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Preconception Care Pregnancy Nutrition Postpartum Recovery

During pregnancy your baby relies completely on you for her development and growth. If you are deficient in any of the key nutrients that support this development, your baby will be deficient as well.

The most vulnerable period for your baby is 3 to 8 weeks after conception. Cells are differentiating and multiplying rapidly, major organs are forming and your baby’s external features are beginning to take shape.

Your first prenatal visit with your doctor or practitioner is often scheduled at 10 to 12 weeks’ gestation – too late to have a positive effect on your baby’s most critical period of growth. To give your baby the best start and the gift of lasting health, we will meet as soon as you know you are pregnant and at the start of each trimester thereafter.

Your body is adapting to the many challenges of hormonal change, increased nutrient and energy needs, and uterine growth. The diet and lifestyle choices you make during pregnancy have a direct and lasting effect on the health of your child and on your own recovery. I will guide your understanding of :

•Eat twice as well
The nutrient needs for your developing baby and your own nutrient needs to support your increased blood volume and metabolism are immense. Yet, the average recommended calorie increase for a single pregnancy is only 300 calories (one bagel spread with nut butter and a small pear). So you are not eating for two, but rather, every bite must count. Although prenatal supplements will help you meet this increased nutrient need, they are no supplement for whole foods. Your body is far more efficient at extracting what it needs from a balanced diet. Healthy foods must be your priority. If you have multiple babies to nourish, your nutrition and weight gain become even more important.

•Determine the foods you should eat and how much
Protein is of primary importance as it provides the building blocks for all fetal muscle and tissue formation and brain development. It is also essential for your own increased blood volume and amniotic fluid, and for your energy reserves. High quality protein should be included in each meal and snack. I will provide many examples of how to do this. Variety in your diet will be key to assuring adequate folic acid, antioxidants, iron, calcium, vitamin D, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and adequate fluids.

•Gain the appropriate weight without obsession to a scale
Being overweight or underweight prepregnancy can increase the risks to you and your baby. Recommended weight gain during pregnancy is very individualized and can range from 15 – 40 pounds (34 – 50 pounds if carrying multiples). I will help you determine what is most appropriate for you.

•Minimize fatigue, nausea and mood swings
If you can control fatigue you will minimize nausea and mood swings. I will show you many simple, natural remedies to improve your well-being during pregnancy.

•Incorporate daily exercise Exercise increases blood circulation increasing oxygen and nutrient transport to your baby. It will also boost energy and mood, strengthen muscles, add flexibility, and reduce injury risks.

•Identify harmful exposures that may effect the health of your child’s development
80 - 90% of our exposure to toxic chemicals come from the food we eat and the inside environment where we live and work. You do have a large measure of control in avoiding harmful exposures that can affect the health of your pregnancy and child. I will guide you through a tour of your home to look for simple changes you can make that will provide a positive impact on the health of your child.

•Control high blood pressure and diabetes
Entering pregnancy with the above risk factors pose a danger to yourself and your child. Maternal blood volume increases 30-50% and insulin demands increase three fold during pregnancy. Close monitoring by your doctor, appropriate weight gain and close attention to diet and lifestyle choices are critical for a healthy pregnancy.

•Identify prenatal supplement needs
Throughout most of your life nutritional supplements can be considered insurance to boost the body during times of illness, surgery, severe stress, aging, and to supplement poor eating habits or poor digestion. For fertility, pregnancy and postpartum recovery the body’s nutrient demands are so high that supplements are strongly recommended. All supplements are not the same. Supplements must be tested for chemical and microbial contamination, authenticity, potency, heavy metals, rancidity, bioavailability and stability. I will help you determine which supplements are most appropriate for your individual needs.

Mood swings are often a result of fatigue, but are also due to sudden fluctuations in hormones, your changing metabolism, and nutrient depletions. It will be a roller coaster, pure and simple. I will help you soften the deep dips so that the pure joy of giving life will shine through.

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