Healthy Weight Gain for Pregnancy

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Most doctors will tell you that you can gain anywhere between 25-30 pounds throughout your pregnancy. You should aim to gain about 3.5 pounds during your first trimester, although more often than not most women find that they lose weight their first trimester. The reason for weight loss is simple: morning sickness. Some women suffer from such a severe case of morning sickness they can’t keep anything down. Chances are your doctor won’t be too concerned if you lose a few pounds that first trimester as long as you gain steady throughout the next two trimesters.

Your second trimester is where you will probably put on most of your weight.  Most women put on about a pound a week, so roughly four or five pounds a month which brings their second-trimester weight gain to about 12-15 pounds. Of course, some women put on more while others put on less. Don’t be surprised if you put on a lot of weight one month and not so much your next.

For the 7th and 8th month you will probably continue gaining about a pound each week or so. Look to gain between 8 and 10 pounds those months. Most women find that their weight gain slows down in the 9th month. You might find your weight gain coming to an end as your due date draws nearer. This can be a sign that labor is near. Or, you may find that your weight gain continues especially if you are retaining a lot of water.

So where does all this weight go? It doesn’t really make sense that you should gain between 25-30 pounds if your baby is only going to weigh between 7 and 8 pounds.

First, you have your baby. An average baby weighs about 7 1/2 pounds. Some can weigh more and some weigh less. That amniotic fluid that your baby has been swimming in for the past nine months weighs about 2 pounds. Figure in about 2 pounds for your breast enlargement and 1 1/2 pounds for your placenta. Your uterus, which started off about the size of a golf ball has grown to weigh about 2 pounds. Your body should be producing about 4 pounds of extra blood by the end of your pregnancy and about 7 extra pounds of fat. Let’s not forget the extra fluid of about 4 pounds that your body might be holding on to. All this equals to the grand total of about 30 pounds.

Now keep in mind this is just an estimate and not a guarantee of how your weight will increase. There are women who wind up having a 10-pound baby and others who have a 5-pound baby. The key is to maintain a healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy. Your body needs extra calories and it is best for you and your baby if those extra calories come from food that has a lot of nutritional value such as fruits, vegetables or protein. Staying away from junk for will help you curb your weight gain.

When it comes to taking the weight off, don’t be surprised if your body hangs on to it especially those first weeks delivery. Most women still look pregnant for a few weeks after delivery. This is normal. Once you are home, keep this in mind that it took nine months to gain that weight so give yourself at least a good nine months to take it off.

What You Should Know About Your Unplanned Pregnancy

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Here’s what every woman should know when she looks down and sees the two parallel lines on a positive result that she didn’t plan on:

You’re Not Alone

Nearly half (or 45%) of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States are unintended pregnancies. That’s over 2.8 million pregnancies that weren’t planned.

Of those unintended pregnancies, some are “mistimed,” meaning a woman wants to be pregnant eventually, just not right now. And some are unwanted pregnancies, meaning a woman never wanted or intended to be pregnant.

You’re definitely not alone. You’re not “stupid,” you’re not an “idiot,” and you’re not at fault. Things just happen.

Your Life Isn’t Over

When some women find out they’re unexpectedly pregnant, a few “acquaintances” and people who aren’t a regular part of their life may say that their “life is over”. They won’t be able to continue with their career. They wouldn’t be able to have the social life they had come to enjoy. They wouldn’t be able to do much of anything at all if it didn’t involve staying home and taking care of the baby.

What an outdated way of thinking. Plenty of women have children, work, spend time with friends, go outside of their homes and life fulfilled, well-rounded lives.

It’s Not A Mistake

An unplanned pregnancy isn’t a mistake nor does it have to be considered a mistake. Pregnancy happens. You can do everything “right” and take all the birth control that is available, and still get pregnant.

It happens when a man and woman engage in sexual activity. It’s not a mistake because it’s no one’s fault. You’re not to blame. Your partner or the person who contributed to this unplanned pregnancy isn’t to blame.

Because You Have Options

An unplanned pregnancy isn’t the end of the world or the end of your life or a mistake, because you have options for the birth of the child.

You may not be ready to raise a child.

Adoption is an option. There are many families waiting to love and raise the child you are carrying.

It’s Okay If You’re Not Excited

The initial reaction to your unplanned pregnancy has no bearing on the kind of mother you are going to be.

