Nutrition for Pregnancy

By Christina Zvicer

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IS PRENATAL NUTRITION IMPORTANT? Absolutely! Proper nutrition for pregnancy has the ability to greatly impact the growth and development of a baby and support their lifelong health and well-being. The nutrients from the foods eaten are the foundation used to make new cells.

Sadly, findings have shown over 200 toxins in the umbilical cord blood of some babies. Yikes!! Understanding what to avoid in your diet and lifestyle and what to add in is important information. This can help increase baby’s chances of optimal health and development and a healthy, happy pregnancy.

WHEN TO START A HEALTHY PREGNANCY REGIME? The best time to start is before conception. In the first few weeks, baby will draw upon much needed nutrients stored within Mama’s body, likely before she knows she’s pregnant! Starting healthy practices early will help to ensure optimum nutrient stores and increase the likelihood of a healthy conception and possibly reduce the chances of common pregnancy discomforts. That said, babies happen! We can’t always plan ahead. So the best time to start is as early as possible.

Here are a few recommendations to consider and incorporate as much as reasonably possible:

1. Quality over quantity (in the form of good food, friends and loving support)

Here are some examples of what nutritional quality looks like to me:

  • 100% grass-fed animals for meat and dairy
  • Wild and sustainably caught fish (vs. farmed)
  • Choose organic and non-genetically modified foods
  • Sea or rock salt vs iodized table salt
  • Make your own foods whenever possible. This way you have control over what is going into your food!

2. Limit/Avoid

  • Sugars! Choose natural sugars like honey, maple syrup, dates, bananas, apple sauce, molasses and raw sugars instead.
  • Environmental toxins and teratogens known to cause birth defects. Be mindful about what you breathe in and put on your body.
  • Avoid trans-fat, MSG, Nitrites and Nitrates, synthetic preservatives and artificial sweeteners and flavours.
  • Packaged & processed foods
  • Genetically modified foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine – this means limiting your tea and chocolate consumption too
  • Stress – take the time to breathe, slow down and nourish yourself and baby.

3. Include plenty of

  • Colourful, local, unsprayed, non-GMO and/or organic fruits & vegetables as much as possible (sometimes raw. sometimes cooked) – you’ll obtain important fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
  • Healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids, coconut oil, avocado, and grass-fed butter – they will be used for making important hormones and support brain and nervous system development.
  • High quality protein from food sources will help build new cells for the blood, uterine muscle and baby!
  • Probiotics – your baby will inherit your gut flora!
  • Clean water and other beneficial fluids to stay hydrated and maintain a healthy blood pressure - coconut water and bone broth are great sources.
  • Antioxidants, like those found in berries, will help protect your precious organs.
  • Walking – every day!
  • Sunshine – best source of vitamin D baby!
  • Rest and sleep will also help support balanced hormones and blood sugar.
  • Love and intuition – let this be your guide, always.

These recommendations work together to possibly reduce chances of complications and/or health concerns during pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and post-partum healing. They work in harmony to support a healthy baby and happy pregnancy!

Thank you to Pomme's Christina Zvicer, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Guide, Doula and Mother from be loved nutrition for this article.

*Please note these lists are not extensive
*Always consult with your Doctor or primary health care provider