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Pregnancy

Pregnancy

A healthy pregnancy is what every expectant mum wishes for  – not only for yourself but for your unborn child.

A good diet can help you stay fit, get in good condition for the birth and maintain your energy levels. Here are some key considerations to make sure you give your baby the best head start.

Dietary Considerations

Water – Drink at least 8 glasses of filtered or bottled mineral water and herbal teas. This will help keep you hydrated, which can prevent tiredness and headaches, and helps bladder and kidney health.

Fibre – Fibre helps to excrete used hormones & toxins from the body. The best sources of fibre are not harsh bran cereals & breads, but softer oats, rice, beans, vegetables and fruit.

Protein – Protein provide ‘building blocks’ of life so it is vital for the growth of your baby and to allow your body to adapt to the changes of pregnancy. For optimum intake it’s best to balance sources of organic animal proteins with vegetable sources of protein such as seeds, nuts and pulses.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) – As the name suggests EFAs are essential for life. They form a vital component of every cell and are particularly important for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Maintaining optimal EFA intake is vital for a healthy pregnancy. If you are concerned about you EFA levels you might like to have them tested with A Fatty Acid Analysis. Smart Nutrition could then advise you on ways to boost you EFA intake as needed

Blood sugar balance – A diet high in sugars and refined foods can make us feel great one minute and really low the next. This can lead to uncontrollable mood swings and plummeting energy levels. By avoiding sugar, confectionary, tea, coffee & alcohol, and instead filling up on slow sugar releasing whole foods your can help to balance out these peaks and dips.

Antioxidants – Antioxidants protect are cells by neutralising damaging molecules called free radicals. Eating a 5-8 portions of fruit and vegetables a day from a rainbow of colours can help to protect both yours and your baby’s cells from free radical damage.

Folic acid – Folic acid is essential for protecting against developmental problems such as spina bifida and for general intellectual development. Ensuring an adequate supply of folic acid through diet and supplements is essential, especially during the early stages of pregnancy.

Why not Book a Smart Nutrition Consultation and make sure your are doing the best for your self and the development of your baby. Book a Consultation.

Avoiding Anti-nutrients

Alcohol & Tobacco – Drinking and smoking should be strictly avoided during pregnancy as research suggests that that can cause damage to the unborn child.
Environmental & Chemicals – Pesticide exposure has been linked to an increased chance of miscarriage. Opting for organic foods where possible and limiting your exposure to chemicals such as household cleaning products can help reduce your toxic load and protect your baby.

Stress – Stress depletes the body of vital nutrients and disrupts hormonal balance.If you suffer with stress you might like to consider having an adrenal stress test to identify key imbalances. A nutritional therapist will then be able to put together a stress busting protocol for a more relaxed pregnancy. An Adrenal Stress Test.

Lifestyle

Sunlight – This is needed to stimulate the pituitary gland – The master hormone gland. Make sure you have some fresh air and daylight every day.

Exercise – If you are already exercising regularly the a have a quick check with your midwife that it is o.k. to continue. If you are not already exercising then again check with your midwife but generally speaking a gentle exercise programme such as gentle walking and pregnancy yoga are a great idea to help keep you in shape and to help birthing.

Pregnancy problems

Morning sickness – Morning sickness is characterised by nausea and vomiting in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, though not necessarily in the morning. The cause is not really known but it may be linked to hormonal changes or nutrient levels. If you suffer with morning sickness Smart Nutrition advise you on ways to help to keep you symptoms in check. Book A Consultation.

Pre-eclampsia – Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy-induced condition, which can occur in the second half of pregnancy. It is characterised by high blood pressure, swelling that happens suddenly along with rapid weight gain due to fluid retention, and protein in the urine. Unfortunately there is no treatment and it can cause complications. However, there is a lot that can be done to help prevent or manage pre-eclampsia by consuming the right foods and nutrients. Book A Consultation.

Gestational diabetes – This condition affects 3-5% of all pregnancies. It occurs because insulin doesn’t work properly due to hormones secreted by the placenta. Proper dietary management of blood sugar and blood sugar balancing nutrients can help to reduce symptoms and limit the impact on your baby. Book a Consultation.

Anaemia – Anaemia is quite common in the second trimester of pregnancy. Often it is a result of the rapid increase in blood volume as your body grows to accommodate the baby. Following an iron rich diet and ensuring adequate intake of the other nutrients needed to absorb iron and make blood cells can help to support your body through this process. You can get your iron levels checked at your GP’s or alternatively you could have a Smart Nutrition Anaemia Profile. A consultation with Smart Nutrition will help to ensure you are eating all of the right foods to keep your iron levels topped up. Book A Consultation.

Bleeding gums – Increased oestrogen levels during pregnancy can cause gums to swell and soften, making them more prone to bleeding. Nutrients such as protein, vitamin C and bioflavanoids can help to counteract these processes. Book A Consultation.