Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Protein Intake During Pregnancy

As you can probably guess, pregnant women need extra protein, too. Proteins are considered the building blocks of the human body.

The body uses proteins to function normally and to produce living tissue. You see, the body is in a constant state of growth and repair.

The body needs raw materials to regenerate itself and thus, there is a need for a variety of nutrients including protein. Inadequate amounts of protein in a person’s daily diet can result in a variety of health problems. In pregnant women, protein is necessary for the following biochemical processes:

Growth of the fetus inside the womb

Proper and adequate development of the placenta

Production of adequate amniotic fluid

Production of additional blood, which the mother and the infant both need

Growth and repair of other living tissues

The need for additional dietary protein increases after the first three months of pregnancy.

If protein intake is insufficient during the whole pregnancy, you can expect the child to have a low birth weight. Women usually require a 54% increase in protein in their diet after the first three months of pregnancy.

Obesity after pregnancy

The child also gains the risk for obesity if the mother becomes obese during pregnancy

Women who are underweight or have not received adequate nutrition during pregnancy are at risk for the following conditions:

Problems with intrauterine development during pregnancy

Infant may be found to be underweight upon delivery

When a pregnant woman has intrauterine development problems, there is an increased risk of the child developing the following health problems later on:


High blood pressure

Cardiovascular problems

Inability to tolerate glucose

Type-2 diabetes

Should Women Try To Gain Weight During Pregnancy?

There’s an old belief that every pregnant woman should gain weight during pregnancy because the weight gain helps the pregnancy along. Well, it appears that this old saying has some kernel of truth in it.

According to medical studies, women who have normal weight can safely put on up to 15.9 kilograms without posing any risks to themselves. In fact, the weight gain is to be expected and may even be beneficial to the pregnant woman.

Within the first three months of pregnancy, a woman with normal weight and BMI can put on up to four pounds without harming herself or the baby.

Half a pound of weight gain should be expected every week after the third month. The weight gain will occur if the additional calories (300 calories to be exact) are supplied in the pregnant woman’s diet. What about underweight women?

If your doctor says that you are underweight, a slightly higher weight gain is recommended. You need to put on around 12.7 kilograms to 18.1 kilograms during the pregnancy.

If the pregnant woman is overweight, then the weight gain is slightly curbed. Overweight women should put on no more than 11.3 kilograms of additional body weight during pregnancy.

It should be noted that additional weight during pregnancy can actually improve the chances of delivering a baby on time (full term). Studies indicate that there is some correlation between not putting on weight during pregnancy and delivering babies prematurely.

It should also be noted that there is a big difference between caloric requirements and nutrient requirements. As we saw in the table earlier, pregnant women need increased amounts of trace nutrients and micro nutrients.

These essential nutrients can be supplied by adding variety to a woman’s diet and by including specific food items rich in the necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.

The additional calories, on the other hand, can be supplied easily by giving the pregnant women regular food items such as sandwiches and dairy products (for example, milk or yogurt).

A single glass of milk can supply as much as 450 calories – enough to provide sufficient extra calories for the day.

Now, let us be clear on one thing when it comes to energy expenditure during pregnancy: when a person weighs more, that person typically requires more energy to accomplish tasks.

So if a woman was 65 kilograms before getting pregnant, a weight gain of 11 kilograms means that her heart and lungs have to work harder to produce desired outcomes during physical activities.

Since there is more tissue to support, the body requires more energy to burn. The extra calories will provide the necessary boost to the body during pregnancy.

However, we are also trying to avoid excessive weight gain because that, too, will harm the pregnant woman.

It can be a tough balancing act sometimes, but always keep in mind that we should try our best to avoid the two harmful extremes related to eating during pregnancy: excessive caloric intake and insufficient caloric intake.

Both extremes can have disastrous effects on the pregnant woman and on her unborn child. When a pregnant woman gains too much weight during pregnancy, she is at risk for the following conditions:

Diabetes during pregnancy (also known as gestation diabetes)

Dystocia of the shoulders (this happens during delivery; it is a complication of being overweight)

Delivery via cesarean section (overweight women tend to have overweight babies; if a baby becomes too big for a normal vaginal delivery, a C-section will be necessary to safely deliver the infant)

Breastfeeding problems (i.e. the mother has trouble breastfeeding her child)

General Caloric Adjustments

According to studies, it’s estimated that women need an extra 85,000 calories during the entire nine months of pregnancy.

