As you may know good nutrition during pregnancy is important and plays a role on your birth experience/outcome. It's easy when we become pregnant give into cravings and eat poorly or to much have you ever heard the term “I’m eating for two”. You are doing just that. You are creating another human being inside of you so kicking up your calories a little is needed but its also important to focus on what you’re eating. On average, a pregnant woman should eat 300-400 extra calories in her second and third trimester. It is important to discuss your personal nutritional needs with your healthcare provider. Don’t be scared of that lovely scale you step on at each visit. Remember you’re growing a human being and gaining weight is normal.
Nutrition During Pregnancy
I know when I was pregnant I had the hardest time knowing what to eat, and honestly didn’t really find myself having any crazy certain cravings good or bad. My first pregnancy I ate out a lot and gained SO much weight. At the end of my pregnancy my blood pressure was great but my swelling was out of control. My second pregnancy I changed things up a lot and did a lot more research on what I should eat and WOW what a difference in how I felt and looked. Here are some great nutrient choices, broken down by type:
Protein- Chicken, Egg Whites, Beans, Nuts, and Salmon
Vegetables- Dark Leafy Green Spinach, Kale, Green Beans, Broccoli
Fruits- Citrus fruits, Grapefruit, Oranges, Blueberries, Strawberries
Grains- Whole grain breads and cereals, Oatmeal, English Muffins
Dairy- Yogurt, Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Milk
Fitness and Exercise for Pregnancy
In addition to good nutrition there are other things you can do to help enhance your chances of a smooth pregnancy and VBAC. You know it's coming... Exercise! ACOG suggests that a pregnant woman gets a minimum of 30 minutes or more of some type of activity each day. As always, it is best to discuss this with your provider to see to what extent of fitness is best for you and your baby. Exercise such as yoga, walking, Pilates, going for a jog, etc... are great options and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is also very important.
Two Herbs Perfect for VBAC Prep
In addition to good nutrients, there are herbs you can take to prepare for your VBAC such as red raspberry leaf and red clover.
Red raspberry Leaf Tea comes from the leaves of the red raspberry plant. This herbal tea has been used for centuries to support respiratory, digestive and uterine health, particularly during pregnancy and childbearing years. This is not something that will induce labor but will help tone the uterine wall and help it be more efficient when contractions do start.
Red Clover is a nourishing food herb. It is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals. It is one of the best blood purifying herbs. This blood purifying action is wonderful for pregnancy preparation, aiding in detoxification of environmental pollutants prior to conception. According to Susun Weed (one of the most well known Western herbalists) Red Clover is one of the best pregnancy preparation tonics!
More great info: https://natural-fertility-info.com/red-clover-fertility-herb.html
Listen to episode 24 on our podcast for a story about Molly whose VBAC was a party!
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