Postnatal nutrition is all about recovery, healing and helping you cope with the after effects of birth. Bringing down inflammation and preventing infection around the birth area is an obvious priority, but pain relief, ease of bowel movements and milk flow can also be helped by dietary factors.
Quality, sustaining foods help support energy and mood, and provide you with vital anti-depressant nutrients such as zinc, B vitamins and magnesium. If breastfeeding, this is doubly important because your recovery and health can suffer as you provide your baby with the nutrients it needs to thrive and grow. Milk production can require as much as 500 extra calories a day in energy, and that needs to come from nutrient-dense food. continue to read
For many women, the first 3 months of pregnancy can be the hardest, with fatigue and morning sickness most likely to strike now. Being careful about what you can eat help, by ensuring steady blood-sugar levels, and providing the nutrients such as B vitamins and iron, that may be depleted at this time. Folate (folic acid), vitamin E and zinc support the growth of the baby and placenta.
Certain food can help minimize common symptoms, the best known being ginger for nausea. Foods that support immunity are also particularly important now, when it is naturally lowered to protect the embryo from being rejected by the mother’s body. Those foods that promote detoxification and the elimination of harmful substances also protect your baby at this delicate stage. continue to read
In the preparation stage before pregnancy, the nutritional focus is on increasing the nutrients needed for egg and sperm health and reducing the factors that may harm these, Vitamin A and C and other antioxidants can help protect the egg and sperm from damage by chemicals and pollutants. Low levels of zinc may affect fertility in both men and women, while folic acid levels have to be high to help prevent birth defects. Good dietary protein levels are also required for conception.
In this column we focus on foods that provide dense nutritional content, and that offer an alternative to processed foods, caffeine and high sugar foods that may affect fertility. Guidelines also support weight loss before pregnancy, the safe time for any excess to be lost. continue to read
Children whose mothers take the antiepileptic drug sodium valproate while pregnant are at significantly increased risk of autism and other neuro development disorders, suggests a small study published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. The authors based their findings on children born to 528 pregnant women in the North West of England.
Just fewer than half the mums had epilepsy, all but 34 of whom took antiepileptic drugs during their pregnancy. Fifty nine nums took carbamazepine, 59 took valproate, 36 took lamotrigine, 41 took a combination, and 15 took other drugs. Read more
According to WebMD Health News, children whose dads were depressed during their wives pregnancies are more likely to exhibit emotional and behavioral problems at age 3, new research suggests.
The finding comes from an ongoing study of more than 30,000 Norwegian children. When their mothers were nearly halfway through their pregnancy, their fathers completed a mental health questionnaire that assessed anxiety and depression symptoms. The researchers also collected information from the parents about the mothers’ pre and postnatal mental health and the children’s emotional and behavioral development at 36 months of age. Read more