9 Healthy Pregnancy Tips for To-Be Parents

August 22, 2023



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Pregnancy is one of the most exciting yet challenging times in a woman's life. The body goes through tremendous changes to nurture the growing baby, and expectant mothers need to take care of themselves during this period. Adopting healthy habits and making sensible lifestyle choices can help ensure a smooth pregnancy and delivery and lay the foundation for the baby's long-term health.

According to the CDC, about 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States have a birth defect. While not all birth defects can be prevented, following healthy pregnancy tips can reduce risks. Below are some tips for ensuring your and your baby’s health during pregnancy.

Avoid Harmful Substances

Firstly, to protect the developing fetus, it is vital to avoid tobacco, alcohol, recreational drugs, and unnecessary medications during pregnancy. Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and other complications.

There’s no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol usage can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders leading to physical, mental, and behavioral disabilities. Recreational drugs are also extremely hazardous. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs should only be taken if approved by a doctor. In addition, avoid exposure to toxic chemicals like pesticides, lead, mercury, and certain cleaning products. The fewer harmful substances, the better for your baby.

If an unfortunate situation arises where negligence on the part of medical practitioners leads to a birth defect like cerebral palsy, seeking legal advice from cerebral palsy law firms is advised.

Ensuring responsible medical care during pregnancy is paramount, and knowing your legal rights can reinforce the care and caution needed during this critical phase.

Eat Nutritious Foods

A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and dairy provides the building blocks for a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnant women need more protein, iron, calcium, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals. It’s always better to get nutrients from food than supplements. Healthy diet options include dairy products, eggs, legumes, citrus fruits, fortified cereals, fatty fish, and green leafy vegetables.

Also, stay hydrated by drinking 8 to 12 cups of water daily. Limit processed foods and added sugars that have empty calories. The healthier you eat during pregnancy, the healthier your baby will be.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is safe and beneficial during pregnancy for most women. It improves mood, energy levels, and sleep quality and prevents excess weight gain. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise like brisk walking, swimming, or stationary cycling. And ensure to stay hydrated and avoid getting overheated. It’s important that you listen to your body and don't overexert.

Avoid contact sports and activities with a high risk of falling, and check with your doctor about continuing your exercise routine or starting something new. Simple stretches, prenatal yoga, and light strength training can make pregnancy easier.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins provide pregnant women with the recommended daily amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. They contain higher levels of nutrients like folic acid, iron, and calcium which are vital for fetal development. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects, iron helps make hemoglobin, and calcium helps build strong bones and teeth.

Doctors recommend taking prenatal vitamins at least three months before conception and continuing throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. So, choose an over-the-counter brand that contains the key nutrients.

Get Plenty of Rest

Pregnancy is tiring on the body. Rest and sleep become especially important in the first and third trimesters. Aim for 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night by having a consistent bedtime routine. Take short naps during the day if you feel tired, and try sleeping on your left side with a pillow between your legs for better blood flow.

Most importantly, create a comfortable sleep environment without light, noise, or temperature extremes. Avoid screens before bed and caffeine after noon to ensure better sleep. Make rest a priority every day since adequate sleep optimizes health for you and your growing baby.

Manage Stress

Being pregnant can be physically and emotionally stressful. Taking time to relax and de-stress can improve your well-being during pregnancy. Here are a few tips:

  • Try prenatal yoga, meditation, deep breathing, massage, visualization, or listening to music.
  • Spend time doing hobbies you enjoy.
  • Stay socially connected with loved ones.
  • Set realistic goals, and don't take on too much.
  • Ask your partner, friends, and family for help.
  • Seek professional counseling if you have intense anxiety or depression.

Managing stress boosts the health of expectant mothers and protects the fetus from excess cortisol exposure.

Practice Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, uterus, and bowels. Strong pelvic muscles help prevent urine leakage, hemorrhoids and prepare the body for childbirth. Kegels are done by squeezing the muscles you use to hold your in urine.

Aim for three sets of 10 reps daily. Hold the contractions for 5 seconds each. Over time, build up to holding for 10 seconds. For best results, perform Kegels consistently throughout pregnancy. Staying active through walking, swimming, or prenatal exercise classes keeps pelvic muscles toned.

Choose Comfortable Clothing

A changing pregnant body needs comfortable clothing with room to expand. Pressure from snug waistbands and underwires can be uncomfortable.

Opt for stretchy, loose, and layered clothing in breathable fabrics. Well-fitting bras, camisoles, leggings, tunics, and wrap dresses accommodate a growing belly.

Also, look for maternity clothes with belly bands. You can even consider stylish maternity jeans with wide waistbands that can be worn postpartum too. For shoes, go for arch support and moderate heels that are pregnancy-friendly. Listen to your body and dress so that you feel good.

Bond with Your Partner

Pregnancy and having a newborn can stress even the strongest relationships. Maintaining intimacy, communication, and teamwork with your partner during pregnancy is key. Here’s what you can try:

  • Set aside time for just the two of you to connect through activities you enjoy.
  • Share your feelings openly.
  • Split household tasks fairly.
  • Go to childbirth classes together.
  • Discuss parenting roles and responsibilities.

Becoming parents is a huge transition, so offer each other patience, empathy, and support.


Pregnancy is a special time filled with excitement, challenges, and new experiences. Adopting healthy habits during pregnancy benefits both mother and baby. With the right lifestyle choices and support system, you can have a comfortable pregnancy and a healthy start for your growing family.


Urban Splatter

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