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You already know that eating healthy during pregnancy is important, but a lot of the books and information out there are often confusing and complicated and chances are, your doctor isn’t giving you much guidance either. You’re probably wondering which nutrients you need, how many extra calories you should consume, and what foods you should eat—and avoid—during pregnancy. 

In this episode, I sat down with Amy J. Hammer, RN, a writer and author of the new book, How To Grow a Baby:A Science-Based Guide to Nurturing New Life, from Pregnancy to Childbirth and Beyond. Amy and I talked about the real reasons it’s important to eat healthy during pregnancy, the best superfoods to focus on, plus how to cope with nausea, heartburn, and constipation. We also talked about how our values, culture, and stories can all affect our ability to eat healthy during pregnancy and throughout our lives. Whether you’re pregnant, TTC, or done having children, this is an interview with a ton of information about emerging research plus practical insight from a real mom.


4:30 Tell us a bit about your story! 

6:35 Why is nutrition so vital during pregnancy?

10:22 Why do you think there’s not enough focus on nutrition during pregnancy? 

13:18 How does a mother’s gut microbiome affect her baby’s health?

18:40 Which nutrients do moms need during pregnancy?

23:26 What are some pregnancy food myths?

25:33 Are there guidelines for how many calories women should consume during each trimester?

27:47 What does research tell us about moms consuming added sugars during pregnancy and why should they limit them?

29:50 What are some of the best superfoods for pregnancy?

33:03 What are foods moms should focus on to promote gut health?

34:52 Are there foods that can help with morning sickness/nausea and fatigue?

38:11 Research shows 30 to 50 percent of women will complain about pregnancy heartburn. Are there foods to avoid that can worsen heartburn?

39:28 What are the best foods that combat constipation?

40:48 What should women aim for when choosing snacks?

41:56 What are some of your favorite ideas for healthy snacks? 

44:06 In your book, you talk about the language, routine, habits, and stories we tell ourselves and how this all impacts our ability to choose and keep choosing healthy foods. Explain more!

47:47 What are your best tips for making healthy eating easy during pregnancy?


Grab a copy of Amy Hammer’s book, How to Grow a Baby. 

Amy mentions Michael Pollan’s article, “Some Of My Best Friends Are Germs.”

Amy talks about Scott F. Gilbert and his work about birth as the origin of a new community.

Amy mentions the book, Real Food For Pregnancy, by Lily Nichols.

Amy talks about the work of Emily Oster.

Amy cites this 2020 study in the journal Nutrients: Impact of Sugary Food Consumption on Pregnancy: A Review.

Get Amy’s recipe for Ghee-Fried Grass-fed Beef Liver, Apples and Parsley on Einkorn Sourdough Toast

Amy recommends psyllium husk like this one to combat pregnancy constipation.

Amy suggests Larabar or Patagonia Provisions bars for healthy pregnancy snacks.

Learn more about Amy J. Hammer on her website and follow her on Instagram 


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Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.