Best Pregnancy Possible
Dr. Jeff Chamberlain talks about how to have the best pregnancy possible and some tips to make it happen.
Host, Gerry Barnaby- Hey, what’s happening? Barnaby here for another HelloLife Moment—the third in three segments about pregnancy, and this one is about lifestyle, with my associate Dr. Jeffrey Chamberlain, who is a family doctor—delivered many a baby, knows whereof he speaks in this regard. So let’s talk about—well, just the problems that women face because they are providing for two during pregnancy. Adequate nutrition is necessary, but a lot of times, women don’t feel like eating necessarily the right foods, or they say “Suddenly I’m craving this or that.” Let’s talk about how to get through pregnancy in the best fashion possible with the foods we eat.
Health Coach, Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, MD- Early on, women with morning sickness is a major issue. It’s hard to have a balanced diet when you’re throwing everything up. With that, honestly, my recommendation to women is trying to figure out what works for them, what they can keep down, going with that, and trying to ride that through until it’s not so bad. Sometimes with that, women are eating a lot of carbohydrates or crackers or things like that, frequent small amounts a lot of times helps out. But every woman is different, so it’s a matter of finding out what works for you and what doesn’t work for you to get through that stage.
Barnaby- Should you be taking supplements in lieu of regular by-mouth nutrition, like food?
Dr. Chamberlain- Prenatal vitamins are important during pregnancy. That being said, a lot of times prenatal vitamins make morning sickness worse for a lot of women and so then they’re stuck in the, “Well, if I don’t take this, my baby’s not getting it.” The thing to be comforted in is that morning sickness is normal in pregnancy. A lot of women have it, and most babies are okay, so try to work through it the best that you can, and everything’s going to most likely turn out okay. There’s some women where it’s really bad; it’s called what we call hyperemesis gravidarum, where it’s a pretty serious issue, and if you’re getting sicker and sicker and not able to keep down food, you need to see your doctor. But if it’s a normal morning sickness, trying to ride through that the best you can, and then when you’re starting to feel better, then really starting to focus on having a really well-balanced diet is important.
Barnaby- Well, you know, a lot of people think that meat is a necessary food to take in because of the protein. But say you don’t eat meat. Are you harming your baby?
Dr. Chamberlain- No, you’re not. There’s a lot of vegetarian women that have a healthy pregnancy and healthy babies. The importance is to make sure you’re paying attention to what you’re eating and how much you’re eating. In general, I recommend women who are pregnant to eat about half of what they eat be fruits and vegetables, about a quarter protein—so if you don’t eat meat, that protein’s going to come from nuts, it’s going to come from beans, from soy products, from those types of things to get your protein—and then the other quarter being everything else, focusing on whole grains, focusing on dairy products, to help during the pregnancy.
Barnaby- And so, when we speak of dairy products, one of the things I always consider is calcium, because I understand that babies really consume a lot of the mother’s calcium.
Dr. Chamberlain- The baby can take the calcium that it needs from you, from the mother, and so making sure that you have plenty of calcium in your system is important, and that means taking 1000mg of calcium every day as a supplement while you’re pregnant. For younger women who are younger than 19, you need about 1300mg a day of calcium. The other thing is just making sure that you’re building strong bones during your pregnancy, and so staying physically active—cardiovascular activities, light weight-bearing exercises—is important. What this is doing is it’s helping keeping your bones strong while you’re pregnant, so that way, later on in life, after menopause when you’re getting older, you’re coming from a strong base and strong bones, versus kind of some weakened bones, once you hit that osteoporosis stage.
Barnaby- So any thought that maybe some jogging, especially when you get into the second or third trimester—is that going to be a problem as far as having premature labor?
Dr. Chamberlain- For most women, staying physically active is healthy and beneficial for the pregnancy, so jogging, doing light activity—not super light, but light cardiovascular activities. I wouldn’t do power lifting or something crazy like that. I wouldn’t try to pick up running marathons when you’ve never run before, but light jogging, doing stairs, doing elliptical, exercise bikes—those sorts of things are healthy during pregnancy, and you’re going to be better off staying active like that than if you didn’t do those activities.
Barnaby- It’s all good advice. There you have it—three distinct segments, all having to do with pregnancy, and all of the different things to consider in your journey towards having a beautiful child. So thanks again for the information, Doc.
Dr. Chamberlain- You’re welcome.
Barnaby- We appreciate it. Another HelloLife Moment, because we’re all about matching your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.