When you see that pink stripe, every aspect of your life will change. Suddenly, an act like sitting down for your favorite TV show with a bag of chips, which wouldn’t have elicited the barest notice before, will come under an incredible amount of scrutiny. Is it okay to eat chips when you’re pregnant? How many can you have? And if you’re going to eat them, shouldn’t you at least go for a walk or a yoga class afterwards instead of sitting in front of the boob tube like a bump on a log? Before you know it, you’ll be examining everything in your life in relation to how it could affect your pregnancy. And when it comes to your health and that of your unborn child, there are few things more important than nutrition, which means eating healthy will become your primary concern.
Of course, if you’re like most women, you’ll like get off to a rocky start. Studies show that nearly 70% of pregnant women suffer from some form of morning sickness, and expansive scientific research has shown that this is not only a response to increased hormones (and potentially the body’s reaction to an invading presence – the fetus), but it can be partially attributed to a defense mechanism ingrained in your body to protect your developing child from harm. In fact, many women form an aversion to animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, etc.) that trigger nausea, as well as possible toxins like caffeine. It turns out that pregnant women may be pre-programmed to avoid foods that could compromise the health of their babies.
So even though you may curse morning sickness and the revulsion caused by foods you used to love, remember that your body has its own methods of keeping you healthy. Beyond that, you will have to try to maintain a rounded diet. While you will certainly have urges that require examination (if you crave pickles, it could be a sign that your body needs sodium, for example), you should attempt to create a diet that is high in grains, fruits, veggies, and protein, as well as plenty of dairy (or other sources of calcium). It’s important to make sure that you’re consuming all of the nutrients that your body needs to support another life. You’ll also want to include prenatal vitamins so that your baby can develop properly. Add key vitamins like A and C, as well as iron and folic acid, through the foods you eat. Just make sure to check in with your doctor frequently to see that you are doing everything you can to provide a diet that is best for your baby.
During pregnancy protein, carbs, healthy fats, and vitamins are going to be essential to the ongoing health and development of your baby. You need to carefully plan your diet to ensure that you’re getting the proper nutrition to support yourself and your child. You may have a difficult time at first with morning sickness preventing you from eating certain foods (or eating at all), but consider it the first test of motherhood and do everything you can to make sure your baby is born in the best possible health.