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Gold Medal Pregnancy Tips

ShannonMillerTipsOlympic great Shannon Miller has been rocking the FBB world this week! She answered our burning questions earlier this week, and then I reviewed her Body After Baby workout DVD. (Don’t forget to enter to win it!) Today she weighs in with her tried-and-true tips for a fit and healthy pregnancy—that’s her at left looking as fit as ever while pregnant with her son!

Tips for a Winning Pregnancy

In gymnastics, I learned that there was a very specific recipe to success. Set goals, train hard and listen to your coach. Years after my retirement, those lessons stuck with me throughout my first pregnancy. After the initial excitement, I realized I had a zillion questions and very few answers. I immediately fell back on my gymnastics training.

Above all, my goal was to have a healthy child. There were things that I could not control (too many to count), but there were a few things like exercise and nutrition that I could control. I considered eating, fitness and doctor’s appointments my “training.” And of course my physician became my coach.

I kept an ongoing list of tips and hints for everything from an easy labor to easing morning sickness and leg cramps. Here are a few of the tips I relied on most.

1. Stay hydrated! It’s always important to drink plenty of water. However, during pregnancy, it is essential to your health and the health of your baby. Drink eight to 10 cups per day. Try to avoid caffeinated beverages, which can dehydrate you. I like to keep a water bottle with me to sip from throughout the day.

2. Cardio counts! Thirty minutes of cardio most days is a terrific way to relieve stress and stay fit. Walking, hiking and swimming are some great ideas for cardio during pregnancy. Prenatal yoga and light weights help round out your workout with strength and flexibility.

3. Don’t do deli. Deli meats can contain Listeria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women are 20 times more likely to become infected than non-pregnant healthy adults. It’s important to be cautious when eating deli meats unless they are properly reheated to 160F.

4. Swim away from toxins. For all fish lovers, you’ll want to avoid fish that contain high levels of mercury. Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. Some fish high in mercury include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.

5. Back to basics. Try to avoid lying flat on your back for a prolonged period of time. Doing so could interfere with the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your developing baby when your uterus presses on the vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart.

6. Rub-a-dub. Prenatal massage is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, massage helps ease those inevitable aches and pains. But note that you can receive a prenatal massage only after the first trimester and with your doctor’s approval. During massage, toxins are released and could even send you into early labor. Make sure you go to a therapist that is certified in prenatal massage. (And don’t forget about baby massage once the little one arrives!)

Take notes on these pregnancy basics, ladies! And thanks to Shannon for the great tips! You can find more pregnancy information and pregnancy products at the Shannon Miller Lifestyle website! —Erin

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