All Things Pregnancy

Prenatal Health & Fitness

With all of the changes during pregnancy, it is essential to take care of your health, well-being and overall fitness. Here's a simple guide to prenatal health and fitness to help you stay healthy during your pregnancy!

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Your Guide to Prenatal Health and Well-Being...

A lot of the members in our community wonder if it is safe to exercise while pregnant. The answer is yes, as long as you follow safety guidelines and consult your GP or midwife before starting any set exercise routine.

Exercise during pregnancy, when safe to do so, can be great for your health. It can help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and postnatal depression, improve sleep, and increase energy levels.

Still, listening to your body and not pushing yourself too hard when exercising is also important. Your body is super busy growing a whole new human, so you won’t have the energy to go as hard in the gym as usual! If you experience discomfort or pain, stop exercising immediately and speak to your health visitor or GP.

Eating a healthy diet can be the last thing on your mind while pregnant if you’ve got morning sickness, weird food cravings, or any other painful symptoms. Still, eating a healthy and balanced diet is crucial during pregnancy. See more benefits of a healthy diet during pregnancy here. Some of the best foods to eat while pregnant include:

  1. Leafy Greens: Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and broccoli are rich in essential nutrients such as folate, iron, and calcium, all of which will be great for your pregnant body.
  2. Lean Proteins: Lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and tofu are excellent sources of protein, which is essential for your little one’s growth and development!
  3. Whole Grains: Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread are high in fibre and other nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and selenium.

A balanced diet is essential during pregnancy, but sometimes it can be hard to get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients from food alone. As well as a healthy diet, prenatal vitamins can help ensure that you and your little one get the necessary vitamins and nutrients.

Here are some of the essential vitamins to take during pregnancy:

  1. Folic Acid: Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps prevent problems in the baby's brain and spine. It is recommended to take 400-800 micrograms of folic acid daily before and during early pregnancy.
  2. Iron: Iron is essential for developing red blood cells in the baby and the mother's body. Experts recommended taking 27 milligrams of iron daily during pregnancy.
  3. Calcium: Calcium is essential for developing your little one's bones, teeth, and muscles.
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the baby's brain and eye development.

It’s important to talk to your health visitor or GP about any necessary supplements or vitamins while pregnant based on your individual needs and medical history. For more information, see our guide to the best prenatal vitamins and beyond.

Morning sickness is a common condition experienced by many pregnant women, especially during the first trimester. If you’re currently going through morning sickness, you might feel like it will never get better. But don’t worry, it will! As you progress through your pregnancy and out of the first trimester, your morning sickness should subside, and you should be feeling better.

With morning sickness comes feelings of nausea, fatigue, and being sick. While it can be uncomfortable and feel completely debilitating, there are several things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness.

Here are some of the best ways to reduce morning sickness:

  1. Eat small, frequent meals- Aim for five to six small meals per day, and only go for a short time without eating in between these meals.
  2. Stay hydrated- Drinking plenty of fluids is important during pregnancy, and it's even more important when you’re experiencing morning sickness.
  3. Avoid morning sickness triggers- Certain smells, foods, or activities can trigger morning sickness. These can vary from person to person, so pay attention to what triggers your symptoms and avoid them as much as possible.
  4. Practice relaxation techniques- Stress can exacerbate morning sickness symptoms, so it might be a good idea to practise relaxation techniques if you feel things are getting too much.

It is important to resume any exercise after pregnancy gradually. Don’t jump straight back into things, and don't let your exercise choices be guided by ‘snapping back’ into shape or getting your ‘old body’ back. This is a dangerous way of thinking, and it's important to embrace your body after giving birth and be kind to yourself. For more on this, see our post on why we need to ditch the diets.

Walking, yoga, and swimming are excellent low-impact exercises to help you regain strength and flexibility after giving birth to your little one. Getting out of the house to focus on yourself can be great for your mental health.