8 Myths About Eating While Pregnant
Whether you’re expecting your first or your sixth, a new baby’s an adventure for everyone in the household. After all, who doesn’t like holding a newborn? In light of the fact that many women never lose their baby weight while others have to deal with various medical issues, however, nutrition during pregnancy has been under more scrutiny as of late. The results are in, and it seems that quite a few of the “facts” people have always known about the dietary needs of pregnant women simply aren’t true. Here are 8 pregnancy diet myths that have been finally put to rest.
1. Eat Up! You Need Enough for Two Now!
Contrary to what people have been saying for centuries it seems, pregnant women don’t actually have to eat all that much food. In fact, heath care professionals are now saying that women who aren’t overweight only need to take about 300 more calories each day for a healthy pregnancy. This is great news for both the baby and the future moms who want to limit their weight gain during those 9 months. The fewer pounds gained, the quicker you can get back to looking like yourself.
2. 30 Pounds is Exactly What You Should Be Aiming For
Not so fast. Although 30 pounds is considered normal weight gain after pregnancy, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the range you should be going for. A lot depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and BMI. Since post-baby pounds are so hard to work off, doctors suggest that women who are already overweight should be aiming for less than 30 pounds over the course of their pregnancies. Conversely, underweight women may need to gain a little more than 30 pounds. It all comes down to your BMI.
3. Now’s the Time to Start Eating More Meat
This is an a bit of conventional knowledge that has given many vegetarians and vegans pause in the past. Meat-free lifestyles are what you’re used to, but how do you get around the need for protein in your diet? Well, the good news is that it’s not so much the addition of meat to your diet that matters as it is making sure that you get all the nutrients you need. In other words, as long as you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t matter where specifically they come from. Tofu and nuts are just a few of meat alternatives that’ll still allow you to get all the protein you need.
4. Wait Until the Baby’s Born Before Going Out for Seafood
It’s understandable that you’d want to make sure that your diet doesn’t end up having a negative impact on your baby’s development. Due to scares about toxic mercury levels, seafood and fish is a food group that has garnered a negative reputation over the years. While for the longest time it was common sense that anyone expecting a child would avoid shellfish if they knew what was good for them, it’s since been discovered that pregnant women can eat seafood with no problems. So the if you ever feel like heading out for sushi with the girls, don’t stop yourself from eating it. Fish has tons of nutrients that are beneficial to a pregnancy as long as it’s eaten in moderation.
5. Enjoy Those 36 Weeks Without Coffee
Coffee –and anything with caffeine in it really—is something that pregnant women have usually been told to avoid. In spite of the common knowledge that surrounds this, the truth is that caffeine has no negative effects on a pregnancy. While it’s certainly not a good idea to take your coffee by the pot-full, there’s nothing wrong with popping into a Starbucks for your regular gourmet blend. Just try not to become a coffee addict.
6. Be Ready to Crave More of the Things You Love
Popular perception typically has expecting mothers crying over little things and wanting more of their favorite foods. Even so, the famed “pregnancy cravings” don’t always turn ice cream lovers into super-ice cream lovers. Cravings can range all the way from wanting foods you don’t enjoy like to wanting non-food items like dirt or cement. While there’s no question that craving grape soda as a strictly Coke-drinking person isn’t necessarily “harmful”, be sure to contact a doctor if you find yourself dealing with non-food cravings. That could be a sign of pica.
7. Pregnancy is the Time to Begin Eating Better
How many times have you heard a friend or family member talk about their plans to start eating better after realizing they’re pregnant? Here’s the reality of the situation: a balanced diet is what you should be striving for beforehand. Both for your own health and that of your child, you want to make sure that you’re getting the nutrients you need and that have you been for a while. That being said, it’s definitely better late than never.
8. Herbs are Okay Because They’re Natural
Since most people are aware of the complications that can arise from using prescription drugs, there are individuals who feel like herbal medications are a harmless alternative. Due to the lack of regulation and the experimental nature of these remedies, however, the results of taking them can seriously harm your baby while compromising your health. If you find any herbal-based medications that you’re interested in taking, run it past your doctor before you take it. You’ll thank yourself later.
There you have it. Having a baby is life changing in many ways.
Many new mothers find themselves sleeping at odd hours and generally having less time for themselves. Balanced meals, appropriate food servings, and nutrition go a long way. Best of all, vegetarians and vegans are also able to get in on the act. At the same time, however, you can also indulge in some of your favorite foods without any guilt. As many mothers have learned, eating right while pregnant is a fantastic means of keeping up your energy while also helping your child stay healthy. With this knowledge in mind, what type of diet are you opting for?
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