Posts Tagged ‘ Pregnancy Diet ’

What One Mom Said to Insult ALL Pregnant Women

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Oh no, she didn’t! Yes, she did! Australian blogger Loni Jane Anthony, who made news for going on an extreme diet that consisted almost exclusively of fruit, has opened her big mouth again, and this time she’s managed to insult pregnant women everywhere! After she displayed what many critics considered to be an eating disorder while pregnant, often called pregorexia, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces (thank God!). So, of course, outspoken Loni is now saying she is “living proof you don’t have to become a whale while you’re pregnant.” Exqueeze me!

I think I speak for any woman who has ever been pregnant when I say, “How dare you?” When you’re pregnant you are no longer in control of the shape of your body. Yes, it’s smart to watch what you eat when you’re pregnant, and too much overindulgence in those out-of-control pregnancy cravings can be bad news (leading to bigger, heavier babies, which equals a harder labor for you, and possible obesity in your kid’s future). But enough of the fat shaming! It’s bad enough when it comes from the media. I don’t think women should be doing it to each other!

I also don’t think most women want to hear the criticism from Loni, whose radical fruit diet sounds a little nuts. She admitted to eating mostly bananas (up to 20 a day!), drinking fruit smoothies and occasionally pairing it with a salad for dinner. Mom to new son Rowdy, Loni says, “You don’t have to put on heaps of weight and never bounce back—you can stay really healthy.” She gained about 37 pounds while pregnant, and says she lost 22 pounds within days of giving birth. Loni says her son is the picture of health—”feeding like a machine,” “sleeping,” and “happy.” She also says she’s making plenty of breast milk, so that her diet is completely fine.

While I completely believe you can be a healthy vegetarian or vegan with a bun in the oven, I still wouldn’t advise any other mom-to-be to follow Loni’s lead with her extreme dieting. The Mayo Clinic says the diet of a pregnant woman should consist of nutrients like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, protein, and iron, which can be obtained through the consumption of foods such as spinach, beans, milk, yogurt, salmon, eggs, lentils, and poultry. It is suggested that pregnant women have a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Since Loni’s diet is short in protein—which helps with growth and repair of tissues—and several essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and zinc, it can lead to the baby taking calcium from her bones and leaving Loni susceptible to osteoporosis later in life.

According to the New York Daily News, Loni says, “I’m consuming more good fats because I’m breastfeeding, but other than that, I’m eating the same.” And she plans to raise son Rowdy with the same diet. “I’m thriving on a plant-based diet, so why wouldn’t (my baby)? If I believe that the way I eat is the best way possible, then why would I let him eat any other way?”

TELL US: Do you think Loni’s diet is healthy for her and her son?

What is your ideal pregnancy weight? Click to find out.

Image of Loni Jane Anthony and son Rowdy via Instagram.

Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt
Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt
Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt

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Is Your Unborn Child Already a Junk Food Junkie?

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Put down those Doritos and read this! The foods you’re eating during pregnancy and while breast feeding are shaping the way that your unborn child will eat for years to come, according to a new study. That’s right—bad eating habits form in utero.

Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a nonprofit research organization in Philadelphia, found that babies’ taste buds are directly linked to what their moms ate while pregnant with them. So if you’re eating a diverse and varied diet, your child will eventually be a less picky eater, who is open to trying new things. Your good habits are being passed down to them, and that will show in how they eat as toddlers and later on as adults.

But your bad habits are being passed down as well. A study conducted at the University of Adelaide in South Australia found that if you are eating sugary or fatty foods, your child will actually have cravings for those foods and form an emotional attachment to them. Moms who ate Froot Loops, Cheetos and Nutella during pregnancy had children that built up a tolerance for those foods, so that they needed more of them to get the same gratification from eating them. That is how researchers believe the US’ obesity epidemic all started (70 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese).

According to the New York Times, “researchers believe that the taste preferences that develop at crucial periods during infancy have lasting effects for life. In fact, changing food preferences beyond toddlerhood appears to be extremely difficult.” So when you tell people you’re “eating for two,” you really are—not the amount of calories for two people, but you are choosing what your baby will be eating for the rest of his or her life. Just think about that the next time you have a craving! Of course it’s fine to indulge every now and again (here are some ideas for doing that the smart way), but know that your eating habits do have long-term effects on your little one, so choose your meals wisely!

