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Ten Tips for a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Questions lead to answers and answers lead to peace of mind when your fears and uncertainties are released.

2. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, preferably bottled water since it is of better quality. This may seem like a lot but your body needs it since it is working really hard to make the fluid the baby lives in. This fluid is constantly reabsorbed and renewed. Water also nourishes and rinses every cell of your body.

3. Eat foods that contain iron. Your baby loves iron as iron promotes normal growth and development of the brain. Some natural sources include raisins, figs, dates, dried peaches, raw spinach, kale (all dark leafy green vegetables). Natural sources of iron are much better than a supplement. How many people know that you shouldn’t cook spinach?  Raw or lightly steamed is best.

4. Exercise 3 times a week for 20 to 30 minutes each day — pregnancy is no excuse to become a couch potato. It’s important to get moving.  Brisk walking is recommended. Woman who are used to intense physical activity, such as dancing and athletics, may be able to do more.  However, they do need to check with their healthcare provider and monitor their heart rate by taking their pulse while they exercise. Regular exercise gets you ready for the physical demands of labor and also promotes the release of “happy chemicals” from your brain which gives you a more positive outlook.

5.Take a folic acid supplement.  I don’t go into a lot about vitamin supplements because many of them are still considered controversial in pregnancy. I feel confident about the benefits of folic acid, because we actually know that it helps prevent the baby’s incidence of spinal cord problems and Down’s syndrome. It is recommended that a woman start this vitamin in young adulthood to prepare the body for a healthy pregnancy later on.

6. Moisturize the skin on your expanding stomach everyday.  This is important for many reasons.  The skin becomes very dry and itchy as it expands, so keeping this area moisturized will allow you to feel more comfortable. Giving your growing stomach the attention it deserves will allow you a few special moments to talk or sing to your baby.

7. Limit your intake of sugars and caffeine. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with an occasional sweet or half a cup of coffee. However, large amounts of refined sugars and starches can overburden a women’s ability to metabolize these completely. Unfortunately, diabetes can first surface during pregnancy because it is a time of profound bodily changes.  Too much caffeine causes anxiety and increases stress hormones;  it adds nothing positive to the pregnancy.

8. Put your best face forward — in other words, make-up matters.  Apply your makeup everyday as this will definitely improve your outlook.  Treat yourself to a make-over and buy colors that not only look great but make you feel good. Colors have a profound impact on our total well-being, not just our appearance. Try wearing a brighter shade of lipstick on a cloudy, gray day and you’ll experience what I mean.

9. Find cloths that flatter you and wear them. Focus on your most attractive features. For example, a woman with great legs should wear fashionable leggings; for a long neck, sweep the hair up with a gorgeous pair of earrings; for a nice back, a low-cut leotard or backless dress is flattering; for great arms, sleeveless dresses or tops. One mother was flat-chested all her life, so when she developed a little bustline during her pregnancy, she wanted to show off her new cleavage.

10. Surround yourself with positive people.  This happens to be one of the most valuable pieces of advice I can give you, it’s also one of the most difficult to put into practice. You know that everyday you are faced with things that are going to bring you down and things that will pull you up.  There will always be something to complain about and always something to be grateful about.  Spend time with the people that will choose the positive side and contribute a nurturing energy to your pregnancy.

Let me offer you one more piece of advice…Never forget, when you give birth to a baby, you’re not just creating a child, you’re creating a family.  A happy and peaceful woman is the foundation of a functional family.