Katie Moore is a mom just like you and writes the blog, “Moore From Katie”. She’s passionate about helping moms learn as much as they can about all aspects regarding having a healthy baby. The following is a guest post written by Katie.
If you are an expecting mom, the way you take care of yourself can have a direct impact on the health of your unborn baby. Here are some healthy habits that will improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
Before making too many big changes to your nutrition and exercise regimen, it is important to speak to your doctor, midwife or doula. He or she will be a key person when it comes to planning for your health during your pregnancy and planning for your delivery as well. Deliveries today involve many choices, like pain management medicine during delivery and cord blood collection* for umbilical cord blood banking, after delivery – so asking your doctor for information is the best choice.
*(read more about cord blood collection at http://www.viacord.com/)
Get Up and Move
Exercise is good for you when you’re pregnant. It doesn’t just keep your heart and lungs strong, it improves your mood and reduces common pregnancy discomforts like back pain and fatigue. Working out regularly* can also make labor and delivery easier and help you drop weight faster after your baby is born.
*(an excellent resource on safe work out guidelines can be found at http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/exerciseguidelines.html)
Unless you have a medical reason to minimize or avoid exercise, it is recommended that pregnant mothers get at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intense aerobic activity. Some appropriate exercise choices include brisk walking, stationary biking, dancing, pregnancy yoga and swimming.
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Diet is a key part of having a healthy pregnancy. Foods that contain iron, protein, folic acid and calcium are essential for a baby to develop properly in utero. Folic acid* is a must during the early stages of pregnancy because it helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Foods that are rich in folic acid include citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, beans and legumes. *(read more on folic acid at http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/your_pregnancy/preg_folic_acid.html)
Calcium helps an unborn baby develop a strong skeletal frame. If there isn’t enough calcium in your diet, the baby will take what he needs from your bones and leave them weak and vulnerable to fractures. Foods that are packed with calcium include low fat dairy, leafy green vegetables and almonds.
Iron assists in the production of hemoglobin and helps carry oxygen to the cells. If your iron stores get low while you’re pregnant, you’ll feel sluggish and tired all of the time. Foods that are rich in iron include lean meats, beans, whole grains and leafy green veggies.
Protein is especially important during the second trimester of pregnancy. This nutrient helps a baby grow internal organs, muscles, fingers, toes, hair and nails. Eating lean meat, poultry, fish, beans and eggs can help you get more than enough protein in your diet.
Supplement Your Eating Plan
Even with the healthiest diet, it can be tough to meet the increased nutritional demands of pregnancy. This is particularly true when it comes to folic acid and iron. Taking a daily prenatal vitamin* will pick up the slack where your diet falls short.
*(more on prenatals and info on obtaining a free sample of one you can drink can be found at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/prenatalvitamins.html)
Because of the increased blood volume experienced during pregnancy, iron deficiency is very common. If your iron is low, your practitioner will work with you to determine whether you need iron supplements in addition to prenatal vitamins. Taking too much iron is toxic. Don’t take iron supplements unless your pregnancy care provider says it’s necessary.
With these simple tips, your diet and exercise routine will greatly benefit your health, which will result in an easier delivery and a healthier baby.
Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.