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36 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy


By Scott LaFee   |   January 05, 2016

Before you can take care of your new baby, you need to take care of yourself and your unborn child. There’s a lot of advice out there. Much of it is common sense, but some things – like avoiding cat litter – might be news. Your first tip: As soon as you suspect you’re pregnant, see your doctor and visit Pregnancy and Childbirth at UC San Diego Health.

  1. Take a prenatal vitamin
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Write a birth plan
  4. Educate yourself
  5. Change your chores (avoid harsh or toxic cleaners, heavy lifting)
  6. Track your weight gain (normal weight gain is 25-35 pounds)
  7. Get comfortable shoes
  8. Eat folate-rich foods (lentils, asparagus, oranges, fortified cereals)
  9. Eat calcium-rich foods (dairy, canned fish, soy)
  10. Eat more fish (except those high in mercury)
  11. Eat foods with fiber
  12. Don’t eat soft cheeses (unpasteurized styles like Brie and feta may contain bacteria that can cause fever, miscarriage or pregnancy complications)
  13. Eat your veggies
  14. Eat five or six well-balanced meals each day
  15. But don’t overeat. You only need 300-500 additional calories per day. Keep a food diary.
  16. Limit caffeine
  17. Drink plenty of fluids (six 8-ounce glasses of water per day)
  18. prenancy
  19. Don’t drink alcohol
  20. Wear sunscreen
  21. Fly smart (avoid air travel if possible early and late in pregnancy)
  22. Avoid changing cat litter (to reduce risk of toxoplasmosis)
  23. Give in to cravings – sometimes
  24. Know when to call your doctor with concerns
  25. Don’t smoke; avoid secondhand smoke
  26. Get enough sleep
  27. Wear your seatbelt
  28. Don’t take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without medical consultation
  29. prenancy
  30. See your dentist
  31. Take a pregnancy class
  32. Baby sit a friend’s baby for some real-world experience
  33. Tour birth facilities
  34. Practice relaxation techniques daily (yoga, stretching, deep breathing, massage)
  35. Don’t overmedicate
  36. Exercise, but don’t overdo it
  37. Stretch before bed to avoid leg cramps
  38. Take a picture of yourself before the baby arrives

Care at UC San Diego Health

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Pregnancy and Childbirth