Why I Started Drinking Bone Broth While Pregnant
I’m generally a healthy person. And when I’m growing a person, I’m an extremely healthy person.
While I haven’t been as strict about my diet and exercise regimen in my second pregnancy as I was in my first, there are a few things that have remained consistent: I eat my greens. I take my vitamins. I get my two servings of fish per week. And I drink my bone broth.
I started drinking bone broth regularly during my first pregnancy. While I always knew that making my own broth at home was way more flavorful and nutritious than the store-bought stuff, I rarely took the time to make it. I was either too busy or couldn’t be bothered. It wasn’t until I became pregnant that I really started making and drinking bone broth on the regular.
If I’m honest, the initial motivation was purely vain. While I knew there was some great, hard-to-get nutrients and other healthy stuff in long-simmered broth, I was mostly after the collagen benefits.
At some point, I’d read that getting more collagen in my diet might be the only way to combat stretch marks— and to allow my skin to keep some of it’s elasticity and youthfulness as I grew a human, that would inevitably change the outer appearance of my body in all sorts of ways. And the best way to get more collagen wasn’t with supplements or expensive creams, but to drink it.
I’d also heard that bone broth is one of the best ways to get other vital nutrients during pregnancy, such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Since these nutrients are absolutely crucial to support a growing baby, getting them from dietary sources prevents them from being taken from your own bones.
Determined to do whatever it took to keep my stretched out skin smooth and supple, I marched my growing bump down to the butcher shop a couple of times a month to stock up on all the bones, tendons and chicken feet they would give me.
On Sundays, I’d cook everything down in the biggest pot I owned along with reserved mushroom stems, fennel tops, the butts of carrots, whole onions and celery, as well as any herbs that happened to be in my fridge that week. I would let it simmer all day long to extract every bit of goodness out of all the ingredients. When it was done, I’d chill a few servings for the week and freeze the rest of the broth to last me until my next trip to the butcher.
At first, I was only using bone broth to cook with in things like soups and grains. But as I became more accustomed to the flavor, I started sipping it straight and getting more creative with the herbs and spices I would put in it while cooking. Weary of drinking coffee, bone broth almost became a treat — a ritual, even— that I could look forward to every morning.
Well, I couldn’t tell you if it was the bone broth or the really expensive belly cream I bought off the internet, but I didn’t have a single stretch mark after my body slowly bounced back from having that first baby. (I’m pretty convinced it was the bone broth, though). I was also feeling pretty strong and nimble (good enough to keep up my yoga practice!) — even up until the very end of my pregnancy.
Even though regular exercise and daily green smoothies went out the window this second time around, bone broth has remained a non-negotiable. And beyond the collagen, I’m now after all the hard-to-get nutrients and gut-healing benefits that have been touted as bone broth’s other health benefits.
Another point worth mentioning, is that bone broth was actually one of the few things I could tolerate during the early weeks of my pregnancy— which were plagued with nausea.
Bread and cheese were some of the only things I could keep down. So, a morning cup of bone broth allowed me to get a lot of the nutrients I was missing by not being able to stomach much else. Not to mention the necessity of having that daily morning cup of something delicious and warm to look forward to as the rest of my life became slightly more chaotic.
The biggest challenge recently has been finding the time to make it myself. While you can prep it and leave it, you still have to source the ingredients and be around while it cooks. “Being around” for 10 hours isn’t exactly easy with a toddler. And sourcing the ingredients has been harder, as more and more restaurants and home cooks are making their own broth. That’s where Kettle & Fire’s bone broth has come in to save my sanity.
I first learned about Kettle & Fire through a partnership with my blog. I’ve always been weary of store bought broth because of the uncertain quality of ingredients and the bland flavor.
Kettle & Fire surprised me with the importance they place on organic ingredients and pasture-raised meats, as well as how it tastes. A couple of boxes will last me through the week, and I can switch it up with different flavors, including the beef, chicken and mushroom chicken. It’s a treat I look forward to on the regular and something I can feel good about putting in my body every day — for myself and for this baby.
About the Author
Renee Frojo is an award-winning journalist, photographer, food stylist and recipe developer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. With equal time spent in and around the kitchen, Renee’s writing focuses on food, restaurants, hospitality and sustainability. Her writing and photography has appeared in a number of local and international publications, including Eater, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Business Times. Her latest recipes and thoughts on food and family can be found at www.laurelstreetkitchen.com.