At Deanna D. Midwifery, we seek to provide our clients with holistic midwife services. If you are looking to find a midwife in the Tri-Cities area, Deanna D. and our staff represents a fantastic option among prenatal care clinics. We specialize in prenatal care but offer comprehensive healthcare for women. Our range of services includes family planning, physical examinations, and much more for women from adolescence through menopause and beyond. With a certified midwife and WHNP on staff, we specialize in providing personalized care designed to empower our clients with a wealth of knowledge.
Today’s post aligns nicely with some of our previous posts, although recently we have been focusing on some pregnancy tips for expectant fathers. Let’s get back to our bread and butter today as we continue our discussion on tips to help better prepare expectant mothers for pregnancy and birth. In keeping with that trend, today’s topic is based on simple nutritional and dietary tips for pregnant mothers. Keep reading if you would like to pick up a few good habits that could make a significant impact throughout your pregnancy.
The phrase “I’m eating for two” can often be used to justify taking an extra bit of whatever you happen to be craving that day. This is a good technique. End of blog. Just kidding! That isn’t the end, although we are advocates for you paying attention to what your body is telling you during pregnancy. Why? For your own health, but also for the fact that studies have shown that a mother’s nutritional and lifestyle habits can have significant effects on your child’s future health. But before we get too lost in the weeds, it’s important to understand how significant diet actually is.
Foods To Avoid
Let’s start with what you shouldn’t be putting in your body during pregnancy. However, it should be noted that there is some degree of cultural relativity when it comes to how we conceptualize pregnancy and how much control we have. Americans tend to be more worried than many other cultures about the specifics of pregnancy. But on the other side of that coin is the fact that having accurate information available is a good thing. Applying it without letting anxiety consume you is a tricky balance to find. But with that said, let’s get into some specifics.
Pregnancy And Fish
Fish high in mercury should be avoided, or at least not made a staple in your diet during pregnancy. Oddly enough, most fish is very high in omega-3 fatty acids, which plays a key role in brain development. So what to do? Luckily, you can find fish like salmon and albacore tuna which typically have less mercury than other kinds of fish.
Here are some other foods to avoid if possible:
• Mexican cheese
• Raw seafood
• Unpasteurized milk and cheese
• Soft cheese
• Undercooked poultry and meat
These foods can carry harmful bacteria which can affect the unborn child’s well-being.
Foods To Focus On
As pregnant women are more susceptible to food poisoning, it’s vital to focus on safe foods, as we’ve described above. But there is much more to nutrition for pregnant mothers than simply avoiding certain foods. A balanced diet is vital, as many women need to make sure that they aren’t deficient in iron or calcium, to provide a few examples.
While talking with your certified midwife or physician about dietary specifics is never a bad idea, we can provide you with some general nutritional guidelines that should point you toward a balance. A balanced diet includes the following:
Healthy fats – Yes, some fats are positive. Nuts, avocados, and even oils from vegetables can be very helpful.
Whole grains – Among your wealth of options here is brown rice, cereal, breads, and pastas.
Vegetables – As delicious as some vegetables can be with added salt, do your best to have vegetables without it. Avoid raw sprouts, and focus on colorful vegetables.
Fruits – Try them frozen or canned, but preferably without extra sugar.
Protein – Essential in any balanced diet is protein, but focus on lean protein while pregnant. Avoid deli lunch meat if you can, but if you are going to eat it, reheat it to ensure it has fully cooked. Eggs, soy products, peanut butter, poultry, and meat are all good options here.
Nutrients You Need
Let’s go one step further by looking at some of the key nutrients most pregnant women require a healthy dose of during pregnancy.
Folic Acid – This nutrient is a key contributor to reducing the risk of birth defects that have to do with the spinal cord. Pregnant women, and women who are of age to become pregnant, should take preventative measures by daily consuming a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid. You can get folic acid through supplements, but they are also found in citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, cereals and pastas, legumes, and even bread. So in reality, you may already be getting your daily recommended amount, but it doesn’t hurt to double check.
Calcium – Calcium is important for the proper development of nerves, muscles, and bones. As we mentioned above, calcium takes an important role in the little one’s prenatal development. Most expectant mothers know this, but what fewer know is that if the unborn child will take the required calcium from the mother’s bones should there not be enough in her diet. If you are between 19 and 50 years old, the recommended daily intake is 1,000 milligrams of calcium, which is right around 3 servings of calcium-heavy foods.
Iron – The recommended daily intake of iron for pregnant women is 27 milligrams. Red meat, poultry, and fish are generally rich in iron. If you are a vegetarian, leafy vegetables like spinach mixed with Vitamin-C rich foods like oranges are a great way to help your body absorb as much iron as possible. A clementine-spinach salad is in order, which sounds delicious to us!
We’ve talked about some specifics, hopefully of which you’ll be able to remember a few so you can incorporate them into your daily diet. Other helpful tips which you’ve surely heard before include going easy on caffeine, eliminating alcohol, and taking prenatal supplements. We recommend you speak with a doctor or your local midwife or Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner for a personalized plan that will fit your needs.
But generally speaking, we will say this. It’s vital for everyone to not go on a diet when they are pregnant. Most women recognize this and won’t do anything overt. What some of us may have the temptation of doing is to covertly limit ourselves because of feared weight gain and the like. This will not only cut you short on calories, but quite feasibly will leave you deficient in vital nutrients like iron, calcium, and folic acid. Some create a meal plan to help them stay on track. Others simply eat smaller meals more frequently to help them be consistent. We aren’t here to tell you that there is only one way that works. We just want you to be aware of some common pitfalls, in addition to pointing you in the right direction.
Consider Your Local Midwife
At Deanna D. Midwifery, we have a passion for empowering our clients. This goes beyond just nutrition, as integral of a topic as it is. And while today’s post is far from comprehensive, we want to give you as much guidance as a short article allows. For holistic, comprehensive midwife services, we invite you to reach out to Deanna DiUlio and our team here in the Tri-Cities top midwife clinics. From wellness education, medication prescription, symptom assessment and diagnosis to annual physical examinations, we have a passion for providing affordable, quality prenatal care. Whether you are in Pasco, Kennewick, Richland, or beyond, we would love to be part of this incredible time of life. Discover the beauty of our antenatal clinic by scheduling your first appointment today!