Tips for a healthy pregnancy

Tips for a healthy pregnancy
With the amount of conflicting information about pregnancy, it can be confusing and frustrating. We’ve compiled a list of tips for navigating your pregnancy — from the basics of pregnancy nutrition, managing nausea, exercise, and supplements to take.
Written by Orchid Team 
Medically reviewed by Cristina Vidal, RN
  • Cristina Vidal, RN, is the IVF-Donor-Surrogate nurse coordinator at Stanford Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility with over 20 years of experience in the fertility and reproductive clinic.

What Are the Basics of Pregnancy Nutrition?

Balance Blood Sugar. You make more glucose while you’re pregnant, so you’re more likely to get gestational diabetes. While it may be tempting to indulge in tons of carbs and simple sugars, try to limit them. Focus on nutrient-dense, low-carb foods.

Incorporate Omega-3. The fatty acids in fish oil, walnuts, and flaxseeds are essential for your baby’s brain, and they help increase the levels of EPA/DHA in breast milk.

Get Enough Protein. You should get a minimum of 60 grams of protein a day. This should account for about 20 to 25 percent of your daily caloric intake.

Stay Hydrated. The golden rule still applies — eight 8 oz glasses of water a day.

Focus on Fruits and Veggies. Aim to get at least seven servings of fruit and veggies a day.

Eat More Fiber. Getting more fiber in your diet helps prevent Gestational Diabetes. We recommend consuming 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day.

A Cup of Caffeine. Keep your caffeine intake to one cup of coffee a day.

An Extra 300 Calories. You need about an additional 300 calories on top of your usual caloric intake to grow a healthy baby (more calories if you’re expecting twins or triplets).

Avoid High Mercury Fish. This includes large fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna, marlin.

Avoid Processed Meats. This includes deli meat.

Avoid Unpasteurized Dairy. Soft cheeses or unpasteurized milk haven’t been heated to kill off potentially harmful bacteria.

How Often Should You Exercise?

Exercise helps you feel energized during your pregnancy. The ACOG recommends getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise three to four times a week— that’s if you don’t have any medical or obstetric complications.

Some forms of exercise can include swimming, walking, prenatal exercise classes. Avoid scuba diving or activities with a high risk of falling or trauma.

Which Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Many over-the-counter and prescribed medications can potentially affect your baby. Therefore, we recommend checking with your OBGYN before taking any medications.

Do not discontinue any medications prescribed to treat chronic illness. Consult with your general physician to discuss a safer alternative.

A list of safe over-the-counter medications include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Antacids (i.e, Tums, Rolaids)
  • Simethicone (Gas-X)
  • Guaifenesin (Robitussin)
  • Antihistamine (Benadryl)

Which Supplements Should You Take?

Not every prenatal vitamin is created equal. To ensure you get enough nutrients for a healthy pregnancy look for prenatal vitamins that have:

  • 400 mcg of folic acid
  • 400 IU of vitamin D
  • 200 to 300 mg of calcium
  • 3 mg of thiamine
  • 2mg of riboflavin
  • 20mg of niacin
  • 6 mcg of vitamin B12
  • 15 mg of zinc
  • 17 mg of iron

What Are the Best Ways to Ease Nausea?

In most cases, morning sickness starts by 9 weeks and typically resolves by 20 weeks. If you find yourself struggling with morning sickness, try these methods:

  • Avoid spicy and greasy foods 
  • To avoid an empty stomach, carry a small snack with you 
  • Avoid smells and food that make you nauseous 
  • Keep ginger chews or ginger ale nearby
  • Take a combination of 25mg of vitamin B6 (3 times daily) with doxylamine before bed

Seek medical attention if you’re experiencing extreme persistent nausea and vomiting which can cause dangerous levels of dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Fertility treatment and reproductive medicine have come a long way since IVF was first introduced over 40 years ago. If you are planning on starting or growing your family, check out our expert guides on all things genetics and fertility. Today, advanced genetic screening is now available to couples who want their child to have the best shot of a healthy life. Explore how Orchid helps you conceive with confidence.
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