Whether you are the one with a bun in the oven, or know someone who is, you’ve probably noticed the overwhelming amount of information out there about what to expect when you’re expecting. Talk about information overload! It’s important to remember, especially during pregnancy, one size definitely does not fit all. Being armed with knowledge will help you adapt and discover what works best for you to keep you healthy and feeling great throughout your pregnancy.
Morning Sickness, Anyone?
Morning sickness - it’s not just for mornings anymore. During the first trimester it is not uncommon to feel queasy almost any time of day. For some women it can even last beyondthe first three months. Finding ways to still get the nutrition you need can be challenging. Opting for smaller but more frequent meals and snacks is one way to do it. If you’re snacking more, the trick is to find healthy, nutrient dense snacks that aren’t loaded with sugar or empty calories. Protein Power Ball is a delicious snack option that is packed with protein and made with nutritious, simple ingredients. A main ingredient in Protein Power Ball are dates and these superfruits provide you with a ton of vitamins, minerals, and studies show dates are great to consume during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Poultry leads to puking? Spaghetti makes you squeamish? If you are suddenly turned off by foods you used to love, there is no need to be concerned. Pregnancy hormones can leave your sense of taste and smell overwhelmingly sensitive or even underwhelmingly dull. Finding the foods that are both appealing and nutritious can be tricky, but with a little experimentation, you will discover that there are plenty of satisfying selections that will hit the spot.
With the food aversions you might be experiencing, a plant-based diet is a great alternative during pregnancy. Foods high in protein such as lentils are not only versatile and satiating they are full of folate which is essential to the formation of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Your need for iron is more important as your pregnancy progresses. To increase the body’s ability to absorb iron from leafy greens, beans and tofu, add foods rich in vitamin C to your dish. And, since your little one’s healthy bone development depends on an adequate supply of calcium and vitamin D, colorful vegetables, beans and fruits along with exposure to sunshine can give you what you need without eating dairy. Stay mindful of a well balanced, appealing variety of foods to keep you going strong.
Pregnancy cravings are real and shouldn’t be ignored. If you crave certain foods it may be your body trying to tell you what it needs. Of course, giving in to those indulgent cravings occasionally is perfectly fine, but moderation and finding healthful substitutes is a better idea.
If you’re craving the mouth watering pucker from sour foods, step away from the sour candies and grab a citrus fruit or granny smith apple instead. Satisfied by salty snacks? While it is best to minimize your salt intake during pregnancy, a handful of lightly salted almonds can do the trick while also providing protein and healthy nutrients. Does an indulgent candy bar make you happy? Go on over to the dark side and savor a piece of dark chocolate as an alternative. Research shows that dark chocolate may lower the risk of preeclampsia (a disorder in pregnant women accompanied by high blood pressure, and swelling of the hands and face) and can also be a natural mood booster.
Moving Right Along
When you just want to sit on the couch and put your feet up - do it! Let’s face it, being pregnant is hard work and sometimes you just have to give in to that afternoon nap. However, regular exercise during pregnancy is still important. You will need to modify your usual routines and not overdo things, but consistent physical activity will help both you and your baby. Contact sports and jumping will have to wait until after the baby arrives, so instead, try walking, swimming or light body weight training. Be sure to warm up and cool down before each workout, drink plenty of water and try not to wear restrictive clothing. Always consult with your doctor before undertaking any exercise program during pregnancy.
Ultimately, the goal is to live an active and healthy lifestyle for you and your baby. Choose foods that appeal to your changing tastes and sensibilities while giving you the nutrients your growing baby needs. By keeping healthy snacks on hand you can ensure that you have the best options available when hunger or cravings strike. Afterall, a bit of self care during your pregnancy will go a long way to prepare you for the arrival of your little bundle of joy.