I’m Pregnant! Now What?

I am entering the stage of life where all of my beautiful friends are pregnant! So in honor of all my beautiful, expecting mothers, let’s have a chat on controlling your nutrition during pregnancy so we gain an appropriate amount of weight. You do not want to be fighting for years after birth to get rid of the “baby weight.” Do it right now and thank me later! 

You do not need to “eat for two”. Your diet should not change significantly the first 3 months of pregnancy, but your intake will need an increase by 300 calories in the second trimester, and 500 calories in the third trimester. And by extra calories, this should not be attained from sodas, sweets, and junk. Think about your baby and feed he/she a healthy diet in the womb. Dieting for fat loss is out of the question when pregnant. The recommended weight gain is typically 25-35 pounds for a healthy woman, and only about 11-20 pounds for women who are overweight.

To add extra calories, consider adding 2 of these healthy snacks in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

  • Granola bar or other healthy snack bar with almond milk
  • Greek yogurt, almonds, and 1/2 cup berries
  • Apples and 2 T natural peanut butter
  • Carrots and celery dipped in hummus
  • Two Rice cakes and 2 T almond butter
  • Trail mix made of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit

What NOT to eat. It is typical that your physician will review a healthy diet with you but you must stay away from some foods to fuel that healthy baby and give he/she what’s needed.

  • High mercury fish. For example Shark, Swordfish, King mackerel, Golden or white snapper, Tuna (limit to 6 oz each week).
  • Raw fish and sushi.
  • Undercooked meats. For me, it would be really sad to give up my medium rare filet. It’s necessary!
  • Processed meat. Think- sandwich meat and hotdogs.
  • Raw eggs. This would mean none of my Granny’s homemade ice cream and licking the bowl of homemade cookie dough.
  • Caffeine. It should be LIMITED to <200 mg caffeine or the equivalent of 2 cups coffee per day.
  • Alcohol. DUH. Think- potential fetal alcohol syndrome. 
  • Junk foods. This one may hurt ladies. No Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Coke, Doritos, Cheetos, Pringles, Ruffles, Twinkies, Honey Buns. Processed junk is low in nutrients, high in calories, sugar, and added fats. Does potential “Gestational Diabetes” sound scary?

Tackle Morning Sickness… or All Day Sickness. I feel so sorry for my sweet friends who are nauseated and vomiting in their first trimester. I would prefer to kiss a snake. I digress. Here are some tips for fuel to calm the nausea.

  • Have four to six small meals instead of three large meals each day. I specifically design these on nutrition plans.
  • Try eating saltine crackers before getting out of bed.
  • Choose cold foods instead of hot foods.
  • Avoid foods with strong smells.
  • Stay away from heavy, fatty foods.
  • Consider eating bland foods and not adding too many spices.
  • Serve only solid foods at meals, and have liquids between meals.
  • Suck on a fresh lemon wedge or add lemon to your water.
  • Take time to enjoy your food by eating slowly.
  • Add ginger to food. 
  • Not food related but…QueaseEASE or Mums2Be by Soothing Scents! It’s an all natural essential oil blend that helps manage nausea. You take deep breaths of the soothing scent to calm your queasiness and take back control of your day. What’s even better is you can smell it all day every day and it won’t be harmful like when taking medications. 

Eat your fats! Omega-3 fatty acids that is. These are necessary for brain growth and development. They are found in fish and seafood, some eggs, walnuts, flaxseeds, canola oil, and soy oil. 

Take away message. It is always important to chat with your physician or registered dietitian regarding a nutrition plan. With all this information, I hope you find yourself motivated for you and your baby to attain a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy. You owe it to you and your growing family!

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