Nutrition and Pregnancy


Pregnancy and Nutrition 101 the Changing Habits Way!

I’ve been pregnant three times and each time it has been different.  The food, the cravings, the morning sickness, that went all day and the up and down energy as well as the change in body.  So to talk about pregnancy as though everyone was the same is just a ridiculous notion so I’m not even going to try and address individual needs but what I can do is provide good common sense nutrition for every pregnant woman that is needed before and during pregnancy as well as during lactation.

The last time I was pregnant was about 17 years ago and there was no hint from the obstetrician that I should stay away from any food.  Alcohol and Smoking were a given but diet was not something spoken about.

I find it ironic that when you go to your obstetrician for the first time that they have a list of foods to avoid including; all processed meats, raw meat, cold chicken, cold turkey, hot takeaway chicken, pate’s and meat spreads, raw seafood, chilled peeled prawns, smoked fish and seafood, store bought sushi, soft cheeses (brie, camembert, ricotta, cream cheese and cottage), soft serve ice-cream, raw milk and dairy, raw eggs, custard, prepared salads, all sprouts (alfalfa etc) and many other foods have warnings on them including fruit, vegetables, yogurt, cream, parsley, leftovers, canned foods, stuffing, hummus, home cooked chicken, cooked fish and seafood, homemade sushi, cooked meats and ice-cream.

The reasoning behind avoiding these foods or being warned about them is all to do with food poisoning including; Listeria, Salmonella and Toxoplasmosis.  It is also recommended to reduce consumption of fish due to mercury poisoning.

When you’re pregnant every system in the body changes including your immune system.  Most people these days (pregnant or not) have compromised immune systems because they are not eating a diet similar to Changing Habits principles, rather they are eating a diet  low in nutrients and highly processed, and made in a chemical laboratory rather then in the soil.  The over use of antibiotics and other drugs have created immune systems that just don’t work the way they should, thus when pregnant a compromised immune system can lead to food poisoning and possible injury to the unborn child or miscarriage.

My thoughts are that rather then avoiding some of these wonderful foods why not make sure before pregnancy you prepare well, and then during pregnancy look after your self by eating foods that strengthen the immune system.  The Changing Habits principles will help you understand the foods that strengthens the immune system.

While there are some foods on the list of foods to avoid eating when you’re pregnant I agree with, but then I agree with avoiding them at all times, whether you’re pregnant or not, including processed meats, soft serve ice-cream and the like, but I avoid these as they don’t nourish the body, they are dangerous to the body as they have dangerous chemicals in them and non food items that have been shown to cause cancer and other maladies.

When you buy foods in their whole state, produced by ethical means then the body and the immune system become strong and the body is able to withstand foods that may have some bacteria.  Let’s face it all food has some bacteria, it all depends on the body and the strength of the immune system as to how sick or healthy a person can be after eating it.  Listeria and salmonella will make a person with a weak immune system very sick but a strong immune system will be able to fight it off without you even knowing about it.
The principles of the Changing Habits Lifestyle and Program are really simple.  Eat foods from nature and avoid all foods manufactured in a chemical laboratory or modified by unnatural needs.  To explain that in a short article in full is impossible but lets see if I can succinctly explain.

Foods to eat for health are; fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy, cocoa, coffee, tea, herbs, spices and anything else that nature can provide and anything you can make with it, including chocolate cake!    Foods to avoid include, margarine, modified milks (like homogenised milk), diet foods, breakfast cereals, low fat foods, diet drinks, additives, preservatives, flavourings, colourings, and I’m sorry to say that includes most of the packaged foods and drinks out there.

I must add here that when you are pregnant and you have morning sickness then some of these foods just turn your stomach, for me the only thing that made me feel better was watermelon.  I find fruit especially fruits high in water content have a way to help with morning sickness.  We are individuals and what worked for me will not necessarily work for everyone.  It is up to you to find the food(s) that make you feel good in your first trimester.  You are not alone with morning sickness approximately 80% of pregnant women have morning sickness as there are certain hormones during pregnancy, especially the first trimester that play havoc with your digestive system.  What is important is that you do eat something healthy and drink plenty of water.

Most people have lost their way they no longer know what is a healthy food or not.  Once upon a time we relied on the wisdom of mothers and grandmothers to teach the right foods to eat.  Now we rely on marketing, advertising and crazy science to tell us what we should eat.  Instead of making meat and vegies we eat foods found in packaging, instead of eating real food for breakfast like fruit, eggs, good quality bread, homemade shakes, home made muffins, home made pancakes and the like we rely on all the items being packaged made from foods out of a chemical laboratory with genetic modification and nanotechnology, that actually compromise our immune system and make us sick.
The idea is to go back to the way we have eaten for thousands of years up until around 20 or so years ago.  It’s not hard and if you want a healthy baby then it is worth making the effort to feed yourself good foods in order to have a baby that is given all the resources they need in order to grow a healthy body.  Remember you only have one chance at this so it would be prudent to learn as much as you can about this way of eating as it works.  I have eaten like this all my life because that is what my parents taught me.   When people, especially young pregnant women follow my program they also are able to say that their children are some of the healthiest in their community.  This is not hard this is just going back to our culture and tradition and eating foods that have been given to us by nature and anything we can make with them including all the yummy foods we’ve been told not to eat.

If you are pregnant, then I suggest you follow the habit changes in my book Changing Habits Changing Lives for a strong healthy immune system and baby.

Cyndi O’Meara
P.O. Box 104
Mooloolaba Q 4557
International Speaker, Best Selling Author, TV and Radio Presenter.

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