You’re pregnant! Congratulations! Navigating the dos and don’ts of eating while preggo can be a little intimidating. But don’t let it overwhelm you. Read mommy blogs and books until your heart is content and then 1) consult your physician and 2) listen to your inner voice. Each mama has their own path.
When I found out I was pregnant I wasn’t sad about giving up alcohol but I was oh sooooo sad about giving up sushi. But a few months in after we started our second trimester I marched right to our neighborhood sushi restaurant and ate salmon sashimi. Yummy! Other mamas I know adhered to stricter food rules – to each their own!
You decide what you can’t eat. I’m here to encourage you TO eat! Here are the top 20 ways to get the most out of food for you and that sweet baby you’re carrying around in your belly.
- Eat regularly- if you’re like me, breakfast is optional. But not when you’re carrying around a baby. The baby is depending on you for vitamins and nutrients. Eat up, mama.
- Pre-natal Vitamins- pre-natal vitamins can help close the gaps where your meals don’t exactly cut it. And they make such gentle ones these days, they’re no problem on a queasy tummy. Plus, they contain folic acid – which is a necessity for optimal baby development.
- Ginger Candy- nausea the real deal. If you’re experiencing it, I hope it goes away soon. Until then, scoop up some ginger candy and keep it in your purse. It helps with heartburn, nausea, indigestion, and bloating.
- Peppermint Esssential Oil- Consult with your physician, remember. But I used Peppermint oil to help with headaches and nausea. Dab a few drops on a damp wash cloth and place over your forehead. Wonders!
- Eating for 2 is a myth – bummer, I know. Preggo mamas are actually eating for about 1.1 or 1.5. You only need about 100-300 more calories than your natural intake of food. Additionally, these calories should be nutrient rich. Avoid the Sour Patch kids – I ate A TON – but I don’t think they helped any.
- Whole Grains-make a hot bowl of oatmeal and go to town. Oatmeal provides fiber, iron and protein. And if you’re planning on nursing, this is a great way to keep your milk supply up.
- Beans, beans, the more you eat, the more you….get good nutrients, SILLY! What were you thinking? They’re packed with calcium and zinc.
- Salmon- Salmon is chock full of Omega-3 fatty acids, great for your baby’s brain and eyes. You can also take an Omega-3 vitamin if fish is not for you.
- Eggs- a quick easy way for you to get protein. Hard boil some eggs once a week, sprinkle salt on it and throw it in a zip lock. Snacks at the ready!
- Berries- I hope berries are in season while you’re carrying around that baby. They are the perfect accompaniment to yogurt or a slice of chocolate cake – and they are a good source of vitamin C and potassium.
- Sweet Potatoes- so easy and so good, ladies! There’s enough Vitamin A in a serving of sweet potatoes for an entire army.
- Walnuts- Walnuts contain Omega-3 fatty acids as well as important anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and antioxidants. These phytonutrients help your overworked circulatory system and blood vessels to perform at peak levels. Circulation is a big deal when your heart is pumping for two.
- Greek Yogurt- It’s filling (holla!), lower in sugar and packs a protein punch.
- Dark green, leafy veggies- Hopefully you’re ‘regular’. But it you’re not – I have been there! Pregnancy does a real number on your bowels. Eating dark green, leafy veggies help keep things flowing. You can also rely on Colace or Metamucil if you’re having a particularly difficult time.
- Colorful fruits and veggies—venture out here! Try to buy whatever is in season. These vitamin dense fruits will provide vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. Plus it’s a great way to get reacquainted with them before you start serving them to baby as purees and solids.
Then as your pregnancy progresses focus on eating foods that you will want baby to eat in the future. They’re already taking cues from you, mama! Be sure to introduce a variety of foods into your diet so your baby will be familiar with the tastes. If you don’t like broccoli, it’s likely your baby won’t either.
A few months before your due date you can add some herbal capsules and teas to your regimen.
16.Evening primrose oil- capsules. They help to soften and thin the cervix. It’s said to help prevent tearing. Obviously, I took them!
17. Raspberry Leaf Tea-This tea helps tone the muscles of the uterus and helps ripen your cervix for labor.
And when you’re about to POP – here are some anecdotal ways to get the train moving.
18.Pineapple- it’s thought to be a cervical ripening agent.
19. Spicy foods-the theory is that it causes contractions by stimulating the digestive system. There’s no proof—but why not try it?
20. Eggplant Parmesan- On a tip from a girlfriend I made Scalini’s recipe from scratch. It didn’t work—but it was delicious and I was able to freeze some and eat it after the baby was born. Perfect!
All the best to you, mama! And remember, you’re mama intuition is a powerful tool – you choose what’s best for you and your family.