It has been nearly 12 months since what I ate had a direct impact on not just me, but my son. I became pregnant in April of 2018 and delivered a beautiful baby boy on Christmas Day.
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), you might imagine that I was vigilant and overly cautious about what I ate. I am here to let you know that I put food safety at the top of my priorities (https://www.foodsafety.gov/risk/pregnant/index.html) and then gave myself all the grace I needed to get through pregnancy, birth, and the newborn stage we’re in. What does that mean, exactly?
- I ate at very odd times, when I was hungry, including the middle of the night!
- I kept snacks by my bed for those middle of the night cravings, and in the first trimester when I was nauseous.
- My husband nicknamed that bedside snack my “squirrel snack!” It was a ½ cup container with Cheerios, nuts, dried fruit, and M&Ms. It was perfect because I could pick out what I was craving.
- Dry Cheerios were my go-to any time I felt nauseous. They pack well in snack bags or containers & in your purse for on the go. (Training for traveling with a toddler, anyone?)
- When my iron was low, I added in VitronC, an iron supplement that includes Vitamin C to help with iron absorption. I increased the foods that include iron, but wanted to make sure my iron stores were high.
- I used smoothies to get my fruit in on most days. When I didn’t feel like eating, but knew I needed to, smoothies were the answer. My favorite: frozen cherries, Fairlife chocolate milk (lactose free), Greek yogurt, & ice.
- Some days I didn’t eat a lot, and that’s ok. I had other days that I was very hungry. Listen to your body and know it’s about the cumulative more than just one day.
Postpartum & nursing
- I had a snacks stash where I nursed. We (my son & I) spent a lot of time figuring each other out and how to nurse. Having snacks & water within arm’s reach was critical.
- Smoothies again!
- Oatmeal is a go-to (quick cooking, steel cut, or instant oats). Oats are packed with fiber and support nursing.
- Half an avocado with a spritz of EVOO, salt, and pepper is delicious and filing for breakfast.
- I am still taking my prenatal vitamin, important while nursing.
I have also given myself grace. I aim to eat fruits and veggies and have healthy snacks nearby. I haven’t even begun to think about what my weight is or “should be” because being a nursing mom to a 3-month-old is enough.