First of all, if you’re expecting, congratulations! The anticipation of adding a new member to the family can be such an exciting and special time. It’s also a period of incredible change for you, your partner— and most importantly, your body.
Taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do during your pregnancy. Appropriate rest and eating right impacts how you feel, and, is directly tied to the development of your child. Those crazy cravings you hear about— pickles and ice cream, sardines and sauerkraut— can actually be indicators of something your body needs. Thus, knowing what foods and nutrients are beneficial can help you plan for a better and more balanced diet throughout your pregnancy.
The Right Vitamins And Minerals
Though prenatal vitamins are great and certainly recommended, our bodies are meant to absorb vitamins and minerals from real food! Supplements are meant to be just that: supplemental to an already healthy diet. In addition to the supplements recommended by your doctor, consider emphasizing these nutrients in your overall diet.
This is a big one, as it can help prevent serious neural-tube defects in your baby. Most prenatal vitamins have at least 800mcg of folic acid, but try to help your body along with some of the naturally rich folic acid foods as well. These include leafy greens like kale, beans, and peas.
As your body goes through pregnancy, it produces extra blood to help support your baby. As a result, anemia is actually pretty common in pregnant women. Try incorporating lean meats, spinach, broccoli, and iron-fortified cereals.
Another tip: you can cook and saute your food in a cast-iron skillet for an extra boost!
Calcium is also important to be cognizant of, as your baby needs to pull from some of your stores while they are developing their own bones, which could leave you at risk for osteoporosis if you’re not careful. Milk, cheeses, yogurts, and keifers are great options to help with calcium levels.
The Brewer Diet
Obstetrician Dr. Thomas Brewer developed the following diet to help pregnant women prevent toxemia, but it’s guidelines really transcend into healthy food guidelines throughout pregnancy in general. These 14 different food groups, outlined below, help keep your diet balanced with the right nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. You can use these guidelines to help select and plan your meals to ensure you are getting everything you need from your diet.
Group 1: Milk and milk products - a woman should consume 4 choices from this group of items like as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.
Group 2: Calcium replacements - there are additional sources of calcium available from items like vegetables and nuts.
Group 3: Eggs - recommended 2 each day cooked any style preferred.
Group 4: Protein - this is the largest group and it consists of 6 to 8 choices of protein sources including meat, poultry, fish, beans, and some dairy sources.
Group 5: Fresh, dark green vegetables - pregnant women should consume 2 choices of broccoli, spinach, asparagus, etc.
Group 6: Whole grains - women should choose 5 servings of whole wheat, rye, bran or other whole grain food options.
Group 7: Vitamin C - women should choose 2 items like pieces of citrus fruit or 100% fruit juices as well as tomatoes, strawberries, and other sources.
Group 8: Fats and oils - women are recommended to eat 3 choices of butter, mayonnaise, avocado or other fats.
Group 9: Vitamin A - women should choose 1 item rich in vitamin A, like apricot or cantaloupe.
Group 10: Meat - it’s recommended that women consume 4 ounces of beef, calf, chicken, pork or turkey liver or liverwurst each week. Note: this group is optional.
Group 11: Sodium - sodium is considered a good thing; an unlimited amount of salt is OK to consume!
Group 12: Water - women can drink an unlimited amount of water, but keep in mind that water itself is not adding nutrients to your diet.
Group 13: Snacks - when the first 10 groups have been met, women can continue to snack on foods within the first 10 groups until they are satiated.
Group 14: Vitamins - though supplements may be needed, they do not take the place of a sound, balanced diet of whole, living, nutritious foods.
How Chiropractic Can Help During Pregnancy
Not only is it safe to see a chiropractor for regular treatment during pregnancy, but it can also be highly beneficial to your overall comfort and health. As your baby grows, the added weight can put more and more stress on your spine. The gentle adjustments that your practitioner can apply during an appointment help to relieve some of this added stress. These adjustments can also help prevent sciatica, which can be common during pregnancy.
By scheduling regular chiropractic care, you can help to keep your body feeling and functioning well throughout your pregnancy. During the initial evaluation, we will go over your health history in detail and construct a plan that you are completely comfortable with before moving forward. Pregnancy is more than visiting your OBGYN every few weeks; make sure you’re taking care of YOU! Schedule an appointment online or call (949) 380-8883.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.