Out Kegel Exercises
One of the most embarrassing and frustrating problems pregnant women face is bladder weakness. It’s unsurprising considering you now have a baby pushing onto your bladder! However, there is a way to reduce the discomfort and strengthen those pelvic floor muscles and that’s via Kegel exercises.
Kegel exercises won’t just strengthen the muscles associated with urinating, but they’ll also help support the uterus and bowels too. If you can do them correctly, they may even help with the birth. The great thing about this type of exercise is the fact it can be done absolutely anywhere and nobody can tell you’re even doing them.
Take a look online and you’ll find detailed instructions of how to do Kegel exercises correctly. Alternatively, if you’re going to prenatal exercise classes, the teacher may naturally incorporate Kegel exercises into the routine.
11. Change Your Shoes
Did you know that the size of your feet can change during pregnancy? Even more surprising, is the fact the feet can permanently change size after pregnancy too. This is because if there’s too much pressure placed upon the feet during pregnancy, it can cause them to permanently flatten out.
As you naturally gain weight, especially water weight, your ankles may start to swell and your feet may become larger. So, it’s a good idea to invest in new shoes the minute you start feeling your current ones becoming too tight. If you invest in larger, more comfortable shoes now, you may be able to prevent your feet changing size permanently.
12. Wear Sunscreen If You’re Heading Out
When you’re pregnant, the skin becomes more sensitive to the sun, putting you at a higher risk of chloasma and sun burn. So, if you’re heading out, be sure to wear sunscreen. Ideally it should be at least 30 SPF and you can even find brands which produce chemical-free ingredients. It’s also a good idea to wear sunglasses and a hat for added protection.
You’ll also want to avoid using tanning beds. There isn’t any concrete evidence that tanning beds can harm your baby, but the American Pregnancy Association advises against using them.
13. Be Aware Of Seatbelt Positioning
Wearing a seatbelt whilst you’re pregnant isn’t exactly comfortable, but it is necessary for the safety of both you and baby. Just be sure you’re using the correct positioning and you’ll be adequately protected.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends having the shoulder part of the seatbelt, across the collarbone. The lower part of the belt should be secured below the abdomen. Try and position the lower part as low down as you can and never place it above the abdomen.
It’s also important to sit away from any airbags if possible.
14. Treat Yourself
When baby arrives, you’re going to be left with very little time to focus on yourself. So, take some much-needed time out to treat yourself. Spend time doing the things you really enjoy. Listen to calming, happy music, catch up with friends, read a book, have a manicure- now is the perfect time to do anything you love to do.
This won’t just be good for you – it will be great for baby too.
15. Research As Much As Possible
Finally, one thing you’ll want to do is research as much as possible. Read baby books, look at articles online and join parenting forums. You’ll want to gather as much information and tips as you possibly can. However, it’s also important to note that no matter how much research you do, it’s never going to fully prepare you for the journey ahead. It does give you a head start though!
Overall, the key to a happy, healthy pregnancy is to limit the amount of stress in your life, eat a healthy diet, exercise gently and educate yourself as much as possible about pregnancy, the birth and baby’s first few months. The tips above will really help you to give your baby the best start in life. Remember, if you experience anything you’re concerned about, such as twitching, pain or bleeding, don’t hesitate to contact a doctor. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.
When I found out I was pregnant I started getting tips and advice from everybody and it was overwhelming to follow! This list is straight to the point and has great tips. One of the most important tips for me is the fourth one about being mindful of what to eat. As a mommy to be I always hear that I need to eat for two and, although I’m very grateful, I get offered a lot of food that is either not nutritious for myself or the baby, or even dangerous.
I find this a good read not just for future Mommy’s but also for those who are close to someone who is pregnant so they can inform themselves. A lot of people want to be involved and support their pregnant relative or friend and don’t know how, this can give them an insight!
True, Jordana. The tips here are a few of the most basic things a pregnant woman needs to remember. And yes, you’re right about foods to eat. A pregnant woman should be conscious of it because the food will also be taken in by the baby. Definitely no to junk foods and sodas. More of fruits and vegetables, as well as milk for moms-to-be.
