Lately, I’ve started posting fun facts about pregnancy and postpartum health on my Instagram page. I don’t want you to miss out on any of these facts, so I’ve decided to post these facts and images on my blog in addition to Instagram.
I hope you enjoy this new series of blogs. If you’re on Instagram, come find me @rockyourhormones 🙂
Interesting, right? We talk about this in the @whole30 Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program (#whole30hmhb). At around 21 weeks, your baby’s taste buds develop. The flavors of food you consume while pregnant show up in the amniotic fluid surrounding your baby. Since your baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid and consumes a few ounces every day, the flavor profile of your diet may influence his/her taste preferences and early memories about food.
There is also research showing flavors from the food mom eats while breastfeeding are secreted into her breastmilk which could also influence baby’s taste preferences.
Recently, there has been talk about a “flavor window” for babies between 4-7 months. Some researchers believe this is the ideal time to introduce a wide variety of flavors to your baby since they are more open to trying different foods.
Here’s my take: As much as possible, focus on consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods during and after your pregnancy. Even if you’re not breastfeeding, you’re still a role model for your child. Having your baby SEE you eat veggies, fruits, healthy fats, and quality proteins is just as important as them tasting the flavors in your milk.
Disclaimer: The first trimester may be a different story, so just do your best with the craziness that can happen. Your baby is not doomed to a life of only wanting bagels, pickles, and ice cream.
Also, I believe it’s important to wait until your baby’s gut is fully mature and they are showing signs of readiness to eat (around 6 months) to start solid food. While you may miss the proposed “flavor window” I think you still have plenty of opportunity to expose him/her to a variety of flavors once they are ready.
Read more about flavors in breastmilk/amniotic fluid here
Read more about the “flavor window” here
Not sure how to figure that out? Take your weight in lbs and divide it by 2.2. That’s your weight in kilograms. Then, take that number and multiple it by 1.1. That’s your recommended daily intake.
Remember that this is a general guideline (RDA), so your needs may be more or less depending on your activity level and a variety of other factors. It’s a guideline, not a hard and fast rule.
And… back to the point… Protein needs increase during pregnancy (from 0.8 g/kg/day to 1.1 g/kg/day) to support your growing baby. Adequate protein is not only important for your baby’s cells and growing body, but also to support your growing body and tissues.
Many women have a natural aversion to protein in the first trimester, so if you’re having a tough time getting ANY food down, be kind to yourself. This is completely normal. Don’t force yourself to eat a steak. Try other options, such as a smoothie with @vitalproteins collagen peptides, scrambled eggs, or organic, grass-fed dairy if that works better for your body. These options tend to be better tolerated during the first trimester.
To make it easy, focus on consuming about 3-4 oz of protein at each meal and a small amount of protein with snacks. This could look like 2-3 eggs for breakfast, 3-4 oz of chicken at lunch, and 3-4 ounces of salmon at dinner.
How does this compare with your current intake?
I typically eat a lot more protein when I’m not pregnant. When I’m pregnant, I focus on eating more healthy fat and fattier cuts of meat to balance things out and provide my baby with plenty of fat-soluble nutrients.