This week Stacey Scarborough, certified Childbirth Educator, Lactation Educator, Labor and Postpartum Doula and Doula trainer through DONA, Int. and L.E.A.N. Coach, shares her top nutrition tips for moms-to-be!
When you found out that you were pregnant, was one of your first thoughts (after, “OH boy, I’m having a baby!”) “Oh goody, I get to eat anything I want for the next 9 months!”???
It’s not uncommon for expecting women to think that pregnancy gives them license to eat as much as they want because they are ‘eating for two’. In the last few months, there has been a noticable shift in the thinking of how much and the type of food you are eating. The awareness that you are now eating for your growing child should be the first thought in your mind as you decide what to eat, not “I get to eat whatever I want”. We are seeing the signs of proper nutrition all around: from nutritional guidelines in the super markets, to Michelle Obama promoting breastfeeding as the best choice for our growing babies.
I am recently certified as a L.E.A.N. Coach. What is “L.E.A.N.”? It is a program based upon scientific research and designed by Dr. William Sears, “America’s pediatrician”. The letters L.E.A.N. stand for Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition. These four areas work together to make families healthier-at any age and any stage of life. L.E.A.N. means understanding and living a healthy, active lifestyle. Now more than at any time of a woman’s life, she should become L.E.A.N.
The average weight gain for a pregnant woman is between 25-35 pounds and 35-45 pounds if carrying multiple babies. But it is not just how much you can eat. A pregnant woman needs to remember that whatever she eats her baby is getting also, so the better the nutritional value of her food, the healthier the baby will be in utero. Moms-to- be who practice L.E.A.N.:
- Make lifestyle choice that protect their babies and give them the best possible start in life.
- Gain the right amount of weight by eating the right kinds of nutrient-dense foods and avoid foods that are high in saturated or trans-fats and sugar.
- Take care of their minds and bodies through exercise
- Pass L.E.A.N. principles on to their children.
So what are some of the concepts of a LEAN lifestyle and how can you get started?
Dr. Sears feels that the USDA Food Pyramid focuses too much on the quantity of food, and his program specifically addresses and focuses on the quality of food. His method of teaching about this is called “Traffic Light Eating” and is a simple, easy way to remember how to choose wisely. Classes are available that will provide you with tools to help you make good choices as you are shopping and eating. L.E.A.N. coaches teach this concept of Traffic Light Eating:
Green Light Foods are GO foods: eat as much and as often as you would like: all grown, not manufactured, and include all and any vegetables and fruits.
Yellow Light Foods mean SLOW DOWN : these foods make up the bulk of what helps to comprise a balance of nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, and means to eat these every day, but not too much.
Red Light Foods are STOP and THINK: these are foods that should be avoided by making a healthier choice and these include foods high in fats, sugar, hydrogenated oils, eg: cookies, candy, fatty meats, white bread, etc.
Along with nutrition information for a growing baby and healthier children, the classes also focus on ways to get the kids moving, instead of sitting so much. With the growing obesity rate in our country, it is important for parents to set a proper example of ways to get active and incorporate exercise, or how we like to call it: PLAY in to the everyday life.
Having the proper attitude is important also. Parents who live a healthy lifestyle of activity and good nutrition will feel better, be happier and allow their bodies to work in the most efficient state, which will allow for an easier delivery, faster recovery, and healthier babies that will grow into healthier adults! One of the best gifts you can give to your children!
For more information on where to find a LEAN Coach and classes in your area, please refer to www.drsearslean.com
Stacey Scarborough is a certified Childbirth Educator, Lactation Educator, Labor and Postpartum Doula and a Doula trainer through DONA, Int. She recently completed her certification as a L.E.A.N. Coach and is excited to teach expectant and new parents about the L.E.A.N. program in San Diego and Southern California. She can be contacted at email@example.com and her website is http://www.preparingtheparents.org
What have your nutritional struggles been? How are you supported in this?