Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
Read more »
We hear a lot of talk in our culture about getting back into shape after baby. As a mother of two, I laugh ruefully at such talk, mumbling things like “Round and kinda bumpy is a shape.”
But it has recently come to my attention that my baby is, well, 2. As in years old. And that I haven’t taken an exercise class since the super gentle You-Just-Had-A-Baby-A-Second-Ago mom-baby yoga class so many years ago.
Some cookbooks focus on a specific type of food or cooking technique while others are handy resource guides or teaching tools. Still others are pure entertainment and bring you into someone’s world through food and storytelling.
Very few manage to combine those elements, but Just Married and Cooking by writer Brooke Parkhurst and chef James Briscione does just that.
Q: When should I begin taking a prenatal vitamin?
A: Start three months before you begin trying to get pregnant, if possible. “The egg starts maturing about three months before it’s released, and it’s critical that the proper nutrients are present during the earliest stages,” says OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinologist Robert Greene, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., a fertility specialist at cny Fertility center in Syracuse, N.Y.
It takes time to get back into your bikini-body shape after having a little one, but the key to settling into a happy weight may be more about making time for pleasure than going on a deprivation diet. “If you aren’t living a joyful life—despite getting enough rest, watching what you eat, and exercising regularly—you won’t be able to reach or sustain your happy weight,” says Erin Cox, author of the new book, One Hot Mama, who struggled with her weight after having three kids.
Ours is a hopeful society. Wishful, really: take a look at the claims on our cereal boxes. I know a fair amount about nutrition, and yet, every few months I participate in the escapist activity of reading cereal boxes and purchasing an all-new, whole-grain, high-fiber, high-protein, lowfat, extra-crunchy, satisfying, fruit-filled breakfast illusion. Usually it’s sweet and weird tasting, with some very fibrous fiber bits lurking amongst the puffs and crackles.
If you think that having delivered your little peanut means you can hop off the good-nutrition bandwagon, think again.
Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, you need a healthy diet to help repair your battered body—and if you are, it’s even more important to eat right. After all, don’t you want to make the best milk possible for your baby?
Let’s get real: When you’re pregnant in the dead of winter, controlling your weight is no piece of cake, although you’d probably like to eat one—and then another. We share our favorite recipes for comfort foods with a lighter twist to give you more energy and protect your and your developing baby’s health.
Whole grains may just be the holy grail of pregnancy foods.“The many varieties of whole grains are supercharged with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that offer benefits for both mom and baby,” says San Diego-based dietitian Wendy Bazilian, Dr.PH., R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet (Rodale). Plus, their complex carbohydrates help keep energy levels up throughout the day, she adds.
Fortified foods like vitamin D-enriched milk or calcium-added orange juice seem like an easy way to get the nutrients you need. But are they the best way to nourish you and your baby? The answer depends on the nutrient as well as the food it’s fortifying. “Adding nutrients can encourage people to look at a food as having a health halo when in reality it may be full of sodium, unhealthy fats or added sugars,” says Lisa Young, Ph.D., R.D., an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University. Plus, too much of certain nutrients could cause unwanted side effects.
Baby, It's cold outside. While winter may not be the season you associate with fresh produce, a bounty of unsung winter vegetables is increasingly available. “It’s important for a healthy pregnancy that you get all the vital nutrients found in vegetables year-round,” says Tara Gidus, M.S., R.D., an Orlando, Fla.-based dietitian and mother of two.
As if being pregnant isn’t enough of a reason to celebrate, here’s another: You’re expected—and encouraged—to eat! Experts agree you need more calories, more often, as a mom-to-be. While it’s recommended that the average woman take in 2,000 calories each day, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), expectant moms need roughly 340 extra calories a day in the second trimester and 450 extra calories in the third trimester.