People need a lot of different nutrients in order to live a healthy life. Once you become pregnant, diet becomes especially important, both for your health and your baby’s. Getting your baby’s life started off right depends on you getting the recommended nutrients in the right amounts before, during and after your pregnancy. Taking prenatal vitamins is a good way to start, but some of them might not contain everything you need, and you still need to eat a proper diet, stay hydrated, and exercise.
It’s a lot to keep track of especially if you weren’t diligent about it before you became pregnant. Keeping track of your health is important not only for making sure that you stay healthy but for making adjustments when you need them. Here are some of the things you need to keep track of and some suggestions for how to track them.
Meals and Nutrients
Be diligent about taking your vitamins. Setting up alarms or reminders to take them consistently can be a simple way to make sure you get that done. You’ll want to be just as diligent with your diet, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy situation or specialized care needs.
Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy, ready-to-go snacks: wash fruit ahead of time, keep portioned snack bags around, and spend your weekends prepping smoothies and other individual servings of nutrient-rich foods to have available at all times. Monitor your calories, portion sizes, and specific nutrients that you’re getting: fit in whole grains, calcium, fruits and vegetables, vitamin C, protein, iron, and healthy fats. There are apps that can help you plan meals, provide recommendations, keep a food journal, and even pull up nutrition information from a bar code. If you’re a visual person, taking pictures of what you eat might help you get a better idea of what your diet looks like.
You need to drink at least eight glasses of fluid a day, ideally more especially if it’s warm or you’re exercising. You’ll want to keep the caffeine and sugar in your beverages to a minimum. Water is the best source of hydration, but if plain water doesn’t sound appealing, try sparkling water, infuse it with fruit, or add a squeeze of lemon.
There are apps that can help you log your hydration and even Bluetooth-compatible water bottles that can remind you to drink and keep track of your fluids for you. Even a low-tech water bottle with lines measuring your fluid intake can help give you an idea of how much you drink.
Exercise will keep your body strong, keep you from gaining too much weight, help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, and prepare your body for labor and delivery. Most doctors will recommend 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise most if not all days of the week, but whatever you can fit in is better than nothing. Keeping track of your sleep time and weight is also important.
There are fitness devices to keep track of the steps you take and the amount of sleep you get, but there are also digital options to log workouts and create fitness routines. Work with your doctor to come up with a fitness plan as well as a way to keep track of your goals.
Nutrition Services at Valley Perinatal
You have a lot to worry about during your pregnancy already, and when you have a high-risk pregnancy, extra help can go a long way toward making sure you have the best possible outcome. Valley Perinatal Services has a specially trained staff that’s equipped to help Phoenix, Tucson and Sierra Vista area mothers and their OB/GYN’s co-manage their pregnancies. If you’re worried about nutrition, whether you’re trying to feed multiples or struggling with a health condition, we can provide counseling and nutrition services to keep you on track from preconception to delivery. Talk with your Ob/Gyn about co-managing your pregnancy with Valley. Call 480.756.6000 or contact us online.