Nutritional Tips to Encourage Natural, Healthy Childbirth:

Your journey from conception to birth can be an undoubtedly long and challenging undertaking. To ensure a smooth and natural delivery there are many factors that need your focus during the next nine months. Due to the excitement and fulfillment of having a natural birth, more and more women are planning to be free of epidurals and the surgeon’s scalpel while increasing the safety of the baby during the day of delivery.

In order to successfully have a joyful birthing experience, you will have to consider lifestyle changes and make important choices from the very moment you get that positive test result. Without a doubt diet is the single most important aspect to be considered throughout the pregnancy.  It is common knowledge that the first trimester of pregnancy runs for the first twelve weeks and commences from the first day of the mother’s last menstrual period. These first three months are critical in setting the stage for the numerous changes that your body will inevitably experience for the next forty weeks.

Bear in mind that you are now feeding for two (not EATING for two) and nutrition during pregnancy can make the biggest impact on your health and the health of your baby before and after delivery. Here are some first trimester nutritional tips to support a smooth and natural delivery of your baby. These are intended as a loose guideline and not intended to take the place of professional nutritional advice from a trusted professional.

During pregnancy, your diet should be balanced and contain all the major food types in the right proportions without providing too many calories (200-300 extra calories are recommended). For the essential vitamins, the mother should consume lots of fruits on a daily basis in about three servings each day. Fresh fruit juices should not exceed one cup a day since they offer more calories compared to the fruit and lacks the fiber content present in the actual fruit. You should include about 3-5 daily servings of all sorts of vegetables. Dairy products and milk should always be present in the diet as they provide calcium, both for the mother and the baby.  Three servings of whole grains should satisfy the body’s carbohydrate requirements. Protein rich foods should always be included when taking the carbohydrates. The meals should be small and frequent, distributed throughout the course of the day.

Eating healthy also means avoiding certain types of foods. It is obvious that alcoholic drinks should be avoided at all costs. However, there are other less obvious foods and drinks that an expectant mother should stay clear from. Raw sea foods, unpasteurized milk, soft cheese, raw meat and poultry are potential sources of bacteria that may harm the mother’s or baby’s health. Fish and chip meals, pastries and caffeinated drinks should also be kept at a minimum.

Since digestion is expected to slow down and previously appealing foods become intolerable resulting in morning sickness, expectant mothers are encouraged to begin taking prenatal vitamin-mineral supplements to complement their diet.

For most women, pregnancy is an exciting and amazing experience. It may however be overly demanding and overwhelming as a result of misinformation. Sticking to the dietary tips, all is set to be well both for you and baby. Your body is well nourished and so is your uterus and this is crucial to optimal function during the birth process. You should keep your regular physician/midwife appointments and seek medical intervention whenever necessary.

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