10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Feel great while taking good care of yourself and your baby.

You can feel wonderful during your pregnancy if you take good care of yourself. Increase your odds of a healthy pregnancy by following these sensible steps to keep yourself in top condition:

1. Eat five or six well-balanced meals each day.

2. Take a prenatal vitamin each day as directed by your obstetrician or midwife.

3. Drink plenty of fluids -- at least eight to 10 glasses a day -- avoiding caffeine and artificial coloring.

4. Don't drink alcohol.

5. Don't smoke or allow yourself to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

6. Exercise -- it's important for your general health and also can help reduce stress. Take a pregnancy exercise class or walk at least fifteen to twenty minutes every day at a moderate pace. Walk in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating.

7. Get adequate sleep -- at least eight hours a night. If you're suffering from sleep disturbances, take naps during the day and see your physician for advice.

8. Wear comfortable, nonrestricting shoes and put your feet up several times a day to prevent fatigue and swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles.

9. Continue to wear a safety belt while riding in motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the shoulder portion of the restraint should be positioned over the collar bone. The lap portion should be placed under the abdomen as low as possible on the hips and across the upper thighs, never above the abdomen. Also, pregnant women should sit as far from the air bag as possible.

10. Don't take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without first consulting your obstetrician or midwife.

Sources: National Women's Health Information Center; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your won health or the health of others.

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