Eat for You and for Your Baby
Your baby is nourished by your body as the plant obtains nourishment from the soil. A healthy baby is the result of a healthy mother. It is good to know which of the foods that we take contribute to a healthy baby. Most herbs listed here (except for the red raspberry) should be taken during the last trimester and only after consultation first with your midwife or doctor.
Each gram of carbohydrates provides the body with four calories. Most foods containing carbohydrates have other essential nutrients such as honey and blackstrap molasses which also contain iron and B vitamins. Grains, fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates which provide fuel and energy for the body. Pregnant mothers need about 2,200 calories per day while nursing mothers need these and an additional of about 800 calories per day.
Many a pregnancy induced hypertension could be avoided by taking an adequate amount of protein. About 90 grams of protein is needed by a pregnant mother for the growth and maintenance of body tissues of the baby and the mother. Complete protein foods are found in meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese while incomplete protein foods are found in legumes, grains, seeds and nuts. Some sources of protein include: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, nuts, beans, peas. Some combinations of proteins providing the complete protein that the body needs are:
|rice and legumes||rice and legumes and wheat||wheat, sesame and soybean|
|corn and legumes||rice and milk or wheat||peanuts and milk|
|wheat and legumes||wheat and cheese||wheat and milk|
Your fat intake should be about 35% of your total calories. Each gram of fat provides the body with nine calories. Fat is important in maintaining body heat especially in cold climates. It aids in the absorption and utilization of carotene, the vegetable form of Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is essential for good vision. It helps reduce susceptibility to infection. It is essential for healthy skin, good blood, strong bones and teeth, kidneys, bladder, lungs, and membranes. Natural Sources: Fish liver oils, sheep and beef liver, carrots, yams, dairy products, liver, dark green and yellow leafy vegetables.
Beta Carotene provides the body with a safe source of Vitamin A. It works with other natural protectors to defend your cells from harmful free radical damage. Natural Sources: Dark green leafy vegetables, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits.
Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine) aids in digestion. It is necessary for metabolism of sugar and starch to provide energy. It maintains a healthy nervous system. Alcohol can cause deficiencies of this vitamin and all the B-complex vitamins. Natural Sources: Brewer’s Yeast, wheat germ, liver, whole-grain cereals, fish and poultry, egg yolks, nuts, legumes, brown rice, and blackstrap molasses.
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) helps the body obtain energy from protein, carbohydrates and fats. It helps maintain good vision and healthy skin. Natural Sources: brewer’s yeast, alfalfa, almonds, liver and other organ meats, leafy vegetables, whole-grain breads and milk.
Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) helps the body utilize protein, fats and carbohydrates. It is necessary for healthy nervous system and digestive system. Natural Sources: lean meats, poultry, fish, peanuts, milk and milk products, and rice bran.
Vitamin B-5 (Panthothenic Acid) helps release energy from protein, carbohydrates and fats. It is needed to support a variety of body functions, including the maintenance of a healthy digestive system. Sources: royal jelly, brewer’s yeast, brown rice, organ meats, salmon, egg yolks, legumes, wheat germ.
Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) is essential for the body’s utilization of protein. It is needed for the production of red blood cells, nerve tissue and antibodies. Women taking oral contraceptives have lower levels of Vitamin B-6. Drinking alcohol also lowers the level of B-6 in the body. Natural Sources: brewer’s yeast, meats, whole grains/wheat, bananas, green leafy vegetables, liver, brown rice, soybeans, rye, and lentils.
Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin) is necessary for the normal development of red blood cells, and the functioning of cells, particularly in the bone marrow, nervous system and intestines. Natural Sources: meat, sardines, mackerel, dairy products and fermented soy products.
Vitamin C is necessary to produce collagen, the connective material of all body tissues. It is important for healthy teeth and gums. It strengthens capillaries and other blood vessels. It plays an important role in healing injuries. It aids the body’s absorption of iron. It helps fights infection and it is important in boosting the immune system. Taken by mothers with breast engorgement, mastitis, or any time the body feels weak.
Vitamin C is water soluble so it cannot be stored by your body and must be frequently replaced. Stress decreases your body’s supply of Vitamin C. Clinical tests have shown that smokers and women taking birth control pills have significantly lower blood levels of Vitamin C than non-smokers and women who are not taking birth control pills. Natural Sources: Citrus fruits and juices, acerola cherries, cantaloupe, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, green and red peppers, and strawberries.
Vitamin D is necessary in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous which are required for bone formation. It is also necessary in maintaining a stable nervous system and normal heart function. Take a nice walk and get fresh, clean air daily. Other sources: sardines, salmon, tuna, egg yolk, sunflower seeds.
Vitamin E protects fat soluble vitamins and red blood cells. It is essential in cellular respiration and protection. It inhibits coagulation of blood by preventing clots. Sources: wheat germ, safflower nuts, sunflower seeds, whole wheat.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is essential for the formation and repair of bone and teeth. It regulates certain body processes such as normal behavior of nerves, muscle tone and blood clotting. Natural Sources: Milk and milk products, fish and other seafoods, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, dried peas and beans. About 800 mg per day are required for a pregnant mother. The following table lists the food sources and amount of calcium in each food.
