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Nutrition for a Healthy Mom and Baby

Being pregnant should be a joyous time for the soon-to-be mom and their baby, but for many it’s a scary time with preeclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension, toxemia, and other conditions. While you may not be able to avoid having a problem during your pregnancy, there are some nutritional things you can do to reduce your risk.

Let’s have a look at some of those eating strategies.

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  • You should never be shy about dairy products because as a mother to be you need at least 4 servings or 1000-1300 mg of calcium daily. You also need at least 4000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 per day.

  • Iron is very important during pregnancy. You need to get at least 27 mg a day. You can increase your iron by taking an iron supplement. In fact, your doctor may instruct you to do so. The top 10 foods for iron are:

  • Artichokes
  •  Beans, chick peas, lentils and soybeans
  •  Dark, leafy greens (ie spinach, collards)
  •  Dried fruit (ie prunes, raisins)
  •  Egg yolks
  •  Iron-enriched cereals and grains
  •  Liver
  •  Mollusks (ie clams, oysters, scallops)
  •  Red meat
  •  Turkey or chicken giblets

Pregnant women need at least 70 mg of Vitamin C daily. Vitamin C helps to fight off infection and keep you healthy. Some good sources of Vitamin C include:

  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Dark Leafy Greens

You likely will have huge cravings but at the same time, you should decrease your fat intake so that it is no more than 30 percent of your total daily calorie intake. Make sure to read labels.

Omega 3s are important for the development of your baby’s vision and brain.

Easy on the mayo or cheese limiting your cholesterol to 300 mg a day.

Protein develops every cell of your baby. You need to eat 80 to 100 grams of protein a day. If you find that the smell of meat makes you sick, keep in mind that you can get your protein from drinking a whey protein shake.

Being pregnant isn’t easy and eating healthy can be a real challenge. Some days you’ll feel fantastic, while other days the idea of eating is the farthest thing from your mind. A healthy weight gain is generally 25 to 35 pounds. However, if you are underweight, you should gain 28 to 40 pounds and if you are overweight, you should gain15 to 25 pounds.

When your nutrient intake isn’t the best it could be, you increase your risk of developing pregnancy related conditions such as preeclampsia, pregnancy hypertension, toxemia, and HELLP syndrome.

 

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Wonderfully Fit - Terrine Pearsall

Is Caffeine Okay During Pregnancy

In 1980 the FDA released a publication that warned against a pregnant woman drinking caffeine beverages. It recommended that a woman restrict or better yet, eliminate all caffeine intake because it could be directly linked to the potential for certain birth defects. This recommendation stood strong even in 1994 when a review of more than 200 medical journals conducted by Dr. Astrid Nehlig was published in the Journal of Neurotoxicology and Teratology. But what’s the recommendation today?

Currently many doctors recommend that a pregnant woman takes in less than 300 mg of caffeine daily. This is because studies that are more recent have not shown a link between caffeine and harm to the baby with an intake that is less than 300 mg. These new scientific studies are causing doctors to have a look at the results and many are changing their recommendations although some still remain very conservative. This is best discussed openly with your doctor.

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What Caffeine Does

Caffeine is a stimulant that stimulates the central nervous system. It also reduces your iron absorption and it leaches calcium from the body. Caffeine has a diuretic effect and it has the ability to cross the placenta and make its way to your baby. Caffeine does the following once it is in your body:

  • Decreases the amount of calcium in your body
  • Dehydrates you
  • Increases your blood pressure
  • Raises your heart rate

The same thing that happens to you happens to your baby with the one exception and that is that baby will steal calcium that it needs from your bones if it can’t get it elsewhere. Caffeine has also been linked to interfering with normal fetal growth and as a result this leads to low birth weight and weakened adrenal glands that can affect the ability to cope with stress and to regulate blood sugar

It is a good idea to avoid caffeine or at least cut back your intake to 300 mg per day, and some experts say that number should be no more than 150 mg per day. You may have no problem handling caffeine but remember that the liver of your baby is immature and so it is not able to remove the caffeine. This means that caffeine stays with your baby for 40 to 130 hours.

