Stay hearty and healthy during pregnancy

Stay hearty and healthy during pregnancy

Pregnancy marks the onset of motherhood and you owe it to yourself to take of yourself and your baby to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.Here are some handy tipsto ensure the same:

Get regular prenatal care

You have to start seeing your doctor as soon as you test positive for pregnancy. Your scheduled prenatal appointments should follow this timeline:

every four weeks until 28 weeks of pregnancy
every two weeks from the time you are 28 weeks to 36 weeks of pregnancy
once a week (or more often, as per your Gynecologist’s instructions) after the 36th week of pregnancy

Nutrition and Supplements

Healthy eating is always important, especially when you're pregnant. You must get essential nutrients, like folic acid, calcium and iron, from the very start.You need to ensure that your calories come from nutritious foods which will contribute to your baby's growth and development.

Incorporate lean meats; fruits; vegetables; whole-grain breads and low-fat dairy products for a healthy and balanced diet. But you will still need more of the essential nutrients (especially calcium, iron and folic acid) than you did before because of your pregnancy. The Gynecologist at FirstCure Health will prescribe prenatal vitamins. These vitamins are meant to supplement your diet but aren't meant to be your only source of much-needed nutrients.


Most women 19 and older — including those who are pregnant — need more than the recommended daily 1,000 mg of calcium. You should increase your calcium consumption to prevent a loss of calcium from your own bones.

Good sources of calcium includelow-fat dairy products including milk, pasteurized cheese, and yogurt; calcium-fortified products, including orange juice, soy milk and cereals; dark green vegetables including spinach, kale, and broccoli; tofu; dried beans and almonds.


Pregnant women need about 30 mg of iron every dayto make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. Without enough iron, the body can't make enough red blood cells and the body's tissues and organs won't get the oxygen they need to function well.

Iron-rich foods includered meat; dark poultry; salmon; eggs; tofu; enriched grains; dried beans and peas;dry fruits; dark leafy green vegetables; iron-fortified breakfast cereals.


Folate (B vitamin) is absolutely essential and very important during the first two to three weeks of pregnancy, when it’s needed to develop the nervous system. Pregnant women need to consume 600 micrograms per day. Studies have shown that taking folic acid supplements 1 month prior to and throughout the first 3 months of pregnancy decrease the risk of neural tube defects.The neural tube — formed during the first several weeks of the pregnancy— goes on to become the baby's developing brain and spinal cord.

Folate-rich foods are lentils, spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus, fortified cereals, wheat germ, oranges, and orange juice.

Be active

Staying active is a must during pregnancy as it controls your weight; improves circulation; reduces pregnancy-related problems, like back pain, swelling, and constipation; improves sleep; increase energy; prepare your body for laborand helps you sleep better. Low-impact, moderate-intensity exercise activities (such as walking and swimming) are great choices for strength, flexibility, and relaxation. But be sure to check with your Gynecologistat FirstCure Health before starting any exercise program.

Stay hydrated

It's important to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, during pregnancy. Aim for at least eight cups of water throughout the day as this can help prevent common problems such as dehydration and constipation.


It's important to get enough sleep during your pregnancy. You'll feel more tired than usual as your baby gets bigger, it will be harder to find a comfortable position when you're trying to sleep. Lying on your side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position. This keeps the baby's weight from putting pressure on the large blood vessels that carry blood to and from your heart and your feet and legs. Lying on your side can also help prevent or reduce varicose veins, hemorrhoids and swelling in your legs.

Some Gynecologists recommend sleeping on the left side because lying on your left side helps blood flow to the placenta and therefore, your baby. For a more comfortable resting position, prop pillows between your legs, behind your back, and underneath your belly.

Know when to call the doctor

Being pregnant can be confusing, but we at FirstCure Health advise that you should call your Gynecologist if you have any of these symptoms:

– Pain of any kind
– Strong cramps
– Contractions at 20-minute intervals
– Vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid
– Dizziness or fainting
– Shortness of breath
– Heart palpitations
– Constant nausea and vomiting
– Trouble walking, edema (swelling of joints)
– Decreased activity by the baby

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