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12 nutrition and fitness tips to help you sail through pregnancy

October 22nd 2014 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru

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Follow in the steps of Kate Middleton and Blake Lively and look happy and healthy when you're pregnant. We asked the experts for their advice when it comes to food and fitness when you have a bump

When it comes to exercise and what to eat when you’re pregnant, it can be pretty overwhelming scouring through the almost limitless number of resources out there to decipher what you can and can’t do.

We therefore asked three of Get The Gloss’s panel of experts for their advice when it comes to fitness, nutrition and wellness to help clear the confusion and ensure you feel and look great from the inside out from your first to last trimester. Always make sure to consult your doctor first though before embarking on any new fitness regime or diet plan so that you stay safe and healthy from start to finish. And finally, congratulations! We’re sure you’ll do great.

1. Squat

“Women who do squats may have an easier time during labour due to the similarities in movement between squatting and giving birth,” says James Duigan, founder of Bodyism and author of the Clean and Lean Pregnancy Guide, £12.99.

2. Keep well hydrated

"Dehydration is a common contributor to morning sickness as well as constipation. Increase your water intake to around 2 litres of filtered water a day (8 glasses). If morning sickness makes you want to steer away from cold drinks, drink warm water with fresh lemon or fresh mint,” says Henrietta Norton, nutritional therapist and founder of food-state brand Wild Nutrition.

3. Keep things in perspective

"Women have babies all over the world all the time and the vast majority of these pregnancies and babies are happy and healthy. Tests are reassuring but too much intervention can create another kind of stress. One of the biggest problems I see is obsession and too much information. SO keep it simple and don't overburden yourself with too much knowledge,” says fertility and pregnancy expert Emma Cannon, author of You and Your Bump, £5.99.

4. Go for a walk everyday – if you feel up to it

"This is a great way to keep fit and boost your energy levels. Plus, the gravity will help your baby get into the right position for labour,” says James.

5. Embrace protein and fats

"Protein and healthy fats from grass fed meat, coconut oil, organic eggs, dairy or wild-caught fish are an excellent source of key pregnancy nutrients such as vitamins D, E and K. Oily fish, nuts and seeds are also a rich source of the fatty acids DHA and EPA, critical for healthy brain and nervous system development of your baby in the first and third trimester,” says Henrietta.

6. Ginger aid

“For morning sickness try ginger – have a cup of ginger tea or use it ground in your food,” says James.

7. Be prepared

"Keep healthy snacks on you at all times,” recommends Henrietta. “In the early weeks this is an excellent way of supporting energy and minimising morning sickness. Excellent snacks include brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, organic apricots or home-made poached salmon or mackerel pate. This will reduce that urge to grab something less healthy if you have an energy dip. If you are caught out once in a while try not to feel guilty, we can only do our best."

8. Don't compare and despair

"Don't compare yourself to other people, some women sale through pregnancy without so much as a swollen ankle, while others spend the first 3 months feeling dreadful,” says Emma. “It's a shame not to enjoy your pregnancy and if you have health niggles, see an acupuncturist (having told your midwife) or another complimentary health practitioner who can help you feel better and put the spring back in your step.”

9. Mother nature

Eat as nature intended - this is the most efficient way of ensuring a wide range of antioxidants and minimising processed foods and sugars,” recommends Henrietta. “Bulk-cooking soups or using a slow cooker is a great way to plan ahead and avoid the hell of cooking after a long day at work.”

10. Mother knows best

"Be your own guru: in other words learn to develop your own intuition and the mother-gugu that is inside each and every one of us that knows deep down what is right for us and our baby," says Emma. "If you truly do not trust your intuition or need advice, then seek it from experts and a trusted friend. Try not to ask too many people - you will only get a lot of conflicting advice."

11. Freeze your fruit

"Wash and cover bite-sized pieces of fruit such as grapes, blueberries, halved strawberries or pineapple chunks – and place in the freezer. When you next feel like something sweet or fancy an ice-cream or lolly, try some frozen fruit instead to satisfy your sweet craving,” recommends James.

12. Nourish your gut

"It's the powerhouse of health for you and your baby," says Henrietta. "Approximately 70% of your immune system is located in the gut and it's where nutrient absorption and production happens. Take a good quality probiotic, especially in the last trimester in preparation for birth. Evidence shows that good bacteria acquired by the baby during birth reduces the risk of atopic diseases such as asthma or eczema in childhood."

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