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Preconception Care Pregnancy Nutrition Postpartum Recovery

Nutrient and energy reserves can become depleted following pregnancy and breastfeeding. Returning to a healthy state can take two years of conscious thought to a nutrient dense diet, supplements, adequate sleep and moderate exercise. As a new mother if you are sleep deprived, had heavy blood loss during childbirth, or had a Cesarean section, your reserves may be further depleted.

Symptoms of postpartum nutrient and energy depletion are depression, insomnia, anxiety, chronic fatigue, loss of sex drive, joint pain, digestive problems, asthma, dull skin and hair, and mood swings. This depleted state can initiate a health decline that may last for decades. It can also set the stage for chronic illnesses such as celiac disease and autoimmune diseases.

It is important to understand that your body will protect itself or else it cannot support your child. It will not allow the baby to take everything it needs from you. Therefore, if you are deficient you can be assured your baby is not getting everything it needs for vital growth. Before you consider having another child, your reserves must be fully replenished.

Priority recovery includes:

•Adequate sleep and moderate exercise
During sleep your body heals and organs recover, hormones are made, and the immune system is strengthened. 8-9 hours of restful sleep are required daily. Yes, a tall order with a newborn! Let me show you how to increase restful sleep and bring exercise into your day that will improve your strength, emotional well-being and your recovery health.

•Nutrient dense diet high in protein, iron, and calcium
During pregnancy your baby relies entirely on the nutrients you provide for its growth and development. Nutrients continue to be used in making milk if you are breastfeeding. I will show you how to continually supply the body with the foods it needs to support breastfeeding and to replenish your own nutrient reserves for a healthy recover. For instance, protein in your diet is not fully utilized without dietary fats (and why most protein foods come with their own fat – milk, eggs, meat). Vitamin A and D is needed for the assimilation of protein. So despite wanting to return to your prepregnancy weight, this is not the time to eat anything low fat.

•Supplements and Omega-3 oils (essential fatty acids)
There is a significant decline in maternal stores of the essential fatty acid DHA early in the postpartum period. The DHA extracted from the mother takes up to 4 years to replace. A mother’s DHA status decreases with each pregnancy, yet DHA is essential for fetal brain and cognitive development and therefore replacing depleted levels is critical before your next pregnancy. Also, low maternal DHA is associated with postpartum depression. When supplementing these women with cod liver oil to a 1% increase in plasma DHA, a 59% decrease in depressive symptoms was seen.

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