Diet and Exercise
A healthy, balanced diet should be a priority during pregnancy. Eating the right foods will alleviate many of the negative side effects of pregnancy, such as water retention and constipation, and will also keep blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and weight at healthy levels.
A healthy diet for expectant moms should include lots of fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains and plenty of water. Sugars, fats, complex carbohydrates and processed foods should be kept to a minimum, but giving into pregnancy cravings is okay on occasion. In addition, it's important for expectant moms to eat three meals a day, along with several small snacks, instead of skipping meals. Skipping meals leads to drops in blood sugar levels, which can lead to dizziness, nausea and fainting.
Exercise during pregnancy is a much-debated topic, and there are many opinions on what is safe and what isn't. With all the conflicting information, many women are confused as to which workouts, if any, are right for them. The good news is that, unless a doctor has advised against it, exercise is perfectly healthy for most expectant moms. Regular exercise can improve mood and body function, help maintain a healthy weight and even promote postnatal healing.
Low-impact workouts are recommended during pregnancy, as they aren't as jarring or damaging to the body as high-impact options. A few great exercises for mommies-to-be include walking, prenatal yoga and swimming. Workouts that include a lot of bouncing, twisting or abdominal strain should be avoided, as should heavy lifting and dangerous sports, such as rafting or skiing.
Maintaining Heart Health
Since heart disease is a major female health issue, good heart health should be every woman's concern. Since pregnancy causes excess strain on the heart and other organs, maintaining heart health while pregnant should be an even bigger priority. In addition to healthy diet and exercise habits, there are a number of ways expectant moms can keep their hearts in great shape during pregnancy. One way is to avoid stress whenever possible. Stress and anxiety increase blood pressure and heart rate, which make the heart work harder than normally. Expectant moms who suffer from increased stress and anxiety levels can find relief with the help of yoga, meditation or other relaxing activities, such as taking a warm bath or reading a book.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Healthy moms are more likely to have healthy babies. And while some health knowledge is learned, much of it is common sense. Expectant moms should use their best judgment when it comes to health and lifestyle choices. For example, abstaining from drinking, smoking and other risky behaviors is the obvious choice for moms-to-be, as is eating healthy foods and taking prenatal vitamins. Making healthy choices during pregnancy can lead to a lifetime of better health for both mother and child.