Tips for a Safe and Healthy Pregnancy

Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by Touro Infirmary.

Your health is always important but taking care of yourself emotionally and physically, gets trickier when you’re expecting. By taking certain steps, you can reduce health risks for both you and your baby. The more knowledge you have prior to the baby’s arrival, the more confidence you will have during this exciting and sometimes stressful time.

Tip #1: Eat Well

Healthy PregnancyEating healthy foods can help you and your baby to stay healthy.

  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet with foods high in folate, such as orange juice, spinach and strawberries.
  • When you’re pregnant, you need about twice the amount of iron as you did before your pregnancy. Your body uses iron to make extra blood for your baby. You can find iron in red meat, oatmeal and beans.
  • Drink at least 10 cups of fluids daily for maximum hydration.
  • Make sure to avoid alcohol intake and limit caffeine to 200 milligrams a day.
  • Stick with fish low in mercury, such as shrimp, salmon, catfish and canned light (not white) tuna. Do not eat more than 12 ounces of fish in a week.
  • Avoid raw or undercooked fish.
  • Stay away from soft cheeses, such as feta and brie.
  • Stay away from unpasteurized milk and juice, hot dogs and deli meats.

Remember, eating for two doesn’t mean eating twice as much. Most women only need 300 extra calories a day during the last six months of pregnancy, which is the amount of one cup of fat-free yogurt and an apple.

Tip #2: Move Your Body

Staying active during pregnancy can ease discomfort, prepare you for labor and delivery, lower your risk for pregnancy complications, improve sleep, and boost mood and energy levels. Regular exercise can also keep prenatal weight gain in check. Women should aim to gain 25 to 35 pounds—most of it in the last three months of pregnancy.

With a doctor’s approval, physically active women can maintain the same exercise intensity throughout pregnancy and after birth. It’s important to choose moderate activities with a low risk for injury, such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, yoga and stationary biking. You should avoid doing exercises or stretches that require you to lie on your back because it can restrict blood flow to the baby.

Tip #3: Wear your safety belt properly

Tip #4: Manage your medicine

Talk with your doctor about any over-the-counter, herbal, prescription medications, or nutritional supplements that you are taking. Women with chronic health problems like asthma or high blood pressure may need to change medications before becoming pregnant. However, it is important to never start or stop a medication without checking with your doctor first.

Tip #5: Get enough sleep

As your pregnancy progresses and the size of your uterus increases, you may find it increasingly difficult to get comfortable in bed. Lying on your back is not recommended due to pressure on the inferior vena cava, a major vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart. The best sleeping position for a pregnant woman is on her side. The left side is especially good because it allows for maximum blood flow to the fetus and improves kidney function in the mother.

Join Touro’s Family Birthing Center for a FREE Open House Brunch

 Mingle with OB/GYNs, midwives, doulas, and lactation consultants. Tour our birthing center, learn more about preconception health, and enter to win exciting raffle prizes including a spa gift card, barre classes and more! Registration is required.

SIP & SEE

When :: Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Where :: Touro Infirmary Family Birthing Center

Please RSVP online at www.touro.com/events or by calling (504) 897-8500.

About Dr. Arelis Figueroa 

Dr. Arelis Figueroa, a Crescent City Physicians obstetrician and gynecologist, supports her patients through pregnancy and beyond, helping new moms establish healthy practices that benefit their families. A native of Puerto Rico, she speaks Spanish and English, working with patients whose language barriers might have otherwise kept them from getting care.

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