Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life, but it can also be exhausting. There are so many things to think about and prepare for! How can you stay healthy and energized throughout your pregnancy? Here are the top four tips to keep in mind.
Eat foods that are high in nutritional value
Eating foods that are high in nutritional value is an important part of staying healthy and energized throughout your pregnancy. These foods provide you with the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are needed for your baby’s development as well as for fueling your own body. Pregnant women should aim to incorporate nutrient-dense foods into their daily diet in order to stay healthy and energized throughout their pregnancy.
When selecting nutrient-dense foods, look for those that are rich in fiber, protein, vitamins (especially vitamin A and C), carbohydrates, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and omega fatty acids. Some examples of nutrient dense foods include fruits such as oranges or bananas; vegetables such as spinach or kale; whole grains such as oats or quinoa; lean proteins from sources like chicken breast or eggs; nuts and seeds like almonds or flaxseed; low-fat dairy products like yogurt or cheese; fish such as trout or salmon; legumes like lentils or chickpeas; and healthy fats such as olive oil.
In addition to these nutrient dense food options pregnant women can also benefit from taking prenatal vitamins. Taking a daily prenatal vitamin provides extra nutrition that may be missing in a pregnant woman’s diet due to lack of appetite or poor eating habits. It also helps ensure adequate amounts of key nutrients including folic acid which is important for preventing birth defects in the baby’s brain and spine.
Regular exercise is a great way to stay healthy and energized throughout your pregnancy. Exercise can help improve overall energy levels and reduce fatigue, as well as strengthening key muscle groups that are important for labor and delivery. Women should aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week. Examples of activities include walking, swimming, prenatal yoga or Pilates classes, and light lifting weights.
It is also important to listen to your body’s cues when exercising during pregnancy. If you start feeling fatigued or uncomfortable it may be time to take a break or modify the intensity level of the exercise. It is best to check with your doctor before starting any new exercises to make sure they are safe for you and your baby.
Utilize natural mood and energy boosters
Research shows that some natural mood boosters such as omega-3 fatty acids, choline, vitamin D and probiotics can help boost energy levels and improve overall wellbeing during pregnancy. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods such as fish, nuts, seeds and flaxseed oil. Choline is found in eggs, poultry and milk products. Vitamin D is found in fortified dairy products or you can get it from exposure to sunlight. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut.
Pregnancy tea is also a great way to naturally boost energy and mood. Pregnancy teas are typically made with herbs such as red raspberry leaf, nettle leaf, oatstraw and peppermint which have all been found to be safe for pregnant women while providing natural energy boosting benefits.
Get plenty of sleep
Getting enough sleep is an essential part of staying healthy and energized during pregnancy. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality shut-eye each night. To help ensure you get good quality sleep, try going to bed at the same time each night, avoiding caffeine or sugary snacks before bedtime, and sleeping in a comfortable position such as on your side with pillows supporting your stomach and back.
In addition, try to create a relaxing environment for sleeping. This may include surrounding yourself with comfortable bedding, keeping the room at a cool temperature and playing soft music or noise machines. If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your healthcare provider as there may be other treatments available.
By following these tips and adding nutrient-dense foods into your daily diet, exercising regularly, utilizing natural mood and energy boosters, and getting plenty of restful sleep you can stay healthy and energized throughout your pregnancy.