Staying Healthy During Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you probably know some of the basic pregnancy advice about taking care of yourself and the baby: don’t smoke or be around secondhand smoke, don’t drink, and get your rest. Here are more pregnancy tips, from taking vitamins to what to do with the kitty litter, that can help ensure safe and healthy prenatal development.
Take a Prenatal Vitamin
Even when you’re still trying to conceive, it’s smart to start taking prenatal vitamins. Your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops within the first month of pregnancy, so it’s important you get essential nutrients, like folic acid, calcium, and iron, from the very start.
Prenatal vitamins are available over the counter at most drug stores, or you can get them by prescription from your doctor. If taking them makes you feel queasy, try taking them at night or with a light snack. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy afterward can help, too.
Staying active is important for your general health and can help you reduce stress, control your weight, improve circulation, boost your mood, and sleep better. Take a pregnancy exercise class or walk at least 15-20 minutes every day at a moderate pace, in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating.
Pilates, yoga, swimming, and walking are also great activities for most pregnant women, but be sure to check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Listen to your body, though, and don’t overdo it.
What to expect on your pregnancy journey
Congratulations on your pregnancy! We’re here to hold your hand through the next nine months and more, with support and helpful advice to see you through.
If you’re at the very start of your journey, our pregnancy and early pregnancy sections are with you every step of the way to help you work out your due date and learn more about the developments that will be happening to both you and your baby. You can track these developments on our week by week pregnancy pages, updating you on all the latest throughout your pregnancy.
Birth planning for your baby’s arrival
A big part of your pregnancy will be preparing for your new arrival and making sure you’re all set to welcome your little one into the world. Get some helpful advice on birth planning and how to make a birth plan, find out what antenatal appointments and classes involve and learn more about how the nub theory can potentially help work out if you’re expecting a baby boy or girl.
Before the big day arrives it’s a good idea to understand the different signs and symptoms of being in labour along with the stages of labour and how to time your contractions to know which stage of labour you’re in. You can also learn more about pain relief available to you during your labour, and how you can bring on labour with a few natural techniques.
Eating Right throughout Pregnancy
You know you’re supposed to follow a “healthy” diet during pregnancy (think lots of fruit and veggies, low-fat forms of protein, high fiber, etc). But do you know why? Beyond the obvious—maintaining enough calories to keep you healthy and ensure the baby keeps growing—we’re learning that in-utero nutrition, including whether the mother is overweight or has pregnancy-related diabetes, can impact a child’s health throughout his life.
Can I have sex?
It is safe to have sex while you are pregnant. However, talk to your doctor if you have concerns or are at risk for problems. Some women’s level of interest in sex changes when they are pregnant. As you grow, you may need to try different positions, such as lying on your side or being on top.