If we divide this figure by the number of days of an average pregnancy, we arrive at an average daily caloric requirement of 300. So that means women typically need an extra 300 calories every day to healthily sustain the biochemical processes taking place inside their bodies.

As you can see from the computation, the extra caloric requirement is not big, and no pregnant woman should overeat just because she learns that she needs a few extra calories.

300 calories, if derived from common food items available in an average American home, can be acquired in one or two servings of carbohydrate- or protein-filled food. Most food items (especially those involving dairy products, breads, and meats) can easily amount to 300 calories or more.

So let this be a reminder to husbands everywhere: don’t let your pregnant wives overeat just because they need extra calories.

Watch the quality of the food that the pregnant woman is eating, too. 300 calories from light salads and whole grain breads is much better than 300 calories derived from French fries or a regular beef burger with cheese.

The numbers might be identical, but the quality of the food isn’t. Pregnant or not, no person should be accustomed to eating junk food on a daily basis.

Whole foods (cooked at home) are always better than pre-processed and pre-packaged food items bought from stores.

Research suggests that a modest increase in caloric intake becomes necessary only after the first three months of pregnancy. When the fourth month of pregnancy rolls in, that’s when the female body experiences an increase in its metabolic rate.

The body uses and requires more energy, and those calories need to be supplied quickly and on a daily basis so that the body doesn’t have to resort to consuming reserve nutrients just to cope with the sudden increase in the metabolic rate.

Nutrient Table for Pregnant Women

The following table shows the recommended increases of macro nutrients and micro nutrients during pregnancy. The second column shows the regular RDA of a specific nutrient while the next column will show if there is any need to increase the nutrient during pregnancy. The last column will reveal the percentile change in the woman’s dietary requirement of the various nutrients.

Nutrients & Minerals

Recommended Daily Allowance for Non-Pregnant Women

Recommended Daily Allowance for Pregnant Women

Percentile Increase






130 grams

175 grams


Dietary fiber

25 grams

28 grams



46 grams

71 grams


n-6 PUFA

12 grams

13 grams


n-3 PUFA

1.1 grams

1.4 grams



1,100 mg

1,100 mg



700 mg

700 mg



25 mcg

30 mcg



150 mcg

220 mcg



18 mg

27 mg



310 mg

350 mg



1.8 mg

2 mg



45 mcg

50 mcg



55 mcg

60 mcg



8 mg

11 mg



425 mg

450 mg



400 mcg

600 mcg



14 mg

18 mg


Pantothenic acid

5 mg

6 mg







1.1 mg

1.4 mg


Vitamin A

700 mcg

770 mcg

10 %

Vitamin B12

2.4 mcg

2.6 mcg


Vitamin B6

1.3 mg

1.9 mg


Vitamin C

75 mg

85 mg



30 mcg

30 mcg


Vitamin D

5 mcg

5 mcg


Vitamin E

15 mg

15 mg


Vitamin K

90 mcg

90 mcg



2.7 liters

3 liters



2.3 grams

2.3 grams



4.7 grams

4.7 grams



1.5 grams

1.5 grams



Special Nutritional Needs of Pregnant Women

A woman who is with child typically requires more nutrients during the nine months of her pregnancy than she does during any other phase of her life.

Pregnancy is a marvelous and complex time in a woman’s life. During this time, the human body transforms into a biological support vessel for new life. The woman’s body supports two lives in the process: its own and the growing fetus’.

The human body requires more nutrients for tissue growth and repair.

Additional nutrients are also needed to ensure that the fetus inside the mother’s womb is getting enough nutritional sustenance for optimal growth and development. Brain development begins in the womb.

When a pregnant woman takes extra care to get all of the needed nutrients for a healthy pregnancy, she is also ensuring that her child will be well developed and strong, too.

When a pregnant woman pays close attention to what she eats on a daily basis, she sets herself up for a healthy and happy pregnancy.

She is also giving her unborn child the opportunity to develop well inside the womb. The human body can only work with what is being given.

If you give the body junk food and soda most of the time, that’s all the body can use to sustain itself.

If a pregnant woman guzzles sugary drinks and eats chocolate all the time, the body has to make do with tremendous levels of dietary sugar and other unhealthy items. A person’s body is only as good as the food that it’s consuming on a daily basis.

