Nutrition in pregnancy, Prenatal vitamins, Food safety, Nausea

health pregnancy Nov 17, 2020
Dr Cheryl Kam - Blog - Functional medicine coach - Singapore - Nutrition in pregnancy, Prenatal vitamins, Food safety, Nausea

The key to a healthy pregnancy is to keep an eye on the mother’s nutrition. Get some info on vitamins and food safety while you’re expecting.


So we are in part 2 of 3 in the pregnancy series, and last week we spoke about a pregnant mother's choice in her obstetric care, about the ultrasound and glucose tests, and the wonders of having a doula.


Today, I'm going to throw tips on Nutrition!


Big big topic so enjoy, and feel free to forward this email to your expecting friends!
Key pearls in prenatal nutrition...


#1 Protein is key


In regular women, 1g/kg is the key, so about 50g a day.  In a pregnant woman, this goes up to 1.5g/kg so for a 50kg pre-pregnancy weight, this is 75g protein a day!  This is not easy!  

Protein is key in creating human flesh and bones, and the placenta, the amniotic sac, all kinds!  The strength of the tissues are all protein dependent.

Choose mainly plant based, but definitely don't skip on the eggs or meat, for high density and good quality amino acids otherwise not found in plants.

I have used protein powders to clock my numbers in the past.  When each scoop gives you 20-25g, this really helps me reach my target in the day.  

Click here for a good protein diary!  


#2 Nausea is first and foremost a blood glucose regulation issue


That is why hyper-focusing on point #1, protein, early in the day, helps keep nausea at bay since it helps keep blood sugar stable!

Then, look at how much sleep you've had, how much hydration, and how much stress. These too, contribute to nausea.  Then, I would ensure the B vitamins are all on track, along with all the other minerals. 

Ginger sweets, tea, ground into food all help.  Eating Small amounts but often can help for severe cases, and only drinking between meals (not with meals) is a useful strategy.   


#3 Your prenatal vitamins need to contain enough zinc


Zinc (~20mg) for growing babies and for your needs.  

If your prenatal still contains synthetic folic acid instead of folacin or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, you've not got a good brand on your hands.  Switch.  

And if you're not sure about your iron status, test and treat it separately.  Having iron in your prenatal competes with the other minerals for absorption and can worsen any tummy/nausea/constipation issues you might already have.  

Magnesium is absolutely lovely and safe in pregnancy and beyond to enhance calm, and to alleviate the aches and pains that come from your hips widening and preparing for birth.  Get yours here!


#4 Omega-3 outside and during pregnancy


Outside and during pregnancy, we all need a good omega 3 supplement for its anti-inflammatory and heart beneficial effects.  During the 3rd trimester and during breastfeeding, DHA is the subtype to go for, specifically for baby's growing brain!  



#5 No coffee during pregnancy


How much can I smoke/drink/take coffee?  Sadly, the answer is zero if you don't want to affect your baby's birth weight.



#6 Watch out for raw foods


How about sushi, runny eggs, raw meat?  If it's fresh, then salmonella rates are quite low these days, and food transportation is pretty sophisticated.  


*But absolutely stay away from packed sushi, packed sandwiches that have been sitting on the shelf for hours, and say no to packaged sprouts.  They all harbor this bug called Listeria, and unlike Salmonella, Listeria is able to cause miscarriages, premature birth, and death in utero.  


A version of this article was first published at 👉 

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