I always hesitate to give one size fits all advice on eating, especially when it comes to pregnancy. Please, consult with a trusted professional before changing your eating habits.
The thing is, there are a few things that apply to almost everyone who is pregnant whether you have gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperemesis, severe acid reflux, preeclampsia, or any other pregnancy condition.
A major exception to this is someone with any kind of eating disorder. In which case, there are professionals out there who are far more qualified than me.
These five tips can help common pregnancy symptoms like heartburn, nausea and dizziness.
1. Eat several small meals a day
This can look like a handful of nuts and a banana or avocado on whole wheat toast with lime squeezed on top. Get creative! This can help calm or prevent heartburn and nausea.
2. Get all three macros
Carbohydrates, Fats and proteins. These are the three macro nutrients that are essential for your body to function properly, and to ensure your baby is growing well without depleting your body.
Carbs = Energy
Fats = Hormone Health
Protein = Tissue Growth & Healing
Getting these nutrients from whole foods is especially helpful in getting the vitamins and minerals, fiber and water that your body needs, with little to not need for tracking.
3. Start Loving Food
There are far too many negative messages about food:
Carbs are bad
Fat is bad
“Too many” calories is bad
Sugar is bad
Ice water is bad (yup, this is a thing people say)
Warm water is bad (yup, they also say this)
I could make an entire post with just these awful messages, but you get the point.
Instead, whenever one of these thoughts comes into your head, remind yourself:
Food nourishes me and my baby
4. Stop Counting Calories
The exception to this one is if your provider is worried about your weight gain or lack thereof and has suggested to keep track to make sure you’re eating enough or not too much.
I will say, it’s much easier to eat less calories if you stick to a whole foods diet, and most people do not need to count calories on a whole foods diet unless they are underweight.
Overall, however, I’ve noticed a HUGE obsession with calorie intake that tends to overwhelm the fact that we need calories, and the nutrients that come with consuming those calories to thrive.
So, my advice is just like granny’s. Eat your veggies, don’t be afraid of butter and whole milk, and eat all of the eggs!
5. Stay off of the Scale
Your provider might want to know how much you weigh, but you don’t need to know. In fact,if they insist on weighing you just tell them not to say it outloud.
Weight is NOT the only metric of health. That applies to those who are under, overweight, and everyone in between.
The more you focus on healthy eating the better you will feel, and THAT is the ultimate metric of health.
Megan Neal is a birth worker serving Columbus, OH and virtually through Birth Your Way. Birth Your Way strives to ensure each of their clients goes into birth and postpartum confidently and with all of the information needed to make the very personal decisions involved in bringing a new life into the world and raising that little person. Megan uses birth planning, childbirth education courses, and birth doula services to send their families into the birth room confident and educated. She uses day and overnight postpartum services to help the families she works with to adjust to life with a new baby in the home.
Megan has studied with a number of certifying bodies including Birth Advocacy Doula Training, Spinning Babies, and Milestones midwifery. Megan is also an apprentice with a local homebirth midwife and has been practicing massage for since 2009.
Find out more about Birth Your Way at BirthYourWayServices.com
I'm a wife, mother of two, avid reader, doula, birth educator and an aspiring midwife. I grew up in Iowa, and my family and I moved to Columbus in 2019, and have decided to call it home.