5. Track Your Weight Gain
The saying goes “you’re eating for two”, but it’s not exactly true. According to Web MD “The average pregnant woman needs only about 300 healthy calories more a day than she did before she was pregnant.” (9) Of course, you will experience weight gain during pregnancy.
How much pregnancy weight you should gain depends on your body type before getting pregnant:
- Average weight mother weight gain: 25 to 35 pounds
- Underweight moms: 28-40 pounds
- Overweight pregnant women: 15-25 pounds
And here’s how the weight gets distributed:
- Baby: 8 pounds
- Placenta: 2-3 pounds
- Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
- Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds
- Blood supply: 4 pounds
- Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
- Larger uterus: 2-5 pounds
6. Change Your Shoes
As your belly grows and your center of gravity changes, your feet take on extra pressure. This extra stress can make your arches fall, which flattens out your feet. Pregnancy also causes edema, which makes your feet and ankles swell.
As such, your favorite shoes probably won’t fit as they should, so replace them for comfortable, flat shoes.
7. Skip The Sauna
Being too warm is a bad idea for pregnant women. In fact, a body temperature of 101º F and above during the first trimester can increase your risk of birth defects (10). If you want to head to the sauna, visit one with low-temperature options and speak to your doctor first.
8. Eat Folate-Rich Foods
Any doctor will tell you that folate (folic acid) is essential for fetal development and red blood cell formation. During pregnancy, you’ll have to increase your intake of the vitamin by 200 mcg daily (11).
Foods high in folic acid include beans, peas, yeast, soybean, spinach, artichoke, and asparagus.
9. Cut Caffeine
Simply put, caffeine can worsen your baby’s kicks and punches. Additionally, as a stimulant and a diuretic, caffeine increases your risk of dehydration. Caffeine addiction can also lead to “birth defects, premature labor, preterm delivery, reduced fertility, and increase the risk of low-birth weight offspring and other reproductive problems.”(12)
If quitting caffeine is too hard, wean off the chocolate and coffee and stay below 150 mg – 300 mg of caffeine daily.