It’s never too soon to start thinking about how nutrition can support the health of your child and good nutrition during pregnancy can help create a solid foundation life. A woman’s pre-pregnancy condition is an important factor in a healthy pregnancy. Since the risk of nutrient depletions is greatly enhanced during pregnancy and nursing, entering this period with bad habits can mean years of recovery for a new mom. However, regardless of the stage, pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, or post-pregnancy, there is no better time than right now to start to make some changes that can positively influence the health you and your baby. The key for pregnancy nutrition is to eat highly nourishing foods, not to overeat or eat too many overly processed, high-fat or salty foods.
Simple nutritional changes may help with some of the common problems of pregnancy. Morning sickness, nausea and vomiting are especially common during the first few months. During the night, the liver works to eliminate toxins, which remain in the system upon wakening. A good diet and avoidance of fatty foods, alcohol and other liver irritating drugs before pregnancy is helpful in minimizing morning sickness. Acidic foods such as citrus fruits or juice and iron supplements may actually increase nausea and vomiting. Herbs can often be helpful during bouts of nausea and vomiting. Raspberry leaf, peppermint, or ginger root teas can be effective and safe during pregnancy.
There is no trick to eating well. It is the stuff we have all heard before. Drink lots of water. Consume your required intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. Minimize fat, salt and sugar intake. However, with all the information out there it can be difficult to know where to start. To create a strong foundation try following these simple guidelines:
- Consume a diet that is rich in fibre. A high fibre diet keeps the intestines moving, which helps elimination and detoxification.
- Drink more water. 50-70% of our total body weight is water. The brain is composed of 70 percent water, lungs are nearly 90 percent water and our blood is about 83 percent water, which helps digest our food, transport and eliminate waste and toxins, mobilize fat, and control body temperature.
- Plan your meals so that you consume 6 small meals and snacks throughout the day.
- Control you portion sizes. Out of control portions will lead to excessive weight gain, digestive problems and lethargy.
- Commit to shopping at least once a week to stock up on healthy choices.
- Eliminate any unhealthy temptations from your environment (work, home, car) and replace with healthy alternatives
With nutrition, the small changes to your eating habits will often bring about big differences. The new habits just need to be consistent on a long-term basis. Perhaps start with one area at a time. Once you have that habit mastered, take on the next nutrition goal. One step at a time and soon your diet will provide you with all the nutrients necessary to achieve optimum health for you and your baby.