Thanks to this information, I went through my pregnancy complication-free and recently gave birth to my gorgeous son. Before my pregnancy, I researched the proper nutrition to keep my baby and me very healthy. It’s been six weeks since I gave birth, and I am getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Here are four of the best healthy pregnancy diet tips that I discovered.
I first heard about it in my current childbirth class: The Louwen Diet! A diet just before giving birth? That sounded like something that would take some getting used to (and not fun) at first. But the benefits of the Louwen Diet seem to have already convinced many midwives and mamas-to-be that it’s worth changing your diet one more time eight weeks before giving birth.
At the thought of the impending birth, at least mamas break out in jubilation and excitement. Of course, we all look forward to our babies, but to the delivery itself? Rather not. So when someone comes along and tells us that we can have a faster and easier birth with a change of diet, we like to listen more closely.
The Louwen Diet, named after the physician and head of the independent functional department of obstetrics and prenatal medicine at the University of Frankfurt Prof. Dr. Frank Louwen, is recommended to pregnant women in the last six to eight weeks of pregnancy. Between the 32nd SSW and the 34th SSW, it is advised to avoid certain carbohydrates and sugars.
The Louwen Diet is not a diet in the classic sense of losing weight but a change in diet to a diet based on the glycemic principle. According to the glycemic index, one tries to avoid all foods that cause the insulin level to rise sharply.
The theory behind a glycemic index diet is as follows: Certain foods such as sugar and very high carbohydrate foods from various grains (bread, pasta, rice, corn, etc.) and certain fruits and vegetables cause our blood sugar levels to rise very quickly and result in increased insulin secretion. By the way, our body is not very precise regarding insulin secretion and likes to produce a little too much of a good thing. In the long run, this can have negative consequences for health and lead, for example, to type 2 diabetes and obesity.
When you read what benefits the Louwen Diet is supposed to bring for the birth, you quickly understand why many pregnant women are so interested in the dietary change (whether they then implement it 100% in everyday life is another matter):
To understand the effects of the Louwen Diet on the body of pregnant women just before birth, you need to look a little closer:
In the weeks before birth, the body produces more prostaglandin hormones. This is involved in inflammatory and pain reactions and provides an essential signal for triggering labor. When prostaglandin attaches to the receptors in the tissue of the cervix, it causes it to soften and the cervix to mature.
And now insulin comes into play again. Insulin, the regulator of our blood sugar level, docks onto the same receptors as the hormone prostaglandins. Suppose the docking stations in our body, especially our uterus, are already occupied by insulin due to a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates. In that case, the prostaglandins can no longer dock to work on the cervix and promote labor. In short, too much insulin inhibits prostaglandins’ action, which in turn can delay the natural birth process and strengthen labor pain.
You should also avoid sugar of any kind – except fructose from fruits. But again, only fruits that naturally have a somewhat low fructose content and thus do not have such a strong effect on insulin levels are allowed. Feasting on dates for the 6-dates-a-day trick, which is also supposed to make for an easier delivery, is also allowed.
Those who have no pre-existing conditions and do not suffer from an eating disorder can follow the Louwen diet during pregnancy without any problems. Nevertheless, it is advisable to talk to your midwife or gynecologist about the planned diet according to the Louwen Diet before changing your diet.
Healthy pregnant diet tip number two is about two essential supplements. First, omega 3 fats are prenatal supplementation that can help your baby even after being born.. Science has proven that infants born to mothers who had higher DHA levels in their system had an advantage over children who did not.
You can get Omega 3’s from eating beans, flaxseed, walnuts, and wild fish (not farm-raised). Iron is essential because it makes your blood carry more oxygen through your body. The thing about Iron is that most women are naturally deficient in it. You need to make sure that you get at least 30-50 mg every day. Your unborn baby depends on you to get enough Iron to help him construct his red blood cells. Foods containing iron are lentils, natural beef, beans, pumpkin seeds, and green veggies.
Healthy pregnant diet tip number three is about consuming sugars while pregnant. First, let’s talk about substitutes like aspartame, saccharin, and Splenda. Stay away from all of these. They are all engineered chemicals that are not natural or healthy for you or your baby. If you are using raw sugar or Agave syrup, you are doing good. If not, then you are using refined sugars. Refined sugar is unhealthy for everyone, as it can cause tooth decay, gum disease, excess, and rapid weight gain as well can reduce your body’s immunity. Keeping your blood sugars regular will also help keep away from gestational diabetes and keep your pancreas operating correctly.
Healthy pregnant diet tip number four is about getting enough exercise while pregnant. Training is critical to your body and can help keep away many pregnancy symptoms like fatigue and mood swings. Trust me, I know that when you are super tired, the last thing you think you can do is exercise…but trust me, you will be happy you did once you get started.
Getting 4 to 5 days of exercise every week will significantly improve how good you sleep and make you feel a lot better during the day. Exercising while you are pregnant is imperative to help get your blood flowing to your baby and is also an excellent stress reliever. I hope these healthy pregnancy diet tips are helpful for you.
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