How Diet Habits Change During Pregnancy

It’s easy to make fun of the “pregnancy cravings” which often lead to bizarre (or to put it more nicely ‘interesting’) flavor combinations in the food we choose to eat. Of course, there’s a fair amount of leeway to be given here – try to grow a brand new human being yourself, however natural it is, and you’ll see that yes, it does have an effect.

But while we poke light and harmless fun at these changes, if temporary behaviors can bring joy to many, it’s worth considering what’s actually happening here. After all, alternative cravings or preferences aren’t exactly a health issue like itchy skin during pregnancy, provided you’re getting a balanced diet with enough nutrients and steering well clear of alcohol and other vices.

By learning of how our diet habits can change during pregnancy, you can develop better habits or help repeat the good ones that help you sustain yourself over the course of this quite unique period of your life. While exploring these changes, we also intend to give some worthwhile dietary advice for expectant mothers, and we hope such insights help: 

Increased Nutrient Requirements

Pregnancy places greater demands on the body, as it needs to provide nourishment and support for both the mother and the growing baby, and for a prolonged period of three-quarters of a year. As a result, there is an increased need for various nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients such as protein and carbohydrates. A balanced diet becomes paramount to meet these elevated nutrient requirements, but you should also be very careful regarding supplementation. 

Some supplements simply aren’t acceptable for pregnant mothers, while some may offer similar vitamin counts, so for instance taking a multivitamin and an additional essential vitamin on top of that could take you above the daily recommended allowance you should be aiming for. On top of that, certain nutrients are key for pregnancy, such as folic acid, iron, calcium and omega-3. It’s important to note that some companies put out great prenatal supplements to make sure you have everything to hand at once. In the long run, that can make a great deal of positive difference.

These can help your unborn child through helping to combat conditions like anemia and support bone development. In the long run, this will help you gain the best chance of offering optimal health to your child, while also helping you deal with the rigors of pregnancy more easily. So, to put it simply, diet habits not only change during this time, but those habits must be precisely and consciously considered.

Hydration Importance

We all know we need to drink a good amount of water each day, but in pregnancy, that becomes a non-negotiable consideration. It’s also important to be careful when drinking caffeine through teas as a max limit of 200mg is recommended to expecting mothers, as any more has been linked to issues like low birth weight.

Moreover, staying well-hydrated is critical during pregnancy. Water is essential for maintaining amniotic fluid, regulating body temperature, and aiding digestion – no doubt you can agree all of these are essential priorities. It also helps prevent urinary tract infections, which can be more common during pregnancy. Pregnant women should aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, then, equalling roughly 64 to 96 ounces, or roughly 8 to 12 standard-size cups worth.

Managing Nausea and Cravings

Most pregnant women experience these two difficulties as their body is taxed during pregnancy. While they might not completely dissipate, they can be managed. Managing morning sickness through dietary adjustments, such as consuming bland, easy-to-digest foods, can help alleviate discomfort. Likewise, understanding and satisfying cravings within reason is a normal part of the pregnancy journey, so don’t feel ashamed if you’re suddenly extremely attracted to the idea of eating pickled foods between two layers of wholemeal toast and hummus – you may balk at the idea later, but as of now, it may be the recipe you most dream about. 

A quick Google to see if a certain combination is safe to eat can always be helpful, but make sure you’re still satisfying your cravings in a considered manner, and if your partner pokes fun at you for it, remember that you’re carrying their child to begin with, and you deserve a little slack.

Weight Gain Considerations

Weight gain is absolutely an expected and necessary part of pregnancy for obvious reasons, and in some cases, you may grow extra fat as part of that, outside of carrying an unborn child. Healthy weight gain is essential, and it’s not solely about quantity but the quality of the calories consumed. 

It’s also important to remember that no two women will come through pregnancy the exact same way. If you’re a little larger after your pregnancy than you had expected, that’s absolutely fine, adn you can always focus on weight loss later down the line. In other words, unless this presents itself as a problem and you’re given recommendations by your doctor to change your habits, don’t worry about your figure during this time. You have much more important priorities to worry about.

