Does Breast Size Affect Ability to Breastfeed?

Many women worry that the size of their breasts will impact the amount of milk they are able to provide for baby. Fortunately, there is no correlation between breast size and milk production. No matter what the size of your breasts, you can still successfully breastfeed your baby.

Breast Size and Milk Production

The only difference between larger breasts and smaller breasts is their capacity to store milk. Larger breasts will be able to hold more milk, and thus a woman with larger breasts may be able to go longer between feedings without feeling engorged. A woman with smaller breasts will likely feel full sooner and need to relieve the pressure either through feeding or pumping. Many women find their breasts grow even larger post-partum than during pregnancy. You may be several cup sizes above where you started when you found out you were pregnant. When your milk comes in, your size will likely peak, and then subside a bit later in the breastfeeding process.

The storage capacity of your breasts does not mean you can’t make the same amount of milk! It just means less milk is being held in the breast at any given time. Your body can quickly and easily replace the milk as the baby feeds. You can produce just as much milk with small breasts as with larger ones.

Women with very large or very small breasts may have some issues with getting baby latched on. It will take a bit of practice to figure out what works best. You can try different ways of holding the baby, or use pillows under baby’s head to get it in the right position. With some trial and error you will soon find the right placement.

What Does Affect Milk Supply?

The production of milk is a supply and demand process. Every time your baby feeds, the body kicks into gear to replace the milk that was used. The more often your baby feeds, the more milk your body will produce to keep the supply up to the need. If you have to go a long time between feedings, such as if you are at work all day, pumping during the day will keep your body producing milk. It doesn’t take long for milk production to slow down or to pick up based on the demand. If you find your milk seems a bit low, add a pumping or feeding session and it should come back up quickly.

Other factors will affect your milk production as well. Poor diet, dehydration, illness, fatigue and stress can all cause milk production to slow down. Make sure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids to support your body’s ability to make milk. It might be hard to get a good night’s sleep with a baby in the house, but rest whenever you can – even a catnap during the day can help. Taking good care of your body will keep your milk supply strong.

There are certain medications that can inhibit milk supply. Talk to your doctor before taking any medication, whether over the counter or prescription while you are breastfeeding. Even some medications deemed safe for the baby can be detrimental to your milk supply.

Women have the natural ability to produce the perfect baby food for their babies. No matter what your breast size, your baby will get the best nutrition possible from breast milk, and will be able to get enough to grow and thrive as long as you take good care of yourself.

Nutrition in Your Breast Milk

Breast milk is an amazing liquid. It contains all of the vitamins, minerals, antibodies and more that your baby needs to grow and thrive. The only thing you need to do to make sure that your baby is getting everything needed out of your breast milk is to make sure that you are healthy. Your body will take care of the rest!

Eating a Healthy Diet

While you are breastfeeding, you need to provide your body with all of the nutrients it needs to do that important job of making the perfect baby food for your baby. This means eating a healthy, balanced diet that provides all of the necessary vitamins and minerals as well as the proper amount of calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

Your body will take the nutrients it needs from your body’s stores in order to fill the breast milk with all of the incredible nutrition that your baby can’t get any other way. You will need to replace those nutrients every day. Make sure that the foods you choose are varied and include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and good protein sources. You should aim to follow the recommended daily amounts for servings from each food group. Try to get 6-9 servings of grains, 2-3 servings of protein, 3-4 servings of dairy, and 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables. Avoid unhealthy choices such as those high in sugar or unhealthy fats.

Does Your Diet Affect the Nutrition of the Milk?

The answer is a little complicated. While breast milk has been shown to be remarkably nutritionally stable in spite of imperfect nutrition on the part of the mother, there are many ways in which your diet can affect your breast milk. Your body will continue to make nutritionally sound milk for your baby except in cases of extreme deprivation – however, your diet supports your body’s ability to make enough breast milk for baby’s needs.

Eating the right number of calories, keeping your body healthy with a balance of vitamins and minerals, and maintaining adequate fluid intake are all vital to keeping your production of breast milk steady. Remember that your body is working hard to make that milk – you need to give it a steady source of fuel.

