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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Healthy Pregnancy Tips For The Mom-to-Be

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What should you eat when you’re pregnant? What are all of the things you should be thinking about for a healthy pregnancy? If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, this post is for you! In it, you will find healthy pregnancy tips including what to eat, what to think about, and the best prenatal vitamins to take!

healthy pregnancy tips - image of a pregnant woman at the doctors office
(Note: These are tips that worked for me personally when I was pregnant, and that I also validated with my doctor. If you are pregnant, you should talk to your doctor and modify these guidelines based on what he/she advises – as every pregnancy is different! These tips are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard or delay in seeking professional medical advice because of something you read here!”)

What Should I Eat For A Healthy Pregnancy?

Healthy Pregnancy Tips: Nutrition

#1 | You need ~300 calories more per day than you were eating before you got pregnant. That’s actually not a lot more! The whole “eating for two” thing is kind of a myth — you don’t need double the amount of food now that you’re pregnant.

Spend those 300 calories wisely! Some ideas include:

#2 | You need ~60g protein a day. It is totally possible to get this much protein even if you’re vegetarian (like me). 

The best vegetarian sources of protein are:

  • Greek Yogurt (15-20g per cup)
  • Low fat string cheese (8g per stick)
  • Peanut Butter (7-8g per 2 Tbsp)
  • Organic Tofu/Tempeh, Sprouted grain bread (6g per 2 slices)
  • Beans and Lentils (8g per serving)
  • Milk (11g per cup)!

#3 | Eat organic if you can! If you need to prioritize your organic food purchases, buy the items on The Dirty Dozen list organic, and buy organic dairy, meat, and soy.

#4 | Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. An easy way to do this is to make sure each meal incorporates at least 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, and whole grains/protein. Choose foods high in fiber (whole wheat bread, high fiber cereal, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, brown rice, fruits & veggies).

Also, eat 4 servings of calcium-rich foods a day to ensure you’re getting 1000-1300mg calcium in your diet; along with iron-rich foods to ensure you’re getting 27mg of iron daily.

What Should You Do To Have a Healthy Pregnancy?

Healthy Pregnancy Tips: Lifestyle

#1 | Exercise! Exercise during pregnancy is healthy and absolutely recommended. Prenatal yoga is great, as is walking, or any exercise that doesn’t get your heart rate up TOO high and allows you to maintain a conversation while exercising (that’s a good litmus test on whether it’s too strenuous).

If you were a runner before you got pregnant, it’s usually ok to keep running as long as your doctor agrees and you aren’t experiencing any issues. When I was pregnant, I would do 1 hour of prenatal yoga or walk on the treadmill at 4mph and an incline of 3 for 35 minutes.

#2 | Stay hydrated. I was surprised at how quickly I got thirsty/dehydrated once I became pregnant. Water is obviously great for staying hydrated, but if you need to mix it up a bit, unsweetened coconut water is wonderful (and has electrolytes which help rehydrate you), or you can also mix 1/4 cup of juice with 3/4 cup of water for a refreshing spa like drink.

#3 | Get enough sleep. You’ll have plenty of sleepless nights once your baby comes! If you can, try to get 7-8 hours a night. Your body will thank you 🙂

#4 | Keep stress levels low. The ironic thing is, some aspects of pregnancy can be quite stressful! But try your best to keep your stress levels low: do some breathing exercises, get a prenatal massage, rely on your partner for support, go for a walk, take a warm bath, meditate, etc. Just do the best you can — don’t get too down or be too hard on yourself if you do get stressed once in a while!

#5 | Follow some of the no-brainers: this includes:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t drink alcohol (although some doctors say 1 glass of wine here and there is ok in your 3rd trimester)
  • Limit caffeine to no more than 300mg per day (8oz of coffee has 150mg, black tea has 80mg)
  • Don’t do crazy adventure sports or anything that would risk you falling / injuring yourself while pregnant.

What Prenatal Vitamin Should I Take?

Healthy Pregnancy Tips: Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are important to make sure you and your baby are getting all of the nutrients you both need during your pregnancy.

My Top 2 Prenatal Vitamins Are:

Pros
Cons
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After baby is born consider taking one of these multivitamins for women.

Lastly, the most important thing I can tell you is to just enjoy the ride! Pregnancy is such a unique experience and is always an emotional roller coaster.

Remember to enjoy each moment as much as you can, be gentle with yourself, embrace any emotion you feel at the time, and be ok with having both good days and bad days (every day of pregnancy won’t feel blissful and that’s ok!)

Time will fly and soon your new little one will be here before you know it!

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