Simple Lifestyle Tweaks to Keep You and Your Baby Healthy

Many moms and moms-to-be forget how important it is to prioritize self care. Remember that when you take care of yourself, you’re taking care of your baby. Pregnancy isn’t the time to overhaul your entire lifestyle, but it’s a good idea to stop and evaluate what you’re doing to support your own physical and mental health. Often, simple changes can have big impacts. 
 
Here are a few lifestyle tweaks that are easy to incorporate every day.
 
Drink more water
 
Did you know that your body produces 50% more blood by volume during pregnancy? Your blood crosses the placenta to supply oxygen and other essential nutrients to your baby, which means you need more blood in circulation. Drinking water is necessary because your body needs to be properly hydrated for smooth blood flow. When you’re pregnant, you need to stay extra hydrated because of all the extra work your body is doing to grow a baby.
 
Staying hydrated also helps prevent hemorrhoids, constipation, UTIs, headaches, fatigue, swelling and other unpleasant conditions often associated with pregnancy. 
 
Tip: Hate the idea of plain water? Add a splash of fruit juice or squeeze a lime or lemon into your glass for added flavor.
 
Make your calories count
 
Consumption of nutrient-rich foods during pregnancy is important for ensuring healthy development of your baby. Fresh fruits and vegetables are key parts of a nutrient-rich, balanced diet as are foods that are low in refined sugar and high in protein. Try not to rely on fast food for more than one meal per week. 
 
Tip: Not a breakfast fan? Try whole grain toast topped with avocado and egg or a veggie omelet. 
 
Exercise every day
 
As long as you have the go-ahead from your physician, keep moving during your pregnancy. Exercising 15-20 minutes daily not only boosts your mood, it improves your stamina during pregnancy and labor. Including exercise in your daily routine also provides you with several other health benefits: less back pain, improved sleep, and faster postpartum recovery. Keep going to your favorite workouts, just make sure you're hydrated and making adjustments to your workouts as your pregnancy progresses. 
 
Tip: No time to hit the gym? Walks around your neighborhood, easy trail hikes and prenatal yoga classes are all great options. 
 
Trim your to-do list
 
Women can do it all, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Curate your to-do list by handing off work that can be done by others and putting off tasks that aren’t urgent. Pregnancy is a great time to practice the power of “no”.  Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish. 
 
Tip: Used to being superwoman? Ease into delegation by handing off small tasks that you can easily double check.
 
Prioritize sleep
 
According to doctors, tiredness during pregnancy is a sign that you need to slow down. Try taking a nap during the day. If this isn't feasible, then get to bed as early as possible. Pregnant women need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night.  
 
Tip: Are you a screen addict? Try reading instead of browsing the web before bed. This will allow your brain waves to move into a pattern more conducive to falling asleep. 
 
Treat yourself
 
If this is your first baby, it can be easy to be a little scared. Don't let worry overwhelm you. Indulge in some fun to relieve the stress. Invest in a pair of super-soft maternity pajamas or a great pair of maternity jeans that make you feel beautiful. Get ideas for your nursery on Instagram and Pinterest or catch up on all the books you've been wanting to read. 
 
Tip: Living on a budget? Brainstorm things to do instead of buy. Sometimes having time alone is a treat in itself!
 
Meet other moms
 
The support, knowledge, and friendship of other pregnant women will come in handy throughout your pregnancy. These are the friends you’ll most likely turn to when your baby arrives as well. Join a childbirth class or sign up for prenatal yoga classes to meet other moms-to-be. Friendships and a supportive community are crucial for your health as a woman and a parent. 
 
Tip: Do you get tongue-tied meeting new people? Check out online forums for parents to make connections in a low-stress environment.