In the time it takes you to read this paragraph, another woman in the U.S. will give birth. That’s one child born every eight seconds, or over 4 million births in the U.S. each year. Now that you’re on your way to becoming one of those 4 million women, suddenly you have a gazillion questions about every pregnancy pang, craving and inexplicable sob session (who knew a dog food commercial could be so moving?).
During the 40-week journey of pregnancy, it may seem like this small creature forming in your uterus is pulling every switch imaginable to mess with your mind and body. From astonishingly sore breasts to a nonexistent sex drive to all-hours-of-the-night “morning” sickness, pregnancy can take its toll on even the healthiest, most fit woman. Sure, some of these changes are out of your control, but there are things you can do to make those 9 months more than just bearable. With some simple changes to your diet, exercise routine and stress-coping strategies, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the symptoms and will progress happily through your pregnancy. Not only will the extra effort go a long way toward a healthier pregnancy, when you’re in better physical shape, you’ll have more stamina during labor and delivery.