Congratulations! Your body has become the growing factory for a human life. Pregnancy is really a beautiful thing, but its not all that glorious. A baby will seek out all the nutrients it needs from its mother's vitamin and mineral stores. Blood volume will increase (working to double itself) and tissues will grow and expand to make room for baby. Organs will be pushed aside, hormones will change to compensate for the needs of mom and baby. Here is the important part: A mother's ability to function will depend heavily on her nutrient intake throughout the day. Because a fetus is designed to seek what it needs, it doesn't care if its leaving enough for mom. Eating enough quality nutrients will ensure that mom feels good while she is growing a baby!
Focus on quality calories.
Eat frequently, small meals help to keep the stomach at ease and fight morning sickness early on. High quality protein sources replenish your body's iron stores, necessary to an increased blood volume.
As long as you have been eating relatively healthy prior to pregnancy, it is likely your developing baby will find what it needs from the mother’s body. But that means the mother might not be getting enough micronutrients for herself. Many pregnancy symptoms are related to insufficient nutrients in the mother’s diet. Increased fatigue? Make sure you are getting sufficient sources of iron. Red meat, oysters, and spinach are great sources of iron in the diet.
Other nutrients like calcium and magnesium can be lacking during pregnancy. Make sure you are getting enough from your diet or supplementing properly. The bottom line is that the mother is going to suffer more (than her baby) if she is not eating well.
What does a healthy diet look like? I don’t count my macros, but I seek balance between protein, carbs, and fats. I was drinking a lot of kombucha during my first trimester especially. This helped to combat the nausea. I am currently in my second trimester and the nausea has subsided significantly. (Second trimester bliss!) Healthy, frequent eating is the constant goal, but it's not always easy to obtain on a busy schedule.
½ cup oatmeal - soaked overnight 1tbs syrup 1 cup raw milk 1 cup kombucha
1cup kombucha 1 cheese stick 5-6 carrot sticks 1 fruit leather
1 slice toast 2 tbsp PB 15 to 20 pecans w/ butter
2 cups raw milk
1 scoop EFM protein
1 cup pasta
1 Tbs butter
1 ounce pork sausage
2 cups water w/ lemon
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup rasperries
½ scoop strawberry whey
1 tbs lemon juice
½ scoop greens
2-3 ounce burger
1 slice cheddar
2 cups raw milk
1 cup rice
1 Tbs ketchup
4-5 carrot sticks
I like sugar a lot. I like desserts and sugary snacks, but sugary foods contain zero nutrients. Bill Cosby said that chocolate cake is a sufficient breakfast because it contains; eggs (good for you), butter (good fat); and flour, water, and sugar. This was comedy of course, but in reality there is very little good for you parts in sweet foods. Your body craves sugar when your are pregnant because it needs quick easy to digest calories. You can choose to satisfy this craving with fruit snacks or actually feed your body with nutrient dense foods like a piece of fruit or a smoothie with fruit and yogurt.
There are two reasons to avoid sugar, 1. It’s not good for you 2. You aren’t eating something good for you because you are eating something sugary instead.
It is generally recommended by health professionals to maintain moderate physical activity while pregnant. The type of physical activity can vary from one individual to the next. It is safe to continue any activity you were doing prior to pregnancy at a slightly lower intensity. Can you continue to CrossFit? Yes. Continue to run marathons? Yes, as long as you did prior to pregnancy. Yoga? Yes, with some pose modifications. Weightlifting? Yes! As long as you did it before and you can identify when the body is under stress.
Think Like an Athlete
Athletes focus on nutrition and high quality supplementation so they can achieve at a high level and recover as quickly as possible. Optimal eating during pregnancy will have the same effect for a woman’s health and wellness and for her developing fetus. Ultimately the better you eat, the better you feel and the more you will be able to function in your daily life. Often times women quietly suffer feeling awful as they go about their work, and daily life during pregnancy. It is possible to continue to thrive in your daily life and physical training during pregnancy.
Follow Caitlin's pregnancy journey on Instagram @traditionalfoodsmodernlife