The relationship between food and pregnancy are intricate and can be frustrating, especially when your nausea and reduced stomach space don’t agree with your cravings or appetite! For some, pregnancy nutrition comes easy, and for others it is a challenge. And sometimes it changes from moment to moment! We try to eat well to nourish our bodies and our babies, and then some strange craving or aversion throws it all off.
Keeping some nourishing herbs and basic healing foods on hand can help make pregnancy nutrition simpler.
What Eating for Two Really Looks Like
The saying “eating for two” tends to confuse actual pregnancy nutrition with the idea that you’re sustaining two full people. Really, you’re still just one adult and one growing baby. As you adjust your meals and eating habits for pregnancy, it’s nutrition for two that should be your main focus. And those needs shift a bit in each phase of the pregnancy.
This may be the most difficult time to pay attention to nutrition. Morning sickness remedies are important to keep around in order to improve your nutrient intake. Lemon and mint are good stomach soothers, as is ginger in reasonable amounts. Sipping Lady in Waiting tea or using Stomach Soother tincture can help to ease an upset tummy.
The way you eat can also affect the way you feel. Eating enough protein throughout the day, keeping a snack by your bed to avoid an empty stomach, and snacking throughout the day can help to avoid blood sugar crashes that contribute to nausea.
Fortunately, your body uses your nutrient stores when food isn’t in high supply during this phase. But, unfortunately, your nutrient stores will be used and depleted! Give yourself some love and patience as you try for good pregnancy nutrition but may wind up only getting crackers down.
Of course, if you can’t stop vomiting, see your care provider. Dehydration is a serious concern.
Many mamas enjoy the second trimester more than the rest of the pregnancy. In many cases, nausea has subsided quite a bit. You can feel your little one inside of you, but still have some room to breathe. You can move around pretty well, but can see and enjoy your baby bump.
It’s also the time for cravings to really kick in, and how you respond can make or break your pregnancy nutrition habits. This is often when we tell ourselves we’re “eating for two.” In reality, a pregnant mama only needs to add about 300-500 extra calories in order to sustain their bodies and grow a healthy baby. The best places to focus those calories are in:
- Good fats – avocados, nuts, real butter, coconut oil
- Protein – go for around 70g of protein in a day
- Fresh fruits and vegetables – good for plenty of vitamins and minerals
- Iron – leafy greens, red meats, beans, and cooking in cast iron can help
This is when your blood volume increases substantially, and you need to increase iron intake to keep up with the change. If you’re feeling extra tired, sluggish, even light headed, you could be experiencing indicators of anemia. Liquid chlorophyll or Floradix supplements give an added boost, and drinking more Lady in Waiting tea can help to add nourishing herbs to your diet as well.
If you want to add in the extra nutrients in one delicious shot, try to make one great big yummy salad every day. Change the greens you use, add a thick avocado dressing, top with veggies and berries and nuts, and you’ll make your body and your baby very happy.
Now it gets tough again. Your organs are displaced, including your stomach, and you may struggle with heartburn. Your appetite is up but there’s just no room to keep up, so you’re always hungry and always full.
In this stage, you’re working on nourishment for the soon-to-come labor and subsequent milk production. Hydration is more important than ever, and so is intentionally keeping your energy up with nourishing foods.
I know the temptation is strong to indulge when your body is working so hard. And it doesn’t hurt to enjoy that treat or go for that craving. As long as you’re not subsiding on overindulgence, don’t stress or deprive yourself. You’re doing a great job with that little one of yours, and it’s almost time to meet them!
Pregnancy Nutrition Highlights
Keep your pregnancy nutrition “requirements” and reminders simple so that they are easy to remember and implement. Little quips might help keep your focus on what’s important rather than worrying about checklists and rules. Try this:
1 Big Salad every day
2x Blood Volume needs lots of iron
3 Medium Meals + 3 Small Snacks
4 Quarts of water
Bottom line? Small snacks and meals will help keep your body sustained without causing discomfort from big meals or nausea from an empty stomach. Making sure some nourishing food and herbs are in each of those meals or snacks will help keep your pregnancy nutrition in check.