Pregnancy is an important time to eat an extra healthy diet. Not only is a healthy diet important for your growing fetus, it’s equally important for your overall health. Your baby needs lots of nutrients since it’s growing so quickly, and this can leave your body deficient if your diet is poor. Just by adding some healthy foods to your diet you can reduce your risk of post-baby deficiency symptoms.
Nutritional Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy:
There’s a lot of differing information about what to do and what not to do when pregnant. Here are the most important dietary tips to follow:
- Nutrient dense foods – veggies (cooked and raw), fruits, herbs & spices
- Mineral/protein dense foods – homemade bone stock, legumes, eggs, wild fish
- Unprocessed fat – organic butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts/seeds
- Healthy starches – root veggies, squash, whole grains
It’s all about BALANCE:
- A “perfect” diet isn’t always a healthy one; ENJOY your meals no matter what you’re eating.
- Be moderate, be happy.
- Stick to the 80/20 rule, keep your healthy eating to 80% of your diet. Don’t be concerned with occasional treats as long as they stay under 20% of your diet.
- Chew, eat, enjoy.
- AND, eat lots of veggies.
Items to avoid
|Albacore tuna – due to high level of mercury
Farmed fish – due to high PCB & mercury level
Conventional baby bottles – due to BPA
Microwaving milk/formula – may damage the milk
Plastic containers & plastic wrap (esp. when heated)
Detoxification, or any products that will stimulate detoxification
|Skipjack tuna packed in water
Wild fish, especially salmon
BPA-free or glass baby bottles
Heat in a pot in a water bath
Glass containers & parchment paper
Eat well, relax, and wait until after breastfeeding is finished to start a cleanse
Top 5 Fixes to Avoid Pregnancy Related Symptoms:
Many pregnant woman experience weird food cravings, overwhelming nausea, fast blood sugar drops, and low energy throughout their pregnancy. Some of these symptoms can be avoided by following these 5 tips:
- Eat breakfast everyday – Start your day off right with a healthy breakfast. This will keep your blood sugar and energy steady (or at least steadier), and will help to reduce weird food cravings.
- Moderate exercise daily – Regular movement can help keep your body strong while it changes through each trimester. Keep your exercise routine gentle and/or work with a fitness expert.
- Outsmart sudden hunger – Keep snacks on hand so you’re prepared if your blood sugar suddenly drops. Hunger may be much more demanding during pregnancy so it’s important to keep some nuts and seeds and/or an apple in your purse for when hunger strikes.
- Get emotional support – Pregnancy hormones can make you more emotional than normal, and this can lead to sugary food cravings. Lean on your partner or a good friend when you’re feeling extra emotional. They really want to help!
- Think small – If you’re really craving a cookie or ice cream, have some! Just don’t eat the entire container. Enjoy a scoop of ice cream or a cookie or two. Give yourself permission to have a favourite treat so you can keep the portion small.
Supplements can be a great nutritional safety net when you’re pregnant. They act as an insurance policy to make sure your basic nutrient levels are covered each day. These are the most important prenatal supplements:
A Good Quality Prenatal Vitamin – this is a good insurance policy while your nutrient needs are higher, and will contain proper amounts of folic acid (methylfolate)
B12 – Particularly important for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Can protect against miscarriages and anemia. 500 – 1000 mcg daily
Vitamin D – most mothers are Vitamin D deficient (most Canadians are in general). Vit D plays a significant role in health and disease prevention, esp in pregnancy. 1000 – 4000 IUS per day
Magnesium – supplementation during the first trimester may reduce the risk of preeclampsia and low birth weight. 300mg daily, with dinner
Fish Oil (or vegetarian DHA supplement) – important brain food for both mom and baby. 2000 – 4000mg per day (2 – 4 capsules)
Probiotics – During birth, your baby will receive your protective gut bacteria to populate their gut. A good quality probiotic will help to ensure your baby’s first gut bacteria strains are healthy ones. Take 1 per day with food (2 per day if you suffer from any digestive issues)