Bun in the Oven

Fresh out of the bar scene, newly married and pregnant with my first! What did I know about having a bab?This is not something I researched. All I knew was, I was moving on with the next stage of my life. Stop the birth control, give it a couple months because I heard you have to have a "real period" before getting pregnant, oh and throw some folic acid in there.

The pregnant body needs more of everything from vitamins & minerals to rest & balanced activity.

I don't know if it crossed your mine but it did not cross mind, about getting myself all prepped to do this pregnancy thing. Have sex...get knocked up, what more is there to know, right? Seriously though, looking back now, I wish I could have been better prepared to grow & nurture a tiny human inside me for 9 months. It does all start with taking care of yourself first.

When women are pregnant they need to consume more calories. It takes a lot of work and calories to grow a tiny human. It can take 75,000 calories to make a baby which equals approx. 350-450 extra calories a day. A woman should eat around 2400-2800 calories a day while pregnant, with even more calories added in the third trimester.

Protein...the sight of chicken breast made me want to throw up!

Protein: 50% more protein is required. 70-85 grams upwards toward 100 grams. This supports the tissue growth of both the tiny human and new tissue made by the mother.

Sources: fish, poultry, eggs, dairy foods, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes

I craved milk soooooo bad!

Calcium: If the woman is not obtaining sufficient calcium it can be pulled from her bones to nourish the tiny human; this can also pull toxins from the mother and pass them onto the tiny human. 1,000 – 1,300 mg is needed daily, aiding in the tiny human's bones and teeth development, muscle and heart function, blood clotting, and nerve transmission.

Sources: fish, milk products, nuts and seeds, leafy greens, sea vegetables, whole grains

I became anemic during my second pregnancy, and still battle it today!

Iron: Key in building blood cells in the mother and the tiny human, also aids in disease resistance and elimination. A women’s blood volume increases by 50% during pregnancy. Approx. 27mg of iron is needed during pregnancy. If these levels are not met, anemia usually occurs and is followed with fatigue and poor endurance. (This is where my journey began and how I got started into the world of health and fitness). To obtain sufficient levels from diet alone is hard, so supplementation is recommended to be spread out throughout the course of a day. Best form of supplement is Ferrous gluconate and fumarate; good absorption and fewer symptoms of intestinal tract upset. (Oh the constipation that comes with iron pills.) Take Iron supplement with 250 mg Vitamin C for better absorption and between meals if possible.

Sources: beef liver, red meats, eggs, chicken, salmon, seaweed, brewer’s yeast, molasses, millet, prunes, raisins, mushrooms, chard, spinach and most nuts and seeds

I thought that was the stuff you take when you are getting a cold?

Zinc: Aids in the normal development of the tiny human’s immune system.

Sources: beef liver, red meats, eggs, chicken, salmon, seaweed, brewer’s yeast, molasses, millet, prunes, raisins, mushrooms, chard, spinach and most nuts and seeds. With additional amounts in shellfish, especially oysters.

The one thing almost everyone knows to take before becoming pregnant.

Folic Acid: Helps form red blood cells, aids growth and reproduction of other cells, supports the development of the nervous system in the tiny human, and helps stimulate the mother's appetite. Deficiency has congenital neurological defects in babies. 600 mcg up to 1000 mcg is required daily. Sources: leafy greens, whole grains, yeast, fish, dairy foods and organ meats.

Other nutrients to make sure you are covered.

Other nutrients are also needed in increased levels such as Vitamin A, C, E and B6 as well as minerals such as iodine, magnesium and sodium. Do not take mega doses of Vitamin C though, as this can take on a scurvy affect in a newborn when they are no longer taking in that mega dose every day from the mother.

Be prepared to endure pregnancy. By nature, a tiny human has been provided with the power to pull extra supplies from the mother when they are not being provided. The tiny human can pull minerals, vitamins, protein from the mother’s tissues, bones, organs and other storage areas. Besides needing all these nutrients to grow the tiny human, it is also needed to build the placenta, increase the uterus size and breast tissues and to create amniotic fluid.

Exercise is also important to stay loose and limber, promote good circulation, and prevent constipation and varicose veins. Also remember to take some “me” time for mediation, relaxation, stretching and preparing for the future to come. The best way to keep your baby healthy is to keep yourself healthy.