Why Perinatal Nutrition Matters
First things first. Are you wondering what the heck perinatal means? If so, let me clear it up.
Peri (about or around) + Natal (pertaining to birth)
aka: trying to conceive, during pregnancy and post-partum
Simply put, perinatal refers to all of the life stages around baby-making.
If you are reading this, you are probably already interested in optimizing your nutrition during the perinatal life stages. We are so happy to hear it! Over many years of working with women, we found there is often a heightened interest in nutrition during this time and for good reason. What you eat before, during and after pregnancy, directly impacts the health and nourishment of your baby. Talk about motivation to eat your veggies ;)
To break it down, I will speak directly to the importance of nutrition in each perinatal stage.
Raise your hand if you are trying to conceive. This is often a time when you start to view your body in a completely new way. For many of you, it will be the first time you get in tune with your cycle, learning about your ovulation patterns, thermal shifts, cervical fluid, etc.
FYI - If you haven't already, I highly recommend reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. Her book provides amazing insights to your body and lays the groundwork for understanding your cycle.
Not surprisingly, what we eat can have a big influence on how our body operates. This includes our sleep patterns, energy levels, ability to manage stress and our hormonal balance. All of these pillars of health are incredibly important when trying to conceive because they all play a role in our fertility. If you feel like one of these pillars is out of balance in your life, you may benefit from working with us to gain nutritional support that will optimize your health for reproduction.
Additionally, research shows that mom's diet and nutritional status at time of conception can alter baby's genes permanently, impacting their disease risk, immune system and overall health outcomes. Woah! Not only this, another team of researchers found that the age old saying, "you are what you eat," actually should be, "you are what your grandmother ate." Their findings show that your maternal grandmother's diet plays a role not only in your mom's health, but also in yours. Do it for the future generations ladies!
Don't let this stress you out. Healthful eating is absolutely not restrictive and definitely can taste amazing. If you aren't quite sure how to get started on a balanced, nutritious lifestyle, you have come to the right place! If you have the basics down, but are struggling to conceive and want to dive deeper, we've also got you covered.
Once you conceive, you are the direct nutrient source for your baby. Therefore, it is not shocking that maternal diet during pregnancy is important. Your body is also going through a lot of transition which can be taxing both physically and emotionally. You may experience nausea, constipation, swelling and lethargy. Having a strong nutritional foundation can help support you through all of these experiences.
Maybe you have been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GDM) and aren't satisfied with the level of resources you are receiving. For many women, GDM can be managed with diet and we would absolutely love to provide the education and support you need to take a food first approach.
Having a solid care team during pregnancy can be the difference between relishing the amazing ability of your body to grow another human and counting down the days until the whole thing is over. We can help you feel your absolute best and support your every step of the way.
Now that your little bundle of cuteness has arrived, you are no longer getting all the attention. There is not doubt going to be a lot of time and energy spent on baby, but you can't pour from an empty cup mama!
There is no time like the present to carve out time for self-care. Recovering from child birth is no joke and making sure you are well nourished is key to entering into motherhood healthy and strong. Your post-pregnancy hormones might be all out of whack, meaning your energy and mood have a tendency to follow suite. Optimal nutrition can help you return to hormonal balance, keeping your energy and mood in check.
For all you breastfeeding moms, you also continue to be the nutritional life source for your baby. The quality of your diet impacts that liquid gold. Adequate nourishment is also imperative to keeping up your milk supply. If you are struggling to maintain adequate production, we can work with you on dietary modifications to support increased supply.
So who are the ladies out there working on baby #2? You've learned a thing or two from baby #1 and you might be seeking a slightly different experience for your second rodeo. Not to mention, if you are going for the back-to-back, bang it out, approach, there are some serious nutrition considerations to take into account. We can help you rebuild those nutritional stores depleted in pregnancy and set a healthy, solid foundation as you begin the journey again.
No matter where you are at in your perinatal journey, we would love to support you. Reach out to schedule a free 15-minute consult to see if working with us is a good fit. We do both tele-health sessions, as well as in-person, so don't let time or location be a barrier to achieving your health and baby-making goals.
You were made for this.