The whole process of having a baby is a truly AWESOME thing. It still amazes me what our bodies are capable of. It’s important to remember that whilst we are designed for childbearing and birth we must take extra special care as we transition through conception, the trimesters, birth and the postpartum period.
I have compiled my top tips to help you get through a healthy pregnancy and birth, and beyond as a new mum …
We should all know about the benefits of exercise in general, however exercise during pregnancy is great for whole host of reasons, here are just a few:
Improved circulation; reduced swelling; reduced weight gain; reduction in labour pain; easier, shorter labours; help to maintain fitness; reduced risk of low back pain.
And exercise after birth:
Quicker recovery; improved posture; increased tone; increased energy; increased metabolism and ability to burn more body fat; increased weight loss; increased self-confidence and reduced anxiety.
During pregnancy only exercise to maintain your baseline fitness. This will help during delivery and your return to exercise afterwards. Do not aim for peak fitness or train for competition!
Include moderate low impact aerobic exercise such as walking and resistance exercise using light weights and loaded movement as part of a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy.
Choose activities that minimise risk of loss of balance and avoid high impact activities.
Post birth it is important to listen to your body. A return to exercise should be gradual and gentle when you are ready and only once you have had your post natal check and all clear from your GP, unless of course you are attending one of our programmes which incorporate Hypopresive Exercise and which can be started as early as three weeks post birth.
It is essential that you are doing the right type of exercise and that you take care when exercising both during and after pregnancy. Getting help from a fitness professional, qualified in pre and post natal exercise is the quickest way to figure it all out, and to ensure you are going to achieve the best and fastest recovery.
Before conception it is a good idea to undertake a full body cleanse using the Healthy Starter Programme. This will help redress hormone imbalances and rids the body of harmful toxins that compromise women’s health. A great way to support the cleanse is to add Liquid Chlorophyll to your water, it’s great for supporting the liver, digestive system, it contains magnesium and will give you much needed energy. Whilst Liquid Chlorophyll can be continued throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding please note the cleanse is not safe during either pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Include plenty of dark fruits, green leafy vegetables in the diet. These foods contain antioxidants which helps to reduce cortisol levels that interfere with other hormones unbalancing the, and reduces inflammation by attaching to free radicals and taking them out of the body. Include Zambrosa in the diet to boost antioxidant levels, can also be continued through pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Include pumpkin and flax seeds and oily fish for Omega 3, essential fatty acids that every cell in the body needs to thrive. In particular for the new mum, these are needed for brain and membrane development. A growing foetus will draw these from mum’s brain which can lead to post natal depression. Omega 3 is also essential in providing support for hormone balance. Include Super Omega 3 to the diet throughout to ensure you are getting enough high quality fats into your system.
Include an excellent supply of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A (from Beta Carotene source only), Vitamin C and E. B vitamins are also important for development of the nervous system. It is especially important here to eat either raw or very lightly steamed green vegetables as our cooking processes unfortunately destroy the nutrient content of these foods. Include Natures Prenatal a perfectly safe and effective way to bridge the gap with vital nutrients that are missing or get lost in our foods through preparation, and which can be safely used throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Natural live yoghurt for good bacteria, in addition include Pro B 11 a probiotic containing eleven strains of bacteria to support immunity and good intestinal health. When taken during pregnancy this is passed through to baby, which is a great support to them to help baby fight infection in the first year, continue through breastfeeding as well.
In addition, include:
A broad spectrum of fruits and vegetables of different colours and structures to ensure all nutrients supplied
Carbohydrates to provide energy such as brown rice – but avoid refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice and confectionary
Good quality protein from organic meat, fish and vegetable sources including cooked beans and lentils
Calcium: sources include fish with edible bones (sardines), almonds, tofu and green leafy vegetables – for growth of the tissues, bones and teeth.
Folic Acid: sources include green vegetables, brown rice and supplements – for safe development of spinal cord to 12th week of pregnancy – see Natures Prenatal
Vitamin B12: sources include meat, fish, eggs – for new cell production and nervous system – see Nutricalm
Iron: sources include red meat, pulses, green vegetables – to help with increased blood volume in the mother.
Vitamin C: sources include citrus fruit, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, blackcurrants – should be taken with Iron rich foods to aid absorption
Vitamin D: sources include oily fish (wild farmed) or 15-30 minutes exposure to sunlight – to help maintain levels of calcium and phosphorus – include Vitamin D3 safe to take during pregnancy
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s): sources oily fish (wild farmed salmon, sardines and herring) or flax seed oil – for development of brain and nervous system – see Super Omega 3
Fibre – really important for regular bowel function so include lots of fruits and vegetables (with skins) to ensure adequate intake.
During pregnancy the body will need a nutrient boost by up to 50% to ensure it is getting all it needs to support both the growing baby and mum.
What to avoid:
Soft unpasteurised cheeses
Raw or partially cooked eggs and meat – everything must be fully cooked!
Alcohol and caffeine
Peanuts – if allergic
Vitamin A: sources include liver and any supplements containing Vitamin A
Unwashed salads or vegetables
Shark, swordfish and marlin
Limit tuna to two steaks per week or four medium cans per week
Sugary foods which can lead to bladder infections during pregnancy
In the post natal period continue with the above nutrition and ensure additional 300 calories per day for breast feeding from nutrient rich sources as listed above and not cream cakes at get-togethers!
NOTE: any supplementation to support pregnancy and breastfeeding should be discussed with your GP prior to commencement
It is also needed for the increase in blood volume which doubles during pregnancy. Insufficient intake may contribute to constipation, preterm labour and possibly miscarriage.
Post birth hydration is super important for breast milk production and flow.
Drink between 8-12 glasses or 3+ litres of filtered water per day (more if weather is warm or during exercise)
Don’t wait until you feel thirsty
Avoid caffeinated and high sugar drinks
Drink smaller amounts of healthy liquids frequently as opposed to large amounts only a couple of times per day
Did you know, it takes approximately three years for your body to fully recover from pregnancy and birth? Something to think about!
I hope you have found this helpful, if you have any questions about any of these topics please don’t hesitate to get in touch e-mail email@example.com