Food: 200 mg = 3/4 cup baby cereal 185 mg = 1 cup cream of wheat 50 mg = 2 eggs
Fish: 150 mg = 3.5 oz. Canned herring 250 mg = 3.5 oz. Canned mackerel 200 mg = 3.5 oz. Canned salmon with bones 100 mg = 3.5 oz. oysters 350 mg = 3.5 oz. sardines with bones
Cooked Beans: 50 mg = 1/2 cup white 50 mg = 1/2 cup red 40 mg = 1/2 cup limas 75 mg = 1/2 cup soybeans 50 mg = 1/2 cup garbanzos 25 mg = 1/2 cup lentils
Greens: 120 mg = 1/2 cup beet greens 90 mg = 2/3 cup broccoli 60 mg = 1/2 cup chard 150 mg = 1/2 cup collards 90 mg = 1/2 cup kale 140 mg = 1/2 cup mustard greens
Dried fruits: 100 mg = 4 figs 100 mg = 8 prunes 50 mg = 1/2 cup raisins 100 mg = 1 large orange
Nuts: 125 mg = 1/3 cup almond, unblanched 200 mg = 1/3 cup brazil nuts 50 mg = 1/4 cup peanuts with skin 50 mg = 1/4 cup peanut butter 50 mg = 1/2 cup English walnuts
Herbs rich in calcium: amaranth, kelp, parsley
Chromium acts with insulin to enable the body to utilize glucose, the form in which the body utilizes carbohydrates. Natural Sources: Thyme, black pepper, Brewer’s yeast, liver, whole wheat and whole-grain cereals.
Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, a protein structure which helps the red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Iron is important for maintaining blood volumes. About 40 mg per day are required for a pregnant mother. Mother’s wisdom tells us to consume three to five times a day of greens, fruits, nuts, and other healthy food during pregnancy. Mothers before us have prepared well during pregnancy thru proper nutrition.
Pregnant moms should consume more iron to compensate for the expansion of plasma volume during the last trimester which leads to decline in the hemoglobin and hematocrit values in the blood. Iron is important in providing oxygenation for mother and baby. It can mean less bleeding after birth and a healthy baby with no breathing-related problems.
Holistic midwives suggest an iron tonic of yellow dock root made into a tea sweetened with honey. A hot morning drink containing blackstrap molasses sweetened with honey can be a good substitute for coffee drinkers. Cooking in cast iron pans can help in iron absorption.
When cooking try to combined one or two kinds of food with vitamin C-rich food. Nothing beats organic or pesticide-free produce from the farmer’s market and also avoid eating canned or processed foods heavily laden with carcinogens or chemical preservatives. Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat flour/bread, brown sugar, unprocessed grains – rolled oats, bulgar wheat, brown rice – contain twenty more nutrients than refined flour.
Though absorption of iron in meats is greater than in veggies, vegan moms can still get the necessary amount of iron by eating a wide variety of iron-rich foods.
Iron is important for maintaining blood volumes. About 60 mg of iron per day are required for a pregnant mother due to higher blood volume and the demands of fetus and placenta. The following table lists the food sources and amount of iron in each food.
Sources: 1.3 mg = 1 cup of raw bean sprouts 3.1 mg = 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses 1.1 mg = 2/3 cup broccoli greens 2.5 mg = 3 oz canned sardines 7.5 mg = 3 oz beef liver, sauteed 5.2 mg = 3 oz clams, oysters, other seafoods 2.0 mg = 3 oz chicken 2.8 mg = 1 medium potato baked with skin 1.4 mg = 1 tbsp brewer’s yeast 1.0 mg = 1 egg Dried fruits/juices/nuts: 5.1 mg = 10-12 halves apricots 5.1 mg = 10-12 halves peaches 10.5 mg = 8 oz prune juice 5.6 mg = 1 cup raisins 3.8 mg = 3 .5 oz cashew nuts 5.0 mg = 3.5 oz chocolate bittersweet
Cooked Beans/Nuts: 2.1 mg = 1 cup walnuts 13.8 mg = 1 cup red 15.6 mg = 1 cup limas 16.8 mg = 1 cup soybeans 13.8 mg = 1 cup garbanzos 13.6 mg = 1 cup lentils 6.8 mg = 1 cup peanuts roasted with skin 6.4 mg = 1 cup peanuts roasted without skin 15.6 mg = 1 cup white beans 15.4 mg = 1 cup mung beans 10.2 mg = 1 cup common peas 22.4 mg = 1 cup pumpkin and squash kernels 14.2 mg = 1 cup sunflower seed kernels 2.0 mg = 1/2 cup barley 1.5 mg = 1/2 cup kidney Others: 1.9 mg = 2/3 cup beet greens kelp caviar, buckwheat, oats, hazelnuts, wheat germ
Herbs for anemia: alfalfa, clover, dandelion, red raspberry
Note: Oregano inhibits iron absorption.
