Healthy Pregnancy Guide: 8 Expert Tips For Staying Well
When you get the exciting news that you’re expecting a little one, all your attention turns to the baby you’re carrying inside your belly. You want to provide the best for them, and that starts right away with a healthy pregnancy!
What should you do to keep your body in tip-top shape, create a healthy place for your baby to grow and develop, and stay fit all the way around?
We’ll give you eight tips for staying well during these nine months of pregnancy!
8 Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, your health has a direct impact on the little one inside of you, so a healthy pregnancy is important for you both. Let’s look at some of the basic ways to care for mama and baby.
1) Eat Well
Eating healthily is one of the pillars of a healthy pregnancy.
Cravings will undoubtedly strike at some point, and it’s OK to give in every now and then — unless you’re craving non-food items like dirt, soap, or chalk. In that case, call your doctor and don’t cave to your cravings!
Besides the occasional indulgence, stick to a healthy pregnancy diet based on these basics:
Eat Healthy, Balanced Meals Every Day
The foundation of a healthy pregnancy diet? Fruits and veggies!
They’re loaded with pregnancy-essential nutrients, like vitamin C and folic acid. We recommend eating two to four servings of fruit and at least four servings of vegetables each day.
High-quality, lean protein and whole grains are two more pregnancy must-haves.
Lean protein will provide you with amino acids, vitamin B, and iron, while whole grains have fiber to keep you regular and thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin to aid your digestion.
Last but not least, work healthy fats and dairy into your diet as well.
Healthy fats include yummy foods like almonds, avocadoes, and olive oil. And you can consume plenty of dairy with milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Know What To Avoid
Knowing which foods to avoid is just as important as loading up on the good stuff we mentioned above! Here are a few things to stay away from for a safe, healthy pregnancy:
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables
- Raw eggs
- Unpasteurized milk
- Imported soft cheese
- Deli meat
- Fish with mercury (like king mackerel, swordfish, shark, and marlin)
- Raw meat or shellfish
Drink Plenty Of Water
To keep running like a well-oiled machine, your body needs plenty of water. And that’s even truer during pregnancy!
The recommended eight cups of water a day is the minimum! Shoot for at least that to stay hydrated from the inside-out.
2) Take A Prenatal Multivitamin
Eating a balanced diet is the ideal way to get all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. But even with the best of diets, your pregnant body could be lacking some key nutrients.
For example, when you’ve got a bun in the oven, you need extra folic acid and iron. A prenatal vitamin can supply that and so much more.
How should you go about choosing a good vitamin? First of all, talk to your doctor since they know you and your specific needs.
Next, follow the advice of The Mayo Clinic:
“Beyond checking for folic acid and iron, look for a prenatal vitamin that contains calcium and vitamin D. They help promote the development of the baby's teeth and bones. It also might be beneficial to look for a prenatal vitamin that contains vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, and iodine.”
3) Stop Smoking
Just like you should do away with drinking alcohol during these nine months, smoking is another habit to kick to the curb. If you’ve always wanted to quit but never gotten around to it, this is the time!
Audra Meadows, MD, MHP, an obstetrician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, says, “Smoking is unhealthy for you and your unborn child. It increases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), premature births, miscarriages, and several other unhealthy outcomes.”
4) Go To Your Prenatal Appointments
It might seem obvious, but one crucial component to a healthy pregnancy for both you and your little one is going to all of your prenatal doctor appointments.
Your doctor will check to make sure everything is going smoothly, run blood work, and talk to you about prenatal tests, traveling, proper weight gain, and more.
According to Meadows, “Mothers who don’t get regular prenatal care are much more likely to have a child with low birth weight.”
Checking in with your doctor is not optional — it’s essential for the wellbeing of you and your baby!
5) Stay (Or Get) Active
Exercising regularly is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and a healthy pregnancy.
If you are an athlete, pregnancy doesn’t mean you have to stop working out altogether; you’ll simply need to make some adjustments. On the other hand, if you never managed to get into the habit of regular physical activity, now’s a good time to start!
Whatever the case may be, skip activities that put you at risk for falling down or breaking a bone, and if you’re a weight-lifter, ask your doctor before continuing to lift.
Now is the perfect time to take up activities that you can continue doing all the way through your third trimester: swimming, walking, and indoor cycling are three of our favorites. To take a load off of your back and be active at the same time, swimming is the clear choice!
If you’re taking advantage of a beach trip to go for a dip or swimming in an outdoor pool, please remember to lather up with sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun!
Mustela’s SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion is great for babies and adults, too!
To make it super-safe for your skin, we’ve made our sunscreen with zinc oxide and 93% naturally derived ingredients, including coconut oil, macadamia oil, and vitamin E to hydrate your skin while protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays.
That means no fragrances, chemical UV filters (like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate), parabens, phthalates, or phenoxyethanol.
Check out our full line of mineral sunscreens for the whole family!
6) Care For Your Changing Skin
While we’re on the subject of protecting your skin, between linea nigra, stretch marks, itchy skin, and everything in-between, you might have already figured out that pregnancy changes your skin.
Show it some extra TLC! It’s not just about avoiding stretch marks (though everyone wants to do that!). It’s also about hydration and feeling good in the skin you’re in!
To hydrate your skin and help minimize the appearance of stretch marks, apply Mustela’s Stretch Marks Cream Fragrance Free. This velvety, fragrance-free cream nourishes and moisturizes to ease sensations of tightness and discomfort.
7) Rest, Rest, Rest!
Sleep is always important for a healthy, happy life, and when your body is hard at work growing a little human, getting enough rest is even more important.
Plus, first-trimester fatigue or third-trimester discomfort might make you want to lie on the couch or hop in bed pretty often. Allow yourself that extra rest!
Give your body credit for what it’s accomplishing, and don’t push yourself. You may not feel like doing what you used to do, and that’s OK.
We’re officially giving you permission to hit the sack as early as you need to and take naps during the day!
8) Ask For Help
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we also think it takes a community to stay in tip-top shape during a pregnancy!
Whether it’s your doctor and their knowledge or your friend who lends a hand, you need the help and support of others during (and after!) these nine months. Being OK with asking for help is part of a mentally and emotionally healthy pregnancy.
Reach out to a friend or family member if you can see that you’re getting overwhelmed or exhausted. Call your doctor if you have concerns about your or your baby’s health.
Finally, of course, go easy on yourself and have a sense of humor about the pregnancy brain mishaps, your growing belly, and all the rest.
A Healthy Pregnancy And A Baby On The Way!
Pregnancy is such an exciting time as you wait for the arrival of your new little one!
In addition to enjoying the baby showers and setting up the nursery, your job is to do everything you can to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy. Both you and your baby will reap the benefits!
Follow the tips we listed above, including eating well, taking a prenatal vitamin, staying active, and asking for help. Don’t forget to care for your skin with Mustela’s Stretch Marks Cream Fragrance Free. Your skin will thank you for it and you’ll feel great!
Here’s to the health of you and your baby. We’re waiting for you, little one!