10 Tips For A Healthy, Less Exhausting, And Less Taxing Pregnancy
Growing a person inside of you is hard work! Pregnancy can be beautiful, but also quite exhausting and taxing on your body. These ten tips will help you get through those 40 weeks glowing and feeling great!
1. Despite what you may have heard pregnancy is not a time to “eat for two.”
During the first trimester, there is no need to increase your food intake at all. For the second and third trimester you should only be consuming an extra 300 calories a day to feed your growing baby. This is not a time to load up on junk food! Try to focus on nutrient dense plant based foods such as avocados, nuts and greens. All of these will help your baby grow and thrive!
2. Supplement. Getting the proper nutrients and vitamins during pregnancy is essential for the health of your growing baby.
While nothing compares to whole foods, it's always smart to supplement your diet with some essential vitamins and minerals for insurance. Beginning about three months before you become pregnant (or whenever your decide to start "trying") start taking a pre-natal vitamin containing folic acid and B12, both of which are essential for healthy brain development. Also, make sure that your prenatal vitamin contains iron. It's very easy to become anemic during pregnancy. Finally, add a high quality DHA supplement to your routine either from an algae or fish oil source.
3. Get your probiotics. Good digestion can be hard to come by when pregnant.
It is not uncommon for pregnant women to become constipated from very early on. Adding a high quality probiotic supplement to your daily routine will help keep the “good bacteria” in your gut plentiful and will aid in easy digestion and elimination.
4. Exercise! During pregnancy, this has tons of benefits.
It can help prevent excess weight gain, keep you strong and flexible for labor, and make post partum recovery much easier. If you were very active before becoming pregnant there is little reason to give up your workout routine (with a few modifications) during your pregnancy. If going to the gym was something your talked about more than did now is a great to start moving your body. Yoga and swimming are both great options for expectant moms.
5. Hydrate. It's almost impossible to stay sufficiently hydrated while pregnant.
Eight glasses a day are not nearly enough! Your growing baby is very thirsty and will take most of the water you consume. Try to drink water consistently during the day to maintain even hydration levels. Staying well hydrated can help with many pregnancy related symptoms such as constipation, swelling, headaches, and fatigue.
6. Rest. It takes a lot of energy for your body to grow your baby.
Rest during pregnancy is essential. As your pregnancy progresses, it may become harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep due to discomfort and the frequent need for bathroom trips. Try and schedule a nap each afternoon if at all possible. The more rest you get when pregnant, the more prepared you'll be for the demands of labor and delivery!
7. Massage. A pregnant body needs lots of extra love and attention.
Once you safely clear your first trimester, prenatal massage is a wonderful tool to keep you feeling your best. A skilled therapist can work on any ailments you have such as back pain, swelling, fatigue, stress and general discomfort. Prenatal massage also helps keep your circulation flowing and allows your body to remain supple and relaxed for delivery.
8. Slather on some belly oil. To make room for your baby, the skin on your belly will stretch and incredible amount.
Often this stretching and expanding is accompanied by dry, itchy skin and dreaded stretch marks. To avoid or minimize stretch marks it is important to keep your belly, breasts, and buttocks well moisturized with a high quality, non-toxic belly oil or butter. Apply your chosen moisturizer morning and night to keep skin soft, supple and stretch mark free.
9. Sunscreen. Pregnant skin is extremely sensitive and needs to be protected from the harsh rays of the sun.
While wearing sunscreen daily is important for everyone it is especially important for expectant moms. Pregnancy hormones make your pigment producing skin cells react more strongly to the sun and can cause dark brown marks on your skin. Avoid chemical based sunscreen and opt for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide based sunscreens instead as they are much safer for you and your growing baby.
10. Green your beauty routine!
Everything that goes on and in your body while you are pregnant affects your growing baby. Take the time to clean up and upgrade your personal skincare and makeup routine and eliminate products with toxic chemicals. If you need a little help figuring out what is safe and what is not go to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep site where you can search the toxic load of any and all of your personal care products.
Want to learn more about how the health of your skin is greatly impacted by the food you eat and the toxins you're exposed to? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.