6 Tips For a Healthy Pregnancy

If you’re anything like me, before I got pregnant I thought “I’m going to eat so healthy and feed my baby only the best nutrients, workout, and feel amazing”. And then you get pregnant and you’re nauseous, exhausted, and just want to hibernate for 9 months. And that’s why I want to give you 6 practical tips for a healthy pregnancy.

I totally get the struggle, this pregnancy (my third), has been the hardest one so far. From extreme nausea in the first trimester, to major food aversions, to utter exhaustion, it’s so hard to eat healthy when you’re not feeling good.

6 tips for a healthy pregnancy

As a nutritionist, I know the vital importance nutrition plays when pregnant. It was discouraging not being able to stomach foods I knew were more beneficial to me and the baby. But I also knew I needed to give myself grace. I am growing a tiny human, hormones are surging, and pregnancy does weird things to your body.

These tips for a healthy pregnancy may not be what you think. But I wanted to give you practical advice from a mama who is currently 24 weeks pregnant and feeling every ounce of being pregnant.

I get it, it’s hard and some days you just want to eat all the cookies and lay in bed all day. But it’s also really important to not let pregnancy be our excuse to eat all the cookies all the time either. We should aim for balance for sure, but also focus on creating healthy habits. Then after the baby is born we’re already practicing those habits and it facilitates an easy transition.

Here are some tips for having a healthy pregnancy

Give Yourself Grace

Like I said earlier, you are growing a human inside you!

That is no small task and our bodies are constantly changing. Don’t be discouraged if the first trimester you can’t stomach veggies or eat the cleanest. I literally could barely handle drinking water for about 6 weeks in my first trimester. Eating was a chore itself. I just had to eat anything that sounded good.

I learned a lot about being kind to myself and allowing lots of grace. And I reminded myself often that I will (hopefully) turn a corner soon and get my normal appetite back.

And now that I’m 22 weeks pregnant I can say that it did get better and I’m able to stomach veggies and eat healthy again. I still have food aversions more than I’d like, but it’s so much better than the first trimester.

I have so much compassion for expecting mamas now that I have personally gone through a rough pregnancy. So if you’re reading this and you’re discouraged and feel like you can’t get relief, know that I’m sending you lots of hugs!

Find Healthier Swaps

healthy swaps when you're pregnant

If you’re currently in your first trimester and you’re super sick I recommend doing your best to find healthier options. I know this can be easier said than done when you’re sick so just do your best and give yourself grace {see point number 1}.

There are often healthier options out there for our not-so-healthy-cravings. If you’re wanting crackers, I recommend getting Simple Mills crackers. They use minimal and wholesome ingredients. And if you’re wanting a flavored, carbonated drink, I recommend Spindrift or GT Syngery Kombucha.

I ate JoJo’s Chocolate Bark if I was craving chocolate – it’s low in sugar and even has some protein added which is a nice bonus. If you haven’t tried my favorite chocolate you can snag some for 10% using code KARA10 here.

I actively looked for healthier swaps {and still do} early in my pregnancy and it helped me stay on track with my nutrition. It also set me up for success once I was out of the nausea stage.

Eat Regularly

This is a tip I’ve found to be key to not only keeping me from reaching for a cookie but also helped keep my nausea from rearing its ugly head. Even when I didn’t feel super hungry in the first trimester I tried to have a little something every couple hours to keep my stomach full. It really helped keep my nausea from getting any worse.

Now that I’m in my second trimester and my appetite is back I feel like I’m eating allll the time. I’m seriously so hungry! I typically eat every 2-3 hours right now whether that’s a small meal or a snack. It keeps my energy levels up and keeps me from getting too hungry.

Drink Lots of Water

This tip is so important whether you’re pregnant or not. I recommend my clients who aren’t pregnant drink half their body weight in ounces. And if you’re pregnant, you should be drinking even more.

I’m constantly drinking water, and yes, I do have to go to the bathroom A LOT. But it’s so important to keep our bodies hydrated whether we’re pregnant or not. Even the slightest dehydration can drastically affect our mood and energy levels. I’m exhausted as it is – I don’t need something else causing me to be even more tired!

tips to stay hydrated while you're pregnant

If you’re struggling with drinking enough water here are some helpful tips.

01. Set a full glass of water or water bottle next to your bed so when you wake up that's the first thing you grab. This will kick off your day drinking water and replenishes everything after a night of sleep.

 02. Always bring a water bottle with you. I love carrying my water bottle with me wherever I go so I can keep drinking water on the go.

 03. Add lemon or lime juice to your water to add flavor. If you’re bored with just water, try adding some flavor to it.

 04. Drink from a straw. I’ve found I drink more water when I’m drinking from a straw.

Move Your Body

Benefits of working out while pregnant

Even though you’re pregnant, and probably exhausted, it’s still important to move your body. Working out has been the one constant thing during my pregnancy. It helped me feel more like myself when I was feeling horrible during my first trimester.

I highly recommend sticking to your workout routine and modifying when you need to. If you aren’t working out at all, start now with walking. Moving is so good for our bodies and it’s important for a healthy pregnancy too.

Plus, working out releases endorphins which will help your mood and give you energy. And according to American Pregnancy Association here are some additional benefits of exercising during pregnancy:

  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling

  • May help prevent, or treat, gestational diabetes

  • Improves your posture

  • Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance

  • Helps you sleep better

If you can’t manage an hour like you used to that’s perfectly okay. Stick with 20-30 minute workouts. When you go into labor and after baby arrives you will thank yourself that you worked out. Recovery will be faster and you’ll just feel better over all.

Snack Smart

healthy snacks when you're pregnant

Instead of cookies and ice cream for every snack find snacks that are healthy and also sound good to you. Now that I’m in my second trimester, I am constantly hungry! I’ve found a few snacks that I’ve been eating over and over again.

My current go to snacks:

  • So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Yogurt with blueberries and walnuts

  • Perfect Bars or Organic Square Bars (Use code KARA20 for 20% off!)

  • Apple slices with nut butter and chocolate chips or unsweetened coconut flakes

This have seriously been on repeat the past few weeks! Be sure to grab what you need weekly at the store so you’re fully stocked with some healthier options. And don’t get too hungry and reach for something that’s not going to sustain you.

Conclusion

I hope these 6 tips for a healthy pregnancy help and encourage you. It’s not about perfection, eating kale all day, and working out every day. It’s about striving for a healthy pregnancy not only for you, but for the baby too.

Creating these habits now is going to make a huge impact in your pregnancy and will continue on after the pregnancy when you’re recovering and wanting to get back in shape.

I’d love to hear which tip has helped you the most where you’re at right now in your journey. Leave a comment and let me know so I can cheer you on!