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home>>family>>diet during pregnancy>>Stay Healthy During Pregnancy Part 2

How to Stay Healthy During Pregnancy Part 2

by: Connie Limon

Nutrients and Supplements

Iron is also a very important nutrient for pregnant women. During pregnancy you need 27 to 30 mg of iron every day. Iron is found in various kinds of foods. Iron from meat sources is more easily absorbed by the body than iron found in plant foods. Iron-rich food choices include:

Red meat
Dark poultry
Salmon
Eggs
Tofu
Enriched grains
Dried beans and peas
Dried fruits
Leafy green vegetables
Blackstrap molasses
Iron-fortified breakfast cereals

Another important nutrient for the pregnant woman is folic acid. Folic acid supplements taken 1 month prior to and throughout the first 3 months of pregnancy decrease the risk of neural tube defects by up to 70%. The neural tube is formed during the first 28 days of pregnancy and goes on to become the baby's developing brain and spinal cord. Spina bifida can result when a neural tube does not form properly.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all women of childbearing age, but especially those who are planning to become pregnant, get about 400 micrograms of folic acid supplements every day either from a multivitamin or a folic acid supplement in addition to the folic acid found in food. It is best to rely upon the advice of your health care provider. He or she can prescribe a prenatal vitamin that contains the right amount of folic acid, or direct you to an over-the-counter supplement.

Fluids

During pregnancy a woman's blood volume increases. To prevent dehydration and constipation, drink plenty of water each day.

Exercise

Studies show that exercise during pregnancy is extremely beneficial. It is recommended that a pregnant woman get 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity every day. Regular exercise helps to:

Prevent excess weight gain
Reduce back pain, swelling and constipation
Improve sleep patterns
Increase the amount of energy you have each day
Improve your outlook, helps to keep moods stable
Prepare you for labor
Lessen recovery time after delivery

If you were not active before pregnancy or you have a high-risk pregnancy, ask your health care provider how to proceed. If you are a regular exerciser, talk to your health care provider about whether it is safe to continue those same activities.

In general some great choices for pregnant women is walking and swimming. There is also yoga or pilates classes, DVDs, or videos made especially for pregnant women which are low-impact and work on strength, flexibility and relaxation.

It should seem obvious that you will need to limit high-impact aerobics and avoid certain sports and activities that may cause abdominal injury. Contact sports, downhill skiing, and horseback riding is usually not advisable for any pregnant woman.

If you enjoy belly dancing before pregnancy, this also might be something you will want to stop doing while pregnant, especially when the outfit starts to get a little tight. Also be aware that your body produces a hormone known as relaxin believed to help prepare the pubic area and the cervix for the birth. Relaxin loosens the ligaments in your body and makes you less stable, more prone to injury. It becomes easier to overstretch or strain the joints in your pelvis, lower back, and knees. In addition, as your pregnancy progresses, you may feel a little off-balance and be more at risk of falling. Keep all this in mind and don't overdo it.

Remember to take frequent breaks and to drink plenty of fluids during whatever kind of exercise you choose. Slow down or stop if you get short of breath or feel uncomfortable. All questions about doing a certain sport or activity during your pregnancy should be discussed with your health care provider for guidelines specific to your situation.

Source: Nemours Foundation Online

Continued in Part 3

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional.

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.

2007 Connie Limon All rights reserved

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About The Author
Written by: Connie Limon Visit http://smalldogs2.com/PregnancyArticles for an extensive list of articles all about pregnancy.

For a variety of FREE reprint articles rarely seen elsewhere visit http://www.camelotarticles.com
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