There are some things you eat that can affect the composition of breast milk. Research has shown that the type of fat you consume can affect the type of fat most prevalent in your breast milk. Try to stick to healthy unsaturated fats to ensure baby is reaping the benefits these fats provide. The level of fat in breast milk is most affected by the fullness or emptiness of the breast. A highly engorged breast will have a lower fat content than an emptier one. However, as long as your baby nurses regularly, there is no need to worry about the amount of fat in the milk.

The best thing you can do for your baby’s health is to breast feed, and the best thing that you can do to help your body produce healthy breast milk is to be healthy yourself. As long as you are eating nutritious foods and drinking plenty of water, you shouldn’t have to worry about the content of your breast milk. Your body was made to produce that perfect food for baby, and it is very good at the job. All you need to do is support it!

Your Nutrition while Breastfeeding

Your days of watching what you eat aren’t over when your pregnancy ends. If you are planning to breastfeed, you will need to continue your healthy habits. Nursing your baby means that your body must provide all of the nutrition required for baby to grow strong. Your body is working hard to produce the milk, so you will need some extra calories to keep it going, but make sure you get those extra calories from healthy, nutritious foods.

What You Should Eat

A balanced diet from all four food groups is vital while you are breastfeeding. Be sure to eat a varied diet that will give you all of the necessary vitamins and minerals. You should already be used to eating well from your pregnancy, so you can simply continue those good eating habits into your nursing diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources such as poultry and fish, good sources of calcium, and whole grain options for lots of fiber.

You will probably find that in the early months of breastfeeding, you have a very good appetite. Most nursing moms will feel very hungry, and this is because the body needs a lot of fuel to keep producing that milk. A nursing mom requires about 500 calories more per day than a woman who is not nursing (and not pregnant). This means only another 200 calories above the extra 300 needed during pregnancy. Add a healthy snack or two to your daily intake to meet this need.

Adding extra fluids to your diet is a good idea while breastfeeding. It will keep you hydrated and help your milk production. Try to add several glasses of water every day.

What You Should Not Eat

The main difference between a pregnancy diet and a breastfeeding diet is that you won’t have to follow all of the same dietary restrictions you did while pregnant. Foods like sushi and eggs over-easy are no longer off the menu. Alcohol and caffeine, however, do pass into breast milk. You should continue to avoid them or consume them with great caution. Most experts recommend that you wait 2 hours after an alcoholic beverage before breastfeeding, but it’s best to skip it altogether. Caffeine is ok in moderation, but it may make baby jittery or affect sleep, so use it carefully.

Although you may have heard a lot about how certain foods can make your baby gassy or fussy, there is no reason to avoid foods such as those that are spicy unless you actually see a reaction in your baby. Most babies will not have a problem with these types of foods. A food that makes you gassy is not going to make your baby gassy, but there may be a food in your diet that baby is allergic to or simply sensitive to, which could cause gas. If you notice that your baby becomes gassy or fussy around 6 hours after eating a certain food, try eliminating it for a while to see if it helps.

Your breastfeeding diet should simply be a continuation of your healthy pregnancy diet, with a few minor changes. Just as in pregnancy, your body is feeding your baby, so keep that in mind when planning your diet. You should also continue taking supplements just as you did during pregnancy to make sure your body gets everything it needs.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

In addition to planning your diet carefully to include all the healthy foods you need, you should also be aware of which foods are not considered safe for consumption during pregnancy.

The main reason for a food to be listed as unsafe is bacteria, which could cause serious illness or worse in your baby. Some foods are also linked to birth defects, so make sure these are off your shopping list for the duration of your pregnancy.

Listeria and Salmonella in Foods

One of the most dangerous bacteria for your unborn baby is listeria. This common bacterium is unlikely to harm a grown adult, but for your tiny fetus, it can be lethal. Salmonella is dangerous to both you and the baby, but while you would likely survive a bout with it, your baby might not. Avoid foods that might contain listeria or salmonella, such as:

  • Any food containing unpasteurized milk, such as soft cheeses. Some soft cheeses are made with pasteurized milk – check the label carefully.
  • Any food containing raw eggs, unless the eggs were pasteurized. This can be trickier than you think. Foods that contain raw eggs include some ceasar salad dressings, buttercream frosting and mayonnaise. If the label does not say the eggs were pasteurized, avoid it. Don’t order these foods in restaurants even if the waiter says there are no raw eggs – he could be wrong. If you wish to make these foods yourself, choose pasteurized eggs.
  • Deli meats have been known to be contaminated with listeria. If you wish to consume deli meats, you should heat them until they are steaming to kill off any bacteria. Some doctors now say deli meats, even unheated, are safe as long as they are purchased from a deli with a high turn around so that meat is not sitting long. You should consume deli meats as soon as they are purchased for safety.
  • Pate can also be contaminated with listeria, so avoid it as well.

