As a fitness trainer, I have to be prepared to train any type of client. Over the years, I have worked with all types of bodies. But the client that requires the most attention from me is the prenatal one. If you are thinking about getting pregnant or are pregnant right now, this article could be helpful for a healthy pregnancy.
Warning! Always make sure to check with your doctor before starting something new.
One of my specialties is being certified in prenatal fitness and nutrition. Over the years, I have learned what a woman needs to have a healthy pregnancy. The main nutrition fact I learned was that pregnant women in their first trimester do not need to increase any extra calories. In the second trimester women need an extra 300 calories per day and in the third trimester women need 450 extra calories a day. Many women think this is a time to eat a bunch of chemical laden food and have the mentality “I can eat whatever I want, I am going to be fat anyway” attitude. This is so far from the truth! Being pregnant is not a time to stuff your face; in fact it is quite the opposite. It is a time to watch what you put in your body. You are now building a human being. This is a huge responsibility. You need to eat quality whole foods to be healthy for you and that of your baby.
Eat plenty of these foods:
Fruits and veggies-This should be your main food group with each meal. Fruits and veggies are critical components of pregnancy nutrition because it provides vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed to build your baby.
One main nutrient a pregnant woman needs every day is folate. Folate is a B vitamin that that helps prevents neural tube defects. You can get this from leafy greens, citrus fruits, and dries beans and peas. If you can, try to go with organic whenever possible.
Protein– Whatever your protein source is, you will need an extra 25 grams a protein per day when pregnant.
Healthy fats– Eat the right fats. It is important to have healthy fats like avocados, nuts, coconut oil, flax oil, and olive oil for skin, nails, and hair.
Prenatal vitamins-It is hard to get all your essential vitamins from your food. Make sure you take a quality prenatal vitamin every day for you and your baby.
Stay away from:
Seafood– During the first trimester stay away from fish, some types of fish contain potentially dangerous levels of mercury which can be harmful for the development of your baby’s brain and definitely stay away from sushi. Raw fish can be very dangerous.
Caffeine-Some studies say that 200 mg or more of caffeine contributes to miscarriages, lower birth weight, and stillborn babies. You wouldn’t feed your newborn caffeine, don’t feed your growing baby caffeine. This includes coffee, sodas, tea, and chocolate.
Alcohol-This one is common sense. Contributes to physical deformities, learning disabilities, and emotional problems.
Smoking: There are lists of health issues that are not good for you or your baby when you smoke! Please don’t smoke while you are pregnant. You want to avoid placenta abruption, placenta previa, SIDS, stillbirth, miscarriage, low birth weight are just a few bad outcomes from smoking.
Chemicals you can’t pronounce in food or beauty products– Take a look at the package, if you can’t pronounce it, then you shouldn’t put it in your body while building a baby.
According to the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG), you can safely exercise 30 minutes or more a day while pregnant as long as you don’t have a medical condition. Pregnancy can zap your energy, but being active will help you feel stronger, healthier, and believe it or not-give you more stamina. There are many types of exercise that you can do pregnant. Here are my top recommendations for healthy pregnant women.
5 Best Activities For Moms-To-Be
- Walking outside or cardio equipment at gym: Strengthens heart and lungs, increases stamina to strengthen cardiovascular system.
- Water Exercises: Strengthens heart and lungs, reduces strain on joints.
- Prenatal Pilates: Strengthens entire body, especially core muscles.
- Weight Training: Increases muscle tone and strength.
- Prenatal Yoga: Increases strength, flexibility, and relaxation.
Everyone experiences stress, even pregnant women. Trying to stay relaxed is important during pregnancy. Studies say that it is important for pregnant women to be relaxed especially during their first trimester to prevent a miscarriage.
Massage: First try to find a therapist that is certified in prenatal massage. Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Massage also helps with circulation and edema.
Deep breathing: Taking slow deep breathes throughout the day can help ease muscle tension, lower your heart rate, and help you relax. Whenever feeling anxiety, take a few deep breaths to feel calm again.
Listen to music: Music is one of the very few activities that involve using the whole brain. Listening to calming music can help reduce your blood pressure, reduce pain, and induces sleep.
Being healthy before, during, and after pregnancy involves so many different aspects of your life. Take a closer look at your lifestyle. Are you really doing all you can to have a healthy pregnancy?