Pregnancy – Taking Care of Yourself
Many girls are afraid to gain weight during pregnancy and worry about how their bodies look. But now, that you are eating for two, this is not a good time to go on a diet or cut calories. Both your baby and you need certain nutrients so the baby can grow properly. Drinking plenty of water, cutting back on high-fat junk foods and eating a variety of healthy foods will help your developing baby and you to be healthy.
Generally, doctors recommend adding about 300 calories a day to your diet to provide adequate nourishment for the developing fetus. How much a woman should gain depends on how much she weighed before the pregnancy, although you should gain about 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy, most of this during the last 6 months.
Eating 25 to 30 grams a day, additional fiber and drinking plenty of water can help to prevent constipation as common problem. Good sources of fiber are fresh vegetables and fruits, cereals, breads or muffins that have lots of whole grain in them.
You’ll need to avoid drinking or eating certain things during pregnancy, such as:
- certain types of fish, such as canned tuna, swordfish and other fish that may be high in mercury
- foods that contain raw eggs, such as Caesar salad or mousse
- undercooked or raw fish and meat
- processed meats, such as deli meats or hot dogs
- soft, unpasteurized cheeses, such as brie, feta, goat cheese and blue
- unpasteurized milk, cider or juice
It’s also a good idea to limit food or drinks that contain artificial sweeteners and caffeine.
Exercising during pregnancy is good for you as long as you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy and choose appropriate activities. Generally doctors recommend low-impact activities such as swimming, walking and yoga.
For women, during pregnancy, working at a job that involves heavy lifting is not recommended. If you have questions, talk to your doctor, about whether particular types of exercise are safe for your baby and you.
While you are pregnant, it’s important to get plenty of rest. Try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side, early in your pregnancy. It’s likely to be the most comfortable position, as your pregnancy progresses, lying on your side with your knees bent. Lying on either side, in most cases, should do the trick and help take some pressure off your back.
You may wake up often at night, throughout your pregnancy, to go to the bathroom. Use the bathroom right before going to bed, although it’s important to drink enough water while you’re pregnant, try to drink most of it during the day rather than at night.
You might have a difficult time getting comfortable in bed, as you get further along in your pregnancy. Try positioning pillows under and around your belly, legs or back to get more comfortable.
Maybe you’re worried about what your new role as a parent will be like, about your baby’s health or about delivery. All of these feelings are normal, but they may keep you up at night.
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