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  • Jill Maher Wellness

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy


For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by video chat with my clients.

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My son is now four-months old, and looking back I had a really smooth and easy pregnancy. I would like to think that can be attributed to my overall healthy lifestyle!

I really believe eating clean, unprocessed foods in the correct amounts impacts everything, including hormones levels, energy levels, and weight gain.

Here are several practices that I put into place early on in my pregnancy. Always consult your doctor before incorporating foods and supplements into your diet during pregnancy:

1. Eat. Seems simple, right? Well, if you're experiencing morning sickness (which I did not, but I did have aversions to certain foods), eating can be challenging. I have clients who have had terrible pregnancies physically, but they didn't eat, and I really think that negatively impacted how they felt.

Choose lots of organic vegetables and some fruit - those dark green, leafy veggies like spinach and kale are among the highest in folate. Folate prevents neural tube defects, and is one of the primary reasons doctors recommend taking a prenatal vitamin during pregnancy. Speaking of a prenatal vitamin, I took a food-based one by Amazing Nutrition because you absorb the vitamins and minerals better than a synthetically created vitamin.

You also need to eat small meals every 3-4 hours to keep your blood sugar stable. As your baby grows, your stomach suddenly feels full after 2 bites, so small meals aren't a problem! I had heartburn issues towards the end of my pregnancy, and frequent small meals helped relieve that a bit.

For heartburn, I also took 2 TBSP of organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother) daily and DGL tablets when things got serious!

2. Eat Healthy Fats. Fat is essential to your baby's health, especially brain development. You also need to consume a good amount of fat to develop healthy breastmilk, which is extremely nurturing to your little one.

Fat is necessary for hormone production and for absorption of many types of fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E, and K. All of these are necessary for fetal development.

In addition to consuming the proper amount of fat through foods like coconut oil, olive oil, organic nuts (my favorite nut butter), and cold water fish low in mercury, I took a prenatal fish-derived supplement with the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These have been shown to reduce overall inflammation and help with brain function and health.

3. Eat Protein. Meat is generally the food that women have an aversion to during pregnancy. But, protein provides vitamin B6, which is thought to help prevent morning sickness...not to mention protein helps stabilize blood sugar and provide energy.

Meat (especially red meat) is the best source of absorbable iron for people who are iron deficient. Your blood volume doubles during pregnancy, which can cause a deficiency in iron levels in some women.

I did use a protein powder during pregnancy, and I made sure that it was a non-gmo, organic brand. I like the vanilla one by Orgain. I also kept various brands of protein bars in my purse. If I let myself get too hungry, I felt terrible and would get heartburn.

The three bars I kept on hand were: Orgain bars, Oatmega bars, and RxBars. These are pretty clean overall without weird ingredients!

4. Drink Plenty of Water. Everything starts with water. Drinking water is important when you aren't pregnant, but it's vital during pregnancy because you are producing so many extra fluids, including blood and amniotic fluid. Low amniotic fluid is linked to birth defects, miscarriage, and pre-term labor later in pregnancy. In hot climates, like where I live in Arizona, dehydration can actually give you low amniotic fluid levels.

Water also helps to regulate your temperature and prevent constipation. You should aim for 12-13 cups of water per day...more if you are exercising and/or drinking caffeine (which should be limited).

5. Move! Exercise during pregnancy has been linked to healthier babies, healthier mamas, and quicker postpartum recoveries (amen!). The worst symptom I experienced during the first trimester was extreme fatigue in the afternoons. I listened to my body and tried to take naps when possible, but I also made myself do some sort of exercise most days. This helped to keep my energy levels up.

Throughout my pregnancy, I continued a bootcamp class that I love, which included lifting weights and elevating my heart rate. I have worked out my entire life, so I am super familiar with my body and know my limits. Pregnancy is not the time to start a new intense workout regime, but I think including weights and breaking a sweat is not a bad thing...especially if you were previously working out before the pregnancy.

I had to modify the heck out of my workout towards the end, but something about just showing up and exercising at my own pace made me feel awesome! Make sure that you consult a trainer and your doctor before working out.

In addition to higher intensity exercise, I walked a lot and incorporated stretching and low impact yoga. My favorite yoga teacher offers an online subscription. These types of exercises help to decrease stress and prevent aches and pains commonly experienced during pregnancy.

If you need help staying on track during your pregnancy, please contact me for further help! Also, for more information on my favorite products, click here.


My little man, Ryan a couple of months ago at two months old! He's very healthy as you can see by his buff little arms! All photos courtesy of Emerge Artistry.

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by video chat with my clients.

#Nutrition #pregnancy #healthypregnancy

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