6 REALLY GOOD REASONS TO EAT PREGNANCY SNACKS HIGH IN PROTEIN
5.Maternal Blood Volume
Your pregnant body is an amazing machine. Your body knows not only how to preserve the pregnancy, it also nourishes and grows your baby. You’ve been given amazing Super Powers to be able to grow a baby. But you’ll need to eat plenty of protein-filled pregnancy snacks throughout the day to have a safe and healthy pregnancy, baby, and birth
Function of the Placenta
Once your placenta has attached to the uterine wall, simply, its main functions are providing nutrients to the growing baby and taking away waste products. Your placenta is literally an organ. The placenta gets all its nutrients from the mother’s blood stream, provides nutrients to the baby, and produces hormones that help preserve the pregnancy. What you eat has life-long effects on your baby’s growth and development.
(There’s your GUILT TRIP For the day!) So eating pregnancy snacks that are full of good protein can help your body function well.
I’ve seen women gain up to 80lbs. during pregnancy. But they are not eating for their baby. They may be indulging in cravings, but gaining 80lbs during pregnancy is the opposite of healthy. You truly only need 300 extra calories/day in your second and third trimesters. What can you eat that helps you get 80-100 grams of extra protein/day while keeping the calorie count down to 300 extra calories?
THAT’S ALL? JUST 300 CALORIES!
Yep. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you need to make those 300 extra calories count. Munching on peanut butter filled pretzels, or 4 slices of pizza, or a visit to your favorite fast food place isn’t doing you or your baby any good. The occasional indulgence is okay but don’t let it become a daily or weekly habit. Make those pregnancy snacks count! (I hope you don’t stop reading at this point because there is some important information I’d like to pass along to you.)
Everything you and your baby need comes from the macronutrient, PROTEIN. The pregnant woman needs protein, carbohydrates and fats to keep the body functioning and to perform daily activities. Think about the amazing feat your body is accomplishing! In addition to the activities of daily life, you are also growing a complete, healthy human being!
- The placenta has to function, provide nutrients and hormones, take away waste products, and grow with your baby.
- The uterine muscles must grow from the size of your fist to the size of a water melon. Your uterus grows 500 times bigger than its pre-pregnancy size!
- Your breasts make colostrum, your baby’s first milk, which you have in your breasts since week 10-14 of your pregnancy.
- Your amniotic fluid is generated to act as a cushion for your baby. In the early stages of pregnancy, 1st trimester, amniotic fluid is mainly water. By week 12-14 it also is comprised of proteins, carbohydrate, and lipids. The bigger the baby, the more amniotic fluid your body makes. It is, like all the cells, formed originally from protein.
- The amniotic sac is like 2 thin layers of tissue that could be described as similar to a water balloon. The sac contains and protects the amniotic fluid from the beginning of the pregnancy. It continues to grow and expand as the baby grows.
- Your body begins to increase blood volume by 6-8 weeks of your pregnancy. By the end of your pregnancy your blood volume has increased by 50-60%! This extra blood volume is needed to transfer nutrients, gases, and anything else needed to provide normal growth and development.
Your baby relies on you to eat well and provided basic good health by the time of birth. Like I said above, what you eat affects your baby not just today, but for a long time to come.
How Can I Get Enough Protein?
There are some tricks I’ve learned from midwives over the years and from teaching the Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth and researching The Brewer Pregnancy Diet. Good pregnancy nutrition goes a long way to create a healthy baby and prevent pregnancy complications.
Set Your Phone Alarm to Go Off every 60-90 Minutes
When the alarm goes off that’s a reminder to you that you need to have a pregnancy snack. Not only will this help you get your protein intake up, but if you are suffering from nausea, it can reduce that queezy-feeling stomach.
Here are some protein-filled pregnancy snack ideas:
• Almonds have 6grams of protein in 1 oz. that’s just a small handful.
• Greek yogurt has approximately 20 grams of protein for one cup.
• Hummus with vegetables. 4TBS of hummus has about 5 grams of protein.
• 1 Hard-boiled egg has 6grams
• Celery and peanut butter. 1TBS peanut butter has 4grams protein.
• 1oz cheese has 7 grams. Try string cheese. They’re easy and portable.
• Protein bars come in a wide variety. You can get anything from 8-10 grams up to 20 grams of protein.
• Pumpkin seeds have 5 grams of protein per one oz. That’s just a tiny handful of seeds.
• Edamame that are still in the pod make a great snack. 1 cup has 17 grams of protein. Add plenty of salt to make them even tastier. Your body also needs plenty of salt for blood volume expansion. You can even eat the dry roasted kind.
• 1Cup of milk has 8 grams of protein.
• Oatmeal has 6 grams of protein in one cup.
• The pre-packaged envelope of tuna packs a protein punch of 15-20 grams. You can eat tuna in moderation during pregnancy, like once a week.
• Kind bars have 6 grams of protein.
• Protein drinks usually have up to 20 grams of protein.
• 1 oz of Kale chips have 6 grams.
• Chick peas can be roasted and salted. 5 oz has 6 grams.
There are so many more ideas you can probably think of yourself. Do a bit of prep the night before. Prepare to have delicious and easy-to-eat snacks throughout the day. Your body and baby will be so much healthier for it. You can read more about the ideal pregnancy diet at Brewer Pregnancy Diet