Many women are scared, confused, unsure and almost sad when they learned they were pregnant. Now? Now their child is happy, healthy and thriving. You won’t be a bad mother just because your first reaction to being pregnant isn’t “Yippee!” Big, life-changing moments deserve and often require a moment of pause, reflection, and even a dash of understandable fear.

It Can Be Shocking And Scary

Make no mistake, we’re talking about pregnancy, here. We’re talking about parenthood. We’re talking about a life-long commitment. That is a big deal.

It’s overwhelming and it’s okay if you’re shocked and scared. You’re under no obligation to pretend to be happy just because you’re a woman and just because you’re pregnant.

This is your life, and it will be your life that changes. You get to feel whatever it is you want and need and end up feeling.

BSideU For Life is here to offer you the emotional and spiritual support … and space … you may need to simply begin the process of accepting and adjusting to the news that you’re pregnant.

You’re Allowed To Be Excited, Even If You Didn’t Plan Your Pregnancy

Of course, at the same time, you don’t have to feel upset or scared if that’s not your initial reaction, either. If you’re super happy and excited, be super happy and excited! Because, whatever you feel is normal, valid, and worthy of being expressed.

This is your experience to live, and no one else gets to live it for you.

You Don’t Have To Explain How You Got Pregnant

You don’t have to go to into detail about failed birth control or condoms or diaphragms or IUDs or whatever else. It’s no one’s business. Everyone knows how babies are made. There’s no need to explain how you ended up pregnant.

Learn more about the various services we offer at BSideU for Life. Just give us a call or stop by.

 

Caffeine and Pregnancy – How Much is Too Much

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One of the first things most women prepare to say goodbye to once we see a positive pregnancy test result is caffeine.  Many women will stop their caffeine habit cold turkey out of the sheer fear of doing some sort of damage to the new life growing inside of them. These women will swear off anything that has caffeine in it from coffee, and soda to even chocolate. Then there are some who will still drink caffeine but cut back. Instead of drinking five cups of coffee a day,  cut back to at least one cup of coffee to get us through the day.

Our mothers and grandmothers will likely tell us that they drank the same amount of caffeine pregnant as they did when they were not pregnant and their children turned out fine. However, a lot more research has been done since their time and studies are showing that too much caffeine can cause some complications such as preterm labor and/or low birth weight.

So how much caffeine is too much caffeine?

Doctors are telling their patients that a moderate amount of caffeine will not harm their babies. Even though caffeine does cross the placenta, anything less than 300 milligrams a day (an 8-ounce cup of strong coffee) will not do any harm.

Anything over 300 milligrams puts your baby at risk and studies have also shown that women who drink more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day during their first trimester have a slightly higher risk of a miscarriage.

Studies have also shown that women who had over 500 milligrams of caffeine a day had babies who had faster heart rates and faster breathing rates. These babies also spent more time awake in their first few days of life rather than peacefully sleeping after their long journey.

There are a number of other reasons why we women might want to cut back on the amount of caffeine we drink during pregnancy.

For starters, it has no nutritional value. If there is ever a time for us to be aware of our nutritional needs it is when we are pregnant.

Second, caffeine is a stimulant which will increase your heart rate and can cause insomnia and headaches which can put some stress on your growing little one.

Third, caffeine can cause heartburn. If you have been pregnant before you know that heartburn can be a burden to begin with, and caffeine just makes it worse.

Lastly, it is a diuretic which means it can cause you to lose fluids which can put you at a risk of becoming dehydrated.

While it’s not necessary for you to give up all caffeine throughout the duration of your pregnancy, you should learn how to drink it in moderation or don’t drink it at all.  If you can’t handle having only one cup of coffee a day, then you might be better off drinking no coffee at all. Stick with caffeine-free sodas and even decaf coffee.

Exercise During Pregnancy

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For some women, the thought of exercise during pregnancy is as appealing as a root canal without novocaine. In their minds, they have a nine-month pass to avoid keeping up with their gym routine. The first three months they are battling morning sickness and exhaustion. The next three months they are beginning to show. The last three months are so uncomfortable that walking ten feet to the bathroom is pure torture, so there is no way they will be able to walk on a treadmill for ten minutes.

On the other side of the coin, there are some women who don’t let something as little as being a pregnant stand in their way of exercise. These are the women we might see actually teaching a class at the gym, or speed walking throughout our neighborhood with their very pregnant bellies.

