02 Nov 2016
Pregnancy and Nutrition – Healthy Mommy and Healthy Baby
Sometimes we plan for pregnancies and sometimes they come as a surprise. Either way, one thing that should be consistent from planning through pregnancy and beyond, are well balanced nutritional habits.
In the twenty-first century throughout North America, pregnancy is constantly being portrayed in the media as a time to over indulge in portion size, satisfy worldly food cravings, and ultimately binge on carbs and sugar to ward off nausea. Though, if there ever were a time in your life to uphold your top nutrition practices, pregnancy would be it.
Developing your baby for a healthy life
The foods you eat and nutrients your body absorbs will have a direct effect on your baby’s development and health in the womb and the years beyond his or her birth. With every food choice you make, begin to think, how will this affect my baby’s environment? Is it adding or taking from baby’s health? The cumulative effects are what will shape your child for life. What could this mean for our children? It could mean if we disregard our nutrition we could continue down a path of more preterm births, infant illnesses, and and chronic diseases.
In 2007, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), released a special report on childhood chronic diseases. Within the report, JAMA stated “nutritional concerns” are one of the two factors that pregnant women must regard. The report lists some common chronic childhood diseases that include, but not limited to, asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, obesity, developmental delays, lung disease, eye disorders, and mental illness.
Today, we are beginning to make changes by becoming more aware of our health and that of our families. If we make these changes a must during pregnancy, this could mean happier and healthier children with plenty of energy and vigor.
Pre and post-natal healthy mommy
While the idea of nurturing our growing babies’ health is motivation enough, it is also important to recognize our own health as a mother. Eating for two doesn’t necessarily mean doubling down on portions sizes, but that we need to up our levels of key macro and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) through the foods we eat.
Our nutrition during pregnancy can assist in maintaining a healthy and easy pregnancy, while poor nutrition decisions during pregnancy may perpetuate more nausea, tiredness and a number of minor to major complications. Some common pregnancy complications that a healthy diet can help in reducing the risk of, include Gestational Diabetes, Preeclampsia and Anemia.
We should also be aware that the average recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 25lbs – 35lbs. Though we have seen through our own pregnancies and that of friends and family, it’s very common in North America to gain 40-50lb or more during pregnancy. If you are eating the right foods and have consistent meal patterns, it’s very likely you will fall within recommended weight gain. A great advantage to have taken care of your body during pregnancy, will be less work to do post-pregnancy getting your body back in shape.
Just as any period in your life, healthy habits take forethought, time, and preparation. We have to find the motivation to allow ourselves to become more thoughtful, and the time to ensure we are doing all we can to optimize our health during this special time.
Here are ten nutritional habits beneficial at every stage of pregnancy for happier and healthier mommy and baby.
1. Choose dairy and meats that are hormone-free
2. Eat foods rich in Omega 3 – eggs, avocados, wild caught salmon, flaxseed oil and chia seeds
3. Eat smaller portions at meal time, though increase the frequency of how often you eat! Every 2-3 hours
4. Eat foods rich in Iron – lean red meats, poultry, spinach, beans and apricots
5. Reduce refined sugars – beware of refined sugars as it hides in many different ingredient names (sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and maltose)
6. Eat foods high in potassium & magnesium – asparagus, bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, nuts and nut butters.
7. Prepare, cook and eat unprocessed food and meals. – Processed food are full of additives that include natural and unnatural ingredients, preservatives, refined sugars, modified wheat, and dairy.
8. Eat foods rich in vitamin C – bell peppers, kale, kiwi, broccoli, oranges, and strawberries.
9. Add some probiotics to your diet – kefir, greek yogurt
10. Stay well hydrated, drink plenty of water, then have more water, and then more water
Have any questions? Comments? Drop me a line below!
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