6 Lifestyle Changes
Before & After Pregnancy

Certain lifestyle changes can help you and your baby to have a healthy pregnancy. With the arrival of your baby, more demands will be placed on your time, relationships and finances.

Learning about the connection between pregnancy and diet, pregnancy and exercise, drugs alcohol & smoking and pregnancy can help you to have a full term healthy pregnancy. There are 6 basic lifestyle changes you may want to consider before getting pregnant and when you have your baby.

Some changes like cutting down on caffeine and bringing yourself to a healthy weight can increase your energy levels and make you feel great. Knowing that pregnancy takes a lot from my body, before each pregnancy I go to the gym for cardio and work on my legs, back and abs. Feeling strong gives me confidence to face the challenges of pregnancy and birth.

Decide on lifestyle changes you need to make & benefit your whole family.

Healthy Diet
  • helps in all stages of your unborn baby's growth and development
  • increases proper stores of vitamins and minerals
  • fresh vegetables & fresh fruits provides fiber and vitamins
  • whole grain carbohydrates feeds your brain and maintains energy
  • lean protein from meat,fish,poultry & legumes for growth & repair
  • calcium sources--bone, tooth, muscle & nerve development
  • include iron rich foods to combat common pregnancy anemia
  • limit intakes of sugar, salt, fat & high fatty fast foods
Exercise
  • regular weekly exercise routine helps you look and feel better
  • helps you get physically and mentally prepared
  • increases your stamina, energy & blood circulation
  • strengthens body, immune system & you can get better sleep
  • relieves leg cramps, breathlessness and headaches
  • stimulates baby's tissues & brain with increased oxygen uptake
Time Together
  • a new baby will have their own schedule and not 'fit in' to yours
  • your baby needs your time and is a new priority in your lives
  • you will have less time together, by yourselves & with others
  • make adjustments in your schedule to make time for each other
Relationships
  • your relationships will change
  • you will probably start to grow away from your 'childless' friends
  • start new friendships with parents with similar experiences
Finances
  • a new baby will cost you 15-25% of your income
  • costs include food, clothing, equipment, toys & transportation
  • family vacations, even ambitions need extra planning & review
Drugs, Smoking & Alcohol
Using Drugs
  • harmful to mother's health and the health & growth of your baby
  • all drugs cross the placenta with harmful development side effects
  • early part of your pregnancy can cause birth defects & miscarriage
  • in 3rd trimester can stunt baby's growth, cause premature birth
  • medications can cause problems--speak with your doctor
Smoking
  • increases chances of complications during pregnancy & birth
  • can cause vaginal bleeding & placenta uterus attachment problems
  • linked to stillbirth, low birth weight, asthma & SIDS
  • even 2nd hand smoke affects your baby--bye for now nightclubs
Alcohol Use
  • can cause a whole range of physical & mental birth defects
  • increases your chances of having a miscarriage
  • alcohol abuse is the leading cause of mental retardation
  • an adult liver can break down alcohol but a baby's liver can't
  • every drink can be a risk to your unborn baby
A healthy and happy baby makes every lifestyle adjustment worthwhile.

With each child we have been blessed with we have had to make some minor lifestyle changes along the way, but their smiles are worth it.

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