"It's now more widely accepted that exposure to positive influences like a nutrient-dense diet and exercise have beneficial effects on pregnancy outcomes, while exposure to toxins, stress, and processed foods have the opposite effect. There's currently a whole field of research devoted to the study of what's called, "epigenetics" or how your genes (or your children's genes) are affected by your lifestyle choices and other exposures." -Lily Nichols, "Real Food for Pregnancy" p. 4
What you put into your body MATTERS, particularly while you're pregnant. You are literally building a new body inside of you and the nutrients and foods that you put into yourself during your pregnancy are what your body is going to have available to use to build your baby's body. What you eat will not only affect how you feel during your pregnancy, but the most current studies show they will also affect your child's longterm health. It really does matter if you are consuming enough of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients! So what should you focus on while you're pregnant?
Proteins are the building blocks of new life and you are literally building a new body during pregnancy, so eating adequate protein is one of the most important things to keep track of during pregnancy! We recommend our clients aim to eat 100 g of protein everyday and some people find they need to eat more than that when they get into their third trimester. The best way to hit your protein goals for the day is to eat a source of protein every time you eat--whether its a meal or a snack, make sure you're eating some protein with it.
The other food that we tell our clients to focus on is vegetables. Try to eat vegetables with every meal of the day and eat a rainbow variety of them. Vegetables of different colors tend to contain different nutrients so if you're "eating the rainbow," you're getting a variety of different nutrients to help meet the needs of you and baby.
Water is essential! Your body uses water in all of its metabolic activities and that includes growing a new baby, so you are definitely going to need to drink adequate amounts of water during your pregnancy. We want our clients to aim to drink half their body weight in ounces of water every day. That might sound like a lot, especially if you aren't used to drinking that much water, but your body needs it! Dehydration can lead to constipation, leg cramps, fatigue, and dizziness during pregnancy so make sure you carry a water bottle around with you so that you can stay hydrated throughout the day.
In general, we want your supplements to be supplemental. We want you to eat real food, not processed or prepackaged, so that you can get the majority of your nutrients from the food you eat. But we also know that many families have busy lives and aren't able to make their own meals every day, and so some supplements can be helpful, especially while you're pregnant and/or breastfeeding. A good prenatal (we like FullWell and Thorne), Magnesium (either citrate or glycinate), and a good probiotic will cover most of the bases. Depending on your prenatal and your own levels, you may also need a Vitamin D supplement and if you struggle with getting a good nights sleep or daytime anxiety, FullWell's nourished nerves could help you feel more like yourself again.