How to have a Healthy Pregnancy



No raw fish, no alcohol, and no heavy lifting. Pregnancy can seem like a long list of do’s and don’ts.

Dr. Cherrie Morris, an OB/GYN with Lee Health, says from food to exercise even vitamins, everything the mom does during pregnancy affects the baby. “I think they need to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, a healthy diet. If they drink a lot of caffeine, we recommend that they drink only up to two cups a day. We want to talk to them about being well hydrated. I think that’s probably one of the most important things in pregnancy that women just don’t drink enough water.”

While gaining weight during pregnancy is expected, doctors say it’s important patients gain a healthy weight. For patients who are underweight that means gaining between 28 and 40 pounds, if they are at a normal weight, it’s recommended they gain between 25 and 35 pounds, but if patients are overweight they should gain between 15 and 20 pounds. “One of the problems is gaining too much weight during pregnancy because that can be dangerous for the pregnancy and for the mom after she delivers,” said Dr. Morris.

Maintaining safe physical activity is also vital to a healthy pregnancy. “If you have somebody that’s a runner and they are used to running and they are already cardiovascular fit, then we would like them to continue that but again in moderation,” said Dr. Morris.

Throughout pregnancy patients may need to modify their exercise from heavy lifting and core exercises to walking and swimming. “The benefit of exercising or getting into a little better shape while you’re pregnant or staying in good shape increases our circulation and blood flow to the baby,” said Dr. Morris.

Prenatal care and vitamins are essential to making sure the baby is getting the nutrients it needs. “Folic acid is really important in pregnancy because a low folic acid could potentially be a risk for developing spina bifida or a neuro-tube defect so what we encourage women to do is to start the folic acid supplement even before pregnancy,” said Dr. Morris.

Moderation in both diet and exercise during pregnancy will help keep both mom and baby healthy.

View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/

Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

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