This week we have guest post from Melissa from Real Nutritious Living Blog to talk about ways you can grow a healthy baby! She is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and the perfect person to offer these 5 tips on how you can grow a healthy baby during your pregnancy journey!
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5 Tips to Grow a Healthy Baby
Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Now it’s time to start growing that healthy baby. Growing a healthy baby starts before your baby is born. Now is the time to build a healthy foundation. Here are my top 5 tips to grow a healthy baby….
- Whole Food Nutrition
- Supplement Smart
- Rest and De-stress
- Clean up your personal care and cleaning products
- Focus on gut health
Whole Food Nutrition
You’re literally building a human, which means you need quality building blocks to ensure a healthy baby. Get whole food nutrition by doing the following:
- Do your best to avoid packaged and processed foods.
- Eat clean, high quality proteins like wild salmon, grass-fed and pasture raised meats by visiting a local farm or consider a delivery service.
- 80+ grams of protein is linked to research that shows less morning sickness and lowered preeclampsia risk.
- Healthy fats are vital to brain and organ development.
- Do not shy away from avocado, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, nuts, and olive oil.
- Load up on fruits and vegetables which with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. These healthy choices will begin to develop your baby’s taste buds as early as 16 weeks and can help shape preferences later in life.
- Blood volumes doubles by fewer than 50% in pregnancy, which means about a gallon of filtered water, is necessary daily. Keeping well hydrated will prevent morning sickness, help keep amniotic fluid replenished, and decrease constipation.
It’s ideal to begin taking a prenatal vitamin before conception. An organic high-quality, food-based prenatal multivitamin, that contains folate, iron, calcium and vitamin D is the way to go. If it’s fermented, that’s even better. Fermentation transforms the nutrients into a form your body actually recognizes and can easily digest and absorb.
Be sure to continue taking a high quality soil based probiotic as well as eating and drinking plenty of fermented foods such as water kefir and sauerkraut. This will help prevent host of health conditions including acne, asthma, allergies, eczema, autoimmune diseases, cancer, depression, anxiety, gastric ulcers and obesity.
Adequate good fats are essential for baby’s development and can be difficult to get from diet alone. Supplementing high quality sources of these fats can help reduce risk of complications and give baby the necessary nutrients for good development. I recommend a high quality pre-natal fish oil. New Chapter makes a good one.
Rest and De-stress
Now, more than ever before to listen to your body. If you feel tired, rest! Research now shows moms stress may effect baby long term and that women sleeping less than 6 hours a night have an increased chance of a C section. In the first trimester, fatigue can be non-negotiable. The third trimester can also be incredibly taxing on the body due to carrying more weight and bearing the discomfort of aching of joints; and the fatigue of disrupted sleep.
Acknowledge your needs and give your body the rest it needs to carry out its biological function of growing a healthy baby. Consider a baby moon and delegating tasks to relieve stress. Take plenty of Epsom salt baths and find time for self-care.
Clean up Your Personal Care and Cleaning Products
Babies are born with over 200 chemicals in the umbilical cord and while we can’t control all of the 88,000+ chemicals in commerce today, we can control what we put on our skin, eat out of and clean with! Many of these chemicals are linked to hormone disruption, birth defects and cancers.
Watch out for:
- Parabens (petroleum-based preservative)
- Laurel/lareth sulfates
- DEA (diethanolamine)
- Propylene glycol (used in anti-freeze and latex paints)
- FD&C or D&C color (it’s really coal tar)
- Fluoride (toxic substance found in toothpaste)
- BPA &BPS
Tips to minimize chemical exposure:
- Eat organic fresh foods and avoid and canned foods (which are often lined with BPA-containing liners).
- Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap.
- Get a high quality water filter and choose stainless steel or glass water bottles.
- Avoid non-stick pots and pans.
- Check your cleaning and baby products on the Environmental Working Group site or app to ensure they’re safe.
- Use safe makeup, like Beautycounter or even make your own!
Focus on gut health
Gut health is important for immune and nervous system health, which can have an impact on baby’s immunity, metabolism and microbiome, lasting far beyond birth and infancy. Disruption of the balance of your microbiome is linked to a host of health conditions including acne, asthma, allergies, eczema, autoimmune diseases, cancer, depression, anxiety, gastric ulcers and obesity.
Some factors are outside of our control so it’s important to stay positive and control what we can.
Foods to incorporate:
- Bone broth- Rich in collagen, glycine, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous, along with other nutrients that support digestive health, bone broth is an anti-inflammatory superfood. It also supports barrier function of the small intestine and may help with nausea.
- Fermented foods- Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that reside in the gut, and while supplementation can be beneficial in pregnancy for a variety of reasons (including helping to prevent preterm birth (source.) Try eating plenty of sauerkraut, homemade yogurt, water kefir, and kimchi.
- Prebiotic foods- Found in fruits and vegetables and contain soluble and can greatly help with many of the digestive discomforts that often show up during pregnancy. Eat plenty of garlic, onions, leeks, banana, asparagus and kiwi.
These tips are certain to help you feel better during pregnancy and ensure a happy healthy baby.
What advice do you have to ensure a healthy pregnancy? We would love to hear from you!
Don’t forget to check out Melissa’s blog!
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About the author:
Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition. She has been a regular expert on NBC, ABC, Good Day Live, ESPN radio, various summits, and podcasts. She regularly teaches workshops at Whole Foods and many other outlets. She’s also an advocate for a safe skin company.
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