Maternal nutrition and health

October 06, 2017

Maternal nutrition and health

The complexities and simplicity's

"Your baby eats what you eat!"
  • Eat five rounded meals a day!
  • Drink plenty of water!
  • Keep active!

Three little pieces of advice offering us nothing more then that...........

We either wake up one day and decide it's time for what was once a beautiful union of two to become three, four, five or we wake up one day with a missed period and know a girls got a baby growing in there!

We get caught up in the bliss surrounding the knowledge of conception that we celebrate and embrace, rightly so!

We head to the doctors and cover the normal early screen and off we toddle floating on a cloud of very little information for such a crucial period of pregnancy!

Did you know between the period of 5 weeks to 14 weeks a baby's brain is completely developing its pathways and making its connections???

Did you know that in this same period of time nerve cells are connecting ( proliferating in scientific terms) at a rate of 15 million per hour!!! Pretty crazy concept isn't it just how quickly and in such a short period of time in span to which our babies complete neurological mapping happens!

Now that you know this little fact let me fill you in on something with you as the mum that's pretty incredible as well!

Did you know that all the food you consume and how it's distributed through your digestive tract and into your blood stream essentially helping to make that little "peanut" grow?

Yeh that's pretty common knowledge BUT do you know that all the nutrition is also impacting the health of your own neurological function through your own gut??

Seratonin - that wonderful little neurotransmitter that effects so many functions in your body.......

Mood - that's seratonin dependant

Sexual desire - seratonin

Appetite, sleep, memory, learning, temperature control and behaviour - that's all regulated by the neurotransmitter seratonin!!!

So if what you where consuming into your own body nutritionally wise was effecting the microbiome ( that's technical talk for flora and fauna) in your stomach - your own seratonin levels will be impacted via production and distribution of the neurotransmitter!

Now I'm not trying to overload you but to help you stop and think for a sec the impact in that crucial window of fetal development so that you and your growing baby have the best possible chance at a healthy pregnancy and Health childhood for the baby!!

We already know within the health community that the "autism spectrum" is heavily controlled by dietary intake, but what if we could look into maternal health as a means to help control the outlook of the "autism spectrum"?????? Not only that what if we could potentially look at maternal diet to improve infantile sleep habits, behaviour, food habits and also overall health by heavily focusing on the maternal nutrition through crucial developmental stages!?!?!?

I believe through research and understanding in the professional health fields I work in (health - mainly nutrition) that we could potentially change the outlook of a lot of associated "negatives" surround our babies.

You're going to ask me how and this is where the simplicity falls into the heading!

You pregnant mummy's need to focus and focus hard on what you're consuming! Every craving you have through pregnancy is your body telling you that it's starved of something!!!

Late night carb cravings = more increased protein rich diet!

Sugar fixes constantly = is a sign your body is dehydrated aim for 12 - 13 glasses a day of room temperature water!

Craving salt = Trace minerals is what your body is calling for! Eg: sodium, chloride, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium.

Start listening to the needs of your body and feeding them the right fuel for optimal health rather then chasing that Big Mac and triple choc Sunday!

Your gut health is so important focus on it! Ask yourself how many bowel movements do I make???? Ideally it should be food in food out, but still classified healthy is one - two bowel movements a day! If you are not pooping, get onto it ASAP by feeding your body what it NEEDS! Eg: fiber or do you ultimately have a undiagnosed intolerance or allergy to a certain food?? Yep allergies and intolerance both effect gastrointestinal health!

If your feeling unbalanced emotionally, experiencing sleeping difficulties ( and not because your belly has got you all uncomfortable, I'm talking the switch off and go to sleep function button your possibly missing temporarily) all of these are signs that your gut and essentially your seratonin levels are all out of whack and I'm tell you right now speaking from experience and not just out of textbook or med journal, that if you are experiencing these things at crucial points in neurological development of your baby the chances are high that once your baby is born they too are going to experience, mood control issues, sleep issues and quiet possibly behavioural issues leading towards "the autism spectrum", allergies and or intolerances and it all falls back to the responsibility of maternal nutrition!

I don't want to create fear or concern for you in what is an incredible stage of your pregnancy and life, what I hope to achieve is that women look further then their GP, midwives, OBGYN and add a dietitian / nutritionist / Alternative healthcare practitioner to their list of regular appointments.

It's not a simple as "your baby eats what you eat" because individually as mothers we all have such a diverse span of dietary needs, we all need different for our own bodies before conception, at conception all the way through to birth and then if we choose to lactate we again need individually specific nutrition!

We are seeing a rise in conditions that "never existed" in our parents or grandparent’s era, have you ever wondered what's change so dramatically since those generations????? The development of additives, preservatives and GMO crops and why where they created???? Because people needed to experience more profit growth within their businesses and didn't take into account the detrimental effect it was going to have on our bodies! Seen the shift now to move to more wholesome natural food choices??? That's because we as a whole society have worked out that all these profit driven "food evolutions" are simple not good for us! This is not a phase we are going through and only with more research and development will it gain more momentum!

Nutritionally we as a society are making a shift because we know that Nutrition has a broader impact then initially thought!

So yes, pick up that recipe book, make your bone broths, drink your kombucha or water kefir, take your multi strain probiotics and focus more thoroughly on optimal health for you! Your life and your child's life is at the hands of your choices you make nutritionally.

So like what being a mother is all about once your baby arrives start nurturing it nutritionally in the womb so that once baby is born the foundations you set through pregnancy can be greatly expanded on rather then having to try and wipe the slate clean and build up, immune systems, microbiome and control sleep with artificial supplements like melatonin ( which is naturally produced BTW from seratonin in the brain).

Because from a mum to mum. 

It's not about quantity in maternal nutrition that determines the health and development of your baby,

It's QUALITY!!!

Peta Ryan

Clinical nutritionist and Personal trainer

CEO/ Founder – Becoming You: The Challenge of a Lifetime!

Fusion Nutrition and Health PTY LTD

Instagram: happyhealthywhole_mum

Reference material:





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