9 Signs You Should Invest in a Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Cravings are a normal part of pregnancy. There are many reasons women experience these symptoms such as the extreme hormonal changes, stress and worry, and that superhuman ability to smell everything within a mile radius. However, some cravings are due to nutritional needs our bodies are experiencing. Due to the extreme changes and the quickly increasing needs of our body and our baby during this process, we need more healthy nutrients than we had before, but this does go both ways. A pregnant woman who is eating too many unhealthy options or consuming a lot of empty calories will end up gaining too much weight and putting too much sugar or fat into their system. This is why cravings should be satisfied, but with smart choices. For example, if you can’t get enough sweet treats, try eating more fresh fruit or veggies with a lot of naturally occurring sugar like carrots. Cravings for salty snacks can often be satisfied with leafy greens or having some nuts.
Hormones are one of those things pregnant women will always have to contend with. It’s a necessary evil in order for your body to prepare for the birthing process and provide your baby with the perfect environment for developing and growing. You can expect unusual and uncontrollable emotions to dictate your mood without warning, but sometimes those emotions are coming from actual physical needs. Being hangry while pregnant could mean that your body needs some nutrition. If you’re eating and still feeling hungry, and you’re finding that you’re upset emotionally at the same time, it could be that you’re not satisfying your nutritional needs in some way. Always try drinking some water, but also reviewing your diet to see if it may not be rounded enough may help alleviate some of that moodiness.
As your baby grows, there will be a lot more weight pushing on different parts of your body than there used to be. There will also be quite a bit of gastral issues from the hormonal changes and one thing that affects many pregnant women is constipation. While hormones do play a role in this, you can try to counter it by maintaining the right diet. Staying hydrated and limiting foods that cause you to have bowel problems are ways to help you feel more comfortable during this already difficult time. Some women will have more issues with this than others and it could be healthy foods causing it, so paying attention to how your body is reacting to the different foods you need will help you narrow down the foods that you may need to avoid. Staying hydrated is another great way to counter this, but just drinking copious amounts of water may not be the best solution. There are some foods, such as watermelon and cucumbers that will help keep you hydrated as well.
Incorrect weight gain
Gaining too much or too little can severely impact your health, your child’s health, and your overall comfort during pregnancy. Many of the common discomfort women feel is caused by the increased weight and things becoming a bit cramped inside. Gaining too much will only heighten these issues and increase the problems resulting from that. If you have too much body weight, it means that your stomach, lungs, and bladder will all have even less room than what the baby takes. This will likely lead to your baby’s weight increasing as well, causing another range of possible issues, especially during delivery. However, gaining too little can mean that your body isn’t keeping up with the baby’s needs and may lead to health issues for your little one as well. This can lead to premature birth, cause your little one to have gastroschisis which is when your baby’s stomach doesn’t develop correctly, or even miscarriage. You may face consequences if you’re underweight too, such as hair loss or brittle nails, terrible fatigue, or your own body becoming malnourished. This could lead to anemia, weakened bones, and other health problems that can have long term effects.
Ask any woman who has been pregnant or one who currently is and they will tell you that aches and pains are just a part of the process. This only becomes more of a fact the further into the pregnancy one is. We’ve talked about how you’re gaining more weight and things are being pressed in ways they never were before, which leads to a lot of these aches, but another cause could be your nutrition. If you’re lacking in certain nutrients, you’ll experience muscle aches and joint pain as the connective tissues in your body are weaker than they should be. Your bones also need you to maintain a healthy diet in order to stay strong. Another type of ache that many pregnant women deal with are headaches. Headaches are strongly influenced by how you fuel your body.
Everyone, whether they’re pregnant or not, knows what it feels like to be bloated. It’s tight and uncomfortable. Now add a baby into the mix and you can see why this is so much worse for pregnant women. Staying on top of your diet means that foods that may trigger bloating can be limited and hydration can be increased to counter this. It’s also a good idea to eat smaller meals more often in the later stages of pregnancy so that you don’t have as much in your stomach at once. While bloating can and is often caused by the hormonal changes in your body, you lessen this a great deal by staying away from foods that increase gassiness and drinking plenty of water and eating enough fiber will help you feel more comfortable.
Your blood sugar levels are off
This should be an immediate and alarming red flag for any pregnant woman. Gestational diabetes affects many women and can lead to serious problems such as premature delivery, your baby developing hypoglycemia, or breathing issues. While the cause isn’t fully understood, maintaining a healthy weight and diet can help reduce your issues with this and lower your chances of developing this. While your blood sugar levels will likely rise during pregnancy, if it rises too much it can lead to continued sugar problems after pregnancy. It can also cause birth defects in the earlier stages of your pregnancy and premature delivery. There have been situations where it led to stillbirth as well, so this is definitely something you want to keep under control. Luckily, the majority of gestational diabetes cases go away after the pregnancy is over and making certain you eat healthier foods during the entire course of your pregnancy will make a world of difference in your health.
The baby weighs more than it should
We all agree that the cute baby chubbiness is adorable, but there is a point when the baby’s weight can cause problems. While pregnant, our bodies deliver nutrients to our little ones while they’re inside the womb. When we keep an unhealthy diet, it can actually increase the weight of your child. Babies who are overweight may lead to problems during delivery, such as more blood loss and tearing, an increase in difficulty delivering vaginally, and possible preterm labor and delivery. The way we take care of ourselves while pregnant is directly impacting the health of our bun in the oven.
Indigestion or heartburn
Because of the stomach and other organs getting a bit squished as the little one begins to take up more room, heartburn is a common and uncomfortable occurrence for pregnant women. This has to do with the stomach contents getting pushed into the esophagus and the best ways to lessen this is to eat smaller portions more often, stay very hydrated, and eat healthy foods that don’t cause a lot of indigestion in the first place.
No one can eat perfectly all the time. Sometimes you just want to have that slice of cake or bowl of chips. For most women, this isn’t going to cause severe damage. However, for those who end up eating like this all the time will end up with a far more unpleasant pregnancy than they need to.