Most of us, however, fall somewhere in the middle and that is just how their doctors like it. Exercise and being fit are highly recommended when pregnant. Not only does it help control weight gain, but some women swear it helps with delivery also.

There are some things to keep in mind in order to protect yourself and your growing little one.

For starters, you need to keep an eye on your heart rate as you are working out.  Letting your heart rate rise to high could be dangerous to your little one especially in your first trimester. You want to maintain a steady heart rate and should do the talk test throughout your workout to make sure you are at a safe level.  The talk test is when you talk during your workout. If you are having a hard time talking and wind up huffy and puffing more than getting out actual words, then you are working too hard and need to take it down. Most doctors recommend that you work at a pace where talking is challenging but still doable.

Pregnancy is not the time to try out new exercise routines.

This means that you should not try the new spinning class that your gym offers.  Stick with the routine you have already been doing and that your body is used to.  You may find that you have to make some modifications to some of your exercises as your pregnancy progresses.

If you are a runner, a modified low impact jog throughout your first trimester is fine but once you enter your second trimester and begin to show, your jog has to be brought down to a walk.

For those of you who love sit ups, crunches, and floor pushups, you can continue to do these up until you hit about 14 weeks or so. After that time period, no floor exercises are recommended.

If you don’t have any sort of exercise routine in place before you get pregnant, this still does not give you a free pass. Almost every doctor will tell you that walking is a great exercise for any pregnant women who are not high risk.

Walking at least thirty minutes, three times a week is a safe way for a pregnant woman to stay active. Walking is something you can do throughout all three trimesters though you might find yourself moving at a slower pace by your third trimester.

Another great plus to walking, especially as you approach your due date, is that walking can actually bring on labor.  Many doctors will advise their patients to walk, walk and walk some more in the weeks leading up to their due dates to get things rolling. Some women who have walked throughout their entire pregnancy have an easier delivery and recovery period.

The days of pregnant women kicking their feet up and not moving from the couch for nine months are days of the past. While strenuous exercise is a no-no pregnancy is no longer a good excuse to stop moving.

Pregnancy and Nutrition

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You are excited and feeling joyful when the pregnancy test is positive. You find yourself already caressing your stomach in hopes that your little one can feel your touch. The next nine months are going to be an exciting time for you and your baby. You have a human life growing inside of you and will feel him or her move as they get bigger. Your baby will soon be a bundle of adorable goodness that you can’t help but kiss over and over again. Pregnancy truly is a miracle.

To help this miracle along, it is essential for you to eat as well as you can throughout your pregnancy. The first three months might be a little difficult to eat balanced meals when you are dealing with food aversions and morning sickness. If you are one of the rare lucky ones whose stomach doesn’t so much as move during your first trimester, then you can take full advantage of eating healthy right out of the gate.

Making sure you eat balanced nutritious meals also lays down the foundation for your baby. A diet of junk food is not going to help your baby with bone development and organ formation. Potato chips will not help with brain development. Your baby and your body need calcium and vitamins to achieve all of this.

Eating well during pregnancy is going to help your baby eat well after it is born and on solid foods.  As your pregnancy progresses, some of what you eat will cross the placenta and the taste will be in your baby’s amniotic fluid. Babies swallow this fluid and their taste buds are so developed that even in the womb they are able to taste the flavors. Doctors believe that babies who are exposed to a wide variety of fruit and vegetables while in utero have less of a chance of being a fussy eater later in life. They believe that these are the babies who will eat their fruit and vegetables without putting up any fight.

Doctors also believe that moms who drink milk throughout their pregnancy have an easier time weaning their babies from formula or breast milk to regular milk.  This, however, is only one benefit, the other benefit of drinking milk throughout your pregnancy is all the calcium you will be giving your baby’s bones. Many doctors recommend that you drink at least one eight oz glass of milk, usually fat-free, a day. Calcium is a must have your baby’s bones and his teeth, even though you won’t see his teeth for at least a few months. If you’re not a milk drinker, you can get calcium from many other foods including: Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Dried Figs, Kale, Yogurt, Mustard Greens, Broccoli Raab, Soybeans, Rhubarb, Okra, Quinoa, Navy Beans, Oats, Broccoli, Cannellini Beans, and so many more vegetables that surely you will find something that is calcium-rich that fits your taste buds.

