Nutrition Archives - Page 2 of 5 - BabyQ

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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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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Tips for Washing Fruits and Vegetables to Reduce Pesticide Exposure

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For pregnant women, in their first trimester, particularly in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, considerable effort should be taken to avoid and/or limit exposure to pesticides.  During this early stage of pregnancy, a baby’s major organs are developing and thus are susceptible to chemicals and exposures that can lead to permanent defects. Specifically, pesticide exposure has been linked to birth defects and low birth weight. Fruits and vegetables are common sources of pesticide exposure given the widespread use of chemicals to kill insects and preserve produce.  Tips for reducing pesticide exposure include shopping at farmer’s markets to purchase certified organic fruits and vegetables. As well, care should be taken to avoid household exposure to pesticides commonly found in insect repellants, pet litter, and home gardens. According to the Huffington Post, the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research and advocacy organization, designated 12 fruits and vegetables as having the most…

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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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When Should A Mother Start Feeding Her Baby Solid Food?

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Watching your infant move from one milestone to the next is an exciting adventure. Whether they are the first babbling sounds, the first smile, or the first steps, milestones are often reached when your baby is ready. But how do you know when your baby is ready for solid foods? It isn’t as easy as offering your baby foods and seeing if she will take them or not. In fact, many healthcare professionals agree that parents can offer solid foods too early, which can eventually lead to food sensitivities, eczema, diabetes, and even other more serious health problems. When to Feed Baby Solid Food According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should not be fed anything other than formula or breast milk, and preferably breast milk, until they are at least 4 months of age. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found in recent studies…

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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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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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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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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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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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