Nutrition Archives - BabyQ

Caffeine during pregnancy- Is it safe and how much?

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Whether it’s from coffee, soda, energy drinks, or chocolate, millions of Americans consume caffeine every day. There have long been concerns about the potential effects of caffeine on mothers and unborn children. Given these concerns, women are advised to avoid large amounts of caffeine when they are pregnant. Consuming a moderate amount of caffeine during pregnancy, however, is safe in most cases. Although conflicting information continues to emerge, this article provides some general information regarding pregnancy and caffeine. The (potential) Dangers of Caffeine Estimates suggest that between 75% and 93% of pregnant women consume caffeine on a daily basis (Kaiser & Allen, 2008). Given the prevalence of caffeine intake, it is no surprise that researchers have made a concerted effort to understand the potential effects of caffeine during pregnancy. The results of these studies have been mixed, but here are some potential dangers. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases your…

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What is Gestational Diabetes?

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Should I Be Worried? Once concern facing expectant mothers is whether or not they will develop gestational diabetes. This condition affects how well the cells in your body use glucose (sugar) that is responsible for giving your body energy. When the energy isn’t effectively used, there is an increase in blood sugar levels and causing dangerous symptoms for you and your unborn child. What Are the Associated Risks with Gestational Diabetes? Increased levels of hormones are thought to be partially responsible for a woman’s risk of developing gestational diabetes. A family history of diabetes in general, being over the age of 25 years, being overweight and underactive also increase the potential that women will develop this condition. When your body’s cells become inefficient at how they are reacting to the insulin, several consequences can occur. Often gestational diabetes occurs without noticeable symptoms for the mother other than possibly increased urination…

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What Are the Benefits of Eating Vegetables During Pregnancy?

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A healthy diet is an extremely important component to a healthy pregnancy and newborn baby. However, according to research published in the Nutrition & Dietetics Journal, only about half of pregnant women eat the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that they should for a healthy pregnancy. There are two important reasons why eating healthy is important during pregnancy: the long-term health of the mother and the health of the unborn child. Vegetables During Pregnancy – Healthy Benefits for Baby The 9 months during which a fetus develops is a crucial time for healthy eating by the pregnant mother. Her baby relies completely on her ability to sustain a healthy diet, and vegetables are an integral part of that. There are several benefits for the baby of mothers eating vegetables while pregnant, including healthy birth weights of babies and reduced risks for long-term health complications and diseases. The following are…

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Juices that reduce inflammation

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A babyQ mom recently wrote: I am 15 weeks pregnant. Is it safe to drink the Nopalea cactus juice drink to reduce inflammation? This is an important question because recent scientific literature shows a link between reducing inflammation and a healthier pregnancy. Looking into the Nopalea Cactus Juice on the company website the company provides scientific literature that supports their claims of reducing inflammation. However, almost all fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables reduce inflammation. Plus it is usually less expensive to buy seasonal fruits on sale. Right now citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are in season from Florida and California, so orange juice and grapefruit juice are inexpensive compared to berries and apples and I suspect cactus juice. The citrus is fresh and loaded with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. So that is a good food choice. The citrus season in the United Sates is November through March. Pure grape…

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I Am Having Very Unhealthy Pregnancy Cravings

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What Do I Do? You’ve probably heard that when you become pregnant you suddenly become hungry for pickles and ice cream – a combination of sweet and salty foods that would typically not be associated as being appetizing together. It is not necessarily that you now love the thought of these foods being paired together, but a combination of hormonal, physical, and emotional changes that might make you crave even unhealthy foods during pregnancy. Some women also experience food aversion, where foods you previously enjoyed eating now become nauseating at the thought of them. If you’re pregnant and concerned about your cravings, take stock of what might be missing from your diet and take steps to improve those eating habits. Why Do I Have Cravings During Pregnancy? There are several theories as to why women experience cravings during pregnancy, and there is probably some truth to most of them. The…

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Dieting and Pregnant—Is it safe?

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Proper nutrition is essential to a healthy pregnancy.  The diet of a pregnant woman should include recommended daily amounts of foods from each food group, including four or more servings of vegetables, two to four servings of fruits, four servings of dairy products, six to eleven servings of breads and grains, and three servings of protein sources, to ensure uptake of essential vitamins and minerals.  In addition, pregnant women are often encouraged to incorporate a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement into their diet. The caloric intake of pregnant women should be greater than that of non-pregnant women with pregnant women consuming 2,500 calories a day. In general, this is 100 to 300 more calories for pregnant women. Thus, although pregnant women are not actually “eating for two”, an increased caloric intake is necessary to “fuel” the growing nutritional and developmental needs of expectant mothers and babies. Such food consumption sets…

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Can I Still Be a Vegetarian During Pregnancy?

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Dietary concerns are a natural part of pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for women to have specific dietary preferences before pregnancy and have them interrupted by the pregnancy. But it’s not impossible to maintain a diet, close to your pre-pregnancy diet. Specifically, many women ask, “Can I still be a vegetarian during pregnancy?” The short answer is yes, but an expecting mother must pay attention to specific nutrients that may be lacking in her diet due to be a vegetarian. Can a Pregnant Woman Deliver a Healthy Baby If She Is a Vegetarian? There are many good reasons to be a vegetarian.  Vegetarians have lower levels of the bad cholesterol linked to heart disease and tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI). Therefore they less likely to be overweight and develop diabetes.  Vegetarians also have a lower incidence of cancer and their dietary habits result in less pollution and…

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Heartburn in pregnancy—Easing the pain!

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Heartburn or acid indigestion is perhaps one of the most common pregnancy complications, as 40%-80% of all pregnant women will experience this discomfort.  Heartburn happens when stomach acids build up into the esophagus. In pregnancy, progesterone hormones relax the muscles in the uterus in preparation for delivery. These hormones may also relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve that opens and closes to allow food to pass from the esophagus to the stomach. When the LES is relaxed, it can remain open allowing stomach contents to flow backward into the esophagus and throat.  Progesterone also slows the rhythmic contractions of the esophagus and intestines that aid in digestion of food.  As a pregnancy progresses, the growing baby may also put pressure on an expectant mother’s stomach and abdominal cavity, causing the stomach contents to be pushed against the LES and into the esophagus and throat, resulting in the characteristic…

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Is Sushi Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

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Safe Guidelines when Eating for Two If you are either pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, chances are you’ve heard your fair share of warnings and guidelines about what to eat and what not to eat for the health of your baby. Pregnancy is a time in your life when you might have to make changes in your diet and lifestyle in order to support the development of a healthy baby. Fish offers pregnant women a healthy way to add protein and Omega-3 fatty acids – essential for the strong development of your baby’s brain. A healthy diet during pregnancy can include fish, even sushi, as long as you follow safe guidelines for selection and preparation, just as with most protein sources. Is There Such a Thing as Safe Sushi? When it comes to eating sushi during pregnancy, the most important concern is not that the fish is served raw….

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