Eating healthy throughout your pregnancy is the greatest gift you could give your unborn baby, but there are a lot of rewards in it for you too. It’s common for many moms to forget that they also benefit from eating healthy throughout their pregnancy. What you eat has a direct effect on how well your body copes and recovers from all the physical changes it goes through. It also helps with the physical and emotional challenge of carrying and delivering a baby.
The truth is, most pregnant women rarely walk around all nine months with that rosy glow everyone talks about. In the first three months, some of us walk around a nasty shade of green and in a hazy fog thanks to the tiredness we feel those first three months. The second three months are a little better, and we are no longer green, but we deal with other issues such as varicose veins and leg cramps.
In the third trimester, we are back to the hazy fog again and have other issues such as swelling and heartburn, just to name a few. Some of these can be avoided with a good diet. Eating foods that have some complex carbs can help reduce your tiredness, and staying away from fatty foods will help with heartburn.
Research has shown that pregnant women who eat healthy throughout their pregnancy usually have a safe and uncomplicated pregnancy. Studies have shown that some pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia or high blood pressure can be directly related to deficiencies in a pregnant woman’s diet. High amounts of sugar and polyunsaturated fats increase this risk as well as having a low intake of vitamin c, e, and magnesium.
Perhaps for some women, one of the biggest benefits of eating healthy during their pregnancy is that it could help you during labor and delivery. A well-balanced pregnancy diet has been said to help prevent preterm labor, which is labor before 37 weeks. A good diet can also help you cope with labor and delivery better. Any woman who has given birth knows how much energy it takes to endure hours of contractions and sometimes hours of pushing. Eating healthy will ensure that you have the energy and the stamina to get through your little one’s delivery.
Once you have delivered your little one, it is still important to continue your good habit of healthy eating, especially in the postpartum period. Your body needs a lot of resources to recover from all the stretching, blood loss and not mention sleep deprivation and still take care of a newborn. It is just as important in the months following your delivery to continue to eat well. As my doctor put it, it is essential to eat as though you were pregnant for at least three months after delivery.
A final bonus to eating healthy throughout your pregnancy is that you may never stop eating healthy. This is setting up the groundwork for a lifetime of eating healthy for not only you but for your children. If you continue to eat healthily, you are setting a prime example for your children.