Key Points

  • During pregnancy, you are literally your child’s environment. You have a unique opportunity to impact the health of your baby, future generations, and stack the deck in your favor by adopting a diet rich in healthy, whole food.
  • The developmental origins theory and “fetal programming” propose that pregnancy is the most consequential period in our baby’s life! It can permanently influence the wiring of the brain, the functioning of our organs, appetite, metabolism, intelligence, and temperament.
  • Certain genes can be turned on or off through exposures in utero including environmental toxins, nutrient and blood sugar levels, stress, and exercise.
  • Deformities and abnormalities like (overbites, narrowed faces, underdevelopment of the nose, lack of well-defined cheekbones) are seen with malnutrition. Many of these abnormalities stem from a lack of dietary folate and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K2).
  • Enjoying a variety of foods including herbs and spices will introduce your baby to a diverse flavor palate and give them information about the culture they are being born into.

Action Steps

  • Without judgment, consider what your diet has been like before and during your pregnancy.
  • Decide where you’d like to make changes.
  • Consider doing a Whole30, especially if you’ve never done one before. A Whole30 will push the “reset” button on your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. You’ll learn how the foods you eat actually affect your day-to-day life and your long-term health.
  • Otherwise, take things at your own pace and make dietary changes each week to get you towards a more whole foods diet. For example: Swap sugar-containing beverages for naturally-flavored water, and make sure you are adding a healthy source of fat (such as avocado, coconut flakes, olive oil, nuts) at each meal.