Safe Food Handling

Pregnant women are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses, which can be harmful to the baby. Safe food handling practices, including thorough cooking and avoiding certain high-risk foods, are critical to prevent possible sicknesses and other dangers.

In other words, you may be ultra careful about eating in new locations, especially when on vacation. You can also invest in certain helpers in the kitchen like temperature thermometers that pierce the meat and can tell you the exact internal temperature, for example in chicken the same temperature is 165 Fahrenheit to kill any harmful bacteria that could lead to potential sickness.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily understand how diet habits change during pregnancy, and also never feel like an outlier if you pick up some quirky habits of your own along the way. It’s perfectly natural, and we’re sure you’ll keep up with your great diet as you wait for the arrival of your little one. Good luck!

First Trimester Journey: Pregnant during COVID

Last week, we announced that I’m pregnant and Team Arbo is expecting our little one this 2021. The baby is due anytime end of September to early October. Today, I’ll share with you my first trimester journey!

My first trimester journey

We have really been planning to have another baby. Zeeka turned 8 this year and I think since two years ago, we’ve really been thinking about it. But every time, I would feel that we weren’t ready (or maybe it was just me). Then 2020 came, Zeeka turned 7 just right about before lockdown in Metro Manila happened. Then, again, we thought or I thought, I wasn’t ready, especially given the situation. Until one day, I realized that we won’t always be ready. We will never be ready.

Finding out I was Pregnant

Since we were “planning”, I started taking folic acid since middle of 2020. February 2021, I noticed some changes in the way I was feeling. I missed my period this month so as soon as I missed it, I took a home pregnancy test. Lo and behold, it came out positive! I remember placing it in and envelope and after EJ’s meeting, I handed it over to him right before our lunch break. He opened it and his eyes sparkled! haha! I knew that EJ was waiting for this moment, too. We both wanted to have around 2-3 kids.

My First Trimester Journey

Oh my gosh! I remembered my pregnancy with Zeeka to be a walk in the park. I didn’t have any morning sickness during my first pregnancy. I was glowing and radiant! But for this pregnancy, I felt horrible! I felt nauseous every single minute of the day. I would listen during meetings, but oftentimes, I would feel like vomiting so I’d stop mid-sentence sometimes while talking. What helped me a lot were Ginger candy. I didn’t have much appetite for anything really. These Ginger candies would sustain me all throughout the day.

I never forgot to drink lots of water though and coconut juice as advised by my doctor. During the early months of my first trimester, I knew that I was dehydrated so I really made sure to drink 2 liters of water a day (even if I felt a little bit bloated because of the amount of water).

Obviously, exercising with gusto was out of the question. I would walk back and forth here at home. I think I need to do more walking though now that I’m in the early days of my second quarter.

Check – ups and Blood Tests

I had online check-ups with my obstetrician. She said that that will suffice for now, and I would have a teleconsult with her after having any tests done like my transvaginal ultrasounds or blood tests. So during these times (of COVID-19), it may be best to have tele-consults first with your doctor unless you’re experiencing bleeding, or if you feel that something’s wrong.

For blood tests and urinalysis, I would call Hi- Precision Diagnostics to do home service. The first tests that my doctor had me take are FBS, CBC, urinalysis, HbsAg, VDRL, HIV 1 and 2. The tests cost me around close to Php 3000 for all of these.

As for the Transvaginal Ultrasound, I had it in In My Womb. My doctor said it was better to go to these specialized clinics first rather than take it in hospital at this point in time when cases of COVID in our country is still high. A TVS in In my Womb costs around Php 2700. In In My Womb, they make sure that you follow protocols. I have a history of having Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) so I had to mention that to them.

In the first trimester, I got a transvaginal ultrasound on eh 6th and 8th (or was it 9th week?). The reason why was the heartbeat is best detected during the 8th or 9th week. Although, the doctor saw the heartbeat during both transvaginal ultrasounds. I’m telling you this so that you don’t worry also when they mention that it’s too early to see any heartbeat. I was actually due for another ultrasound during the 12th week, but I’m scared to go out of the house.

My doctor said it’s fine and to start practicing using a doppler. We bought a doppler a long time ago during my pregnancy with Zeeka. I also bought my neighbors’ doppler recently because ours was broken. You can also buy one from Lazada. This is the link to the doppler that we use now.

