Sunday, June 7, 2009

What to Eat

At twelve weeks gestation there is an umbilical cord connecting from you to your baby. Its purpose is to provide oxygen, eliminate waste products and to nourish the growing fetus ( and then baby ). Your baby is quite literally what you eat. You are expected to gain between twenty-five and thirty-five pounds and THAT is NOT FAT!! Pregnancy weight is alot of extra blood ( very heavy ) and breast tissue and placenta and baby. Most women gain the least amount of weight during the first trimester. What you gain then is water weight and that's heavy. You may also gain some weight because you feel better when you keep something in your stomach ( keeping blood sugar levels stable may reduce nausea ) and carbohydrates seem to be tolerated well. Other women even lose weight in the first trimester. They are nauseous and some my vomit. Fluids are what is vitally important in the early weeks of pregnancy. if you can't keep fluids down, call your doctor. You may need a trip to the hospital for IV hydration. Many women gain the most weight during the last trimester because the baby is really growing and putting on its own pounds then. But other women just can't fit much food into their stomachs at one sitting so they, again, need to eat small frequent meals, seemingly all day long. And often it is helpful to NOT eat alot before bedtime and then lie down. Sleeping in a recliner or putting several pillows under your chest and head my make it more comfortable to sleep.



Fatty foods, food that are fried or very spicey foods may make you feel bad. If you can tolerate them, go ahead. If not, try to avoid them and if you just can't pass up the hot sauce and salsa, tums and rolaids, maalox and mylanta, even pepcid or zantac are all over the counter antiacids that you may use for heartburn or indigestion.



By the time that your baby is being nourished by the placenta ( you! ), you should be eating from all the food groups and choose your calories wisely. The things that you love to eat may not be the most nutritious. You should add about three hundred calories to your normal caloric intake. You may continue to be a vegetarian, if that is your preference and learn how to combine legumes and beans with brown rice to get all the protein required.



Eat three to four servings of calcium products everyday. They may all be non-fat. Milk, youghurt and cheeses ( pasturized, of course ). You may substitute soy products for animal derived calcium and get the same amount of calcium. Tofu, soybeans, edamame ( food from Japanese restaurants isn't sushi, raw fish is ). You may use lactaid, if you are lactose intolerant, in tablet form or products like lactose free milk. You may supplement your calcium and get about 1200 mgs but dietary calcium is preferred.



Eat three servings from the protein group. About 6 ounce servings. That's meat, cooked well- done and fish, always well -done. No seared ahi tuna, never fish high in mercury like swordfish, tilefish, shark or king mackerel. If you want canned tuna, choose light tuna, not white albacore. All seafood MUST be cooked, so you can have a California roll, that's cooked. But sushi and sashimi and ceviche aren't hot cooked. You may eat peanuts and peanut butter, as long as you aren't allergic. If you have a lot of peanut allergies in your family, you may not want to eat them. There is a school of thought that suggests that your baby maybe more prone to peanut alleries too. Eggs are great protein. You can combine beans and rice ( make it brown ) or lentils and rice ( make it brown ) and those foods, in combination, comprise complete proteins.



Get eight one-half cup servings of fruits and vegetables everday. Eat one cup of fruit ( fruit metabolises as sugar, more than the recommended serving size will add extra weight ). The fruit is better than juice because it has the fiber you need. Eat three cups of dark green, leafy vegetables everyday. Cooked or raw, your choice from spinach, kale, broccoli, turnip greens, collards or romaine lettuce.



Eat six one-half cup servings of multigrains in the form of cereal, breads, pasta and brown rice. A half of a cup isn't very much. Do you know anyone who serves themself a half cup of spaghetti? Brown means the fiber and nutrient- rich ( vitamin- filled ) bran hasn't been removed in processing.



You do not need to add extra fat to your diet. WE all get plenty of that! If you become aware now of how to eat for your pregnancy, you will be well prepared to know how to feed your family in the years to come. We are all what we eat. And your baby is what you eat when you are pregnant.



Take your prenatal vitamin pill everyday. Any over- the- counter, generic, cost efficient PRENATAL vitamin will do just fine. It doesn't have to be expensive or even prescription. Two Flintstone chewables are the same as a prenatal vitamin, if you can't swollow those BIG pills. You may be asked to increase your iron. Some pregnant women become anemic. Use the recommeded supplement on an empty stomach with alittle bit of orange juice ( it helps with the absorption ) and then don't eat anything or take your prenatal vitamin for about forty-five minutes. Fiber supplements are great, especially if you are prone to constipation. But remember to drink alot of water when you take your fiber ( metamucil, benefiber, fiber con, citrucel ).

Make sure that the foods that you eat are pasturized. Cheeses and juices are not always pasturized. These food products should be packaged with labeling that specifically states pasturized. This is in reference to listeriosis and it can be very dangerous for developing fetuses and young children who do not have immunities to this listeria bacteria. If you garden, wear gloves and wash your hands, well, before you eat anything. Make sure that you re-heat any luncheon meats or left-over foods, hot dogs or sausages, right before you eat them. ask the deli to do it for you and do it at home too.



All living things need water. You need sixty- four ounces of water, minimum, everyday. Water is how you manufacture blood to nourish your baby with all those nutrients that you are taking- in, in the form of food. If you are constipated, you're not getting enough water. If you are swollen, you need more water. If you get urinary tract infections, drink more water. In fact, your urine is a very good indicator of your hydration level. Urine should be very, very dilute. It should look like water. If you just can't seem to get in eight glasses of tap water, drink friut 2O or Propel or bubbley water, like seltzer or Perrier and San Pelligrino. Use one or two ounces of grape juice, or cranberry, pomegranite or whatever you like and fill the rest of the glass up with bubbley water. Add a lime slice and celebrate the fact that you are growing a human being, just by eating and drinking. What a miraculous thing!