Fish: What Is Safe and What Is Not

Fish can be an important part of a healthy diet, providing you with a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids as well as many other nutritional benefits. There can be dangers in fish consumption during pregnancy, however, so use caution. Watch out for these dangers when choosing fish:

  • Some fish can be very high in mercury, such as shark and swordfish, and should be avoided. Fish that contain lower levels of mercury, such as tuna, are safe to eat as long as you consume them in moderation.
  • Sushi containing raw fish should be avoided entirely.
  • Smoked seafood options, such as lox, which are purchased from a deli are in danger of listeria contamination, and should be avoided.

Caffeine and Alcohol

While there is some debate as to what is a safe amount of caffeine during pregnancy, there is absolutely no argument that alcohol is unsafe. Currently, there is not considered to be any safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, especially during the vital first trimester. Some doctors may tell you it’s ok to have a small glass of red wine towards the end of your pregnancy, but you are better off skipping it altogether.

Caffeine in moderate amounts is generally viewed as safe, but new studies have linked caffeine intake during the first trimester with miscarriage. Again, it’s best to err on the side of caution and skip the caffeine altogether. If you really need that boost in the morning, keep it to one cup of coffee, but wait until the second trimester when the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically.

Understanding Calories

We have all heard the phrase “counting calories”, and most of us are aware that the number of calories we ingest is directly related to maintaining a healthy weight. But what exactly is a calorie? How do they affect our weight and health? And how can we tell how many calories we need? Understanding how calories work isn’t all that complicated, if you break it down to a simple explanation.

What Are Calories?

A calorie is a measurement of energy. Foods contain energy, and this is passed into our bodies when we consume them, for our bodies to burn and use to keep us going. Although the word calorie has come to have a negative connotation in our weight-conscious society, the fact is that we all require calories in order to live. The energy calories provide to our bodies is used to perform basic functions like keeping the heart pumping. We also need that energy just to perform daily tasks, from showering to housework to walking the dog. All of these activities burn calories.

The Effect of Calories on Weight and Health

Simply put, when we consume more calories than our bodies are burning, we gain weight. This means that a person who leads a very active lifestyle can generally consume more calories than a sedentary person, because the calories are being burned.

You may have come across the expression “empty calories”. While it is true that a calorie is a calorie as far as the amount of energy it contains, some calories are “empty” nutritionally. Foods that are high in calories but low on vitamins and minerals may provide energy to the body, but without the nutrients, they aren’t helping to keep the body healthy. By choosing most of your daily calorie intake in the form of nutrient-rich foods, you can ensure that every calorie you ingest has value to your body.

A high calorie food is not necessarily a bad thing, if it is providing your body with necessary nutrition, and it is eaten in moderation. Still, foods that are both low calorie and nutrient dense, such as leafy green vegetables, are the staples of a healthy diet. Because they are providing a lot of important vitamins and minerals with few calories, they can be consumed in larger quantities. Filling up on this type of food will help to maintain a healthy weight.

How Many Calories Are Needed?

How many calories a person needs varies greatly and is dependent on a number of factors. Age, gender, and lifestyle all determine how many calories are required. Special circumstances such as pregnancy and lactation will also change the body’s caloric requirements. Your metabolic rate – or how fast your body burns calories, is influenced by all these things. Men tend to have a faster metabolism than women. As we age, especially past 40, the metabolism slows and can not burn calories as quickly or efficiently.

If you live an active lifestyle and are at a healthy weight, you are probably consuming the correct number of calories already. However, if you are overweight, or are struggling to lose weight, chances are you are taking in too many calories for the amount of exercise you are getting. Reducing calorie intake or increasing physical activity will balance things out.

If your diet consists of healthy foods that are mainly low calorie and high in nutrients, you are probably on the right track.

Maintaining a healthy weight requires an understating of how the calories you take in affect your body’s function. Finding the right balance for you might take a little time, but it will result in a healthier body.

