Here’s the deal ladies and gentlemen. Yes, gentlemen too. It takes two to tango and two to make a baby and you’d better believe that what you are consuming affects the health of your baby. That’s a whole different post. We need to focus on eating a boat load of highly nutritious foods during these times in our lives. We really should eat this way all the time but during these times, it’s vital. Babies will get most of what they need from us whether we are keeping up with their demand or not. That’s why we hear so many women say they get cavities or have osteoporosis later in life. They weren’t consuming enough calcium during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
I’m going to try to keep this short because this can be a book on it’s own. All of these things can be augmented with supplements. I’ll write another blog for those and a long list will be in my Holistic Bumps to Babes Program.
- Water- Our bodies are about 50-60% water but newborns are 78%. A dehydrated body does not function properly, especially reproductively or for producing milk. It’s vital to stay hydrated with purified water during pregnancy for the amniotic fluid we are making for our babies. Hydration helps us to flush away toxins we don’t want near our babies and also helps to keep our menstrual cycles running smoothly. I’m not going to recommend a certain amount of water to drink per day because that changes all the time, especially during pregnancy. Just make sure it’s filtered water. It helps to add some trace minerals and sea salt to your water too. This will help you get more minerals, obviously, and to help you stay hydrated with less water.
2. Adequate Protein- Breastmilk is very high in protein. You need to make sure to eat enough for two humans with your protein. Your body needs all the amino acids to build a strong healthy baby. This is very important to be doing pre-conception because many times women have a very strong aversion to meats during early pregnancy. I suggest a well sourced protein powder for these times. Get your protein from wild caught seafood, grass-fed animals and their raw milk products and poultry and eggs.3. Minerals- A fertile woman’s body is 4% minerals. They are perform many functions in the body and are building blocks for enzymes and hormones. This includes calcium, phosphorus, iron, iodine, sodium, sulfur, potassium, zinc and several others. You get these through cruciferous vegetables, dark leafy greens like kale and collards, bone broth, grass-fed whole raw dairy (if you tolerate it well) and collagen. 4. Vitamin D- The best sources of vitamin D are seafood like salmon, oysters and sardines, pasture raised animal fats like lard or beef tallow, mushrooms (has to be made into vitamin d3 by our bodies) and unprotected sunshine on our skin. I recommend that you have your D3 levels checked often and try to keep them around 80. You can find these tests to do at home or ask your care provider to run the test. Living in Alaska, most of our population is deficient.
5. Vitamin A- You knew this was coming. LIVER! You can also take a well sourced Cod Liver Oil or an encapsulated desiccated liver. Egg yolks are another huge source of vitamin A and I recommend at least 2 per day pre-conception, during pregnancy and breastfeeding.6. Antioxidants- This includes Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B vitamins (including folate) and Phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are found in plants and algae. Liver, oysters, fish/shellfish, organ meats, berries and a boat load of vegetables will cover these. Aim for 5+ cups of vegetables per day. I took a high dose of Vitamin C during my pregnancy and found that it helped to prevent stretch marks and boosted my immune system and helped with exhaustion.
7. Fats- Women naturally carry about 50% more fat than men because it’s necessary for fertility, temperature regulation, and shock absorption. Fat is part of every cell in our bodies and is a building block for healthy hormone function. Fat will not make you fat, at least not the good kinds of fat. Make sure you’re eating fat daily because your babies brain depends on it. Between 28 weeks and birth, a growing baby in utero, increases the amount of fat in his/her body 12.5 times and most of this is the fat that makes up the brain. Our body uses some cholesterol from fat to bind to and excrete some toxins that are harmful to our growing babies. Aren’t our bodies incredible?! Did you know the placenta often chooses to allow saturated fats to reach the baby while blocking other fats in utero? How crazy is that? Omega 3’s are essential in life but especially during these special times in our life.
I don’t recommend a plant based diet during this time in our lives. There are just too many of these important vitamins and minerals that come from animal products that you can’t get from plants alone.
I hope you’ve found this information helpful. There are lots more things you can do to have the healthiest baby possible. Keep an eye out for my new program in the works. Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions.
Thanks for reading,