Tag Archives: folic acid

Pregnancy Diet and Exercise

Pregnancy Diet and Exercise

Taking care of yourself with a healthy pregnancy diet and exercise routine is an important part of a healthy pregnancy overall. These tips can help you plan a balanced diet, exercise routine, and more.

Eat a Balanced Diet

While it’s normal to have crazy cravings while you’re pregnant, it’s also important to get plenty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Together, you and your baby have different nutritional needs than you do separately.

It’s less like eating for 2, and more like eating for yourself and 1/8. You’ll need to get around an extra 300 calories a day. For example, if you’d normally drink a 10-oz. glass of juice, now you should drink an 11- or 12-oz. glass.

Most pregnant women need about:

  • 1,800 calories per day during the first trimester
  • 2,200 calories per day during the second trimester
  • 2,400 calories per day during the third trimester

ChooseMyPlate.gov can help you make the right food choices, and you can enter in your info to create customized daily food recommendations in a helpful checklist for each stage of your pregnancy.

You should also be careful when eating out because you’ll be more susceptible to foodborne illness while you’re pregnant.

Take a Prenatal Vitamin

Pregnant women need more folic acid, iron, and calcium. Folic acid, a B vitamin, can help prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord when taken early in your pregnancy.

Take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day during early pregnancy as part of a healthy diet. Avoid any supplements that give you more than 100% of the daily value for any vitamin or mineral.

Keep Moving

While you may not always feel like it, moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day during pregnancy can benefit both you and your baby. It helps you prepare your body for labor, and it will help you feel better before and after birth.

Safe Exercises to Try

  • Walking
  • Riding a stationary bike
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics

Activities to Avoid

  • Bouncing
  • Leaping
  • Too much up and down movement
  • Exercise that could make you lose your balance
  • Laying flat on your back after the first trimester
  • Anything where you could get hit in the stomach
  • Sitting in saunas, hot tubs, or steam rooms

Always talk to your doctor before starting an exercise routine, drink plenty of water, don’t get overheated, and be sure to listen to your body.

Handy Apps

Recipes High in Folic Acid

Recipes High in Folic Acid

We’re helping you eat a diet high in folate for National Folic Acid Awareness Week. These recipes high in folic acid are the perfect way to get more in your life.

First up is a Creamy Farro with Pesto, Asparagus, and Peas that can satisfy your pasta craving.

Creamy Farro with Pesto, Asparagus, and Peas

 

This warm and delicious Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup is the perfect winter meal.

Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup (Instant-Pot + Slow Cooker)

 

This light and tasty Green Salad with Oranges, Beets, and Avocado is packed with folate-rich foods.

Green Salad with Oranges, Beets & Avocado

 

Skip the takeout and make Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry for a healthy night in.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry
Image and Recipe via Dinner at the Zoo

 

Make easy Thai Style Papaya Salad Rolls for a light snack or appetizer.

Thai Style Papaya Salad Rolls
Image and Recipe via The Wanderlust Kitchen

 

This Spicy Black Bean Soup will hit spicy pregnancy cravings and help you get your folic acid.

Spicy Black Bean Soup
Image and Recipe via Little Spice Jar

 

Get out your grill pan to whip up this delicious Grilled Eggplant and Spinach Salad.

Grilled Eggplant and Spinach Salad
Image and Recipe via Potluck at Oh My Veggies

Folic Acid Awareness

National Folic Acid Awareness Week

It’s National Folic Acid Awareness Week, and folic acid is a B vitamin that helps cells grow. Getting enough of it can help prevent birth defects.

Protecting Your Baby with Folic Acid

 

Getting 400 mcg of folic acid a day can help prevent up to 70% of serious birth defects of the brain and spine, like anencephaly and spina bifida.

Preventing Birth Defects

 

Even if you’re not planning on getting pregnant, women should be getting enough folic acid. It helps your body make new, healthy cells every day, like for your hair, skin, and nails.

Healthy Cell Growth from Folic Acid

 

Birth defects of the brain and spine happen in the first few weeks of pregnancy, and half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. Getting enough folic acid can help protect your baby even before you know you’re pregnant.

One of the easiest ways to get enough folic acid is to take a daily multivitamin with folic acid. You can also eat foods like enriched breads, pastas, and cereals that have added folic acid.

Folic Acid in Your Vitamins

 

Once you know you’re pregnant, pay careful attention to if you’re getting enough folic acid in your diet. Knowing how to read food labels can help you check for folic acid.

Breaking Down Food Labels

 

You can also eat a diet rich in folate to help get enough folic acid. Foods like beans, lentils, citrus, and dark leafy greens have high amounts of it.

Check out the recipes high in folic acid we also shared this week!

Eating Your Folic Acid

Covered Pregnancy Preventive Care

Your Pregnancy Preventive Care

If you’re pregnant or may become pregnant, you also have access to specific pregnancy preventive care as part of your health insurance.

If you’re not pregnant, you can talk to your doctor about this care at your yearly well-woman visit.

If you think you’re pregnant or have a positive home pregnancy test, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to confirm your pregnancy and get started with prenatal care. Your OB-GYN, who will be your primary doctor for your pregnancy, will help you with pregnancy-specific preventive care.

Preventive Care If You May Become Pregnant

  • Anemia screening – On a routine basis
  • Syphilis screening
  • Gonorrhea screening – For all women at higher risk
  • Urinary tract or other infection screening
  • Contraception – FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling as prescribed by a healthcare provider for women who could get pregnant

Pregnancy Preventive Care

  • Child birth
  • Breastfeeding comprehensive support and counseling from trained providers and access to breastfeeding supplies – For pregnant and nursing women
  • Folic acid supplements – For women who may become pregnant
  • Expanded tobacco intervention and counseling – For pregnant tobacco users
  • Gestational diabetes screening – For women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes
  • Hepatitis B screening – For pregnant women at their first prenatal visit
  • Rh Incompatibility screening and follow-up testing for those at higher risk – For all pregnant women

Know What’s Covered

Log in to Your Health Alliance or search by your member number to see what preventive care your plan covers.

Or use our general preventive care guidelines and prescription drugs to get an idea of what our plans cover.

If you’re not sure what’s covered and what you’ll need a preauthorization for, you can also check your coverage and preauthorization lists at Your Health Alliance.

Log in to Your Health Alliance to find a covered doctor, or start searching for doctors in our network.

Birth Defects Prevention for Healthy Babies

Birth Defects Prevention Month

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month, and we gave you info and resources each day this week to protect your baby and help the cause.

Every 4 1/2 Minutes

 

What do you actually know about birth defects? This brochure can help.

If you’re pregnant or thinking about pregnancy, March of Dimes can help you protect your baby at each step.

Pregnancy and Preventing Defects

 

Making these healthy choices while pregnant can help prevent birth defects.

Making Healthy Choices to Prevent Defects

 

Birth defects aren’t a rare occurrence. Take steps to protect your family.

1 in Every 33

 

Folic acid has been shown to protect your baby. Learn more about getting enough.

Folic Acid and Birth Defects

 

The cost and toll of birth defects on parents and kids affect us all.

Birth Defects Affect Us All

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