Happy New Year! An insane number of people start off the first day of a new year ready to tackle all of their resolutions and fitness endeavors, ready to give up all of their vices and ready to turn into better versions of themselves. (Head on over to Fit Bottomed Girls for tons of New Year New Rear content over the coming weeks!) That might mean hitting the gym big and bad, slashing calories like crazy, and generally shocking your body until you give up the next day. While we always recommend taking baby steps to get healthier — too much too fast is a recipe for quitting — we especially recommend taking baby steps if you’re expecting a baby.
Moms to be shouldn’t be left out of the resolution fun, but they shouldn’t go off the health-and-fitness-New-Year deep end either. That’s why we turned to Dr. Kecia Gaither to pick her brain about appropriate resolutions for the pregnant mama. Dr. Gaither serves as the vice chairman and director of maternal fetal medicine in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. She’s got more than 20 years of professional experience, so we knew she’d offer some sane ideas for the new year!
3 Attainable Resolutions for the Mom-to-Be
1. Cut the mama drama. Decrease the stress in your life. Stress for anyone, but particularly pregnant women, affects both mother and fetus; it presents with an increased risk of preterm labor/delivery and low birth-weight infants. Stress also contributes to the development of hypertension. Anecdotally, mothers who are under immense stress tend to have crankier infants. Stress busters include meditation, yoga and aromatherapy — all are safe, natural ways to de-stress.
2. Open wide and say AHH. Pay attention to your dental health. Infection is felt to play a major role, among other things, in the genesis of preterm labor and heart disease. Periodontal disease is in effect a lingering oral infection. A trip to the dentist for cleaning of plaque/attention to any gum disease decreases your incidence of preterm labor and delivery. Make sure to schedule routine visits for maintenance of your oral health throughout the year.
3. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. The old adage is true: nutrition contributes to great health, so pay attention to your nutritional choices with the new year. Focus on increasing your fruit, vegetable, beans and whole-grains intake. Cut down on fatty, high-cholesterol foods/processed foods. Lean meats like chicken and turkey are great. Increase your water consumption; eliminate the high-fructose containing drinks. Good nutrition contributes to a healthy growing fetus, and post delivery, keeps you in a positive nutritional balance health-wise.
Cutting down stress, making sure those teeth are in check, and eating more whole foods? Seems like doable goals anyone can achieve! We totally agree: take it easy, but not too easy, and take great care of yourself in the new year. Head over and follow her on twitter @KeciaGaitherMD! She posts tips and addresses important issues as well as answers submitted questions. Thanks, doc!
Are you expecting? What goals do you have in mind for the new year? —Erin