The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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• Eat just 300 calories more per day Even though your appetite is noticeably increasing, your daily calorie intake should go up just a little during the second and third trimesters. (Note: Your total gain should be 25 to 35 pounds if you're of normal weight.)
• Give in to some cravings But try to eat healthfully overall by choosing nutrient-rich foods like low-fat dairy, legumes, poultry, lean meats and fish.
• If you "run hot," eat cold foods Chilled fruit, frozen yogurt, and cold, cooked wild salmon are good choices.
• Eat dinner four hours before bed Your stomach is being squished by your growing baby, and forgoing food and drink before bedtime can help prevent heartburn (and minimize bathroom trips).
• Don't exercise flat on your back If you do, the pressure from your enlarged uterus may reduce blood flow in a large vein called the vena cava. Instead, do abdominal exercises while sitting or kneeling on all fours. Strong ab muscles can help prevent back pain.
• Watch your balance As your belly grows, your balance shifts. If you're doing step aerobics, lower the step; if you're walking, stick to flat terrain.
• Swim It feels great when you're really big and offers relief for swollen legs and an aching back. (The hard part is getting into a bathing suit!)
• Relieve leg cramps Flex your foot toward your face and do ankle circles first in one direction, then the other, to stretch your calf muscles.
• Listen to Your Body Fatigue becomes such a normal part of pregnancy that it's easy to ignore, but don't: your body may be telling you to rest.
What To Do Now
• Stay safe Keep wearing your seatbelt, and watch your step. If you do fall, your baby probably will be fine, as she is protected by the amniotic fluid.
• Check out local hospitals and make appointments to tour maternity wards.
• Begin planning your baby's nursery Determine what you'll need to buy (and what to register for).
• Sign up for childbirth classes You should enroll by month seven.
• Calm your fears about labor Seek out other pregnant women to talk with about your anxieties.
• Research cord blood banking Public or private? Go to fitpregnancy.com/cordblood for a primer.