We’ve been talking about the importance of nutrition, and making good nutrition choices on a daily basis, all month long – and pregnancy is one of the most important times to focus on optimal nutrition.
Your baby’s health will be determined by nutrition choices you make even before you conceive.
There are certain things you can do before you become pregnant that can help give your baby the gift of good health for life.
- Eat healthy – pretty much the same healthy way (food pyramind) that is recommended for everyone (more about foods in the list below)
- Supplement with all-natural, whole food supplements to cover the vitamins and minerals you don’t get enough of in your food.
- Get active – have a regular routine of physical activity in your life on a daily basis – walking is great so walk more whenever you can.
Let’s look at an analogy. Can you imagine a hopeful apple seed trying to grow into a healthy tree if all it has to nurture it is a bed of dry clay.
If it grows at all, it will most likely be stunted and weak. It will have sparse yellow leaves and small fruit; and its weakness will make it a target for disease and insects. Most likely it will die young, without having a chance to reach full glory!
That story is not meant to scare you, but to encourage you to consider the importance of nutrition to both your body and your baby.
Growing a healthy baby is a challenge. You and your baby’s nutritional state is more important than planning for all the material needs of a new baby. Yours and your baby’s health should take preference above a nursery, clothes, equipment and all kinds of baby product conveniences that are marketed today.
Many couples don’t start thinking about a healthy pregnancy until they are pregnant. You talk about prenatal programs on your first doctor visit.
The problem with this is that you’re not thinking about the nutritional adequacy of both mom and dad before conception.
Research shows that today this prenatal approach does not go far enough. Science can tell us that it is more beneficial to achieve an optimal nutrition state before conception.
Genetic biochemists say that both birth defects and genetic diseases, and even childhood cancers, can be the result of free radical damage of genetic material in either the sperm or the ova before conception even occurs.
We know that we can reduce free radical damage throughout our lives by consuming enough antioxidants, carotenoids, and other nutrients that fight free radicals.
Food for Pregnancy
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruits
- Lean meats, poultry and fish
- Dairy products
- Whole grains, nuts and seeds
- Avoid fast food, junk food, processed food, too many sweets, caffeine
- Avoid chemicals, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
- NO ALCOHOL
Fruits, vegetables and other foods have lots of antioxidants. Whole food, all-natural supplements that are made as close to the way that the nutrients are found in your food, in nature, as possible can help if you can’t or won’t eat enough of them in your food.
Again, all of these nutrition choices should be part of your pre-conception choices as well. For the best nutrition preparation for a pregnancy, both parents should target a healthy diet, including any needed whole food supplements, for at least six months before conception.
In doing some research for pregnancy nutrition, including weight gain, I found some interesting information.
Ideally, you, as an expectant mother, should consume sufficient natural food to gain two to four pounds during your first trimester, and then a pound a week after that.
This would result in a target weight gain of 25 to 30 pounds during your pregnancy. Today, even though we have a major problem with overweight and obesity, we also have a society that places value on being too thin.
Pregnancy is not a time when you want to worry about being thin. On the other hand, it’s not a time for a free pass to eat whatever you want. Nutrition counts more now than ever.
If you are eating well and still gaining too much weight, it’s not the time to think about a diet. Talk to your doctor and discuss the kinds of food and quantities that you are eating and he will advise you on your nutrition.
With all the information we have available to us today, especially online, you can do your own research as well and then talk with your doctor about your options and your goal of eating nutritiously and having a healthy pregnancy.
Choosing a Brand of Supplements
The foundation Shaklee nutrition program, Vitalizer, is excellent for pregnancy as well as throughout our adult lives. You have your multi-vitamin covered, extra antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, extra B and C vitamins and the probiotic that is so beneficial for your digestive and immune systems.
I also have always supported the soy protein products as part of daily nutrition, for overall great health and benefits to almost every part of your body. And then if you need more calcium, iron, or B vitamins, they can be added. Also science has discovered how extra omega-3’s taken during pregnancy can be beneficial to baby’s brain health, attention span (well into the second year of life) and learning abilities.
If you check labels, one will find that many off-the-shelf and even prescription prenatal vitamins contain artificial colors and/or flavors. Shaklee, of course, formulates its supplements without these artificial and unnecessary ingredients. This is an important issue for moms-to-be who look for less exposure to chemicals.
To learn about Shaklee all-natural, whole food nutrients for a healthy pregnancy, visit: All-Natural Nutrition.