Exercise and Diet Recommendations for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is one of the most rewarding transformations that may happen to a woman. It is indeed magical to see life being created. In the process of creating life, most people seek to do the best to ensure that the unborn baby is taken care of best. How better to take care of the young one than through eating right and exercising as recommended? As you will hear from your inpatient check-ups attended, diet for pregnant women is one of the most important pillars that can be set forth by any mother. The exercise regime chosen also ensures the health and well-being of both mother and child.Indeed, research has shown that when a perfect balance is found between the two, there are immense benefits seen.

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Diet in pregnancy

While you do not necessarily need to go into a diet during pregnancy, watching what is eaten is one of the ways of ensuring a smooth pregnancy.

You don’t need to go on a special diet, but it's important to eat a variety of different foods every day to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need. One of the things you will note is that you will feel hungry than usual as the days progress into pregnancy. This is because the body subconsciously increases its demands because of the growing baby. Taking a healthy breakfast is highly recommended as it prevents you from snacking on high starch and fat foods that are unhealthy for you and the baby. Below are the considerations to make when choosing the right diet for pregnant women:

Fruits and vegetables

Pregnancy comes with a high demand of vitamins and minerals. This food group is an excellent source of fruits and vegetables as well as fiber. The fiber is ideal in the diet as it aids digestion and prevents incidences of constipation. Ideally, you should take at least five portions of fruits and vegetables. Slight cooking of vegetables is recommended or even eating them raw so as to get the maximum nutrients from them. It is however important to ensure that all raw vegetables are cleaned thoroughly as failure to do so can cause toxoplasmosis which is an infection that comes from a parasite in the soil.

Carbohydrates

This food group is also referred to as starches. These foods provide a crucial source of calories, fiber as well as vitamins. The starches should feature high in any meal taken. Whenever possible, choose whole meal grain starches as opposed to processed grains which are white.

Protein

The list of protein is long as can be. Every region has its own readily available protein, be it from animal or plant sources. A portion of protein is needed in the diet on a daily basis. To stay safe, avoid raw animal sources or those which are cooked rare. Ensure all the animal proteins consumed are well done. Dairy products ought not to be ignored as they contain calcium which is very important for the unborn child, mainly in the formation of strong bones. When there is a choice, low fat varieties of dairy products should be chosen. Two to three portions of dairy products are recommended in the diet for pregnant women

Foods to avoid

To ensure that the right health is sustained through pregnancy, there are some foods that pregnant women ought to avoid. These foods are high fat and starch foods which include: cream, chocolate, crisps, pastries, salad dressings, spreading fats, ice cream, puddings, cake, high caffeine products as well as fuzzy drinks. These foods increase the probability of heart disease due to their high fat saturation which increases the levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Raw foods such as uncooked sushi as well as oysters, cheese made from unpasteurized milk as well as uncooked meat should be avoided at all costs. The reasoning behind this is that the foods may contain harmful bacteria which may cause harm to the unborn baby.

In the event you get hungry in between meals, avoid high fat or sugar snacks but instead go for healthy and nutritious snacks including sandwiches, low fat yoghurt, salad vegetables, healthy soups, porridge, low fat milk as well as unsweetened fruit juices.

Exercise

There is no doubts that exercise for pregnant women is very important. During pregnancy, there are high levels of estrogen and progesterone. These high levels of hormone are very important that they sustain pregnancy through the nine months. On the contrary, the high hormones levels cause women to be irritable and may at times cause depression when not well managed. One of the surest ways of effectively dealing with this problem is through exercise. When one exercises, endorphins are released. Endorphins are also referred to as feel good factors. Further, endorphins act to reduce the amount of cortisol in the body which is a hormone responsible for bringing stress.

It also goes without saying that a regular exercise regime will help a pregnant woman achieve the end results of the recommended weight during pregnancy. It also becomes very easy to lose weight after pregnancy. Research has also shown that gestational diabetes (a condition attributed to excessive weight gain in pregnancy) incidences are significantly lower in women who exercise in pregnancy as opposed to those who avoid exercise.

Though exercise is recommended, do not go overboard with the chosen exercise or sport of choice. Extreme sporting activities such as horseback riding, football, rugby (How could it have missed) kick boxing as well as skiing are therefore discouraged, especially when in the third trimester of pregnancy. Exercises that are performed when the pregnant mother is lying on the back should also be avoided. The reason as to why flat back exercises are discouraged is because there is reduced blood flow to the uterus when exercising in such a position and this reduces the blood flowing to the uterus, thus endangering the developing fetus.

The best exercises for pregnant women are mild exercises. Good examples of such exercises include yoga, aerobic exercises as well as pilates which research has shown is very important in building the stamina required during labor. Exercise regimes would be done 3 - 4 times a week, with the duration ranging from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Research has shown that women who regularly exercise in pregnancy have a shorter as well as easier labor.

In choosing the outlined diet for pregnant women as well as exercise, there is no doubt that the months of pregnancy will be transformed from gloomy ones to amazing ones. Further, you can look forward to a healthy baby who has all the care that comes from a mindful mum.

In conclusion, remember food groups to focus on include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Dairy products
  • Whole meal proteins
  • Animal proteins

Foods to avoid

  • Raw meat especially sea foods
  • Raw vegetables which have not been thoroughly cleaned

Good exercise in pregnancy

  • Aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Pilates

Exercise to Avoid

  • Any overly rigorous regime

What exercises worked for you during pregnancy?

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In conclusion, remember food groups to focus on include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Dairy products
  • Whole meal proteins
  • Animal proteins

Foods to avoid

  • Raw meat especially sea foods
  • Raw vegetables which have not been thoroughly cleaned

Good exercise in pregnancy

  • Aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Pilates

Exercise to Avoid

  • Any overly rigorous regime

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