Week 7: Pregnancy Week by Week

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Week 7: How much does diet matter?


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When I use the words eating well, I mean using food not only to influence health and well being but to satisfy the senses, providing pleasure and comfort.

-Andrew Weil, M.D., Eating Well for Optimum Health

 

 

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What’s Happening in Your Body?

You may begin to notice that you are responding to many things in your life with stronger emotions than usual. This is due to normal hormonal changes, which can also cause mood swings.

What’s Happening with Your Baby?

Your baby is now developing ribs, and her hands and feet are beginning to grow out of the arm and leg buds. The hands develop more quickly than the feet do.

How Much Does Diet Matter During Pregnancy?

“Now you are eating for two,” goes the old cliche. This is true, but for many women that could mean getting even more obsessed about eating and having more guilt when they don’t do it “properly.” If you eat a hot fudge sundae, are you harming your growing baby? Find out what you need to know about nutrition while you are pregnant.

Nourish Yourself

One of the most important nutrients for pregnant women is protein. But how do you know you are getting enough?

If you include all of the following items in your daily diet, you’ll have it pretty well covered, as long as you are also eating a balance of other nutritious foods:

  • 1 egg or 1/2 cup granola or 1/4 cup of cottage cheese and
  • 1 cup cow’s or soy milk yogurt and
  • 1/2 cup of mac’ ‘n cheese (health-food store variety) or a small handful of roasted soy nuts and
  • 1 cup of baked beans or 1 cup serving of pasta or 1 cup of miso soup and
  • 1 cup of either cow’s or soy milk (but not rice milk, which does not have high protein content) or a handful of almonds and
  • 1 serving meat or fish or a tempeh burger on a roll

Body Wise

If you’ve never done Pilates before, this is a great time to give it a try. The Pilates method of exercise is well-suited to the pregnant woman because it focuses primarily on the notion of core strength: the abdominals and the back. Pilates exercises really emphasize the mind/body connection and are generally done in a slow, controlled fashion that is great for pregnancy. Breathing is an important component of the workout as well, and this focus on breath and control is a great toner for your coming delivery.

Pilates instructors must complete a rigorous training period that includes a thorough knowledge of the body’s structure. If Pilates is new to you, you might want to try out a class or even have a private session to get familiar with how it works. Be sure to tell the teacher you are pregnant, and don’t forget to check with your doctor before starting this, or any other, exercise program.

Here is a simple Pilates exercise to try out on your own:

Get on your hands and knees, with your ankles directly below your knees and your hand directly below your shoulders. Take in a deep breath, and as you release it, draw your abdominals in and hold them securely while you raise your left arm straight out and your right leg behind you. Hold your balance in this position for a moment and then release back to all fours. Repeat on the other side. This exercise will help to strengthen your back and fine-tune your balance.

Natural Soothers

The Pregnancy Pick-Me-Up is a great drink for relieving morning sickness and helps to restore the body’s balance after vomiting or diarrhea. It also helps keep electrolytes high and is good to drink during labor.


Higher Ground

Not in Kansas Anymore
by Emily Berns

“Please make underneath free,” the nurse said, pointing to a semiprivate nook in the spotless, modern gynecology office. I looked around, locating a mirror and a hook for my clothes, but no hospital gowns. After a few moments of confusion, I realized this was no oversight on the nurse’s part: There were no hospital gowns. Gritting my teeth, I emerged bottomless from the dressing area for my examination, feeling exposed and slightly ridiculous. Dimly I recognized that, to paraphrase Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I was not in Kansas anymore.

It was the end of my very first week as a resident of Munich, home of my German husband, Uwe. The conclusion of that examination a confirmed pregnancy left me stunned. I had just started to meet Uwe’s friends; I was learning where the food stores were and familiarizing myself with the comparatively limited product choice and with German coins and bills; I’d even lined up a freelance job. But my pregnancy was to derail any additional plans to adapt gradually to my new surroundings. Read the rest of the story…

 

Image by Durga Yael Bernhard

 

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