Whether you have a baby on the way or are hoping to become pregnant soon, it is important to ensure that you and your baby get all the nutrients you both need every day. Healthy eating strategies include following the guidelines established in the USDA Food Guide Pyramid -- which targets plenty of whole grains, breads, pasta and rice; lots of fruit and vegetables; dairy products; and protein. Occasionally indulging in healthy snacks is permissible, too, as long as you're eating moderately and drinking plenty of water. This is also a good time to cut back on caffeine, so keep an eye on your consumption of chocolate, coffee, tea, and colas.
Your doctor may also recommend natural food sources that contain folic acid. Prepare meals that include walnuts, avocados, sprouts, spinach, fortified breads and cereals, and wheat germ. And be certain to check with your doctor before taking natural supplements or vitamins.
Fitness programs are also important for moms-to-be. Studies indicate that reasonably performed exercise doesn't appear to cause harm, and may, in fact, have benefits -- the key is finding the level that's right for you. Your doctor may recommend a walking program or other fitness activity that fits in with your schedule and acts as a good stress reducer.
Organization is another stress reliever: If your baby's room is in order before the big day (the chest of drawers is stocked with diapers and the crib is set up and ready to go), you'll rest easier when you return home. Once the baby's room is fully equipped with all the essentials, spend an hour or two thumbing through a book of names to select something that is just right for your new bundle.