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A Healthy Eating Plan for Pregnancy: Yay or Go Away?

Hey, Sugar!

A new review of data from a 2008 study shows a connection between mildly elevated blood sugar levels (not gestational diabetes) and increased birth weight and elevated insulin/low blood sugar in newborns. The concern is that unusually large babies can increase risks in childbirth. Interestingly, based on this data, women with slightly elevated blood-sugar actually had a higher risk of problems with the newborn than obese mothers with normal blood sugar levels or women with gestational diabetes and normal weight.

Dr. Boyd Metzger, lead researcher, tell us:  “The big message from this is when you look at the impact of nutrition, metabolism and weight on pregnancy outcomes, every woman on her first prenatal visit — should get a prescription for a session with a dietician and an appropriate healthy eating plan for her pregnancy. This doesn’t happen, but it should, and insurance companies should reimburse it.”

 

Here are some ways to keep blood sugar down during pregnancy:

Avoid food high in sugar **
Eat complex carbs and high fiber foods
Be active (exercise but also take the stairs, walk when you can, etc)
Go for low fat or good fats
Eat frequent, small meals comprised of real food (ie: not processed).
** Sugar is hidden in everything these days. Cereal, yoghurt, drinks (see photo) and bread are major offenders.

 

I’m glad there’s more discussion about nutrition and pregnancy these days– good, real food is the best (preventative) medicine. But I also know how hard it is to juggle these recommendations with aversions, cravings, toxins and food-borne illnesses. The emphasis on eating well can feel like a lot of pressure, too. Will the baby really suffer if I only eat bagels for the entire first trimester?

How do you feel about it?

Would you meet with a dietician if your insurance paid for it? And how would you feel about a “healthy eating plan”? Too controlling? Or helpful?

 

 

photo: Dangerousminds.net

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