Prenatal Nutritional Tips + Giveaway

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One of our clients, Jessica Katz, recently spoke at our Fit for Pregnancy Prenatal Workshop and is guest blogging today about prenatal nutrition. Jessica is a registered dietitian with a nutrition counseling practice in New York City and helps clients create personalized, flexible strategies – realistic for busy lifestyles – to enjoy food, optimize health and achieve individual nutrition goals. Here, she shares her tips.

Along with the joys of pregnancy may come some not-so-thrilling side effects. Here are some nutritional strategies to help you manage…

prenatal client pregnancy
We want you to feel this good. Try these tips to feel like this pregnant lady!

NAUSEA / MORNING SICKNESS
Why? Pregnancy hormones can heighten your sense of smell and foods with strong odors may trigger nausea.
Try:
• Small, frequent odorless, low-fat meals and snacks to promote easier digestion. Great options include baked (sweet) potato, quinoa, oatmeal, rice and broth-based soup.
• Cold foods may be easier to tolerate as they are less aromatic. Great options include popsicles, Greek yogurt, applesauce, smoothies).
• Carry snacks and Saltine crackers/pretzels/ginger chews etc. in your purse. Try a few Saltines before getting out of bed in the morning.
• Try ginger tea (decaf, non-herbal), ginger chews, ginger beer (nonalcoholic).
• Drink fluids mostly between meals rather than with them.
• Avoid rushing – relax, meditate and get adequate sleep.

*If you experience weight loss or dehydration from morning sickness, inform your doctor immediately.

FOOD CRAVINGS
Why? Cravings can result from pregnancy hormones or arise in response to emotions/stress/fatigue.
Try:
• Regular schedule of small, frequent meals and snacks incorporating fiber + protein + healthy fats to help promote satiety.
• Do not keep foods you crave at home. Choose a single-serving treat to satisfy your craving.
• Consume a warm cup of (decaf, non-herbal) tea or hot water with lemon before or with the item you are craving.
• Assess your hunger level – are you truly hungry or is your craving occurring due to emotions/boredom?

*Inform your doctor immediately if you experience cravings for ice/ice chips, flour, cornstarch or for a non-food item, such as dirt, clay or paper. This may be PICA, which can indicate iron-deficiency.

CONSTIPATION
Why? Progesterone slows down the passage of food through your GI system; iron supplements can also contribute, as can pressure from your expanding uterus on your intestines.
Try:
• Incorporate appropriate physical activity to increase blood flow to your GI system. Physique Prenatal either at the studios or online are a great option!
• FIBER + FLUID; at least 28 g fiber/day when pregnant, 29 g/day when nursing BUT increase your fiber intake GRADUALLY…with lots of fluid!! Sources of fiber include: vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes, nuts/seeds, whole grains (quinoa, oats, brown/wild rice, popcorn, whole-wheat pasta or bread, high-fiber crackers or cereal, bran, etc.).
• Pregnant ladies require at least 10 eight-ounce glasses of fluid daily (2.4 liters) whereas women who are nursing need at least 13 eight-ounce glasses of fluid daily (3 liters); fluid needs, however, are individual and vary based upon age, medical conditions, activity level – ask your doctor to estimate yours.
• Try hot liquids (hot water with lemon, non-herbal decaf tea) and try incorporating prunes, prune juice or oatmeal.

HEARTBURN (acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, known as GERD)
Why? Pregnancy hormones can relax GI muscles, allowing stomach acid to rise into the esophagus. About half of all women experience GERD symptoms later in their pregnancies, when the baby is large enough to exert pressure on the stomach.
Try:
• Small, frequent low-fat meals and snacks. AVOID: large meals, high-fat foods, citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, OJ, grapefruit juice), tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato sauce, pepper, spicy foods, caffeine, coffee, tea, soda, mint, chocolate, alcohol, smoking; garlic and onions can be problematic.
• Chew thoroughly and eat slowly.
• Do not lie down or recline after eating; wait 2-3 hours after dinner before going to bed.
• Drink fluids mostly between meals rather than with them.
• Relax, meditate and get adequate sleep.
• Elevate the head of your bed, or sleep on a foam wedge. If your acid reflux continues post-pregnancy, inform your doctor.

Giveaway Details!
In case you missed our post last week, click here to enter our Bump 2 Baby Giveaway for a chance to WIN over $500 in prizes for both mommy and baby! Great products from Mustella USA, Diapers.com, Puj and Wubbanub!

Disclaimer: These tips are geared towards healthy prenatal women with no medical complications or pre-existing medical conditions and this advice does not apply to everyone. Individual recommendations vary based upon age, gender, health history, current medical status, and activity level. Please check with your doctor and registered dietitian in regard to tailoring this advice to your individual needs.

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