What are some healthy activities to do during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a very unique phase one could even witness in her life. Follow up with the general schedule for an uncomplicated pregnancy: From the beginning of your pregnancy through 28 weeks you will have a monthly appointment. From 28-36 weeks, you will have an appointment every 2 – 3 weeks. From 36 weeks until delivery, you will have a weekly appointment. Before beginning any exercise program, talk with your doctor to make sure you do not have any obstetric or health conditions that would limit your activity.

Ask about any specific exercise or sports that interest you. Your doctor can offer advice about what type of exercise routine is best for you. The extra weight you are carrying will make your body work harder than before you were pregnant. Exercise increases the flow of oxygen and blood to the muscles being worked and away from other parts of your body. Therefore, it is important to not overdo it. Try to exercise moderately so you don’t get tired quickly. If you are able to talk normally while exercising, your heart rate is at an acceptable level. Staying active is great for you and the baby. If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy you can continue your current exercise regimen with a few modifications. Routine dental work is safe during pregnancy and we encourage you to keep up with your normal dental health routine.

Keep track of when you feel nauseated and what causes it. If continued vomiting occurs, do not eat or drink anything until the vomiting has stopped. As you feel better, try some small amounts of clear liquids (broth, Jello, apple, grape or cranberry juice, and / or popsicles.) A certain amount of swelling (called edema) is normal during pregnancy. It occurs most often in the legs. Elevating the legs usually reduces the swelling by the next morning. Swelling can begin during the last few months of pregnancy, and it may occur more often in the summer. Let your doctor or nurse know if you have swelling in your hands or face, because this may be a sign of another problem. A clue that your hands are swollen is that your rings are too tight. Never take medications (water pills) for swelling unless they have been prescribed for you by your OB/GYN. At least half of all pregnant women seem to have problems with constipation. One reason for this may be changes in hormones that slow the movement of food through the digestive tract your uterus may add to the problem. Here are some suggestions that may help:

• Drink plenty of liquids at least 6-8 glasses of water each day, including 1-2 glasses of fruit juice such as prune juice.

• Liquids (such as coffee, tea and cola) which make you go to the bathroom should not be ingested. They will tend to create a negative water balance in your body and thus make your stools harder and more difficult to pass.

• Eat food high in fiber, such as raw fruits and vegetables and bran cereals.

• Exercise daily. Walking is a good form of exercise.

• Senokot, Doxidan, Metamucil, Colace, Milk of Magnesia and other gentle stool softeners are safe to use in pregnancy In the last three months of pregnancy, you may find that you have more leg cramps. Get plenty of calcium (three glasses of milk or a supplement) and potassium (oranges or bananas). Stretching your legs before going to bed can help relieve cramps. Avoid pointing your toes when stretching or exercising. Your prenatal vitamins should be the only supplement used during pregnancy unless your doctor specifically directs you to use an additional product.

Prenatal vitamins are vital in the wake of the increased demands of pregnancy. Growing a new person isn’t easy on your body, and you will require additional vitamins and minerals in your diet—like folic acid, calcium, and iron—for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Rather than just selecting a prenatal vitamin yourself, talk to your doctor or midwife about if you need a special formulation (i.e., in cases of anemia or nutritional deficiencies), and if a tablet, capsule, or liquid prenatal vitamin will work most efficiently. You can do your part to prevent stretch marks by drinking lots of water to keep skin hydrated, by massaging your skin daily with a moisturizer or oil that’s high in vitamin A and vitamin E (i.e., cocoa butter) to prevent stretch marks, and increase circulation and tissue repair; and by consuming a diet that’s rich in skin-supporting vitamins—E, C, A, and zinc.

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