Knowing how to navigate the early stages of pregnancy can be challenging for many women… A newly pregnant woman is likely to find herself questioning every decision from the foods she eats, the supplements she takes, to her exercise routine and beyond. While it’s important to address these questions individually with your own medical provider, there are some general guidelines for what is considered safe during pregnancy. Continue reading to find out our top tips to support a healthy pregnancy.
1. First thing’s first: find a good prenatal vitamin. This will likely be an OBGYN’s first pieces of advice to a pregnant patient. Ideally, a woman would start taking prenatal vitamins in the months leading up to conception to support the baby’s neural tube development and provide nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy. For women with unplanned pregnancies, it’s generally advised that she starts using a prenatal as soon as she discovers she is pregnant. Here are some of the most important nutrients in a prenatal vitamin that you should look out for in adequate amounts:
• Folic acid/folate (at least 600mcg per day)
• Iron (at least 30mg per day)
• Calcium (at least 1,000mg per day)
• Vitamin D (at least 1,000IU per day)
Even the healthiest diet lacks these essential nutrients in sufficient quantities to support a woman throughout her pregnancy. We often recommend a prenatal vitamin that’s food-sourced, meaning that its individual vitamins/minerals are sourced from real, whole foods. We love the Garden of Life whole foods prenatal, MegaFood Baby & Me, or the Nutrigold Prenatal Multi Gold. Each of these are excellent quality food-sourced prenatal vitamins.
Shop prenatal vitamins on our website or in store.
2. Try to maintain a well-balanced diet. We know that sometimes a pregnant woman’s diet feels out of her control, particularly in the early months when she may experience nausea or food aversions. As much as possible, though, it’s important to stick to a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds, and lean meats. A nutrient-rich diet will help prevent pregnancy constipation, keep energy levels high, and help to provide the growing baby with nutrients it needs to thrive. Learning to manage blood sugar levels and hunger will also help prevent nausea and vomiting throughout the first trimester. Check out this article for more information regarding diet in pregnancy.
3. Exercise whenever possible. Again, the amount that a woman is able to exercise is dependent on many factors- her energy levels, diet, sleep, etc. As long as exercise has been cleared by your doctor, it’s generally recommended that a pregnant woman maintains a fitness routine as much as possible throughout her pregnancy. According to this article, these are some of the known benefits to exercising throughout pregnancy:
• Reduced backaches, constipation
• Reduced swelling
• Reduced risk/severity of gestational diabetes
• Improved mood
• Increased energy
• Better sleep
• Easier labor
30 minutes of exercise a day is ideal, but if this becomes a challenge, aim for at least 20 minutes 3-4 times per week. Please refer to the article mentioned above for guidelines on how to safely exercise during pregnancy, and be sure to check with your OBGYN if you have any concerns.
We hope you found these tips helpful in supporting a healthy pregnancy, and if you happen to be expecting – congratulations! Shop with us in store or online for pregnancy support.
Please remember that we are not medical professionals. Check with your provider before making any diet/lifestyle changes.