Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Morning Sickness and Selective Appetite in Early Pregnancy May be Nature's Way of Preventing Miscarriages

As a raw foodists and natural health enthusiast, I was startled (to say the least) when I became sick during my first trimester of pregnancy and when the range of foods I found appetizing dwindled significantly.  I was worried that the nausea was a sign that my body was either not ready for pregnancy or not adjusting to it optimally.  My normal diet was very high in vegetables, greens, and superfoods:  I really put a lot of thought into balancing what I ate.  So, when I found myself averse to... you guessed it... vegetables, greens, and superfoods, I was concerned that I was not taking in enough nutrients to nourish myself or my baby.  Not only could I not tolerate raw food (except for carrot/apple juices), I could barely look at most vegetables!  LUCKILY, I did some research.  I found out that morning sickness is not only normal, it can also be interpreted as a good sign.  And likewise, early pregnancy calls for a very specific diet, which my body had guided me to perfectly.  Read on to find out more...

Morning Sickness and Selective Appetite in Early Pregnancy May be Nature's Way of Preventing Miscarriages

Morning sickness typically begins in the fifth week of gestation, peaks by the eleventh, and subsides for most women by the fifteenth or sixteenth week of pregnancy.  Though uncomfortable, studies show that morning sickness is not only normal, but may also be nature's way of preventing miscarriages.  In fact, women who experience morning sickness have a substantially lower risk of miscarriage than those who do not.

Morning sickness has been carefully studied, but it is still not known exactly what causes it.  Several scientists have suggested that morning sickness provides a protective mechanism for the early embryo.  The "selective" or diminished appetite women often experience alongside morning sickness may also be protective.  The most common foods pregnant women are averse to during the first trimester are all foods that are either potentially parasite-contaminated or phytochemically potent:  These common foods include:  meat, poultry, fish, caffeine containing beverages, and vegetables.

What purpose do the foods typically preferred by women early in their pregnancy serve?  These foods, which tend to be on the sweeter side- fruits and fruit juices, grains, starches, sweets, and dairy, "may result from a selection process that increased the likelihood that nutritional, safe, calorically rich foods became the nourishment of choice," write Deepak Chopra and David Simon in their book on Holistic pregnancy, Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives.

Thanks for clearing that up for me, Deepak and David... And, thanks to Kalavati who helped me relieve some of my morning sickness/low energy symptoms with her amazing shiatsu skills:

For more information on Prenatal Nutrition, I highly recommend this book!

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