Pregnancy and diet seem to flow comfortably into one another. Newly expectant moms clean out cupboards and restock them with foods recommended on their diet plan during pregnancy. The link between diet for first trimester pregnancy, fetal development and morning sickness is especially well investigated.
What most diet plans during pregnancy won’t tell moms for diet during first trimester is how closely linked exercise is to the ultimate success of nutritious eating. The body is a complex machine. The processes of childbearing and gestation are even more complicated.
All aspects of lifestyle play a role in healthy pregnancies. Diet alone, even the very best diets, is not enough to achieve optimal health of mom and baby.
How Pregnancy and the Food Factor are Interlinked
Pregnancy and diet are closely linked. Eating the right foods in the proper amounts at the critical times can prevent birth defects and contribute to feelings of health and vitality.
A balanced diet composed of vegetables, especially those leafy green ones, lean meats, fruits and healthy whole grain options can create a strong foundation for health the entire nine months. The benefits of eating well during pregnancy extend to diet after pregnancy as well.
Moms who fuel the body with all the best heal faster, drop the weight quicker and report fewer instances of postpartum complications like depression. This does not mean all the close attention to diet is forever ended with the baby’s birth.
A return to poor diet after pregnancy will erode the foundation of health laid by excellent pregnancy nutrition. Junk food diets postpartum can lead to weight retention, prolonged healing, depression, insufficient milk supplies, breast infections and other illnesses.
Exercise plays an important role in pregnancy and postpartum health as well.
The Synergy of Pregnancy Diets and Exercise
Diet and exercise work together in a synergistic way. Good nutrition fuels the body, but what is the point of using the premium fuel if the engine never gets started?
Exercise does not have to be hard. Taking a walk daily, playing catch with older children, or taking the kids to the park and chasing them for thirty minutes are all ways to get the blood pumping a bit faster.
During pregnancy, the body needs to stay active. Labor is a major physical event involving all the major muscle groups from the core, to the back and legs.
Getting pregnant and laying on the couch for nine months due to a “delicate” condition is like registering for a marathon and sitting in an easy lounger until race day to “conserve energy”. Unless otherwise counseled by a medical professional, inactivity is far more detrimental to mother’s and baby’s health than the opposite.
The best exercises for pregnancy are simple and low impact. Start with your current fitness level and maintain it. Pregnancy is not the time to try to set records in physical achievement.
Try walking regularly at a brisk pace, yoga or swimming; these activities prepare the body for birth, are gentle on joints, and maintain muscle strength without undue strain.
The healthiest, most comfortable mothers combine the best exercises, pregnancy and diet in one all-encompassing health plan and stick to it even after the baby arrives.