I firmly believe that excellent nutrition in pregnancy is vital. If you've read any of the articles I've written about food you know that 😉
I continue to emphasize it because so many women don't realize just how important it is. Of course there are articles all over telling you to eat your veggies and get plenty of whole grains. But those very same articles give some very bad nutrition information for your pregnancy.
One of the fundamental ways these articles mislead you is by telling you that you really don't need very much extra food during pregnancy. You're not “eating for two” the articles say. In fact, they claim that at the end of pregnancy you need a mere 300 calories more than when non-pregnant. And you supposedly don't even need that at the beginning of your pregnancy!
I'm going to let you know now that this information is wrong – don't believe it!
I had a horrible day recently. Let me tell you why. I normally eat three meals and three snacks every day. Two of my snacks are made of 2 cups of milk (each snack) and another protein/fat source (like cheese or nuts). Well we ran out of milk and I wasn't able to go out and get any. I missed having just the milk from my snack for a day, and then the next morning.
By lunchtime on the second day I felt horrible. I felt exhausted, and a little nauseous. A friend called me shortly after lunch and immediately asked if I felt OK. I told her no.
As soon as naptime was over that day I took the kids to the store and we got milk. Since then I've made sure milk is available for my snacks – or that I add extra to my snack to make up for the milk I missed.
I felt this bad from missing the protein/fat/minerals/vitamins from just a few snacks. I was still eating full, big meals – meals packed with nutrition.
But my body and my baby knew they needed more than that.
You Are Building a Whole Person
In pregnancy you are building a human being from scratch! Your body has to continue to support itself and build an incredibly complex life form at the same time.
It's a modern lie that your body “only” needs 300 extra calories, and that you should use “low-fat” products. During pregnancy you need to eat. You need extra protein, fat, vitamins, minerals – everything. Do eat plenty of veggies and whole grains. But you should also be sure you're getting good healthy fats and proteins in your diet.
Be sure you're eating enough to stay on top of your baby's rapid growth – and the increased needs of your own body! Your blood volume expands, your babe is growing, and you need to store some extra “padding” for breastfeeding your baby.
I also personally feel that you should eat meats, eggs, and dairy products during your pregnancy to give your baby the most nutrient dense foods as possible – and to build your own body up for pregnancy and for your birth and postpartum period.
Do your baby and yourself a favor… ignore the magazines and eat a bountiful, nutrient dense diet.
- The Importance of Pregnancy Diet (detailed article)
- An Outline of Balanced Prenatal Nutrition
- Have a Healthy Natural Pregnancy
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