You’ve just recently found out that you’re pregnant, and you’re over the moon about it.
But, after the excitement starts to wear down, the worry sets in. What will it be like being pregnant? Do you need to change your diet? Your exercise routine? How do you ensure the baby stays healthy?
All these questions and concerns you have about being pregnant are completely normal.
The first trimester of pregnancy is known by surprising transformation, as hormones trigger the body to begin nourishing the baby. That is why you should know how to take care of yourself for normal baby development.
If you’re wondering what you need to do to have a healthy pregnancy, you’ve come to the right place.
Check out this pregnancy checklist to learn what it takes to have a healthy baby.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Following a healthy diet is the key to enjoying a healthy pregnancy.
Here are some healthy dieting tips to keep in mind while pregnant:
-Start the day with a healthy breakfast
-If you’re filling nauseous, start the day with a piece of whole-wheat toast, then eat more later on
-Eat foods that are high in fiber such as beans, whole grains, brown rice, and oatmeal
-Get plenty of fruits and veggies at each meal
-Choose healthy snacks, like Greek yogurt and fruit or veggies and hummus
-Avoid fish with high levels of mercury (common low mercury fish include salmon, shrimp, and catfish)
-Avoid uncooked and undercooked fish and meats (like sushi)
-Limit your caffeine intake and avoid alcohol
-Switch to seltzer water instead of soda, and decaffeinated tea instead of coffee
-Avoid soft cheeses like brie, goat cheese, and feta, as these have bacteria in them that may hurt your baby
Finding the perfect pregnancy diet can feel overwhelming, and while you should do the best you can, there are going to be times when you experience intense cravings and end up gorging on junk food.
Don’t beat yourself up for these moments, and don’t guilt yourself into thinking that the occasional junk food splurge is going to harm your baby.
Also, if you follow a special diet, such as veganism, keto, vegetarianism, or otherwise, it’s essential to talk to your doctor to ensure that you’re getting all the necessary nutrients for your baby.
Take the Right Vitamins
In addition to eating right, you also need to make sure that you take the right vitamins.
As many of you probably already know, folic acid is a key vitamin for a healthy pregnancy. Generally speaking, you should aim to take 400 micrograms of folic acid per day.
If you have enough folic acid in your system one month before and throughout the pregnancy, it can help decrease the chances of the baby having congenital disabilities, particularly in the area of the brain and spine.
In addition to folic acid, you also want to make sure you get enough iron and calcium.
One way to ensure you’re getting all of the vitamins and nutrients you need is to take a prenatal vitamin. You can find these at your local drugstore, and you can ask your doctor for specific recommendations.
When it comes to exercising during pregnancy, many women are confused about how much they can do and how hard they can workout.
Overall, it’s very important to stay active throughout your pregnancy, as this helps you reduce stress, control your weight, improve your circulation, boost your mood, and sleep better.
That being said, you want to make sure that you choose workouts that are pregnancy safe and that you’re not over-exerting yourself too much. Some pregnancy-safe workouts include pilates, yoga, swimming, and walking.
In fact, many gyms nowadays offer workout classes that are geared towards pregnant women.
When it comes to weight lifting, you’ll want to stick to lighter weights (no more than 12 pounds) and more reps. You should also avoid lifting while on your back and doing walking lunges.
And, you should be very careful about free weights hitting your abdomen. To make sure you and your baby stay safe, we suggest switching to resistance bands.
Whatever exercise regime you choose, you should talk it over with your doctor first, as they will be able to tell you what’s safe and what isn’t.
Stress can be very bad for the baby, so you must have healthy coping mechanisms in place for stressful situations.
In fact, studies show that stress during pregnancy can affect both fetal and child development.
So, when you find out that you’re pregnant, it’s crucial to identify the main stress factors in your life. For example, if money is stressful, then you may want to set up a savings account and a budgeting plan for your pregnancy.
Or, it may mean cutting out contact with people or avoiding activities that zap your energy and your time.
Also, make sure you have activities you can turn to in stressful situations. As we already mentioned, exercise is beneficial for dealing with stress, as is journaling, meditating, listening to music, and drawing.
If you’re finding your pregnancy to be particularly stressful, you may want to consider speaking with a therapist or psychologist.
Understand the Road Ahead
Having an understanding of what to expect during each trimester is also very important to a healthy pregnancy.
By understanding the side effects of each trimester, you’ll have a better understanding of what your body is going through and what they baby is going through, as well as what’s normal and what isn’t normal.
You can learn more about what to expect in each stage of pregnancy in this article.
Pregnancy Checklist: Are You Ready for the Next 9 Months?
Now that you have this pregnancy checklist in hand, you’ll be better prepared for the road ahead.
Remember, though, pregnancy is different for everyone, and don’t get too wrapped up in doing everything perfectly. Before you know it, the baby will be here, and you’ll have another big journey ahead of you-parenthood!
If you liked this article, be sure to check back in with our blog often for parenting tips and tricks!