This isn’t to say that you have to stay away from all sweets or treats or occasional junk food all the time. You can indulge every now and then and thanks to cravings you may find yourself wanting sweets more often than not. You do have to keep it in moderation. Being pregnant should not be looked at as an excuse to eat whatever you want for nine months. But instead look at it as a way for you to prepare your baby for happy, healthy life. And that means that after your baby is born you both are happy and healthy.

Plus Size and Pregnant

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A majority of plus-sized women who are pregnant will experience a healthy pregnancy, but they are at risk of having a more bumpy ride than someone who is not overweight.

Women who are overweight, or have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more, are at a greater risk of certain pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. No knows for sure why weight matters so much, as far as most doctors are concerned it is just one piece of the puzzle. The truth is most plus size women have completely uneventful pregnancies and deliver perfectly healthy babies as long as they eat well, exercise and watch their weight throughout pregnancy.

The biggest problem with being plus sized and pregnant is that you are at a greater for some of the following:

Studies have shown that overweight women have a higher rate of neural tube defects – problems with how your baby’s brain and spinal cord develop. These studies are unable to pinpoint exactly why overweight women are at a higher risk and have a higher rate. Some studies have shown that overweight women have lower blood folate levels than a woman who is of normal weight. Folate is needed especially in the early stages of pregnancy to help avoid neural tube defects. Because of this, if you are overweight your doctor may prescribe you a prenatal vitamin with 1000 micrograms of folic acid. In fact, if you are overweight and planning on becoming pregnant, you may want to start taking folic acid before you even conceive.

Gestational diabetes is another complication that overweight women are at a greater risk of developing. Gestational diabetes is elevated blood-sugar level during pregnancy. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development estimate that women with normal BMI which is between 19 and 24 have a 2% chance of developing gestational diabetes. Overweight women have a 6% chance of developing this condition and obese women or women who have a BMI of 30 or more have a 9% chance of being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Remember though that if you are diagnosed with this, you can still go on and have a healthy pregnancy with a modified eating plan.

Almost 10% of obese and overweight women develop a condition called gestational hypertension. This is when your blood pressure becomes high with a reading of 140 over 90 or higher after your 20th week of pregnancy but you don’t have any protein in your urine.

Gestational hypertension is usually a small concern but it can put you at a higher risk for preeclampsia (which is indicated by high blood pressure AND protein in your urine), intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth, placental abruption and stillbirth.  If you do go on to develop preeclampsia, your weight is probably not that big of a factor. In fact, if you are under 35 and overweight you have LESS of a chance of developing preeclampsia that a woman over 35 and a healthy weight.

Perhaps the most common complication for overweight women is a longer time in labor and the possible risk of a cesarean section. Nearly 26-35% of deliveries are cesarean delivery. You are at a bigger risk if you have been diagnosed with preeclampsia or gestational hypertension or have a large baby.

Eating healthy throughout your pregnancy and working with your doctor to manage your weight will help reduce these risks and increase your already high chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Planning Ahead to Eat Right While Pregnant

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Planning ahead when it comes to food could mean the difference between making wise choices and making irrational choices. It helps us learn how to undo our bad habits and being pregnant is a great time to try and change any bad habits you may have. The best way to break bad habits and to form new ones is to plan ahead and then begin practicing the good habits you decided to have.

Plan for snack attacks especially if you’re not going to be home and are working. Make sure you take some healthy food with you to work so that you can resist the temptation of going to the vending machine and taking getting a candy bar. Throw some nuts or packs of cheese and crackers into your purse in case hunger that hits you through the day.

Always make a list, and stick to the list, when grocery shopping. Many people discover that when they go to the supermarket with just a rough idea of what they need they usually wind up forgetting something important or they wind up buying much more than they needed! Take a few minutes to plan your meals for the week and buy what you need, and only what you need, for the meals (and snacks) you planned.

Speaking of planning meals, that is an excellent way for you to take control of your eating habits. Plan for meals you can realistically prepare. Don’t plan for meals that you don’t have the time to prepare. Don’t plan meals with new and untried recipes or unusual ingredients. You’re only going to stress yourself out.  Look for recipes that are easy and quick to make. Don’t try to make something where you can’t pronounce half of the ingredients and need to shop at a gourmet cooking store. Especially if you work, whether part time or full time. The last thing you want to do is come home after a long day and then frustrate yourself with a complicated recipe.