Common sources of caffeine include:

  • Coffee – 100-200 mg per 8 ounce
  • Headache medicine – 65-130mg
  • Soda – 40-75mg per can
  • Tea – black 60mg, green 40mg
  • Dark Chocolate – 5-35mg per 1 ounce
  • Milk Chocolate – 1-15mg per 1 ounce

Talk to your doctor about caffeine intake and follow what his/her recommendations are.

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Wonderfully Fit - Terrine Pearsall

First Trimester Pregnancy Nutrition

The first trimester can be one of great change in many aspects of your life and that includes pregnancy nutrition. Many moms-to-be want to immediately change how they eat. The trouble is making drastic changes too quickly can really backfire on you and land up causing too much stress. It is much better to incorporate changes slowly. We are going to look at the four basic areas of your first trimester nutrition to get you started on making dietary adjustments without the stress.

It would be wonderful if we knew in advance that we were to become pregnant. Sure, some pregnancies are planned but others are not. It would be great because then we could switch to a whole food diet that was organic before we became pregnant. Since this isn’t going to happen too often the best we can do is make the switch as soon as we know we are pregnant.

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Work towards the elimination of all processed foods and as many non-organic foods as possible. That is because processed foods along with non-organic foods that contain pesticides and other toxins are directly linked to numerous health concerns that can affect your baby. However, don’t look at this as an all or nothing situation. Do your best and remember every little change is a positive change for your baby. A good way to start is to remove processed foods from one meal a day and then take baby steps from there.

You should also eliminate sugar, artificial sweeteners, and caffeine from your diet. Experts agree it is safe for a pregnant woman to have 150 mg of caffeine a day so that’s a good starting point to cut back to. Once there you can try to cut it out completely. For anyone with a sweet tooth there are a number of natural sweeteners that you can use such as agave syrup, stevia, or raw honey.

Morning sickness can be a real problem during the first trimester of your pregnancy. As your body is trying to adjust to hormonal changes, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to deal with the nausea that is not always just in the mornings. For nausea that is incapacitating you need to talk to your doctor. However, there are some things that can calm nausea for many including ginger, eating protein, a handful of nuts, or crackers.

There you have it – a good start to nutrition for your first trimester to keep you and baby healthy.

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Eating Healthy During Pregnancy

Starting off your with a healthy well balanced diet is the best thing you do for yourself
and your baby. This way, you’ll only need to make a few adjustments during your pregnancy.

Your first trimester If you find it tough to maintain a balanced diet during your first trimester, you can rest assured that your not alone. Due to queasiness, some women will eat all of the time and gain a lot of
weight in the process. Other women have trouble getting food down and subsequently lose weight.

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Preventing malnutrition and dehydration are your most important factors during first trimester.

Calories
When you are pregnant, you need to consume around 300 calories more than usual every day. The best
way to go about doing this is listening to your body when you are hungry. You should try to eat as many foods as possible from the bottom of the food pyramid.

If you gain weight too slow, try eating small meals and slightly increase the fat in your diet. You should always eat when you are hungry, as you are now eating for 2 instead of one.

Calcium
By the second trimester, you’ll need around 1,500 milligrams of calcium each day for your bones and
your baby’, which is more than a quart of milk. Calcium is something that’s missing from many
diets. Along with milk, other great sources for calcium include dairy products, calcium fortified
juices, and even calcium tablets.

Fiber
Fiber can help to prevent constipation, which is a common pregnancy problem. You can find fiber in
whole grains, fruits, and even vegetables. Fiber supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are
safe to take during pregnancy.

Protein
Unless you happen to be a strict vegetarian, your protein intake is not normally a problem for women
who eat a healthy diet.

Iron
A lot of women will start their pregnancy off with a bit of iron deficiency. Good sources of iron
include dark leafy green vegetables and meats. Iron supplements should be avoided, as they can cause
internal symptoms such as cramping, constipation, or diarrhea.

Vitamins
Seeing as how you get a majority of the vitamins you need in your diet, you may want to discuss prenatal vitamins with your doctor. Folate is one of the most important, and if you are getting enough of it, you may be able to avoid vitamins all together – just ask your doctor to make sure.

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