10 Ways to Have a Healthy Pregnancy

10 easy ways to have a healthy pregnancy.

I was very lucky with my first pregnancy two years ago–my OB would continually tell me I had a “textbook pregnancy.” Before I got pregnant the first time, I was at the bottom of the accepted weight range for my height. I had a super fast metabolism, and I worked out when time allowed. I got pregnant during the school year–I was teaching at the time. Between forcing my husband to cook, standing all day teaching, and the stress of my job (and the fact that I had a posterior placenta), I didn’t gain a lot of weight during my pregnancy–about the minimum recommended. However, I wasn’t the healthiest during my pregnancy either. Again, I really didn’t have time with being a first year English teacher!

After I gave birth, I got within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight, then was diagnosed with PPD. I was given medication, which slowed my metabolism but burned my energy quicker. So, I was hungry more often, but storing the calories rather than getting rid of them. When I got pregnant this time around, I was 30 pounds heavier than before my first pregnancy. Due to that fact, and the fact that I am now a Stay-at-Home Mom who doesn’t stand and walk around as often, I am determined to make this pregnancy healthier.

10 easy ways to have a healthy pregnancy.

1. Drink your water!

Drinking water is always important, pregnant or not! As a “retired” teacher, I am used to always having a water bottle at my side. And honestly, I don’t think there is much that is better than ice-cold water. But, water can help curb your cravings and subside headaches. It also helps you sleep better and gives you more energy. If you do anything for your pregnancy, I would highly suggest drinking more water. If you are going to have a soda, drink 8 full ounces of water first. Have water with you when you go out on errands. Keep a water bottle at your desk, on your nightstand, on the table with each meal. Your body and your child will thank you for doing it.

2. Get your sleep!

I know getting 8 hours of sleep at night is sometimes difficult, and many of you wonderful women have full-time jobs. But sleep while you can. Right now, I make sure I go to bed at 10:30. My two year old isn’t allowed out of his crib until 6:30. That’s 8 hours. Plus, right now he is taking an hour and a half nap in the afternoon, and I sleep while he does. Seriously, it doesn’t matter how little or old your baby is…the mantra “sleep while your baby sleeps” can still apply to toddlers and preschoolers! I know I’m lucky that I can nap in the middle of the day, but I couldn’t during my first pregnancy. However, I still took naps. During my lunch break, sometimes I’d lock my classroom door, put my head on my desk, and took a quick 20 minute cat nap. Or, I’d nap when I got home…around 4:45 pm…and take an hour nap. Sleep while you can!!!

3. Take your medications!

Make sure you take your daily prenatal vitamins. Not only will it help to supplement your healthy diet (hopefully you have a healthy diet), but those vitamins also help your child’s growth! Two for one! And, it gives you more energy. I can honestly say I can feel a difference between the days that I do take my prenatals and the days I don’t. Also, if you are on any other chronic medication, talk with your OB about staying on it and the pros and cons and possible side effects. Like I mentioned, I take an anti-depressant/anxiety pill. There are *some* inconclusive studies about side effects it could cause my child. But, after talking with my OB (who prescribed it and knows me and my mental/physical history) and talking to my cousin who is also a doctor, they both recommend me staying on it. My medication affects my mental and emotional health. Did you know that your mental health can affect your physical health? And your physical health affects your baby’s health? Therefore, your mental health affects your baby’s growth. I am a much happier, healthier, calmer person with my medication, and staying on it will help me, therefore helping my baby and outweighs the *possible* cons.

4. Be smart in food choices!

I have cravings, too. With my first, it was potstickers and Sonic chili cheese tots and Sonic milkshakes. With this baby, it’s tamales and Pepsi. But, like April said, we have to keep them in check. I have been loving making tuna melts (another craving this pregnancy). However, I’ve stopped putting it on bread. I make a salad and put the warm tuna, cheese, and balsamic vinegar on top. I use lettuce instead of a bun for hamburgers. I chose to have oatmeal or eggs in the morning instead of cereal. I bake my desserts and dinners rather than fry them. I stay far within the recommended amount of caffeine during pregnancy. I buy fresh meat rather than packaged deli meat. I don’t take medications that aren’t recommended for pregnant women. Thankfully, I’ve never taken drugs or smoked or drank alcohol before in my life, so I don’t have to worry about that. But, for those who have, drink grape juice instead of wine.

5. Move your body (part 2)!

April mentioned continuing to workout and being active. I, personally, try my best to have a low-intensity workout at least 3 times a week. However, I still move my body every day. If you have little kids, take them to the mall. Let them play on the playground, then when they are done, put them in the stroller and take a few laps around the mall (I currently do this). Go swimming. It’s summer! It’s hot! Get in the water! STRETCH! This is very important! I have a bad back and have been getting tension headaches from my neck aches often. I have to remember to stretch every day. (Just be careful stretching your legs if you are in the third trimester–you could get seriously painful Charlie Horses.) Get a message ball or beg your husband for messages often. Stand when you could be sitting. Play more with your children. I have written a previous post with 7 ways to “exercise” at home…check it out!

I definitely know that April will continue to have a great pregnancy and I’m super excited to see pictures of her beautiful baby girl come November! I know that I, too, will have a healthy pregnancy by following these tips. They are all super easy for anyone to follow. Make sure you do!

