Proper Diet and Exercise During Pregnancy - Olathe Chiropractic

Proper Diet and Exercise During Pregnancy

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View from above of a pregnant woman holding her belly in front of a bunch of healthy fruit in bowls.

Most people stay in shape by having a proper diet and exercise that works well for their body. However, pregnancy changes hormones, causes cravings and many women find themselves gaining weight like crazy. It is possible to eat well and exercise so you control your weight during pregnancy. Often, nutritional assessments and counseling can not only help you avoid unhealthy weight gain, but can also help you get the right nutrition. Learn more about these professional services and other tips to follow to control your pregnancy weight.


Pregnancy: What To Expect

Pregnancy is an incredibly exciting time for a mother. The excitement for a new little one makes the 9 months of body changes worth it. A question many women have with pregnancy is how much weight they should be gaining when they are growing a baby. Is a lot of weight gain bad? What about exercising? Is it safe and how much should you be doing?


Studies show that exercise is definitely safe during pregnancy. However, that should also be coupled with a very healthy diet. That’s not only for your growing baby, but also for you, as many vital nutrients you put in your body will be going to the baby. You might not notice weight changes with your pregnancy until the second and third trimesters. This is when most people start to notice changes with their weight and with a growing belly. Weight gain is normal, especially in the third trimester. How much you gain and how you feel during pregnancy will be determined both by your genetics and how well you take care of your body.


Pregnancy changes will also bring changes with your overall health. Many women come into our clinic because of back pain. This is common during pregnancy, as is swelling in all the limbs and digestive upsets. Working with a professional can make sure you’re healthy throughout pregnancy and not plagued by health symptoms.


Close-up view of a pregnant woman's torso that has been working out and she has weights.

Eating During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time when you really have to watch what you eat so your baby gets the nutrients they need. That means eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and especially folate. Here are some tips for eating right:

  • Make sure you eat dairy as long as you’re not lactose intolerant. Your baby needs high-quality protein found in dairy products. Greek yogurt is a very good source.
  • Legumes, sweet potatoes, and dark, leafy greens are great food items full of vitamins and minerals.
  • Eggs are also great because they have so many minerals (even trace ones) that you need.
  • Lean meats and salmon are great sources of protein and omega-3s.
  • Power foods like avocados, whole grains, berries and dried fruit are power snacks you should add to your diet.
  • Your diet won’t change much the first trimester. You only need about 100 extra calories of healthy foods that first trimester.
  • During the second and third trimesters, you will need an extra 300-500 calories because of the baby’s rapid growth. Make sure to minimize unhealthy foods when you are adding in those extra calories.

Every person’s pregnancy is different, so their diet might be too. Your body may need extra calories or fewer than others to support a baby. For customized diet plans that fit your needs and make it easy to manage your nutrients, consider a nutritional assessment and counselor.


What About Exercise?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women should get 20-30 minutes of exercise every day. That is enough to keep you moving, but not so much that it will be strenuous on your body. You never want to do strenuous exercising during pregnancy. Patients also don’t want to participate in any contact or dangerous sports. This can put you at risk for a fall or getting hit, which can put the baby at risk.


Pregnancy yoga is great for mothers who want to stay strong throughout pregnancy. That doesn’t mean you won’t gain weight (because you will if you want to be healthy), but you will stay strong so you can bounce back quicker. We have personalized plans that can help you with proper stretching and posture to keep your body strong and to help minimize back pain. Studies show that women who have a healthy amount of exercise during pregnancy can have easier labors and a much easier time losing the weight afterwards.


However, getting pregnant is not the time to suddenly start an exercise routine. If you were active and exercising often before pregnancy, you can likely continue that exercise. If you didn’t exercise before, stick to walking, yoga or follow a personalized plan through our clinic.


Pregnant woman having a health consultation.

Changes Later In Pregnancy

Many women struggle with water retention that causes swelling, especially in the legs and feet. Massage therapy works wonders for this swelling. Coming into the office weekly for massage therapy sessions can help move the fluid around and ease muscles that are sore. Doing your own massage (or getting your partner to) can be very beneficial between appointments.


About 80% of women also experience some form of back pain during pregnancy. This happens in the lower back because of all the extra weight and pressure that is placed on the lumbar spine. This pressure can even cause your body to move out of alignment. Getting chiropractic adjustments often is a great way to reduce or get rid of the back pain you feel.


When it comes to your growing baby, you want to do it right. Diet and exercise during pregnancy can be difficult to figure out, especially with your first child. Getting a nutritional assessment and nutrition plan can help you eat right during pregnancy. Seeing a chiropractor and getting on a healthy adjustment and exercise plan can help you have a better bounce-back afterwards. To learn more about these services, call Olathe Chiropractic today at (913) 732-0087!


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