Having a healthy baby starts with a healthy pregnancy. That’s why we’ve created a list of the top 10 tips for a healthy pregnancy to help get you started on your family building journey.
1. Get Your Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins can help ensure that you get the recommended dose of folic acid, iron, vitamin D, and calcium, among other essential vitamins and minerals. Those who eat a well-balanced diet may not need additional supplements; however, they are unlikely to be harmful and therefore commonly recommended.
2. Your Diet Matters
It is important to eat a well-balanced diet while pregnant including plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and a variety of protein.
- However, be sure to thoroughly wash your vegetables and fruits before eating them.
- You should also make sure that all meat that you eat has been completely cooked and is not raw.
- It is safe to consume fish during pregnancy and it is recommended that you try to eat fish with high DHA and low mercury count two to three times per week.
- It is important that all dairy products consumed are made from pasteurized milk.
- If you have a restricted diet (vegan, gluten-free etc.), there are healthy options for pregnancy, but you should check with your doctor or a nutritionist if you are not certain your diet includes the needed nutrients.
3. Get Moving
Exercising is an important component of a healthy pregnancy. You should continue to exercise during your pregnancy. If you don’t exercise regularly, now is a great time to start!
- Try to avoid activities that can lead to injury (skiing, horseback riding, outdoor biking on city streets etc.).
- Otherwise, regular exercise is recommended 20–30 minutes a day, most days of the week. If you are accustomed to exercising more than this amount, it should be fine, but you should confirm with your doctor.
- Great options for pregnancy include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, spinning, yoga, light weights, pilates, or anything else you enjoy!
4. Make Healthy Choices
Avoid alcohol and nicotine; you should not drink or smoke while you are pregnant. If you are unable to quit completely, reducing as much as possible is beneficial to both you and your baby.
5. Limit Caffeine
It is safe to have caffeine while you are pregnant, but it is probably best to limit the amount of caffeine to less than 300 mg/d, or approximately two 8-ounce cups of coffee a day.
6. You Don’t Have to Stop…
Sex is healthy and safe in uncomplicated pregnancies. It does not cause miscarriage or cause women to go into labor.
7. Enjoy That Vacation
You can travel while you are pregnant, but you should make sure to know where the nearest medical facility is in case you need medical attention. Ask your doctor when is the latest in pregnancy you can travel—this might depend on your own risk factors and where you plan to go.
8. Try to Avoid Bug Bites
You should use insect repellants (including DEET) while you are pregnant. It is especially important to use insect repellant when you are in an area with a risk for insect-borne illnesses, like West Nile or Zika.
9. Don’t Neglect Your Teeth!
Dental care should continue as usual in pregnancy.
10. Take Your Medications
Most medications are likely safe to take in pregnancy.
- If you take a prescription or over-the-counter medication daily, speak to your doctor before stopping any required medications. Most can and should be continued in pregnancy
- For as-needed medications, speak with your doctor about which ones are considered safest in pregnancy
For more information on pregnancy, fertility, or your family building benefit, contact your PCA at 888.597.5065 or call your employer specific number.
Dr. Nathan S. Fox is a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist with a subspecialty certification in Maternal Fetal Medicine. Dr. Fox provides care at Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates and Carnegie Imaging for Women, both based in New York. Dr. Fox is also an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.