Oh, babies! And pregnancy. What a great time to fuel our body to bring a new human into the world!
The best time to begin thinking about pregnancy nutrition is before you conceive. But really – any time is better than not thinking about it at all.
So, let's talk about foods to include in your pre-pregnancy and pregnancy nutrition plan. Please talk with your doctor about any changes you plan to make to your nutrition and supplement protocol.
3 fertility and pregnancy foods:
Serving suggestion : 2-3 eggs per day
Choline can also be obtained from beef, seafood and cruciferous vegetables.
Cold-water, fatty fish (preferably wild-caught)
Omega-3 fats (DHA/EPA) – DHA helps in brain development during pregnancy and the first two years of infancy.
Serving suggestion : fresh seafood (wild salmon, canned salmon, sardines, shellfish) 2-4 times per week
DHA/EPA can also be obtained from grass-fed beef.
Healthy fats – Dairy is a healthy source of saturated fat and a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K2 & E).
Probiotics – Fermented products – like yogurt and kefir are great sources of beneficial bacteria, which is important because a baby’s first exposure to bacteria is in the mother’s birth canal.
Serving suggestion : As tolerated, 1-3 servings per day
Probiotics can also be found in fermented vegetables like sauerkraut.
Adequate protein consumption is important for the growth of a baby and to maintain adequate energy levels for the mother. Some women report less morning sickness when they consume more protein.
As a starting point, aim to eat 30% of total calories from protein.
Consuming fat from healthy sources is essential for a fetus’ organ and brain development.
Carbohydrates help maintain energy for the mother and aid in a baby’s growth. Vegetables and fruits are full of vitamins, minerals and water – all essential for development.
Carb sources include : fruit, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, squash, sweet potatoes, vegetables
Hydration becomes important as blood volume increases during pregnancy. Aim to drink at least ½ of your body weight in ounces of water.
Supplements to consider:
Work with your doctor on specific supplementation!
Vitamin D plays a role in lung development, and protects the newborn from tetany, convulsions and heart failure. Vitamin D needs vary, and getting your levels checked is a good method to determine if you need additional supplementation.
Known for prevention against spina bifida, folate is an important supplement. The current recommendation is 400 micrograms; however, some doctors recommend a higher dosage. Folate is water soluble, so excess will be excreted through urine.
Now, one of the most important things to do is to not stress over this. If you have morning sickness, food aversions or just don't feel like eating seafood, don't feel guilty about it. Do the best you can, be happy, eat food that feels best to you and enjoy this time!
Helpful Fertility Resources: