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, just like many other expecting moms you are also battling nausea and indigestion, especially during the earliest stages. That can make the idea of eating nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods less appealing. All the while, it doesn't make you worry any less about getting all the nourishment the two of you need.
"With morning sickness, gassiness and managing the pain of swollen joints, feeling good during pregnancy can be a challenge for any woman," says Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and Vitamin Packs Medical Advisor. "The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to maintain a healthy diet and feel as good as possible during your pregnancy."
Somer shares nutrition tips and the top nutrients to help you feel your best and support your health during pregnancy.
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. Prenatal vitamins from Vitamin Packs are made with organic ginger and a more absorbable form of vitamin B6, helping to ease your upset stomach and nausea.
Somer recommends every expecting mother take a multivitamin during pregnancy, starting with a quick online assessment on VitaminPacks.com/prepostnatal. Your medications, diet and health concerns will be factored into your personalized selection of supplements, so you can be assured that taking them will be safe and effective during this critical time. You also can pull from their online library to get more information about any of their supplements. And, if you have any further questions or concerns about getting your nutritional needs met, a consultation with a nutritionist is just a phone call away. You deserve the best foundation of nutritional support that's personalized for you and baby.
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 percent, according to the American Pregnancy Association. 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.
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.
There's a bounty of nutrients and micronutrients found in produce that can help mother and baby in numerous ways. Antioxidants found in dark colored 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!
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