If you’re like most expecting moms, you’ve already heard that a healthy, whole foods diet is best for you and baby, one that features plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins.
However, many expecting moms are also battling nausea and indigestion, especially during the earliest stages. That can make the idea of eating nutrient-dense, high-fibre foods less appealing. All the while, it doesn’t make you worry any less about getting all the nourishment the two of you need.
Here are some nutrition tips to help you feel your best and support your health during pregnancy.
Manage through morning sickness
Not long after you celebrate your pregnancy, morning sickness may settle in while your energy levels really start to lag. You can thank the surge of new hormones going through your body. At the same time, you may be concerned about getting enough folic acid (vitamin B9), as this is an essential nutrient that supports the baby’s brain and spinal cord development.
While nausea can dampen anyone’s desire to eat, it’s important to make sure you’re still nourishing your body. Try eating smaller meals throughout the day, don’t lie down after eating, and always take your prenatal vitamins with food. Choosing the right vitamins can help, too.
Mind your portions
After you get past that challenging first trimester, you’ll most likely be more in the mood to eat. Remember, weight gain is perfectly normal and healthy. In fact, you will need to consume extra calories to support the changes and development taking place inside your body. By the time you’re ready to give birth, your blood volume can go up as much as 60 per cent.
Even so, steer clear of the “eating for two” mindset. Too much weight can worsen your health, and keep you from feeling your best, especially if it leads to gestational diabetes and other serious health conditions. Talk to your doctor and take the advice on how many calories you should consume in a day.
Eat your fish
During pregnancy, your baby’s brain is undergoing rapid development. To support this, opt for foods that are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially during the second trimester. Common foods that contain these good fats are fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon, and herring. If the idea of eating fish makes you queasy, there are vegetarian sources available in the form of algae DHA omega-3 supplements.
Choose plenty of fruits and veggies
There’s a bounty of nutrients and micronutrients found in produce that can help mother and baby in numerous ways. Antioxidants found in dark coloured produce, such as blueberries, broccoli and carrots, support the baby’s brain health. Plus, eating fruits and veggies is one way to stay hydrated and relieve constipation (which is all too common during pregnancy).
Get ready for motherhood by taking on a healthy mindset and a nourishing diet. You and your baby will both reap the benefits.