Welcome to the Neuman OB-GYN blog! As Jacksonville’s gynecologist of choice, we’re excited to use this blog to give you advice and insights on pregnancy, gynecology, and women’s health and wellness. In this blog, we’re going to cover one of the most important topics surrounding women’s health: pregnancy.

It’s incredibly important to be mindful of your health and your child during all stages of pregnancy, but it’s also important to take care of yourself during the process. Here are a few tips for a happy and healthy baby, and a happy and healthy you during your pregnancy journey.

Eat several well-balanced meals every day.

A healthy diet is crucial for the health and happiness of you and your baby during pregnancy. It’s important to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and high-protein foods like avocados, eggs, and lean meats like chicken and salmon to give you energy and to provide your baby with nutrients. Additionally, it’s important to eat four to six meals throughout the day to keep yourself full and avoid dips in energy throughout the day.

Healthy eating during pregnancy is just as much about what not to eat—so avoid unsafe foods like raw meat and seafood, unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses (which may contain listeria), patè, and caffeinated beverages, which can dehydrate your body, compromise your immune system and cause health problems for you and your baby.

To increase your level of nutrients, and sustain good health during pregnancy, talk to your gynecologist about prenatal vitamins, which can give you a health and wellness boost during your pregnancy. In many cases, taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy can be a huge benefit to you and your future baby—something to keep in mind if you’re considering having a baby in the near future.

Drink plenty of water.

This is a great tip for pregnant and non-pregnant persons. Increasing your water intake prevents dehydration, and reduces the likelihood of headaches, nausea, dizziness, and cramps. However, water intake is crucial during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester—not enough water in this stage of pregnancy can lead to dehydration which can cause premature contractions and trigger preterm labor.

Get some exercise.

With the added weight of a growing baby and increased levels of stress and responsibility, it can be difficult to bring exercise into the fold of everyday activities, especially if you weren’t getting much exercise before your pregnancy. However, exercise during pregnancy can improve the health of you and your baby, and help to melt away some of your pregnancy stress along the way!

Going for a 20-minute walk in a cool, shady environment is a great way to break a sweat in an easygoing to moderate fashion without the risk of overexertion and overheating—or if you want a more full-body pregnancy workout, try taking a prenatal exercise course at your local gym or utilizing pregnancy workout videos to stay healthy and active during your pregnancy journey.

Get plenty of sleep.

This might not be a challenge for you in average circumstances, but pregnancy has the potential to cause difficulties falling asleep, and create interruptions of your sleep patterns during the night.

Pregnancy can take a toll on your body, and sleep is the best way to recharge so you can feel healthy and happy during your pregnancy. If you’re unable to get eight solid hours of sleep during the night, try taking naps throughout the day to rest your body and mind, and talk to your doctor if your sleeping problems persist.

Don’t drink or smoke.

This a real no-brainer—alcohol and cigarette intake during pregnancy can have severe consequences for the health of your baby. Even being exposed to secondhand smoke can cause pregnancy complications. Avoid these (and other substances) throughout the duration of your pregnancy.

Thanks for checking out the Neuman OB-GYN blog, and stay tuned for part 2 of our series on tips for a healthy pregnancy!