Folic Acid is used in red blood cell formation. It aids in metabolism of proteins and is necessary for growth and division of body cells. It is an essential vitamin for pregnant women, and deficiencies have been linked with birth defects. Spina Bifida and Anecephaly are two Neural Tube Defects that appear to be preventable with just 400 mcg of folic acid. Folic Acid is considered brain food, and is needed for energy production and the formation of red blood cells. It functions as a co-enzyme in DNA and RNA synthesis. It is important for healthy cell division and replication. In pregnancy it helps regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cells formation, which is vital for normal developmnent. To be effective in prevention, this nutrient must begin before conception, and continue well into the pregnancy. Folic acid works best when combined with Vitamins B12 and C. Good sources are: brewer’s yeast, alfalfa, endive, chickpeas, oats, enriched cereals, fruits and fruit juices, leafy green vegetables, barley, beef, bran, brown rice, cheese, liver, milk, mushrooms,salmon, tuna, wheat germ, whole grains, and whole wheat.
Iodinesources: Kelp, cod liver oil
Magnesium helps in the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorous. It aids in bone growth and is necessary for proper functioning of nerves and muscles. Natural Sources: Green vegetables, seeds, nuts and whole grains.
Manganese is needed for normal tendon and bone structure. Natural Sources: bran, cloves, ginger, buckwheat, oats, hazelnuts, chestnuts, tea leaves, peas and beans.
Potassium is a mineral found in the cell fluid throughout the body. It helps regulate your body’s water balance. It is necessary for normal growth and muscle function. Natural Sources: Green leafy vegetables, oranges, whole grains, potatoes (with skin), broccolie, avocado, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cantaloupes, dates, prunes and bananas.
Selenium works with Vitamin E. Natural Sources: bran, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, tuna, corn, cabbage, whole wheat, beans and wheat germ.
Zinc is essential for growth, tissue repair and sexual development. Sources: herring, sesame seeds
More about Herbs
Note: Most labor herbal helpers should not be used during pregnancy except during labor.
To ease labor pains: squaw vine, *blue cohosh (not to be used with women with heart disease), bethroot (or birthroot is used by the Native Americans to reduce postpartum bleeding), lavender essential oil (causes anticonvulsant activity and sedative effects), bay laurel, lemon balm, celery, valerian essential oil (aromatheraphy for its sedative effect), wild yam
*Note: Blue Cohosh is an agent to induce labor. It contains glycoside which stimulates smooth muscle in the uterus. It is not to be used in clients with heart disease.
To stimulate labor or increase contractions: blue cohosh, penny royal oil, rue, tansy, skullcap, motherwort, angelica
To relax labor or decrease contractions: lobelia, celery, valerian, chamomile, lemon balm
To expel placenta: angelica, penny royal, chamomile, basil, licorice (contains oxytocin), blue cohosh
To stop hemorrhage: cayenne, shepperd’s purse, motherwort, blue cohosh, bethroot, angelica, licorice, comfrey, saffron
Store Up Energy for Birth
Mothers can take a pointer from the way runners prepare for a marathon to ease birth. Load up certain foods so you will store up needed energy for delivery:
- Eat meals rich in complex carbohydrates such as pasta.
- Take in more potassium (figs, bananas, legumes, lean meat) to help release energy from protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
- Have extra helpings of citrus fruit and juice and iron-rich foods.
- During delivery, you will lose a certain amount of Vitamin C, which is needed for the healing process after birth. Iron will give you the needed strength.
What to avoid?
- Preservatives such as nitrates, Red 40, BHA, BHT etc.
- Caffeine, alcohol, too much salt and refined sugar
- White flour
Your needs and expectations
Having a baby is a profound passage in a woman’s life. As an expectant mother you are endowed with the power to bear a child and participate in the creation of a new life. Together with your partner, you will traverse a most satisfying event as you master the birthing of a new life. Pregnancy allows you to examine the world around you more closely.
Take care of yourself
You are now more sensitive to the things around you as you are entering a sacred life experience. With empowerment and joyful feelings, you can surrender to the work of creation. This birth is special for you.
Complimentary and Alternative Medicines – Charles Feltrow, PharmD and Juan Avila, PharmD. It is available from Springhouse Corporation, 1111 Bethlehem Pike, P.O. Box 908, Springhouse, PA 19477.
Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Michael Murray
Prescriptions for Natural Healing by James Balch.
March of Dimes http://www.modimes.org/Programs2/FolicAcid/Default.htm
Herbal Agents Resource List
American Botanical Council http://www.herbs.org
The Australasian College of Herbal Studies http://email@example.com
Center for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Lloyd Library http://www.libraries.uc.edu/lloyd
Office of Dietary Supplements National Institute of Health http://www.odp.od.nih.gov
Office of Alternative Medicine http://www.altmed.od.nih.gov
US Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov
US National Library of Medicine http://www.nlm.nih.gov
The article above is from Connie’s ebook on pregnancy at amazon.com , now for free. Email firstname.lastname@example.org 408-854-1883 to get a free copy, just refer Connie to those who needs a retirement savings , tax-free with health benefits at no added cost in a life policy, Index Universal Life, growing at 13%.