Harley Pasternak: 5 Keys to a Fit Pregnancy (Plus: Meet My Baby!)

03/26/2014 at 04:24 PM ET

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Courtesy Harley Pasternak

Harley Pasternak is a celebrity trainer and nutrition expert who has worked with stars from Halle Berry and Lady Gaga to Robert Pattinson and Robert Downey Jr. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author, with titles including The Body Reset Diet and The 5-Factor Diet. Tweet him @harleypasternak.

Seventy-two hours ago, I became a dad to a healthy 8 lb., 13 oz. daughter named Liv (see her below!). My wife was incredible. The pregnancy was smooth, followed by a textbook natural delivery, and all the signs of a very speedy recovery.

While so much about getting pregnant, being pregnant and delivering the baby is out of one’s control, it’s essential to optimize what is in a woman’s control to tip the health odds in her favor during pregnancy.

Here are the five keys that helped my wife (not to mention so many of my expectant clients over the years) have a healthy, happy pregnancy:

1. Keep moving (moderately) most of the day. Most pregnant women do significantly less physical activity while pregnant (and seeing as how the average American is already far too inactive, this is not good). Studies show active, fit pregnant women often have fewer complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Use an activity monitor (my wife used a FitBit) and try to hit 10,000 steps per day. But avoid extreme temperatures, stay hydrated and don’t move too fast.

2. Graze, don’t gorge. When you’re pregnant, you should be eating approximately 300 calories more per day (equivalent to 1/3 cup of almonds or an apple with 2 low-fat mozzarella sticks). Make sure to get your calories in small meals throughout the day; consuming five to six meals or snacks daily could help you avoid indigestion, acid reflux and nausea.

3. Make healthy food choices. Being pregnant doesn’t give allowance to indulge regularly in cookies, cakes and croissants. Make sure every meal has a lean protein (chicken, fish, eggs), fiber (vegetables, fruits with edible seeds or edible seeds, whole grains) and healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, almonds).

4. Stay strong. Not only can you strength train during pregnancy, but you should! Keeping muscles toned and strong throughout pregnancy can help reduce the chances of getting gestational diabetes, sore back and fatigue, and most of all, it will help your body bounce back much faster post-baby. But make sure you don’t overdo it. Avoid exercises that require lying on your back from four months on, exercise in a well-ventilated room, and again, stay hydrated.

5. Get good sleep. I know firsthand that pregnant women can have trouble getting comfortable while sleeping. As a result, they often don’t get enough quality sleep (nor do their spouses), which can make the next morning feel far more difficult than it needs to be. Some women swear by a pregnancy pillow, some (like my wife) prefer using multiple pillows to support their body throughout the night, and others can’t sleep without memory foam pillows or mattresses. Whatever works for you is fine, but try to go to bed earlier than usual throughout your pregnancy, if possible.

NOTE: Pregnant women, especially those with high-risk pregnancies, should discuss all dietary and exercise changes with their doctors.

Harley Pasternak Baby
Baby Liv, Courtesy Harley Pasternak

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 8 comments

Heather on

Congratulations! She is beautiful! It’s so amazing to have a new baby.

Lisa on

Thanks for the tips! And congratulations on a beautiful baby girl!

Kristie on

Congratulations on your baby girl! ❤ Liv is so beautiful!

Kimberly on

Awww what a beauty Liv is!!! Congrats!!! Love the name as well.

vitavee73 on

Great advice and congratulations. Babies are a blessing 🙂

Rachel on

Liv is beautiful, congratulations!

Pam on

Liv’s precious! Congrats! I wish I had gotten stronger before I got pregnant and during my pregnancy because once I had my son (4 months ago) my arms were in shock from all the carrying and lifting. He is now 16 lbs and now my arms are really strong, especially because he’s teething and I hardly ever get to put him down especially during the night/morning.

Tamshan on

Mazel Tov ! Such a beautiful wee girl with a pretty name (and strong meanings in different cultures). Best wishes from Canada OX

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