Never is there a time more important in a woman’s life to eat properly than during the childbearing years. While we should all strive for optimal nutrition at all times, when a child’s health depends on the nutrition of the mother, it becomes a serious undertaking to be sure adequate nutrition is provided for both mom and baby.
During pregnancy, a woman’s nutritional needs increase greatly, as her body needs more protein, fat and calories to support the growing life inside her. Pregnant women should aim for 65-80 grams of protein daily and an extra 2500 calories per day over pre-pregnancy diet. In order to reach these intake amounts, pregnant women should consume several servings of raw, whole milk per day (if a raw source cannot be found, a high quality coconut milk may be substituted), a couple of pastured eggs daily, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday.
Additionally, since fat intake is so important for proper development of baby’s brain and mom’s health, coconut oil and real (grass-fed, preferably raw) butter should be staples in the pregnancy diet. To achieve proper amounts of protein, plenty of grass-fed/pastured meats should be consumed daily as well. Regular consumption of animal products like meat, butter, eggs and milk, helps to ensure that both mom and baby receive much needed nutrients and B vitamins, which cannot be as easily obtained from other sources. Our bodies are able to use and absorb these animal-derived foods.
While the daily diet of a pregnant woman should not be a source of stress, it does deserve careful consideration. During pregnancy, one should strive to make all foods count towards nutritional goals, completely avoiding those with no nutritional value like white flours and sugars, as well obvious junk foods like soda and candy. Grains should also be considered carefully, as they should not be consumed unless first soaked or sprouted. If soaking or sprouting grains is not an option, it would be smart to skip them altogether, as the proteins in grains are difficult to digest and are not a good source of nourishment for a growing baby.
So, what’s a pregnant mama to eat? Here are a few nutrient-dense favorites:
Scrambled (free-range!) eggs. Yes, this simple standby is a great choice. Cook the eggs with plenty of grass-fed butter, throw in some onions, greens, and any other vegetables you fancy, even some high quality bacon or sausage, and you’ve got a delicious and nutritious breakfast!
Broth-based soups. With the weather cooling off, keeping a pot of soup or stew around is a toasty and nutritious way to feed mom and baby. Use about 4-6 cups of homemade bone broth with stew meat, carrots, potatoes, onions and celery, along with your favorite spices, for a very simple stew. Previously soaked beans are a good addition to stews as well.
For snacks, choose high-fat, high-protein options, like high quality cheese, peanut butter and yogurt. Nuts can also be a good option for snacking, just make sure they’ve been soaked beforehand, as they, like grains, can be difficult to digest.
Eating properly during pregnancy can help mom and baby dodge many health problems, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, high blood pressure and other avoidable health concerns. Just remember, everything a pregnant woman eats during pregnancy can either contribute to the health of mom and baby, or deter from it.
If you need more information, try Healthy Pregnancy Super Foods!