How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy

How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy When you're expecting, you're not just eating for two – you're living for two

Here's how to have the healthiest pregnancy possible You will need An obstetrician you trust and can talk to easily Prenatal vitamins A varied diet An exercise routine Someone to change the litter box, if you have a cat Some ways to chill out and willpower to quit smoking (optional) (optional) (optional) These are basic guidelines Your obstetrician should be your main source of information for any questions regarding your pregnancy Step 1

If you smoke, stop Immediately If it's going to take more willpower than you have to go cold turkey, ask your doctor about chewing nicotine-replacement gum or using the patch, which are both generally considered safe during pregnancy Step 2 Take a daily prenatal vitamin

This should cover all your nutritional bases, so don't be tempted to pop additional supplements Too much of certain vitamins and minerals can be harmful to your baby Having trouble keeping that pill down? Until your morning sickness subsides, try taking it with food Or ask you doctor about a chewable, which might go down more easily Step 3

Eat a varied diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and poultry, whole grains, and healthy fats, like those in olive and nut oils Step 4 Gain weight slowly For average-size women, that means two to four pounds the first trimester, and about one pound per week after that, for a total of anywhere from 15 to 35 pounds Underweight women should gain up to 40 pounds, and women who are overweight should gain between 15 and 25 pounds total

If you're gaining too quickly (or not enough) talk to your doctor about adjusting your diet and activity level Step 5 Stay active Regular exercise can make your labor and delivery easier If you already work out, keep it up

A brisk walk several times a week is a good start You may need to alter your fitness routine as your pregnancy progresses After the first trimester, don't do exercises that require lying on your back Step 6 If you have a cat, have someone else change the litter box and, if you can, keep your kitty indoors

Also, don't handle hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, or other pet rodents –they can spread harmful diseases to you and your baby Step 7 Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medication – even aspirin And make sure they know about any prescription drugs you're already on, in case you're taking something that could harm your baby Step 8

Reduce stress as much as you can Do whatever it takes to relax, from long walks to long soaks in the tub, from yoga to meditation It'll be a while before you can take it easy again! Did you know The average human pregnancy lasts for 266 days The average pregnancy for an Asian elephant is 640 days

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