Hi! I´m Eleni, fertility and pregnancy nutrition expert and founder of Primal Baby, a health sanctuary for all things pregnancy - before, during and after. I help women who are trying to conceive or are already pregnant to optimise their diet and lifestyle for succesful conception and a healthy baby
High blood pressure in late pregnancy can lead to preterm birth, that increases risk of low birth weight and immature lung function in the baby. A large study involving more than 3,500 women, over 9 yrs, in Australia showed that a Mediterranean diet of virgin olive oil, fresh fruit, pulses, fish and small quantities of meat can prevent hypertension during pregnancy.
Omega 3 rich diet (supplements or foods) enriches quality of breast milk, improving cognitive functions and protecting baby from infections. Milk from overweight mothers (pre-pregnancy BMI more than 25) has lower beneficial bacteria and higher numbers of potentially pathogenic bacterial strains, which can leave the baby more exposed to infections.
-Avoid caffeine, cigarettes alcohol: Hinders nutrient absorption. Take prenatal at least 3-4 hrs apart. -Take with small amounts of healthy fats: Helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, K, D, E). - Ensure enough stomach acid: Aids mineral absorption. - Take multi vitamins: Absence of some vitamins limits absorption of other vitamins, so cover these dependencies.
Small, regular meals should be the norm in pregnancy. Fresh fruits and vegetables can prevent sudden highs and lows in your mood. Just like in effective fertility diets, healthy fats should be included and never avoided. Make sure you include raw salads, small wild fish and probiotics like kefir and kombucha to your diet.
Studies indicate that tampons, pads, feminine deodorants, and douches may cause reproductive harm, endocrine disruptions and rashes in the long run. Instead, choose natural, fragrance-free sanitary products made of organic cotton or hemp like mamacloth, gladrags, natracare, earthwise girls and organyc. Menstrual cups are also a great alternative.
Research suggests that prenatal exposure to parabens is linked to autistic-like behavioral symptoms in infants and other birth defects. To prevent this exposure choose paraben-free cosmetics and personal care products. Buy preservative-free cosmetics in small batches. Most important of all, eat fresh food and cook your meals from whole, local ingredients.