Nutrition Archives - BabyQ

Why You Need Folic Acid in Your Pregnancy Diet

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What is Folic Acid? Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that occurs naturally in foods, like legumes, oranges, papayas, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, greens, dark lettuce and eggs. Foods high in folic acid are also high in other important vitamins and minerals. Folic acid is necessary for the growth of new cells. What Are the Benefits of Taking Folic Acid During Pregnancy? There are some important advantages that result from taking folic acid: It enhances fertility – In a study released in 2006,  American researchers reported their findings after having followed the progress of 18,500 nurses who planned to become pregnant over an eight-year period in the 1990s. The researchers evaluated the nurses’ diets including whether or not they took vitamin supplements. They found that the nurses taking multivitamins with folic acid six days a week or more had a 40 percent reduced risk of ovulation failure, a…

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Keeping CRP levels low

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Recently, some well-designed studies have pointed out a link between increased maternal inflammation and a negative impact on infant brain development during pregnancy.  We can track inflammation with a blood test called CRP and in Finland a very large study indicated that high CRP blood levels during pregnancy could impair emotional development later in childhood.  How do mothers keep CRP levels low?  The answer is straight forward: Don’t smoke Keep your teeth in good shape, floss and brush regularly Eat lots of fruits and veggies Exercise 40 minutes 5 days a week Avoid deep fried foods These simple good habits will give your child a “head” start.

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Why Does My Baby Move Around A Lot After I Eat?

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Does your baby seems a bit more active after you’ve eaten a large meal or suddenly start to kick after you’ve had a cold glass of lemonade? Developing babies react in the womb to the food and drinks that mothers consume by kicking, moving more rapidly, and in general being more active than just before the meal or snack. Not only do babies move more after you eat or drink something, but the things you eat and drink during pregnancy will contribute to your baby’s taste preferences for food later in life. Which Foods Will Encourage a Moving Baby? Kick Counts A kicking baby is often the sign that parents look to of a healthy baby. There are various times throughout your pregnancy when your doctor might recommend that you perform what are known as “kick counts”. Because there isn’t a window into which you can peek to check on…

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PFCs and Obesity

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A new study conducted at Emory University found that babies born to women exposed to polyfluoroalkyl compounds have a greater risk of obesity.  Polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) are chemicals commonly found in plastics, non-stick cookware, and stain-protecting solutions.   The study found that babies born to mothers who had high exposure to PFCs were smaller at birth, but gained weigh more rapidly after birth.  This is a bad combination because the rapid, overcompensating weight gain can lead to obesity.  My typical rule of thumb is if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t want to cook, eat, wear, or sit on it.  Would you rather eat food cooked on a pan made from polyfluoroalkyl or cast iron? Here are some ways to avoid exposure, both pre-natal and after your peanut joins you: Cook with pots and pans made from cast iron or stainless steel. Avoid products that say “non-stick” or “Teflon coated”.  Cast…

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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 are Probiotics and Are They Safe during Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy is a time when moms-to-be are full of questions about how to make the safest and best choices for their growing babies. One of the nutritional topics that can be confusing for pregnant moms is regarding probiotics and their role in a healthy diet. If you are pregnant, you should know that probiotics are generally healthy and safe “good” bacteria that offer many benefits. What are Probiotics? Probiotics are actually live bacteria and yeasts that aid in the digestive system. They are considered “good” microorganisms because they exist naturally in many foods and help to reduce the number of “bad” bacteria in your digestive system. It is important to have an appropriate balance of the bacteria within your body in order to avoid and treat conditions including: Diarrhea – especially after treatment with antibiotics which can destroy the “good” bacteria in your digestive system because it doesn’t differentiate between…

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babyQ Fish Scale

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It’s that time of year again – when fish and seafood are incorporated into many diets. Whether it’s for religious reasons or not, eating more fish can be very beneficial for pregnant women; however, there is a lot of contradicting information regarding the consumption of fish during pregnancy. Seafood gets a bad reputation because of the rising levels of mercury in larger fish. This is due to water pollution. Heavy metals (like mercury) pollute the oceans from various sources. Fish that are bigger and have a long life span (sharks, albacore tuna, swordfish, mahi-mahi) consume more little fish (salmon, sardines, shrimp), which leads to higher mercury levels in the bigger fish. On the other hand, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are crucial for baby’s brain development and can help raise your babyQ score. So what’s a mama to do? Avoid fish? Load up on fish? No and no….

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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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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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