Just the Facts
Here's some essential exercise and nutrition information for pregnant women, plus some gentle postpartum moves.
TOP 5 PREGNANCY NUTRIENTS
Include these in your daily diet:
Calcium: 1,000 mg
Where to get it: Dairy foods, dark leafy greens, calcium-fortified soy milk, calcium-fortified juices and cereals
Folate (folic acid is the synthetic form, available in supplements): 600 mcg
Where to get it: Dried beans, peas, lentils, orange juice, oranges, dark leafy greens, soy nuts, avocados, broccoli, asparagus
Iron: 27 mg
Where to get it: Liver, meat, seafood, prune juice, dry beans, wheat germ, oatmeal, tofu, soy nuts, grains
Protein: 70 g
Where to get it: Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy foods, beans and legumes, nuts
Vitamin C: 85 mg
Where to get it: Citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
These exercises for relieving stress and regaining strength are so gentle, they can be done as soon as two days after you give birth. Just be sure to get your doctor's OK.
Belly Breathing: Sit in a chair or lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat. Place on hand on your belly and inhale through your nose for 4 counts, expanding your belly; then slowly exhale through your mouth for 4 counts, drawing your abdominal muscles in. Repeat 8 times, building up to 10 counts on the exhale. Strengthens abdominals.
Kegels: Contract the muscles around the vagina (as if you're stopping the flow of urine); hold for 10 seconds, breathing normally, then slowly release. Repeat 10 times 3-4 times a day. Strengthens pelvic-floor muscles.
Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat. Inhale, then exhale and tilt your pelvis, placing your lower back gently on the floor; draw abs in and contract your buttocks. Release and repeat 8 to 10 times, progressing to 15. Strengthens abs and buttocks.
For a user-friendly guide to the pregnancy and childbirth terms you need to know, go to fitpregnancy.com/glossary.