This month’s edition will be for a specific population, but I thought it a necessary and valuable conversation for this tribe of miracle makers. The relationship with food is my passion topic, so let’s chat about this relating to pregnancy! Which I am. Currently 39 weeks. So this is about MY experience with pregnancy, sprinkled in with nutrition knowledge.
I am sure you know this by now, but you aren’t actually eating for two people; and if you do, it will increase risk for a plethora of health complications for you and baby. Please be mindful of this. It will be so very worth it for the two of you. The calorie recommendations are: first trimester – same amount of calories if you can stand the nausea; second trimester – an additional 300-350kcals; third trimester – an additional 300-500kcals. This is all dependent on many variables of course. With intuitive eating, I naturally reached these ranges most of the time. First trimester I didn’t have bad nausea, so I ended up eating 200kcals more if I was hungrier. Something else to consider – if your activity changes, you will need to adjust calories. I did find that tracking during pregnancy was helpful for me. I used My Fitness Pal loosely.
I know this is such a sensitive topic, but there is some science behind the recommendations. Here are the most current recommendations. Take it with a grain of salt, especially if you are for real intuitively eating. Remember that your body has wisdom, and if you need more, eat more; if you need less, eat less. Of course this nixes the afflicted sick mamas that I alluded to before.
In my 3rd trimester, I was having some very full, tight, and even refluxy symptoms, so I had to be more strategic with my intake. I still had hunger, yet the space in my belly was compromised. I broke up my meals and added more snacks to accommodate. Throughout the whole pregnancy, I gained gradually and right on target until half way through 3rd trimester. Weight plateaued, even dropped, a couple lb’s after a stressful week, but was assured it was ok and perfectly normal per doctor. I added more calories while still listening to my wise body. Some days warrant more than other days. My hunger was/is my guide. If I woke up too hungry, I knew I needed to take in more. This is something you can get familiar with, pregnant or not. It’s a good measure!
Prenatal Vitamins and Supplements:
I am big on quality supplements, especially if you take them every day. First trimester I had mild nausea, and some other prenatals made this symptom worse. I tried several that made it worse until I landed on Rainbow Light brand. I also use their DHA and Iron. Very gentle on the tummy, quality, and without the harmful additives. I also added a smoothie to my breakfast routine, which had one scoop of Vega Protein Powder. This added some more vitamins and minerals to my current diet, along with 20grams of plant protein.
Overall, I have been very fortunate to have such a lovely pregnancy with manageable symptoms. I was extremely fatigued and moderately depressed first trimester, which was difficult, but I know it could’ve been worse. I learned early on to self-care like it was going out of style. I made it a priority to go every other week to a chiropractor and acupuncturist, go to therapy as needed, exercise daily, practice mindfulness and gratitude (check out insight timer app for guided meditations), and lean on people… a lot (my poor husband). Who knows how my next pregnancy (god willing) will play out, but I will be in touch and share. 😉
Studio SWEAT Dietitian