Preconception and Prenatal Nutrition Part 2
In the last post we took a bit of time to look at how what we eat before and during pregnancy can affect our experience.
How we feel day in and day out is partly a result of what we consume. Not only do our food choices affect our general health and well being during pregnancy (and all of the time), these choices may even affect how we give birth. To quote our last post, "Eating mindfully before and during pregnancy will not only help you feel the best you can but may help keep some pregnancy conditions and complaints such as constipation, headaches, exhaustion, and even preeclampsia and gestational diabetes at bay" (1, 2, 3). Based on the presence of certain conditions, your birth may need to be expedited and/or be in need of intervention.
Lastly, "our food choices are shown to affect our children’s future health for better or worse" (4).
"The children we grow are made up of what we eat.
The food we eat is what knits their bones ...
with what building blocks will we choose to create our next generation?"
- Dawn Combs (Conceiving Healthy Babies)
What a precious gift we can give to our littles, simply by making informed and conscious choices about what we eat each day.
As a momma who tries to fill my family's bellies with nutritious foods, budget is of course in the forefront of my mind. "Isn’t it expensive to eat well?" Well, if we are comparing organic produce to the fast food dollar menu, then the answer may be yes. But, the answer may also be no. When good nutrition is lacking, a highly interventive birth and/or an unhealthy child may result (both of which could potentially end up being more expensive in the long run). Of course, we can do all the right things and still end up with outcomes beyond our control. Yet, we as future mommas are in charge of what we put into our bodies.. Let's do our part!
I thought it could be helpful to share a single day pregnancy menu in hopes to demystify the difficulty level and overall cost. Enjoy!
BREAKFAST - pastured egg with pink salt, sprouted Ezekial toast with nut butter of choice, green smoothie
SNACK - coconut or almond milk yogurt and granola
LUNCH - cilantro quinoa soup topped with avocado and lots of fresh cilantro
SNACK - handful of walnuts and a banana
DINNER - pastured, humane raised, grass fed bison (or black bean) burgers and side salad (lots of organic mixed greens and veggies with a lemon and olive oil dressing)
DESSERT OPTIONS - Small handful of enjoy life chocolate chips, chocolate smoothie, or dairy free ice cream with frozen berries. I personally ate something sweet when I craved it. If we deprive ourselves, we will most likely end up binging. We should mindfully allow ourselves to enjoy a bit of whatever our current pregnancy craving is and simply remember that balance is key.
If you like to keep track of the nutrients you consume, the menu listed above contains around 100g of protein, over 60g of fiber, around 150g of good fat, and over 1600mg of potassium. You will also have consumed terrific amounts of vitamin A, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin K, folate, probiotics, and the list goes on!
We can give special care to ourselves and to our babies by making the effort to be conscious with our food choices. This extends from pre-conception, throughout our pregnancies, and beyond. Not only can our habitual nourishment help us feel our best, it can also help keep our growing littles healthy.
Warm wishes for a happy day!
If you'd like to find some more yummy and nutritious recipes 'Feed Yourself, Feed Your Family', by La Leche League International is my recommendation!
*Regardless of how you choose to eat, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to be sure you are receiving the proper nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy.