The Juna Women Podcast is a weekly discussion where Juna Founder, Sarah Kuhn, talks to Moms about their health, work, parenting, and all the different ways they’re keeping it together.

This is Episode 014, The Power of Real Food During Pregnancy with Ryann Kipping, RDN, CLEC.

prenatal nutrition diet

In this episode, Sarah talks with Registered Dietician, Certified Lactation Consultant, and Prenatal Nutritionist, Ryann Kipping.

Ryann runs a virtual consulting practice under the name Prenatal Nutritionist. where her goal is to help women prepare for pregnancy and conquer nutrition throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

On the show, Sarah and Ryann dive into the ever the ever changing pregnancy nutrition guidelines. They discuss supplementation vs getting your nutrition through whole foods and touch on some powerful nutritional remedies for the most common pregnancy ailments — nausea, constipation, and heartburn.

ryann kipping podcast juna women

Pregnancy and Prenatal Nutrition Guidelines

The original prenatal nutrition recommendations include low fat dairy, lean meats, and higher carb intake from fortified foods. Conventional wisdom is moving away from these guidelines and moving more to pushing real foods over fortified foods (folate vs folic acid).

“It’s really good that we’re gearing more toward real food. The key is thinking about how we get back to the way our ancestors ate during their pregnancies”

Eggs are a favorite of Ryann’s for pregnancy. Some women are afraid to eat eggs during pregnancy, but there are some amazing benefits to eggs during pregnancy.

We wrote about this in our Ultimate Guide To Eggs During Pregnancy

Real Foods vs Supplementation During Pregnancy

Using food first is Ryann’s biggest philosophy.

“We want to get everything we possibly can through whole foods and then use supplementation as exactly that – to supplement what we aren’t getting. It’s an insurance policy.” 

The supplement industry is a billion dollar industry. There’s always some new supplement on the market and they know exactly what to say to make you believe their supplement is the best. Be aware of this and be aware the industry is not well regulated. Here are Ryann’s general guidelines for choosing a prenatal supplement:

1.) Look for supplements that are third party tested. This means it’s being tested for quality and truth in messaging.

2) Find supplements with active form of the vitamin. For example, L-Methyl Folate instead of Folic Acid.

folic acid vs folate

3) Choline is important. If you don’t eat eggs or meat, you definitely want to look for choline.

4) One misconception is that everyone needs iron in their supplement. If you’ve struggled with anemia or eat a plant-based diet, you should find a supplement with iron, but one without calcium. Those two compete for absorption so you don’t want to have them at the same time. You can take them at separate times to ensure absorption.

5) If you’re vegan you should supplement DHA (omega 3s).

Is Kombucha safe during pregnancy?


The alcohol levels are lower than what’s considered an alcoholic beverage. Kombucha does contain probiotics which are helpful during pregnancy.

One thing to watch out for is the sugar content of Kombucha. Some companies have lots of sugar in their Kombucha.

The most reported negative side effects of Kombucha are reported from people who’ve made Kombucha themselves so you want to be careful if you are making your own Kombucha.

Recommendation: Buy a store bought brand, find one low in sugar, and consume in moderation. Having 4-6 oz at a time is totally okay.

Show Notes

03:18 – How pregnancy and prenatal nutrition was originally fear-based – more about what NOT to eat then what you should eat.

05:20 – How fear based nutrition can be

09:30 -Deli meats and how to find nitrate/nitrite free meats.

10:12 – Ryann’s top tips for her clients include eliminating processed foods and focusing on real foods, making sure you are getting enough greens, and finding high quality sources of protein.

11:20 – Macros during pregnancy – protein, carb, fat – how much of eat is right?

13:58 – What happens when you can’t stomach healthy foods during the 1st trimester? How much guilt should we feel? What do we do?

15:17 – Pregnancy induced nausea and finding what triggers your nausea can be very helpful to alleviate nausea symptoms.

17:00 – Pregnancy induced heartburn and finding the foods to avoid that won’t cause heartburn – spicy foods, greasy foods, chocolate, and caffeine can trigger heartburn. One of Ryann’s tips is to go for a walk after you eat lunch or dinner, that can help with heartburn.

20:02 – Constipation during pregnancy. Fiber and fluids can help. Berries, lentils, chia seeds, brussels sprouts.

22:38 – Caffeine during pregnancy? General guidelines are 200-300mg per day during pregnancy.

caffeine content of coffees

25:20 How Ryann became a prenatal nutritionist even before having kids. They talk about the book “You Are What Your Grandparents Ate“.

27:49 – 100% of the women Ryann meets with tell her their doctor provided them with little to no nutritional advice. They’re not really trained in nutrition and therefore don’t really know the latest information.

29:58 – The girls discuss if you can prevent gestational diabetes? For more on GD, listen to this podcast with Becca Pardess.

32:45 – The most common question Ryann receives is “What prenatal vitamin should I take?” She always tells them that food comes first, supplementation second.” They also discuss if Kombucha is safe during pregnancy, what to do if you’re vegan, and which supplements are the most important.


44:05 – Is alcohol safe during pregnancy?


Get In Touch With Ryann

Ryann is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Lactation Educator Counselor. She helps clients who are planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant, or recently postpartum reach optimum health during these extremely important and emotional periods of life.

Aside from one on one nutrition consulting, Ryann is a nutrition writer and menu developer; she works with the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, and is currently attending SDSU to get her Masters in Public Health. You can connect with her via email or social media.

Follow Ryann on  Instagram or email her.

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