Healthy Pregnancy Do's
For many women, how to have a healthy pregnancy intuitively starts by implementing more wholesome habits. Although occasional unforeseen events can happen during nine months, the following pregnancy tips can substantially lower the risk of pregnancy complications, giving women a fair chance for a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Do Eat Well
While there is no such thing as a specific pregnancy diet, expectant mothers are encouraged to compose their meals of foods from the five groups in order to fuel fetal development and gain pregnancy weight in a healthy way. A good pregnancy tip is to avoid raw meats, unpasteurized dairy, cold cuts, and fish that is rich in mercury, like king mackerel.
Staying active is one of the best advices on how to stay healthy during pregnancy as it can ease pregnancy symptoms, boost energy, and protect the heart. Exercise during pregnancy should consist of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity workouts, like brisk walking. Strenuous and injury-prone sports, like basketball or skiing, should be avoided.1
Do Reduce Stress
During pregnancy, it is easy for the mind to gallop and get overwhelmed with anxious thoughts, doubts, and concerns. While occasional stresses are harmless, experiencing severe stress while pregnant can have detrimental effects on a woman and her baby's health. Practicing meditation, deep breathing, or yoga is an effective pregnancy tip for stress-relief.
Do Have Sex
Although pregnant couples often think that having sex during pregnancy can harm the baby or trigger preterm birth, studies have shown that in healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies, sex is absolutely safe.2 So, as long as a mutual desire is there, couples are encouraged to nurture their passion and discover new forms of intimacy during this life experience.
Healthy Pregnancy Don'ts
A woman carrying a child in her womb is more vulnerable to the effects of environmental hazards, such as contaminants and food poisoning, among others. Keeping an informed and cautious attitude without over-stressing about these potential dangers can help an expectant mother protect her baby and stay healthy.
Don't Change the Litter Box
To have a healthy pregnancy, women should take a break from changing their cats' litter boxes. It is because bacteria that are otherwise harmless for non-pregnant people can lead to toxoplasmosis, a serious infection that can harm the baby.3 Women preparing to get pregnant can start avoiding the litter box up to three months before conceiving.
Don't Overheat the Body
Avoiding overheating is one of the most important precautions for pregnant women because body temperature that stays elevated above 102°F (38.9°C) for more than 10 minutes can cause complications, like birth defects or miscarriage.4 Wearing breathable clothing and staying well hydrated are also important.
Don't Smoke & Drink Alcohol
If a woman has not been able to quit her addition to smoking or drinking alcohol before conceiving, now that she is pregnant is the time to do it. Both substances can harm the baby in a number of ways, including stillbirth, intellectual disabilities, or sudden infant death syndrome. Help is within reach through one's doctor or local support groups.
Don't Use Harsh Household Chemicals
While it is impossible for pregnant women to keep clear of all household chemicals, there are some that should be avoided by all means as they can be toxic to the developing baby, including pesticides, insect repellents, or lead-based paint. Luckily, women can opt for pregnancy-safe brands or homemade cleaners, like baking soda or vinegar.
Virtually every expectant mother's concern, how to stay healthy in pregnancy, can be effectively settled with a handful of practical steps. For starters, some of the most important pregnancy tips provide holistic nourishment for the body and the soul so that a woman is strong to withstand the demands of childbearing and can offer her baby the best possible care while still in the womb. They include eating a wholesome, balanced diet while avoiding foods that can cause harm; opting for regular, moderate-intensity exercise; reducing accumulated stress with meditation, yoga, or deep breathing; and igniting intimacy with her partner. As important as implementing these healthy pregnancy habits is steering clear of certain hazards that might compromise a woman and her baby's health, including not changing the litter box; avoiding overheating the body; quitting addictions to cigarettes and alcohol; or eliminating harsh chemicals, like insect repellents, from one's immediate environment.
- Current Opinion in Psychiatry. (2015). Anxiety, depression and stress in pregnancy: implications for mothers, children, research, and practice. Retrieved September 5, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4447112/
- International Food Informational Council Foundation. (2016). Healthy Eating During Pregnancy. Retrieved September 5, 2019 from https://foodinsight.org/healthy-eating-during-pregnancy/
- Medline Plus. (2019). Pregnancy. Retrieved September 5, 2019 from https://medlineplus.gov/pregnancy.html
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2013). Healthy Tips for Pregnant Women. Retrieved September 5, 2019 from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/health-tips-pregnant-women
- Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2019). Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Quick Tips. Retrieved September 5, 2019 from https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/pregnancy/nutrition-and-physical-activity/eat-healthy-during-pregnancy-quick-tips
- Office on Women's Health. (2019). Staying healthy and safe. Retrieved September 5, 2019 from https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/youre-pregnant-now-what/staying-healthy-and-safe
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2019). Exercise During Pregnancy. Retrieved September 5, 2019 from https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Exercise-During-Pregnancy?IsMobileSet=false
- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Sex during pregnancy: What's OK, what's not. Retrieved September 5, 2019 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/sex-during-pregnancy/art-20045318
- Pregnancy, Birth & Baby. (2018). Toxoplasmosis. Retrieved September 5, 2019 from https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/toxoplasmosis
- Kids Health. (2017). Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs. Retrieved September 5, 2019 from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/pregnancy-precautions.html