Friday, September 21, 2012

Why is diet important in pregnancy?

There are some great articles on why we need calories in pregnancy, but some that I found very helpful are these. What poor nutrition in pregnancy means? It is really hard to eat enough sometimes when you are pregnant. First you start the pregnancy with morning sickness often, which makes you feel like you have the flu. Who wants to eat when you have the flu? -Tips on what to eat in the first trimester

1) Keep it light- yogurt, crackers and cheese, protein smoothies, but don't overdo anything. Sometimes a vomiting episode can put you off a certain food for awhile if you overdo it, so be careful to not overdo any one food. 2) Make sure to get enough rest. If you are overtired, it can make it harder to eat. 3) Keep it small- smaller meals may settle better with your stomach

Second Trimester: Sometimes women get a burst of energy in this trimester, and are very hungry! Notice, I say sometimes! = ) It does not always happen! It is good to make sure to look at the level of protein you are getting now, as often in the third trimester your stomach is more squished and it is harder to get the level of protein you need to grow your baby.

1) Make every bite count- When you eat a snack, make it protein, high fiber or fruit/vegetable. Aim at getting 80-100 grams of protein. (A small chicken breast has about 30 grams of protein) Aim at about 4-6 servings of protein foods daily. 2) Eat what you can, but don't overeat. Remember that there are certain foods that you need to eat to develop your baby's brain, bones and muscles, but certain foods are non essential. Sugar is one of these non-essential foods. Avoid it, if at all possible. 3) If you are out to eat with friends, it can be easy to eat empty calories...Theater popcorn, tortilla chips, soda pop etc. Remember that an occasional treat is good, but choose wisely and think about what you put in your mouth! When you want to avoid excess weight gain, it is more the non-essentials that put on the weight.

Third Trimester Sometimes women when they reach their third trimester find that they feel like they went back to the first trimester. Nausea, heartburn and other discomforts seem to be in a fight against your comfort and eating. It is one of the most important times to nourish your baby! Those last week count The protein shakes are good, even if you have to gag them down, just try not to throw them up. 1) Eat small meals throughout the day. Many women find it easier to eat 6-8 small snack type meals than full meals with all the compression of their internal organs going on. 2) Make every bite count more than ever!! If you choose to eat dessert, make it something like ice cream or cheese cake that has some protein in it, rather than plain white or chocolate cake. When you eat pizza, choose the veggie one, rather than pepperoni. 3) Help your body to digest your food by staying active. You are preparing for labor, eat like you are going to run a marathon. Healthy, good meals, but stay active so your bowels stay active as well.

Sometimes it is easy to be afraid of gaining too much weight in pregnancy in this day where skinniness is praised above all else. Another thing that is highly praised now, is special allergy diets. Remember that if you have a special diet to follow, you need to work extra hard for your baby. Your baby only has you! No one else will nourish it. Poor nutrition can result in many complications in pregnancy, but if pregnancy and birth goes well, you can also see life long issues with bones, teeth, and other developmental issues as your child grows. Also, remember when you are growing that baby, if it is a girl, she is born with her ovaries filled with all the eggs she will ever have. That means you are responsible for the health of those eggs with your diet you partake in while pregnant and your future grandchildren. Scary thought? It is difficult for those with stomach complaints etc. to sometimes eat enough, or for those that love sugar to forgo it! It is difficult to remember to keep our diets in control, but the outcome can be a wonderful thing!! Keep it up!! You can do it!