Nutrition For Pregnancy: Before, During & After
Tips For Expecting Mothers
If you are already pregnant, or just practicing, it is recommended that you start to take a prenatal supplement 6 to 12 months before conception. As half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it is a good idea for all woman in childbearing years to be on a multivitamin/prenatal program. Having a good quality prenatal or vitamin regime can even help support you in achieving the blue cross on your pregnancy test. It can set you up to deliver a healthy baby and continue to deliver the nutrients you and the baby need in postpartum. In the following section we will talk about a safe and effective prenatal program as well as nutritional recommendations for good fertility health.
Pregnancy Nutrition Guide:
Momma’s now more than ever, the following nutrients listed below are going to be of extreme importance for a healthy baby. Make sure you are getting these each day in your prenatal as well as complimenting that with a healthy diet. We can try to do our best to eat well each day and get in all of those nutrients, but a prenatal will help to make sure that you get the crucial nutrients for the healthy development of that little one in your belly. Here are just a few of the key ingredients that you will find in a good prenatal plan.
- Iron – Essential to help carry oxygen to the baby.
- Vitamin D – Supports brain development and absorption of calcium. If a mother has a low deficiency her breastmilk will also be low in vitamin D. Important in creating sex hormones which affect ovulation and hormone balance.
- DHA & EPA – Supports heart and immune health as well as brain, eyes and the central nervous system.
- Vitamin B/Folic Acid – Mom and babies both benefit from the full spectrum of b vitamins for rapid cell production, most importantly folic acid. Vitamin b can significantly reduce neural tube defects.
- Vitamin C – Helps to protect the cells from oxidative stress before and during pregnancy.
- Protein– The need for protein goes up while creating life. Focus on consuming lean protein.
When looking for a good pregnancy nutrition plan you will want to be sure that your body is processing and breaking down the supplements. What you put into your body goes directly to supporting your babies development as well as replenishing any lost vitamins or minerals. All too common are supplements on the market that pass right through you before we even receive any of the nutrients they are supposed to provide. To make sure you are getting the full benefits of your vitamins try this test, place your supplement in a small dish of water to see how long it takes for them to dissolve. If they have not dissolved in 20-25 minutes than you are wasting your money as they will have already passed through your body.
The quality and what goes into making the vitamins is also important. Keep an eye out of additives like color, flavoring and preservatives which serve no additional benefit to you but in term could actually be harmful. If you are still searching for a good prenatal plan, I share with you my recommendation below. All throughout my pregnancy I have been taking Shaklee supplements. They have been clinically tested to make sure that they always work, are always safe and always green.
Nutrition While Pregnant
In addition to a good prenatal supplement program, you will want to be sure to continue to treat your body well. While taking supplements are important it does not replace the benefits of eating well. A all too common myth is that while pregnant that you can eat for two. This does not mean that you should eat what a whole other adult human would eat, instead you only need an extra 250-300 calories a day. Just to bring that into perspective, thats about as many calories as a full fat yogurt. So make those 300 calories count by consuming nutrient dense food and high quality protein. In fact 60 grams of high quality protein each day is recommended.
If you were like me, I loved my caffeine and in my first trimester it almost seemed impossible to cut back, but I did. Limiting how much caffeine you consume is always a good idea. Also be cautious as caffeine can be hidden in chocolate. Mmmmm…. chocolate- I will find you.
If you want to look more at what foods to avoid while pregnant you can visit FoodSafety.gov. But don’t focus on all the things you can’t have and instead use this time to treat your body like the temple it is.
Explore tasty new ways of eating fruits and vegetables, variety is key! One of my favorite finds during the winter was the amazing things I could do with a pumpkin or watermelon.
Best Prenatal Vitamin Plan with Shaklee
There are a lot of prenatal options out on the market but unfortunately many are not what they are cracked up to be. Between reports of the FDA finding lead in supplements and other harmful contaminants to both mom and baby, it can seem overwhelming to know what you can trust. The good news is that their is a solution for you and a company with over 60 years of scientific integrity and trust that you can count on. At Shaklee we screen for over 350 contaminants, pesticides and impurities on every botanical ingredient, this is way beyond industry standards. With my own pregnancy I took a hard look at what was on the market and still nothing could compare to the science and the purity of Shaklee’s prenatal program.
Shaklee Vitalizer Women is a comprehensive multi-nutrient strip that includes our multivitamin, Vita-Lea Iron along with three other supplements that provides excellent prenatal and postnatal nutritional support. Caroto-E-Omega is an enteric coated combination of fish oil, natural Vitamin E and mixed carotenoids including lutein and lycopene. Caroto-E-Omega delivers 500 mg of molecularly distilled fish oil omega-3 including 180 mg DHA. Product #3 is B+C which is a patented slow diffusion tablet delivering 500 mg of Vitamin C and 100+% of the other seven B vitamins (besides folic acid) over 12 hours. The final product is Optiflora which is a blend of 500 million CFU Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium, triple-encapsulated to assure delivery of the probiotics to the colon.
