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Get Healthy While Pregnant!

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What happens if you're overweight, become pregnant and are not the healthiest eater? Well, for starters, you're not just thinking about yourself anymore. You now have to think and eat for two.

pregnant woman eating fruit

Momlogic's OB/GYN Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz's advice for expecting moms is that pregnancy is a great opportunity to get healthy and take care of yourself, but not to "diet."

Dr. Lenz says: Many women are motivated to change their lifestyle once they become pregnant and though this is best accomplished prior to pregnancy, it is never too late. Losing fat should not be the goal, but eating differently by removing processed foods and replacing with whole, balanced foods, favoring local, organic farmers if at all possible -- will probably result in weight stabilization, if not even modest weight loss. Working with a nutritionist and ignoring all that info about taking in 300 extra calories a day while pregnant is advisable. Eat for nutrition and hunger, but NOT for emotional reasons. Although, it's still important to enjoy yourself. Eating is a very complex behavior. Get support while attempting to get healthy, don't harshly judge yourself and be realistic.

Consciously approaching the subject is the most important thing here. Viewing pregnancy as a time of growth, transition and healing can really take the stress off women during this time. Practicing some sort of self love may sound hokey, but needs to happen. When we nourish ourselves (and this does not need to be with chocolate) and maintain our senses of humor, we nourish our babies and make much better moms. We are also a heck of a lot more pleasant to be around.

If you enjoy exercise and being active that doesn't mean you have to stop, but you do need to be cautious. No exercise should be done without a doctors approval and if you experience any discomfort you should stop immediately and contact your primary doctor.

Celebrity fitness trainer and author of the 5-Factor Diet, Harley Pasternak has 12 tips for expecting moms who want to maintain good physical health:

Tips for Getting Healthy While Pregnant

Tip 1

Never exercise to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness. This is a sign that your baby and your body cannot get the oxygen supply they need.

Tip 2

Wear comfortable exercise footwear that gives strong ankle and arch support.

Tip 3

Take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids during exercise.

Tip 4

Avoid exercise in extremely hot weather.

Tip 5

Avoid rocky terrain or unstable ground when running or cycling. Your joints are more lax in pregnancy, and ankle sprains and other injuries may occur.

Tip 6

Contact sports should be avoided during pregnancy.

Tip 7

Avoid lifting weights above your head and using weights that strain the lower back muscles.

Tip 8

Avoid Holding your breath during any activity.

Tip 9

Avoid activities where falling is likely (such as skiing and horseback riding).

Tip 10

Avoid any exercise that may cause even mild abdominal trauma such as activities that include jarring motions or rapid changes in direction.

Tip 11

Avoid deep knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises, and straight-leg toe touches and bouncing while stretching.

Tip 12

The 5-factor workout is perfect because the workouts are relatively brief, the exercises are simple, non impact, and can be modified depending on what trimester you are in.

Momlogic readers can recieve a FREE two week trial to the 5-Factor Diet webiste.

Join the momlogic community and enter to win a FREE trip to L.A. to train with Harley!

next: How Has Motherhood Changed YOU?
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
ashley March 16, 2009, 8:26 AM

How do I send this article to my cousin without offending her?? Poor girl, she looked amazing for her wedding last April (she always had a weight problem but dropped alot for her wedding) well, now she’s pregnant, due in 8 weeks and has put on the pounds. Using this as an excuse to eat whatever and be lazy!! My mom saw her the other day and said she looks like she’s gained 60 pounds. And she ate 2 plates of food and then layed down. I’m scared for her. I always walked while pregnant, right up to the last few days that really helped.

Lisa March 16, 2009, 1:17 PM

Ashley, your cousin could use more positive support than you being concerned with the way she looks and counting how many plates of food she eats.
She is not you. I can’t believe how catty you and your mom are to gossip about her weight! I don’t know why we women do this to each other but it needs to stop.
Be more supportive and proactive if you really want to help her. Ask her if you can pay for a meal delivery service for her. Ask her if she’s available on weekends to go to the zoo, nature trails, botanical gardens with you.

Roxanne March 16, 2009, 4:22 PM

I totally agree with Lisa. Ashley, your attitude will do nothing to help your cousin. All you’re doing is masking your judgment with “concern.” You’re not concerned. You’re calling her fat, plain and simple. You don’t even know how much weight she actually gained … you said she LOOKS like she gained 60 pounds, but pregnancy makes you bloated and swell up, so it’s entirely possible she’s gained only 30-40 pounds and your judgmental eyes are askew. Lisa’s suggestions are great, ask her to go out and do physical activity with you (assuming you’re in good health yourself??) But I’d prefer you just leave her alone and mind your own business.

PrettySprinkles March 16, 2009, 4:51 PM

This is a great article, much more informative than anything the UK NHS had shown me. Please definitely don’t go over the top with dieting while pregnant. My ‘eating healthily’ led to loss of weight (which went unnoticed until after the birth) but to a dangerously high level of ketones (toxic stuff) in my wee, and possibly to my baby.

osugynk lijrzaqhm March 19, 2009, 6:21 PM

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Ju March 23, 2009, 8:56 PM

I had GD the last 2 mths or so of my pregnancy. I learned quite a bit since. I’m trying to get healthy again(didn’t lose the weight, it’s been 2.5 years). I want to be prepared with the right information next time around. Having to check my glucose, watch what I ate by carbs, sugar … it was horrible! Certainly more exercising.
Oh, I agree with Lisa and Ashley, pregnancy has enough stressors stemming from strangers making judgemental comments, family shouldn’t be a front she has to guard against.

The Pregnancy Zone July 23, 2009, 8:21 AM

it’s a very informative article!all these tips for getting healthy while pregnant are really great! nice article…..

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