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Diet and Exercise During Pregnancy

A healthy diet and adequate exercise are very important during pregnancy. The best time to begin eating a healthy, balanced diet is before you become pregnant but it is never too late to change your eating habits! You need to eat about 300 more calories a day when you are pregnant. The usual recommended weight gain in pregnancy is about 20 to 25 pounds for women with a normal pre-pregnancy BMI.

During pregnancy, you should avoid alcoholic drinks and tobacco and limit caffeine. Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect the baby’s breathing and heart rate. Typically, 200mg (approximately 1 cup of coffee) is acceptable in pregnancy. Other foods to avoid include meat, fish, shellfish, and eggs that are raw or undercooked. It is also recommended to avoid soft cheeses, raw vegetable sprouts and fresh (unpasteurized) fruit and vegetable juices. Avoidance of these foods/drinks is important to decrease your risk of contracting a food-borne illness that could negatively impact the pregnancy.

Adequate exercise is very important in general but even more so during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, most to all days of the week. During a workout, you should be able to talk through the workout and your heart rate should not exceed 140bpm for more than 20 minutes. It is important to remember that your center of gravity shifts after 20 weeks of pregnancy and that can make you more prone to losing your balance. Because of that, it is important to choose exercises with little risk of fall or injury. It is also recommended to avoid contact sports such as football, baseball, and soccer.

The providers at Capital Women’s Care are here to care for you throughout your pregnancy and to answer any questions you may have! 

Morgan Wilkerson, PA-C

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