“With morning sickness, gassiness and managing the pain of swollen joints, feeling good during pregnancy can be a challenge for any woman,” says Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and Vitamin Packs Medical Advisor. “The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to maintain a healthy diet and feel as good as possible during your pregnancy.” In this article, Somer shares nutrition tips and the top nutrients to help you feel your best and support your health during pregnancy.
(BPT) - If you’re like most expecting moms, you’ve already heard that a healthy, whole foods diet is best for you and baby, one that features plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins.
However, many expecting moms are also battling nausea and indigestion, especially during the earliest stages. That can make the idea of eating nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods less appealing. All the while, it doesn’t make you worry any less about getting all the nourishment the two of you need.
“With morning sickness, gassiness and managing the pain of swollen joints, feeling good during pregnancy can be a challenge for any woman,” says Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and Vitamin Packs Medical Advisor. “The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to maintain a healthy diet and feel as good as possible during your pregnancy.”
Somer shares nutrition tips and the top nutrients to help you feel your best and support your health during pregnancy.
Manage through morning sickness
Not long after you celebrate your pregnancy, morning sickness may settle in while your energy levels really start to lag. You can thank the surge of new hormones going through your body. At the same time, you may be concerned about getting enough folic acid (vitamin B9), as this is an essential nutrient that supports the baby’s brain and spinal cord development.
While nausea can dampen anyone’s desire to eat, it’s important to make sure you’re still nourishing your body. Try eating smaller meals throughout the day, don’t lie down after eating, and always take your prenatal vitamins with food. Choosing the right vitamins can help, too. Prenatal vitamins from Vitamin Packs are made with organic ginger and a more absorbable form of vitamin B6, helping to ease your upset stomach and nausea.
Get the nourishment you and baby need
Somer recommends every expecting mother take a multivitamin during pregnancy, starting with a quick online assessment on VitaminPacks.com/prepostnatal/. Your medications, diet and health concerns will be factored into your personalized selection of supplements, so you can be assured that taking them will be safe and effective during this critical time. You also can pull from their online library to get more information about any of their supplements. And, if you have any further questions or concerns about getting your nutritional needs met, a consultation with a nutritionist is just a phone call away. You deserve the best foundation of nutritional support that’s personalized for you and baby.
Mind your portions
After you get past that challenging first trimester, you’ll most likely be more in the mood to eat. Remember, weight gain is perfectly normal and healthy. In fact, you will need to consume extra calories to support the changes and development taking place inside your body. By the time you’re ready to give birth, your blood volume can go up as much as 60 percent, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Even so, steer clear of the “eating for two” mindset. Too much weight can worsen your health, and keep you from feeling your best, especially if it leads to gestational diabetes and other serious health conditions. Talk to your doctor and take the advice on how many calories you should consume in a day.
Eat your fish
During pregnancy, your baby’s brain is undergoing rapid development. To support this, opt for foods that are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially during the second trimester. Common foods that contain these good fats are fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon and herring. If the idea of eating fish makes you queasy, there are vegetarian sources available in the form of algae DHA omega-3 supplements.
Choose plenty of fruits and veggies
There’s a bounty of nutrients and micronutrients found in produce that can help mother and baby in numerous ways. Antioxidants found in dark colored produce, such as blueberries, broccoli and carrots, support the baby’s brain health. Plus, eating fruits and veggies is one way to stay hydrated and relieve constipation (which is all too common during pregnancy).
Get ready for motherhood by taking on a healthy mindset and a nourishing diet. You and your baby will both reap the benefits!
A good night's rest includes four different sleep stages with 90-minute phases of alternating non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. To help moms everywhere reach all stages and sleep better during the hectic back-to-school season and all year long, Shannon Wright, Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences and wellness expert for Natrol, recommends following these tips and tricks.
(BPT) - Early mornings, new extracurricular activities and loads of homework - back to school is a big transition for kids. With the focus on children's success, there's one family member who always sacrifices her well-being to ensure days run smoothly: Mom.
"She lays in bed at night planning the next day. She gets up earlier than the kids to prepare meals. She selflessly packs her schedule to meet family obligations," says Shannon Wright, Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences and wellness expert for Natrol.
Wright says that this do-it-all attitude is admirable, but the effects mean moms are losing the important sleep they need to feel their best and stay healthy.
"Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night that includes all sleep stages in order to feel well rested," Wright says. "One out of three Americans don't get enough sleep and women are two times more likely to have difficulty falling and staying asleep."
A good night's rest includes four different sleep stages with 90-minute phases of alternating non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. To help moms everywhere reach all stages and sleep better during the hectic back-to-school season and all year long, Wright recommends following these tips and tricks:
Adopt a sleep routine
A consistent sleep-wake schedule isn't just good for your kids, it's good for you, too. This supports your body's natural circadian rhythms that occur with the day-night transition. This also supports the release of melatonin, the body's naturally produced hormone that signals the body to sleep soundly.
Create a sleep oasis
The bedroom environment should be conducive to sleep and that goes beyond the bed. A cool, dark, noise-free bedroom helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. If you have noise or light challenges, consider blackout shades, face masks, ear plugs and white noise machines.
Avoid late evening screen time
The kids are finally in bed and moms everywhere have a few moments to themselves. Catching up on email, watching TV shows and perusing your smartphone can kill sleep potential if you do it within an hour of bedtime. Essentially, the LED lights make your brain believe it's day and therefore prohibit melatonin release.
There is a lot of research that connects quality sleep to exercise, so even if you're tired, try to move and groove your body every day. Walk the field perimeter at the kids' soccer practice, join the kids on the playground or pop in that yoga DVD to start your morning out with a good stretch.
Be proactive about tomorrow
Enjoy a smoother morning and fewer worries while you're lying in bed by getting things done the night before. For example, make lunches, pack backpacks, shower and lay out clothes for the next day in the evening. You'll have fewer to-do's in the morning and you can sleep in a little later.
Take sleep-supportive supplements
Stress, along with other things like age, diet and lifestyle can affect our bodies' production of melatonin. Taking a melatonin supplement can help. Try Natrol, a 100% drug-free melatonin supplement that is non-habit forming. The fast-dissolve tablets help moms fall asleep faster, stay asleep and wake up refreshed to tackle another busy day.
"These tips may be simple, but they are extremely effective. Remember, with a good night's rest it's a whole lot easier to be Super Mom," Wright says.
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