Your pregnancy diet plan will contain a lot of healthful, nutritious foods to eat while pregnant in abundance. But your pregnancy nutrition plan should also help you steer clear of potentially harmful foods.
As you make choices and changes to your lifestyle after you find out you’re pregnant, it’s important to make these changes as you can. Don’t stress about these habits and try to stop them cold turkey.
The detox you might suffer from doing so could make you quite sick, and your body is under enough stress as you adjust to pregnancy. Taper off your usage slowly for the best results.
No-No #1: Caffeine
Caffeine raises your heart rate, decreases the amount of calcium in your body, can lead to dehydration, and increases your blood pressure. Because caffeine crosses the placenta, it has these same effects on your baby as well. In addition, it causes lower fetal birth weight and weakens your baby’s adrenal glands.
In a perfect world, you would abstain from all caffeine use during pregnancy. However, even just lowering the amount of caffeine you consume can have a profoundly beneficial effect on your baby’s health. Experts agree that you can do perfectly welland your baby will be just fineif you consume around 150mg of caffeine per day. That’s the equivalent of one cup of coffee or two cups of black tea.
So try stepping down your usage of caffeine to make this level. Once you do, you can try switching to green tea, then white tea, and finally herbal teas, if you wish.
No-No #2: Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners include aspartame (Equal), Splenda (sucralose), and saccharine (Sweet N Low). These sweeteners are used as a substitute for cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, but they can actually increase your cravings for sugar and can cause your insulin production to increase, which can lead to diabetes.
Besides these effects, these artificial sweeteners are made with chemicals that can cause a range of troubling problems within your body. Aspartame has been linked to various neuropsychiatric disorders, saccharin use causes a range of side effects and reactions, and sucralose has been linked to enlarged kidneys and liver.
If you use artificial sweeteners, stop consuming them the moment you find out that you are pregnant. Instead, begin using natural sweeteners such as stevia, xylitol, agave syrup, and raw honey, which will curb your sweet tooth without the troubling side effects of these chemicals.
No-No #3: Sugar
Sugar is a socially-acceptable indulgence, unlike tobacco and alcohol, for pregnant women. Yet it causes a range of problems that are actually exacerbated by pregnancy.
In addition to weight gain, tooth decay, and gum disease, sugar causes rapid fluctuations in blood sugar that can cause you to feel faint, dizzy, and hungry between meals. Sugar can also trigger the increased insulin production in your body that leads to gestational diabetes.
Increased sugar consumption has also been linked to babies with a larger birth weight, making delivery more difficult. Avoiding sugar is the best way to cope with these problems.
Fortunately, there are plenty of all-natural sugar substitutes which do not cause the same problems and changes in the body. Nor do they contain the caloric punch that sugar has. Try using stevia, agave syrup, raw honey, or xylitol instead of sugar when baking or to sweeten your tea or coffee.
By cutting back on, or completely eliminating, these three pregnancy diet no-nos over the next nine months, you are giving your baby a great start in life. And you are weaning yourself away from bad habits that could make a profoundly positive impact on your own health.