Caffeine and Pregnancy

Caffeine is the most commonly used stimulant in the country, and a good number of us enjoy a cup of something hot and caffeinated every morning to start our day. The use of caffeine during pregnancy is a controversial topic; most health practitioners believe a small amount of caffeine is acceptable, while others will say avoiding it entirely is the best course of action. Whether you believe in the some or none approach, everyone is in agreement that large amounts of caffeine during pregnancy are dangerous.

What Does Caffeine Do to Your Body?

Caffeine is both a stimulant and a diuretic. This means that it causes you to feel alert, can slightly elevate blood pressure as well as heart rate, and also causes fluids to leave the body through increased urination. Caffeine can cause a jittery feeling and cause sleep disruptions, especially if used in large amounts. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others, and pregnant women are among them.

Caffeine and Miscarriage

A recent study showed that women who consume 200 mg or more of caffeine every day (about the amount in a large cup of coffee) carry a 50% higher risk of miscarriage than those who do not. Previous studies, however, have found no relationship between caffeine and miscarriage. Although the results of these studies have been conflicting, there is enough evidence to suggest that a risk of miscarriage may exist. This risk is especially high in the first trimester, so if you don’t wish to avoid caffeine through the entire pregnancy, it’s a good idea to at least skip it during those crucial early weeks. High amounts of caffeine in the diet have also been linked to stillbirth.

Effects of Caffeine on the Fetus

Caffeine does cross the placenta, and this means it reaches the baby. Research indicates that caffeine does restrict blood flow to the placenta, which could impact the baby. It has also been linked with lower birth weights, and a higher heart rate in the newborn baby.

What Foods Contain the Most Caffeine?

Caffeine occurs naturally in some foods and beverages, and is added to others. Coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa beans are all natural sources of caffeine. Coffee is by far the highest in caffeine content. The average 8 oz cup of coffee contains about 137 mg of caffeine, but this amount can vary widely depending on the type of coffee and how it was brewed. The same goes from tea, which contains about 48 mg of caffeine in an 8 oz cup. Generally, the stronger your cup of coffee or tea, the higher the caffeine content.

Soft drinks that have been caffeinated contain 37 mg of caffeine per 12 oz serving on average. Some of these beverages may contain higher or lower amounts. Chocolate contains caffeine in varying amounts depending on how dark the chocolate is (the percentage of cocoa solids).

The general consensus on caffeine in pregnancy is that it is probably safe in small amounts. Stick to one cup of coffee a day or the equivalent amount of caffeine from other sources. It’s best to avoid caffeine in the first trimester if you can, but after that you are probably safe to continue moderate consumption. Still, if you prefer to be cautious, skip the caffeine altogether. If you do choose to consume caffeine, remember to drink extra water as well, to make up for the diuretic effect of the caffeine on your system.

Satisfying Food Cravings Safely

Most women at some point in their pregnancy will suddenly feel an incredible craving for some type of food. Whether it’s ice cream or pickles, or both as the old pregnancy tale goes, the urge to get some of what you want right away can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to ignore.

Most food cravings are entirely harmless. If you really want something sweet or a salty snack, it’s ok to have one. There are a few caveats to this, of course. Simply put, the answer to the question of whether it’s ok to satisfy a food craving is that it depends what you are craving.

Remember Moderation

If you are craving something not particularly healthful, such as potato chips or a chocolate bar, it won’t hurt if you give in. However, if you start to crave that type of food all the time and consume it regularly, you will be replacing healthy foods with those lacking in nutrition and high in fat. Satisfy that sweet tooth or that need for salt, but do so within reason. Don’t eat the whole bag of chips or the whole tub of ice cream. You probably only need a small amount to make that craving go away, and you really won’t feel very good afterwards if you over-do it.

Of course, if you happen to be craving healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, eat as much as you would like! Just be sure to vary your choices to get a range of nutrients in your diet.

The best way to deal with a craving for a food that is less than healthy is to wait it out. Most cravings will go away if you distract yourself and force your body to wait before you give in. If you wait and the craving doesn’t fade, the next best solution is to try to find a food that is similar but a little healthier. If you are craving French fries, try baked sweet potato fries instead. Try to satisfy a desire for potato chips with a baked snack cracker. If you really must have chocolate, choose a small amount of dark chocolate, which contains healthy anti-oxidants. Use caution with chocolate, however, as it does contain caffeine.

