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Health, Fitness and Nutrition

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The human fetus has been described as the ‘perfect parasite’. It leeches its nutrients from the mother‘s body whether she has enough for herself or not. The prime directive of your adorable growing baby is to develop and survive and if you are not giving your little one what it needs to do so, it will start to take from your own storehouse of nutrients. It’s easy to see how much your health matters while pregnant. Not only are you growing another human being, you also have to maintain enough strength to look after yourself in the process.

Nutrition considerations must be taken seriously during this time. Many women think of pregnancy as a time to eat what ever they want as it is sadly the only time in a woman’s life where it is socially acceptable to gain weight. These women tend to fill up on junk food that they deprived themselves of earlier. This is harmful for two reasons. The first is that the fetus needs the proper vitamins and proteins to grow and the second is that it really only requires three hundred calories a day after the first trimester in order to develop properly. This amounts to a simple, healthy snack like fruit and yogurt or a peanut butter sandwich. Your baby really doesn’t need a giant tub of licorice ice cream, no matter what your hormones tell you. What your baby needs is a healthy dose of folic acid and a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables.

If you haven’t been active before conceiving, it’s best to start as soon as possible. Fitness during pregnancy is extraordinarily beneficial, no matter what wives tales say. As long as certain alterations are met, a woman can continue exercising daily up until she gives birth. In fact, one of the best ways to induce your labor in the last uncomfortable days of your pregnancy is long, relaxing walks. Studies have shown that active women have shorter labors and recover quicker from childbirth. If this is not evidence enough to get you moving, the children born to active women tend to be healthier and larger than those from sedentary mothers.

Your health, fitness and nutrition are essential throughout your pregnancy. It will help you to get in the habit of positive self-care, something that will serve you well as you enter your post partum period. Having your daily walk may be very helpful as you try to regain your sense of self after becoming a mother. Your strength will be needed as your little one grows from the ‘perfect parasite’ to your perfect little newborn.


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