- Your partner’s nutrition is just as important and they can follow the following regime with you by taking the iron free formula.
Vita-Lea– contains optimized micronutrient levels including 800 mcg of folic acid, 200 mcg of iodine and 18 mg of iron.It is easy to digest, easy to swallow and an uses an immediate release patented nutrient delivery technology so you know it is breaking down and delivering nutrients to your body. What makes Vita-Lea unique from other multivitamins is that every batch undergoes 340 test and has been supported by 7 clinical studies to make sure it is one of the most comprehensive, nutrient-balanced & bioavailable multis available on the market. As much as we all wish it was true, we often do not get all of the nutrients our bodies need each day. Iron is particularly important because it can prevent anemia which is common during pregnancy and can be linked to preterm birth and a low birth rate.
Omega Guard– Omega-3s are important to health. They can lower blood pressure and reduce heart diseases and other health problems. Omega-3s improve your baby’s eye and brain growth in early development. Taking in enough omega-3s can lower your baby’s chances of getting asthma and other allergic conditions. Omegas may lower your risk of giving birth too early, and of having depression after you have your baby (postpartum depression). EPA/DHA fatty acids are difficult to get into our daily diets. Shaklee’s Omega Guard contains seven ultra-pure, pharmaceutical grade fish oils derived from small sustainable cold-water fish. Shaklee removes all lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, dioxins, PCBs and other contaminants.They also do not have the after taste like some other fish oils. Who wants a fish burp anyway?
Additional Nutritional Goodies For A Healthy Pregnancy
- Morning Sickness- Keep urine light, clear and bright by staying hydrated. Eat frequent but small snacks or meals. EZ-Gest which is made up of digestive enzymes with or between meals may be helpful. Teas made from ginger, peppermint or red raspberry can also provide relief.
- Acid Reflux and Digestion- What really helps is taking a calcium/magnesium tablet like Cal Mag Chewables at the first sign. I went through more Cal Mags than I could count during my pregnancy. Avoiding spicy and fatty foods can help as well as avoiding alcohol, caffeine, citrus and carbonated beverages. Try eating dinner earlier in the evening so you are not tempted to lay down right away.
- Constipation- If you are feeling backed up you need to get that gut health back in order. A probiotic can keep your gut microflora healthy (also found in vitalizer). For comfortable and quick relief you can also try a safe laxative.
- Iron Plus C– some mommas are looking for additional iron, especially if your tests show you to be anemic. Iron helps us with better egg health and providing oxygen to the baby. For women who require additional iron, we also offer Iron Plus C Complex which contains 18 mg iron from ferrous fumarate, along with Vitamin C to enhance absorption of the iron. Anecdotal reports from MDs who use Shaklee products report excellent tolerability of both Vita-Lea Iron Formula and Iron Plus C Complex.
- Muscle Cramps – OsteoMatrix contains calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, K and zinc, copper, manganese and sodium, and helps you and your baby build strong bones and teeth. While pregnant, your body pulls out large amounts of calcium from bones and teeth to support your babies growth. If we do not replace it you can weaken your bones resulting in fractures, shin splints, osteoporosis, reduce muscle strength and dental issues. What makes OsteoMatrix different from other calcium supplements is it’s ability to dissolve in 1-7 minutes in the body.
- Non –toxic Cleaners– Even before our babies arrive into this world, they are already starting to be exposed to some elements of our environment such as contaminants and toxins. When babies are born, environmental toxins and chemicals found in cleaners have been showing up in the umbilical cord of babies. What this means is what we are exposed to, so are our babies. Take out those toxic cleaners now and replace them with safe household cleaners – So important!!
Nutritional Support At The Hospital
- Performance Hydration– if labor is not yet considered a sport, than it should be. It is a lot of physical work and we can often get exhausted during this often long process. Performance is a great way to renew your electrolytes and stay hydrated during and after labor.
- Physique– This protein shake is used by Olypmians and athletes a like after working out to help rebuild and repair muscles. If you have had a baby before, you can see just why this would be a good thing! After my cesarean delivery, I needed all the healing my body could get and this was a great and easy way to help repair my body.
- Optiflora– If you were given pain killers or had a cesarean section, your gut flora was thrown off. This impacts your digestion and can also impact the baby through breastfeeding. This probiotic is great to take during your pregnancy but also after. This is the one thing I wish I had on hand at the hospital. The probiotics will come through the breastmilk to your baby.
Ongoing Post Pregnancy Nutrition
- Plugged Milk Ducts- Lecithin
- Increase Milk Supply- Alfalfa
- Lose the Baby Weight- Shaklee 180
- Digestive Support- Optiflora
Want to set up your unique prenatal plan? I would love to help.
*Always check with your physician to see what nutrients your body and your baby need. Each of us is different and has different needs. Above I share my personal recommendation and what has worked for me and my family.