You are about to embark on a wonderful and anxious journey to motherhood. You have recently discovered that you are pregnant and are no doubt excited and nervous about what lies ahead. Excellent prenatal nutrition is the best foundation for creating a holistically healthy baby. Follow the guidelines below for your own health and your baby’s optimal development, and encourage your husband to get on the healthy eating bandwagon as well!
1) Make sure to speak with your obstetrician and pharmacist about any prescription or over-the-counter medications that you are taking. Many of these drugs should be avoided during pregnancy.
3) Caffeine is like a drug, and just like any other drug, it can be addictive and have negative side effects. If you’re trying to cut back on your caffeine consumption, start by eliminating or reducing your intake of coffee, tea, soda, chocolate and energy drinks.
4) Prenatal vitamins are important for pregnant women to take every day. These vitamins and minerals help support the health of the mother and developing baby. You can talk to your doctor about which prenatal vitamin is right for you, or look for a quality prenatal vitamin/multi-mineral supplement at your local pharmacy or grocery store.
a) B vitamins, like:
- Folic Acid
- B12 (If you’re a vegetarian, you might want to consider taking a supplement)
When it comes to B vitamins, there are a number of whole-food sources that can help you meet your daily needs. These include grains, greens, legumes, cereals, and rice.
b) DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid important for baby’s cognitive development) is best taken in supplement form. Although fish is a good source of DHA, there are many legitimate concerns about fish containing mercury and other toxins.
c) vitamin D
The sun is a great source of vitamin D, and just 15 to 20 minutes of exposure each day can really make a difference. Additionally, you can get vitamin D from fortified dairy products, which is a great way to get your nutrients without having to spend too much time in the sun.
7) If you have been experiencing nausea or have had a reduced appetite as of late, then consider looking into eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of the standard three square meals. This could look like having six mini-meals instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner. One advantage of this is that you may find it easier to digest smaller portions of food more frequently.
If you’re looking to add a few extra calories to your daily diet, try adding 200–300 calories. This can be easily accomplished by adding an extra snack or two throughout the day, or by increasing the portion size of your meals.
1) Be careful to eat a healthy, balanced diet filled with fruit and vegetables to receive the vitamins and minerals your baby needs. Just like you need healthy food to function properly, so does your developing baby. Eating a nutrient-rich diet will help ensure that your baby gets the nourishment they need to grow and thrive.
2) If you’re looking to add an extra 200–300 calories to your diet, consider snacking mid-afternoon or before bedtime.
3) It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough protein to support your baby’s growth. Eat plant protein (especially if you’re vegetarian) and healthy low-fat animal protein.
4) One way to help keep gestational diabetes at bay is by regulating your portion sizes. This means being mindful of not only how much you’re eating, but also what types of foods you’re consuming. Try to fill up on nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit processed and sugary foods as much as possible.
3) If you want to increase your iron intake, combine vitamin C-rich foods with iron-rich foods. This includes carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges, and tomatoes.
4) Make sure you’re getting enough of these key nutrients:
a) Calcium is an important mineral for our bodies. It helps us maintain strong bones and teeth. You can get calcium from many different food sources, including dairy products, tofu, fortified rice and soy milks, beans, molasses, seeds, cooked greens, and dried figs.
b) Zinc is a mineral that’s found in a variety of foods. Good sources of zinc include nuts, seeds, beans, dairy products, spinach, and fortified cereals.