This month’s blog on boosting the health of ‘mum and baby’ during pregnancy. If you missed the last blog you may just want to scan back to the ‘My Healthy Scoops‘ section and read it, as it is all about ‘conception’ and some of the so-called ‘unexplained’ infertility issues. Now let’s start by the brilliant bugs in our body….did you know we have more bacterial cells than our own cells? …worth pondering on for a while. As the title of the book’ goes ‘10% human by Alanna Colle.
You may or may not have heard of the ‘good bacteria’ which are also known as ‘probiotics’. Now, these bacteria are incredibly powerful and highly beneficial during pregnancy, especially the third trimester. Some of you may have been recommended to boost these ‘health-boosting bugs’ by your doctor during pregnancy as they are known to reduce allergies in the newborn by whopping 40%…yes 40%! But don’t be fooled in taking the ‘sugar-laden’ yogurts that are advertised as having probiotics….from what I hear some of these yogurts may have genetically modified probiotics (not very wholesome!) BUT as they are loaded in sugar the mum-to-be can end up getting a horrible bout of thrush. So avoid the sugar-laden, money-making, not-so-healthy yogurts and try and get a good brand of probiotic FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, better still get fermenting, the bugs love those PRE-biotics.
The ideal time to take these probiotics is during the last trimester (but you want a healthy microbiome from pre-conception as this biome can help with avoiding nausea and thrush, depression etc). So what is so magical about these microscopic ‘goodies’? Well, they help produce B vitamins (that are vital for energy production), boost immunity, maintain hormonal balance, improve digestion (did you know morning sickness may well be due to lack of good bugs in the gut?) …so many benefits right? …they aren’t called ‘friendly bugs’ for no reason.
Swiftly moving onto the Omega oils. These oils are found in fish, starflower oil, seeds (and their oils) and some nuts. Now these oils are not only involved in hormonal balance and brain function in the mum to be but they are critical in brain development of the growing baby. You can tell a baby that has had omega oils whilst in utero compared to a baby that has not, especially in the first year of the baby’s life. They tend to be more alert, less ‘sicky’, more settled, and generally healthy all round. Now wouldn’t that be a plus nowadays? Today I see babies with eczema, bronchiolitis, constipation, recurrent ear infections, food intolerances, and so forth. I do recommend an omega test for most of my ‘pre-conception’ clients that shows the ratio between omega 6 and omega 3…these needs vary during pregnancy and one can fine-tune their needs accordingly.
Next is the multivitamin and mineral with OPTIMAL doses of vitamins and minerals…not the RDA dose, (known as the Recommended Deadly Allowance). With all those cells replicating, growing and the mother’s body expanding, DNA is being made at a phenomenal rate. It is a well-known fact that we require various B vitamins NOT JUST FOLATE for DNA synthesis. Most women today are deficient in various vitamins and minerals (did you know that the birth control pill also leaches out minerals and B vitamins from the body read more HERE) ….so a good multivitamin and mineral at optimum doses is key. I personally like using the homeobotanicals as they avoid all sorts of issues that we encounter with synthetic multivitamins.
Don’t fall for the so-called standard variety with only the Recommended Deadly Allowance (RDA) or the synthetic variety. Remember about 60% of the population has MTHFR (methylation issues, this rather complicated word basically means having to convert the FOLIC ACID to FOLATE (FOLIC ACID is synthetic and is can be ‘toxic’ dare I say in those with methylation issues) then it has to be methylated. It is this METHYLATED version that is used by the body. It is used to make all those baby cells, baby DNA, your neurotransmitters (i.e. mental health, think prevention of anxiety, think prevention of depression) to an active form and this conversion is just not happening as it should nowadays. In the UK, we have women who do not know the difference between one pregnancy supplement to another. Did you know methylation issues can be caused by toxic metals, antacids, poor nutrition, inflammation, alcohol? Inflammation includes PCOS, over the years I have seen couples conceive who had been trying for several years beforehand. I have women going through a healthy pregnancy and birthing a healthy baby using only a fertility homeobotanical instead of a multivitamin. If you multi contains FOLIC ACID, gently pick it up and throw it in the bin and invest in one with methylfolate …better still speak with your nutritional therapist. My favorite in UK is PREGNA-PLAN but there are other options.
Symptoms of methylation issues in a newborn can present as; cleft palate, strawberry mark, sacral dimples, ..later on allergies, autism, ADHD, auto-immune conditions (think type 1 diabetes)…one can avoid these by getting their body clean and improving their detox pathways as well as reducing the supplementation with synthetic B12 and folic acid and ensuring enough B vitamins, iron, zinc and amino acids BEFORE and DURING pregnancy.
Now I would not be doing any justice to this blog if I did not mention homeopathy, right? I mean just think about morning sickness, constipation, bloating, thrush etc. Why not try homeopathy? The torture of spending time rushing to the ‘loo’ due to the on-going nauseating feeling, takes away the magic of the pregnancy at this time. Morning sickness is usually an indication that the liver is crying out for a bit of tender loving care. It may well have been neglected for some time and now the added ‘burden’ of metabolizing those hormones can create some nauseating symptoms. The liver just wants to clear out some ‘trash’ and the only way it knows how is to make one ‘vomit’ or feel like vomiting. So why not get yourself some homeopathic advice along with nutritional support? You have nothing to lose but everything to gain.
To a healthy mum, dad and baby!