Ralph & Hungryeater
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
When I was about two years old, I named the chickadee couple that frequented the cherry tree outside of our kitchen window.
The mated pair were quite obviously named Ralph and Hungryeater.
Today, as I was looking out the window of my home studio, I realized that I am a genius. Or rather, that I was a genius at the tiny age of two.
These are the two states of pregnancy appetite:
This is a tricky situation, particularly given the varied (and conflicted) lists of foods you should eat more of, foods you should avoid, and foods nobody should ever eat, but now you want all the time.
If you are seeing a direct-entry midwife (not always a CNM), you're likely going to get lots of expert advice about which foods are best for you given your particulars. Midwives get more mandatory, specialized training about diet than MD's and CNM's (which isn't to say that yours hasn't taken on some additional study or research) and will often ask you to provide an extraordinarily detailed report of what you're eating, if/when you're sick, and how you might support yourself more fully with a few tweaks and changes.
Most women in the US are under the care of an MD, and the typical advice I hear from my clients surrounding diet includes:
1. Take a prenatal multivitamin
2. Don't eat mercury-laden fish, deli meats, or unpasteurized cheeses.
3. Don't drink alcohol.
Based on the questions I get in class sometimes, this information is not sufficient for most mamas-to-be. Here are a few resources that my students have recommended to me. I know a lot about food and nutrition, but I have no fancy letters behind my name that would permit me bestow on you professional advice. Peruse these at your leisure, or consider visiting a nutritionist or nutritional counselor who can answer your specific questions.
For the mama who loves checklists, The Brewer Diet is all about categories and checklists. Recommended by Bradley Method childbirth educators, this one is adapted for vegetarians and vegans as well.
For the mama who likes photographs and wants to learn more about the intricacies of each food, The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy is another popular book recommended by my students.
In my opinion, it is worthwhile to listen to and report food cravings to your prenatal care provider or nutritionist. Your body might know a thing or two about what it needs to make the best baby possible. It makes good sense to focus on nutrient-dense foods and avoid empty calories. And it also stands to reason that you should never trust anything you read on the internet.
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I'm one of those people who loves making your life easier (and I believe in you). I am an experienced registered prenatal yoga teacher and a lactation educator.
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