Today I have a guest poster who reached out to me to use my blog as a platform to discuss a topic she is very passionate about — pregnancy and all things related. Since I just went through being pregnant myself, of course I was curious of what she’d have to say about pregnancy nutrition! There are some great tips in here I plan to follow as well since I’m a nursing mama. Thanks for the great info, Katie!
My pregnant belly with Kinley. Photo by Sweet Memories Portraits.
Can the words “pregnancy” and “diet” go together? Many people would say, “No.” Often, people think that the word “diet” means that one is eating less than normal in an attempt to lose weight. However, the word “diet” only means the kinds of food that a person eats. Pregnancy is actually a great time to overhaul your diet and become more aware of what you are putting into your body.
Even if you start out your pregnancy overweight, if you are careful with your diet, you can still have a healthy pregnancy. Remember to speak to your doctor before you make any big changes regarding your diet, as you should consult with them throughout your whole pregnancy about different topics i.e. pain management medicine, cord blood banking, and even circumcision.
If you have struggled with your weight in the past, you may have no idea what healthy eating really looks like. In the attempt to lose weight from time to time, you may have restricted carbohydrates, gone vegetarian or cut out all fat from your diet. However, a healthy pregnancy diet can include these five food groups in moderation.
Carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation in the past couple of years. However, not all carbohydrates are equal. A bag of potato chips is not the same nutritionally as a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal. In pregnancy, you should choose the highest quality carbohydrates to eat. These choices should not be loaded with sugar or salt, but they should have plenty of fiber to keep your digestive system on track and your stomach full for longer amounts of time. Three or four one-cup servings from this group should be plenty of carbohydrates each day.
2. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies are one food group of which you cannot overeat in pregnancy. You should strive to include at least five half-cup servings in your diet each day during pregnancy. However, if you feel like eating more than that, go right ahead. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, while being very low in calories.
3. Meat, Nuts and Proteins
Consuming adequate amounts of protein during pregnancy is crucial, since protein is the substance from which your baby’s body tissues are created. Meat is an excellent source of protein, but you should choose lean meat, like boneless chicken breasts, rather than fatty cuts, such as bacon. Beans and nuts are good sources of protein as well, but, with nuts, you should keep in mind that they are high in fat, too. You should consume a total of about 70 grams of protein each day, which translates to about four three-ounce servings of meat or two one-cup servings of beans.
4. Milk and Milk Products
Milk products are loaded with calcium, which contributes to the bone formation of your new little one. If a pregnant woman does not get enough calcium, her body will take calcium from her bones to nourish the developing baby. Pregnant women need three or four servings of milk, yogurt or cheese each day. Make these of the highest quality that you can afford to buy, and try to get low-sugar yogurt most of the time.
5. Yogurt with Fruit
This snack packs a big nutritional punch, giving expectant mothers one serving of dairy food and one serving of fruit. The nuts provide protein to help you avoid hunger pangs later in the day
½ cup yogurt, plain or vanilla
½ cup canned mandarin oranges, drained of juice
1 tablespoon honey or other sweetener
1 tablespoon chopped almonds
Stir together the honey and yogurt. Gently fold in the fruit. Top with the chopped nuts.
Pregnancy is a wonderful time to change your diet from unhealthy to wholesome. You and your baby will both benefit from changing the way that you eat during pregnancy. Indulging in a pleasurable food item, like chocolate or ice cream, is okay, but you should limit your indulgence to perhaps two or three times a week!
This is a guest post written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the Mom-o-sphere of the blogging world. Just after becoming a Mom herself, Katie took to blogging to share her knowledge and passion for motherhood, pregnancy, children, fitness and overall health. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing and researching, and connecting with others! If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog “Moore From Katie,” or her twitter @moorekm26.
What healthy foods did you crave during pregnancy? I ate TONS of fruit both times — especially watermelon. Yum!