The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
Read more »
M&Ms, jelly beans, pizza and Cap’n Crunch cereal are just a small sampling of the foods women crave during pregnancy. With strong aversions and cravings, it’s hard to eat well throughout the entire nine months (even if you’re a nutritionist).
Women who consume plenty of omega-3 fatty acids during the third trimester have babies with better visual, cognitive and motor development compared with babies whose mothers don't get as much omega-3s, according to a study of Inuit women in the Canadian Arctic. The researchers measured the nutrient in umbilical cord blood and assessed the babies' development at 11 months.
If you can’t make it out of the office, try our simple and delicious midday meals packed with key pregnancy nutrients. Dessert included!
You are what you eat. That's old news. So is the fact that your diet during pregnancy affects your newborn's health. But the new news is that what you eat in the next nine months can impact your baby's health, as well as your own, for decades to come. Here are easy nutrition tips that will help you both.
Most of us are creatures of habit, piling the same foods into our grocery carts each week. But pregnancy, with its increased nutritional requirements and wacky cravings and aversions, may require venturing into new nutritional territory.
Taking fish oil supplements while pregnant may boost your baby's smarts. Researchers found that 2 1/2 -year-olds whose mothers supplemented with fish oil daily during the last half of pregnancy scored better in language comprehension, vocabulary and eye-hand coordination than those whose moms didn't. For neurological and visual development, a fetus needs long-chain fatty acids from the mother's diet. While these are readily available in seafood, experts recommend that women limit prenatal fish consumption to 12 ounces weekly to avoid contamination by mercury.
Where folate flourishes
Start your shopping trip in the fresh-produce department, where finding nutrient-dense foods is a no-brainer. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of folate, a B vitamin that helps manufacture and maintain new cells and is especially vital for the rapid cell division that takes place during pregnancy. Deficiencies can contribute to serious birth defects of the spine and brain (aka neural tube defects such as spina bifida).
Oatmeal with Apricots, Cinnamon and Flaxseed: In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup low-fat (1%) milk, 1/4 cup diced dried apricots, 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes until liquid is absorbed, or simmer in a saucepan for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
1 cup cubed papaya
Even if you typically eat a fairly healthful diet, pregnancy requires some adjustments. You need extra nutrients to keep up with the demands of your changing body and growing baby, and you should avoid certain foods altogether. This doesn't mean you must follow a stringent regimen--or deny yourself--but it does mean giving a little extra thought to your food choices.