Nutritional Demands on a Expectant Mother:
Pregnancy is a very nutritionally demanding time in a woman’s life because she is literally building a new human being. Proper nutrition will help the development of her baby’s immune system and brain function, as well as all other areas of healthy growth. It is therefore vital that she follows good nutrition principles and avoids things that may be toxic to her growing foetus.
5 Eating Tips for Expectant Mothers to start following right now:
Get lots of Vitamin D.
Literally every cell in the human body has receptor sites for vitamin D. During pregnancy it helps the development of baby’s immune system and skeletal system. If mom is deficient in vitamin D this is bad news as studies have also shown it helps to protect against birth defects.
The best source of vitamin D is 20 minutes of direct sunlight on the skin daily, as the body makes vitamin D from cholesterol during sun exposure. Other good ways to get enough vitamin D during pregnancy are taking cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements.
Eat more fat.
Our body’s need fat and cholesterol to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like A and D. The fats ensure proper brain development as our brains are actually about 60% fats. Healthy fat found in nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts, grass-fed meats, grass-fed butter, fish, plain yogurt and eggs are very beneficial during pregnancy.
Consume animal-derived Omega 3 fatty acid.
Most people are deficient in essential omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. This is important to address during pregnancy because the growing foetus cannot make these fatty acids and must get them from the mother.
DHA is important in brain, immune and nervous system development. The baby can draw on mom’s limited DHA supply, which may lead to mom becoming deficient, and this may contribute to post partum depression. It is not wise to get these fatty acids from nuts and seeds because this involves a conversion process that most people are not able to make.
Eating wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats and supplementing with a high quality supplement are excellent ways to ensure you and your baby are getting enough of these nutrients.
Get plenty of probiotics.
The gut flora is our first line of defence in our immune system and we continue to learn just how important these healthy colonies are to our health. They can prevent allergies; reduce risk of autism and metabolic syndrome, produce vitamins and much more.
A baby is born with a sterile gut and it begins colonising as soon as baby enters the birth canal, and then during breastfeeding. For this reason, mom must make sure she is offering her new-born the best healthy gut flora by boosting her own before and during pregnancy.
The best way to get more probiotics is through a high quality supplement and eating plenty of fermented foods and beverages like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and kefir.
Lose the caffeine.
Caffeine in a much debated topic in prenatal nutrition. The fact of the matter is that coffee can be dangerous to the foetus because it can cross the placenta and get directly to the baby’s blood stream. One study showed that women who drank coffee during pregnancy had increased chance of delivering a low birth weight baby.
Coffee does not provide any benefit, it may actually be harmful and it just isn’t necessary. If you are fighting fatigue with coffee it might be better to improve your nutritional status instead.