You can feel wonderful during your pregnancy if you take good care of yourself. Increase your odds of a healthy pregnancy by following these sensible steps to keep yourself in top condition:
- Eat five or six well-balanced meals each day.
- Take a prenatal vitamin each day as directed by your obstetrician.
- Drink plenty of fluids, at least eight to ten glasses a day, avoiding caffeine and artificial coloring.
- Don't drink alcohol.
- Don't smoke or allow yourself to be exposed to second-hand smoke.
- Exercise--it's important for your general health, and also to reduce stress. Take a pregnancy exercise class or walk at least 15 to 20 minutes every day at a moderate pace. Walk in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating.
- Get adequate sleep--at least eight hours a night. If you're suffering from sleep disturbances, take naps during the day and see your physician for advice.
- Wear comfortable, non-restricting shoes and put your feet up several times a day to prevent fatigue and swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles.
- Continue to wear a safety belt while riding in motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the shoulder portion of the restraint should be positioned over the collar bone. The lap portion should be placed under the abdomen as low as possible on the hips and across the upper thighs, never above the abdomen. Also, pregnant women should sit as far from the air bag as possible.
- Don't take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without first consulting your obstetrician midwife.
National Women's Health Information Center and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.