Pregnancy is the one time in your life when you are encouraged to gain weight! Many people take that as a license to eat anything you want, don't do too much as you might injure the baby, and put your feet up as much as possible! While there is small amounts of truth in it, it is mostly a false idea.
- Should you eat anything you want?
You need an adequate diet. This means not too little and not too much food. You need to look at what is a healthy intake of calories for your size and height, and add an extra 300 calories to that diet. You have to remember that all calories are created equal. You should avoid empty calories as every single one counts for the baby now. Empty calories can pack on the pounds without giving your baby the nutrition it needs. Empty calories might be processed sugars, deep fried foods, white processed breads among others. Soft cheeses, raw meat and some seafood should also be avoided. Caffeine has been linked to issues in pregnancy such as raising your risk of miscarriage , but also can mess with your PH levels and make it difficult for iron absorption.
You should focus on trying to get at least 6-8 vegetables every day if possible, 4-6 fruits (if you have no issues with blood sugar) Avoid fruit juices, and go for the whole fruits. 2-4 protein servings per day, depending on your protein needs. 4-6 whole grains, again if you have no issues with blood sugar. Be sure to check with your care provider about your own specific needs, this is a basic chart of what you should be eating, but I am not a nutritionist, so this is just a guideline.
-Why is it important to exercise?
We all enjoy the freedom, or some of us enjoy the freedom to gain weight without worrying about going on a diet, but often that causes some issues with getting the baby weight off after the birth. I think if you eat healthy foods, shun sugar and processed foods, and exercise during pregnancy, the weight you gain is healthier weight, instead of stuff that clings to you! It is hard to stay away from that stuff and exercise, when often you lack the energy. But you will find that regular light exercise, can actually give you more energy.
- What are some exercise that pregnant women are advised to do?
Swimming and walking are some of the top exercises recommended. These are safe for almost anyone who is not at risk for pre-term labor. It is not recommended you take up fast aerobic exercise if it is something new for you.
- What exercise should pregnant women avoid?
Horseback riding, skiing, gymnastics, snowmobiling, skating, some doctors do not recommend bike riding as well for balance issues and exercise where you let your heart rate get too high. Pregnancy is a time to listen to your body and obey. Don't push too hard. You will pay for it! If you feel like you are having contractions, heaviness or any other danger signs, put your feet up and talk to your care provider before continuing.
- What are some of the benefits of exercise?
You can help maintain a healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, healthy weight gain as well as give yourself greater stamina and strength in labor. Often women who exercise have babies get into better positions for labor as well, which helps things go smoother. Kegal exercises can help prevent leakage when coughing, sneezing or jumping after pregnancy as well.
Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience that does not take the toll on your body as some people expect with the proper nutrition and exercise.
As always be sure to check with your care provider before following any of this advice!