Until... nausea... maybe puking. You realize there's only one thing that might help, as the carb cavern reveals its empty self from deep within your soul. A toast sandwich? Don't mind if I do! Cheerios for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Yes, please! Extra bread baskets, hold the snark, with every restaurant meal? Now, garçon, and hurry up!
Eating challenges are a common encounter in pregnancy. In the 1st trimester it might be as innocuous as a simple aversion to eating; or, it can be as debilitating as 24/7 nausea. You may find yourself ravenous and inhaling everything in sight; or, you may not be able to find a single thing that satisfies. The 2nd trimester often brings sweet relief, while the 3rd trimester can get challenging once again. Heartburn might set in, as well as feeling stuffed after only a few bites. What's a mama to do?
It can feel overwhelming, and if the focus is too much on food it can be really stressful as well. Relax, mamas! Take a deep breath and charge ahead – gingerly, or course - one bite at a time.
First Trimester Tips
If you find out you are pregnant early on, you hopefully won't be encountering morning sickness quite yet. Fuel all that pregnancy excitement into eating as well as you can for as long as you can. Even if saltines eventually become your best friend you'll take heart knowing that you crammed a lot of nutrition into the earliest weeks when your little one was furiously growing. Cut processed and added sugar as much as you can; these can really zap what little energy you have during the exhausting first trimester.
Killer Meal: Sauteed greens with sweet potato, eggs and avocado
2nd Trimester Tips
This is the sweet spot of pregnancy for a lot of women. You are looking pregnant but not feeling it (as much). Take this interlude of feeling well to once again eat as much nutritionally dense food as you can. To sustain your increased energy and the growing needs of your baby, aim to get some protein with every meal and snack.
Killer snack: apples, bananas, or celery sticks with nut butter
3rd Trimester Tips
Oh boy. It's the end of the road, and it's a long end of the road. Heartburn may be part of your nightly ritual, and when you finally fall asleep you are shortly awakened for an urgent bathroom run. Eat small, frequent meals to avoid feeling over-stuffed. Fluids can help fight end-of-pregnancy bloat, and if you front load them in the beginning of your day you might just ease the frequency of nighttime bathroom runs. Milk can help ease heartburn; or, try papaya enzyme for a dairy-free alternative.
Killer food: eating several dates daily from 34 weeks on has recently shown positive outcomes for labor. (I'll take mine with bacon, please!)
My #1 tip for eating in pregnancy? Don't stress out about what you are and aren't able to stomach. Nutrition is important, and of course you want to do the best you can; but stress is harmful to you and your baby as well! Focus on doing the best that you can, and then trust that your amazing body (and your amazing baby!) know how to compensate.
Tell me: What's your biggest eating challenge during pregnancy?