It should be noted that during the first few months of pregnancy, the pregnant woman does not yet require large increases in her nutrient uptake.

Although the fetus inside is already undergoing complex developmental changes, a healthy woman’s full diet will be enough for the both of them. Increased nutritional requirements emerge during the later months of pregnancy.

Some of you might be wondering: why should pregnant women care about what they eat during the first few months of pregnancy if the nutritional requirements are the same during this time?

Well, the body actually starts accumulating nutrients for the later months. These nutrient accumulations (also called functional reserves) are essential for a normal and healthy pregnancy.

A pregnant woman’s body undergoes so many changes during the last few months that the body needs reserves of energy and vital nutrients to accomplish the necessary biochemical functions for a safe pregnancy and an even safer delivery.

Infertility may be broadly defined as the inability to get pregnant after trying for at least one year without using any birth control. In Western countries, infertility affects an estimated 15% of the population. While a part of them are trying to conceive using alternative methods like IVF, others prefer to optimize the chances of getting pregnant naturally. Trying to get pregnant naturally may be very important, since many couples and individuals who are diagnosed with infertility may be able to get pregnant without treatment (and hence should be defined as “subfertile” rather than “infertile”).

How to get pregnant naturallyWhen trying to get pregnant naturally, the most important factor is to understand the menstrual cycle and the timing of ovulation, which leads to the optimum chances of getting impregnated. Usually, ovulation occurs around the fourteenth day, and hence, to get pregnant naturally, a couple should have as much sexual intercourse as possible between the twelfth and the fifteenth day. Different women have slightly varying menstrual cycles.Hence, to improve the chances of becoming pregnant, it is imperative to study one’s periods, and calculate exactly when one ovulates.

Determining the signs of ovulation.

To check for the right timings of ovulation, a woman can do one, or many, of the following things:

. Keep a calendar. Keeping a calendar to chart the days is an easy and effective method to determine the right time to have sexual intercourse.

. Keep a check on vaginal fluids. Mucus discharge from the vagina usually becomes heavier, thinner, clearer and stretchy during ovulation when compared to the usual times.

. Feel the inside of the vagina. During ovulation, the cervix is softer and slightly more open than usual.

. Keep tabs on any sharp pain in the abdomen. Sharp pains in the abdomen, or some slight spotting, may be indicative of ovulation.

. Other physical conditions. Headaches, bloating, breast tenderness and pain may be signs of ovulation.

Having checked for ovulation, there are some other things that an individual can do to increase the chances of getting pregnant naturally. These include lying still for a while after having sexual intercourse, avoiding the bathroom for about thirty minutes after having sexual intercourse, and most importantly, figuring out how many times one should have sexual intercourse.

Men often neglect their own part to play in this whole scenario. The sperms need to be of the correct constitution, correct shape and correct motility too, or else, however fertile the women may be, impregnation does not occur naturally. A way of ensuring that the sperms are undamaged is by wearing boxers instead of briefs. Boxers help in keeping the testicles from overheating and damaging sperms.

For both women and men, the anatomical and hormonal factors are not the only ones to be monitored and corrected. In most cases, failure to conceive may result from an improper diet, undue stress, the use of drugs like alcohol and nicotine, and even environmental factors such as proximity to harmful doses of pesticides. Abstinence from such factors goes a long way in ensuring a pregnancy.

One should always keep in mind that the holistic approach to solving a problem is the optimal way to tackle infertility. Getting regular health checkups, taking supplements to combat existing problem, exercising and stress reduction techniques are only part of the holistic solution to infertility which considers the problem as part of a whole unlike the conventional approach which tackles a specific body organ in its attempt to heal. The holistic approach is not only a surefire way to increase your chances of conception it also guarantees a safe and healthy pregnancy.

This article is based on the book, “Pregnancy Miracle” by Lisa Olson. Lisa is an author, researcher, nutritionist and health consultant who dedicated her life to creating the ultimate pregnancy solution guaranteed to permanently reverse the root of infertility, help you get pregnant quickly and naturally and dramatically improve the overall quality of your life,  without the use prescription medication and without any surgical procedures. Learn more by visiting her website:



Infertility can be defined in two ways: as inability to conceive after a year of regular sexual intercourse without contraception, or as repeated ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages or perinatal loss. Male and female specific factors account for about 30% of the infertility causes (individually);the combination of male and female causation leads to an additional 20% and the remaining 20% are caused by uncertain origins.