Test your Pregnancy Nutrition IQ here.

TELL US: What foods have you cut out while you’re pregnant? What are your healthy indulgences?

Image of pregnant woman eating a salad courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Pregnancy Foods: Top 5 Fertility Boosters and Drainers

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Food is such a hot topic when it comes to pregnancy—what to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat, what’s a healthy amount of weight to gain while pregnant…the list is endless! The amount of information out there can be overwhelming! So I spoke to Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietician and author of Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy, to give you a quick and easy rundown of what to eat and what to steer clear of. Here are her recommendations.

The five best foods for fertility and pregnancies:

Eggland’s Best Eggs: “EB eggs contain four times more vitamin D than ordinary eggs and they provide a lean source of protein,” says Ward. “In addition, they contain no trans fats and nearly all the fat in EB eggs is unsaturated. Eggs are also a source of choline. In observational studies, choline has helped reduce the risk for birth defects in the first month of life. During pregnancy a child’s brain is developing at a very rapid pace. It needs the omega-3 fats found in seafood and in Eggland’s Best Eggs, which provide twice the amount of omega-3s in ordinary eggs. Healthy women can have 2 EB eggs a day.”

Canned light tuna and salmon: “They are excellent sources of vitamin D and lean protein. They are also relatively low-risk fish in terms of mercury. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating at least two fish meals a week.”

Legumes: “Chickpeas, black beans, and other beans are free of trans fat, are low-glycemic carbohdyrate sources and are full of filling fiber. Start with 1/4 cup to your daily diet, and you can eat up to a cup of beans daily.”

Fortified whole grains: “Whole grains have fiber and are low-glycemic carbohydrate sources. Women should eat at least three servings of whole grains daily.”

Full-fat vitamin-D fortified milk: “According to the research, full-fat dairy is associated with fertility. A total of three servings from the dairy group daily is the goal.” Also, according to some research, drinking milk while pregnant can cause your children to be taller!

Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster

Five things to steer clear of if you want to get pregnant or are pregnant:

Alcohol: “Alcohol is of course bad for pregnancies, but what all women don’t know is that drinking can also put a damper on fertility.”

Caffeine: “It may also be surprising to know that there is a lot of conflicting research about caffeine. Some studies say it causes miscarriage and small babies and others say no.  I err on the side of caution and go with the March of Dimes suggestion to limit caffeine during pregnancy to 200 milligrams a day or less. When you’re trying to conceive, excess coffee may be crowding out other more nutritious beverages but may not actually be limiting fertility.”

Red meats: Lean red meat is one of the best sources of iron, “but fatty meats should be avoided.”

Trans fats: “Things like French fries, donuts and pastries, and margarine may sabotage fertility.”

Refined carbs: “Excessive amounts of refined carbs (white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc) and added (not naturally occuring) sugar are also problematic.”

According to Ward, “Women should take their preconception diet and lifestyle very seriously.” Weighing too much delays time to conception (being underweight can, too) and starting your pregnancy overweight may mean a bigger baby who goes on to be overweight later in life. “The number one issue for women,” says Ward, “is achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight (based on BMI) on a balanced diet to encourage fertility and to help insure a healthy pregnancy for mom and baby.”

Always try to start pregnancy in the best shape possible. “Manage any underlying health conditions, including body weight, high blood pressure, and anemia before conception occurs,” advises Ward. “There’s no way to figure how much of a change women will see in their fertility based on healthy eating but it is known that they will begin pregnancy in a much healthier state that will reduce complications for them and their child.”

TELL US: Did you make any dietary changes before getting pregnant or during your pregnancy? 

NEXT: Your personal pregnancy calendar (It’s free!)

Image of woman drinking milk courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Pregnant Extreme Dieting: Do Not Try This At Home!

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Of course it’s smart to watch what you eat when you’re pregnant, too much overindulgence in those out-of-control pregnancy cravings can be bad news (leading to bigger, heavier babies, which equals a harder labor for you; and possible obesity in your kid’s future). But a blogger named Loni Jane Anthony has taken the idea of eating well while pregnant to the extreme into totally unsafe territory. The 25-year-old Australian woman, who is 26 weeks pregnant, has come under fire for following a radical fruit diet, eating mostly bananas (up to 20 a day!), drinking fruit smoothies and occasionally pairing it with a salad for dinner.

