1. Always try to include a good protein and fat at every meal - breakfast time especially as that is when we seem to just head for the carbs such as toast or a supermarket cereal. Easy additions include eggs, chia seeds, avocado, nut butters and yoghurt. Including all three macronutrients will help you feel fuller for longer and nourish you at the same time.
2. Invest in a really good supplement. They are not all created equal and some are much more effective than others. Maternal depletion syndrome is a very real problem for mums and it’s important that any supplements taken are of the best possible quality. Wild Nutrition, which we sell on our website, are ‘food grown’ which means they are developed in a different way
to standard vitamins and minerals. Our bodies recognise the nutrients as natural, and therefore absorb them more effectively right into the cells.
3. Hydration is key. Pregnancy and motherhood is thirsty work! Being well hydrated is even thought to improve labour times. Nothing can happen in our bodies without water - no chemical reactions, no repair, no energy production - so it is super important to aid postpartum healing and fight that motherhood tiredness. If you’re breastfeeding you will require even more than usual! My best tip is to get a BPA free big water bottle that you can take anywhere (and won’t be spilt!)
4. Avoid anything that says ‘low fat’! Producers of these products swap fat for nasty replacements that we don’t want - or they swap it for sugar! We want wholesome, healthy fats in our lives - they keep our skin plump, our cells protected and our brains healthy. During pregnancy our baby actually STEALS fats from our own brain for theirs! So it is essential that we replace them. My favourites are; Greek yoghurt, nuts, avocado, cold olive oil, chia seeds and salmon.
5. Swap any white carbohydrates for whole grain. We don’t actually receive any nutrition from white bread or pasta - whereas their whole grain counterparts have better fibre and are full of great nutrients. They will also help us stay fuller for longer, give us longer lasting energy, and maintain a healthier weight.
6. Protein is used in our bodies for many things. It is known as the ‘building blocks of life’. A higher intake in pregnancy has been linked to better management of gestational diabetes, whilst after birth protein will help us repair tissues quicker. Caesarean or vaginal birth - it all requires varying degrees of healing, and our top recommendations for that time would be to include lots of good protein, water and colourful veggies.
7. Sugary fizzy drinks are my biggest bugbear! Just one coke can contains 9 tsp of sugar - well, well over our recommended intake for the day. I’m afraid to say that even the diet versions, although they don’t have any sugar, are often laden with unhealthy additives to make them taste good. My advice is to steer clear completely - they are only going to make you feel rubbish and lead to inflammation. Try sparkling water with lime instead for a refreshing alternative.
8. Common post natal issues like dry skin, hair loss, anxiety, depression, and exhaustion can all be linked to nutrition. Nutrient deficiencies are so common after birth - you have just grown an entire human! That has taken some serious resources from your own body. We must be aware of this and be kind to ourselves - nourishing, warm foods are the best options initially after birth. Don’t forget, that once you have had a baby - you will be ‘post natal’ - forevermore! Our bodies have been forever physically and mentally changed for the better; to become a mother.
9. One of the most annoying things for busy mums is to get ill - we simply don’t have time! Boosting our immune system through eating lots of brightly coloured vegetables and protein is key. Gut health is a major part of our immune system, so staying away from refined sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates and caffeine as much as possible will help too. If you like fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and yoghurt add these in to your diet. If our gut is happy - most other functions in the body are happy.
10. Stress and anxiety are a part of life, but for many women they are heightened throughout pregnancy and motherhood. When we are stressed our bodies diminish many of our nutrients - namely B vitamins, vitamin C and E, magnesium and zinc. Stress releases free radicals into the body which can then in turn lead to inflammation, which then leads to illness. We recommend including 8 portions of vegetables and 2 portions of fruit per day for optimum health, plus lamb, nuts and seeds, organ meats such as liver and kidneys (when not pregnant), and finally nuts & seeds. There are supplements available for antioxidant protection which will help our bodies during times of stress - these work synergistically so it is much better to buy one with a combination of antioxidant nutrients rather than just taking vitamin C on it’s own for example. See tip 2 reference suggested supplements.