Many expecting moms are concerned about gaining too much weight and getting out of shape during their pregnancy. Of course, a certain amount of weight gain is necessary for a healthy mom and baby. However, gaining an excessive amount of weight makes it much more difficult to get back into shape after your baby arrives. Just like any other stage in life, staying in shape during pregnancy starts with eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, reducing your stress level, and getting plenty of rest. Here are ten steps you can take to help you stay healthy and fit during your pregnancy.

Don’t Try to Do Too Much

Get into the habit of listening to your body.Every woman is affected by pregnancy differently, but if you pay attention to how you feel, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what your body needs. If you have tons of energy one day, take advantage of it. If you’re feeling tired or run down the next day, listen to your body and take it easy. Never push yourself when you’re exercising during pregnancy. If there’s any pain or discomfort, stop what you’re doing and reassess. You might need to lower the intensity (and length) of your workouts until after the baby is born.

Don’t Obsess Over Your Weight

Clearly, you are going to gain some weight during your pregnancy. The key is to accept it and not obsess about it. As long as you’re eating right and staying active, you’ll gain the weight you need at a healthy pace. Your doctor will keep tabs on your weight gain and let you know if there’s a reason for concern.

Pay Attention to Your Posture

Learning to use good posture while you’re pregnant can be very beneficial. Standing with your shoulders rolled forward and your back hunched is only going to make potential knee, back, and hip pain worse. Not only that, standing (or sitting) up nice and straight can help get your baby into the proper position for birth and even strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor.

Invest in Some Comfy Exercise Clothes

As your pregnancy progresses, your going to outgrow your regular work out gear. Consider investing in some cute and comfy exercise outfits that feel good and look good when you put them on. It will help you stay motivated to get those workouts in.

Prevent Loss of Muscle Tone

Keeping your muscles toned during your pregnancy will help you get back in shape more quickly after your baby is born, and it might even make delivery easier. Talk to your doctor about doing some strength training with light weights to help prevent the loss of muscle tone.

Don’t Let Pregnancy Stop You From Being Active

Try to find some type of exercise that you truly enjoy doing so that you will stay motivated to do it right up until your child is born. Although you’ll need to dial down the length and intensity of your workouts as you get closer to birth, staying active offers several benefits during pregnancy. Not only will it help to keep your weight gain at a healthy level, but it will also increase the flow of oxygen and blood to your unborn baby. Walking, yoga, and swimming are all good exercise options for expecting moms.

Lower Your Stress Levels and Get Plenty of Sleep

This one is bound to be a challenge with today’s hectic lifestyle, but it’s so important for the health of you and your growing baby. Lowering your stress level and getting plenty of quality sleep art two of the most important things you can do for a healthy pregnancy. Visit a licensed prenatal massage therapist, take a prenatal yoga class, or learn how to meditate to keep your stress levels as low as possible. Your body is working extra hard to grow a new life, so it needs a lot more sleep than usual. Shoot for at least eight hours of quality sleep each night. Ten is even better during the last trimester.

Drink Lots of Water

Staying well hydrated during pregnancy can help to alleviate some rough pregnancy symptoms like nausea, fatigue, and headaches. Plan on drinking about two liters of water each day. Drink even more if you’re exercising.

Eat the Right Foods

Not all fat is created equal, and healthy fats are crucial during pregnancy. Focus on eating plenty of healthy saturated and mono fats such as those found in avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter. These types of fat are necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, which are necessary for your baby’s development.

High-quality proteins are also important.Choose pastured eggs, full-fat dairy, and grass-fed organic meats whenever possible to give your body the protein and fat it needs to grow a healthy baby.Quality fat and protein will also help to keep you feeling full and satisfied while stabilizing your blood sugar, which helps to keep cravings at bay and snacking under control.

Avoid Refined Carbs and Sugar

You probably knew this was coming, but it really is important. Sugar and refined carbs are just going to cause you to gain unnecessary weight. They don’t offer any valuable nutrition for you or your growing baby. Refined carbs are found in things like white bread, pasta, baked goods, and cereals, so it’s best to cut back on these foods or avoid them completely if possible.

Following these ten simple tips will help you stay healthy and fit throughout your pregnancy. Even better, you probably won’t have as many aches and pains, and your labor and recovery might go more smoothly, too!