Nutrition and Pregnancy: A Series Part I

April 19, 2020

Hello! Dahlia the Dietitian here.

Today, we are going to talk all about nutrition and pregnancy. If you’re reading this your probably pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant, or interested in starting a family sometime in the future. As I’m sure your well aware, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet before, during, and after pregnancy is key for maintaining physical and mental health as you approach motherhood and the upcoming body changes.

The Nutrition and Pregnancy series will provide tips and tricks about prenatal and postpartum nutrition and will provide information about how you and baby can optimize your nutrition during this wonderful time. 

Part 1 of this series will cover two important questions that come up in the first trimester:

  1. Am I really eating for two?
  2. How can I overcome pregnancy nausea?

Am I really eating for two?

Actually, no. Although you are growing another human inside your body, you should not be eating double the food or double the calories. Your body actually only needs extra calories in the second and third trimesters, roughly 300 and 450 calories respectively. Saying that, every woman’s body is different and will respond to hunger differently. It is important to listen to your body and follow it’s signals. Eat when hungry, stop when full. If you need additional guidance on mindful, intuitive eating during pregnancy, Dahlia the Dietitian can help you there!

How can I overcome pregnancy nausea?

Nausea during pregnancy is very normal. Often times when were nauseous, it’s difficult to eat and we develop certain food aversions to foods and odors that trigger waves of nausea. Also known as morning sickness, nausea can happen at any time of day. Here are some tips and tricks for reducing nausea:

  • Eating! An empty stomach usually continues the cycle of nausea and keeps you feeling queasy. Of course the last thing want to do when your nauseous is to eat. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day will help. Even a small bite of fruit with a handful of nuts is better than leaving your stomach empty. Note: drops in blood sugar levels can also cause nausea symptoms. Eating will help raise your blood sugar levels but maintaining your levels without drastic drops is also important. This is where food combining comes in. Pairing fast-digested carbohydrates with slow-digested fats and/or proteins will inhibit drastic drops in your blood sugar levels. For example, pairing an apple with two tablespoons of nut butter. If you want to learn more about food combining and how to balance your blood sugar, make an appointment with Dahlia and Dietitian!
  • Ginger has been shown to reduce feelings of nausea. Add ginger to smoothies, stir fry, or curry! Ginger tea and dried ginger are also good options.
  • The temperature of food can trigger symptoms of nausea. Generally, cold foods help mitigate nausea. But everyone is different. Play around with hot, warm, and cold food to see if you’re affected by the temperature and plan accordingly.
  • Supplementing with vitamin b6 has also proved to help reduce nausea. Speak with your doctor to figure out the right form and dose for you. Of course, eating foods rich in vitamin b6 is also beneficial, such as: avocado, banana, fish, and poultry.

Until next time, stay safe and healthy!