This article reminds me the good memories during my pregnancy. Prenatal check ups, taking of vitamins, excercise, stress free environment, everything that is needed. Pregnancy is another milestone of womans life, it needs awareness and extra care. Don’t be too worry just enjoy your pregnancy. Alot of physical changes is expected but everything will be worthy. Happy mommy is happy baby.
I also enjoyed my pregnancy, and I would say, I’m probably one of the lucky few who didn’t have a difficult pregnancy (except for the long hours of labor). I would say my morning sickness was normal except for my oldest child where I felt like puking all throughout the day during the first three months. Other than that, nothing major.
You’re right about having a stress-free environment during pregnancy because stress can hugely affect the health of both mom and baby.
Reading this brings back memories when I was pregnant last year. I surely thought that I was prepared for every step. Boy was I wrong! Everything that I was taught quickly came into full play, and there were times that I just had to “wing it”. This entire list is very helpful, and encouraging to all moms before, during, and after the pregnancy. This is awesome advice that ACTUALLY helps, and lighten the worries.
Despite feeling that we’re well-equipped about the whole pregnancy, nothing could seem to totally prepare us for the real thing. There would still be some hits and misses along the way, especially for first-time moms. However, it is important to be prepared as compared to not knowing anything at all. Education is the key to things we do not know about. It would help us a lot 🙂
Thank you so much for giving these amazing tips on how one can be able to have a healthy pregnancy lifestyle. I mean with these tips, I would be able to teach my future wife on ways that she can enjoy her life during the time of her pregnancy.
Wow! Sounds good. Yes, do keep your future wife informed about this. It would greatly help her and I’m sure she’ll appreciate the tips. Pregnancy is not an easy stage but it can be made bearable by these tips and by the love of people around us.
Informing her of these tips remain one of the best information I can offer to her since the lady I’m planning to marry is young like I am. That’s the reason I’ve always made out time to visit the blog on a daily basis.
Start to create birth plans sounds exciting. It’s a detail where do you plan to gave bith, taking notes of the first things for the baby must have, the name and where did you get it from, the brand that you gonna look for and qualities. This is the time to be more detailed of everything. You will probably asking how other experienced with certain formula or diapers. It’s a start up of being hands on future mom.
That’s true, sweetpot81. All the things you mentioned should be given attention. And pregnant moms should never ever forget to take care of themselves and their babies because it is the most important preparation – being healthy and strong for the big day!
Upon reading this, I remember the time when I was pregnant with my first child. Eating healthy foods and avoiding stress are very important. Love, care and support of our family are important as well to have a healthy and happy pregnancy!
You’re so right, Chelley. We should strive for a stress-free pregnancy because stress can wreak havoc into our health and also of the baby. Stress also tends to lower our resistance to diseases. Pregnant women should never get sick as much as possible because medications are a no-no as they could terribly affect the development of the unborm child.
I think many women need these tips, a lot of them do. Sorry to say this, am not woman so I have no idea the tremendous amount of pain and stress women go through during pregnancy but some women simply don’t look good during this period…no harm intended.
I think the tips are absolutely recommendable but I’ll like to add one more which I think will fit into point 11. “Dress yourself”.
I’ve noticed that a lot of women here where I come from tend to loose touch with their wardrobe during pregnancy. I understand that pregnancy itself effects certain changes in a woman like the feeling of being lazy and lost of taste in many things, but I think it’ll be great to see a pregnant woman dress with style every now and then.
I agree, Rumu. Pregnant women should also be mindful of the way they look even if they don’t feel like dressing up or putting makeup on. The choices in clothing though are a bit limited as compared to regular clothing but there’s always a variety to choose from.
Ladies, take note of these tips coming from a guy, haha. We sure want to please our men with the way we look 🙂
These are amazing tips for pregnant women. There are different symptoms and morning sickness incur when pregnant unfortunately every pregnancy is different. It is hard to fight the cravings and all the changes in the body.
