Nutrition Essentials

Your nutritional choices before, during, and after baby is born have the potential to impact on the long-term health of your child. Dr. Neetu K. Sodhi of Bloom Obstetrics and Gynecology stresses the importance of a healthy diet and appropriate supplementation for a healthy pregnancy.

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Nutrition Essentials

Before Pregnancy

Even before conception, you should be getting the recommended doses of fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats; all women of childbearing age should be within a healthy weight range and getting enough micronutrients, especially the following vitamins & minerals:

  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Folate
  • Choline

For Vegans:

A vegan diet is one that excludes all direct and in-direct animal consumption. Traditionally, this means a dairy-free and meat-free diet. Depending on how strict you are, this can also be extended to other animal by-products, such as honey.

Currently, there is insufficient evidence to recommend against veganism in pregnancy. There are, however, studies suggesting that vegan mothers are at higher risk for vitamin B12 and iron deficiencies. Taking a prenatal supplement can help ensure you are receiving adequate micronutrients.

Additionally, there is a common misconception that food-borne pathogens are only found in meat and dairy sources. This often gives vegans a false sense of security when it comes to microbiological safety. In fact, unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juices put you at as much of a risk for food poisoning as undercooked meat, granted the pathogen population would be different.

Another caution: house-made or home-brewed kombucha drinks have variable alcohol content and questionable microbiological safety; commercially prepared kombucha is a safer bet as long as you don’t drink more than two servings a day (this typically amounts to just one bottle).

During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is not the time to try new and fad diets. The tried and true dietary recommendations remain the same: Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. One fat in particular deserves special attention: DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid), is an important component of the nervous system and will also promote a healthy birth weight.

TheraNatal One prenatal vitamin is formulated with the recommended dosage of DHA along with other nutrients, and it available in our office for all our pregnant Women in Bloom.

At your prenatal appointments, Dr. Sodhi will address healthy and acceptable weight gain for your pregnancy. Your recommended weight gain will depend on your starting BMI. A good resource to start is at American Pregnancy.

After Delivery

Many women are tempted to lose weight quickly during the postpartum period, however, this is not always advised. Weight loss after delivery should be gradual, especially if you are breastfeeding. Receiving enough daily caloric intake will help ensure that you are producing the best quality milk for your baby. You also need more of certain micronutrients while nursing- that’s why it is recommended to take postnatal supplements.

Available in our office, TheraNatal Lactation tablets by Theralogix are formulated to eliminate the need for infant vitamin D drops, and provide the recommended amount of micronutrients for nursing mothers.