Saturday, November 24, 2012

Paleo Pregnancy - Breaking the News to my Midwife..."I'm Paleo"

I had my first prenatal appointment when I was exactly seven weeks pregnant. I walked into my midwife's office with a ton of questions, but most of them seemed to float right out of my head after we started talking. Luckily, Kevin was able to join me so we did get a few important questions answered.

I felt it was important for my midwife to know the details of the diet we follow because I know that diet and nutrition is huge during pregnancy. I was so happy that she was totally on board. While pregnant women are typically steered toward fortified whole grains and dairy (for iron and calcium, among other minerals), my midwife assured me that as long as I was eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and protein, I would be getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals I need. This, of course, was something I already believed or I wouldn't have been eating this way in the first place. :)

A well-balanced Paleo pregnancy meal!

I also asked her about the fish oil pills that I take on a daily basis. She said fish oil was a good supplement to take all throughout pregnancy because even though many prenatal vitamins contain DHA, they do not contain EPA, which is the other important Omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil supplements.

Speaking of prenatal vitamins, I have read that many pregnant women following a Paleo diet choose not to take prenatal vitamins, feeling that they are taking in all of the vitamins and minerals they need from the foods they eat. I feel that it is totally a personal decision and my decision was to take them. It may very well be true that I am getting everything I need through my food intake, I do think prenatal vitamins provide some good "insurance" that I am meeting my daily needs. One thing I love about the Paleo diet is that I don't have to track every bite I put into my mouth because, in theory, it should all be healthy and nutritious. Each day is different, though, and by taking my vitamin each day I don't have to worry.

We also discussed the symptoms I have been experiencing and, so far, I seem to have all of the classics. Fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness and extreme hunger. She suggested Vitamin B6 for the nausea, but I can't say that it has made a huge difference. I'll talk more about morning sickness in another post, but I am definitely trying any and all home remedies I come across looking for that magic bullet. :)

Kevin's biggest concern was about whether or not it was safe to continue my CrossFit workouts. Yes, CrossFit can be intense, but my midwife said as long as I am not introducing any new workouts and doing things my body is already used to then I should be good to go. I plan to just stick with the weights I am currently able to lift comfortably and keep the intensity low. My midwife just told me to listen to my body and do what feels right. Obviously, as my belly grows I will need to modify certain exercises, but my CrossFit coaches are already in on the secret so I feel safe that they will be able to make recommendations for me when the time comes.

Hopefully I'll still be running a few months from now...

I also plan to continue running, swimming and cycling as long as possible. My runs have been shorter, though, not more than four miles. This is mostly due to the fact that my energy gauge seems to be stuck on empty lately and it takes a huge internal pep talk to even get my shoes on my feet and get out the door. I have heard that for most women this fatigue passes after the first trimester so I have my fingers crossed for an energy-filled second trimester.

Our first look at our growing little baby

I won't get into the details, but we were not exactly sure how far along I was when we came in for the first appointment, so we made an appointment to come back the next day for an ultrasound to date the pregnancy. I was anxious and excited all day leading up to the ultrasound. I thought I would cry and be very emotional, but when we saw that little heart fluttering on the screen and got to hear the heartbeat for the first time, I just felt such a relief that everything seemed to be okay in there, my only emotion was pure joy.