Up next in How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy (21 videos)
Find out what you can do to have a healthy pregnancy -- and a healthy baby -- with the advice in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- An obstetrician you trust and can talk to easily
- Prenatal vitamins
- A varied diet
- An exercise routine
- Someone to change the litter box, if you have a cat
- Some ways to chill out
- Willpower to quit smoking (optional) (optional) (optional)
If you smoke, stop. Immediately. If it's going to take more willpower than you have to go cold turkey, ask your doctor about chewing nicotine-replacement gum or using the patch, which are both generally considered safe during pregnancy.
Take prenatal vitamins
Take a daily prenatal vitamin. This should cover all your nutritional bases, so don't be tempted to pop additional supplements. Too much of certain vitamins and minerals can be harmful to your baby.
Eat a varied diet
Eat a varied diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and poultry, whole grains, and healthy fats, like those in olive and nut oils.
Gain weight gradually
Gain weight slowly. For average-size women, that means two to four pounds the first trimester, and about one pound per week after that, for a total of anywhere from 15 to 35 pounds. Underweight women should gain up to 40 pounds, and women who are overweight should gain between 15 and 25 pounds total.
Stay active. Regular exercise can make your labor and delivery easier. If you already work out, keep it up. A brisk walk several times a week is a good start.
Avoid the litter box
If you have a cat, have someone else change the litter box and, if you can, keep your kitty indoors. Also, don't handle hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, or other pet rodents –they can spread harmful diseases to you and your baby.
Check your meds
Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medication – even aspirin. And make sure they know about any prescription drugs you're already on, in case you're taking something that could harm your baby.
Reduce stress as much as you can. Do whatever it takes to relax, from long walks to long soaks in the tub, from yoga to meditation. It'll be a while before you can take it easy again!