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You are your baby’s Source, its entire universe. This is obvious! And so what you eat literally shapes your baby, which isn’t a reason for guilt but for allowing yourself the pleasure of exercising your real power. In Pam England’s book, Birthing from Within, she writes, “Technology is not a substitute for good nutrition.” Ultrasounds and blood tests don’t heal or nourish. You do. By being in a close relationship with your self, it’s possible to really know what you and your baby need. Nourishing your self is the single most important thing you can do for your combined well-being.
Eating regularly keeps your blood sugar stable and your energy levels consistent. In the last few weeks before you give birth, you might need to eat frequent small meals as your stomach is compressed by your very full uterus. Your blood volume increases by fifty percent, so drinking frequently, about three litres of fluid a day, supports your body and prevents bladder infections, headaches and early contractions. Your need for protein increases too, so include it in every snack and meal, when you can. You will build strong, resilient tissue that will stretch rather than tear as you open to your baby. Nuts and dried fruit are a portable, high fibre snack rich in protein, iron, calcium and folic acid, nutrients particularly needed in pregnancy. Fresh fruit smoothies with yogourt or soy milk give a quick nutritious boost. For lunch and dinner, a source of protein, whole grains and dark leafy vegetables should be the priority.
Also, the average Canadian diet is lacking in adequate levels of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid found predominantly in fish oil that is necessary for your baby’s optimal neurological development and is also good for you, reducing your risk of premature labour and postpartum depression. Salmon, herring and sardines are a good source but a supplement ensures an adequate supply.
As a woman, you receive strong messages from our culture about how your body should look. Being pregnant is an opportunity not to take them seriously as you get in greater touch with how you feel. That’s where the wisdom lies. And the beauty.