This week we have a short editorial series about pregnancy brought to you by our partners at Lovelace Health System.
Labor of Love offers assistance finding a health care provider and insurance, as well as support accessing community resources before, during or after your pregnancy. To learn more about our Labor of Love program, call 505.727.7677.
OK, well this title may not fit everyone’s pregnancy craving, but it sure fit mine! All I wanted to eat was bread and cheese. Seriously, bread and cheese. That was all. Bread and cheese are not the worst foods, but when that is all you want to eat, your nutrition in pregnancy maybe isn’t the best.
I was pregnant with my son 10 years ago now. But I still remember it very well. I was nervous for my body and my health because I had miscarried a previous pregnancy. I was afraid it would happen again. Probably like most of us, I was determined to do all that I could to eat well, exercise, and take care of my body. The truth is that we can do all that we can do to be the healthiest we can be, but sometimes miscarriages still happen no matter our efforts.
At 7 weeks, pregnancy hit me. I felt weak, uncomfortable, and nauseous. I wasn’t super sick, but I did not feel well. And I did not want to eat vegetables or fruit. All I wanted was bread and cheese. My perfect plans of taking care of my body 100% failed immediately!
What can you do?
I did the best I could. If you are in this situation currently or if you think you will be pregnant soon, I encourage you to do the best you can when it comes to your nutrition in pregnancy. You probably won’t be perfect, and that is OK!
Action Steps for Your Best Nutrition in Pregnancy
- Eat the cheese. This is the MOST important step. If you feel like eating cheese, do it! Actually cheese has many good nutrients including Calcium, protein, zinc, and vitamin B12. If you are having a craving, you should probably submit to your craving. If it is a food you know isn’t 100% good for you, maybe just eat a small amount of it.
- Take your prenatal vitamin. These inexpensive capsules are one of the closest substances to a miracle since they can really fill those nutrition gaps. If you are having a hard time swallowing a pill, consider a liquid or a chew-able prenatal instead.
- Do the best you can to get in your veggies. Hide them in soups or casseroles. Put them on pizza. Eat whatever you can whenever you can. I love some of these recipes that will help you hide your own fruits and veggies!
- Fruit can be a great option! Fruit is easier to eat for most of us compared to vegetables. Use fruit often and focus on getting different colors to help increase variety of nutrients!
- Exercise when you feel the best during the day. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get to the gym or spend 1 hour running. It does mean that you should go for a walk, a swim, or whatever you enjoy!
- Eat often and eat small. Eating more often can help prevent blood sugar swings, which often negatively affect energy levels and nausea. Limiting amounts can help to minimize reflux.
- Take care in limiting the foods that can be dangerous in pregnancy. These include lunch meats, raw seafood, soft cheeses, and other unpasteurized foods. All of these foods can increase your risk of bacterial infections.
Do Your Best
The bottom line to eating well in pregnancy is to do the best you can! Try your best to get vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and good sources of protein. You will feel better and have more energy when you can include these healthy foods in your daily routine! But also, don’t deny your cravings. Pregnancy is a special time in your life. Do all you can to be healthy, but enjoy it!
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