How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy for a Healthy, Happy Baby

Angela Jenkins

| 5 min read

A Healthy Pregnancy
There are many lifestyle habits to consider for better health once you become pregnant. A woman taking care of herself during these nine months is crucial to having a healthy bundle of joy.
Now in the early stages of my second trimester with my second child, I made some healthy changes with my first pregnancy as well as with this one:

Caffeine Consumption

It is recommended that you drink no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day (about two cups of coffee). Studies show that drinking high amounts of caffeine during pregnancy leads to a higher miscarriage rate. I gave up caffeine altogether for both pregnancies. I love my Diet Mt. Dew and an occasional cappuccino, but the risk wasn’t worth it to me.

Artificial Sweeteners

Although the Food and Drug Administration deems most artificial sweeteners safe if consumed in moderation during pregnancy, I gave them up altogether. For me, it seems there are questions that rise periodically about the safety of these substances and again, I am playing it safe with one less thing to worry about.

Processed Meats

I love a great deli sandwich on occasion but have chosen not to eat processed meats during my pregnancies as well. Deli meats and hot dogs can become infected with Listeria after they are cooked and before they are packaged to sell in stores. Listeria is very harmful to the mother and especially to the unborn baby.
Hot dogs or turkey dogs are a little safer if you are eating them at home and know for a fact that they are reheated or cooked prior to consumption. Deli meats are more dangerous because they are hardly ever cooked prior to serving. Subway recommends that pregnant woman eat like their meatball, steak and cheese, roasted chicken and tuna (two times a week at most) sandwiches.
Once my baby is born, I will more than likely drink some caffeine and eat foods with artificial sweeteners and processed meats. If consumed in moderation, these items tend not to affect your health. There are many healthier and low-fat or low-calorie deli meats that are a good and quick option for lunch.
Here are some other health habits to consider:

Tobacco Use

If you’re trying to conceive, you should quit using tobacco products. If you haven’t stopped prior to getting pregnancy, it is important to stop once you know that you’re expecting. Tobacco use has many harmful effects on the unborn baby because the nicotine and carbon monoxide cross the placenta to the baby. Stillbirth, prematurity, low birth weight, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), asthma and other respiratory problems can occur.

Alcohol Use

Again, if you’re trying to become pregnant, both the mother and father should quit drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol while trying to conceive may cause fertility problems.
On the other hand, having an occasional drink or two (literally and not going overboard) has been known to relax the mother and help with the fertilization and implantation process. And if you have an alcoholic beverage prior to finding out you were pregnant (within the first month), doctors and studies say your baby will be just fine. However, it is imperative to stop consuming any alcohol once you know you’re pregnant throughout gestation.


If you are a mom already, you know how important sleep is before the baby comes. If you have a little one at home already, make sure you prioritize sleep and ask your husband or partner to help out. If you are a fist-time mom, really take advantage of this time before the baby comes. It is such an exciting time and getting your body ready physically — and yes sleep helps immensely — will only help in the long run. I hate to break it to you if you haven’t heard already, but once the baby comes, they are pretty much in charge of your sleep routine and how much you get.


Getting some exercise throughout the week is a great service you can do for not only you to prepare for labor and delivery but for your baby as well. There are many benefits of exercising during pregnancy for both the mother and baby. Even if you don’t do much exercise now, it isn’t too late to start. Check with your doctor prior to starting any kind of exercise routine.

Fruits and Veggies

We hear it all the time: eat right by eating fruits and veggies. Eating healthy is not only a great choice you can make for yourself personally, but such a necessity if you are pregnant. Everything an expectant mother puts into her body, the baby gets as well. So why not give the baby a great start with all of the vitamins and minerals provided from these delicious foods. If you need help or ideas on how to increase your fruit and veggie consumption, here are 30 ways to sneak in fruits and vegetables.
I only mentioned some of the bigger health habits to adopt. Here are 50 tips for a healthy pregnancy.
Making changes for the better may not always be easy to do. Keep in mind the life you are literally growing inside you and make that your motivation to make some if not all of these changes. You can do it!
Let me know what healthy changes you made while you were pregnant, I would love to hear what a rock star you are!
Photo credit: Julija Felajn

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.