Diet and Exercise During Pregnancy
Eating a well-balanced diet during pregnancy is especially important. Protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals are essential and can be obtained by eating the right kind of foods. Pregnant women are advised to increase their daily intake by between 300 to 500 calories a day. On average, doctors suggest that women gain between 25 and 35 pounds during a normal pregnancy.
Avoid alcohol and other drugs. Be sure to talk with your physician before taking any medication. Your doctor will ask you to stop or cut back on any food or drink that contains caffeine. If you smoke, consider giving it up. Smoking has been linked to low birth weight and premature delivery.
Moderate physical activity during pregnancy not only safe but extremely beneficial for most expectant mothers and their babies. Be sure to check with your doctor before exercising, especially if you have not been on a regular exercise program before becoming pregnant.
There are a variety of activities that are beneficial during pregnancy including walking, swimming in shallow water, cycling on a stationary bike, calisthenics designed specifically for pregnancy, golfing, and relaxation routines. Exercise can relieve backaches, prevent constipation and varicose veins, strengthen your body for childbirth, and leave you in better shape after the baby is born.
Visit The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website for more information.