While you may think of high blood pressure as a problem for your parents or grandparents, many pregnant women experience blood-vessel problems that force the heart to work harder to pump blood to the placenta and maternal organs. In fact, up to 30 percent of first-time pregnancies are affected by hypertension, preeclampsia (high blood pressure plus protein in the urine) or eclampsia (high blood pressure, protein in the urine and seizures).
Few events in life are as unforgettable as having a baby. But there are plenty of other days after the Big Day that aren’t rosebuds and rainbows. Suddenly, you’re adjusting to less sleep, a changing body, and to being cooped up with a little bundle of … demands?
Related: The New Mom Survival Guide
Photography: Pornchai Mittongtare. Prop styling: Amy Paliwoda.
Congratulations! You’re pregnant. And a hearty congrats to us as well—Fit Pregnancy turns 20 this year and we couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate with you. Why? Well, we think it’s an amazing time to be pregnant.
Studies show that if moms-to-be got the recommended dose of folate before and during early pregnancy, 70 percent of all neuraltube defects could be prevented. Best sources: fortified cereals, leafy greens, beans, asparagus, peanuts, oranges, Brussels sprouts, wheat germ, and the tasty building blocks found in this recipe--peas. Related: 5 Ways to Rock Your Pregnancy Diet (4 more recipes)
“Calcium is a mineral that’s vital to developing strong bones and teeth, as well as proper nerve function and normal heartbeat,” says Kimberly A. Tessmer, R.D., L.D., author of Tell Me What to Eat If I Am Trying to Conceive (New Page Books). Plus, it’s linked to a reduced risk of hypertension and preeclampsia in moms.
Iron is crucial for building red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your baby’s growing organs. To supercharge your body’s ability to absorb oxygen, pair iron with vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus, strawberries, tomatoes and bell peppers. Here's a recipe that does just that. Related: 5 Ways to Rock Your Pregnancy Diet (4 more recipes)
Treadmill walking and running during pregnancy can be a safe option if you know the best guidelines for prenatal treadmill workouts. We talked to Samantha Barrionuevo, a personal trainer at Miami Total Fitness, to get the treadmill lowdown so that you can have a safe workout session for you and your baby.
Of course, nobody likes the feeling of a queasy stomach—whether it’s after a loop-de-loop amusement park ride, during flu season or following a night of a little too much of your favorite libation.
But for pregnant women who experience morning sickness (a misnomer, because pregnancy-related nausea can occur during any time of the day), it’s especially tough.
That’s because not only do you feel bad quite literally, but you also feel bad emotionally—because you worry whether your developing baby is getting enough nutrients.