7 Health Tips for Moms-to-Be in Early Pregnancy

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A person in black lingerie and a white knitted cardigan poses with their hand on their pregnant belly in a softly lit room.
Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Friday May 17, 2024

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Pregnancy is an exciting moment from the first time you find out. The news can fill you with anticipation and make you feel over the moon with this new life growing inside you. Yet, this joy can also come with anxiety as you prepare for how to take care of yourself and your little one. Every trimester is critical, but moms-to-be must start their journey right for a healthy pregnancy. The good thing is that there are plenty of health tips for early pregnancy. Each can help you take the steps to create a holistic balance of health and happiness for two.

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1. Eat a Balanced Diet

In early pregnancy, one health tip to keep in mind is having a balanced diet. Women must ensure they get sufficient nutrients, as these support their health and the baby’s development. Nutrients — such as folic acid, iron and calcium — are especially critical during this time. They contribute to producing healthy blood cells and growing bones and teeth.

A balanced diet should include various nutrient-rich foods. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals and fiber — meanwhile, proteins like chicken and fish supply essential amino acids for tissue growth. Additionally, whole grains and dairy products offer complex carbohydrates, calcium and other vital nutrients that promote a healthy pregnancy.

It’s also essential to avoid certain foods during pregnancy, as they can harbor harmful bacteria and negative substances, including:

  • Raw or undercooked meats
  • Fish high in mercury
  • Unpasteurized dairy products

2. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is a key element in early pregnancy. Adequate fluid intake regulates bodily functions and supports the formation of amniotic fluid. Dehydration can lead to issues such as headaches, dizziness and preterm labor, making it crucial for moms-to-be to stay hydrated.

Prenatal nutritionist Ryann Kipping advises that “all types of fluids and high-water foods count towards hydration goals.” This includes water, herbal teas, fruit juices and snacks like cucumbers, watermelons and oranges. These goods and liquids supplement daily water intake, making it easier for pregnant women to meet their hydration needs while providing essential vitamins and minerals.

Experts recommend that pregnant women aim to drink at least 2700 mL of fluids daily. However, individual needs vary based on activity level and climate. 

3. Avoid Harmful Substances

Alcohol, tobacco and certain medications can be harmful to your baby by causing developmental issues and other complications. In particular, alcohol consumption can increase the risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which lead to physical and cognitive impairments in children.

Research indicates that many pregnant women stop or reduce alcohol consumption upon realizing their pregnancy. However, studies have also found that up to 60% of women continue drinking even when they know they’re pregnant. Therefore, expectant mothers need to take care and be aware of the consequences of consuming drugs and alcohol.

A couple sitting on a windowsill with the man gently touching the woman's pregnant belly as she smiles down at him.

4. Keep Prenatal Checkups Regular

Regular prenatal doctor visits are necessary to ensure everything is going fine. These appointments allow health care professionals to monitor progress and identify potential issues early. When you attend appointments, your OB/GYN will check vital signs, conduct blood tests and perform ultrasounds. Each of these is vital to assess fetal growth and detect abnormalities.

Moreover, prenatal checkups allow you to discuss concerns, ask questions and receive tailored medical advice. The guidance you receive can range from managing morning sickness to eating a wholesome diet. As such, regular appointments ensure your pregnancy journey is smooth, providing you and the baby with comprehensive care.

5. Exercise Safely

Exercising in early pregnancy is excellent for supporting a healthy pregnancy. It can improve circulation, maintain muscle tone and boost your mood. Although exercise is crucial, choosing workouts that are safe for your changing body is also essential. 

Safe exercises for prenatal women:

  • Walking: A low-impact option that gets your blood flowing and maintains heart health.
  • Prenatal yoga: Enhance flexibility, balance and relaxation while teaching yourself useful breathing techniques during labor.
  • Swimming: This activity is effective for staying fit without straining your body.
  • Strength training: Use light weights or resistance bands in proper form and moderate intensity.

Exercises to avoid:

  • High-impact activities: Running, jumping and aerobics may put too much strain on your joints and increase the risk of injury.
  • Contact sports: Soccer, basketball and football increase your risk of falling or abdominal trauma. It’s best to avoid rough sports to prevent harm to your baby.
  • Hot yoga: The high temperatures associated with hot yoga or any activities raise core body temperature excessively, putting your baby at risk.

6. Manage Stress

Stress is a normal part of pregnancy. With so many changes happening to you and your surroundings, you will feel anxious and worried. This especially occurs when you’re experiencing certain symptoms and pregnancy-related discomforts like morning sickness and headaches. 

However, chronic stress can occur, which can lead to depression and anxiety disorders, low birth weight and preterm labor. If you feel anxious more often than usual, consider some management techniques.

Effective strategies to manage stress during early pregnancy include:

  • Mindfulness and meditation: This practice helps you to calm your mind significantly. Consider techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation and guided meditation to bring more tranquility into your life.
  • Social support: Connecting with friends and family can alleviate feelings of isolation and provide emotional relief. Share your experiences with others who understand so they can offer more comfort.
  • Listen to music: Music therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety by providing emotional relief. Create playlists with soothing or uplifting tunes for when you’re feeling stressed. You could also listen to calming sounds like nature tracks to ease tension and promote relaxation.
A woman in a gray tank top with her arms above her head while sitting on a bed.

7. Get Enough Sleep

Your body is working tremendously to grow a new life. Therefore, you may find yourself sleeping for hours at a time. This is good because sleep regulates your body’s restoration processes, allowing for proper growth and development. It also maintains regular hormone levels, which is key to maintaining a balanced mood and managing stress. 

When you lack sleep, you’ll feel more moody and succumb to anxiety and potential health complications. So, one health tip to follow in early pregnancy is getting quality rest. If you have sleep issues, combat them by creating a comfortable place to lie down. Ensure your bedroom is dark and is just the right temperature. Supportive pillows are also a life-saver for alleviating physical discomfort.

Incorporating Life-Changing Health Tips During Early Pregnancy

While pregnancy brings joy to many, it can also be challenging. Remember to prioritize various health tips during early pregnancy, as they’re vital to your health and your baby’s development. Following these steps creates a strong foundation for a healthy pregnancy and guarantees a positive experience for you and your child.

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