After finding out the level of information pregnant ladies receive about nutrition from their midwife/ doctor/ hospital I was compelled to write this book. The book gives full explanations on what foods are safe to eat during pregnancy and which foods aren’t. It explains which nutrients you need in each trimester to ensure proper development of your baby and which foods are the best sources for these nutrients. It also explains the nutrition mum needs for a healthy pregnancy and to prevent excess weight gain, and provides tasty easy to make recipes to ensure optimal nutrition at this special time. I hope you enjoy the recipes.
There are many benefits for breast feeding for both mother and baby, breast feeding uses an extra 500 calories a day, however losing more than 1.5lbs per week decreases the production of breast milk and puts both mother and baby at risk nutritionally.
Water: (not strictly food but still essential) breast milk is 88% water so intake needs to be increased by 700ml per day.
Salmon: full of DHA, a type of fat crucial for baby’s nervous system development and helps reduce depression and improve mood. Also full of protein for growth and repair. Only eat 2-3 servings per week.
Lean red meat: a good source of protein, increases energy levels for mum due to high B12 content.
Eggs: the only natural source of vitamin D, Vitamin D is essential for both baby’s and mum’s bone health as helps absorb calcium. Also contains protein.
Leafy green veg: high in calcium, iron and Vit A. Vitamin A is needed for baby’s heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes and bones.
Giving birth is a huge task for the body and subsequently has certain effects on the body, some of which are unpleasant such as constipation. Getting the right nutrients into the body through our food can help recovery from birth much quicker.
Constipation is very common after giving birth, even more so if delivery was c- section. Increasing fibre and water intake is the best way to kick start the digestive system again, include oats, fresh fruit and veg, pulses and almonds into your diet to combat constipation.
Some ladies will suffer from anaemia after giving birth. Anaemia is an iron deficiency and leads to a reduction of red blood cells in the body, iron helps the immune system and is needed for haemoglobin, iron is lost when we lose blood. Iron rich foods include lean red meat, leafy green veg, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Calcium interferes with the absorption of iron so if you are suffering from anaemia limit your intake of calcium rich foods such as milk, yogurts and cheese, the same goes for tea and coffee as caffeine also inhibits iron absorption.
To help the body recover and repair protein is essential. Foods high in protein are chicken, turkey, salmon, tuna, tofu, eggs, lean red meat, beans, pulse, nuts and seeds.
Top 5 to get into your diet then are: 1. leafy green veg, 2. nuts (especially almonds), 3. lean red meat, 4. eggs, 5, oats.If delivery was c-section increasing vitamin C will also be beneficial, vitamin helps wounds heal, fights off infection, boosts the immune system and helps the absorption of iron. Foods high in vitamin C are citrus fruits, tomatoes, dark green leafy veg, peppers and berries.
Walking has been found to lower the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for storing fat (particularly around our middles) and burning muscle (when insulin is high). Cortisol is therefore catabolic rather than metabolic, not good! With cortisol high in the body we don’t just store fat we suffer cravings, mood swings, energy slumps and metabolic resistance. The good news is: walking needs to be at a leisurely pace for cortisol to be significantly reduced, so no need to power walk, climb mountains or go on monster hikes to reap the benefits. A study in Japan in 2007 found that cortisol levels were significantly lower if the leisurely walk was taken in the woods or countryside as opposed to walking in the city. The study also found that walking takes your mind off eating and doesn’t create compensatory hunger reactions unlike jogging or power walking. So next time you feel hungry take a leisurely stroll to reduce cravings and hunger whilst becoming a fat burner. Good news all round.