7 Nutrients of Special Concern During Pregnancy Print

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Every Monday at 4:15pm on QR77 Radio join me and Angela Kokott host of Calgary Today with our segment “You are what you eat” to get the goods on healthy eating. If you missed my segments I will be archiving these audio discussions on my blog here. 

Episode 22 – 7 Nutrients of Special Concern During Pregnancy 

The radio station was not able to retrieve an audio copy of this segment due to technical difficulties but here is an overview of the content that was covered:

Pregnancy is one of the most intense periods of growth and development for both a woman and her baby. Choosing nutritious foods and managing a healthy lifestyle before, during and after you are pregnant is critical for the healthiest outcomes for both you and your baby.  

Folic Acid

This vitamin is especially important in helping to prevent neural tube defects in the developing spine of your baby.  All prenatal supplements contain enough folic acid to make sure you have enough before and during your pregnancy. Foods rich in folic acid include orange juice, fortified breakfast cereals and other grains as well as legumes and leafy green vegetables.  

Iron

Iron is really important during pregnancy due to the rapid increases of blood volume.  Prenatal supplements contain a large amount of iron to help make sure you get enough.  Food sources rich in iron include beef, seafood, poultry, fish, soy foods, legumes, fortified breakfast cereals and green vegetables.  Vitamin C rich foods such as citrus, tomatoes, berries and potatoes enhance iron absorption. 

Calcium

Your baby needs calcium to build your baby’s new bones, help maintain your own healthy bones as well as produce milk for feeding your baby.  Calcium is also important to keep your blood pressure during and after your pregnancy.  Foods rich in calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, fortified soy beverages, fortified orange juice, canned fish with bones, almonds, broccoli and legumes.  It is important to consume 3 servings of calcium rich foods per day or an extra calcium supplement is required since prenatal supplements do not have enough calcium to meet all your daily needs.  One serving of a calcium rich food is 1 cup (250ml) of milk or fortified soy beverage, 3/4 cup (175 g) yogurt or 1.5 ounces (50g) cheese.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is very important in helping you absorb more calcium and helps to keep your bones strong.  Although the sun helps us produce vitamin D in the skin it is an unreliable source and it is best to get our vitamin D through foods and supplements.  Prenatal supplements have enough vitamin D for health during pregnancy.  Foods rich in vitamin D include milk, fortified soy/rice beverages, fatty fish and egg yolks. 

Omega 3 Fats

Omega-3 fats are important to help with the development of your baby’s brain, eyes and nervous system. The best sources of omega 3 fats are found in fish and other sources include canola oil, walnuts and ground flax seeds.  Health Canada recommends consuming two servings of fish per week.  One serving of fish is 2.5 ounces (75g). Health Canada also provides recommendations for limiting exposure of certain types of fish for pregnancy due to mercury content.  For more information visit www.hc-sc.gc.ca 

Fibre

Many women experience constipation during pregnancy since pregnancy hormones can slow down digestion and your growing baby puts pressure on your intestines making it difficult to have bowel movements.  Getting enough fibre can also help prevent hemorrhoids which are common in pregnancy.  For this reason be sure to increase your consumption of high fibre foods such as wheat bran cereals, bran muffins, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. 

Fluids

Getting enough fluids during pregnancy is important to prevent constipation, build blood volume for your baby, supply nutrients to your baby and rid waste products away from your baby.  You need 3 litres (12 cups) of fluid per day during pregnancy.  You can count fluid from water, all beverages, soups and the water that is found abundantly in fruits and vegetables.  

About Andrea Holwegner

CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker

Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. Andrea and her team really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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