Expecting a child is a joyful time in your life and an experience unlike any other. You probably know the importance of eating a healthy diet while being pregnant, but sticking to healthy goals is often difficult, especially when you’re experiencing cravings. Here are some tips to have a healthy, happy pregnancy.
Don’t “Eat for Two”
One of the biggest pregnancy myths is “eating for two.” While it’s true that you are providing your baby with vital nutrients for his or her growth and development, you do not need to (and should not) double the amount of calories that you eat. In the first trimester, you only need as little as 300 extra calories per day. Of course, don’t restrict to the point that you feel hungry and miserable, but do keep a close eye on what you’re eating, and how much. In fact, too much weight gain during pregnancy can lead to complications like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes.
Take a Prenatal Vitamin
It can be difficult to get adequate nutrients through diet alone, so talk to your doctor about taking a prenatal vitamin. This can ensure that you get the right amounts of vitamins, especially important ones like folate. Adequate folate (0.64 mg) is essential in preventing neural tube problems in your developing baby. Prenatal vitamins play close attention to this need, so taking your vitamins can ease your mind if you’re worried about getting adequate nutrients from just your diet.
Eat Plenty of Veggies
During pregnancy, it’s important to get enough servings of veggies. You should aim for at least four servings of vegetables per day. There are plenty of veggies to choose from, but dark, leafy greens are especially important for their folate content. Spinach is one of the best foods that you can eat while pregnant, and it’s virtually tasteless, making it a great addition to smoothies. Spinach also tastes great sautéed as a side dish.
Seek Out Healthy Alternatives
If you’re not a fan of veggies and you can’t stomach a salad without a generous dose of dressing, don’t worry. There are healthy alternatives to mayo, salad dressing, and cookie dough made by hamptoncreek. This health-conscious company provides great-tasting products that are eggless and sustainably produced. As a pregnant woman, salmonella from eggs can pose a serious health risk, so switching to eggless products can give you peace of mind.
If you’re a long-distance runner or participate in contact sports like hockey, you might not be able to keep up your exercise routine with the same intensity while pregnant. However, you shouldn’t give up exercising entirely. It’s important to keep moving through your pregnancy, and there are plenty of ways to get adequate exercise that’s safe for you and the baby. Walking is the simplest and cheapest form of exercise, and you’ll get fresh air and nice scenery. To strengthen important muscle groups and release tension, try a prenatal yoga class. This is a great way to meet new friends while strengthening your body and mind.
Cravings are a perfectly normal part of pregnancy, and it’s also perfectly okay to indulge in these cravings from time to time. However, if you’re craving ice cream every single day, it’s best to learn to control these cravings. Although it’s easier said than done, think about how everything that you put into your body affects your child. Instead of a bowl of ice cream, try making a homemade, healthy version of ice cream with frozen strawberries and bananas. You can still satisfy your sweet tooth with natural sugar, and it will be much healthier for both you and the baby.
Get Plenty of Rest
Growing a human is hard work, and it’s normal to feel tired. You might notice feeling especially tired in the first and third trimesters. When you notice yourself feeling fatigued, take a short nap, if possible. It’s impossible to “stock up” on sleep, but it makes sense to give in to feelings of tiredness while you can, because once the baby is born, it will be more difficult to nap whenever the urge strikes.
Pregnancy can be both wonderful and exhausting. During this unique time in your life, it’s important to continue or develop healthy habits. Make sure to eat mindfully, take prenatal vitamins that you and your doctor agree upon, and get plenty of gentle exercise. Also keep in mind that eating healthy doesn’t have to feel like a chore, as there are plenty of healthy alternatives to traditional favorites that come without the extra calories and cholesterol. With a little practice, eating healthy and practicing good habits during your pregnancy will become easier with time.