OH by George! You’re knocked up, huh? Congratulations!
Get ready for your little bundle of joy without losing your mind in the process. Allow me to sum it up!
This is one of the most miraculous and inexplicable times in your life. Unfortunately, this “eating for two” deal didn’t earn yourself a free hall pass to shove crap in your mouth all day long! Now that you have a little bun in oven, it’s more important than ever to stuff your face with the all the goodies (my kinda goodies) to grow a healthy and strong baby.
A wholesome diet is crucial to avoid wasted calories from junk foods and sugary snacks and to provide plenty of nutrient-rich foods to satisfy the increased needs for most of the vitamins, minerals and protein. The average caloric intake during pregnancy is about 350-450 calories more than your usual diet. You now have a free pass to nutrient-rich foods…did I kill the excitement?
Despite what you’ve been told (and what you want to believe), exercise is just as important during pregnancy. Keeping the body limber, loose and toned is necessary to a healthy pregnancy. This will also increase circulation and help prevent constipation, varicose veins and a flabby tummy. Begin slowly and only exercise at your own comfort level.
If you haven’t heard me emphasize enough already, the importance of organic produce is vital, especially during pregnancy. “Organic” refers to how it was grown, handled and processed without pesticides, genetic modification, hormones and antibiotics. Pesticides you consume during pregnancy are shared with your baby in utero and eventually come through in breast milk, according to “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”. Organic fruits and vegetables are also likely to be fresher than non-organic produce, which may translate to better nutrition because many nutrients diminish as produce ages, Zied notes. I’m not just talkin’ produce, this includes grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken and eggs, hormone-free milk and organic yogurt. Check my blog for the list of the “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen” foods.
Your practitioner should carefully monitor any pharmaceutical drug use. Many drugs interact with body nutrients and increase the risk of deficiency. Pregnant women need to be careful to avoid drug and chemical exposure, because it is more difficult with all the body demands to keep up with healthy detoxification during pregnancy. The body is in a building-up, gathering state and will utilize most everything that comes into it or store it away for later use. In other words, try to steer towards natural alternatives to avoid unnecessary toxins, chemicals, and so on. Nutritional changes and support may help remedy some of the common problems of pregnancy.
If your increased need for food consumption wasn’t enough, now you’re craving things beyond imagination. When you have a wild craving, your body is generally trying to tell you something. For instance, a lady I knew who was prego constantly had a desire for date squares (something she cringed at 4 months ago). After realizing dates are a rich source of folic acid, she increased her daily consumption of this nutrient and the cravings diminished. True story. During this time, the digestive tract is more sensitive, and as the pregnancy progresses, the size of the stomach shrinks because of the growing womb. Often food intolerances or many new likes and dislikes start to develop. To adapt, the diet may shift to frequent small but nourishing meals. Nutritious liquid meals are a good choice. From protein powders to fruit and veggie smoothies, these drinks can be packed with nutrients.
If you experience any of the following pregnancy-related issues, get up and do something about it! Your pregnancy should be a happy and memorable experience. It should not be remembered by having to pop Tums after every meal, fart like a caveman or by sending your hunni to the gas station at 2am for a Twix bar (send him to the health food store instead! I recommend the Luna bars. Yum). Request more information for pregnancy-related issues including: diabetes (gestational), dizziness, eclampsia and preeclampsia, ectopic pregnancies, edema, gas, groin spasms, stitches or pressure, heart burn, hemorrhoids, insomnia, leg cramps, morning sickness, nosebleeds and nasal congestion, premature birth, sciatica, skin problems, soreness in rib area, stretch marks, back aches, acid reflux, sweating, varicose veins, etc..
Time for the Goodies…
Consuming enough protein is always important, since it serves as the major structural component of all the cells in your body. That being said, protein is especially important during pregnancy in order to support the growth and development of the fetus, while protecting your own health from the added physical burden. As I said before (and will continue to repeat until the cows come home) the quality of meat is important.
Most good protein sources are also good sources of iron, but for a pregnancy diet plan, most health practitioners still recommend an iron supplement. Liver is the only iron-rich food that should be avoided by pregnant women, because of its high vitamin A content, which can be harmful to the developing fetus.
It is not advisable that you rely solely on any pregnancy diet plan to provide enough folate or folic acid to support your increasing blood volume nor to prevent neural tube defects.
Fruits and Vegetables
Four servings each of fruits and vegetables per day is the minimum recommendation during pregnancy. Since you are “eating for two” and need extra calories per day, consider consuming another apple (contains pectin to help those bowels move!) or take a double serving of broccoli.
If you stick with fruits and vegetables when you have an extra hunger pain or a craving for a snack, you will avoid adding calories derived from fats. Remember, you’re not eating for yourself and a baby of a metabolism of a teenager. Overweight women have more complications during pregnancy. This is not the right time to “lose” weight, but it is the right time to watch what you eat.
– Low-impact exercise
– Fresh air
– Prepare your home
– Think positive
– Spend time with your friends, family and hunni
– Deep breathing
– Avoidance of chemicals and radiation
– Dietary and supplementary changes
– Adequate sleep/rest
– Drink water