Also, planning your meals out for the week tends to help you be a little more organized for the week. It’s no secret that pregnant women tend to forget things and this is due to their changing hormone levels. Taking the time to plan your meals for the week will help you stay a little organized and save you a lot of time…and money. If you already know what you’re making for dinner, you don’t have to worry about coming home after a long day and standing in front of the fridge trying to decide what to make. And with meal planning, it’s easy to prepare raw foods and store them in the refrigerator so that all you need to do is take out the storage containers, mix a bit of this and that, then add a meat and cook.

You also want to make sure that get yourself into the habit of using vegetables as your main dish. Instead of doing chicken breast with a side salad, make your salad your main dish and the chicken breast a side one. Whenever possible, buy your vegetables as fresh as possible, even if that means making two trips to the grocery store during the week. The fresher the vegetable, the better they are for you and your baby. The same holds true for fruit. Keep plenty of fruit on hand, especially if you tend to crave sweet stuff throughout your pregnancy. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, you can reach for a piece of fruit dipped in yogurt.

Planning ahead for the week or month will help you stay on track with your eating and decrease the risk of you making the wrong choice if a craving should hit you.

How to Eat for A Healthy Pregnancy

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You just found out you’re pregnant. Never has it been more crucial to eat well. Because not eating well during your pregnancy can increase your risk of complications while pregnant and during birth. And, eating well has never been easier during pregnancy than it is now.

First, understand that once you hit the second trimester, you should be eating about 300 more calories a day. Calories provide you with the extra energy that your body needs to have the best environment possible for your baby to grow in. Now, these extra calories don’t give you permission to chow down on every food in your line of sight. After all, it is only an extra 300 calories that you’re getting. A glass of milk or one banana equals 100 calories and a slice of whole wheat bread, an ounce of cheese and a half of cup of grapes equals 200 calories. See how much more you are eating than if you decide to eat a donut instead?

In addition, you need at least three servings of protein each day. The protein contains amino acid which is one of the most important building blocks for your baby’s tissue.  Protein is very easy to come by and your options are endless. You can drink 3 glasses of milk, and you can have 2 cups of yogurt along with 3 ounces of cheese.

Next, you need at least four servings of calcium every day. Calcium is going to help grow your baby’s bones and help protect yours. There are many options you can choose from for foods high in calcium, including:

  • Seeds. Seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses.
  • Cheese. Most cheeses are excellent sources of calcium.
  • Yogurt. Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium.
  • Sardines and Canned Salmon.
  • Beans and Lentils.
  • Almonds.
  • Whey Protein.

Aim for at least three servings of vitamin C. Your body does not store vitamin C so you need a fresh supply of it every day. You can eat fruit or almost any vegetable to get your vitamin C. You also want to make sure you get three to four servings of green leafy and yellow vegetables and fruits. Most of these veggies and fruits will also count toward your vitamin C intake, so that is double the benefit.

Make sure you should get in one to two servings of all other fruit and vegetables that are not known for their vitamin A and C value but are still good for you all the same. Apples,  banana, and onions are just a few that are in this category.  Eat six or more servings of whole grains and legumes because these are filled with vitamins E and B and they help you battle constipation. Try eating brown rice, whole wheat bread and even air popped corn to get your servings of whole grains and legumes in.

Perhaps one of the most important nutrients you and your body need is iron. Your body’s demand for iron will never be greater than it is while you are pregnant, so make sure you are able to keep up with it. Not enough iron could lead to anemia, which results in you being very tired and foggy headed, so make sure you are getting enough iron.  If you feel that you aren’t, talk to your doctor and he might be able to prescribe you an iron supplement.

It is always a good idea to eat well every day.  However, when you are pregnant it is essential that you eat well every day.

How to Cope With Food Aversions

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Do you find yourself suddenly feeling queasy at the thought of the leftover pasta that you couldn’t get enough of the other night?

Food aversions are a normal part of pregnancy and the flip side to food cravings. Nearly 85% of all pregnant women suffer from food aversions.

Food aversion is when the food you normally are able to look at, smell and eat suddenly send you running in the opposite direction. They appear in the first trimester and usually trigger morning sickness. Some women find that the problem disappears by the start of their second trimester right around the same time morning sickness disappears. Other women find that their food aversions stay with them their whole pregnancy and a few women find that foods they developed aversions to throughout the pregnancy stay with them even after they deliver.

