- It is crucial that your body has the necessary chemical elements, strength and stamina to make it through pregnancy with good health. Poor diet during pregnancy can have lifelong consequences on the physical and mental health of your child.
- Unfortunately, for most of the women in affluent Western societies who have unlimited access to all kinds of food and no mentor to guide them through pregnancy, the trap of eating what they should not eat and at the same time of not knowing what they should eat is very likely.
- The ideal diet is a balanced whole foods one which gives the crucial inputs required during pregnancy.
- Growing a baby requires a lot more energy especially in the earlier months when cell division is most intense. Vegetarians can source these from pulses and legumes (peas, lentils, beans, nuts, soy products) eaten in combination with whole grains such as rice, wheat ,oats, barley, rye, corn, buckwheat etc.
- Try to eat high protein foods for lunch when you will be able to process them more efficiently than at night.
- In the last months, calcium is released from the maternal bones to provide for the baby, so increased dairy, soy, greens and seaweed are useful. Raspberry leaf tea is especially useful in the last months as it softens up the cervix in preparation for birth as well as stimulates milk production.
Special Pregnancy Needs
Nowadays, nutrition experts recommend “chemically prepared” dietary supplements taking for granted an assumed deficiency in the diet to meet the special pregnancy requirements. However, a balanced whole foods diet can more than make up for these “deficiencies”. Moreover, we believe, supplements can have undesired or harmful effects.
Let us Examine these Special Requirements
- Iron is best sourced from nature’s own balance. Unless you require Syntocinon for expedient delivery of the placenta, being ‘tanked up” on iron supplements is just not necessary. In fact iron is a highly toxic material which can damage the liver if over consumed.
- You can source iron from leafy greens, seaweed, dried fruits, pulses, wheat germ, bran, yeast, nuts, seeds, parsley, molasses, Jaggery.
Folic acid (Foliate)
- Folic acid aids cell division in early pregnancy and damage to the fetus from low folic acid can occur even before pregnancy is confirmed. Folic acid is well sourced from yeast, wholegrains, pulses, nuts, dairy products, Jaggery – again no need for supplements- just a whole foods balanced diet.
- Can be sourced from yeast, seeds, beans, nuts, dairy foods, wheat germ, whole grains, avocadoes – all good staples for the whole foods vegetarian. Vitamin B supplements cause urine to turn dark yellow. This can cause urine tests to show high protein which can lead to pre-eclampsia! Taking supplements removes this vital sign whether we are taking enough fluids!!
- Evidence of low calcium is muscular cramping especially in the lower legs and most commonly experienced in the last trimester when the baby’s bones are becoming rapidly denser.
- Natural food sources of calcium are dairy products, soy products, nuts, seaweed and kelp products, wheat germ and wheat bran.
- Include these in your daily diet and you will be on your way to a more natural and chemical free childbirth.