A step-by-step guide to setting up your healthy pregnancy routine

Healthy pregnancy routine
Tips on HOW to have a healthy pregnancy! Start a daily routine with healthy habits that support you and baby. Prepare your mind, body, and spirit for labor and childbirth. 

Do you remember the moment you first learned you were pregnant? After the shock and awe period passes, pregnancy is the perfect time to start making your daily routines as healthy as possible as this will make you feel better and will go a long way toward protecting your unborn child.

Developing a healthy pregnancy routine is essential to having a joyful pregnancy experience and ultimately a positive birth experience. A healthy pregnancy routine includes more than just exercise! It is a series of healthy habits that help the mother embrace pregnancy, nourish her baby and prepare her mind, body and spirit for labor and childbirth.

In this post, I am going to break down how to start a healthy pregnancy routine. To make it simple, I have broken it into 3 steps for you. The first step is to decide what habits, or practices, to include in your routine. Next, you decide when and how to incorporate the habits into your day. And last is to commit to the routine and take action.

Step 1: Pick your Healthy Pregnancy Habits


What are the activities that you want to include in your day?

What activities are essential for your health? For baby’s health?

These are the habits that I personally found beneficial to focus on when starting a healthy pregnancy routine:

Eating Healthy During Pregnancy
Eating Healthy During Pregnancy
It’s important to make sure you are eating enough of the right foods when you are growing a baby. This is for baby, but also for you! Three meals a day + 2-3 snacks.

SEE The importance of a good diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Drinking water – Include drinking 100oz of water per day in your healthy pregnancy routine.
Pregnant woman drinking water
This seems so simple, but it’s vital. Dehydration in pregnancy can cause all kinds of problems including headaches, increased swelling, and Braxton hick’s contractions.

Having a plan to drink water is vital. And I mean real pure water, not flavored-bottled or canned fizzy stuff. Though, lemon or fruit infused water is ok.

Ideally, you want to be drinking about 100 ounces of water a day during pregnancy according to Lindsey at Mother Rising Birth. That’s about 3-4 of a gallon.

The way I remember to drink water is that I attach the habit to eating. So before and after I eat, I drink a full glass of water. So that 6 glasses x 12oz = 72 oz. Then, I only need to drink about 2 more glasses somewhere in my day.

Exercises for a fitter pregnancy
Exercise during pregnancy
Staying active during pregnancy can be a challenge, especially if you are lacking energy. The thing to remember is that some movement is better than NO movement.

Plan to walk every day for at least 20 minutes. Stretching is another simple thing you can do every day to prepare for childbirth. Less than 5 minutes a day of stretching can really make the difference in how you feel in the final weeks of your pregnancy and ultimately how easy your birth will be. Yoga and swimming are other good options for low impact exercise.

*Remember to always consult your care provider before starting an exercise routine

Meditation/reflection – Pregnancy mediation can help you connect with the baby in the womb.
Meditation/reflection – Pregnancy mediation can help you connect with the baby in the womb.
During pregnancy, it is essential to spend time nurturing the spirit and reflecting on this great time of change and transition. Through meditation one can learn patience, stress calming and feel more secure. The breathing techniques and mind-calming used in meditation are instrumental during childbirth.

Meditation during pregnancy is a wonderful opportunity to connect with yourself and also with your baby in the womb.

Learning about pregnancy, labor, and childbirth – Incorporate journaling into your routine to document your journey and help you process and reflect upon how far you have come and your vision for the future.
Pregnant woman using a phone
There is so much to learn for a first-time mom about pregnancy, your body, baby care, breastfeeding, and motherhood. And with every subsequent pregnancy, there is more to learn and review. Plan to spend time reading up on pregnancy, labor, and the birth process.

Collect books and websites that you find useful. Make sure to follow and sign up for email updates from your favorites. You will be amazed at the wealth of knowledge shared by the amazing women writing on the topics of pregnancy and motherhood online.

Pinterest is an excellent tool for organizing all of the resources you find. Check out my board on Pregnancy + Childbirth to get started with your research.

Positive reinforcement – Learn about birth and how to prepare mentally, physically and spiritually. If you are planning a natural birth check out these tips. 
Positive reinforcement – Learn about birth and how to prepare mentally, physically and spiritually. If you are planning a natural birth check out these tips.
Believing that you can have a positive childbirth experience is a huge part of the spiritual preparation for birth. For most, overcoming the blocks in your own mind is the biggest obstacle to achieving a natural birth. Start training your mind early on in pregnancy to look for the positive.

SEE How a pregnant woman's emotions impact her baby

Find printable birth affirmations, mantras, and quotes that resonate with you.

Read, listen and watch positive birth stories. Try to avoid saying negative things about yourself, your pregnancy and your approaching labor. Look for the blessings, even when it is hard.

READ A beautiful birthing experience: Midwives managed the whole process so beautifully!

Step 2: Schedule your Healthy Pregnancy Routine


Now let’s think about how to fit pregnancy self-care and childbirth preparation into your day. Think about your day. Where can you add things in? Then create sequences with your practices. This is an easy way to create habits. Here are some examples:

Morning
➤Wake + repeat Affirmation + drink glass of water + 5 mins stretching + breakfast

➤Wake + 5 mins stretching + water + 10 mins journaling + breakfast

➤Wake + drink water + repeat affirmation + breakfast + water + 5 min stretching + 15 min walk

Afternoon
➤Lunch + water + repeat affirmations

➤Water + lunch + water + 20 mins research

➤20 min walk + water + lunch + water

Evening
➤Snack + 30 minutes’ walk + water + dinner + mediation before bed

➤Dinner + water + 1 hour of research + 30 mins yoga + water + snack + cup of pregnancy tea + bed

➤Water + 1 hour prenatal yoga + snack+ water + read birth stories + affirmations + bed

Below is how I picked a practice from each of the different focus areas to create the sequences.

Grouping the practices into sequences helps you get into the flow of a healthy routine. When you are in the flow you tend to feel well, relaxed and confident because you know what is coming next and how it all works together for you achieving the bigger picture.

Step 3: Commit to Your Healthy Pregnancy Routine


You’ve come this far. Now it’s time to commit to your plan. Commit to doing what you can on a daily basis without stress and without guilt. This is not something to make you feel bad because you can’t achieve it.

It’s your plan. Make it what you want. But make it something you will stick to. And feel good about it.

If you can only commit to drinking water and eating 3 meals a day. Then start there. And feel good about it.

Then next week, add in research time. Maybe the next, add in meditation/reflection.

Set reminders on your phone to help remember when to do each activity.

If you have a day when you don’t do everything you wanted, it’s ok! The important thing is to try your best and to do what feels right for you and baby.

Give yourself grace when you fall short of your ideal, rather than feeling guilty or stressed. Your pregnancy should be a joyful experience. It’s up to you to make that way.

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