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DIET AND NUTRITION IN PREGNANCY


There is a lot of sources of information available about diet during pregnancy. But here are some thoughts and suggestions. Very simply, eat well. Eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, organic meat and organic dairy that's been re-cultured such as yogurt and kefir, and the least processed foods possible. (Even better than organic, if you can find it, are biodynamic vegetables, dairy and meat.[1]) A good rule of thumb is 'if it isn't food don't eat it'  - things such as food colouring, chemical fertilizers, preservatives... Try to stay away from junk food, soft drinks and sweets, not only because of additives and preservatives, and inviting unnecessary weight gain, but also because too much sugar can lead to the baby growing faster on empty calories.[2] Drink lots of water.


Why organic? Organic fruit and vegetables are free of pesticides, which can be toxic in various degrees.[9] The developing foetus, and the young child are especially vulnerable to the neurological effects of pesticides, and studies have shown that eating organic food can greatly reduce exposure to pesticides.[10] Organic milk products have at certain times been found to have higher levels of Omega3 essential fatty oil, vitamin E, and beta-carotene.[11] If you are an avid meat-eater, it may be wise to invest in organic meats and eat it a little less often. Organic meats are from animals raised on organic feeds and are free of antibiotics, added growth hormones, and GMO feed. If organic food is difficult to find, or too expensive for you, look for local, fresh vegetables, and free-range (or pasture-fed) meat, eggs and dairy.


If this all seems daunting, a good place to start is to just buy fresh vegetables and grains (rice, quinoa, barley, millet) and legumes (lentils, beans) that appeal and if you're not sure how to cook them, find a recipe for them in a cook book or online, and experiment.


Food cravings are a very real thing for some pregnant women. If the food being craved is less wholesome, it can be beneficial to see what element in the food is really being craved, and to find something healthier to eat. For example, maybe the craving for ice cream could be eased with natural yogurt and maple syrup or fruit.


Raspberry leaf tea is full of vitamins and minerals and is very beneficial for the health and strength of the uterus.[12] It can be a very helpful thing to drink regularly, starting at the beginning of the third trimester of the pregnancy, (four cups a day) in preparation for the labour.


Here is a recipe from The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm, MD:


Woman with mango by Gaugin

Still life with artichokes asparagus and cabbage by Gabriel Germain Joncherie 

  Profusion of Fruit by Eloise Harriet Stannard

Nourishment Tea


2 parts red raspberry leaf


2 parts nettle


1 part oatstraw


1/2 part alfalfa


1/2 part rosehips


1/4 part red clover


1/4 part spearmint leaf


Mix all dried herbs together and store in an airtight container away from heat and light. To prepare your infusion, place a heaping 1/4 cup (60ml) of the mixture in a quart (4 cup/1liter) sized jar. Add boiling water to fill the jar, cover, and let steep for a minimum of 30 min, max 2 hrs. Strain, sweeten and drink 1 to 4 cups a day.

See Nourishing Traditions and Foodwise in 

Recommended reading

Nutrition


LINKS 


Whole Food Cooking http://www.wholefoodcooking.com.au



The following site has an informative slide show of the important foods to buy organic: http://www.webmd.com/health-ehome-9/slideshow-organic-foods



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[1] What is Biodynamic Agriculture? Biodynamic Farming  and Gardening Association www.biodynamics.com , 2009, researched August 2009 <http://www.biodynamics.com/biodynamics.html>


 

[2] Sugar and Pregnancy, Natural Pregnancy. A Much Better Way, LLC www.pregnancy.amuchbetterway.com, 2008, researched July 2009 <http://pregnancy.amuchbetterway.com/sugar-and-pregnancy/>


 


[3] Wilson, R. Douglas, MD, FRCSC. The Use of Folic Acid for the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects and Other Congenital Anomalies. SOCC Clinical Practice Guidelines, No. 138, November 2003, researched August 2009 <http://www.sogc.org/guidelines/public/138E-CPG-November2003.pdf>


 

[4] Folic Acid. Public Health Agency of Canada www.publichealth.gc.ca, September 2008, researched July 2009 <http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-gs/know-savoir/folic-folique-eng.php>


 


[5] Helland, IB et al.. Maternal supplementation with very-long-chain n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation augments children's IQ at 4 years of age. The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) 2009 Issue 3, www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com, January 2003, researched August 2009 <http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clcentral/articles/524/CN-00412524/frame.html>


[6] Université Laval. Omega-3 Intake During Last Months Of Pregnancy Boosts An Infant's Cognitive And Motor Development. ScienceDaily, April 11, 2008, June, 2009 </releases/2008/04/080409110029.htm>



[7] Samuels, Mike, MD, and Nancy Samuels. The Well Baby Book. Summit Books, New York 1991


 


[8] Mojab, Cynthia Good. Sunlight Deficiency: A Review of the Literature. Mothering Magazine, Issue 117, March/April 2003, researched  October 2009 <http://www.mothering.com/sunlight-deficiency-review-literature>



[9] What's on my food? Pesticide Action Network North America, 2009, researched June 2009 <http://whatsonmyfood.org/index.jsp>


 


[10] University of Washington. Panna News: Eating Organics Cuts Kids' Pesticide Loads. Pan North America, 31 January 2003, June 2009 <http://www.panna.org/node/1643>


 


[11] DeWitt, Jerry. Organic Milk: Nutritional Benefits. Scientific Findings About Organic Agriculture, 2008, researched July 2009 <http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/organic/milk/3.html>


 


[12] Palmer, Jane. Raspberry Leaf. Pregnancy.com.au, December 2000, researched July 2009 <http://www.pregnancy.com.au/raspberry_leaf.htm>