Caring for the life of your child especially during conception is considered a vital part in parenthood. Women who are pregnant are encouraged to practice a healthy lifestyle, particularly their eating habits. And while the keto diet and being in the state of ketosis is considered healthy for adults, opinions vary on whether or not it is a good diet to follow when a woman is pregnant. Is it really bad though? What happens when mom-to-be follows the ketogenic diet? And what effects does it hold for the child when the mom is on the keto diet? Here are some facts you need to know about pregnancy on keto.
When trying for pregnancy
Women who are on the keto diet actually have higher chances of getting pregnant in general because of its multiple health benefits (low blood sugar levels, stabilized hormones, increased physical and mental ability etc.) It also comes highly recommended for women who suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or have trouble getting pregnant because it improves the health of their ovaries.
While already on pregnancy
let’s get something out of the way first. When a person talks bad about being on the keto diet during pregnancy chances are, they are confusing DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis), a complication of diabetes where high-levels of ketones are produced causing the body to be overly acidic, to ketosis, which is a natural metabolic state you reach when you lower how much carbs you eat. Being on a keto diet and experiencing ketosis is natural and does not do harm to your body pregnant or not.
It’s only natural…
For pregnant to have instances of reaching the state of ketosis. This happens early on into a pregnancy as symptoms like morning sickness, aversion to food and a low appetite can trigger the body into ketosis and even well off into the late stages of pregnancy when the fetus produces more ketones essential for its growth. So if it naturally occurs to pregnant women and actually benefits the baby’s growth even without the keto diet what more if they are on it.
Have been shown with pregnant women taking to the internet and sharing their personal experiences with the keto diet. Jill Kingsley from Arizona who had trouble with extreme nausea while pregnant with her first two children decided to switch her regular diet with the ketogenic diet and the results were amazing. Not only did it help her get rid of her nausea completely, it also helped with her blood pressure and weight, which were in bad shape before she tried keto. Stories like hers and many more are littered across the internet so if you are a pregnant woman and are deciding to or are already on keto, let their stories encourage you to keep at it.
While there are misconceptions about the keto diet that we have talked about and set straight. Following the keto diet while pregnant will require you to take a few precautions to ensure you and your child’s safety. Here are a few of them.
- Weight loss is NOT a priority: while the keto diet is known for its results for weight loss, it is not something pregnant women should pursue at this time. Getting enough nutrients you and your baby needs are more vital than losing a few pounds.
- Eating for two: while lowering the amount of food you eat (in terms of carbs) is essential in the keto diet, when you are pregnant it is important to consider the amount of nutrition that you eat while you are pregnant. It is recommended that you eat lots of fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
- DON’T purposely fast: while it is beneficial for the average person, fasting is not recommended for pregnant women. This is the time when you listen to your body’s(specifically your tummy’s) needs. So eat as much food as you can when you can so you and your baby can stay healthy throughout the pregnancy.
While most people think that the keto diet is extreme since it drastically cuts off carbs from your diet, it is important to consider especially when you are pregnant in all aspects of a diet. You need to do enough research and consider if it is right for you or if it’ll do you and your baby any good in the future. We hope that some of the information we shared help ease your minds a little about the keto diet and pregnancy.