The super-skinny mom-to-be—who has nearly 120,000 followers on Instagram—is being called “irresponsible” and “narcissistic” by critics who think her diet is incredibly dangerous for her baby, because it’s not being given enough proteins or a variety of nutrients. According to Medical Daily, Loni wakes up every morning between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. to drink two liters of warm water with lemon. A typical breakfast includes either having half a watermelon, a banana smoothie, or whole oranges. She is following the 80:10:10 diet made up of 80 percent carbs, 10 percent fat, and 10 percent protein, which mainly consists of fruit and water.

The Mayo Clinic says the diet of a pregnant woman should consist of nutrients like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, protein, and iron, which can be obtained through the consumption of foods such as spinach, beans, milk, yogurt, salmon, eggs, lentils, and poultry. It is suggested that pregnant women have a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Since Loni’s diet is short in protein—which helps with growth and repair of tissues—and several essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and zinc, it can lead to the baby taking calcium from her bones and leaving Loni susceptible for osteoporosis later in life.

While Loni denies she is on this diet because she’s afraid of gaining weight during her pregnancy, that’s certainly what it looks like to the outside world. And while it is completely unhealthy, with all of the “weight shaming” women receive in the media, especially while pregnant (like Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson), I can understand how women who may already have an addictive personality or have had a previous eating disorder could take things to the dangerous extreme. Approximately 10 million women struggle with an eating disorder, and pregnant women with active eating disorders—often referred to as being pregorexic—are at a much higher risk of delivering a preterm baby or baby with low birth weight; having to have a C-section; and suffering from postpartum depression after delivery.

If you’re battling with an eating disorder, it’s best to seek help for you and your baby’s health. For more info from the National Eating Disorders Association, click here.

TELL US: Do you think “weight shaming” women leads to eating disorders? Do you think Loni Jane Anthony needs a food intervention?

Image of Loni Jane Anthony via Instagram.

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Sushi During Pregnancy: Safer Than You Think!

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Is sushi safe during pregnancy?Forget alcohol, what most pregnant women miss most is sushi! But now news comes that you might not have to skip the raw fish, plus eating fish while pregnant can help lower your anxiety levels.

The benefits of eating fish while pregnant far outweigh the risks. Researchers from Children of the 90s at the University of Bristol and the Federal University of Rio de Janiero, Brazil, found that women who never ate seafood had a 53 percent greater likelihood of having high levels of anxiety at 32 weeks of pregnancy when compared to women who ate seafood regularly. The results suggest that two meals of white fish and one meal of oily fish each week would be enough to ward off anxiety.

Excessive anxiety is not good for the mother’s long-term health and can result in her baby being born prematurely and having a low birth weight. Previous research from Children of the 90s has shown the beneficial effects of eating oily fish during pregnancy on a child’s IQ and eyesight. This new study shows the importance of oily fish for a mother’s mental health and the health and development of her baby.

Even though the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still recommends not eating sushi while pregnant, there is no scientific evidence linking pregnant women eating sushi with health risks  to babies or complications with pregnancies. In fact,  Dr. Amos Grunebaum, Director of Obstetrics and Chief of Labor & Delivery at Cornell Medical center says it’s totally fine. And in Japan (where they should know a thing or two about sushi), eating raw fish is considered part of good neonatal nutrition as long as the fish isn’t high in mercury levels (salmon is a safe pick!).

The main worry about pregnant women eating sushi seems to come from the fear of parasites. However, farmed salmon (which is most likely to be used in sushi as opposed to wild salmon) is rarely susceptible to parasites, and fish is almost always flash frozen to transport, which kills the parasites anyway (and if you’re eating cooked fish, the high temperatures will also kill the parasites).

According to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, most seafood-related illnesses are due to shellfish—not fish. The risk of falling ill from seafood other than shellfish is 1 in 2 million compared to 1 in 25,000 from chicken.

It’s still advised to speak to your doctor about your pregnancy diet, but the widespread panic about pregnant women eating sushi seems completely overblown—and eating it could actually help your baby’s brain development. Couldn’t you go for a little mahi mahi right about now?

TELL US: Have you given up sushi while pregnant? Will this new research make you change your mind? 

Image of sushi courtesy of Shutterstock.

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