Just like with food cravings, your hormones are likely to blame for your food aversions. Some people believe that just as food cravings are your body’s way of telling you that you need a certain food, food aversions are your body’s way of protecting you from eating anything that can harm your baby. This might be why a lot of women report that they experience aversions to alcohol and coffee. The theory is still under debate though because so many pregnant women are turned off by food that is healthy for them and their babies. And really, none of their opinions matter because you are the one suffering from food aversion!

Try not to fight a healthy aversion. Consider it a blessing if the mere thought of your normal morning cup of coffee turns your stomach upside down. Cutting back on caffeine is much easier when your stomach rebels than at any other time. The same goes for cigarette smoke. Many women have said that the first clue they had that they were pregnant was the fact that the smell of smoke sent them running for the bathroom. Others say that the first clue they were pregnant was when they had actually felt sick when thinking about having a glass of wine with dinner.

If you find that you have aversions to healthy food, try to work around it as best as you can. Don’t force yourself to eat food that you have aversions to.  It isn’t a pleasant experience; instead, try to look for alternatives. Some women find the thought of salad or anything green revolting. If you’re one of them, you might be wondering how you are going to get the nutrients and vitamins you need. One alternative is to try and drink some vegetable juice. While drinking vegetable juice isn’t the same as eating vegetables it has its benefits when you can’t look at your veggies. You can also try eating different colored veggies like peppers or carrots.

If it is a protein like fish and chicken that make you sick, get your protein in other forms. Cheese, yogurt, eggs, green leafy vegetables, and nuts are fantastic protein alternatives. Or you can try and hide your meat in dishes. Stir chicken into a casserole or mix some seafood into a pasta dish. This way you can still get your protein in, and with less of a risk of getting sick.

Just like with morning sickness, don’t beat yourself up if you cannot eat as healthy as you would like while you are dealing with food aversions. Chances are that once you enter your second trimester, they will disappear and you can eat more of a variety of foods.

How to Avoid Constipation During Pregnancy

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It must be Murphy’s law that just when you’re able to get food into your body without having it come back up, you suddenly find you can’t get the food out of your body.  Nearly half of all the women who are pregnant suffer from constipation.

As with all symptoms of pregnancy, there is a reason for constipation. When you’re pregnant your body creates progesterone which in turns relaxes the muscles of the bowels and causes your digestive tract to work much more slowly. Your digestive tract works slower to make sure your body absorbs the nutrients from your food for your baby. This can create constipation, which if it not kept under control, can lead to hemorrhoids.

Here are some ways you can avoid constipation throughout your pregnancy:

Make sure you include plenty of fiber in your diet. Fiber absorbs water can help to soften your stools and speed their passage. Eat plenty of high fiber foods like whole grain cereal and oatmeal. Instead of eating white bread with your sandwiches, eat whole grain bread. Add some oat bran to your cereals or yogurt.

Fresh fruits are also an excellent way to get fiber. Melons and plums have a high amount of fiber in them as well as dried fruits like figs, raisins, apricots and of course the well known favorite prunes. Prunes and prune juice have a laxative effect and will help keep things moving properly in your body. Aim to eat at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. You can tell you’re getting enough fiber if your stools are large and soft and you aren’t straining to pass them. Keep in mind though that too much fiber can lead to diarrhea which can lead to dehydration so don’t overdo the fiber in your diet.

Also, drinking plenty of fluid will help you combat constipation. Fluids help keep digestive products moving through your system so it’s very important for you to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. Keeping up with your fluids is important especially if you are increasing your intake of fiber. Your body needs to water to soak up the fiber otherwise it can cause more constipation.

If possible, eat yogurt. Yogurt has a bacteria called acidophilus that helps stimulate the intestinal bacteria to break down food better. Look at your prenatal vitamins. Some of the prenatal vitamins that women take contain a lot of iron and iron can play a big part in constipation. Talk to your doctor to see if you can switch for a while to a different prenatal vitamin that contains less iron or at least stay off of the prenatal vitamins for a while until your constipation is under control.

Avoid foods that can lead to constipation. Some of these include:

  • White bread
  • Some cereals such as corn flakes
  • White rice
  • Bananas

If all this fails, give your doctor a call to see if there is something you can take to help keep you regulated. Most doctors will allow you to take Metamucil to help keep things moving. What you don’t want to do is take an over the counter laxative just because you’re a bit uncomfortable. Remember, you must keep your body healthy so the baby is getting what it needs to grow.

Constipation is never pleasant but during pregnancy, it can be even more uncomfortable.  Taking steps to avoid constipation will help make your pregnancy that much more enjoyable.