Good Nutrition is the Foundation for a Healthy Mom and Healthy Baby
Protein: We recommend 60-80 grams of protein each day for the average pregnant woman. Some women need more such as those with Gestational Diabetes, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension or Preeclampsia.
Foods high in protein are:
Dairy: milk, cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, Greek yogurt
Meats: beef, poultry, pork
Seeds and Nuts: peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, soy nuts
Legumes: pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, lentils.
Tofu is a great protein replacement for meat. Fish should only be eaten 1-2 times a week
Dairy: Dairy products are optional as some women do not choose to add dairy to their diet. We recommend that you get 1-2 serving of some form of dairy each day. Milk should be drunk in moderation because of its high sugar content. (milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese). If you choose to eat yogurt choose one low in sugar but do not choose one with aspartame.
We recommend that pregnant women eat 240grams complex carbohydrates. That means only 100% whole grains like Old Fashioned Oats, stone ground wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole sprouted grains etc…..No white flour, white rice, corn, cornmeal. Your Carbohydrate intake should not exceed 240 grams per day. No meal or snack should contain more than 25% of your total carbohydrate intake for the day.
Fruits: Pregnant woman need to eat 2 servings of fruit to obtain vital minerals and vitamins contained within colorful fruits. We strongly suggest those that give you the best nutritive value while remaining lower on the glycemic index. Examples are: cherries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, apricots, grapefruit, kiwi, peach and tangerine. A serving of fruit is 1 cup or 1 piece of the fruit. These are lower in sugar but highest in nutrients. Fruit juices are high in sugar and should be limited to 4ozs a day and should be considered a fruit serving.
Green Leafy Vegetables: We encourage two good sized salads per day with dark green leafy lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss Chard, turnip greens, collard greens and sea vegetables. Iceberg lettuce doesn’t count because it has no nutritional value. We suggest you look for the darkest greens you can find.
Vegetables: Vegetables are free foods. We encourage you to eat LOTS of fresh or frozen vegetables every day. You need to include all the color you can when choosing vegetables.
Make sure you get a good amount of red vegetables: tomatoes, red bell peppers. Yellow / Orange vegetables: yellow/orange bell peppers, squash, pumpkin. Green Vegetables: broccoli, green beans, celery, asparagus, okra, avocado. Vegetables that should be eaten in great moderation are carrots, potatoes, peas, and corn. These all have high amounts of natural sugars.
Fats should make up approximately 30% of your total caloric intake each day. This would be 83 grams of fat for a 2500 calorie diet. Fats are especially important for the proper development of the nervous system.
We recommend that you use healthy fats such as: olive oil(14g per T), grape seed oil, canola oil (14g per T), omega 3 fatty acids (flax seed oil(14g per T, fish oils), Coconut oil (14g per T). Of course dairy products, avocado (31g), meats, and nuts(approx 15g per oz) are sources for fat. We do not recommend a diet heavy in saturated fats.
Pregnant women should salt food to taste. This means use table salt to satisfy your palate. Salts that we recommend are Vega Sal and sea salt. Foods that are abundant in natural sodium are celery, cucumber, kelp and dulce (seaweed) and fish. Processed foods are high in sodium but are also high in other additives like MSG and nitrites that will cause other problems so please avoid these foods.
For our vegetarian mamas, here is a great resource on super foods for pregnancy and lactation.
Some women find that they are unable to eat much at one sitting and find better results when they try and eat smaller meals more frequently. This will serve to keep your blood sugar stable and reduce the feelings of nausea, fatigue and indigestion that many women believe are just part of pregnancy. Making sure to have something to eat every 2 hours is the best plan for these purposes. Make sure to have protein bars and protein shakes (low in sugar ones) when you find yourself busy. It is also important to have a combination of a Protein / Complex Carbohydrate / Fat.
Water, Water, Water, Water, Water…:
Hydration is vitally important during pregnancy. Dehydration is a major factor in the health of the mother and baby. Many women are surprised at the amount of water required to support their needs during pregnancy. We recommend a formula that will ensure that each woman is meeting their minimum requirements. Take your weight and divide it by 2. This will be the minimal number of ounces you will consume each day for your needs. Then you will add an additional quart for your baby (as you and your baby grow this amount will slowly increase). Other drinks are not to be included in this amount. Dehydration can cause an irritable uterus, headaches, increased blood pressure (if the above happens: drink a quart of water and rest), and preterm labor and birth.
Sugars and Refined foods this includes: white sugar / refined white flour / white rice / white pasta – these act as sugar when digested.
Processed foods: box mixes, cold cereal, etc..
