How to give your baby a healthy start – and the same to you!
Since the birth of…well, birth… it has been so very important to nourish the child growing inside you. Make sure you eat right and take good care of yourself so you and baby are strong and healthy 100% of the time during all your “-mesters.”
We have come a long way, baby, regarding healthful habits and what to do. More importantly, we have also discovered what not to do.
For instance, back in “the day,” (Actually, I never thought I would hear myself say stuff like that…It is akin to “back in MY day” and, frankly, reaching that point in life is the equivalent of 7,612 nails screeching down the same chalkboard at the same time.) it was perfectly acceptable for pregnant women (I’m not sure why I made that distinction – like a man could ever be pregnant) to smoke and drink alcohol. We now know this is a “no-no.“
In fact, if you watch older shows or those depicting older times, the doctors who made sure everything was going according to plan throughout this precious pregnancy period often smoked in the examination room – during the exam!
So, I guess the first thing we need to talk about here is if you smoke and drink – stop! At least cut it out during your pregnancy. This may seem like a “gimme” but you never know…
The next thing on our agenda today is…
What you should eat if you want a win-win for you and baby
This is one of the most exciting times in your life. Don’t let a bad diet spoil it for you and your new little bundle of joy. Now, I am not saying it is going to be all cake and frosting (or pickles and ice cream for that matter). You will be dealing with oddball cravings…certain foods may make you ill…but you may find that the most satisfying eats may not be right for your inner (and outer) glow.
Author’s note: Actually, when my wife was pregnant, she craved escargot and live conch siphons – sans ice cream – ending an 8 year vegetarian existence! I know… EWWW!
Okay, you get it. Good nutrition and plenty of it is one of the most important actionable ideas you can have. This month we are here to help! Now let’s roll our sleeves up and get busy…because you are going to need about 300 more calories each day to eat right than you did before you became pregnant.
All of your calories should come from high protein, high calcium and iron rich foods.
Whole grains are a good idea for everyone, but especially if you are with child. The recommended daily allowance is 6 – 11 servings of whole grains and healthy breads (made with unbleached, unprocessed flour or sprouted grain like Ezekiel bread)!
You should also limit caffeine containing beverages to no more than 2 cups per day. It may give you a morning boost, but caffeine does pass through the placenta to the baby and is a plausible cause of birth defects.
The reason to eat enriched grain products is they contain iron, B complex, minerals and folic acid (which is very important because it reduces the risk of brain and spinal cord defects by up to 70%). You can get more folic acid from OJ, spinach and kale.
Next, you will need:
- 2 – 4 servings of fruit
- 4 or more servings of vegetables (basically, all you can eat)
- 4 servings of dairy (or if you are vegan, be sure to get 1000 mg of calcium every day)
- 3 servings of protein – beef, chicken, fish, eggs and nuts
Your daily dose of necessities
Here is a bit of a chart for you to take a gander at because there is no need for guesswork and this no time to “wing it!”
The following is a nutritional chart you should follow closely when pregnant. It gives you a clear idea on what to take in each day if you want to stay healthy and nourish your precious baby.
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