January 13, 2012

The First Pregnancy Post!

January 9, 2012, I was in Mexico City, Mexico, with my husband and his lovely family. I had recently bought a new notebook for note-taking on nutrition and workouts, and I had started to research Vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables. Listed was the name of the vitamin or mineral, where they are found in foods and what they do for the body. I was trying to absorb every bit of it, talking to my mami (“in-law”, which I nevah call her, ‘cause she’s my mom, yo!)  in the living room while I inhaled the internet’s words. 

edu, me, papa, mami, Carlos (Edu's brother)

My faaavorite meal in Mexico! Beans in their own broth, roasted cactus with veg = tacos!

family picture on our last day!

breakfast, breakfast, freshly made carrot/orange juice, loads of fruit, pecans, raisins
running a steady 10K with Pablo, Edu's brother, sans pregnancy symptoms wahoo!

Two days later, on January 12, 2012, I started to research what my body and the new, wonderful, slightly surprising, growing-baby in my body needs during pregnancy. Edu and I found out we are expecting our first wee-baby some 9 months later, and it was time to crack down on this food business and make sure I wouldn’t lack in any of them good nutrients for baby! Forget mommy, girls, it immediately turns into all about baby… and my every intent was to continue full throttle on the whole-foods plant-based vegan diet. ‘cause fellas, if I can get vegetables into baby now, I have to take advantage of it. Who knows? They may never eat broccoli again once they meet the world. 

What I learned from Google searching:
needs to increase from 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight. Calculate your protein needs by: dividing your body weight into pound by 2.2, giving you your body weight in kg. Multiply your weight by 1.1. this tells you how many grams of protein a day you need (side note: I didn’t actually do this calculation business. I just kept in mind: more protein!)
Good sources of plant protein: vegetables, dark leafy greens especially, legumes, grains, nuts/seeds.
Pay close attention to these nutrients during your pregnancy: iron, protein, calcium, folic acid and B12. And add about 200-300 extra calories a day for a singleton and 500 for twins (holy macaroni! I thought a friend had told me that the 150 extra cals from a glass o’ milk and a PB&J Sammie was all we needed once pregnant?!)
YOUR IRON needs to approximately double because of increased blood volume and the iron needs of the developing fetus. Iron needs during pregnancy increase between 32mg and 49mg a day! Good eats are: legumes, beans, peas, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, seeds. Include Vitamin C: fruits and veggies, which help improve iron absorption. Dairy, tea and coffee can interfere with iron absorption – watch out!
YOUR CALCIUM needs are about the same before and during pregnancy, at least 1000mg/day. Eats: dark leafy greens, seaweeds, nuts and dried fruit! Many foods contain at least some calcium, so plenty of whole foods will contribute to your overall calcium intake.
FOLIC ACID is essentials – deficiency leads to neural tube defects. Vitamin B12 is also necessary for cell replication. Vegan diets tend to be higher in folate than non-veg diets. Still take a prenatal! Eat: asparagus, lentils, hazelnuts, broccoli, barley, beans, walnuts, dark leafy greens, brussel sprouts. 400mcg/day.
YOUR B12 needs are very important, occurs naturally in animal-derived sources. It’s stored in the body; but material sources of B12 do not cross the placenta – so consume mucho B12! Find yourself a daily supplement. Eats: B12 fortified nutritional yeast.

FIRST TRIMESTER: the fetus is about 4 inches long after 3 months, weighing about 1oz, all functions begin to form – organs and nervous system: heartbeat, arms, fingers, legs, toes, hair and teeth buds. Eat about 300 extra calories/day for baby and mommy. About 3-4 pounds weight gain during first trimester. This period is where you can’t necessarily see that you’re pregnant but it is when you feel the most changes (lame! Give me a baby bump, I’m impatient!). *then I read about morning sickness, tender breasts, increased urination, fatigue, food aversions/cravings, dizziness , heartburn and constipation, your mood/emotions, and making an appt with your doctor* hooray! 

Onto the …. PREGNANCY MEAL PLAN! Oh shoot, why did I do this part? Way to set yourself up for first-trimester failure, Nicole. Onto what I wrote…

[AM drink]

2 bananas
4 strawberries
1/3 cup grain
15 almonds
2 TB chia seeds
1 handful parsley
1 date
carrots, cucumber, kiwi, walnuts, raisins, pear, sunflower seeds

grain, bean or legume, veggies
[PM drink]
orange, lemon, kale, apple, ginger, celery

bean, veg, grain

And I decided to calculate all of their nutrients, more or less, based on meals I eat often, hoping to see good numbers at the end of the table (calories, protein, fiber, iron, folic acid, calcium and fat). I am pleased to say I hit a hiiigh amount of calories (what whaaat need my calories, baby!) and protein, and fiber, and everything. But, that was just on a every-morsel-of-food-I-ate-on-my-imaginary-day-in-my-head. 

Dear baby,
Are you getting all the nutrients you really need? Let me know.

Onto… EXERCISE! Regular exercisers can continue their routine based on how they feel throughout pregnancy. No jumping during first months. Keep it around 30 minutes long. Drink a lot of water and don’t let your body overheat. Listen to your body! *insert drawings of very pregnant women doing good-for-ya stretches*

Then there was the mistake of looking at changing my exercise routine since I had a baby in me. This was a big, big mistake. I should have, wish I had, continued by regimen daily, changing it depending on how my body felt. But no, I had to read the following rules and things went downhill (but more details on that another  day):

EXERCISE & PREGNANCY (brought to you by Google): Great for staying fit during pregnancy, benefits during childbirth. GOALS should be maintenance, not dramatic gains. Look for a basic program that focuses on major muscle groups. Maybe enlist personal trainers that have experience with pregnant women and exercise. 
* check with your doctor to make sure it’s okay for you to continue at current pace while pregnant.
* Lighter weights and more reps. Your joints are already loosened by increased levels of the hormone relaxin during pregnancy, so avoid overloading them! Instead of leg press with 30lbs for 8-12 reps, do 15lbs for 15-20 reps.
*don’t do the “valsalva” maneuver – exhaling completely without actually releasing air. It can result in rapid increase in blood pressure and intra-abdominal pressure which decreased oxygen to the baby.
*NO WALKING LUNGES. Risks injury to connective tissue in pelvic area.
*WATCH WEIGHTS that they don’t fall on abdomen. Resistance bands are better/safer than free weights.
*DON’T LIFT WHILE FLAT ON YOUR BACK after the first trimester, which puts pressure on the major vein: vena cava – which diminishes blood flow to brain and uterus. Tilt bench to incline for weight lifting.
*LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you feel muscle strain or extreme fatigue, modify the move.
walking lunges are fine if you already do them regularly
*don’t start a brand new routine, continue what you already know
*3x/week strength training
*3x/week running, jogging, or walking
*seated row with band
*shoulder lateral raisies
*plie squat with chair
*insert drawing on Baby Bells workout below!

Whew. That's enough for post #1 on this baby-in-my-tummy. 

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