The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Hydrating adequately before, during, and after workouts is hugely important for the safety of pregnant women and their babies.
But if the idea of gulping down even more water each day sounds like a chore to you, you’ll be comforted to know that what you eat can help you stay hydrated as well.
When I teach cooking classes I always try to cover a few grill techniques because I’m a huge grill fan. It’s such an easy, tasty, low-mess, healthy way to cook. What’s more, you can toss a few things on the grill at once and have dinner done in a flash.
Heartburn, constipation and indigestion are all too common during pregnancy, thanks to progesterone, a hormone produced by the ovaries that relaxes your stomach muscles and slows digestion. Luckily, there’s an easy way to ease these unpleasant side effects of expecting: up your fiber intake.
Packed with nutrients, kale is one of the best prenatal foods around. But it can also taste like health food—especially to expectant mothers.
Between the rising temperatures and your growing belly, chances are you’re struggling to keep your cool these days. When you can’t bear the idea of turning on your stovetop, don’t resort to yet another PB&J.
“You can whip up a delicious, nutritious meal without heat,” says Matthew Kadey, R.D., author of The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes for When It’s Too Hot to Cook (Ulysses Press).
By now, you’ve probably gotten an earful of healthy eating advice. So you already know that loading your plate with fresh produce, whole grains, and lean protein is best for you and baby.
The problem is that this nutritious diet can be tough on your wallet. But that doesn’t mean that you have to go broke at the supermarket. With smart shopping strategies and a little preparation, eating right doesn’t have to cost a cent extra, says Paola Mora, R.D., a dietitian who works in the division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York.
Give an egg a break! The nutrient-packed powerhouse contributes to a healthy baby and a healthy you. “It’s the ideal source of protein, offering you and your baby all the essential amino acids you need to build muscles, hormones and enzymes,” says Allison Tannis, M.S., R.H.N., co-author of The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy (Fair Winds Press).
Of all the food dilemmas you face when pregnant, seafood might be the most slippery. Fish contain nutrients essential to the developing fetal brain, but they can also be contaminated with brain-damaging mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The ecological questions are similarly confusing. Many wild fish are being fished to extinction, but fish farms can be a major source of environmental destruction as well.
The ritual of making and drinking tea has been practiced for thousands of years, and for good reason. Tea contains polyphenols to protect your heart, antioxidants that may lower your risk of cancer and other nutrients that boost your immune system. When you’re expecting, the benefits get even better. A comforting cup may ease morning sickness, and even make for a shorter labor. However, some teas are potentially dangerous during pregnancy and should be avoided.
As a mom-to-be, you want to protect your baby from harm at all costs. Cut out alcohol? No problem. Stay away from raw fish? You bet. But safeguarding your baby isn’t all about what you “can’t” have or “shouldn’t” do. In the case of birth defects, it’s crucial that you add a key nutrient to your diet: folate.
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.
As long as your feta is made from pasteurized milk, feel free to eat as many Greek salads as you like. The concern is a condition called listeriosis, a bacterial infection that’s typically contracted through eating certain foods, including unpasteurized milk and cheeses, says Kelly Jackson, M.P.H., an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.