By Lea Shimming from Organic Coconut Toowoomba
You’re pregnant? Congratulations! Pregnancy is such an exciting time in a woman’s life, but those feelings of excitement can often be clouded by feelings of confusion and overwhelm. While we want to do our best to provide for our little bundle of joy, we are bombarded with conflicting advice and information about what’s best for our baby and what we should or shouldn’t do during pregnancy.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding your body requires between 1800 - 2200 calories per day, a diet which is low in calories and essential nutrients could affect the development of your baby but it is more likely to drain Mumma Bear, leaving her deficient as her body gives all it can to her new addition. The most important aspect of a healthy pregnancy is nutrition, eating a varied diet rich in vital nutrients is essential to maintain your health while your body is busy growing a new life and ensures your baby is getting all he or she needs. Taking supplements during pregnancy is a great way to boost your vitamins and minerals and prevent deficiencies but don’t neglect your diet! It’s always best to fulfil your nutritional needs with fresh, wholesome foods.
The following tips are only suggestions. Before taking any supplements or implementing dietary changes during pregnancy, be sure to consult your GP, Midwife, Naturopath or other health care practitioner.
Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy
Protein is made up of amino acids which make up a large portion of our cells, muscles and tissues – and your baby’s as well! Most pregnant women require around 70 - 80 grams of protein per day, especially in the second and third trimesters as your baby’s growth increases and your body grows to accommodate them. Making sure you consume enough protein during pregnancy can help to prevent pre-eclampsia and reduce symptoms of morning sickness.
Best sources of protein for pregnant women include;
Healthy fats are essential to the development of your baby, providing fuel for the brain and supporting healthy eye development, heart health, the immune system and more. At least 10% of a pregnant woman’s calorie intake should include fat, it is especially important during the third trimester.
Best sources of healthy fats for pregnant women include;
Carbohydrates contain phytonutrients which act as antioxidants, protecting your body from free radicals. Carbs are your body’s main source of energy and are easily broken down by the body into glucose to deliver fuel to your body and your baby. During pregnancy your body requires between 45% - 65% of your daily calories from carbohydrate sources, ensuring adequate amounts of fibre from carbs will aid in the relief of constipation, help to maintain blood pressure and reduce some pregnancy health risks.
Best sources of carbohydrates for pregnant women include;
During pregnancy your body requires excess water to replenish the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby in the uterus. On average, a pregnant woman should be consuming around 2.5Lt of water per day, more during hot weather or exercise. You can also keep properly hydrated by drinking plenty of smoothies, herbal teas and fruit infused water.
During pregnancy I personally focus on consuming lots of healthy fats, high quality protein, loads of fruits and veggies (eat the rainbow!), fermented foods and delicious bone broth – You can find the recipe for that here.
Foods to Avoid When Pregnant
According to the NSW Food Authority, during pregnancy the following foods should be avoided;
Personally during pregnancy I avoid processed foods, sugar, caffeine, dairy and gluten – Keep this in mind and adjust to suit your body’s needs and personal preferences.
Nutrition & Supplements for a Healthy Pregnancy
Vegetables and fruits are especially important to maintain a healthy pregnancy and keep up your fibre intake, eating plenty of dark leafy greens for instance, will give your body and baby a good dose of folate which is essential for baby’s development.
In addition to eating a balanced diet the following supplements are usually beneficial for pregnant women;
Benefits of Coconut Oil During Pregnancy
Organic Coconut Oil has many benefits throughout the various stages of life, during pregnancy Coconut Oil can provide a wide range of support including;
Lea from Organic Coconut Toowoomba is your local supplier of Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil, Gourmet Coconut Foods and Coconut Body Products located in Toowoomba, Queensland. We specialize in helping you to create a healthy, balanced life-style by providing the tools you need. From Health & Well-Being articles, Personal Development tips, Healthy Recipes and how to keep your cool as a Work At Home Mum, we're committed to your health every step of the way.’
You can check out her website here.