When one is dealing with infertility, as much as it is important to strictly follow the rules of the treatment, it is equally important to make sure that you have the correct diagnosis of the root cause of your condition. In this article you will find a broad outline, enumerating the various probable causes of infertility.

The Real Cause of InfertilityWhy it is important to determine the causes.

Infertility may be caused due to a multitude of factors at a time, or it may be the result of perhaps the deviation of a certain single factor from its premeditated path. Since misdiagnosis can often lead to further fertility complications, the very first step of treating and curing infertility depends largely on indentifying the root cause right in the beginning of treatment.

The broad causes of infertility in females may be listed as follows:

. Anovulation: In females, ovulatory problems are the most common causes of infertility. The failure to ovulate may be due to a number of factors:

o Hormonal imbalance is the most frequent cause of anovulation; when the ovaries produce immature eggs, pregnancy becomes impossible.

o Women with polycystic ovaries suffer from a decreased secretion of FSH and increased secretion of LH and testosterone; therefore polycystic ovarian syndrome may lead to anovulation in women.

o Approximately 20% of the cases of infertility occur due to the malfunctioning of the hypothalamus, the gland which controls hormonal stimuli, resulting in immature eggs. The pituitary gland is responsible for the regulation of LH and FSH, and its malfunctioning produces immature eggs.

o Damage to the ovaries caused by previous surgeries, ovarian cysts, tumors and infections may lead to production of immature eggs as well.

o Premature menopause and follicular problems are also responsible for anovulation.

. Improper functioning of fallopian tubes: Viral and bacterial infections of the fallopian tubes are the primary cause of their malfunction.

Appendicitis and colitis are abdominal problems which lead to blockage of the fallopian tubes. Tubal damages may also be caused by previous surgeries, which render the tubes incapable of passing eggs. Ectopic pregnancy, which occurs within the tube, is a potential threat to life that also causes tubal damage. Congenital tubal defects are rare, but not impossible to come across as causes of infertility.

. Use of drugs: Smoking, drinking and using other drugs have been known to decrease the chances of getting pregnant.

. Problems in the Immune system: This problem includes autoimmune reactions in the body and the creation of antisperm antibodies which exterminate sperms. Natural killer cells, which when present in excess, can damage the embryo in the uterus. The antinuclear antibodies cause inflammation of the uterus when present in excess. The presence of antisperm antibodies in the female’s body kills off the sperms before they can fertilize the egg.

Although the causes of infertility are many, they are fairly easy to overcome, especially when diagnosed in the early stages. Using a holistic approach, comprising of the prescribed medicines, following a healthy diet, regular exercise, abstinence from alcohol, nicotine and other drugs, stress management, acupuncture etc. guarantees positive results. Due to the complex and multifactoral nature of infertility, the problem can be solved permanently only by dealing with it in the holistic way, which tackles all the root causes of this condition rather than focusing on specific triggering elements.

This article is based on the book, “Pregnancy Miracle” by Lisa Olson. Lisa is an author, researcher, nutritionist and health consultant who dedicated her life to creating the ultimate pregnancy solution guaranteed to permanently reverse the root of infertility, help you get pregnant quickly and naturally and dramatically improve the overall quality of your life,  without the use prescription medication and without any surgical procedures. Learn more by visiting her website:


What exactly is infertility?

The problems with either conceiving a child, or with carrying out the pregnancy to its eventual fruitful end, fall under the definition of infertility. Infertility is the incapability of an individual to become pregnant, in case of females, or the incapability to induce pregnancy, in case of the males. The inability of an individual to carry out a pregnancy to its full term is also dubbed infertility. How does one recognize infertility? What are the signs of infertility?

Signs of InfertilitySigns of infertility are not always evident. Most people go through life without knowing there is a problem with their reproductive systems, attributing failed pregnancies to providence. In fact, miscarriages are the most common indicator of infertility. Signs of infertility in women:

In women, the signs of infertility are more readily recognized as compared to men. Endometriosis causes the lining of the uterus to grow outside the uterus.

Bacterial infections may begin around the uterus and spread to other reproductive organs, resulting in infertility. Fibroids in the uterus are indicative of infertility. Tumors in the cervix often cause stenosis, or narrowing of the cervix, which is a common indicator of infertility.

