Nutrition tracking during pregnancy

At my visit to the midwife last week, she asked that I keep a log of what foods I eat for a week and then send it back to her. We also signed up for our Bradley childbirth classes, and in the materials we received, the instructor asked for me to sign up at BabyFit.com and track my nutrition on that site for, I think a week. So I thought I’d get both of these things done at once using the BabyFit.com site.

For a while when I worked for a health-related non-profit as a Business Analyst, part of my job was to take extensive notes on various nutrition-tracking web sites, so tracking my nutrition online is nothing new for me. Over the years, people have also accused me of not getting enough nutrition; either because I am a lacto-ovo-pescatarian or because I am underweight. I have used nutrition-tracking software and web sites over the years just to make sure that I am always getting adequate nutrition and the calories that I should.

In case you are wondering, every time I have tracked this way in the past, I have always been getting plenty of protein (which people had doubted because I don’t eat meat), and I almost always have taken in more calories than the usual suggestion for women my size (most days, greater than 1,500 and closer to 2,000).

As for BabyFit.com, it is a visually appealing web site, the usability is good, and it has an extensive food database. I had no trouble finding many foods and it was easy to enter the foods I eat that weren’t in the database using the nutrition labels of the products.

I’ve been tracking for 3 days now, and I have to say that at first I was depressed. The total caloric intake they suggest for me is much lower than what I am hungry for. The second day I tracked, I was within 200 calories of their “limit” before dinner. I was still SO HUNGRY!!! Then I felt guilty for eating, like I was somehow hurting the baby by messing up the caloric intake this web site says I should have.

But my body is hungry!! I make it a rule to listen to my body. I don’t mindlessly eat. And when I do eat, I am eating the same things I ate before pregnancy: whole grains, fish (only 2-3 times a week), fruits, legumes, low fat dairy products, etc. For snacks, I have popcorn, string cheese, yogurt, fruits, and these awesome pretzels with protein that I found at New Flower Farmer’s Market. When I resort to drinking fruit juice because I get overloaded on water, I make sure it is sugar-free. It is all very healthy stuff. I do crave pickles, which I find settling to my stomach. We do eat low-fat frozen yogurt a few times a week. I admit I ATE A BOX OF CABURY EGGS! Over the course of 10 days, not all at once. WHAT OF IT?!!!

Yes, this was the course of my feelings: guilt, hunger, indignant, and then defiant.
The baby is hungry, dang it!!
I ate a Cadbury egg, DEAL WITH IT, BABYFIT.COM!!

I have read or heard this phrase at least 3 times now: “Sugar is useless to the baby”. While I am sure it is true from a nutrition standpoint, I have personally decided that this is crap. No, I am not going to overload on sugar, just like I was not in the habit of overloading on sugar before I was pregnant. But if I want one brownie, one cupcake, or one Cadbury egg, I am going to freaking eat it. And if BabyFit.com says I have eaten too many calories but my stomach is growling, I am going to eat, and no one is going to stop me. Our bodies have hunger cues for a reason.

** climbs down off soapbox …. goes to fridge to eat pickles **

2 thoughts on “Nutrition tracking during pregnancy”

  1. totally love the attitude–don’t lose it!! You are right that your body knows what it needs! Those calorie guidelines are just that–guidelines, not the Ten Commandments! teehee By the way, how’s naming a parenting blog coming along?

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