We all know that bone broth is a nourishing beverage good for most bodies, at most times. I was already sipping it on the regular – at least once a day – as part of a low-carb/intermittent fasting regimen to prepare my body for conception. But when I learned I was pregnant with our bean nugget (due 25 days from now, eek!), my nutritionist urged me to make bone broth an even larger part of my overall nutrition regimen.
Bone broth, consumed regularly, is practically a multivitamin, loaded with most of the nutrients your body needs to build, repair and heal itself. By extension, it contains many of the nutrients needed to form a brand-new body inside of you.
Of course I wanted to understand more about WHY bone broth is great for pregnancy, specifically. And while reading about why is great and all, I wanted to wait to share my “why’s” until now, because I wanted to see how realistic consuming bone broth throughout my pregnancy would be. I also wanted to experience if the purported benefits would really pan out. Now that I’ve been pregnant 36 weeks and some change, I’m pleased to report on my findings. Here are the top reasons you might want to consider making bone broth an important part of your pregnancy diet.
Protein For When You Can’t Handle Meat
As soon as my morning sickness kicked in around 7 weeks, I learned one big reason why. I had intense aversions to most foods. Do you know what my strongest aversion was? MEAT. I could not stomach the sight, smell, taste or texture of meat. Turns out, meat is the most common food aversion during pregnancy, with 26% of women avoiding it. And that’s no bueno when you’re building a tiny human. Your body needs protein, and all the other wonderful nutrients that meat (and fruits and vegetables!) provides. Enter bone broth.
But wait! you’re thinking. Bone broth smells and tastes just like meat, doesn’t it? I mean, that’s basically what it is, right? Liquid meat?
Well, yes and no. The great thing about bone broth is you can sneak it into pretty much anything and everything, and it doesn’t *have* to taste strongly of meat. You can make rice or potatoes with it and get the nutrients without being overwhelmed by the flavor or feeling of eating meat. This was perfect for me, because starches – rice, potatoes, crackers, pasta – were about all I could eat for two months. Well, starches and fruit. So I started cooking my starchy carbs in bone broth, and making bone broth smoothies.*
It’s not a model nutritional regimen to be sure, but by now you’ve probably concluded that bone broth was the saving grace in this situation. Without it, I would have been stuck consuming exclusively starch and sugar for two months straight, with no real nutrients.
Soothes Morning Sickness
If you can handle your meat just fine and you’re experiencing morning sickness/nausea, bone broth can be a nutrient-dense way to soothe that tum-tum.
During the third trimester, my nausea has returned, thankfully without the meat aversion (yay!). Bone broth has been an incredible aid in settling my tummy and providing nourishment to my body and baby when I can’t get much else down. It’s especially wonderful in the mornings when I first wake up and NEED TO GET SOMETHING IN MY BELLY NOW but can’t stomach the thought of eating. Pregnancy can be really cruel that way: Your body demanding food but actively rejecting the food you offer it. And the longer you go without sustenance, the more nauseated you get! It’s so freaking irrational. Can I get an amen?
So this is why I have started heating up a mug of bone broth first thing in the morning. I do not pass go, I do not collect $200, I head straight to the kitchen to get that broth in me, often with a little ghee blended in for some extra nourishment. I sip on that while I make my coffee, and I’m in much better shape to prepare a meal when my body decides it will accept one.
Helps Build Baby AND Keep You At Peak Performance
Magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, collagen, the building blocks of life…they’re all there in a quality bone broth.
Magnesium is a huge help in relaxing your muscles and giving you restful sleep during pregnancy. Research shows that getting plenty of magnesium while you’re pregnant can help prevent early contractions of the uterus. It’s also helpful in building strong teeth and bones in your baby.
Calcium also helps with building those bones, and with some essential body functions for you and your nugget: clotting blood, sending and receiving nerve signals, supporting muscle function, releasing hormones and maintaining a normal heartbeat. It’s really important nutrient for you and baby to be getting plenty of. If you’re buying bone broth though, be sure to check the nutrition panel. Most broths (bone broths included) contain very little calcium for some reason, but Bare Bones’ chicken broth has 20% of your recommended daily intake.
Phosphorous does a lot of what calcium does, and then some: It plays a role in making the protein essential to growing, building and repairing cells – what your body is doing pretty much full-time when you’re pregnant!
Helps Prevent Stretch Marks and Speed Postpartum Healing
Collagen, everybody’s favorite bone broth nutrient, is the glue that holds us together. It is the most abundant protein in the human body, so we need lots of it, especially when pregnant. As an added bonus, since collagen is what keeps our skin elastic and stretchy, some women believe it helps prevent stretch marks. I cannot confirm this particular claim, other than to tell you that I do not have any stretch marks from this pregnancy (yet – knock on wood!). But my mom had eight children and she says she never got stretch marks either, so it may have less to do with the collagen I’ve been drinking than it does with genetics.
That said: Collagen is especially helpful towards the end of pregnancy, because it plays a starring role in helping you recover and heal from all the trauma of labor and delivery. It actively helps heal wounds and revitalize skin. Drinking collagen-rich bone broth every day leading up to D-Day is like infusing your already incredible body with liquid resilience.
So there you have it: Four solid reasons to make bone broth a part of your pregnancy diet. And yes, I can attest that it is realistic to incorporate it daily, as long as you can stomach it – whether it’s alone, in smoothies, in starchy carbs or in sauces.
*Think bone broth smoothies sound strange? Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! Here is one of my favorites: Carrot & Orange Bone Broth Smoothie.