The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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If you want your baby to develop healthy eating patterns, don’t load up on cheeseburgers and milkshakes while you’re pregnant. Research on rats found that a high-fat prenatal diet produces permanent changes in the offspring’s brain that ultimately lead to overeating and obesity. Study author Sarah F. Leibowitz, Ph.D., says that triglycerides, unhealthy fats that are elevated in the blood after high-fat meals, stimulate brain chemicals that cause us to eat more. In her study, she fed pregnant rats a high-fat diet, then replaced it with a normal diet just before they gave birth.
Almost every other first pregnancy in our circle of friends and family has produced a girl. Somehow, though that wouldn't technically affect our odds, it just seemed more likely that there would finally be a boy on the way. And because we've watched so many people bring girls into the world, as soon as we found out we were pregnant we began studiously visualizing a boy just in case.
Are you gonna eat that? That's a bag of Cheetos and an apple fritter. My God, girl, what are you thinking? That's what you brought to your labor room for nourishing sustenance during one of the biggest physical endurance events of your life? You're joking, right? You're not actually going to wash it back with diet orange soda. Heh heh. That's funny.
pregnancy nutrition basics
Every year, scientists uncover information about the critical role nutrients play in the mental and physical development of the fetus, including their ability to reduce the risk of birth defects and disease in newborns. Prenatal vitamins can help, but they can’t do the job alone, which is why your diet is so important.
Meeting all your nutritional needs during pregnancy can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. These quick snacks help you fulfill your pregnancy requirements for important nutrients such as calcium, folic acid, protein, iron and fiber. A light nibble between meals will help keep your energy, plus help quell nausea.
If you’re like many pregnant women, you vowed to eat healthier the minute you found out you were expecting. You may have even started making a mental list of nutritional do’s and don’ts: Eat more calcium-rich foods, get more protein, cut out the caffeine and junk foods. Healthy eating habits on your part will set the stage for your baby to grow into a strong child and adult and
ultimately reduce his risk for certain diseases. Scientific research continues to show that a prenatal diet rich in
It's late. You're starved. You see the closest pair of Golden Arches and make a beeline. When you’re pregnant and working, it’s tempting to zoom through a drive-through and pick up something fast, but such a meal probably wouldn’t offer the good nutrition you need.
We all have memories of growing up with the four food groups, but since the development of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid in 1992, we’re getting used to this improved concept of eating. The whole idea of the pyramid is that its shape guides you to the healthful number of daily servings of foods in each category: more from those foods at the base, fewer as you move up.
You’ve always said you were going to “clean up” your diet. Well, the time has never been more right than now. The demands of your blossoming body — not to mention your baby’s — mean putting your nutrition know-how to work and learning to make the most of every morsel. Consider the difference between a 200-calorie doughnut and a 200-calorie carton of yogurt: Same calorie contents, very different nutrients.
After nine months of carefully tending to your growing belly, then perhaps hours of life-altering labor, you get a big prize to take home: a baby to nurture and cherish. But the benefits don’t stop there. Here are 10 ways pregnancy and motherhood can reward you physically, mentally and emotionally for years to come.
Your body is recovering from childbirth and needs a steady supply of vitamins and minerals to heal. What’s more, with a new baby in the house, you’re undoubtedly fatigued, and you need healthful foods to refuel your body. And if you’re breastfeeding, your baby is relying on you for crucial nutrients.
The eating patterns you set in the first six months after having a baby can help you lay a foundation of healthful eating for the rest of your life, says Eileen Behan, R.D., a dietitian in Portsmouth, N.H., who specializes in weight management for individuals and families.
If you’re like many women — especially if this is your first pregnancy — you’ve become quite careful about what you eat. Artificial sweeteners are out, coffee is cut to just one cup a day, and only organic produce will do. Yet you may be surprised to learn that there are even better ways to ensure that you and your unborn baby avoid food-related illnesses and problems.