Pregnancy - Health and Nutrition

The best way to help yourself have a healthy pregnancy is to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of rest, and avoid things that could hurt your baby.

For more tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy, see Quick Tips: Healthy Pregnancy Habits.

Eat well

  • Try to get proper nutrition. Pay close attention to your folic acid, iron, and calcium intake and the need for slow, gradual weight gain. Women who are obese have a different weight-gain goal than other women.
  • A vegetarian diet requires special attention so that you get enough protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and zinc, in addition to the extra folic acid, iron, and calcium that all expectant mothers need. These nutrients are vital to your fetus's cellular growth, brain and organ development, and weight gain.
  • Calcium is an important nutrient, especially during pregnancy. If you can't or don't eat dairy products, you can get calcium in your diet from nonmilk sources such as tofu, broccoli, fortified orange juice or soy milk, greens, and almonds.

To learn more about eating well, see:

Healthy Eating: Changing Your Eating Habits.
Healthy Eating: Making Healthy Choices When You Shop.
Healthy Eating: Cutting Unhealthy Fats From Your Diet.
Quick Tips: Adding Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet.

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What to avoid

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What's okay when you're pregnant

  • Sex causes no problems during an uncomplicated pregnancy, and sexual interest often changes during different phases of a pregnancy.
  • Working or going to school, if it isn't too physically demanding, is usually fine during pregnancy. Scale back if you're becoming too worn down as your pregnancy progresses. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you are at risk for preterm labor.
  • Travel is usually a safe choice until later pregnancy. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns. During your third trimester, it's best to stay within a few hours of a hospital, in case of sudden changes that need medical attention.
  • Wearing a seat belt camera.gif is vital to protect yourself and your baby during pregnancy.
  • Massage during pregnancy is safe when it is done by a specially trained massage therapist.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

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