Cravings for Strange, Unhealthy Things

Some women suffer from cravings for very unusual things during pregnancy. This is known as pica. Women may find themselves craving completely inedible things such as dirt, bleach, or soap. There is a great deal of speculation and discussion on what causes pica, but the jury is still out. It is possible that it may be linked to mineral deficiencies such as low iron. It goes without saying that you can’t give in to these cravings. If they become bothersome, contact your doctor.

If you are craving something not quite so strange but still not advisable for consumption during pregnancy such as alcohol or sushi, you will likely have to do your best to ignore it. You can try the above advice and have a substitute, such as dealcoholized wine, or sushi that does not contain raw fish. Unfortunately, if this doesn’t work, you are going to have to tough it out. It isn’t worth the danger of consuming something that could harm your baby.

The good news is, giving in to most normal pregnancy cravings won’t harm the baby, as long as you eat junk foods in small amounts and try to find healthy alternatives that will satisfy the craving while keeping your pregnancy diet on track.

Nutrition: The Role of Carbohydrates

In recent years, carbs have replaced fat as the scapegoat in weight gain. Low-carb and no-carb diets have come into fashion. The problem is that carbohydrates are necessary to good health and nutrition. The body uses carbs to create glucose, which provides your system with energy. Carbohydrates essentially fuel the body.

The Types of Carbohydrates

There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple carbs are foods high in both natural and added sugars. They break down quickly and tend to be higher in calories with less nutritional value. Fruits are a natural source of simple carbs, but any processed food that contains extra sugar, or any form of sugar is included in this category. These foods include sodas, candy, baked goods such as cakes and cookies, and even white bread.

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take longer to break down and include starches and dietary fiber. These types of carbs include foods such as potatoes, rice, breads, grains and many vegetables. The key to getting the healthy complex carbs is to choose foods made with whole grains. This means choosing whole wheat bread instead of white or brown rice rather than white rice.

Because these foods take longer for your body to break down, they will keep you feeling full longer, which can curb overeating and keep your calorie intake in check. They will also give you extended energy rather than the quick bursts of energy provided by simple carbs.

Whole grains are also a healthier choice because they have not been processed or refined, and all of their nutritional content is intact. Some refined grains have the nutrition added back in after processing, and these are called enriched grains. Although a healthier choice than those that have not been enriched, you are still better off going with the natural whole grain. Enriched grains will not be able to provide you with the same amount of dietary fiber or have the other benefits of eating whole grains.

There is a place for simple carbs in a healthy diet, but try to get them from natural sources such as fruit which also provide nutritional benefits. Foods with added sugars should be an occasional treat.

How Much Should You Eat?

The right amount of carbohydrates ranges from 45-65% of your diet. This means that you should be eating more carbohydrates than either protein or fat. However, these carbs should mostly be in the form of complex carbohydrates.

With your intake of carbs each day, you should aim to ingest the appropriate amount of dietary fiber. The right amount for you depends on the number of calories you are eating each day. If you are eating the correct carbs, it shouldn’t be difficult to meet your body’s fiber needs. Spread the fiber out over the day so that you can stay full and prevent overeating of other, less healthy foods. You will find that when you are consuming the correct amount of fiber, you won’t have much room in your diet for unhealthy foods.

While low-carb diets will probably be successful in helping you to lose weight, in the long run it is not a healthy diet. You will be robbing your body of necessary energy. Choosing instead to cut simple carbs from your diet and continuing to fuel your body with healthy, whole grain choices will result in not only a healthier body weight, but also more energy.

Food Cravings and Nutritional Deficiencies

Although most food cravings during pregnancy don’t signify anything other than hormones, hunger, or suggestibility, some experts believe that strange food cravings may actually be a sign of a nutritional deficiency. These unusual cravings for inedible non-food items are known as pica, and they affect a very small number of women.

Normal Cravings During Pregnancy

Most pregnant women will experience some sort of craving for a food or beverage at some point in the pregnancy. Fluctuating hormones are generally to blame. Food cravings can be just as much emotional as physical, especially during pregnancy when those hormones are causing emotions to run high. Certain foods may bring a sense of comfort or security.

Many women will notice that they seem to be very suggestible during pregnancy. A commercial for or mention of a certain food can set off a very strong craving for that item.

