healthy pregnancy for healthy birth and healthy baby

The other day my dad sent me this article: Diet and Exercise Advice During Pregnancy Yields Better Birth Outcomes.  (Published by Pharmacy Times, so it’s definitely a reputable source!)  I was happy to read it because it confirmed what I thought to be true and what I believed throughout my pregnancy.

studio maternity pregnant itzlinz

The article supports the idea that “weight gain in pregnancy is not an ideal measure of pregnancy health.”  I love this for several reasons.  First, I never think that the scale is a good indicator of anything.  It’s more about how you feel, even when you’re pregnant.  I never got too hung up on numbers during pregnancy because I felt good and I consistently got good reports from my doctor.  I did gain the average thirty pounds during my pregnancy.  I know I “looked small” to some, but it doesn’t matter.  You know what mattered?  That I ate fairly healthy and got a moderate amount of exercise throughout.  That’s what counts!

The study reports that eating healthier and increased physical activity during pregnancy were “directly associated with significant improvements in outcomes for babies.”  They’re not talking about crazy hard workouts either!  It states 15 – 20 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week yields positive benefits.  If you followed my pregnancy journey, then you know that’s what the majority of my workouts entailed!  Occasionally I went swimming or lifted light weights, but from the beginning until the very end, I was walking.

These findings also suggest that healthier choices in terms of eating and exercise resulted in shorter hospital stays, as well.  I know a lot of ladies who have given birth, and most of the ones who practiced healthy habits during their pregnancy had easier labors (if there is such a thing!) and delivered healthy babies.

william first look 1

Disclaimer:  I do recognize that unpredictable complications occur in all types of women, even those who are healthy.  My point is that there is evidence of living a healthy lifestyle throughout pregnancy can (but does not guarantee…. nothing does) help with delivering a healthy baby!

Here is William’s birth story: the before and the during.  I had an absolutely wonderful delivery, and do attribute a lot of it to my healthy choices.  But don’t just take it from me.  I have many other bloggers who are living examples of strong, healthy women and mommas willing to share their stories, tips, and thoughts with you!

Birth Stories:

Fitness During Pregnancy:

Other Pregnancy Topics:

William Jack

photos by Stephanie Cotta Photography

If you are thinking about or trying to get pregnant, or if you are pregnant, I would strongly encourage you to check out the above posts, make [mostly] healthy choices in regards to food, and incorporate some type of activity in your daily life!  YOU CAN DO IT!  There are so many benefits, science proves it, and there’s evidence in all the lovely ladies’ stories!

*I am not a doctor.  Always consult your doctor before making any changes.

Do you consider yourself healthy in terms of food and fitness?  Moms: do you feel like a healthy pregnancy resulted in a healthy birth and a healthy baby? Please share your story!

21 thoughts on “healthy pregnancy for healthy birth and healthy baby

  1. LOVE THIS!!! I think being healthy with food and exercise and SLEEP during pregnancy and immediately following birth had a HUGE impact on the outcome for both my twins and me…great links too!!! Walking was and is my saving grace for exercise every day now with babies but before they were born too.

  2. Yes yes yes! Even though I am only able to really walk myself, I truly believe that eating a healthy diet is extremely important. I’ve heard other pregnant women say before how it’s just impossible to remain healthy during their pregnancy since they can’t work out. Um, news flash!! Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about fitness, but also includes much more more. It honestly just seems like a sorry excuse if you ask me :).

  3. Great post hun! While I don’t think living a healthy lifestyle will be the answer to all our delivery prayers (like you said), I do believe it helps your endurance during labor and your energy levels in the coming weeks after baby is born.

    My first baby was 9lbs 1oz. When she was born. I had a natural delivery and pushed maybe three times. I lifted weights the entire pregnancy and jogged/walked for 7 months. My milk came in no problem, she lost no weight, and we were home in a day.

    While I don’t know if my activity levels made it easy or I just got lucky, I’m not taking any chances this time around! As you know from our FB group, I just completed a half marathon this past weekend at 19 weeks pregnant. Fingers crossed this one goes the same way my Mackenzie did! 🙂

  4. Totally agree… it makes such a difference to stay active and I think it reduces the back aches, discomfort, etc of pregnancy too- either that or I was really luck not to have any! Great round up, I’m excited to check some of these out that I missed!

  5. Yes, I absolutely agree! Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve tried to eat healthy and remain as active as my body would allow. It’ll be interesting to see how all my hard work paid off after birth, but I have a feeling it’ll have made a difference more the both babies and myself.

  6. Such a great post!!! I love that you’re advocating for healthy & fit pregnancies. And you’re so right, it doesn’t have to be crazy fit or super healthy, but making those good choices in a moderate way can really help the babies! My doc was so glad I taught fitness classes & ate well. He firmly believed it helped me have a smooth pregnancy and natural birth. Thanks for including me! <3

  7. Great post. I took worked out from the beginning to the end of my pregnancy and felt so good. I gave me the energy I needed =0) I love that you have added other blogger links to the pregnancy journeys, recovery and how they stayed fit. I love reading birth story’s. I just find that not to many people talk about C-Section recovery? Its great to hear about natural / vaginal births but what about us mommies who have to go thru a C-Section and recovery?

    • Hi Emily! Awesome that you stayed active throughout your pregnancy! Thanks for your kind words and questions. You’re exactly right about there not being as many people talking about c-section recovery. Since I can’t speak to this, I’ve asked a good friend to write a guest post for me. It should be up in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for your great question!

  8. I’m happy you disclaimed this with being healthy does not mean you get a healthy child. There seems to be some misunderstanding of that in the world. Life deals us all the hands we can handle. And for some of us that means being very special parents to amazing and special children. It doesn’t matter how healthy I was during my pregnancy or what I ate/worked-out nothing was going to change an un detected genetic birth defect. We each get what is in the plans for us regardless of what we plan for. I think it’s great we encourage women to be healthy during pregnancy that should continue but let’s not pretend everyone gets perfect birth stories. I wish there was more conversations about the not so perfect birth stories. You should add to your list Young House Love’s birth story it was real and was the unexpected complications that no one ever expects. I feel like most people only involve the perfect birth stories, it’s important to show there are other sides to the coin. Not to scare people but to show that things can go unexpectedly wrong regardless of how healthy you are.

  9. I was so blessed to have the labor and delivery that i did. I was in labor for about 5 hours total from the first contraction and it went great! My baby is super healthy and happy. While pregnant I cut back a lot on working out and tried to eat what my body was craving (mostly healthy choices! ). I feel like what made my pregnancy healthy was the balanced approach I took to working out and eating healthy. Great post!

  10. Staying active during both of my pregnancies really made labor and birthing easier. My first labor & birth (http://www.naturallyfamily.com/ediths-birth-story/) I really focused on the techniques from my yoga class and the second time around I found that just getting out for a walk helped me to feel better and active labor and birth lasted total of four hours (http://www.naturallyfamily.com/2014/08/03/its-a-boy-alder-greys-home-birth-story-part-2/). I birthed beautiful and healthy babies as well. It also has helped me get back to being active.

  11. Couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve mentioned (I have also written a bit on this topic too)! I stayed active & ate as healthy as possible during my first pregnancy and saw major benefits, both physically and emotionally. So, I’ve followed a very similar routine this time around, which isn’t always easy when you have a toddler to chase after!
    I’ve have had some questionable glances at Body Pump and Body Attack lately (still attending at almost 38 weeks), but I don’t think people realize that it’s almost always in a woman’s best interest to keep active throughout pregnancy as long as it still feels good. 🙂

  12. Pingback: Tips for Recovering from a C-Section | Itz Linz

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