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Why it’s Crucial to Eat Right Before You Conceive

By Emily Wade Adams, CNC at PrimingTheBump.com and Natal-Nutrition.com

Eat Right Before You ConceiveWhy It’s Crucial to Eat Right Before You Conceive

Some people get pregnant without any preparation, it’s true. So what’s the point of undertaking a fertility preparation program? Why can’t you just sit down with a tub of ice cream and watch Jersey Shore instead?

Well, aside from the obvious explanation that in most cases, watching Snooki isn’t going to get you pregnant, there are two crucial reasons to eat right before you conceive:

EASE OF CONCEPTION. Speaking of ‘reality,’ not everyone is as fecund as TV shows may have you believe (see: 16 and Pregnant; 19 Kids and Counting). In fact, about 10-15% of couples now experience some form of infertility, and that percentage is steadily rising.

To conceive with ease, your reproductive system must be in good working order. Which means that your body must have all the necessary nutrients on hand – and in sufficient quantities – to feed the cells, hormones & processes of the reproductive system. In addition, any compounds that interfere with fertility must be avoided.

A nutritional preparation period helps stock your body full of healthy, fertility-boosting nutrients while eliminating anything that could block reproduction. Not only does this improve reproductive health, but it also puts you in control of your journey toward conception.
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Obesity Prevention Begins in the Womb: Mom’s Blood Sugar Affects Baby’s Development

By Emily Wade Adams, CNC for Natal-Nutrition.com

Nearly 10 percent of infants in the U.S. are overweight. As they get older, this percentage grows along with them: almost 70 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. But weight gain is largely preventable – and prevention begins in the womb.

Mama-to-be? Keeping your blood sugar steady can prevent your baby from having an excessive birth weight. It can also help your baby stay lean throughout his life. High maternal blood sugar prompts the fetus to develop more fat cells, which can make it easier to become fat later in life.

Not only can your blood sugar levels affect your baby’s development, but they can also affect your comfort levels during pregnancy. Low blood sugar is associated with morning sickness, and high blood sugar may lead to pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes (Hudson, 2008). Gestational diabetes, in turn, predisposes your baby to obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes later in life.

Keeping your blood sugar stable is easier than it sounds – but it requires a little advance planning. Here are some tips to help you maintain a steady blood sugar level in order to protect you and your baby:
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4 Healthier Ways to Satisfy Nagging Pregnancy Cravings

By Emily Wade Adams, CNC for Natal-Nutrition.com

Chips, crackers, doughnuts, bagels, candy … these easy-to-grab comfort foods are a quick way to relieve pregnancy’s hunger pangs. But caving to your cravings isn’t necessarily healthy for your baby. Processed foods in particular are some of the most unhealthy and potentially dangerous options for moms-to-be, because they make your baby more likely to have health problems. According to Dr. Weston A. Price, your baby is at risk for health problems even if you ate processed foods before conception, even if it wasn’t you but the baby’s father who ate them, and even if you ate well but the foods you consumed were grown in depleted soil (Singer, 2004).

What are processed foods, and why are they so bad for you? They’re food products that have been manipulated, refined, enriched and/or preserved – in short, almost anything that has been changed from its natural state. Most packaged foods are processed. If you read a label and don’t recognize the ingredients, it’s likely that food has been processed. Items in the center of the grocery store tend to be processed. Generally, foods are processed to lengthen their shelf life and are packaged in a way that’s convenient for us to grab on the go.
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Your Baby is What You Eat: 5 Prenatal Nutrition Tips for Optimal Health

By Emily Wade Adams, CNC for Natal-Nutrition.com

We’ve all heard the old adage, “You are what you eat.” This concept is even more important during pregnancy. Not only are you what you eat, but your baby is what you eat. As soon as conception occurs the embryo requires nutrients for developmental processes like cellular division and protein synthesis to occur. The baby’s growth and development are extremely rapid, and if the appropriate nutrients aren’t available when the baby needs them that part of its development will be abnormal or could even fail completely. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how nutrient deficiencies can seriously compromise your baby’s health.

While in utero, the baby’s nutritional needs take precedence, so it’s not uncommon for mothers to become nutrient deficient, too. Nutrient deficiencies can set you up for a more difficult pregnancy and postpartum period. Whether you want to prevent health complications for your baby or yourself, it’s imperative to get the best nutrition possible while you’re pregnant.

With its reliance on processed foods, which have had their nutrients refined away, it’s easy to see why the standard American diet lacks essential vitamins and minerals (Hudson, 2008). This is bad enough for everyday health, but it’s especially harmful during pregnancy, when many vitamin and mineral needs increase to account for the baby’s growing demands. For example, the RDAs for folate, magnesium, zinc and iron all increase during pregnancy.

Here are five tips to help you eat a nutrient-rich diet and ensure your baby’s optimal development:
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