Good nutrition! Yes. That is pretty much it!
Pregnancy, labor, and birth are full of the unexpected. But one of the most important things you can do to have a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, and a healthy birth is to eat right during your pregnancy. Good nutrition can’t cure all ills but in pregnancy, it can prevent a lot of undesirable things happening to you, your body, or your baby.
Yes, you’re eating for two but that doesn’t mean you can eat whatever and however much you want.
You only need an extra 300 calories during this pregnancy. Sorry to burst your bubble! A healthy weight gain for most women growing a little person is only 30 lbs. here’s the “down-low” on where that extra weight goes:
Amniotic Fluid = 2 lbs.
Blood volume 4 lbs.
Maternal fat 7 lbs.
Maternal fluid 4 lbs.
Changes in breast tissue prepare to nourish your baby. These changes cause your breasts to weigh an additional 2 lbs. Your blood volume increases by 50%, weighing another 4 lbs. Your body and placenta help make blood for your baby and you store another 7 lbs. of maternal fat and approximately 4 lbs. of fluids.
So how do you not pig out and gain a bunch of unnecessary weight?
Other than eating the right foods, exercise is extremely important. At the very least you should walk 20-30 minutes a day. The most beneficial exercise to do during these nine months is:
Or just continuing any exercise you were doing before you got pregnant.
Just Keep Moving!
But if you have been exercising regularly before you got pregnant, then just keep going. During that first trimester it can be a real challenge to get up and go exercise, but I promise you’ll feel so much better once you get moving. Taking 20 minutes at lunchtime, after dinner, or in the morning can be a great way to begin a healthy first trimester. Got a dog? Walk the dog. Got a partner? Make these walks a daily date. If it’s lunchtime, that walk will help give you energy and focus for the rest of the day.
What you eat today affects your baby, not just today, but for the rest of their physical growth and brain development – for many years to come.
Follow these simple rules to provide you and your baby with the best foods to stay healthy. The least amount of steps or processes from farm to table is the best tactic to getting the most nutrition bang for the buck!
- Eat plenty of fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. Use this recipe to get all of these in one meal: In a blender put one scoop of Garden of Life Raw Protein, 1-2 cups baby spinach (get a big bag from Costco and divide it up into individual baggies and store in the freezer), add ½ C frozen blueberries or any frozen fruit, add coconut milk or almond milk. Blend.
- Eat whole grains – examples of whole grains are: barley, quinoa, brown rice, and wild rice.
- Legumes are beans, peas, lentils, and corn. Since legumes don’t have all the necessary amino acids, you need to combine them with grains. If you combine grains and beans you get a complete protein. Protein is important since every single cell is formed from protein – baby, uterus, amniotic fluid, placenta, blood, etc. Remember that you need 60% more protein than when you’re not pregnant – that’s 80-100 grams daily.
- When it comes to greens think dark green – the darker the better. The darker the green the more nutrients it has. Try this salad recipe.
- Stay away from processed foods, fast foods and junk foods. Processed foods usually come in a box or a bag or are wrapped in plastic. Examples of processed foods are: Breakfast cereals, ramen noodles, bacon, frozen dinners, canned foods.
- Decrease sugars, flours. Are there foods you eat that you find to be addicting? Those are probably just what you should stay away from.
- Read the labels of your food. So many things have sugar in them. I’ve been drinking coconut milk for years and just discovered that there is sugar in it. Here I was thinking I was choosing a healthy food. So now I look carefully and choose the coconut milk with no sugar.
- Eat raw almonds. They are chock full of brain food and are great for preventing heartburn.
- As often as you can eat fresh food. Yes, it takes a bit more work but let the motivation be a healthy baby and a safer birth.
- DRINK! Drink a lot of water. Start your day with 2 TBS of fresh lemon juice in water. Drink herbal teas. Herbal teas safe for pregnancy are:
Nettle Tea – helps reduce inflammation
Dandelion Root Tea – helps prevent constipation
Dandelion Leaf – helps reduce inflammation
Red Raspberry Leaf – helps prepare uterus by toning and strengthening it.
This information does not substitute for a care provider-patient relationship and should not be relied on as personal medical advice. Any information should not be acted upon without professional input from one’s own healthcare provider.