During pregnancy, women tend to be more aware of how they nourish themselves. What you eat in pregnancy goes right to the baby – this is a real responsibility!
One of the big concerns for many women is how to get enough protein in their diet. Here are a few tips for vegetarian sources of protein:
- Protein shakes: blend protein powder, nuts, fruit, and soy/rice/almond milk. Add wheat germ for extra iron. Add almond oil for your stretching skin.
- Top salads with: nuts, wheat germ, tofu, olives, avocado, coconut, bean sprouts, sunflower seeds, broccoli, ground sesame seeds.
- Sandwich ideas: Tahini/sprouts/tomato/avocado, mashed cooked beans/lettuce/bell pepper/pitted olives, tofu/pesto, baked tofu/sprouts/tomato/nut butter, nut butter/jam.
- Snack ideas: vegetable sticks with hummous, apple slices with nut butter or tahini.
For further information about a vegetarian diet in pregnancy, try ‘Your Vegetarian Pregnancy: A month-by-month guide to health and nutrition’ by Dr Holly Roberts (Board-Certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist).
Check out www.reason2.be for a wonderful organic fruit and vegetable delivery service. They even do a ‘Baby Bio’ option for when your baby is eating solid foods.
Beautiful, Bountiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation (by Gurmukh)
I can’t recommend this book enough – it is by my teacher, Gurmukh, and each time I re-read it, I find more inspiration.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (by Ina May Gaskin)
Written by the well-known American midwife, the case studies of various births make this a compelling read. Also useful for details about what happens to your body during labour and birth.
Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A holistic guide to pregnancy (by Deepak Chopra)
This beautiful book provides a spiritual view of pregnancy. Also included are excellent meditations, exercises and advice.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering (by Sarah Buckley)
Written by a medical doctor, this book so informative – it is a fascinating presentation of natural childbirth and parenting decisions.
Birthing from Within (by Pam England and Bob Horowitz)
A new perspective on childbirth education, definitely worth a read.
Birth and Breastfeeding: Rediscovering the needs of women during pregnancy and childbirth (by Michel Odent)
The Secret Life of the Unborn Child: A remarkable and controversial look at life before birth (by Thomas Verny and John Kelly)
Did you know…?
- After the birth, breastfeeding encourages normal contractions that help to return the mother’s uterus to its pre-pregnant state.
- Formula has between 25 and 45 ingredients, while breastmilk has over 200 ingredients.
- Breastmilk is a living food, full of immune-benefitting components. At one year of age, when babies are exploring their environment more, breastmilk has more immune boosting components.
- Breastfed babies only eat as much as they need.
- Breastmilk is sterile: it can be used for treating pink-eye, diaper rash, cradle cap, and minor cuts. Rub it onto your nipples if they are cracked and sore.
- Breastfeeding triggers the release of oxytocin, which creates a heightened feeling of relaxation in the mother and the baby.
Before your baby is born, try a visualisation technique for successful breastfeeding:
Keep in mind that breastfeeding is a skill that needs to be learned – if you need some support, there is help available in Brussels:
The La Leche League has a branch in Belgium. The site is www.lllbelgique.org
Breastfeeding (and bottle feeding) support can also be found through volunteers at the Brussels Childbirth Trust (www.bctbelgium.com)
Rue Saint-Quentin 36-38, Schuman area, 1000 Brussels
Pierebeekstraat 13A, 2610 Wilrijk, Antwerp