Reminders for your First Trimester Journey

For the first trimester, the priority is really taking care of yourself. If you have good health, your baby will have good health, too. When you plan to leave the house for any check ups, put on a mask and face shield at home and just only remove these again when you return. Try not to touch your mask or face shield anywhere or anytime outside of the house. This was an advise that I really take to heart. Even in the car, I don’t touch or take off my mask and face shield (even if we use our own car).

I also use those Ionizers that I hang around my neck. I use an ionizer that my parents gave. You can get it also from Lazada and here is the link to the ionizer that I use.

Inside the house, we have an air purifier, too, that we place near the entrance hallway of our condo. We have the one from Xiaomi and I think it works pretty well. Here is the link to the Xiaomi Air Purifier we have at home. I really wanted to have those heavy duty ones so I’m still saving up for those. This air purifier approximately worth Php 7000 will do.

During the first trimester, aside from folic acid, I haven’t been taking other vitamins since my doctor said that vitamins and even maternal milk can make you more nauseous. True enough! I felt queasy after trying to take one cup of milk and drinking vitamin C (on separate occasions). Now that I feel better, I started taking maternal milk.

So there, that’s it for my first trimester journey. If you have something to share about your experience during your own first trimester journey or if you have any questions, feel free to message me! I’ll be glad to answer and chat with you. If you are pregnant and reading this, congratulations! 🙂 This will be an exciting journey!

P.S. Here are some of the other posts in this blog that you might be interested in

Get Set Up for a New Baby – When You Don’t Have Much Time

I have a lot of friends who are pregnant during these times. And, a lot of them have questions on how to get set up for a new baby.

When you find out that you’re pregnant, you usually have a fair amount of time to get ready for the arrival for your baby. However, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes you’re already far into your pregnancy before you realize that you have an impending arrival. There are several reasons this might happen especially during these times when there are a lot of things to think about and do. The most important thing is what you’re going to do after receiving the news. If you only have a limited amount of time to get ready, maybe only a couple of months or even weeks, you might be panicking about getting everything that you need. You might be short on time, but you can still take the steps that you need to get set up for a new baby.

Photo by Paul Lin on Unsplash

Make a List of Essentials

One of the secrets of having a newborn is that they actually don’t need a lot of stuff. Of course, there are plenty of different gadgets and products that can come in handy when you have a baby. However, there are very few things that are really vital to have. The items that should be on your list of essentials include diapers, clothes, somewhere for your baby to sleep and things for keeping your baby clean. I made a list of the things that you need to bring to the hospital so you’re prepared. Check it out here: https://mommyginger.com/packing-things-for-the-hospital.html

I actually exclusively breastfed and used the bottle that I bought for storage. You can also result to bottle-feeding when you feel stressed out (do try to breastfeed though if possible). Either way is fine.

For the next step up, you might be thinking about items like a stroller, car seat or baby carrier/sling. My personal advice for this is only get it when the baby’s there. Some babies are choosy (like my daughter! LOL!). Decide what you really need – and consider asking for help from friends and family to stock up on essentials.

Decorate the Nursery

In truth, getting a nursery ready for a newborn doesn’t have to be a priority. Your baby could sleep in a Moses basket or crib by your bed for the first few months. They can also co-sleep with you. Some parents also believe that putting your baby to sleep in their own room can be a good idea too. You won’t have to worry about waking up your baby when you go to bed yourself. If you only have a small room to use as a nursery, take a look at some nursery ideas for small spaces. By keeping things small, you can also save money, and it could take you less time to get set up. If you want to paint the room and have the baby sleep in it, do it ASAP. You’ll need to let the paint dry and air it out to ensure it’s safe.

Check out my article on when we created Zeeka’s Nursery room.

Arrange Time Off (and Childcare)

Sorting out your maternity leave needs to be a priority if you’ve found out that you’re pregnant a little later than usual. How much time are you able to take off work? How much time do you want to take off work? Your first time at home with your baby is precious, and you will also need time to recover after your baby is born. If you need to get back to work fairly quickly, you will also need to look into childcare options. Even if most of us work from home, an extra set of hands will go a long way.

