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Guest post! Healthy pregnancy-long life

The Most Important Ingredient for a Healthy Pregnancy and Long Life

You quit smoking and drinking, started eating a healthy diet of whole foods, are exercising regularly, and even meditating for relaxation. These are all great steps, but it turns out they aren't enough to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Women who have already adopted a natural lifestyle also have a network of friends and family to help them stay on track. These friends know the importance of living naturally, and they are always ready to lend support. 

Alternatively, women just starting to adopt a natural lifestyle in response to their pregnancy likely have friends and family still engaging in unhealthy behaviors. No matter how strong your resolve, it's extremely difficult to say no to unhealthy foods or maintain a regular exercise schedule when the people you see every day are not supportive of your efforts.

Build a Healthy Social Network
This is not about eliminating old friends who aren't willing to immediately make the same changes as you. It is about inviting new people into your life who will help you stick to goals and learn more about your new lifestyle choices. An unhealthy lifestyle is not learned in a day. Toddlers, for instance, are naturally active, and it takes a lot of training to get them to sit still in a seat day after day for classes. No matter how fired up you are about giving your unborn child a great start, you will encounter problems and setbacks. 

A strong network of healthy moms in the same position as you will help tremendously. One study on smoking cessation during pregnancy suggests the power of social contacts in breaking any unhealthy habit and replacing it with something better. It also points to the importance of choosing your healthcare providers carefully.

Getting Started
You need to identify healthcare providers who are enthusiastic about your efforts. This makes a huge difference in how you perceive the changes. Some changes will require professional help. It is unwise to start a yoga program alone during pregnancy, so you'll need to find an instructor. Classes for Lamaze are a great place to learn about the best healthcare providers in your area as well as add another supportive professional to your network.

You can learn the basics of healthy living on your own. The Internet makes it possible to find more great recipes and exercise techniques than any collection of books. Even if you get this information from a social network on the Internet, however, it's not adding to your real-life network of supportive friends. 

Fortunately, you have many great resources during pregnancy.  From cord blood to diaper changing, many classes are available to teach and reinforce the tools for healthy living. The people in these classes, especially ones geared toward pregnancy, are a great resource for more information and support. 

In the rush to make healthy changes for baby's benefit, it's easy to neglect the inclusion of friends. You'll need help to stay healthy, and classes offer a great way to meet new people and learn at the same time.

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26

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