I got married in December 2016 so I had been particularly taking care of what I ate to fit in my dream dress (the stress of Wedding planning also helps you lose weight), thank you so much Shelia Harding at Boa, Richmond.
We were planning on me getting pregnant soon so I was taking a quality supplement from BioNutri - called Natal 8 for a few months before my Wedding. I also watched my carbohydrate consumption (a recent study showed this has helped with fertility - read study) limiting the bread and potatoes - however during pregnancy the body tells you it needs carbohydrates to give you the extra energy to grow the baby!
I am now 30 weeks pregnant and since finding out at 3 weeks back at the end of January I have tried to implement my professional clinical nutrition knowledge into my pregnancy. I however have to admit at a time when you have little control over your body this can be very challenging! My avocado on toast has found chili jam on it, plus pineapple runs to the shops has been a regular occurrence - oh and their was the fruit and fibre cereal for dessert phase - I can only put this down to the new sweet tooth and bland comfort food - as it was something I ate as a child (before we knew what was in most sugar laden cereals & how they affect our blood sugar).
My husband and I have had a Babymoon a couple of weeks ago - as I celebrated my birthday with no fizz this year - it involved a fantastic cookery course at Luckman Park then onto the New Forrest to stay at Chewton Glen for sea air and more tasty food.
Week 6 - 17 were that hardest for me, as someone who is active and never really likes to sit still battled the fatigue- but you have to just rest on the sofa in the evenings and listen to your body as it tells/makes you slow down and relax, so the body can get on with the mammoth task of getting you ready to carry a baby.
You then can't help compare yourself to other friends who have had children (many like to tell you terrible birthing stories) or have also just found out they are on this crazy pregnancy journey. Why did/do they not feel sick all day every day for 3 months?!
Who named it morning sickness! Mine got worse at 15.00 every day. Life carried on anyway and I felt until I reached the 12 weeks mark I was limited on who I could share my exciting news with. The food tasting/menu development job I had on at the time was certainly a challange as they brought out the 30+ dishes for me to comment on, while I fought the nausea.
Each trimester has been so different, the 1st the fatigue, sickness, metallic taste - hangover mouth in the morning, mood swings, sore breasts, weight going in places it has never before - my hips have been getting ready to hold the extending bump.
The 2nd trimester was all about the 20 week scan for me and after 17 weeks of being pregnant I had started to come to terms with my new body shape. By week 22 I was back to being full of energy and even played golf up to 6 months pregnant - but it was getting harder physically/structurally so I listened to my body and retired till next spring on the golf front. Swimming is the go to exercise now- it feels amazing to get the weight off in the pool!
Now I'm in the 3rd trimester and it has started to feel very real! I started Yoga for pregnancy at 11 weeks and it has been absolutely fantastic, I can not recommend this enough. Triona in Richmond runs Yogabellies and I think my husband will agree it has balanced my mood and made me focus on my breathing whilst retaining flexibility and strength. Unfortunately I am not doing this daily (must try to) so my moods have been up and down but we are only human and the enormity of what is happening inside and out to my body I am not surprised!
Moves include the Goddess (although that isn't how I feel when I am doing it), Polar Bear - (bottom in the air whilst on all fours and a great position for labour) but the stretching in Downward Dog and Childs Pose has been wonderful as my body shape changes so quickly and adds extra stress on my lower back.
As my hormones continue to go overdrive I look at balancing them with my diet. These principles are important for all female hormonal health..
HORMONE BALANCING DIET:
1/ Drink enough fluids
2/ Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
3/ Buy organic food where possible - avoid the dirty dozen
4/ Eat phytoestrogens, including beans, lentils and chickpeas
5/ Eat oily foods, including fish (the right fish for pregnancy) , nuts, seeds and oils
6/ Reduce your intake of caffeine - including chocolate
7/ Eat complex carbohydrates - wholegrains, brown rice and oats
8/ Avoid additives, preservatives and chemicals such as artificial sweetener- no diet drink etc.
I also was conscious that in the past I have suffered from anxiety and although I look out for the foods which can reduce this, I wanted to learn the techniques to help me as much as possible have my natural (ideally water) birth so was introduced to Ali at Hypnobirthing Mumma.
The sessions so far have reinforced the power of the mind, and how total relaxation and visualisation can help you remain calm. Effective breathing techniques which actually you can implement in day to day life - even when it is a very hot day in July and you can't cool down with a baby inside you!
The workshops have involved my husband also, I wanted him to feel that he had a role to play other than getting me to the hospital. He has surprised me with his interested questions and when it came to the visualisation he was having a great time and seemed to find it easy to switch off from our life stresses and commitments. I even felt rather competitive over how good a place he was visiting as we relaxed into our calm happy places.
Foods to avoid to help with Anxiety and Panic Attacks in Pregnancy:
1/ Avoid stimulants, especially caffeine & refined sugar (even though I have craved this!) , which can all trigger severe mood swings and disrupts blood sugar levels.
2/ Too many starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes, croissants, bananas and coffee (again more cravings! Who said pregnancy was easy but try and limit!)
3/ Tinned and pre-packed foods which are high in salt, combine this with anxiety or a panic attack and your blood pressure can rise (optimal blood pressure is so important throughout pregnancy)
Pregnancy Nutrition to remember:
1/ Zinc deficiency has been associated with a long labour - so eat more spinach, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, nuts, dark chocolate (easy one), pork, chicken, beans, and mushrooms.
2/ Magnesium helps relax the nervous system - I have had so many Epsom salt baths!
3/ Do not take Vitamin A during pregnancy, you can get enough from those orange vegetables in the form of beta carotene.
4/ Post natal depression has been linked to subclinical levels of Zinc and Magnesium
5/ Take a natal multivitamin which provides Folic Acid as Methylfolate Vitamin B6, B12, C, Iron, and Zinc along and acidophilus, Bifidobacteria & Bulgaricus.
6/ Understand your DNA Methylation Profile (learn more about Genetic Testing at my clinic here) - You may have a MTHFR Genetic Defect and this will need to be addressed to aid methylation and support fertility and pregnancy - Dr Ben Lynch explains here
I look forward to sharing my journey and including tips and nutritional knowledge along the way.