Tips For a Healthy Pregnancy

The “secrets” of a healthy pregnancy are out there for everyone to see. While there are no guarantees, every woman knows what she can do to stay healthy while she is expecting a baby – eating a varied and responsible diet, exercising regularly, finding good prenatal care and going to the doctor when any problem arises. But there are some lesser-known steps you can take that will benefit you and your baby alike too. What are they?

Keep hydrated

Dehydration causes a myriad of problems, whether you are pregnant or not. Morning sickness, one of the most common pregnancy signs in the first trimester, makes dehydration more likely. Even without morning sickness, many women don’t drink enough clear fluids. Staying hydrated lessens your chances of being constipated, having diarrhea (yes, really!), having those horrible pregnancy headaches, and even of suffering from water retention (edema). Lots of expectant moms have swollen ankles due to edema, and while it may seem counter-intuitive that drinking more makes water retention go away, proper hydration really does relieve edema. Heartburn, too, can be caused by a lack of hydration.

Natural vitamins and minerals

Every pregnant mom is advised to take a prenatal supplement containing all the vitamins and minerals she needs. This advice certainly makes sense in a world where most peoples’ diets don’t meet all their nutritional needs, but the real thing is still better. Besides eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and consuming foods from all major food groups, sipping herbal teas can give you a great boost in vitamins and minerals. Nettle leaf tea, for example, is rich in iron, calcium, potassium and sulphur. And you’ll also find vitamins A, C, D and K in there. Great stuff!

Regular exercise

Yes, we know that you know pregnant women should exercise regularly. But we’ll mention it anyway, because regular exercise helps with much more than weight loss after pregnancy. If you are in shape, you may be setting yourself for an easier labor and delivery. Exercise – especially a workout that you really enjoy – alleviates stress, which will be good for you and your baby. And if you spend time outdoors while exercising, there are even more advantages; higher levels of vitamin D, a lower chance of depression, and sometimes even relief from such pregnancy ailments as morning sickness and headaches.

Choose your healthcare provider wisely

Having the right healthcare provider is extremely important – and this refers to both the medical and the personal side of things. Research your prenatal care options and interview several healthcare professionals before you make your final choice. Depending on your wishes and your pregnancy, this may be a high-risk OB, a homebirth midwife, a family practice doctor, or anyone else you feel comfortable with. As long as you have done your research, you will make the right decision.

There is no one “recipe” for a healthy pregnancy, and complications do happen sometimes. Usually, having a good dose of common sense – and honoring your intuition – is all that is needed to get through those nine months successfully and healthily.

Olivia blogs about women’s health at Trying To Conceive. If you are trying to get pregnant, her free ovulation calendar can help you track your most fertile days.

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