Are you eating too much for you, or eating for two, and now you’re worried about exercise too? The answers to pregnancy, exercise and diet during pregnancy, are literally at your fingertips. You no longer have to ask the little old lady at the bus stop (whom, as it turns out, never even had children) or even telephone your own mother (you know you hang up after an hour long conversation, still wondering what is right and what is not) or interrupt your obstetrician’s dinner. The answer to all your pregnancy, exercise and diet questions are readily available online.
Begin by researching pregnancy, exercise, and diet online, read, do your homework, and based on what you have discovered, formulate your own list of pregnancy, exercise, and diet questions to take to your next appointment with your obstetrician. You can even print out relevant information to discuss, and take it with you.
As far as pregnancy, diet, and exercise are concerned, we’ll first touch briefly on pregnancy. As you, of course know, pregnancy occurs when an egg (or eggs) is fertilized by sperm to grow in the womb until a baby is born. Gestation is divided into trimesters. The greatest risk for miscarriage and damage due to environmental influences occurs during the first trimester. During the second trimester, the development of the fetus can be monitored. The third trimester marks the beginning of viability, or the ability of the fetus to survive, outside of the mother’s womb. Normal pregnancies last approximately 40 weeks.
Now, for the diet in pregnancy, diet, and exercise a diet during pregnancy is important for both mother and baby. Balanced diets should begin before pregnancy, and are essential for a healthy pregnancy. You need higher levels of vitamins during pregnancy so take prenatal vitamins containing iron (for healthy blood) calcium (for healthy bones) and it’s important to take folic acid before conception and in the early weeks of pregnancy, to help prevent brain and spine defects.
Plan your meals to include these daily basics to make sure optimal nutrition for you and your baby:
- 6 to 11 servings of grain products
- 3 to 5 servings of vegetables
- 2 to 4 servings of fruits
- 4 to 6 servings of milk and milk products
- 3 to 4 servings of meat and protein foods
- 6 to 8 glasses of water, fruit juice, or milk
- Limited servings of fatty foods and sweets
Good forms of exercise, like walking, stationary cycling, low-impact aerobics, and swimming or water exercise, can strengthen muscles, promote good health, lessen the duration of labor and ease delivery.
Discouraged exercise includes sports increasing the risk of abdominal trauma, such as hockey, boxing, wrestling, football, soccer, or other high risk sports like gymnastics, horseback riding, skating, skiing, racquet sports, weight lifting and other similar activities, and any exertion that raises body temperature above 102-103 degrees, or puts undue stress on muscles and joints should be avoided.
When considering pregnancy, diet, and exercise, use common sense, research online, and consult your obstetrician for final approval.