Whether it’s your first pregnancy, or you’re already a mama, there’s no doubt that this journey can be an overwhelming season of life.
Beautiful yes, but still, between your changing body, unexpected cravings, and just the general prep work of welcoming a new soul into your world, you undoubtedly have a lot on your mind.
So today we wanted to help you along on your journey by providing some tips on how to nourish your body while pregnant.
Because trust us, as the vessel for your little bundle of joy for the next nine months, it’s absolutely essential that you’re providing the best environment that you can, and that starts with taking care of yourself.
While we of course always suggest consulting with your health care practitioner before making any major changes to your eating habits, here are five foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet for a healthy pregnancy:
1) Eat Your Veggies!
If you weren’t a vegetable lover prior to becoming pregnant, now is the time to start, because there’s no more nutrient dense food than vegetables.
In particular, we highly recommend getting more dark, leafy greens (i.e. spinach and kale) and broccoli onto your plate. Why? Well, because these pregnancy power foods are full of nutrients that are key to a healthy pregnancy, like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, potassium, and antioxidants. Seriously, these foods are absolute powerhouses when it comes to your pregnancy diet.
In addition, when adding more vegetables into your pregnancy diet, don’t forget about sweet potatoes. These little pregnancy superfoods are great for increasing your vitamin A intake, which is absolutely essential for healthy fetal development. In fact, pregnant woman are advised to increase their vitamin A intake by 10-40%, depending on what your doctor recommends.
And hey, you can easily bake some sweet potatoes in the oven, and you’ve got yourself some healthy french fries. Not a bad deal, right?
2) Say Hello To Legumes
Not sure what a legume is? Legumes are the category of food that includes things like beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts.
So why should you add more legumes into your pregnancy diet? Well, largely because this is an easy way for you to get some extra, much needed protein. Pregnant women need an extra 10g of protein, and when you have legumes handy, you can easily snack on some roasted chickpeas, add beans to a rice dish, or simply keep a handful of nuts around for easy snacking.
Plus, don’t forget that legumes are also an excellent source of fiber, iron, and calcium, which are all nutrients that you’re going to need more of during pregnancy. Add more legumes into your diet, and you’ll be well on your way to getting more of the nutrients that you need.
3) Try To Incorporate Lean Meat
While the choice to eat meat is a very personal one, if you are a meat eater, it is highly recommended that you add more lean meat into your diet.
This is absolutely essential due to your increased blood volume, which will result in a stronger need for iron. If you’re not getting enough iron, it could lead to iron deficiency anemia, which will double your risk for delivering early and having a baby with a low birth weight.
Of course there are plenty of factors that could lead to complications like this, but by working in more lean meat into your pregnancy diet, you’ll run a much better chance of not having to experience any of these scary complications.
4) Let’s Talk Fruit
Very few people don’t like fruit, so let’s talk about nature’s candy for a second, shall we?
Yes, when you’re pregnant, you absolutely should be eating more fruit. In particular, you’ll find that avocados, berries, and bananas are some of your best friends.
Due to their high potassium levels, bananas will help to ward off any pregnancy fatigue that you may be experiencing.
Berries are excellent sources of antioxidants, Vitamin C (which helps to absorb iron), and water, which are all necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.
And, with avocados, you’re providing your body with monounsaturated fats, which are a healthy fat that will help when building your baby’s brain, tissues, and skin.
Easily work all three of these healthy fruits into your life by whipping them up into a delicious smoothie. The banana will act as a great base, the berries will add some sweetness, and then avocado will make the smoothie extra creamy. Throw in a splash of almond milk or regular milk with some ice, and you’ve got yourself a delicious on-the-go breakfast that’s perfect for the busy mama.
5) Water, Water, and More Water!
We can’t say it enough, but there’s very few things that are more important than ensuring that you’re getting plenty of water during your pregnancy.
Staying properly hydrated is not only super important for your own health and general well-being, it’s also important for your baby.
Remember, you’re creating your baby’s environment, and if you’re dehydrated, the environment is not going to be as ideal as it could be. Not to mention, you’ll also likely feel fatigued, groggy, anxious, and irritable, with some unpleasant headaches thrown in.
Like we mentioned above, your blood volume significantly increases during pregnancy (up to 1.5 litres or 50 ounces), so it’s more important than ever that you constantly have a water bottle nearby. Trust us, it’s an easy habit to get into, and once you start drinking more water, we’re certain you’ll quickly see the benefits that it can provide to your overall well-being.
While every mama-to-be will have a different diet based on her needs and unique situation, all the foods that we’ve provided here are excellent sources of nutrition that are not only going to help you feel great during your pregnancy, they’ll also help to ensure that your little babe is happy and healthy in his or her nine month home.
Don’t forget that you’re the one creating this home. Feed your body with nourishing foods, and you’ll be well on your way to being the best mama that you can be.
Cookies For Milk Supply
Once your baby's arrived, it's important for many mummas to alter their diet boost their milk supply. Lactation cookies include a number of ingredients that do this naturally. They taste great, stave off the hunger that comes with breastfeeding and they're easy to prepare at home.
Here's a simple recipe we've found from Mummas Weeds.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or raisins)
3/4 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 180 c. Cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Mix in vanilla. Beat in one egg at a time.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Slowly add dry mix to butter/sugar mix. Stir in oats and chocolate chips, 1 cup at a time.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before moving to cooling racks. Freeze in an air-tight container.