15 Essential Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

For every expecting mother, a healthy pregnancy is an ideal outcome, so many women are understanding not only what a healthy pregnancy looks like, but also some of the best tips to ensure the best possible health outcome for both the mother and the child.

What is a Healthy Pregnancy?

A healthy pregnancy is typically defined by a few basic components, such as a pregnancy lasting to full term, a birth weight of more than 5.5 pounds, and no birth defects of any kind. This is an ideal pregnancy, where both the mother and child come out as healthy as possible.

Having a healthy pregnancy is always the goal, but it isn’t always possible. The importance of the first trimester cannot be overstated, since this is when much of the crucial early development occurs, and any interruptions or trauma during this period of development can have long-lasting impacts. In order to give yourself the best chance at a healthy pregnancy and a healthy, happy baby, you should know what to recognize or aim for during your own pregnancy term. [1]

A pregnant woman sitting in a white room with a bowl of salad in her hands, looking into the camera and smiling

A healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables is very important for a healthy pregnancy. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Healthy Pregnancy Symptoms

During pregnancy, there are both good and bad symptoms, including physical changes in your body, nausea, cramping, bleeding, and vaginal discharge, among others.

Physical Changes: Your body will change in various ways, including swelling of the ankles, widening of the hips, back pain, pelvic discomfort, and other signs that your body is adjusting quickly to accommodate the growing fetus.

Nausea: Nausea is normal and is often experienced in the first trimester. Some women experience nausea throughout their pregnancy but excessive nausea can lead to dehydration and should be prevented. Always rehydrate with fluids after a bad bout of morning sickness. [2]

Bleeding: There may be a small amount of bleeding early in the pregnancy during implantation of the egg. However, bleeding later in the pregnancy is not as common, and may indicate a problem. Any bleeding should be discussed with your doctor, although a small amount of spotting is nothing to be overly concerned with. [3]

Cramping: As your body changes shape and your muscles grow quickly, there will be some cramping in your pelvis. This may be similar to the cramping you would normally experience during menstruation, and perhaps slightly stronger. Constant cramping or debilitating symptoms should be discussed with your doctor.

Vaginal Discharge: Some vaginal discharge is normal during pregnancy, particularly milky white in consistency. This can actually protect you against infection, but if the discharge is clear, yellow or green, or has a foul odor, it may be a yeast infection or some other condition and should be treated as soon as possible.

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

The best tips to ensure a healthy pregnancy include educating yourself, staying hydrated, eating right, and exercising, among many others. [4]

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is a very important part of any healthy pregnancy. With all the extra exertion, hot flashes, and extra nutrients being used by your body, replenishing your water supply is more important than ever if you want a healthy pregnancy.

Educate Yourself

Reading the baby books will likely provide you with a lot of information you’ll never need, but being in the mindset for childcare and wellness will make you better at staying healthy during your pregnancy. It will affect how you think, what you eat, and what lifestyle you choose to lead.

Exercise Regularly

Staying in shape while pregnant is important, as it will keep your muscles strong and prevent conditions like gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. Adjust to where you are comfortable and don’t strain. Be sure to stay active! [5]

Take Up Yoga

Yoga is a low-impact way to exercise, particularly later in your pregnancy. It can also help to reduce stress and improve flexibility. [6]

Watch Your Weight

Weight gain during pregnancy is normal, but be sure that you are staying within the normal boundaries, if possible, to ensure a healthy and normal delivery, as well as an easier recovery period. [7]

Increase Folate

This B vitamin is critical in preventing neural tube defects, so eating foods like lentils, leafy greens, avocados, and beans is important during pregnancy. [8]

Stop Drinking

You should eliminate alcohol from your diet to prevent birth defects and other complications. While some people argue for the safety of wine in very limited amounts, there is still some contention on this issue. [9]


Take a multivitamin every day to keep your nutrient levels in line.

Stop Smoking

Smoking is known to be a reason for about half of the deaths caused by cancer. So be sure to avoid cigarettes to improve your baby’s health – and your own! [10]

Don’t Work Too Hard

You need to relax and cut back on work to a certain degree, as your body will need more time for rest and recovery. [11]

Soothe Your Stress

Try to eliminate major stressors from your life, as stress hormones are powerful and can impact the health of your pregnancy. [12]


Wearing sunscreen will limit your exposure to UV rays, particularly because pregnant women are much more susceptible to sunburns. [13]


Boost your protein intake with foods like beans, salmon, eggs, sweet potatoes, and dairy products.


Doing Kegel exercises will help you have a more successful delivery and will speed the physical recovery of muscles in your most sensitive areas. [14]

Ask For Help

Being pregnant can be difficult and exhausting, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. You don’t have to do it all alone!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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