Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures—juicy berries, salty cheese, crisp lettuce, chocolate! Fueling your body as you prepare to get pregnant, carry a baby, give birth, and recover is important, but it can be overwhelming. Enter: nutritionists. Learn more about how they can help provide much-needed food guidance and peace of mind during your journey into motherhood.
A trained expert in food and nutrition, consider a nutritionist your advisor for leading a more healthy lifestyle and meeting your goals. They’ll teach you what to eat, how often to eat, and offer specialized plans based on your specific health concerns and needs. Nutritionists will help accommodate dietary or nutritional preferences such as vegetarian and vegan lifestyles while still ensuring you’re getting the proper nutrition your changing body requires.
Meeting with a nutritionist prior to getting pregnant can be super helpful to prepare your body and create good habits. They’ll take note of your current eating habits and medical history and recommend foods to incorporate for a well-balanced diet. Your nutritionist will screen for conditions that can affect fertility like PCOS, hypo or hyperthyroidism, cancer, anorexia, and orthorexia and develop a plan should you be struggling with any of them.
If you’re not already taking a prenatal vitamin, they’ll recommend options, too. If you’re trying to lose or gain weight, your nutritionist will make meal suggestions that still give you sufficient fruits, veggies, grains, dairy, and protein.
When you’re first pregnant, one of the last things most women want to think about is food. According to the Cleveland Clinic, morning sickness (read: all-day sickness!) affects around 70% of pregnant women and most often occurs between weeks 6-12. But once it subsides, your nutritionist will help ensure you’re getting the nutritional support you need to support your body and your growing babe. They’ll monitor your weight gain, food aversions or cravings, and provide support should you encounter any pregnancy-related health issues like gestational diabetes.
Nutrition plays a huge part in your postpartum recovery. Getting out to see a nutritionist amidst all the doctor appointments and lack of sleep can be tricky, so don’t hesitate to ask if yours offers home visits or video calls. While you’re recovering, they’ll help you focus on quality, nutrient-rich foods that will help build your energy back up. Now is not the time to worry about fitting back into clothing or losing weight—rather, work on restoring your body with carbs, proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of water. If you choose to breastfeed, your nutritionist can provide tips on increasing or regulating your supply.
Nutritionists are not required to be certified in all states. We highly recommend that you choose a nutritionist who is seasoned in maternal health and carries a Registered Dietician (RD) or Registered Dietician Nutritionist (RDN) certification (they have identical meanings!) to ensure you’re receiving proper care.
Great question! The main difference between a nutritionist and a health coach is that a nutritionist addresses health using nutrition-based guidelines like meal plans, teaching about healthy eating habits, and going over your current diet. A health coach develops strategies and accountability from a holistic viewpoint. They work to get to the root of bad habits or tendencies you may have.
Nutritionist visits can be fully covered, depending on your provider. We recommend giving your insurance provider a call to see what your policy covers.
While the cost of a nutritionist varies, the average first visit is around $125.
We totally get it—you want to be comfortable when talking about something as personal as your diet and food habits. Take a look at our providers’ websites and Instagrams; there are a variety of philosophies and approaches they take—choose the one that you resonate most and reach out. They’ll be thrilled to hear from you!