Generally, food cravings during pregnancy are for normal foods, although not always the healthiest choices. Some women do crave very healthy foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, but most crave junk foods such as potato chips, baked goods, or ice cream. While not all of these cravings are a good idea to indulge regularly, they don’t indicate any sort of problem and are a completely normal part of pregnancy. Most often, a food craving is not for a food that contains any special amount of nutrition, so it seems very unlikely that the body is trying to tell you something by craving a food that won’t supply much nourishment.

The main problem that might arise from this type of craving is causing a certain level of irritation to the father to be who is sent out in search of a certain food at random times of the day and night!

Abnormal Cravings

While most women will crave completely harmless foods, a small percentage will experience a condition known as pica. This term is used to describe a craving for something very unusual, non-nutritive, and generally unsafe for consumption. These cravings can include dirt, soaps and detergents, and other odd choices.

There are some people who believe that this type of craving may be related to a nutritional deficiency of some kind, however there is currently no strong evidence to confirm it. Presently, no one really knows what actually causes pica.

If you have reason to suspect you have some sort of deficiency in your diet, you should talk to your doctor. Most pregnant women who are eating a balanced diet and taking a prenatal supplement daily are not at risk for a major nutritional deficiency. The most likely nutrient to become too low during pregnancy is iron, and this is indicated by symptoms such as fatigue, and not by food cravings. Although you may often hear people say things like “I am craving meat, my iron must be low!” there is no evidence to support pregnancy cravings as being connected with low levels of vitamins or minerals.

If you are craving a healthy food, go right ahead and indulge it. It probably doesn’t mean you were low on the nutrients provided by that food, but it certainly can’t hurt to consume a little more. On the other hand, cravings for unhealthy or junk foods should be satisfied carefully and in moderation, to keep your diet healthy and balanced.

A Healthy Eating Plan for Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, good nutrition is more important than ever before. Your baby is depending on you to provide everything necessary for normal growth and development. Because the baby will draw on your body’s stores of important vitamins and minerals, you must be sure to replace them through your diet. It’s important to be extra-cautious with those nutrients that the body isn’t able to produce or store on its own; these must be replaced on a daily basis.

A Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet from a variety of food choices in the best way to ensure adequate nutrition for yourself and for baby. Fill up on healthy choices such as fruits and vegetables, and avoid empty calories from sugary choices. You will need to eat from all of the food groups every day, in the appropriate amounts, so it will require close attention to what you are consuming.

Nutrients of Special Importance During Pregnancy

The job of growing a little person in your womb requires certain nutrients more than you might previously have been consuming them. Make sure you are getting enough of these key nutrients for a healthy baby:

  • Folate or folic acid: Found in leafy greens such as spinach and kale, folate has been shown to greatly reduce the likelihood of a number of birth defects, including spina bifida. Pregnant women should increase their intake of foods rich in folate early on – in fact it’s a good idea when you are just starting to try to conceive.
  • Calcium: Your baby is developing his new bones, and this will require a great deal of calcium to make them grow strong. Pregnant women should get extra calcium to prevent the baby from depleting their body’s stores.
  • Iron: Women often become anemic during pregnancy as the baby draws on the body’s iron supply.

Of course, these are just a few of the many nutrients vital to a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Every vitamin and mineral should be represented in your diet, as well as the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

Prenatal Supplements

Almost every woman will be told to take a prenatal supplement throughout their pregnancy. Especially when you are feeling ill in the first trimester, this can help your body to continue feeding the growing child. Making sure you are getting everything your baby needs by taking a supplement is a good safeguard against oversights in your diet.

While prenatal supplements are available over the counter, you can also ask your doctor to write you a prescription. These supplements may be of higher quality, and as an added bonus, your insurance plan will likely cover the cost.

Weight Loss and Pregnancy

During pregnancy, your body will naturally gain weight. It is never a good idea to cut calories or attempt to lose weight while you are pregnant. If you are concerned about your weight gain, talk to your doctor. Avoid high-calorie, low-nutrition foods and replace them with healthy choices to keep from putting on unnecessary pounds. If you are eating a balanced diet during your pregnancy, you should not gain weight at more than the normal rate. If you feel this is the case, it is possible you have gestational diabetes. Most women will be tested for this during pregnancy, but if you have not been and are concerned, ask your doctor.

Eating right during pregnancy is vital to a healthy mother and baby too. Throughout your pregnancy, take extra care to ensure your diet contains everything your baby needs.

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