Fats disguised as Proteins: Processed Meats are associated with common pregnancy complaints and are full of saturated fats. So do not be fooled into thinking you are getting enough protein when eating foods such as bacon or sausage.
Summer Sausage: 1 slice = 3.7g Protein, 6.9g Fat
Salami: 1 slice = 2.3g Protein, 3.4g Fat
Pepperoni: 1 slice = 1g Protein, 2.42g Fat
Frankfurter: 1 slice = 5g Protein, 13g Fat
Sausage: 1 link = 1.7g Protein, 4.7g Fat
Bacon: 4 oz = 2.4g Protein, 16.3g Fat (5.6g Saturated Fat)
Prenatal Vitamins: We recommend a natural botanical based prenatal vitamin during pregnancy. There are a number of brands that you can choose from including: Melaleuca, Natures Way Completia, Rainbow Light (not the 1 a day), Now, NF Formula (Prenatal Forte). These are brands that we have seen good results from with few side effects. Brands that are taken once a day or are bought from the grocery store do not give you the nutrition you need.
Iron: We find that Liquid Chlorophyll is the most effective way to raise the hemoglobin so you may be asked to add this to your daily routine. For severe anemia or late onset you may be asked to include Floradix herbal iron as well.
Preferably at bedtime:
Calcium: We would like you to take an extra calcium supplement as well. Calcium Citrate, any brand up to 2000 mg per day. Take separate from your prenatal for maximum absorption.
There are a number of other supplements that may be recommended to you for various situations, but these are the most common for CMS clients.
Red Raspberry Leaf: Some women enjoy this tea or other herbal teas formulated for pregnant woman. These are beneficial due to the toning qualities of the herbs as well as the nutrient content. You are free to drink up to 1 quart per day of pregnancy teas.
Tea: There are many non-caffeinated teas available at the health food store and the grocery store. These are fine and can replace up to ½ your water requirements for the day but no more than that.
Please call your midwife before you take any supplement or over the counter medicine. Some are considered safe for pregnancy and some can be very dangerous.
Good Food Sources
Protein: Alfalfa spouts (contain 150% more protein than other grains – one source is Ezekiel Bread), whole grains legumes, nuts, seeds, yogurt, avocados, cheese, eggs, milk, cottage cheese, fish, meats, and poultry.
Iron: Comfrey leaf, raisins, apricots, blackstrap molasses, wheat germ, oats leafy greens, kelp, seeds legumes, eggs, fish, poultry, yellow dock, parsley, dandelions, and nettles.
Calcium: Dark green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, cheese, yogurt, milk, soybeans, bone meal, watercress, raw beet juice, molasses, whole grains, alfalfa, nettles, eggs, dried fruits, parsley, dried seaweed, and carob powder.
Vitamin C: Rose hips, citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, green/yellow/orange/red bell peppers, cabbage, broccoli, paprika, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, cantaloupes, strawberries, and nettles
Vitamin D: Sunshine, egg yolks, bone meal, sunflower seeds, fish oils, tuna, salmon, and nettles.
Vitamin E: Dark green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, eggs, sunflower seeds, nuts, molasses, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin B6: Green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, blackstrap molasses, prunes, nuts, cabbage, bananas, and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin B12: Cheese, milk, yeast, soybeans, wheat germ oil, comfrey, fish, pickles, and spirulina.
Folic Acid: Uncooked dark green leafy vegetables, nutritional yeast, mushrooms, milk, cheese, whole grains, and dates.
Niacin: Legumes, nutritional yeast, milk products, rice bran seeds, whole grain, lean meats, poultry, and fish.
Riboflavin: Leafy greens, mushrooms, brown rice, blackstrap molasses, and nutritional yeast.
Thiamine: Brown rice, nutritional yeast, whole grains, blackstrap molasses, meat, fish and poultry.
Phosphorus: Seeds, legumes, grains, eggs, yellow cheeses, fish meat, tofu, and poultry.
Iodine: Kelp, leafy greens, iodized salt, and sea salt.
Magnesium: Honey, green leafy vegetables, nuts, dried beans, spinach, kelp, bran, alfalfa, sea foods, and whole grains.
Zinc: Soybeans, spinach, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, comfrey, whole wheat, oysters, bran, and pumpkin seeds.
Vitamin K: Alfalfa, nettles, kelp, shepherds purse, egg yolk, sunflower oil, cauliflower, kefir, and leafy vegetables.
This by no means is a complete list, but it’s a good start. Remember, the more foods that you eat raw and fresh, the more nutrition you and your baby will get. There is very little nutrition in overcooked and canned foods.