In this series we are covering the entire maternal diet… from what to eat when you are thinking of starting a family to feeding your newborn.

How exciting to think about becoming a momma. As you are thinking about starting a family and making that decision to try to get pregnant, we want to help you prepare now to allow for a smoother transition to a healthy pregnancy. There is a ton of information out there and it can be overwhelming and confusing.

I want to be the first to tell you that you definitely do not have to wait until you have that little bundle of joy to start eating well for you. But now certainly is the time to review your eating habits. It is both beneficial and easier to overhaul your habits prior to becoming pregnant.

It is always a good idea for everyone to add in nutrient dense meals and snacks. In this episode discusses the 10 Tips that anyone can follow. Whether you are planning for your first time or if you are an experienced mom wanting to expand your family.

Lifestyle tips prior to pregnancy

  • Getting off birth control and ensuring essential nutrients.
  • Assess your current weight.
  • Assess your current meals and snacks.
  • Ensure healthy hydration.
  • Ensure healthy supplementation.
  • Daily exercise.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Start healthy eating practices now.
  • Take care of you!

Visit Fresh Focus.

Action steps

Let’s look at your meals and snacks each day as well as your eating pattern for the last few weeks. Choose 2-4 well rounded meals, less processed foods, and more fruits and vegetables, including a good source of protein with each meal. Add in healthy fats and limit your sugar intake.

  • Make a mid-morning snack swap. Instead of a pastry or donut, try a yogurt with sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds or oatmeal.
  • Aim for 4 to 5 fruits and vegetables with two being leafy greens. Vegetables provide healthy doses of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and magnesium. Fruits provide vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber!
  • When able, eat at the table versus always eating in front of the TV or on your phone. Unplugging and enjoying food will help you be more mindful when you eat! Starting this practice now will help you make the most of family meals after baby is born.

The Marion VA dietitians are here to help you answer your nutrition related questions. Stay tuned for the rest of this podcast series to gain more valuable ways to be and stay healthy. For more information on reproductive health, talk with your health care provider.  Contact your primary care provider or women’s clinic for more VA wellness and maternity information.

Beth Blair, LDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist. She serves Veterans out of the Evansville Healthcare Center within the Marion VA Health Care System. Blair received her education from Western Kentucky University and completed Dietetic Internship at Indiana University Medical Center. She has been with VA for over eight years. She enjoys teaching the MOVE! Weight Management Program and helping Veterans focus on attainable goals to help jump start their health and wellness journey

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Published on Oct. 3, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2.6 min.

Views to date: 121

One Comment

  1. Jim Wilson October 7, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Please include how to wash your vegetables and fruit to remove pesticides such as soaking in baking soda water or vinegar water.
    Please include to eat organic and avoid all processed foods, diet drinks, and US non organic grains. US grains and processed foods containing those grains contain herbicide glyphosate residue at 2000 parts per billion. Glyphosate herbicide is sprayed on during the drying process. Although the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association considers 2000 parts per billion as safe, research studies on Pub Med NIH show that at levels as low as 1 part per billion, glyphosate induces human breast cancer cell growth. Glyphosate is an endocrine disrupting chemical which damages kidney, liver, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular systems. It causes bile duct cancer and allows neurotoxic aluminum to cross the blood brain barrier causing brain pathologies. Avoid even those products that say NON-GMO PROJECT VERIFIED as these too contain herbicide glyphosate residue. Cheerios and Quaker Oatmeal contain 2000 ppb herbicide residue but it is not declared on the packaging. Vigorously wash all grains and rice in several changes of water to reduce pesticide residues.

    For a healthy baby, eat organic and be sure to take folic acid during child-bearing years as the baby’s spine develops by 4 weeks and you may not even know that you are pregnant. Folic acid helps to reduce neural tube defects/ spina bifida.

    Avoid products containing sodium benzoate as a preservative as these cause neurological damage. Diet drinks and artificial flavors contain excitotoxins which cause damage to the developing baby.

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