Being pregnant is a different experience for everyone. Some of us are racked with fear and worry, others find it a blissful journey. Sometimes we need to deal with trauma, work or relationship stress and bodily discomfort, whereas others have a comfortable, happy pregnancy. While everyone’s experience is different, our strategy to eating should be somewhat similar.
Special considerations aside, a healthy pregnancy will be enhanced by a balanced and nutritious diet. For anyone who has been pregnant, you will know this is not always an option! Personally, I am accustomed to eating a highly nutritious diet, rich in plant based foods and very low in artificial additives or sugars. Yet in my second pregnancy, I was revolted by most veggies, preferring melted cheese on toast, rice based dishes, pasta and breakfast cereal. I went off meat and couldn’t get enough sparkling water. I had a 6 week period where all I could think about was cake – these ‘needs’ felt out of my control! My body needed energy and craved these starchy foods, which I normally did not eat so many of. Don’t beat yourself up – listen to your body.
The best time to be healthy is in the time leading up to conception. Lay down good foundations, take care of your health through a diet rich in nutrients and a lifestyle rich in rest, physical activity and low in stress (easy right?) Take a good quality pre-natal vitamin (preferably a practitioner brand) and take care of yourself!
Once you fall pregnant, it is vital to continue these good quality nutrients in your diet as much as possible. Many of us don’t have cravings as such, perhaps simply aversions, or possibly nothing at all. Either way, if your Caramello Koala cravings are epic, try and pre-face them with a nice balanced meal – think whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, lean meats and lots of water. Your little one will thank you! It is normal to feel hungrier than usual, so try to accommodate this in your food preparation. This will help for you to stay on track and avoid too many excess goodies.
A new mum, whether breastfeeding or not, still needs to take care of herself. Most likely you will be experiencing less sleep, more worry, heightened emotions and sometimes a strange feeling of displacement or mourning for your old life, along with the various heights of joy and happiness that come with snuggling your little one (mmm how good to babies smell?!). Whatever your situation, continue to consider your health. Take the time, wherever you can, to cater for fresh food options, rich in nutrients, similar to what you would consider pre-conception and during pregnancy. Pre-preparing meals and freezing them is great if you have found the time. Otherwise, take advantage of others offers to help and have friends help to fill your freezer. Take advantage of supermarket home delivery services and research some ‘one-pot’ recipes online.
Healthful treats are a great inclusion in your diet at any time, but especially if you are experiencing sugar cravings. Try to make some homemade snacks to have on hand so you can reach for those rather than the sugary variety. Here is one of my favourite snack recipes - try it and you will love it and all the health benefits:
* A little coconut water, if needed, for blending
Place all ingredients into blender, food processor or Nutribullet and pulse to combine, wiping down sides if required.
Serve on its own or with fresh fruit or shredded coconut.
Supporting women and other mum’s in their business and busy lives is a big part of what I do. As a mum of girls, sharing, supporting and empowering the journey of others is an important part of what we try and teach our children. Contributing to My Tiny Wardrobe is just one way to show support of all those mums working hard every day to look after their families.
Lucinda has been involved in the health and wellness arena for over 10 years. With a background in fitness and now as an accredited Nutritionist, she holds an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine, a Cert IV in Fitness, a Cert IV TAE and a Bachelor of Arts. Lucinda works with Nutrition clients from all backgrounds, is involved in course content writing, menu design, training and assessing and is also a regular contributor to women’s magazines.