In this video blog, Darline Turner shares the Healthy Happy Pregnancy Cookbook. Written by Registered Dieticians Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, the book contains 125 recipes that are not only tasty, but also address many of the common ailments of pregnancy. Today, Darline tries the Blueberry Banana Oat smoothie, designed to give pregnant mamas, most especially mamas on bedrest relief from leg cramps.
Are you getting the nutrition you need? As many of you settle into your bed rest routines, it can be very easy to skip meals (especially breakfast! Don’t do it!!!), snack a lot and give into many of those crazy cravings as a way to soothe your “sorrow” over your bed rest experience. I want to reiterate, this is no time to be slack with your nutrition! Mamas on Bedrest are at increased risk of insufficient weight gain and low birth weight infants. Because Mamas on Bedrest are physically inactive and confined to bed, they are less apt to take in some essential nutrients like Vitamin D (Vitamin D is manufactured in your body by converting the suns rays along with Cholesterol into the vitamin) and they may require additional Calcium to not only support the pregnancy, but to support mama’s bones as she is not able to do any weight bearing exercise (even walking with a light grocery bag is load bearing exercise!) during pregnancy.
As always, it is best to receive necessary nutrients from a well balanced, nutrient dense diet. Karimums, an Australian support website for mamas, has provided the following infographic which outlines the necessary nutrients and amounts needed to sustain a healthy pregnancy. The infographic also shows the foods that can help meet these nutritional needs. Here is a copy of the info graphic:
And while this infographic is a great reminder of the nutritional needs of pregnant mamas, it also shows that it may be difficult to consume enough foods to take in the necessary nutrients. Hence, I want to reiterate the vital importance of prenatal vitamins. This is always a controversial topic, but one of vital importance. One look at this infographic and a mama on bedrest may say to herself, “There is no way that I can eat 18 cups of raw spinach a day! While this may be true (and we don’t want to discourage mama from eating spinach at all!!) mama still needs the folic acid, and taking a pharmaceutical grade prenatal vitamin will enable mama to get the vital nutrition she and her baby need without having to consume an entire spinach garden daily!
I want to add a note about prenatal nutrition here. Nature has designed it so that when a woman becomes pregnant, the first nutrients that are available to her body are directed towards the baby for its growth and development. Ideally, a woman is taking in enough nutrient foods to support herself and her baby. But if mama happens to be deficient, let’s say, in calcium, when her body takes in calcium it is first directed to the growing baby and any left over is then used to sustain mama. So if a woman is calcium deficient or not taking in enough calcium to sustain both herself and her baby, she will suffer. To this end, I have personally seen women develop cavities during pregnancy (Calcium aids in good dental health!) and in an extreme case, a woman was osteopenic (had low bone mass density) after her pregnancy.
Mamas, eat well. Use the infographic above to fortify your diet. If you are not already taking a high grade prenatal vitamin, discuss with your health care provider if you need prenatal vitamins and which ones might be best for you. E-mail email@example.com and we can share with you pharmaceutical grade prenatal vitamins that will supply the nutrients your body needs to serve you and your baby! Also, check out “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide to Surviving Bedrest” as we have an entire section dedicated to prenatal nutrition and vitamins! Download your copy now from Amazon.com!
Mamas, The holidays are upon us and once Thanksgiving hits, its a veritable feeding frenzy until New Year’s and the annual resolution to lose weight and get into shape! I’d like to suggest that since you are on bedrest, you pace yourself. Unlike other years, you aren’t able to offset those holiday goodies with a brisk walk or a trip to the gym. And the added sugar and salt can have serious consequences on your body in the form of constipation and swelling. So go easy and remember these 5 tips for holiday eating while on bedrest.
1. Watch your salt intake. Salt is a staple in cooking and gives food flavor and texture. However, added salt can cause you to retain fluid leading to excessive swelling in your hands and feet which can be more pronounced if you are on bed rest. Added salt can also worsen pregnancy induced high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. Watch salty snacks such as salted nuts and nuts. And if you are in my neck of the woods, the land of Honey Baked Hams, limit the amount you eat. It may taste good going down, but the added salt can have serious negative effects for you long term.
2. Maintain or even increase water intake. The above being said, be sure to stay hydrated and drink lots of water. While eating salty snacks and foods increases during the holidays, those of us in the colder climates are also running the heat. The air is drier and can cause dehydration. Remember, try to drink half your weight in ounces in water daily. The means if you are 14o lbs, try to drink 70 oz of water. The additional water will help dilute and flush out added salt, help reduce swelling, keep your kidneys happy and your skin from feeling so tight and dry.
3. Limit sugary treats. I say this tongue in cheek because my kids and I are about to embark on our annual cookie bake. We do share the cookies with folks as gifts, but a number are consumed by us! As I say to my children, have enough to have a taste and no more. I know this is hard. Who wants to watch a movie and eat only 1 or 2 cookies? But look on the bright side, you’ll have more to eat in the coming days and less to lose when bed rest is over (and it really does end, I promise!!).
4. Increase your fiber intake. And this doesn’t mean extra servings of peacan pie! One thing you may have noticed being pregnant is that your bowels slow down. This is so that your intestines can draw out the maximum amount of nutrients from your food to give to your baby. For you, this often results in constipation and bed rest does nothing to help this. With the added sweets and yummies during the holidays, try adding some fiber to your diet in the form of nuts and grains. There are some wonderful holiday trail mixes and nut mixes available and they make wonderful gifts at are easily ordered and shipped online.
5. Move. Whaaaaaat???? “But I’m on Bedrest!” You still need to move and its even more critical because you are on bed rest. Each hour you should do a full body stretch series to keep your muscles activated and toned, and to stimulate your circulation. If you don’t know what exercises to do, there is a complete series in our Bedrest Success Kit. You can access them when you join our mailing list. Also, there are several videos of modified exercises for Mamas on Bedrest on the Mamas on Bedrest YouTube Channel. Bedrest Fitness is also available and you can obtain a copy by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Amazon.com. Every hour move your body. Movement is one of your best allies. Be sure to use it during the holidays!
Bedrest adds a complicated twist to the holiday. Just be sure your eating doesn’t complicate your bed rest. Happy Holidays!!