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What You Need to Know About Health and Pregnancy

The promise of an easy pregnancy isn’t something that just eating well can provide; isn’t that a relief? So the next time you are craving Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream at 10pm, you don't have to feel guilty. 

That being said, I can absolutely tell you that improving the quality of my own eating and the consistency of my movement over the last 10 years has, without a doubt, improved the ease of my pregnancies, labor and recovery.

Disclaimer: All the tips below should be followed with a doctor's approval.

Top tips for eating in your first trimester:

  • Focus on Omega 3 fats, like those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and olive oil. These foods help to keep you feeling focused and energized since they are exactly what your baby needs. Even more, healthy fats can be more effective at reducing acid reflux and keep your stomach feeling full to help with some of the symptoms of nausea.
  • Eat your veggies. Focus on whatever vegetables you can keep down during your first trimester. Try to enjoy a colorful an array, as much as your sensitive stomach allows.
  • Healthy snacks: If you feel the need to snack on crackers, try whole grain crackers and whole grain rice cakes and try to match them with an iron rich spread such as hummus or tahini. These will help to maintain your energy levels and balance your blood sugar.

In the second trimester you and your growing baby need to prioritize eating a variety of proteins:

  • Beans and legumes, lean meat, chicken and dairy products.
  • Balance these with whole grains such as, brown rice, quinoa or whole grains.

Here is an easy to make soup that fullfills all of these health requirements:

Chicken Cauliflower Red Lentil Dhal

red lentil soup.jpg

My secret to enjoying the third trimester when I feel big, a little ungainly and a little bit like a fertility goddess is maintaining a slow and steady exercise program throughout my pregnancy:

  • A moderate long work-out is the key to maintaining your fitness level throughout your pregnancy and building the strength and endurance in preparation for labor.
  • Drink lots of fluids. Drink a half liter of water for every 20 minutes you excersize. This is critical to avoid contractions or cramping even during a moderate walk indoors.
  • Focus on being present in that moment with your unborn baby. Remember to take slow, deep breaths throughout your walk and really connect your breathing and movement which will also aid in your ability to manage pain and concentrate during labor and delivery.

The best benefit of all of the exercise and good eating that you do during pregnancy is how much quicker you will feel like yourself after delivery. I am back on the walking path the day after I am released from the hospital. No matter when you decide to begin eating better during your pregnancy, every day that you invest in your body and the health of your unborn baby will pay dividends for decades into the future. I hope we all enjoy a healthy and easy pregnancy and a safe delivery of new bundles of joy.

MORE: Healthy Superfood Recipes

MORE: You've Been Asked to Cook Meals for a New Mom

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