One of my favorite parts of being pregnant was spending a bunch of time with other pregnant ladies talking about being pregnant. This was partly through prenatal yoga classes ( that included a sharing circle where we talked about how we were doing and sharing advice and resources. I also frequently shared experiences with my sisters-in-law and friends. Another favorite was feeling emboldened to eat WHENEVER I WANTED, even if that meant during a work meeting full of men (Strangely, I shed my sense of decorum with wild abandon. What is important at this moment definitely shifted!)

In my chats with other mothers-to-be, I heard about many women struggling with their iron levels during pregnancy. Since I’m obsessed with food and nutrition, I did tons of searching to find practical ways to up my iron intake when my midwife said I needed to increase my iron levels. I first drafted this list of foods when asked by my sister-in-law and found myself forwarding it to other expecting moms as well.

“Here’s a bunch of stuff I made when I was pregnant to get enough iron.  I think the key is to eat vitamin c foods with non-meat iron foods and to eat a fair amount of meat if veggie sources aren’t enough.

  • Chili (I usually made this with just the ground beef, no sugar):
  • Seed Granola: usually don’t put coconut oil or pumpkin pie spice.  Its good without, just a little more crumbly.  I also put dried mulberries (high in vitamin c) in.
  • Lamb Lentil soup – ground lamb with lentils, carrot, onion, bell pepper, whatever spices you like and a good quality broth made from pasture-raised bones.  I usually make my bone broth from scrap bones in the crockpot all day with scrap veggies.
  • Lentil Hummus (this recipe makes a ton, make half!)
  • Regular hummus with veggies especially bell peppers.
  • Crown Prince Smoked Baby clams
  • Other bivalve shellfish
  • Roasted Beets – I just roast whole in foil in the oven for an hour or so, then peel off the skin, toss with red wine vinegar and keep in the fridge all week to put on salads or snack on.”

Also, I found it funny that during pregnancy, the the number one recurring question from friends and strangers alike was “What unusual food cravings do you have?”. It always made me laugh. Why are we so interested in what other people eat? I always craved vitamin C foods like tangelos and lemons, which I think was illustrative of the body’s wisdom. Also, I craved what I called (to my mother’s amusement) “cold, wet food” like butter lettuce with lemon juice dressing, cold fruit, and coconut water–again, the body’s wisdom that it needs more water to stay hydrated during pregnancy.

A couple quick tidbits from other pregnant ladies and moms that I found useful:

  • Chew your food plenty to aid in digestion.
  • Drink good quality bone broth from pasture raised animals.
  • Magnesium helps with middle of the night leg cramps.
  • Eat dates to help with labor, really! (I ate quite a few Lara Bars as they are a pretty wholesome food thats easy to have with you all the time for when sudden hunger strikes)

A side note:

Since its not the topic of this blog, I won’t include the contents of other sharing emails I exchanged but I did want to mention that I have developed quite a system to support pumping breastmilk while traveling as well as ways to improve milk production/pumping output. Happy to share – just reach out!