Take a Look at Your Finances

It’s normal to wonder if you can afford to have a baby, especially if your pregnancy might not have been planned. It might be a good idea to take a look at your finances and work out what you can afford. A newborn baby doesn’t have to be too expensive, although children do tend to get more expensive as they get older.

Here is a video on Managing Personal Finances.

Set Up Some Workstations

When you’re getting your home ready for a baby, consider the different tasks you will be doing day-to-day. Set up some different stations for doing various tasks, such as feeding, changing, preparing bottles, and more. You can organize everything so that it’s easy to reach for what you need when you need it. It might not always be easy to keep things neat and tidy, but you can create some order.

Think About Safety

Safety is also an important thing to think about when you’re getting ready for a baby. If you want to prioritize safety, don’t worry too much about “babyproofing” the house just yet. Your newborn won’t be moving around for a while, so you don’t have to worry about bumping heads of table corners or anything like that. However, you will probably want to focus on things like getting a safe car seat, choosing the right bedding, and buying a safe stroller.

Here is a safe detergent that you can use, as well.

Even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can still get set up for a new baby. It might seem like you have a lot to do, but there might not be as much as you think.

If you have other tips, feel free to comment on the section below. By the way, Expo Mom 2020 will be held this August. Hope you can buy tickets and shop online: https://expomom.com/#tickets

Have a great day!

Preparing for Pregnancy

Hey there, pretty pregnant mommas! It’s that time of the year again! Manila Workshops will hold a 4 part workshop series on preparing for pregnancy and for parenting! This will be the 4th and final run for this year, and the workshops seem to get bigger and better every time! This series of workshops is in collaboration with our friends from The Parenting Emporium.

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First Time Parents workshop series is one of the most successful workshop series of Manila Workshops. We have been offering this workshop series since 2013. This is designed to help expectant parents to prepare for the coming of the baby; However, we also do invite singles, relatives and caregivers to attend too!

These are the different topics that we have!

October 15, 2016 (9AM-12NN) – What to Know Before Giving Birth (OB Check-ups and Pregnancy Nutrition)
October 15, 2016 (2PM-5PM) – Preparing for Delivery Day/Newborn Care (Delivery Options, Newborn Care)
November 12, 2016 (9AM-12NN) – All About Breastfeeding
November 12, 2016 (1PM-5PM) – Baby and Toddler Nutrition and Care

Get a better deal when you sign up for 4 workshops!

Individual Rate show details + P600.00 (PHP)
Couple Rate (one workshop) show details + P1,000.00 (PHP)
Couple Rate (attending 2 workshops) show details + P1,750.00 (PHP)
Couple Rate (attending 3 workshops) show details + P2,400.00 (PHP)
Couple Rate (attending 4 workshops) show details + P3,200.00 (PHP)

REGISTER NOW

This event is supported by StemCord Philippines, Cetaphil Philippines, Mamachows, Beginnings, Pampers, VPharma, Cradle/Cycles.

Hope to see you soon!

Pregnancy Tips from Mommy Ginger at the First Time Parents Workshop on Saturday

For those who know me, I’m really madaldal (talkative) ha especially when we become close. I also love it when we talk about children, business or money and earning money (lol!). As you all know, I hardly agree to speak in our own workshops. I would rather stay in the background and oversee these events and let my workshop directors take the lead and the guest speakers to take the center stage.

But believe it or not, I agreed to be a speaker for this Saturday’s Preparing for Baby’s Birthday for the First Time Parents Workshop which is brought to you by Manila Workshops and Best For Families Inc. I agreed because I wanted to share my own experiences and tips on preparing for your child’s birth day and preparing for your own pregnancy. labor and delivery.

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I think it’s different when you hear it from a real mom. A lot of workshops have doctors as guest speakers (which we will have, too, on Saturday), but seldom have moms like them who can talk to them on a personal level. I will also discuss mostly how we prepared financially for this part of our lives, so daddies, this might be interesting for you, too!

To those who are interested in signing up, feel free to sign up using this form:

What are your questions about pregnancy? What would you want to ask a fellow mom like you about pregnancy and labor and preparing financially? Feel free to leave a comment below!