Diet & Exercise
Making healthy diet and exercise choices is important at any time, but especially so during pregnancy. Below are some tips to help you eat well and maintain a healthy activity level while you’re expecting. Be sure that before making any sudden changes in your lifestyle, however, that you always talk with your doctor first.
Eating Healthy for Two
Eat a well-balanced diet. This will ensure that you get all of the nutrients you need. Recommended daily servings include:
6-11 servings of breads and grains
2-4 servings of fruit
4 or more servings of vegetables
4 servings of dairy products
3 servings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts)
Fats and sweets should be used sparingly
Take prenatal supplements. This will ensure that you get enough vitamins and minerals every day, particularly extra iron and folic acid, which are very important for pregnant women. Your doctor can recommend or prescribe a prenatal supplement for you.
Consume more calories. This doesn’t mean eating everything in the refrigerator. In general, you should be consuming about 300 more calories per day than you did before you became pregnant.
Healthy Exercise Habits
Maintain a regular exercise routine. This can help you stay healthy and feel your best. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day on most if not all days of the week, unless you have a medical or pregnancy complication.
Choose the right activities. Most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy, as long as you exercise with caution and don’t overdo it. In general, low-impact activities such as swimming, walking, or cycling on a stationary bike are recommended over high-impact activities. Your heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute. Avoid contact sports altogether (i.e., softball, football or basketball) or activities in which falling is possible such as skiing or horseback riding.
Know when exercising may be harmful. For some pregnant women, exercise can threaten their own health or that of their unborn baby. This is especially true for women who have a medical problem such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes, or for women who have a pregnancy-related problem such as bleeding or threatened or recurrent miscarriages. Always consult your doctor about which activities are safe to engage in and which should be avoided.
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