Healthy habits during Pregnancy

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Apple with a "tic"

Diet .The control of weight is fundamental in pregnancy since an excessive increase in can make delivery difficult because it involves a higher risk of disease, such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, and post-delivery recovery is usually more difficult.

A balanced and varied diet must contain:

  • Proteins. Necessary for the development of the foetus and the placenta. These are present in meat, fish, eggs, and, to a lesser extent, in pulses.
  • Carbohydrates. These provide energy. They are in potatoes, pulses, rice, pasta, and bread.
  • Vitamins. Very abundant in fruit and vegetables. Folic acid is especially important, which is present in green leaved vegetables, pulses, in asparagus, and in liver.
  • Minerals. They help the body function correctly, for example, calcium and phosphorous, present in daily products, salmon, sardines, soy, sesame, almonds, cabbage, etc.

Each meal should consist of a small amount of each food group. In general, the recommended foods are: cereals, milk and dairy products, vegetables (especially boiled), rice, potatoes, natural fruits, meat and fish in the griddle pan, eggs, and pulses.

Undesirable foods are those that provided few benefits to the body, but a lot of calories, for example, fizzy (carbonated) drinks, excessive fat such as in mayonnaise or butter, cakes, stimulants, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, cola drinks, sweets and toffees.

Alcohol is completely ill-advised during pregnancy as it passes through the placental barrier and, thus, arrives in the baby

As the pregnancy advances, it is better to eat a smaller amount at each meal, but more often. To obtain more information on diet and pregnancy: or

Brushing teeth after eating

Oral hygiene. Caries are common during pregnancy, as well as gum infections (gingivitis), periodontal disease (chronic infection of the gums and other tissues that support the teeth), which may appear or get worse if you have had it before. The gums are sensitive, swollen, red, bleed easily on brushing, and you may have persistent bad breath. It has been shown that periodontitis, especially associated with tobacco and alcohol, increases the risk of prematurity.

Woman swimming

Exercise. Physical activity during pregnancy is essential and very beneficial, since it helps to avoid becoming overweight, to be better prepared for the time of delivery, and helps in the subsequent recovery. Walks of at least half an hour daily are advisable. It is recommended not to wear very high heels. Excessive rest is harmful, if there is no medical indication in this context.

Physical activity like walking, pedalling and swimming improve and boost the circulation. Furthermore, it decreases heart rate at rest and reduces blood pressure, making the heart work more efficiently. It also helps to prevent the accumulation of body fat.

During pregnancy, it is advised not to take part in competitive or violent sports, or that require more effort or fatigue that is common in the pregnant woman.

Symbol of man and woman

Sexual relations. These are only not recommended in special circumstances such a, for example, risk of miscarriage, amniotic sac rupture, vaginal losses of blood, or threat of premature birth. The contraindication of sexual relations is not only to the penetration, since an orgasm produces uterine contractions that may be harmful in the previously mentioned cases.

Cigarette crossed out on a "no smoking" poster

Toxic habits. Tobacco, alcohol and any other type of drug are harmful during pregnancy, since they can lead to changes in the foetus.


Vaccines during pregnancy .Special attention must be paid to some vaccines during the gestational period.

  • Influenza (flu). The flu vaccine only if the pregnancy develops during winter.
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine (DTP). It is a vaccine that prevents whooping cough. This disease is more serious in infants less than one year-old, especially in those less than two months and, from that age it is included in the healthy child vaccination calendar.
  • Tetanus. The tetanus vaccine, in the event of not wanting the previous vaccine, it is included in the DTP.

Substantiated information by:

Anna Sandra Hernández Aguado
Isabel Benito Díaz
Maria Àngels Martínez Verdú

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


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