So true, Mary Catherine. Every pregnancy is different so a woman cannot really generalize or predict the situation for her succeeding pregnancies. The first pregnancy may be hassle-free, the second may be the exact opposite. And not every woman who gets a cesarean operation with her first baby will never have a normal delivery.
Whatever the situation may be, every pregnant woman should ensure her health and that of her baby’s by following the tips mentioned here 🙂
As I was reading through this list I was nodding along to all the points until I got to the seventh one! I am genuinely surprised! My husband and I are already planning to get pregnant in the coming year and I absolutely love bubble baths, and unlike my hubby I like to crank the temperature up until I’m steaming like a lobster, haha. It’s just one more thing I have to watch out for now. This list had a surprising amount of helpful advice, it really opens your mind to all the biological changes your body undergoes when you’re growing a baby inside of you. At least I’m quite happy to learn it’s completely naturally to get those food cravings; now I know I can tell my hubby it’s just my ‘pica’ acting up. 😉
Haha, I bet you would really try that ‘pica’ thing with your hubby when the day comes. Pregnant women do tend to eat a lot because they’re eating for two but they don’t necessarily crave for weird things, at least not in my case. I did read about stories of pregnant women asking for really impossible food combinations, not sure if they’re really true though 🙂
When my wife was pregnant with the 1st and 2nd daughter. I also wanted to know more so that I won’t give her something that can cause harm to the babies. And I remember reading somewhere that she should not drink carbonated drinks and coffee, and instant food and drinks. And because of that both of the babies came out so much healthier and she was able to provide breast milk not needing any other formula milk instead. Just sharing this out to all that knowing a lot of things by reading or watching videos on the net like this article will help you a lot in doing what’s best for parents and the kids.
Right on, melvs. You’re one of the few knowledgeable and concerned dad and hubby. Bless you!
We truly appreciate your effort in understanding a woman’s pregnancy and her overall health as well as that of your babies. Not many men would go the extra mile to care for their other half that much. Thank you.
And yes, carbonated drinks, coffee, and junk foods are a definite no-no!
This tips are very helpful especially now that I am considering to become a mother soon.
To add on the points you mentioned, the brain of a pregnant woman shrinks and then goes back to normal after giving birth. So pregnant women shouldn’t feel bad when they realize that they have become more forgetful. I remember last year when my friend was pregnant at around 7 months, we would argue about which road leads to the stage and although I felt sad she was more forgetful, I completely understood her condition. 😀
Taking vitamins is really good since we are not aware of what is deficit in our system. They will help to guarantee that the baby will develop well.
The point you mentioned regarding the shrinking of a pregnant woman’s brain really intrigued me. It’s my first time to learn about this so I looked it up and apparently, there is indeed a significant “shrinking” in the brain when a woman is pregnant. Researchers used a computer imaging device (an MRI) to see the brain and saw a reduction. Wow! They did say the shrinkage is the systems way of preparing the body for the humongous task ahead.
As for taking vitamins, I totally agree 100%. I have experienced these with my kids and found that my kids for whom I took regular vitamins for have a stronger immune system as compared to one or two of them where I sometimes skipped days in taking vitamins. Vitamins should never be taken for granted when one is pregnant. It’s for the baby really.
The information embedded in this article is truly educative and quite interesting. It gives a complete description on how a pregnant mother would make sure to keep good health for both herself and the baby.
I have a pregnant friend whom it happens to be her first pregnancy experience, as I have found this article very useful I would definitely ensure to relay it to her for the benefits it would offer her.
I really appreciate the effort the writer put in constructing and updating this for all of our reading.
Thank you very much for helping us spread the word and help those who need the information here. The health of both mother and baby is of great importance so your friend must follow the tips here.
When my wife was pregnant, she followed all of these. Once she tested positive, we went to the gyno and asked questions about healthy pregnancy. We were told to do USG in the 6th week. When she was six weeks pregnant, she performed USG and we went yo the doctor again. He said the fetus is good and in order to help it gorw better she needs to take Folic acid. She began taking folic acids. When she was in the third month, she began taking iron and calcium as well.