Ovulating before the tenth day and after the twentieth day of one’s monthly cycle, pre-menstrual spotting, menopausal symptoms, etc. are indicative of luteal phase defect, and thus in turn are signs too.

Irregular menstrual cycles are the most common indication in females that they might have some problems with fertility. However, an irregular menstrual cycle is not conclusive in itself, but it is definitely one of the signs of infertility.

Issues regarding body weight are often indicators of being infertile. For a woman, being too thin, or anorexic, will definitely hinder pregnancy, since the body does not have the proper nutritional requirements, or the required strength.

Alternatively, obesity can also be a sign. Obesity is accompanied by hormonal imbalance, which affects the reproductive system and pregnancy. Signs of Infertility in Men:

Like females, in males too, either obesity, or anorexia, is an indication that he is infertile. Apart from these, anatomical defects may also be signs of infertility. Undescended testicles, or damage to scrotum and the gonads, are possible indicators too. Wearing tight undergarments, or exposing the testicles to heat, may render the person unable to produce the required number of sperms, or unable to produce sperms altogether, resulting in infertility.

Determining the signs of infertility:

There are many medical procedures for detecting the signs that help to determine whether an individual is infertile or not. Doctors usually prescribe one or more of the following medical tests:

. Hysterosalpingography. A dye injected into the vagina is monitored to check for blockage in the fallopian tubes or uterus.

. Laparoscopy. If disease and other physical problems are present in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or in the uterus, infertility is suggested. This may be detected through laparoscopy.

Infertility is a problem which can be solved if it is addressed in the holistic way, which is, using a multifaceted method of healing. Getting regular health checkups, taking supplements to combat existing problem, exercising and stress reduction techniques are only part of the holistic solution to infertility. The holistic approach is not only a surefire way to increase your chances of conception it also guarantees a safe and healthy pregnancy.

This article is based on the book, “Pregnancy Miracle” by Lisa Olson. Lisa is an author, researcher, nutritionist and health consultant who dedicated her life to creating the ultimate pregnancy solution guaranteed to permanently reverse the root of infertility, help you get pregnant quickly and naturally and dramatically improve the overall quality of your life,  without the use prescription medication and without any surgical procedures. Learn more by visiting her website:


It’s all great to hear advice during your pregnancy, especially unwelcome advice. I’m sure you’ve been told by one person or another how to live. Am I right? It only gets worse the further along in your pregnancy you are. Someone will want to tell you that you shouldn’t bend, or walk a certain way, not to pick up a baby in case you hurt the one in your stomach or put yourself in labor. As the pregnancy gets closer to the due date you’ll be told many different home remedies of how to put yourself in labor. Got a headache? Someone can tell you exactly what to drink to get rid of it without any medication, remember it is important to ask a doctor before trying to take something you’ve never tried before doing it. But the most fun I have during the course of the 9-10 months stretch is hearing all the wives tales, also known as myths.

I’m pretty sure you aren’t going to even care at this point what sex the baby is, all you want is for the morning sickness to stop. You may even be counting down the days until the first trimester is over. Chances are if you morning sickness someone is bound to tell you what sex of the baby is. One wives tale is if you are having severe morning sickness is a sign you are having a girl.

Here’s a wives tale that is a lot of fun and you can test it on everyone in your household. Take a thin piece of string or your hair, slide your ring down it, hold it above your belly and let the ring dangle above it. If the rings spins in a circle it is a boy, but if it goes from one side to the other, it is a girl. Once you’ve tried it out on your tummy, get someone in your house and do it above their hand. Does the ring spin in a circle above your husband’s hand? Hmm, is it really and old wives tale or is there really something to it?

Many women claim to suffer from bouts of heartburn during the pregnancy, according to the old wives tell this would mean your baby will be born with a head full of hair.

Right before the end of your first trimester your doctor will listen to your baby’s heart rate, this is to make sure the baby is doing alright. The wives tale goes, if the heart rate is high it is a girl and a low one is a boy.

Ever have someone tell you that you are carrying high or low and wonder what that really means? Basically if you are carrying your baby low it is closer to your abdomen, a high baby is closer to your chest. Look at yourself in the mirror. How is your baby sitting? The old tale says that if you are carrying high it is a girl, carrying low is a boy.

Wives tales can be a lot of fun but keep in mind these aren’t fact. Don’t go preparing your child’s room just because one of these told you, you were going to have a girl.