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This is a guest post written by Beth at Carrots Over Cake. I agree with her advice in this post and I also suggest that you look into activities specific to pregnant women, like this one (use coupon code YOURMODERNFAMILY to get a big discount!) I added a few things, in italics, to her post. Enjoy!
Take it away, Beth…
Beginning a Prenatal Fitness Plan – how to get started and what you need to know. Stop eating what you WANT and start eating what your baby NEEDS.
Chances are that if you’re pregnant one of these junk foods are catching your eye or are a reoccurring craving. While discovering that you’re pregnant is exhilarating, joyous, and maybe a little nerve wrecking, you immediately want to do what’s best for your baby from the very start and that means taking care of yourself.
It is of the utmost importance that you eat the healthy foods you will be encouraging your child to eat. Of course, you can still indulge once in a while and cater to your cravings, but be sure that your diet is balanced and that you’re drinking at least eight glasses of 8 ounce fluids daily. A balanced daily diet consists of:
- 1 – 2 cups of fruits
- 2 – 3 cups of vegetables
- 5 – 8 ounces of grains
- 3 cups of low-fat dairy products
- 5 – 6 ounces of protein
Aim for a variety of color, which indicates maximum nutrition and antioxidants. Be sure to consume lean meat or beans and legumes. Limit your caffeine intake and of course, completely abstain from alcohol or tobacco while pregnant.
Folic acid is an essential supplement to take during pregnancy. It lowers the risk of neural tube defects, in which the tube that will form the brain and spine does not develop correctly, in babies. The FDA has required that enriched grain products, such as pasta and breads, include folic acid. Prenatal vitamins also contain folic acid, along with other essential vitamins, and should be begun when you first start trying to conceive.
Pregnancy is a time to pamper yourself, but you don’t want to become lethargic. Don’t feel that just because you are pregnant you need to give up your favorite fitness routines. As Newton says, an object in motion stays in motion. If your doctor permits, gentle exercise will boost your emotional and mental health, as well as providing many physical benefits. Consistently exercising will improve your sleep, reduce aches and pains, increase strength and endurance for labor, and help you bounce back quickly after giving birth.
I recommend this plan from Fit2B, where she offers exercises that you can follow from your home. They are designed for women that are pregnant or have children. They are safe and very effective! Use coupon code YourModernFamily to get a significant discount.
If you already have an established exercise routine, ask your doctor if it’s okay to continue. Pregnant women should focus on low-impact exercises, such as yoga, swimming, walking, or riding a stationary bike.
For strength routines, switch to lighter weights while increasing the repetitions. Abdominal exercises are okay, but they may need to be modified as the pregnancy progresses. Kegel exercises are very beneficial yet simple exercises, which strengthen the pelvic floor and aid in labor. Avoid all contact sports and exercises in which there is a high risk of injury.
Staying active, healthy, and fit throughout pregnancy will benefit both you and your baby and set the stage for your little one’s healthy lifestyle.
Becoming a mother is an exciting and rewarding experience. Pregnancy is not always a smooth sailing ship, there will be smooth seas and rough storms, but in the end it is always rewarding.
Share your prenatal diet and crazy cravings in a comment below! (I, Becky, loved hashbrown casserole. I couldn’t get enough of it during my pregnancy! By the end, my husband was asking me if we could please have another side dish, other than Hashbrown casserole! haha!)
For more advice, read my post on Keeping your weight under control during pregnancy
I’m the mother of two children and would like to call myself a “supermom”, but I believe every mom has super capabilities. I have dedicated my life to live healthy and happily, and to teach my children the same practices. My knowledge and proficiency in health and fitness comes from my experience writing for medical companies such as Liberty Medical. You can also check out my blog at Carrots Over Cake.