with that being said, i'd like to introduce you to katie moore. she has come to me with my very first guest post at a perfect time to talk about her healthy eating habits at the most important time of a women's life.. during her pregnancy! not only does she discuss and encourage "healthy living for a longer life", i also loved reading about how passionate she is towards her family. enjoy!
My Vegan Pregnancy
Pregnancy is by far one of the most important times in a woman's life. And when it comes to health, pregnancy is a time when a woman must be especially aware of how to treat her body. A healthy lifestyle often leads to a healthy pregnancy, which increases the chances of having a healthy baby. For this reason, women should do everything they can to support health during pregnancy.
Before my pregnancy, I was always mindful of what I put into my body. I was a vegetarian, I tried my best to keep an eye on my fat and calorie intake and I made it a point to work out a few times a week. And although I was in good shape, I knew my diet could be even better.
A few months before I got pregnant, I decided to make the switch from vegetarian to vegan. Vegan diets are completely free from meat and animal byproducts, which means no milk, butter, cheese, meat stocks, etc. In truth, I'd wanted to switch to vegan for some time, but my desire to have a baby was the catalyst for this change. I'd done my research and decided a balanced vegan diet was the best option to support my health and the health of my baby.
First of all, I decided to increase my intake of folic acid. Folic acid, or folate, is essential during pregnancy, as it promotes healthy fetal growth and development while reducing the risks for certain birth defects and complications. Folic acid is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, but is especially abundant in leafy greens.
Calcium was another major concern. In the absence of milk and other dairy products, I knew I'd have to be extra diligent about getting enough of this essential mineral. Calcium not only promotes healthy bone growth in unborn babies, but protects the mother's bone mass as well. After extensive research, I discovered that getting enough calcium into a vegan diet is not only possible, but actually quite simple. Calcium is found in leafy greens, as well as in fortified grains, soy and juice. For extra protection, I began taking a calcium supplement each day along with a multivitamin.
One of the biggest concerns of vegan and vegetarian diets is insufficient amounts of protein. And since protein is vital to health, especially during pregnancy, I made sure to pack as much as possible into my diet. I loaded up on beans, organic soy, nuts and seeds in order to fulfill my body's protein needs. I felt strong, energetic and ready to take on my role as mommy.
I also made the switch to eating all organic produce during my pregnancy. Without pesticides and genetically modified produce, I knew I was going the extra mile to give my baby a chance at beginning life in the best possible health. My baby was born full-term and was strong and healthy, and I felt great as well. Be sure to speak to your doctor about your diet choices from the start so that he may offer advice on getting all of your needed nutrients and monitor your growth. Your doctor is also who you can speak to about other options pertaining to labor, like pain management, and post-delivery choices, like cord blood banking, so you can make the best decision for you and your baby. With a healthy lifestyle, you will have a better time during delivery and step easily into motherhood.