You’ve heard it all before, “you’re eating for two,” “baby wants this ice cream,” “I’m nursing; I HAVE to eat these cookies!” How are you supposed to eat healthy in a world of morning sickness, cravings and midnight feeding sessions? Just remember, to properly take care of your brand new baby, you have to properly take care of yourself. At least for the foreseeable future, you alone will be your child’s sole source of nutrition. You want to give them the best possible start!
The Institute of Medicine recommends women with a normal BMI gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy*. In the US, 40% of expecting mothers gain more than the recommended amount. During pregnancy, you’ll only need to consume about 250-300 extra calories per day. That equates to an apple with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. (Put that pint of ice cream down!) While nursing, you need upwards of 500 extra calories per day. Make these calories as nutrient-dense as possible with super foods like blueberries, sweet potatoes, avocados, boiled eggs and nuts.
If you’re queasy during the first trimester, try breaking your meals down into smaller snack sized portions and eat more frequently. Try to eat within 30 minutes of waking up and eat small amounts every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Most women feel great during the second trimester. Take advantage of this time by trying some new fruits and veggies! Take a walk with your partner or go for a swim. During the third trimester you’ll need more calories, closer to 400 extra per day. Make sure to include lots of protein and calcium to support that rapidly growing baby!
Once you deliver, you’re still baby’s main source of nutrition! Your body is perfectly equipped to provide that little miracle with everything he/she needs! Even if you’re unable to nurse, you still need to fuel yourself properly to combat those sleepless nights! It is very important to include clean protein, fruits and veggies into your daily diet. Introduce your baby’s digestive system to healthy foods right from the start! Be sure to keep healthy, easy snacks in that brand new diaper bag of yours. Veggies dipped in hummus and fruits with natural peanut butter were always my favorites!
Of course, give in to those pregnancy cravings every now and then and don’t get too hung up on those skinny jeans (ironically – they’re still hanging up!) Check with your doctor before beginning any new workouts or diet plans and take care of yourself. We’re moms, we get it!