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Heart Health During Pregnancy

pregnant woman with heart

Nutrition During Pregnancy
Every pregnancy is different, and as a mom-to-be, you need your own, doctor-recommended diet to ensure you and your baby get all the nutrients you need. But refocusing on diet and exercise helps you maintain your weight, limit the effects of postpartum, and keep your baby growing strong.

This February, Cherokee Women’s Health celebrates American Heart Health Month. After all, moms-to-be aren’t just keeping one heart healthy. From the first time you hear your baby’s heartbeat, your own is racing with anticipation, joy, and more than a few nerves. Keep your heart strong during pregnancy by taking care of your body and your health.

Eat high fiber grains and nuts

  • Get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids from olive oil and pregnancy-safe fish like salmon
  • Avoid salt, which can increase blood pressure
  • Do several low-to-moderate intensity workouts each week, unless your doctor recommends rest
  • Avoid eating or drinking caffeine, which can cause irregular heartbeats

Avoid Consuming Caffeine

Caffeine increases your blood pressure and heart rate — bad news for both your pregnancy and your heart health. Not only can it lead to dehydration, caffeine crosses the placenta to your baby, who can’t yet metabolize it . Most women know to avoid major sources of caffeine like coffee during pregnancy, but you may not realize how many of your favorite craving snacks sneak caffeine into the mix.

Caffeine is found in:

  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Coffee (even decaf!)
  • Chocolate
  • Energy-enhancing foods and drinks (such as energy water or fortified foods)
  • Coffee or chocolate flavored ice cream
  • Some over-the-counter pain relievers like Excedrin

While it’s considered safe to consume small amounts of caffeine during pregnancy, it’s easy to lose track. Talk to your doctor about how much caffeine is safe for you and your baby during your pregnancy.

Heart Disease and Pregnancy

If you’ve ever been diagnosed with heart disease, high blood pressure, or have had cardiac symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or palpitations, alert both your cardiologist and your OB/GYN. List all medications you’re taking, and make sure none of them will have adverse side effects on your baby’s development.

For more information on health during pregnancy, contact Cherokee Women’s Health.