By Kate Horney
How far along? 16 Weeks, 2 days
Maternity clothes? Unbuttoned jeans, dresses & leggings are serving me well for the moment. Gonna see how long we can make this work…
Best moment this week: Cooking/smelling chicken & NOT gagging during meal prep- AMAZING!. After 4 months I think the food aversions have finally passed. Welcome back, chicken!
Miss Anything? This is such a sweet time during the pregnancy. Overall, I’m still relatively comfortable- feeling great and enjoying every second.
Movement: Little flutters on and off… but I’m looking forward to those full blow kicks (and yes, even punches in the ribs).
Food cravings: I’m wondering if Baby H #2 is coming to come out looking like a berry. Blueberries & strawberries in my morning oat bran never get old. Also loving big salads (yay, chicken is back!) and protein pancakes.
Gender prediction: Pretty soon it won’t be a guess! But for now, I’m going with girl.
Looking forward to: Starting the quest for the perfect name…. less than 3 weeks until baby H #2 makes his/her big gender reveal!
Biggest Struggle: Anemia! While it’s normal to have mild anemia while you’re pregnant, it’s still not fun to be low on energy.
Blood tests confirmed this week that I do have anemia- a common condition in which your body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues and to your baby.
During pregnancy, your body produces more blood to support the growth of your baby (YAY!) but if your body does not get enough iron or is not producing enough red blood says…
This can leave you feeling tired and weak.
Solution: If you’re not getting enough iron or certain other nutrients, your body might not be able to produce the amount of red blood cells it needs to make this additional blood.
In the early stages of anemia (which is where I am right now) you may not have obvious symptoms aside from being tired…. and let’s face it, that’s something that you might have while pregnant even if you’re not anemic. So first and foremost, it’s important to get routine blood tests to check for anemia at your prenatal appointments.
If you are anemic during your pregnancy, you may need to start taking an iron supplement and/or folic acid supplement in addition to your prenatal vitamins. Your doctor may also suggest that you add more foods that are high in iron and folic acid to your diet. And of course, you’ll want follow your doctor’s instructions for taking a prenatal vitamin that contains a sufficient amount of iron and folic acid.
Thankfully, with a few minor nutritional adjustments, you can still sail through the second half of your pregnancy…
With no harm done to you or your baby-to-be….
4 Tips to Help with Pregnancy Anemia
Tip 1: Take a quality prenatal supplement!- Although there are plenty of ways to get iron from the foods you eat, it’s always good to have extra insurance when it comes to this vital nutrient. Most women take a prenatal supplement, but some never think to check and make sure it contains iron.
Tip 2: Eat iron rich foods!- There are lots of other iron-rich foods you can pump your diet up with, including lean beef or buffalo, duck, cooked dried beans, oat bran, and more…
To help with my anemia during pregnancy, I’m taking prenatal vitamins and am also making sure to get enough iron by adding more foods that are high in iron into my diet.
Aim for at least three servings a day of iron-rich foods, such as:
- lean red meat, poultry, and fish
- leafy, dark green vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, and kale)
- beans, lentils
- nuts and seeds
Tip 3. Watch your caffeine!- You know how much I love coffee… but it does dash the effects of iron. If you wash down that iron-rich steak with a caffeinated soda (or that healthy breakfast with an extra large, second cup of coffee), you’re reducing the amount of iron that gets absorbed into your system. 1 or 2 cups of normal sized cups of coffee per day is fine, but make sure you’re being mindful of your intake.
Tip 4. Put vitamin C to work!- Vitamin C is iron’s best bud, since it’s well known to improve iron absorption. Because foods that are high in vitamin C can help your body absorb more iron, I’m focusing on pairing the list above with some of the following:
- citrus fruits (think WHOLE fruit over just the juice for the added fiber benefits)
- bell peppers
Try eating those foods at the same time that you eat iron-rich foods. For example, you could have some strawberries or an orange and with some eggs and spinach/kale for breakfast.
P.S. Are you a fellow pregnant mama?
Don’t fall into the “eating saltine crackers on the couch” trap!
Your baby is a REASON to make a healthy choices priority… not an excuse for why you can’t!
If you’re not sure where to start, join us over at the BeyondFit Life Clubwhere I upload all of my personal workouts (100% safe during pregnancy) and share all the best fit mom recipes, tips & tricks!