Getting pregnant and childbirth are two of life’s greatest miracles.
Most women, when asked the question, “What was the most
memorable event in your life?” often cite pregnancy and
- No smoking & no alcohol
- Consume 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid daily.
- Get your other health problems under control
- Ask your partner to play an active role
It’s like a gift from above. There is just no denying the powerful emotions that pregnancy and childbirth can create in parents. However, while pregnancy is glorious and a rewarding experience, the hard truth is that there is a nutrition and fitness aspect that cannot be neglected.
There is also a flip side to this shiny coin. Many women often end up feeling that pregnancy has ruined their shapely figure and the stretch marks have disfigured them.
They automatically assume that once they’ve given birth, their bodies will never go back to the shape they originally used to be. Weight gain, stretch marks, a loss of sex appeal, etc. are negative consequences that women consider a trade-off to having a bouncy little baby.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Yes… pregnancy will result in weight gain. This is only natural and in fact, it’s healthy. However, the weight gain can be maintained without letting it get out of control.
“I’m taking it week-by-week so I don’t get frustrated with myself. If I had a long-term goal and that’s all I thought about, I think it would set me back more.” – Jessica Simpson
I think if you ask any pregnant mom, they’re like ‘I want my body back. But it takes time. It takes nine months for your body to get that way, and it’s putting on that weight on purpose. The second I start to get down like, ‘What happened to my body?’ I look at my beautiful baby—and I’ve never been more appreciative for this body that I have.” – Hillary Duff
It’s gonna be alright
The natural state of things will mean that you gain weight during pregnancy and you’ll lose it all after childbirth.
Even the world’s most female celebrities have had the following things to say about pregnancy and weight gain.
“You have to eat to feed your baby. And I have a girl, so I want her to see some day why her mom has good self-esteem and good body issues. It gets you down sometimes, I’m not going to lie. I’ve had days where I’m like, ‘Ugh, I wish this was easier.’ But it’s not, and that’s OK.” – Jennifer Love Hewitt
The point to take away from all this is that it is normal to gain weight and it takes time to lose it. Will you feel down and depressed now and again?
Yes, you will. But you will persist and ultimately, you will get the body you desire.
There is much more to just losing weight after childbirth. You’ll also need to know how to eat right during your pregnancy, how
Before even getting pregnant, you should be aware that your health, habits, diet, fitness level and many other factors will directly or indirectly affect your pregnancy and the fetal development.
One example would be pregnant women who have the smoking habit. This does a lot of damage to both the mother and the child within.
If you’re going to get pregnant, you should eliminate all your negative habits prior to conception.
Ideally, you should exercise more, eat a clean diet, avoid alcohol and smoking is a definite no-no. If you have any issues with substance abuse, etc. you should eliminate all these before planning to have a baby.
Exercise more. Build up your strength and stamina. When you’re pregnant, it will be easier on your body if you’re strong and healthy. If your partner smokes or engages in detrimental activities, they should try and quit for the sake of the baby.
At the very least, if they can’t quit, they shouldn’t smoke around you or tempt you by consuming alcohol around you.
Obesity has become an epidemic. The numbers of people suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, digestive issues, etc. have skyrocketed. The main culprit – our diet.
Changing one’s diet and eating clean is a Herculean task. You absolutely can’t do it overnight and don’t even think that will-power will work.
You will need to make small changes to your diet gradually till you form the habits of eating right. That is why, it is imperative that you start making these changes 3 months before getting pregnant.
You’ll then be able to ease into a healthy diet relatively smoothly and easily.
How many calories should I consume?
Many women wonder about this. They do not want to consume too many calories for fear of putting on weight… but then they
Proper Diet and Calories
A warning though – If you consume too many calories there are problems too. You will gain too much weight which will put you at risk for diabetes, heart problems, early labor, pre-eclamsia, etc.
It’s all about balance. Eat enough for both you and your baby. Eat healthy and eat in moderation.
Before going any further, you will need to calculate your pre-pregnancy Recommended Daily Caloric Intake. This is actually just your normal caloric requirement if you were not pregnant..
Eat whole foods
Whole foods could also be called single ingredient foods. For example, a broccoli is a single ingredient food.
You pick it up… you know what it is… and you know it grew from the ground.
Now let’s look at white bread?
Most people have no idea how it was made, what ingredients were used… and how in the world did they get the bread so white, anyway?
The moment you have no idea what goes into the food, it’s best you avoid it. White bread uses refined flour that is bleached white and all kinds of artificial ingredients go into making a loaf.
Eat the right kind of fat
Extra virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil are two of the best types of fat you can consume. In fact, of the two, the coconut oil is better.
Supplements Before &
Besides food, your body will also require supplements. It is extremely difficult to get all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals that your body needs from food alone.
Your diet will have to be varied and your knowledge of nutrition will have to be good to get a completely balanced diet with no deficiencies.
Most women just do not have the time to watch their diet like a hawk and note the different vitamins they’re getting. By consuming supplements, you’ll be able to pick up the slack from a diet that is deficient in a few vitamins and minerals.
Some basic knowledge would be very helpful though. When you understand what you’re eating, how much you should eat and why.