Nutrition, Supplements & Eating for Two
by Tourmaline Birth and Wellness Collective
We recommend you eat every 2-3 hours. In addition to eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, we recommend eating snacks in between, you might consider making your meals smaller.
Switching to six to eight small meals a day will help keep blood sugar regulated and it aides in curbing many of the common complaints of pregnancy. Make sure you are eating protein with each meal. This, paired with good hydration will help keep nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and headaches at bay. It also will help keep you nourished and healthy in the postpartum period while breastfeeding. Not to mention it will help you prepare for healthy eating once your little one starts having food. Growing kids eat all the time! If you are experiencing morning sickness, remember to keep a snack by the side of your bed, you can eat it upon waking or if you wake to use the restroom in the middle of the night.
An important part of nutrition is eating the right things together. One tool that is helpful for maintaining consistent blood sugar levels is having carbs and natural sugars at the same time or in close proximity to having good protein and fats. This slows the release of glucose into your bloodstream. Sugar cravings are usually actually a protein craving; our bodies just know they need a source of energy and sugar is our go to because it is a quick but short term source. What we need is long term energy: protein. If you have a sweet tooth make sure to have a nice balanced meal first; if you’re still wanting a little treat, go for it!
Synergy, Ritual, INNATE, Seeking Health or Actif prenatal vitamins are organic, made from food, and GMO free. That means they’re free of pesticides, endocrine disruptors and full of highly absorbable nutrients for you and baby, which makes them an optimal supplement.
Calcium: 1200-1500 mg per day
Calcium’s role in pregnancy is important. When you’re pregnant, if your blood calcium is low, the baby stimulates calcium to be mobilized from your bones. When this happens it also pulls lead from your bones. This both causes bone loss for mom AND exposes the baby to lead, a potent neuro-toxin. To prevent this from happening it’s important to keep your blood’s calcium levels up.
Note that your prenatal vitamin will not have these levels of calcium, you’ll need an additional supplement. We recommend Garden of Life’s calcium or any other calcium that contains Vitamin K2, D3, silica and magnesium for absorption (unless your prenatal has plenty of these). You don’t need to supplement that entire amount, calcium is found in many foods in your diet. Minerals are best taken at night as they will help you sleep! Important note: Not all calcium is created equal. Calcium carbonate isn't well absorbed and can cause heart problems and too-high levels of calcium in the blood. Choose a calcium citrate or calcium malate.
Iodine: 250 mcg-12.5 mg per day Iodine is critical to ovarian function, breast function, thyroid function AND it increases intelligence in children! There is major controversy over dosage. We invite you to do your own research and see what you think.
Probiotics are great for general health and key during pregnancy. The specific probiotic strains L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri have been proven effective at reducing the number of women who test positive for Group Beta Strep (GBS) when taken the entire 3rd trimester.
What is GBS you ask? It’s a bacterial strain that can migrate from a woman’s gastrointestinal tract to her vagina and can sometimes make a baby sick if it’s born through a GBS positive vaginal tract. The standard of care in the United States is to treat the mother prophylactically with IV antibiotics in labor. Local Midwives have seen the numbers of women with GBS go from 30% to 10% or less with the use of probiotics in pregnancy.
Fem-dophilus by Jarrow is the only product that has both strains. We recommend taking 1 dose every night after dinner or whenever it’s easiest for you to remember.
When you take probiotics, it’s important to get pre-biotics as well. This is food for your probiotics that help them live and thrive in your gut. You can take a supplement or eat raw chicory root, dandelion greens, white beans, garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichoke and jicama. There are even small amounts in bananas and asparagus.
Vitamin D: 1,000 IU
Most people, even in southern California are vitamin D deficient. The recommended dose is dependent on individual test results. If someone has not supplemented in the past few months, starting out at 1,000 IU per day is a safe dose. Garden of Life has a spray that’s easy for people to take if they are nauseated
Most people know the benefits of omega 3’s but overlook the fact that our omega 3’s, 6’s and 9’s are supposed to be balanced. The recommended ratio of omega 6’s and 9’s to omega 3’s is 4:1. For example: if you ate 60 grams of fat in a day, 15 of those would ideally be omega 3’s.
Thank you for reading and be well. - TC