10 Healthy Pregnancy Tips

By Debby Amis, RN, BSN, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE

  1. shutterstock_15775762.jpgLearn as much as possible about the wonderful ways that your body is changing and about how your baby is growing. Talk to your mother, your friends, and other women about pregnancy, labor, and birth. Attend an early pregnancy childbirth class, read books, and watch videos about normal pregnancy and childbirth.
  2. Think about whether you want to give birth at a hospital, at a birthing center, or at home. Choose a health care provider who will be able to assist you in your chosen location and who helps build your confidence for pregnancy and childbirth.
  3. Eat a well balanced diet, paying attention to the recommendations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (www.choosemyplate.com). Make your plate colorful – eating lots of vegetables and fruits every day. Eat fish 3 times a week for your baby’s brain growth and development. Drink lots of water—six to ten glasses a day—and choose (real) fruit juices and skim milk instead of sodas.
  4. Continue exercise programs that you were doing before you became pregnant according to the recommendations of your health care provider. If you were not exercising before becoming pregnant, consider walking, swimming, prenatal exercise, or prenatal dance classes. Regular, moderate exercise makes labor shorter and less painful and decreases the risk for cesarean surgery.
  5. Stay active! Continue exercise programs that you were doing before you became pregnant according to the recommendations of your health care provider. If you were not exercising before becoming pregnant, consider yoga, walking, or swimming. Start with short periods of exercise, and gradually increase the amount of time you are exercising.
  6. Get plenty of rest. Listen to your body to determine if you need short breaks during the day and to determine how many hours of sleep you need at night.
  7. Talk to your baby and enjoy your growing bond with him. Research now shows that babies react to the sense of touch as early as ten weeks of pregnancy. A little later, she can react to light, your voice, music, and other sounds.
  8. Plan your baby’s birth. For most women, birth is normal, natural, and healthy. Learn as much as possible about what birth is like in the location you have chosen. Ask questions about the six healthy birth practices that are known to promote natural, safe and healthy birth. Lamaze classes will help you understand what happens during childbirth. You and your partner will learn positions and movements which will aid labor progress and ways to cope with the stress and pain.
  9. Manage the stress in your life. Keep communication open with your partner. Build your support system. Learn and practice meditation. Take a prenatal yoga class. Learn stress management techniques such as slow, deep breathing and other relaxation strategies in Lamaze childbirth education classes.
  10. Enjoy this special time in your life! Your partner, your family and friends can help make the most of this wonderful transition. Have confidence in your body's ability to grow, nourish, and give birth to this baby as women have done for centuries.
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