Are you wondering how to have a healthy pregnancy? Learn what you need to do to start a routine that prepares your mind, body and soul for pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood.

How to Start a Healthy Pregnancy Routine

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 practices that helps 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 elements, or practices, to include in the your routine. Next, you decide when and how to incorporate the practices into your day. And last is to commit to the routine and take action.

Developing a healthy routine is key to preparing the mind, body and spirit for a joyful pregnancy and positive birth experience.

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Step 1 – Pick your Practices

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

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

We are going to start general and then get more specific. These are the areas that I personally found beneficial to focus on when starting a healthy pregnancy routine:

  1. Eating Healthy
  2. Drinking Water
  3. Exercise
  4. Meditation/reflection
  5. Learning
  6. Positive reinforcement/mind training

So now lets get more specific and break each area of focus down into actionable practices that you can do everyday.

  • Eating Healthy – 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. For more on healthy eating check out my post Ultimate List of Food for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Related Content: Read the 4 Part Nourishing Your Pregnant Body Series Here 

 

  • Drinking water – This seems so simple, but its really important. DInclude drinking 100oz of water per day in your healthy pregnancy routine.ehydration
    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 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.

 


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

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

  • Mediation/reflection – During pregnancy it is important to spend time nurturing the spirit and reflecting on this great time of change and transition. Through mediation one can learn patience, stress calming and feel more secure. The breathing techniques, and mind calming used in mediation are very useful tools during childbirth. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with yourself and also with baby in the womb.
    • 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.
    • Pregnancy mediation can help you connect with baby in the womb.

 

  • ina may gaskin quoteLearning – 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.
    • 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 a great tool for organizing all of the resources you find. Check out my board  {Natural Pregnancy + Childbirth} for a good place to get started with your research.

 

  • Positive reinforcement – Believing that you can have a positive childbirth experience is a huge part of 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.

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:

      1. 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
      2. Afternoon –
        • Lunch + water + repeat affirmations
        • Water + lunch + water + 20 mins research
        • 20 min walk + water + lunch + water
      3. Evening –
        • Snack + 30 minute 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

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

Grouping the practices into sequences helps you can 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.

I created a FREE 11-page Healthy Pregnancy Planning Toolkit for you to help plan your a routine that supports your pregnancy and prepares you mentally, physically and spiritually for childbirth. Make sure to download it to help you get started.

The Healthy Pregnancy Planning Toolkit includes:

  • A Food Tracker – track what you are currently eating to evaluate what changes to make in order to optimize your diet.
  • Pregnancy Superfood Cheat Sheet – a collection of all the pregnancy superfoods complied from lists on Google and Pinterest.
  • Daily and Weekly Meal Plan – blank worksheets for you to fill in because when you plan to eat you eat better.
  • Routine Planning Worksheets – lists of healthy practices to include in your day, plus a sample routine and a blank sheet to fill in your own.
  • Journal Prompts – questions to journal on to aid in preparing spiritually for childbirth.
  • 4 Birth Affirmation cards – print and cut out to help stay positive during pregnancy and prepare your mind for labor.

Step 3 – Commit to Your Healthy Pregnancy Routine

You’ve come this far. Now its 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 mediation/reflection.

Download and use your Healthy Pregnancy Planning Toolkit to list out the practices you want to include and create sequences. Follow the step-by-step guide to setting up your routine. Then, 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.

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 practices that helps the mother embrace pregnancy, nourish her baby and prepare her mind, body and spirit for labor and childbirth.

Disclaimer: All opinions are those of the author based on personal research and first hand experience. Please do your own research and consult your care provider when making decisions regarding your pregnancy. 


So what’s in your healthy pregnancy routine? What’s your biggest struggle in starting a healthy pregnancy routine? Tell us in the comments below!

Get Your Healthy Pregnancy Planning Toolkit

This 11-Page Toolkit walks you step-by-step through the process of establishing a routine that supports your pregnancy and prepares you for childbirth.

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3 thoughts on “How to Start a Healthy Pregnancy Routine

  1. Hi Lisa,
    Great post! As a RN and mother of three I very much agree with the elements that you have presented here. One thing I would also remind readers is that if they have not had any type of regular exercise routine, they should work with their healthcare practitioner to develop an exercise plan during pregnancy. I will sadly admit that with my last baby, I was way out of shape and decided to start low impact exercise when I found out I was pregnant. It turns out I had a low lying placenta and had some early complications that prevented me from some of the exercises I was attempting (walking and different stretches). Fortunately, it all worked out well and I gave birth to a bouncing 10lb baby boy! Needless to say, I am now hauling my butt to the gym twice a week and walking the neighborhood on the other 5 days! Thanks for your post.

    • Great advice Christine! Wow, 10 lbs that is impressive. High five Mama! Thank you so much for sharing and stopping by!

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