Heart Smart Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
An expectant mother is in the unique position during pregnancy of caring not only for her own health but also the health of her unborn baby. The best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is to take care of your body with these heart healthy tips.
Everything that you consume affects your baby. Be diligent to ensure that every sip and bite you take will provide beneficial nutrition to your developing child.
Eating for two does not mean that you need to eat twice as much. Your caloric needs will increase as your pregnancy progresses. However, overeating can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which will put you and your baby at greater risk for diseases, such as diabetes or heart conditions.
Eat a well-balanced diet that is largely composed of whole, unprocessed foods. Try to get at least one or two servings of cold water fish each week to boost your Omega-3 fatty acid intake. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your baby’s brain development. Snack on nuts, avocados, and full-fat dairy products. Your developing baby needs all of this heart healthy fat.
Your doctor will help to determine an appropriate amount of weight gain for you. This depends on a number of factors including your body mass index as well as your weight prior to conception.
Weight gain means something different for each woman, for mothers at a normal pre-pregnancy weight should be between 25 and 30 pounds. Those who are underweight should strive to gain closer between 28 and 40 pounds. Overweight women can aim for 15 to 20 pounds, while those who are obese must limit weight gain to remain between 11 and 20 pounds.
Weight gain should occur gradually throughout the duration of your pregnancy. You will gain the most at the end during your third trimester. Most doctors advise that pregnant women gain two to four pounds during the first trimester and three to four pounds per month during the second and third trimester.
Foods to Avoid
Avoid processed and refined foods, including white flour, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils. Many packaged foods are loaded with inflammatory vegetable oils, trans fats, and artificial sugars while being completely devoid of any nutritive value.
Buy organic produce whenever possible. If budget or other constraints prevent you from buying all organic, try to do so with the following items, as they are the most highly contaminated with pesticides.
Exercise is a great way to keep your body strong and fit for meeting the demands of both pregnancy and motherhood. Participate in exercise formats that you already have experience with, and make appropriate modifications, such as lowering the intensity or changing your body position. There are also pre-natal classes designed specifically for expecting moms. If you’re more comfortable exercising in a setting with a trained professional do some research and seek out those classes in your area.
You should always be able to carry on a conversation while exercising. If you are excessively panting and sweating, your baby may not be getting enough oxygen. Additionally, babies cannot regulate their body temperature in the womb, so it is vital that you not become overheated.
After exercising, prop your feet up to allow excess fluid to circulate back up to your heart.
As you strive to be heart smart, consider the health-related choices you’ll need to make for delivery time. Become educated on medicines available to help you through labor and whether you’d like to use them or go for a more natural route. Take yoga and meditation classes to stay well-rounded in natural pain management. For post-delivery, consider planning for cord blood banking as another means to help plan for the future health of your baby. Cord blood banking involves the collection and private facility storage of the umbilical cord blood, which can be potentially used in a future for medical treatment for the child or possibly a sibling.
Any questions you have relating to your health, your pregnancy and the health of your baby should be discussed with your doctor. It’s important to remember that you and your doctor share a common goal - bringing a healthy newborn into the world.
"This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche. If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26."