Friday, June 28, 2013

Healthy Living for A Healthy Pregnancy….and Beyond!

A few weeks ago Katie emailed me and asked if she could do a guest post for me.  I was trilled to have her ask and I said yes.  I planned on writing a whole series on my new healthy living adventure.  Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get everything to come together for the series.  However, I wanted to share Katie’s wonderful post on healthy living for a healthy pregnancy.  I hope you guys enjoy the post!

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

For a pregnant woman, taking care of your body has never become more important than when you find out you’re expecting. Staying healthy during pregnancy will depend your own habits. There are several factors that could contribute to having a healthy pregnancy. Two of the most important factors are good nutrition and proper exercise routine. With a few simple changes to your established habits, you can be sure you’re giving your baby the best start to life.

Proper Nutrition During Pregnancy

Eating for two” is a common phrase that most women take to mean that they should eat twice as much. A mother really only needs to consume an additional 300 calories per day starting in her second trimester compared to the caloric intake of a non-pregnant woman. Good nutrition would also necessitate eating a balanced diet with attention to essential vitamins and nutrients that help ward off birth defects.

Here are a few tips on how to eat healthy during pregnancy:

•Cut out excess sugars, chemicals and processed food from your diet.

•Eating foods that are high in fiber like whole grain breads, pasta, rice, cereal as well as fruits and vegetables will keep your digestion moving along.

•While fruits and vegetables come with vitamins and minerals, additional vitamin supplements may be taken to ensure that the mother and the baby are getting the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals daily. A health care provider may prescribe a good vitamin supplement.

•A pregnant mother should also eat or drink 4 servings of calcium rich foods like low-fat dairy products. This would ensure that 1000 mg to 1300 mg of calcium is taken daily during pregnancy.

•Iron rich foods should be eaten daily as well. It is recommended that at least 3 servings per day should be included in the meals. This will ensure that the pregnant mother gets 27 mg daily.

•A pregnant mother should also choose foods that are a good source of Vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin A daily. Options for vitamin C would include papaya, grapefruits, oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, and many others. Good sources of folic acid are green leafy vegetables. Other sources of folic acid include legumes and veal. A good source of Vitamin A are options like pumpkins, carrots, water squash, potatoes, spinach, apricots, beet greens, and cantaloupe.

•While there are some recommended foods that contribute to healthy nutrition during pregnancy, there are also some foods or drinks that must be avoided. Alcohol needs to be avoided by a pregnant woman. Caffeine may not be eliminated but should be limited. A pregnant woman should take no more than 300 mg of caffeine per day.

Healthy Exercise Routine for Pregnant Women

In addition to eating healthy, maintaining an exercise routine is also necessary to help a pregnant woman stay healthy during her term. With regular exercise, proper posture is improved which helps to alleviate common pregnancy discomforts, like back and leg pain. Exercise can also relieve stress as well as build more stamina that is needed during labor and delivery.

It’s recommended that at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise be performed daily to help improve your energy levels. Most exercises are actually safe to do during pregnancy, provided that the exercises are performed with caution. The safest and the most common exercises are brisk walking, swimming, indoor cycling, as well as low impact aerobics. Yoga was my favorite exercise during pregnancy because it was also very relaxing. My delivery process was uncomplicated and I attribute that to my focus on exercise during my entire term.

Consult Your Health Care Provider All The Time!

If you are a first time mother and you are having some doubts regarding the proper foods to eat and the proper exercises to perform, you should consult your health care provider. Your health care provider can provide you recommendations on the foods that must be eaten, prescribes a good vitamin supplement, and suggests some safe exercises that you can perform at home. I developed a great rapport with my doctor as soon as I learned I was expecting and felt comfortable bringing him a lot of questions about my changing body and upcoming motherhood. He helped me explore options for during and after delivery—things like delivery method, cord blood banking, and breastfeeding were just a few of the things discussed in my appointments.

A pregnant woman is responsible for her health and the health of the baby on her womb. Thus, it is very important for her to take care of her health during the pregnancy period. Having a healthy pregnancy is indeed something that can be achieved through eating a healthy and balanced diet and performing healthy exercises in moderation.