I have a good friend (and client) of mine who is also pregnant right now. She is expecting her first child, a girl, in November. April is a beachbody coach, and staying healthy and fit is important to her, no matter what stage of life you are in. She also has a few tips on staying healthy during pregnancy.

So this is my FIRST pregnancy and we are due with our baby girl November 2016! I want to state that I’m by no means an expert because this is my first rodeo, but I do want to share my tips on how I tried to have a FIT{ish} and healthy{ish} pregnancy! I say ISH because I know that I could have made smarter decisions, I could have worked out more, ate LESS crap, but I am allowing myself grace AS YOU NEED to because your body is doing an AMAZING thing.

As easy as it would be for me to say, “Don’t eat that, or workout 30 minutes a day”, we all know our BUN IN THE OVEN may have other plans for us! So here are my tips to have a healthy and happy pregnancy!

1. Listen to your body in the beginning!

I could tell you, “DON’T eat too many carbs or watch your sodium,” but the truth is, sometimes pregnancy in the beginning is DOWN RIGHT HARD. If all that sweet baby wants is carbs and if that’s what you can stomach, you have to listen to your body. What I did, was let myself eat the carbs and french fries I wanted, but I really tried to not ENGORGE MYSELF. For example, if the baby wanted pizza, I would allow myself 2 pieces but stop there and CHUG water, because I needed my belly to know it wasn’t hungry, it was just being greedy and the baby was trying to brainwash it into EATING ALL THE CHEESY GREASY GOODNESS! Sometimes, you just have to remind the baby you’re the boss, and you gave it what it wanted lol!

2. When you have a sweet tooth – GO FOR FRUIT!

I never had a sweet tooth before baby girl took over my body lol! I can’t say I haven’t made my husband go get me Reese’s or M&M’s, and I’m actually eating a bag of Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzels right now… BUT, 9 times out of 10 watermelon has hit the sweet tooth spot! I also have loved sliced peaches and nectarines when I’m craving sweet! PLUS, the watermelon helps to hydrate you, which is also awesome, because I feel like a CAMEL and that I can never quench my thirst! SOOO, instead of texting your hubby to bring home cookie dough ice cream, try a juicy piece of fruit or all natural fruit popsicle!

3. Give into your cravings and don’t feel bad, but try to not give into the craving ALL WEEK LONG.

So, I had this freakishly weird craving of IMITATION CRAB MEAT {NO JOKE lol} and Cherry Coke. The first week, I bought 3 bags of it and ate 3/4 the bag in the car on the way home hahaha. This craving WOULD NOT go away all first trimester, so I would buy one bag a week because I didn’t trust myself with more and I let myself enjoy it. I also LOVED Cherry coke, so I would buy a 6 pack {no more} for the week. If you have a craving, KNOW that your pregnant self will not have much self control for moderation. SO, if you’re craving Cherry Coke, stocking up on the Deal of the week of BUY 3 12 packs get 2 free is a BAD BAD BAD idea lol! Your human, you deserve to feed your cravings, but again focus on moderation.

4. GET your body MOOOOOOVingggg!

Try yoga, walking, pilates, whatever!!! Just do it for 30 minutes because it’s good for you and BABY! Avoid abdominal exercises after the first trimester, but honestly just listen to your body. That baby is a lot more protected in there than you think! If you’re working out previously, just take the intensity down a notch. I was at my top fitness shape, so my first trimester I was doing Insanity Max 30 and just modifying jumps where I needed. I am actually a Clinical Exercise Physiologst and a Health coach, so if you’d like to talk more about a workout program, shoot me an email at april.pinkney@gmail.com and let’s chat! Obviously, you want to run things by your doctor, but if you are having a healthy pregnancy, you will most likely get a DOUBLE THUMBS up to keep you and that baby moving!

5. EMBRACE the extra FLUFF.

Yes, cellulite is not cool, but that’s a part of building a human, and it will be a long 10 months if you spend the rest of your pregnancy dwelling on it. FLUFF HAPPENS, embrace it. Yes, your thighs may rub together, your butt might jiggle for 5 minutes if you shake it, but, by following tips 1-4, you’re well on your way to keeping your weight gain under control. Sometimes I feel like saying, “what the heck? I’m not pregnant in my butt?!” But you can’t be upset or tear yourself down, because you know what?! YOUR BODY IS CREATING A LIFE! Cut yourself some slack, enjoy the process, know that it’s not all going to be butterflies and rainbows, but it will ALL be worth it in the end.

Remember that you are beautiful and you are creating a tiny human who you are going to love more than anything in this world the minute you lay eyes on him/her. Keep your eye on the prize mama, this is just a drop in the compared to all the amazing memories you have before you!

XO,

April McDonald
Registered Clinical Exercise Physiology
Founder of April McDonald Fitness www.aprilmcdonaldfitness.com

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April is a beach body coach who blog at BeYOUtifully Made. She is a #girlboss when it comes to starting a business and taking care of finances. She is always optimistic and believes that self-confidence and self-love is key to better physical health. April is married to her sweetheart, has a fur baby, and is expecting her first child in November.

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • These are great tips! I’m so glad it’s going well for you.

    • Thanks! I feel great right now (I mean, also having the apartment 80% set up really helps alleviate a lot of stress!!)