Your eating habits before and during pregnancy affect your baby’s health as much - or even more - than any other single factor.
Did you know that your baby’s body is built entirely from your nutrient reserves?!
It’s all you, mama!
A balanced, nutrient-dense way of eating during pregnancy is important to maintain your health and nourish your baby. In general, pregnant mamas need to increase their daily caloric intake by adding one to two snacks that include clean, high-quality proteins, healthy fats, organic fruits and veggies, and slow-burning carb sources.
During pregnancy, the raw materials for the cells, organs, tissues, and fluids that make up your developing babe are uniquely supplied by your diet. What you consume directly impacts your unborn baby.
The nine months that you spend growing and nurturing your baby are, by far, the most consequential period of their life. Those nine months permanently influence the wiring of their brain and the functioning of all their major organs. What you eat during pregnancy can impact your baby’s health, as well as your own, for decades to come.
So, no pressure 🙃.
Did you know that every single individual cell of your baby’s developing body is surrounded by a membrane composed primarily of fat?
Which is why fat is a critical element while growing your babe!
Fat is one of the key building blocks of your baby’s body – and your body. Their brain, cells, eyes, and hormones are composed mostly of fat.
Eating healthy fats keeps your baby’s brain growing optimally, gives you a feeling of satiety, ensures your body has the raw materials it needs to make all of your essential hormones and maintains your weight at optimum levels during pregnancy.
Clean healthy fat sources include wild-caught fatty fish and seafood, egg yolks from pastured chickens, organic grass-fed cultured ghee, organic, grass-fed butter, raw and unrefined coconut oil, MCT Oil, extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil, cold-pressed avocado oil, coconut milk, cold-pressed nut milks, unsweetened coconut flakes, raw coconut butter, avocados, olives in pure salt brine, chia seeds and ground flax seeds, raw unroasted nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
But what else should you focus on eating during pregnancy?
You will need more iron during your pregnancy than you did before. Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues. During pregnancy, you need double the amount of iron that non-pregnant women need. Your body needs this iron to make more blood to supply oxygen to your baby.
If you don't have enough iron stores or get enough iron during pregnancy, you could develop iron deficiency anemia. Severe iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy also increases your risk of premature birth, having a low birth weight baby, and postpartum depression.
Good iron sources include grass-fed red meat, organic pasture-raised poultry and eggs, lentils, beans, oatmeal, and organic non-GMO tempeh or tofu.
You and your babe need calcium for strong bones and teeth. Calcium also helps your circulatory, muscular, and nervous systems operate effectively and efficiently. Vitamin D is another critical nutrient that helps build your baby's bones and teeth.
Mineral-rich foods include organic bone broth, wild-caught fish and seafood, egg yolks, beans, spinach, and kale.
Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects, serious brain and spinal cord abnormalities, low birth weight, and neurological deterioration.
Foods rich in folate include leafy green vegetables, chickpeas and kidney beans, peas, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.
Even if you eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, you can still be low in key nutrients which is why it’s always recommended for pregnant women to supplement with a high-quality prenatal vitamin. In my opinion, you should also be supplementing with vitamin D and fish oil.
Looking for more nutritional direction to help optimize pregnancy and ensure your sweet babe is getting everything they need from mama?
Look no further.
I’ve joined forces with The Bloom Method to bring you a step-by-step guide to optimizing your pregnancy with food! Over the last several months, I’ve researched and gathered all the knowledge and resources I could find to create, hands-down, the most comprehensive pregnancy nutrition guide out there. You’ll find tips for success, frequently asked questions, nutrition and lifestyle guidelines, a daily checklist, how to add calories or make substitutions for those oh-so-yummy but not-so-great food choices. But most importantly – you’ll find a FOUR WEEK meal plan outlining what each and every day can look like, with recipes to match.
Women have been asking me to create something like this for years, and now it’s finally here.