By Guest Blogger Sarah Hester, MS, RD

To say pregnancy is demanding on a woman’s body is an understatement. Being pregnant requires extra energy and nutrition, not to mention wiggle-room for a growing baby! Follow these three tips to make pre and post-natal nutrition a little less stressful.

Establish healthy habits before pregnancy

During pregnancy, a growing child demands nutrients from the mother’s diet and from the stores in her body to meet his or her needs. Give your baby a strong start and make sure your body’s nutrient stores are sufficient by establishing healthy eating habits before trying to conceive. Start taking a prenatal vitamin before conception and continue taking through pregnancy and while post-postpartum to prevent any deficiencies for you and child.

Have a varied pregnancy diet

Women may experience aversions to foods, heightened sense of smell, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy leading them to decrease the amount of food they are able to eat. If this is you, don’t worry, these symptoms are only temporary! One way to make sure you are nourishing your own and baby’s body during this time is to try to eat a variety of foods and not exclude any food groups. Having a diet high in variety along with taking your prenatal vitamin will help ensure you cover all your nutritional bases until the symptoms subside. Hang in there!

Drink enough fluids

Lastly, create the healthy habit of getting enough fluids in your diet. Water and fluids are necessary to help nutrients circulate in mother and baby’s bodies and help remove waste. Many women experience constipation in pregnancy due to the child putting pressure on the bowel as they are growing. Drinking enough fluids can help with this too. Aim for 8 to12 cups of water a day. Additionally, choose foods that are high in water content like fruits, vegetables, and milk. Smoothies are a great option to help meet fluid needs and boost nutrient intake.

Georgia Peach Smoothie

1⁄2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3⁄4 cup milk
2 cups frozen sliced peaches (Don’t have frozen peaches? Substitute for canned peaches and add in a handful of ice!)
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine yogurt, milk, peaches and remaining ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Divide equally between two glasses and serve immediately.

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