When you first find out you’re pregnant, chances are you will need to make some changes to your eating during pregnancy diet. If you are addicted to caffeine or sugar, you can make huge, beneficial changes to your body and support your baby’s wellbeing by scaling back or eliminating them from your diet completely.
However, if you are truly dependant on these chemicals, it may be best to step your consumption down rather than eliminate them by going cold turkey. Here’s what you need to know to cut back slowly, and minimize the impact of detox on your body.
How to Limit Your Caffeine
Caffeine can cause serious withdrawal symptoms if you have a regular coffee or tea habit. So it’s best to step down your consumption slowly over time. Physicians agree that you can have up to 150mg of caffeine per day throughout your pregnancy. That’s the equivalent of one cup of coffee or two cups of black tea.
So aim for that amount as your first goal, slowly scaling back until you reach 150mg per day. Then if you wish to eliminate caffeine completely, switch from back tea to green tea. From there, you can step down to white tea. Eventually you can get by with drinking only herbal teas. This is a process that takes a long time, but it can definitely be worth it while you are pregnant.
Scaling Back on Sugar
Scaling back on sugar and eliminating artificial sweeteners from your diets should be a major goal during your pregnancy. Fortunately, you can–and should, if at all possible–cut back on these foods immediately when you find out you are pregnant. Fortunately, there are all-natural sweeteners available that can help satisfy your sweet tooth.
These include raw honey, stevia, xylitol, and agave syrup. Use these all-natural products in lieu of your other sweeteners and you may not even notice a difference. They do not contain any of the troubling chemicals that artificial sweeteners contain, but they also don’t pack the caloric punch of real sugar.
Is It OK to Indulge?
As you are whipping your diet into shape, you may wonder if it’s okay to indulge during second trimester nutrition—or during any time of your pregnancy at all. Throughout the next nine months, your primary goal should be cutting back on the amount of stress in your life. If you stress too much about food, you are undoing all the hard work you aim to accomplish. So yes, it’s absolutely fine to splurge within reason while pregnant. As long as you keep your diet on track and indulge in moderation, you should be fine.
Coping with Stress
So how should you cope with stress during pregnancy? There are several ways you can cut back on your stress levels and stay healthy during the next nine months. Begin by making sure you are getting enough exercise.
Low or no-impact types of movement are best, such as swimming, walking, or prenatal yoga. Taking time for prayer and meditation can also be a huge help for keeping your perspective during pregnancy.
You should also cultivate your friendships. If you have friends who are moms, lean on them often for help and support. You can also find a Moms’ Club in your area to help you gain perspective on your impending parenthood.
Finally, you should know that every step you take towards making your diet healthier is a step in the right direction for you and your baby. Don’t feel overwhelmed, as though you must make all these changes at once Implement them slowly, as you feel comfortable, for the best results. Every change you make will have a huge impact on your baby’s health—and yours too.