To help you have the healthiest pregnancy you can—for you and your baby—practice these tips from our experts:
1. Aim for 30, do at least 10
Dr. Durnwald recommends 30 minutes of light exercise like walking or swimming three days a week for the physical health benefits. Stay motivated by making a walking date with another pregnant friend or your partner. Or, take the kids on a walk to go play at the park. “Even if you can sustain exercise for at least 10 minutes, you’re getting a benefit,” says Dr. Durnwald. “You can still see some benefits from the natural release of insulin with exercise after 15 minutes.”
2. Take a nutrition class
Both doctors recommended meeting with a nutritionist or taking a nutrition class so you have more tools for living a healthy lifestyle.
3. Don’t eat for two
Those extra 300 calories might only look like a granola bar and piece of fruit. Remember, it’s better for your baby if you’re taking in healthier foods rather than a pint of ice cream.
4. Beware liquid calories
Dr. Landy recommends you really take a look at what you’re eating and drinking during the day. “Some patients might be having a glass of orange juice in the morning and a glass of apple juice at lunch. I tell them that the juice is full of sugar, and suggest they eat the orange or apple and drink the equivalent of water. It’s better for you, has fewer calories and keeps up your fluid intake up.”
5. Ditch the defeatist approach
If you’ve gained the highest recommended weight already and you’re only at 28 weeks, you can still adjust your trajectory, says Dr. Durnwald. “You can at least control the amount of weight gain at this point. I’ll tell patients, ‘Let’s only gain a pound a week, or a half a pound a week (for an obese woman)—that should be our focus now. We can’t do anything about the first five months, but we can still do something.’ It’s important to build the mom up because she might feel frustrated or defeated. If you feel negatively about yourself it can impact your eating, exercise habits, and our motivation with everything else.”
6. Maintain a healthy BMI when you’re not pregnant
We know this is easier said than done but both experts stress the importance of beginning a pregnancy at a normal weight for a less-complicated pregnancy.