Nutrition Archives - BabyQ

Are there Foods to Avoid in Pregnancy?

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If you are expecting a baby, chances are you are taking vitamins, adding an extra glass of water or two to your daily intake, and choosing fresh foods that will provide your baby with the most nutrients possible. However, do you know which foods you should not consume while pregnant for the health of your baby? The advice from your friends and well-meaning family can be confusing, but the guidelines that have been established by years of medical research don’t have to be overwhelming. Whether you have allergies, sensitivities, or special health concerns there are basic pregnancy nutrition choices you should consider during pregnancy. Seafood Consumption Seafood can give you and your baby the omega-3 fatty acids that are important to both of you, but if you’re not careful you might be exposing your baby to elevated levels of mercury. This mercury poses a danger to your unborn child’s nervous…

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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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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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Breastfeeding

How To Tell If Your Baby Is Getting Enough Breast Milk?

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Why is breastfeeding so important for your baby? The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that infants be given breast milk exclusively for the first six months of their lives and then solid foods and/or formula should be combined with breast milk at least until the child reaches 12 months old. The reason for the emphasis on breastfeeding is because of the benefits it provides to the baby. Breast milk contains all of the vitamins, protein, and fat your infant needs for healthy growth in a form that baby can easily digest. It also provides some important health advantages: • Infants who are given only breast milk for the first four months of their lives have a 74 percent lower risk of being hospitalized for lower respiratory tract infections. • Giving an infant only breast milk for more than three months of their lives lowers their risk for middle ear…

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5 Foods You Should Be Eating During Pregnancy

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Why Is It Important To Maintain a Healthy Diet During Pregnancy? Pregnant women who don’t eat enough during early pregnancy may be jeopardizing their baby’s brain development.  In a 2011 study, a team of researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center compared the diets of two groups of baboon mothers. One group was fed as much as they felt they needed during the first half of their pregnancy while the other group was given 30 percent less than the first group, which was equivalent to how much many pregnant women in this country eat. The researchers found that the babies of the pregnant women who ate less had impaired development of cell-to-cell connections and decreased amounts of growth factors in their brains as compared to the babies born to the mothers who ate as much as they felt they needed. What Are Some Pregnancy Super Foods? Eggs are an…

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What’s Happening When My Body Has Weird Cravings?

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Are you craving pickles and ice cream? This seems to be the most talked about craving that women might have during pregnancy, but there are certainly many more food options and combinations that might be appealing to your taste buds during these 9 months. Cravings during pregnancy appear to be part cultural expectations about pregnancy, part changes in hormones, and part nutritional needs. If you have cravings during pregnancy they are also likely to change as you move from one semester to the next. Food Cravings and Aversions During the First Trimester The first trimester of pregnancy is loaded with changes in hormones. These hormonal changes have many roles, and one of the side effects of these hormone surges are changes to the taste buds. Your taste buds are responsible for interpreting the food you taste and eat, and higher hormone levels can change how food tastes to you, as…

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I’m Afraid I’m Gaining Too Much Weight and Will Never Lose It!

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It is one of the shared experiences of pregnancy – weight gain. The healthy development of your growing baby requires that your body adds extra weight, not just for the weight of your baby, but for things such as increases in blood volume and other body fluids. While every woman’s experience and health needs will be different, there are some general weight gain guidelines (as described by the Mayo Clinic) for typical pregnancies of a single growing baby. Underweight pre-pregnancy weight = recommended gain of 28-40 pounds Normal pre-pregnancy weight = recommended gain of 25-35 pounds Overweight pre-pregnancy weight = recommended gain of 15-25 pounds Obese pre-pregnancy weight = recommended gain of 11-20 pounds As you can see, even women who are considered obese at the beginning of their pregnancy typically need to gain at least 11 pounds in order to support the pregnancy. For those women who are carrying…

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How to Feed a Baby

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Newborns and infants all require some of the basic needs of nutrition and sleep, but choosing a method of feeding your baby can seem anything but basic. The World Health Organization (WHO) and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding as the most optimal choice for feeding your baby, but that does not mean that infant formula is not a viable option for many mothers and babies. The decision between bottle and breastfeeding should weigh many factors, and should include discussions with your baby’s pediatrician. How Do You Choose Between a Bottle and Breastfeeding? Choosing between breastfeeding and bottle feeding is something that you should ideally begin considering long before your baby is born. There are many factors that will influence your decision, and the best way to ensure a successful plan for you and your baby is to consider the pros and cons of each, and how those fit into…

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Fish Oils and Pregnancy- What is all the buzz about?

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Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oils, have been the source of considerable debate regarding their beneficial properties for pregnant women and babies.  Often pregnant moms must decide whether they will consume fish during pregnancy and if so, in what amount. Fish is known to contain essential protein, iron, vitamin A & omega-3 fatty acids. However, some fish also contain high levels of mercury that can cause harm to a baby’s developing brain and nervous system. To get the benefits without the possible harm, many pregnant women choose to consume fish oil supplements instead of fresh fish. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation for fish consumption is to choose fish that are low in mercury, such as salmon, catfish, cod and tilapia. Conversely, fish prone to have higher levels of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, should be avoided. Regarding whether the beneficial effects of…

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