Is it just me, or is everyone having babies all of a sudden? I think there are at least five ladies I know that are expecting, and a handful recently welcomed little bundles. Where are all of these babies coming from?

Wait…never mind. I know where they come from.

Of course, whenever I talk to my expecting friends, the conversation ends up focusing on being healthy. I can remember being extremely conscious of my health during my pregnancy, and I know a lot of women feel the same way. Check out the nine tips I discovered that got me through that wild nine months** (including a couple to combat the dreaded morning sickness), and let me know what your tips are in the comments!

  1. Eat! Look, right now is not the time to count calories and go crazy avoiding carbs. Now is the time to eat! Your baby needs a lot of nutrients, so make sure your diet is full of fruits, veggies, and lean meats. Your doctor will discuss any foods you need to avoid (like raw fish).  As much as possible, stay away from a lot of junk food and sugary snacks. Otherwise? Go ahead and fill that plate…
  2. But don’t go hog wild. …But, you just said to eat! I know, but here’s the thing…You still have to be sensible about what, and how much of it, you’re putting in your body. Your doctor will talk to you about a reasonable amount of weight gain, and trying to stay close to that limit will help you continue to feel great through your pregnancy. Gaining too much weight can cause a number of issues that range from mild discomfort to dangerous for you and baby.
  3. Take that vitamin without feeling queasy. Prenatal vitamins are a must, but sometimes they can be a little hard to swallow (literally… have you seen those horse pills?!). Taking them on an empty stomach is a sure way to make you feel a little barfy, and I found that if I took mine mid-meal I could avoid that. Even if you can just eat a couple of crackers before and after taking your vitamin, it will help***.
  4. Combat that morning sickness with food! Try this tried-and-true from a friend of mine: Before going to bed, put an (unopened) bottle of water and a granola bar on your night stand. Before you even get out of bed in the morning, eat the granola bar and wash it down with some of the water. My friend did this every morning and swore it kept her morning sickness at bay. Keep snacks in your purse, and if you get that hungry/sickie feeling during the day you can get a little something in your stomach to settle it.
  5. Cherry Coke to the rescue? Ok, I know I just said to avoid sugary stuff but… This is a trick a nurse told me about. Whenever they have someone that’s got some pretty nasty nausea, they have the patient sip Cherry Coke. Something about the cherry syrup seems to calm the stomach. I’m not saying you should be chugging it by the gallon, but if a snack isn’t helping to calm the beast you might give it a shot.
  6. Breathe deep to avoid barfing. There are a lot of natural ways to calm the morning sickness monster, and a friend of mine sword by this one: Take a long, even, slow breath in through the nose. Release it slowly through pursed lips. Continue until you feel better. Sure, you might look silly stopping a conversation to do this, but I think you’d be more embarrassed if you barfed on your boss’s shoes!
  7. Exercise You don’t have to be as hardcore as the CrossFit mom, but a little physical activity every day will go a long way toward keeping you feeling great. Talk to your doctor first, but consider water aerobics. The water in the pool will support your belly, and your back might get a little relief!
  8. Don’t read all of those pregnancy books A friend of mine let me borrow a couple of hers when I first found out I was pregnant, and I think I got to chapter two before I had to put it down. It was terrifying! It was like going to a family reunion and listening to all of your female relatives drone on and on about their horror stories. Look, it may not be a bad idea to have one around for reference, but don’t sit down and read it cover to cover. You’ll only stress yourself out with all of the what-ifs you’re reading about.
  9. Find a doctor you trust I adored my OBGYN so much that now I actually look forward to my yearly poke-n-prods. She and I developed a wonderful relationship, and I trusted her completely. She was able to quiet my fears and I always felt like she was really listening to me. If you have a doctor you don’t feel comfortable with, go somewhere else. The rapport between you and your doc can set the tone for your entire pregnancy, and it’s a stressful enough time as it is. Do you really need to add not liking your doctor?

So there you have it, my favorite tips for a happy, healthy pregnancy. Do you have any tips to share? How did you fight the morning sickness monster?

** I may have been on The Doctors, but i am not one. Please get your doctor’s ok before doing anything!

** Please be cautious when taking any type of pill when you’re pregnant. There are some potential dangers out there that could put your baby at risk. Zofran, for example, is an anti-nausea medication that has been reported to cause birth defects. Please consult your doctor and do your research first!
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