Whether you are planning to get pregnant soon or entering your third trimester, it’s never too late to start providing your body and baby with good nutrition.
I love working with prenatal and postnatal moms to provide gentle chiropractic care. Chiropractic care during this season of life helps both you and your baby. The same is true for good nutrition!
Good nutrition is more than simply avoiding overindulgence. Your body—and your baby’s body—needs specific nutrients and plenty of hydration for both of you to thrive during your pregnancy and even afterwards. Growing another human being is tough work and proper nutrition helps prepare your body for that work, all while feeding your baby, too.
I’m not going to try and tell you that you will be totally comfortable during your pregnancy because that isn’t true! However, good nutrition can reduce the amount of nausea, swelling, and acid reflux that are common during pregnancy.
Good nutrition also boosts the immune system, which protects both you and your baby. Studies have shown that a woman’s immune system can be impaired somewhat during pregnancy, so keeping it healthy is important. Your baby gets some of its initial immune system from you as well.
A third key reason that complete nutrition during pregnancy is vital is that it literally feeds your baby’s development. Nutritional deficiencies can cause problems at birth and even later for your child.
So, what is good nutrition when you’re pregnant? First, I want to dispel an age-old myth that you are eating for two. Yes, you are eating for two humans. But one of those humans is pretty small and it’s not the same as eating for two adults. Unless otherwise instructed, you should add only about 300 calories to your daily diet and the majority of that should come from healthy fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
That raises another nutrition misconception. Pregnancy cravings can be crazy, but they are not necessarily (or even likely) telling you what your body needs. I have patients who have craved food combinations that they would normally never try to eat. It’s OK to indulge some, but only in moderation, and try to find healthier alternatives to feed those midnight urges.
Now, what should you eat? Ideally, most of your necessary vitamins come from food but prenatal vitamins will boost the most important nutrients for you and your baby. A healthy diet during pregnancy should include lean proteins, vegetables, fruit, legumes, and healthy sources of calcium, iron, and folic acid. I have a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Northeastern State University and make nutrition a key part of my chiropractic practice. I can help you develop an eating plan that fits your needs.
It’s also important to note what you should not be eating. Never try to do fad diets such as Keto or the South Beach diet when you’re pregnant. Also, avoid uncooked or undercooked foods (like most sushi and raw cookie dough, sorry!). Some cheeses can be an issue, too. Most people know alcohol and most caffeine should also be avoided.
My goal at Nurture Chiropractic is to “nurture the soul by correcting the spine,” but I also incorporate nutrition discussions in my practice. I’d love to help you get on the right track with your pregnancy with gentle chiropractic care, as well as sharing more ideas with you about healthy nutrition.