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  3. Introduction

One of the most difficult aspects of pregnancy is the same one that arises from being a parent: recognizing what is and is not in our control. Life would be so much easier if events in our lives were clearly labeled “in our control” or “not in our control.” The most important point to realize is that your nutritional intake during pregnancy plays a vital role in the process. The greatest facet is that nutrition is “Win your control.” Fortunately for you, in your hands is a book that explains, clarifies, and updates you on the latest in nutrition and pregnancy. Regardless of whether you just found out you are expecting, are due next week, or are still thinking about starting a family, The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book is for you.

Misinformation causes confusion, which can result in wasted energy, worry, and possibly harmful habits. Some of the greatest advances in science over the last few decades are in the area of nutrition. The education of the individual regarding these changes is very exciting. To understand how greatly our diet impacts not only our health but also that of our unborn child makes us thirst for even more knowledge. Many of my patients are very aware of small changes in their bodies, and they take cues from their bodies to change their lifestyles. In pregnancy, those cues can be misleading. Therefore, a guide such as this book will help you through the one area in your control — your diet and lifestyle.

Unfortunately, our society holds that attitude that good parenting is something that comes naturally, and unfortunately that falsehood starts with pregnancy. This misinformation usually is not from books that are written by experienced professionals but from friends, acquaintances, family, or past experiences. Every pregnancy is as unique as the child that is born. Listen to others' opinions, find out their sources, and then verify the information. This book is a great resource for verification. When we purchase our new cars, televisions, or cell phones, we look at the owner's manual to learn about features, maintenance, or troubleshooting. Think of this book as your owner's manual to pregnancy.

Make this book a companion to your prenatal visits and read it in the waiting room. By reading this book and taking notes in the margins or listing questions for your doctor or midwife, you will be better prepared to make the most of those visits. When patients bring a list of questions, it shows they are taking the time be active participants in their pregnancies. The supporting partner, whether it is a spouse, relative, or friend of the expectant mother, will also find this book an informative reference for the forty weeks of pregnancy. Almost as important, they will find this information handy during the time before pregnancy occurs. So often we want to help those we care for but are unsure how to be effective. By reading this book, and gaining knowledge, the partner can be more supporting and play a more intimate and special role in the pregnancy.

Be aware that no matter how well you listen to your doctor or midwife or follow the guidelines in the book, unfortunate events can happen that are beyond anyone's control. To assign blame and look for an answer as to why it happened is normal human nature. But if you take the time to read this book, you will have done everything in your control to give your unborn child the best start he or she could have. After all, that is what everyone wants.

Consider this book and your pregnancy as a springboard to a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. This book is the first step in impacting the one area of your pregnancy that is within your control. The information and confidence you will gain will change the rest of your life.

— John A. Alton, M.D.

  1. Home
  2. Pregnancy Nutrition
  3. Introduction
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