I possess a natural empathy and a desire to help people; whether that is to help ease the pain of chronic tension, to soothe the muscles following over-exertion or simply to relax and take away anxiety. I treat people holistically and as individuals

Amy Phillips - 07800 636266

Dekker Road, Dulwich Village. London. SE21 7DJ

thedulwichtouch@me.com

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 Wellbeing

A Healthy diet, a healthy body part 3: Pregnancy

“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

During pregnancy, more than any time in our lives, it is important to get all the nutrition we need. The growing baby is going to need lots of vitamins, nutrients and minerals as well as the exhausted body who has to carry it around for 9 months!
There are certain nutrients that are particularly important for Mother and Baby’s health and here I will discuss them, but before making any serious changes to your diet, do discuss it with your doctor.

Folic Acid:
Women should take a daily supplement of 400 micrograms of folic acid while they are trying to conceive, and should continue taking this dose for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, when the baby's spine is developing. If you haven’t been taking it and find you are pregnant, it is advisable to begin as soon as possible and at least until week 12. It is very important for the development of a healthy foetus, as it can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs), such as Spina Bifida. Increasing your daily intake is also a good idea, foods rich in Folic acid are: green, leafy vegetables, brown rice, granary bread and breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid.

Vitamin B6:
Also known as pyridoxine, Vitamin B6 helps your body metabolize protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It also helps form new red blood cells, antibodies, and neurotransmitters, and is vital to your baby's developing brain and nervous system.
Research shows that extra vitamin B6 may relieve nausea or vomiting for some women during pregnancy, though there is no evidence to support this, it’s definitely worth upping your intake if you are suffering with Morning Sickness.
You should be able to obtain all the Vitamin B6 you need from your diet, though if you are suffering with nausea, ask your doctor if you should take a supplement. Good food sources are: pork, chicken and turkey, Fish, whole cereals (i.e. oatmeal, wheat germ and rice), eggs, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, broccoli, watermelon, avocados, soya beans and milk.

Vitamin D:
Vitamin D helps to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphate in your body, which are needed to keep your bones and teeth healthy. Vitamin D can help you to fight infections, and may help to prevent diabetes and some cancers.
Not having enough vitamin D when you are pregnant or breastfeeding may prevent your baby from getting enough calcium and phosphate. This can cause him to develop weak teeth and bones, and in rare cases, develop rickets. There may be a link between low vitamin D levels during pregnancy and an increased risk of having a baby with a low birth weight.
The most important way we take in Vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight. You need to expose at least your face and forearms to sunlight for at least 20 minutes a day, without sun-block, during the summer months. This will build up enough vitamin D stores to last you throughout the winter months.
There are some food sources, and these include: oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. You should eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. Red meat and egg yolks also provide some vitamin D. If you feel you may be deficient during pregnancy or when you are breast feeding, ask your doctor for advice about supplementation.

Iron:
This is particularly important if you are vegetarian or vegan. Iron can be difficult if you don’t eat meat, and it is a vital nutrient. We need iron in our diets to make healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body and to the baby. Deficiency can lead to Anemia- symptoms of which include: Feeling tired, weak and dizzy, looking pale and getting headaches.
Aside from Red meat and offal, good sources are: fortified breakfast cereals, bread, pulses such as baked beans and kidney beans, eggs and green vegetables.

Healthy Start vouchers for pregnant women
If you are on benefits, have a very low income or are under 18, you can receive Healthy Start vouchers to buy fruit, milk and vegetables. You can also receive free vitamin supplements, which include folic acid and vitamin D and vitamin C. Speak to your midwife who should give you a form to claim the vouchers.
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