“While good nutrition is important at all life stages, it is increasingly recognized that the nutritional environment and individual experiences before birth and in early infancy is of particular importance for their later metabolic health, and that exposure to an inappropriate nutritional supply during critical windows of development can predispose an individual to obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. By extension, the diet consumed by pregnant and breastfeeding women is a key determinant for metabolic health.”
Dr. Beverly Muhlhausler, University of Adelaide
If you’ve done any reading on prenatal nutrition, you will likely have found conflicting advice on topics such as, which foods to avoid; how much protein, fat, or carbohydrate you need; and which supplements you should take.
And while the message that a mother’s nutrient intake during pregnancy affects the development of her baby is well accepted across multiple nutrition philosophies and among traditional cultures, there is still a lot of disagreement on what an optimal prenatal diet should look like.
Well Mama embraces the ‘real food for pregnancy’ approach, with a focus on real food, obtained mostly locally and consumed in its natural, unprocessed form. In a nutshell, food that is made with simple ingredients that are as close to nature as possible and not overly-processed in a way that removes nutrients.
At minimum, a well-balanced real food diet for pregnancy includes vegetables, fruit, meat, poultry, fish and seafood (if non-vegetarian or vegan), nuts, seeds, legumes and plenty of healthy fats. Most women benefit from the inclusion of dairy products, but they are a not requirement for optimum health. And, if well tolerated by your body, your real food diet may also include whole-grains.
With pregnancy, there are no guarantees, but there are things you can do to ensure it is as easy as possible, and that your baby gets everything he or she needs to develop optimally. There’s no wrong time to embrace real food and optimise your health – it simply becomes exponentially more important when you’re creating and growing a new life.
The better you nourish yourself, the better you will nourish your growing baby, and this starts with understanding what it really means to eat a balanced diet.
A lot of women assume that nutrition during pregnancy is what matters most - once the baby is born, you're off the hook and can eat whatever you want. You might be surprised to learn that nutrient needs in breastfeeding mamas are higher than while you were pregnant. Technically, you're still growing a baby. Your baby is just outside the womb, and this means that nourishing yourself should remain a top priority.
Depending on the circumstances of your labour and delivery, it may feel like you have run a marathon (or three!). You absolutely need to replenish your energy and take in additional nutrients to account for blood loss and wound healing. Even in an uncomplicated delivery, your body undergoes significant changes, and so eating foods that support your postpartum recovery and breastfeeding (if you choose to do so) is very important.
Want to know more about how Well Mama could support you during pregnancy or the postpartum period?
Send us an email at email@example.com or call us on 079 945 0805.
Not pregnant nor breastfeeding, but looking to get your health on track?
For clients looking to lose weight, or dealing with health issues such as high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels (Metabolic Syndrome), Well Mama works with the Metabolic Balance® program. Metabolic Balance® is a scientifically proven programme devised by medical experts with decades of research and development. It is a program tailored to your unique body chemistry - based on more than 30 of your blood values leading to natural sustainable weight management and disease prevention. Click on the above link for more information.