Pregnant woman exercising at home
Prenatal care is incredibly important to establish, when you are expecting– certain measures can either harm or help the development of your baby. Studies have shown that prenatal exercise is healthy for both you and the baby, as it boosts the fetal brain development. There are certain exercises and diets you should implement into your lifestyle, while pregnant, so you can enhance your child’s cognitive potential. Here is some information about fetal brain development and tips on how you can establish a healthy lifestyle that’s beneficial for your baby:
Brain Development Process
Fetal brain development is incremental over the nine months of pregnancy. Synapses activity begins and nerve cells form within the first trimester — healthy development of the brain could be impeded if the mother is exposed to chemicals like alcohol, tobacco, mercury, dioxin, pesticides and lead. Sensory organs and nerve development occurs in the second trimester, which requires a high intake of healthy fats from natural sources. Basic cognitive development comes into play in the third trimester.
Exercise seems difficult when you’re carrying the extra weight, feel achy and are constantly tired. However, safe physical activity will help you gain more energy, improve your mood, reduce muscle pain and strengthen all parts of your body. The change in blood flow, stimulated by exercise, will have a positive effect on your child’s growth. The best exercises for expectant mothers are yoga and swimming, as they are low impact but still target important muscles and will increase the heart rate. For more information about exercise guidelines for pregnant and postpartum women, visit 24 Hour Fitness’ exercise guidelines on their website. About 30 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended for most pregnant women. But, make sure you have a conversation with your doctor before you implement any new exercise routines.
What To Eat
Nutrients are very important for a healthy pregnancy — you should have ample sources of vitamins and minerals that will support the growth of your baby. Choose natural food sources, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and non-hormonal, grass-fed meat. Make sure you include into your daily diet 27 milligrams of iron rich food, .4 mg of folic acid, 1200 mg of calcium rich food, 70 mg of Vitamin C, 250 micrograms of iodine and a healthy dose of Vitamin A. Foods that will provide you with these super-nutrients include avocados, citrus fruits, broccoli, figs, tomatoes, kiwis, beans, grapes, yams and carrots. You should also drink at least 12 glasses of water each day, as it is a major carrier between the nutrients you eat and the baby. Water also sustains the amniotic sack.
What Not To Eat
Stay away from processed foods, as many pre-packaged foods will contain difficult to interpret ingredients. You may accidentally ingest chemicals that are harmful for the baby through processed foods. Also make sure you steer clear of foods are likely to be contaminated, like tuna that could have been exposed to mercury and produce that has been treated with pesticides. It is best that you shop organic, so you know that your foods haven’t been chemically treated — make sure everything you purchase has a USDA Organic certification label, as many producers will label their items as organic, when they’re not.