Pregnancy: Caring for Your Body
Being pregnant means following a healthy lifestyle and is more important than ever. It is crucial to understand what steps you can take to keep you and your baby in good health.
Prenatal care is one of the vital factors that ensure a strong, healthy pregnancy. This involves visiting your health care provider during the first 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy to discuss and implement your care during pregnancy. Proper nutrition is another important factor because it is important to consume healthy foods and stay away from things that may harm your baby as it develops.
When you are pregnant, dieting and cutting calories is not recommended – you will need to take in about 300 more calories per day to ensure you and your baby are properly nourished, especially as the pregnancy progresses. This amount can very from woman to woman. You also need to make sure what you eat is nutritionally sound. Nutritious foods contain the essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to a baby’s growth and development.
It is quite simple to integrate healthy habits into your daily life. Maintain a well-balanced diet by following basic dietary guidelines. Lean meats, fruit, vegetables, whole-grain bread and low-fat dairy products are all essential to maintaining good health. During pregnancy, certain nutrients are required in higher-than-normal amounts such as calcium, iron, and folic acid.
Many people have already heard about how important folate (folic acid) is for a pregnant woman. It has been found that consuming folic acid one month before and during the first 3 months of pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects by 70%. The neural tube is formed during the first 28 days of pregnancy and eventually develops into the baby’s brain and spinal cord.
To remain healthy while pregnant is also key to drinking plenty of fluids. During pregnancy your blood volume increases, so drinking lots of water is the best way to avoid dehydration and constipation.
Exercise is a great way to feel great throughout an entire pregnancy and has many benefits during labor and delivery. There is no reason to stop physical activity once you become pregnant; in fact, dietary guidelines suggest that you take 30 minutes or more each to work out at a moderate pace. Regular exercise prevents excessive weight gain, reduces problems such as back pain, swelling and constipation, improves sleep, increases energy, promotes a positive attitude, prepared your body for labor and lessens recovery time after birth.
Proper sleep is another factor in maintaining health and comfort during pregnancy. Pregnancy can take its toll and after a long day, you will feel more tired than usual. As the baby grows bigger it will be more difficult to sleep but trying to get as much as you can, will do wonders for your mind and body!
Following a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising and drinking plenty of fluids are all important to your overall well-being during pregnancy. If you strive to eat nutritious food and maintain a positive attitude during the course of your pregnancy, the good moments will definitely outshine the difficult ones.
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