I have a passion for healthy eating, especially when it comes not only my children, but all children. It is us, as the parents, who will determine our children's eating habits. The habits that will teach our children and the foods we offer them should be a balance of foods that expose them to nutritionally dense options, set them up nutritionally to succeed, and offer an element of fun (because eating should be enjoyed)
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It is the beginning meal that sets the foundation for the rest of the day. If the first meal of the day is nutritionally balances, the rest of the day can be a yo-yo of ups and downs that affect the overall health and performance of our children.
Preeclampsia is a prenatal and postpartum condition that is hallmarked by gestational hypertension and the presence of protein in the urine. It occurs in approximately 5-8% of pregnant women, and can be life threatening. Woman who have had preeclampsia with a previous pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing it again.
There have been several studies linking different nutritional deficiencies with an increased risk of developing gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. In this article I will address the individual nutrients linked in these studies, as well as nutritional principles to get you started.
First off, I want to thank you for following along on this series. I have been really excited for this one. I am sure there are parts that I missed, or questions that have arisen. Please feel free to email me, or comment below. I love discussion.
To top of this series, I want to simplify it a bit. I want to list my FAVORITE foods for preparing for labor and delivery. Some of these may seem different from what you've been told during pregnancy. That's okay, we are trying to deliver a baby at this point, and some of the nutritional needs change slightly.
Probiotics are the "good" bacteria in and on our bodies. We have a symbiotic relationship with them. More and more research is pointing to the benefits and necessity of a healthy microcolony.
As it applies to labor and delivery, probiotics are extremely important, influencing not only the health and labor outcome of the mother, but the health of the infant into adulthood.
It seems to me that there is so much emphasis put on the progression of labor, that we fail to address the many other aspects to the process.
The Amniotic sac and the fluid it contains is as crucial to the initiation of labor as it is a home for the growing infant.
All of the processes leading up to delivery are important. A hiccup with any one and normal natural labor and delivery is affected.
That being said though, If the door cannot open, the baby cannot pass. If the cervix cannot soften and efface, then no amount of contracting will delivery your baby.
In the female reproductive system, there is a delicate play between Estrogen and Progesterone. The yin and the yang in TCM of the reproductive system; Estrogen is the yin cooling aspect, and Progesterone is the yang warming aspect.
Both Progesterone and Estrogen are steroid hormones. Meaning they are made from cholesterol...there it is again. If your body doesn't have enough cholesterol, you cannot make steroid hormones (this includes Vitamin D, which is technically a steroid hormone).
Now that we know a little bit about the biology of natural labor, and the beginning of how the hormones play off of each and other and work in the body, let's dig a little deeper.
I wanted to start off with oxytocin. Oxytocin is one of the key players in the birthing game. Without oxytocin, the uterus cannot contract, the cervix cannot efface or dilate, and natural birth does not occur.
When we think of labor and delivery, nutritionally, many of us think of the snacks (or lack of snacks allowed) during the 24-ish hours of actual labor. But, let me tell you a secret....the real nutritional works begins about 8 weeks BEFORE labor. This is when you are building up your nutritional stores that will fuel the natural birth processes.
Most women are not aware of the role nutrients play in the process of labor. I want to spend the next several articles discussing the important role that nutrition plays in processes of labor.
I want to start, today, by talking about the natural biological processes of labor. By understanding HOW our body goes into labor and the natural biological changes that happen in the process, it will be easier to explain how nutrition plays a role in your natural birth goals.
There has been a LOT of information presented in this series, and there is so much more that was left out. I wish we had more time to discuss many of the topics more in depth. I tried to pick those that were the important basics. A place to start the processes of illuminating inflammation in the body.
My goal in this series was not only to educate you on how food can change your inflammatory pathways (good and bad), but to also give you the information to encourage you to make the change. Lastly, my goal is to give you the tools you need to take charge of your own health. The knowledge into HOW to make these changes, and make them last.
Today, I want to bring it all together with some tips to help you implement and make this a lifestyle, not a diet.