Nutrition During Pregnancy
Nutrition during pregnancy is crucial to the health of the developing fetus. Not only does it benefit baby but it allows Mama's body to spring back to normal more quickly. My greatest worry with the low fat advice and recommended synthetic pre-natal vitamins is the lack of nutrient reaching the fetus. Synthetic Vitamin A can cause birth defects. You and your baby deserve nutrients from whole food sources. You will up take more nutrient when it is derived from real food.
I gained 80 pounds with the birth of my first child and my body has never been the same.
The recommendations below will give your child a great first start and get you back into your bathing suit body more quickly and most importantly, the healthy way.
Blood Sugar Control
Let's begin with blood sugar control and Gestational Diabetes. Gestational Diabetes is a condition in which your blood glucose, or sugar levels are too high. When you are pregnant, too much glucose is not good for your baby.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that happens for the first time when a woman is pregnant. Gestational diabetes goes away when you have your baby, but it does increase your risk for having type 2 diabetes later in life.
This is a growing concern and can be controlled with your food in take. The following nutrition during pregnancy recommendations will decrease your risk as well as decrease your baby's risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
This will help you to maintain normal blood sugar levels and provide your baby the fat he/she needs for the growing brain. The brain develops on fat and breast milk has a very high content. A much higher content of fat compared to that of the protein and sugar content.
While a high fat diet is crucial in nutrition during pregnancy, it is also important during breast feeding. Your fat consumption will have a direct impact on your milk supply.
Worried about gaining too much weight? Avoid the bread, pasta and cookies and you and baby will be free of obesity, diabetes and exude excellent health.
*If you have an aversion to animal liver such as I do, take your fresh liver, cut it into pill size pieces, wrap individually in wax paper and store in a glass container in the freezer "popping" pieces as supplements after dinner. This is I believe a valuable tool not only for nutrition during pregnancy but for good nutrition always. **A safety tip, be sure the liver is frozen for 14 days prior to consumption freezing the liver for 14 days in large chunks. (Fourteen days will ensure the elimination of pathogens and parasites.)
As mentioned above, your choice of pre-natal vitamins are very important for nutrition during pregnancy. Let's start with the claim of synthetic Vitamin A and its potential contribution to birth defects.
This is if you actually absorb the synthetic nutrients.
I'll share with you a little story about my friend the septic pumper who has found whole vitamins un-digested in the tanks of disposal systems. It is not unusual for him to find these whole vitamins and in some cases, he could still read the brand. For the average person this might not be alarming. For healthy nutrition during pregnancy, this is frightening. We only up take about 10% of synthetics and you would be horrified to hear the ingredients, many of which, are not edible.
You may be offered a prescription pre-natal. While the co-pay might be more appealing than purchasing your own whole food multi, your child's health could be in jeopardy.
My supplement recommendation for nutrition during pregnancy is a Whole Food Multiple Vitamin and Mineral Complex that includes probiotics. There are some great choices out there and with your Dr.'s approval, I'm sure you'll find one that suits your biochemical individuality.
Be sure your supplement is free of-Corn, Dairy, Wheat, Yeast, Artificial Colors, Flavors, Sugars, Preservatives and especially, Soy.
2 TBS. Cod Liver Oil daily that contains a minimum of 500 mg. DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid or, 1 TBS. Fermented Cod Liver Oil. This will provide you with Vitamin A, D, DHA and EPA Eicosapentaenoic acid both of which are in the Omega 3 family and crucial to not only brain and eye development but potentially eliminate postpartum depression as well. Postpartum depression is said to be an omega 3 fatty acid deficiency. The pregnancy can deplete the stores of omega 3 so by supplementing during pregnancy, you assure your own mental health. The immune supporting A and D will also keep Mama healthy through her healthy pregnancy. Should you decide to take the Fermented Cod Liver Oil, additional DHA is recommended.
Documented dangers of Vitamin A are related to synthetic A found in pre-natal vitamins as well, a lower Vitamin D delivery. A & D are synergistic. So many vitamins and minerals are dependent upon their counter parts for healthy assimilation. In the case of Vitamin A, Vitamin D is also needed and the brand of Cod Liver Oil I recommend carries this balance.
Magnesium is another essential nutrient that I recommend. My daughter and daughter in law both consumed magnesium. This mineral can be beneficial in avoiding preeclampsya and gestational diabetes both. It has also proven to reduce the incidence of illness in infants.
Foods to Avoid
In addition to the below dangers, there is a list of Foods to Avoid section for you to preview. While the below list is merely an outline, the provided page will describe the actual reasons you should avoid them as a healthy part of your nutrition during pregnancy.
Due to heavy metal toxicity and the documented effects, I would avoid Tuna Fish all together during a pregnancy. There really is no safe level of Mercury and we have so many food choices out there, skip the tuna and if you find it necessary to consume canned meats, opt for sardines or canned chicken instead for safe nutrition during pregnancy.
What about Morning Sickness?
The dreaded morning sickness. It is thought in some cultures that morning sickness is the body's natural defense mechanism against food illness. Those with higher incidence of morning sickness actually have lower incidence of miscarriage!
There are theories about this that include everything from saltine crackers by the bed side table to taking your multiple with dinner. Your biochemical individuality as well as each pregnancy will be very different. I highly recommend you take your pre-natal mid-afternoon or evening.
Do not worry about baby during times of morning sickness. You might be ill every morning for several months and quite possibly some days. When not ill, work on your nutrition during pregnancy but do take it slow, sip broths, a small bite of a sprouted grain toast with butter, a soup. Everyone is different! What I would like to assure you though is that you will be just fine. The human body knows how to convert stored body fat for energy and nutrient. You have a very special pregnancy hormone. This hormone digs deep into brown fat in times of famine to make sure baby thrives. Just monitor yourself and try different tricks and tips until you figure out what works for you.
There is some evidence that Vitamin B6 counter acts morning sickness but do check with your Doctor prior to adding an isolated vitamin on top of your pre-natal. It is said that if you consume liver the high B6 value can help with this. 25 mg. 2-3 times daily may be helpful to you should you decide on supplementation. Taking your pre-natal's in the evening might be your better choice.
A well flora populated birth canal will start baby off with his/her first bacterial experience. Many professionals who have alternative practices advise the pregnant woman to build her flora in the vagina approximately 4 weeks prior to delivery. You can easily do this with capsules of Lactobaccilus Acidophilus or even yogurt. A well soaked natural tampon in kefir, rubbing some yogurt or kefir on your nipples and allowing it to dry as well, under the arm pit. I know this sounds a bit strange but if you've ever spent a whole night up with a baby suffering colic, you'll be sure to take this advice!
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