Pregnancy is an important time to re-evaluate your diet and nutrient intake. When morning sickness strikes, we often fall back on comfort foods, which may not be so healthy. This presents some challenges to actually getting a balanced diet. Just think of the fact that all the elements in the molecules that make up of our bodies come from our food, orchestrated by the code that we call our DNA. So, it’s an amazing dance between nature and nurture. At the cellular level, we are constantly rebuilding and regenerating. With that view of the body in mind, it makes sense that eating well is a good thing and gives new meaning to the old adage, “you are what you eat”!

At our prenatal visits for new moms, I include handouts to encourage and support a healthy diet in pregnancy. Among these are my Nutrient Smoothie Recipe, and the Modified Paleo-Mediterranean Diet (which is a table, listing the good stuff on the left, and the not so good stuff on the right, as a shopping and meal planning guide). It goes without saying that a healthy diet is important at all times, but in the early stages of pregnancy, it is an especially important time to pause and re-evaluate. I remember my first pregnancy, and how tired I felt, and how little I knew then about a really good diet 28 years ago. I remember that I tried to get enough protein to keep my energy level up during the grueling hours of studying before entering medical school. I tried eating good, and tried to get a balanced diet.

A few months ago, one of our young moms shared a book with me about nutrition in pregnancy called “What to eat when you’re pregnant“. The author, a PhD in neuroscience, covers information about nutrition, weight gain, and brings out some important ideas about eating. I never got a chance to read it from cover to cover, but I flipped through some of the pages and read the Amazon reviews. What I appreciate, is knowing that some of the seeds that we plant here and the ideas that we talk about are bearing fruit, and that we are really reading more and paying attention to the content of our diets.

Anybody who knows me, knows that I always listen to The People’s Pharmacy on NPR in the morning on Saturday at 7 am. This morning, a female cardiologist covered heart disease in women. One of the things that she mentioned was modifiable risk factors like smoking, diet and lifestyle. It made me think of the modifiable risk factors in pregnancy. While we can’t change our DNA code, the genetic code of information we are born with, we CAN influence that DNA in either a positive or negative way. One of the most important ways is through a healthy diet and lifestyle. That’s empowering!

Disclaimer: The above information is given for educational purposes only, and cannot substitute for the advice of your own health professional, that is familiar with your unique medical condition. The advice represented here is not intended to cure, treat or prevent a disease, and these comments are not evaluated by the FDA. Please seek the care of a qualified health professional as soon as you suspect you may be pregnant, and in the event of a suspected medical emergency, go to your nearest hospital emergency department for further evaluation when it is urgently needed. Remember to consult with your health professional or pharmacist before you take medicines, either prescription or over the counter, to make certain these are safe in pregnancy. 

For more information on my practice at the Wellness Boutique, or to subscribe to my email list, please use the email contact box.

Wellness Boutique is my OB/GYN practice and has been in downtown Hartsville since 2012. We are located around the corner from the Center Theater on North Fifth Street and West College Avenue. If you know where the Black Creek Arts Council and SPC Credit Union are, we are across the street in a small brick building with the black window awnings, and yellow trim. I have been a practicing OB/GYN in Hartsville, on staff at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center since 2001.

I was featured on The Discovery Channel, A Birthday Story, in 2001, and the episode called “Sickle Cell”, which was filmed at Crawford Long Hospital of Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia where my four children were born.

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