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Nutrition & Physical Activity

Nutrition & Physical Activity

Physical Exercise

You already know that taking care of your body is really important during pregnancy. Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly are two things you can do to take care of your body. It can be hard to change old habits, but you can do it.

What Should I Eat During Pregnancy?

Eating nutritious food during pregnancy supports your health, controls the amount of weight you gain, makes you feel good, and helps your baby grow strong and healthy. What you should and shouldn’t be eating is one topic that everyone has an opinion about. Remember that every pregnancy and every body is different, so you’ll have to learn what is right for you.

“I started to crave different foods, like tomatoes and potatoes. I had to have them with everything!”
- 17 year old mom, Kitsap County

A great way to start thinking about how to eat well is by looking at this overview of pregnancy nutrition. You can figure out a personalized daily food plan and learn about the foods that are right for you at each stage of your pregnancy. You can create a profile for a quick estimate of what and how much you need to eat. Enjoy what you’re eating! Try out some new recipes just for pregnancy, and try these eating tips.

Who Can Help?

The WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program can be very helpful when you have nutrition and health questions. Do you want to know how to start feeding your baby solid foods or learn about what are good foods to eat while you’re pregnant? WIC staff can help! In addition to providing good information, the program gives checks for WIC food for you and your baby, possibly until they are 5 years old! Find out if you qualify for WIC online, or call our hotline at (800) 322-2588. If money is tight, find out about other programs, like food stamps, that will help you get all the food you need.

I Feel Sick, I Can’t Eat!

Morning sickness during the first 3 months of pregnancy is very common. For most women it passes on its own after the 3-month mark, but no matter how long it lasts you don’t have to suffer. There are a lot of things you can do to feel better, learn more here.

Why is Physical Activity Important?

Be sure to talk to your health care provider about exercising during your pregnancy. Regular, gentle exercise during pregnancy will help you feel good. Exercise helps lift your spirits and reduce stress, backaches, constipation, and bloating. Exercise helps you sleep better. Exercise can also improve your ability to cope during labor and make it easier for you to get back in shape after your baby is born.

How Do I Make Exercising Fun?

If you like walking, swimming, or taking fitness classes, you can still do any of these during pregnancy, just check with your health care provider to make sure it is okay, especially if you are trying something new. If you’d like some new ideas, then follow along with this yoga video, or try out these easy stretches at home. It can be hard to stay motivated, so find out how to stay on track.

How Much Weight Should I Gain?

The weight you gain during pregnancy is important to support the growth of your baby. Most of the weight you gain is from your baby’s body, but a lot also comes from the fact that your breasts and uterus are growing. You also have more fluids in your body as well as a placenta to support your baby.

Everyone is unique and should gain the amount of weight that is right for their body. Talk to your health care provider about what is right for you.

Your body will go through amazing changes during your pregnancy. Some of the time you may feel good about those changes. There may also be times when you don’t like the way your body changes and you don’t feel good about it. Remember that body changes are a normal part of pregnancy, and that your body knows how to grow a baby!

As you and your baby grow, take a minute to appreciate the mysteries and miracles that are going on inside your body right now. You are powerful! Do something to celebrate your body’s changes. Take a picture every month, do something nice for yourself, get a foot massage from a friend, write a letter to your baby, or write down something you appreciate about your body. Give yourself a hug, and remember that even though it feels like it now, you won’t be pregnant forever.

Learn More

You can learn more about gaining weight during pregnancy here.

Learn about what to consider before you start exercising.

Stay in balance, find foods you want to eat from each food group!

Check out an overview of weight gain, activity, and what to eat during pregnancy.

Two great places to learn about eating and exercising during pregnancy are here and here.