Mar 4, 2022 • 3 min read

Nutrition Tips for Pregnant Moms

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March is National Nutrition Month! The annual campaign, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, aims to educate on the importance of making informed food choices during pregnancy and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

To celebrate National Nutrition Month, and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day which is on March 9th, we sat down with one of our network specialists and Registered Dietitian Carlye Husserl. She discussed with us the importance of nutrition during pregnancy and what every woman should know about maintaining a healthy diet.

What is the one thing that you wish pregnant women knew about their nutrition?

I really want them to know that you can change how you feel by changing what you eat. I know a lot of people before, during, and after pregnancy, if they’re not feeling motivated or healthy. most of the time it’s because they’re not eating right for their body. Once you tackle that and get it under control, everything else in life seems to come together as well. 

What nutrients are most important during pregnancy?

Nutrients are extremely important throughout pregnancy and prenatal vitamins are key for pregnancy nutrition. Iron is essential for you throughout pregnancy because you are building up a lot of blood volume, foods with a good source of iron help replenish that volume. Animal proteins, fish, and leafy greens are all great sources of iron.

In addition, a little extra protein is needed for all that “baby building”. Including just an additional snack daily with protein will help give your body that extra boost. 

>> Read more: How much protein you need during pregnancy & high-protein meals

What type of foods can give you energy? 

If you need immediate energy that does not last long something with sugar, such as a piece of fruit… or a brownie… will give you that energy. It’s a great reference less than an hour before exercise. But remember, when you have just sugar, your energy goes up and then comes right back down.

For energy to sustain itself in general, we recommend combining foods together, such as protein, a carb, and fat. A good example would be some nuts and fruit, avocado toast with an egg, or even something simple like cereal and milk!

What is the biggest misconception when it comes to diet and nutrition during pregnancy?

I think the biggest misconception is that seeing a dietitian is just about someone telling you how to lose weight and eat healthily… but we’re much more than that. We take a snapshot into your life and figure out how life can work with a healthy outlook.

It’s not just eating but determining what you could do for yourself, exercise-wise, and mindfully… and all of that together does bring a better diet.

>> Read More: How a Prenatal Nutritionist Can Help During Pregnancy

At what stage in a woman’s maternal health journey should she seek care from a dietitian?

I honestly think all of it. Before you get pregnant, you really should be at your best because a lot of things happen when you do get pregnant that are out of your control. Seeing a dietitian can help you focus on having a good relationship with food before all the craziness of pregnancy.  

During pregnancy, after your first trimester, that’s when you have to reel it in and start to figure out what your cravings are and build that into a healthy daily routine. The third trimester is the time to watch what you are eating to make sure you aren’t experiencing those end stages of discomfort. Managing diet, stress, and sleeping are all things a dietitian is there for.

Losing weight postpartum gets harder because what you did before doesn’t typically work as well, or perhaps in the past you weren’t very successful with weight loss strategies. Having a dietitian by your side for support and guidance allows you to create a plan that works for you and gets you feeling and looking good again.

>> Read More: How a Postpartum Nutritionist Can Help After Child Birth

Looking for a dietitian to support you during pregnancy or postpartum? Find the right specialist for you, covered by your insurance, and book an in-home or virtual visit on our website.