You’re pregnant! Yay!
No more drinking. No smoking. Time to eat “healthier.”
But what does that mean? What exactly should you be eating?
Sure, you’re “eating for two” but that doesn’t mean you should be eating twice as much, and pregnancy is certainly not a free pass to indulge every unhealthy craving “because baby wants it.”
Strangely, the doctors don’t have any specific guidelines, do they? If you complain of morning sickness, you might even get this kind of advice:
“Eat anything you can, even it if it’s ice cream and gummy bears. Your baby will get the calories it needs.”
Baby will get the calories she needs, but what about the nutrients she needs to build an entirely new body in nine short months?
What about the Vitamins A and D your baby needs to craft a whole new set of organs?
What about the calcium and protein your baby needs to create strong, healthy bones and muscles?
What about the fatty acids your baby needs to build a powerful brain?
And don’t forget the importance of healthy bacteria for you and baby!
Add to that your needs as pregnancy changes your body like crazy, and your dietary choices become even more important.
You’ll need way more protein than before to lower your risk of preeclampsia.
Your blood volume will increase by 40% – 50%, so you’ll need more iron and all the essential minerals found in salt (Yes, salt! All-natural salt, like pink Himalayan salt, not table salt.).
And don’t forgot all those healthy fats you need in addition to what Baby needs. Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) need fat in order to be absorbed and utilized.
So if you’re searching for an optimal prenatal diet, look for nutritious, nutrient-dense “real” food. Skip the boxed stuff and the fast food. Choose unprocessed, preservative free, and chemical (read: pesticide) free nourishment.
Wellness Mama has some great nutritional and herbal guidelines in her post “Optimal Diet and Nutrition for Healthy Pregnancy,” and Nourished and Nurtured has a powerful post about nutrient dense diets: “A Nutrient-Dense Diet During Pregnancy Saved My Daughter’s Life.”
Here are some more articles on health and nutrition: