Pregnancy: Are You Undereating?by Elizabeth MacDonald
Throughout pregnancy there is a rollercoaster of ailments, emotions, and information. It can be overwhelming to mothers and couples trying to balance it all while seeking a naturally healthy pregnancy. One large issue midwives and OBGYNs are seeing more often is mothers undereating.
This sounds as though mothers are not eating, but in reality, it can include several variations of malnutrition. Due to nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue, decreased appetite, and food aversions, avoiding meals can happen. These same ailments can also trigger skipping specific food groups or only intaking items that meet a craving instead of meeting the body (and growing baby’s) needs.
The human body requires essential nutrients to remain healthy, this need drastically increases while growing a baby. Calories are a necessity, yes; however, the quality of calorie is a very underdiscussed topic that should be taking place within every prenatal conversation. Protein, micronutrients, amino acids, magnesium, and healthy fats are vital at a cellular level for a woman’s body to properly maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Are You Undereating?
There are several signs that your body may be lacking nutrients.
This is more than the traditional tiredness that pairs with pregnancy. When you feel as though you become exhausted without exerting effort or accomplishing anything, there could be a deeper cause, including under consuming proper minerals, vitamins, protein, iron, and calories.
The rumbling tummy even if you are eating, may signal that the calories being consumed are not providing the body with quality well-absorbed items. Adding higher quality protein into each snack and meal should ward that rumbling.
Minimal Weight Gain
Growing a baby increases your body mass due to an enlarging uterus, added organ (the placenta), water retention, and multiplying living cells that develop into a heartbeat and a constantly blossoming human being. This leads to added pounds. Some women will gain more than others, but lack of weight gain can be a sign of malnurishment.
Low blood sugar triggers sleepless nights, and what you eat dictates your blood sugar. It can be very hard to get comfortable and accomplish a good night’s sleep while pregnant, but if chronic restlessness is occurring, consider evaluating what you are eating throughout the afternoons/evenings.
Irregularity in the Restroom
Constipation can occur randomly, but if you are regularly not having typical bowel movements, look into the foods you are consuming to ensure quality fiber, protein, and fats.
Losing hair by the handful is a complaint you will learn about after your baby arrives and your hormones rebalance; however, you should not experience it while pregnant. Just as your skin and gut are impacted by the nutrients you ingest, your hair is also impacted.
As your body changes, embrace your cravings while munching a well-balanced, whole food, high-quality diet.