When you are pregnant your body is experiencing some crazy changes; from hormones, physical changes, metabolic changes… the list goes on! One you might not know about or even think about is actually your gut health!
Gut health is so important to be mindful of while you are pregnant and yet it isn’t talked about enough, so that’s why I’m here! Having a healthy gut while you're pregnant is important because it aids in the absorption of nutrients essential for a healthy environment for baby. It also has been shown to impact gestational diabetes and preeclampsia too! (something you're often not told about!)
So let’s talk about how can you support your gut health while pregnant to stay healthy and feeling good (which is always our #1 goal!).
Without getting too “science-y,” butyrate is a fatty acid that is produced through microbial fermentation of dietary fibers in the lower intestinal tract. This fatty acid is important because it feeds the cells lining the colon, promotes a healthy gut barrier, and prevents “leaky gut.” This powerhouse does A LOT of different things in your gut, but especially for pregnant women. It lowers the maternal blood pressure during pregnancy and is the main source of energy for cells building the intestinal epithelium as well as helps support the immune system.
Thankfully, there are foods available to you that contain butyrate naturally! These include hard cheeses (think Parmesan and pecorino), butter, full-fat yogurt, and fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, pickles, and tempeh. Nourishing your body with these different foods allows your gut microbiome to supercharge the production of butyrate.
Join the waitlist HERE to gain access to my pregnancy guide when it launches; packed with recipes, resources and ways to support your body and feel good during pregnancy!
Can I be honest with you?
Having a baby is amazing.
Living life after having a baby is also amazing.
And sometimes it can be hard.
At the very same time as looking at this little bundle of joy in your arms while you're feeling huge surges of oxytocin (ie that love hormone) you can also be feeling sadness.
Maybe the sadness isn't even related to being overtired and awake at crazy hours, often alone. Maybe it's just the state of the world. Maybe it's that we're often forced to go back to work way way way too soon (at least here in America). Maybe it's that you forgot to load the clothing into the dryer or put that food in the freezer so it doesn't go bad.
Motherhood is a whole lot of different feelings and I suspect that doesn't ever change no matter how old our children get or how many we have.
And with all of those feelings we can also support are mental and physical health to oftentimes feel better (better can mean a lot of things of course).
Keeping with our central theme these days, mental health (i.e. how ya might be feeling) is hugely impacted by the gut, in many more ways than just one (or even several) IG posts can really discuss. But to keep it short and simple, what you eat and what you put on your body directly impacts your mental and physical health.
The Gut-Brain Axis (exactly what it sounds like) plays a role in mood regulation. Gut health influences neurotransmitter production, and disruptions in gut function may contribute to mood swings and affect postpartum mental health, which is closely tied to hormonal fluctuations.
Which means it's so important that we take proper care of our gut, but how do we do that!?
Grab my Gut Health Made Easy guide here to learn how!
We talked about this last week but we're talking about it again, and probably every week for quite some time 💖
Let’s talk about one we don't hear a ton about: vitamin e.
Vitamin E is an essential fat-soluble antioxidant that plays a crucial role in protecting cells from oxidative damage.
This is an important part of the vitamin E aspect, because if you look up where to find E, you might see that they say vegetable oils, which are a big no no. In fact unrefined vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which actually deplete the body of vitamin E.
Commercial refined vegetables oils have been stripped of vitamin E to begin with, so consumption of these products greatly increases the body's vitamin E requirements.
There are many foods that have this fat soluble vitamin👇
🥜 Nuts and Seeds:
Almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts are excellent sources of vitamin E. Snacking on a handful of almonds or incorporating sunflower seeds into salads and yogurt can boost your vitamin E intake. Bonus for sprouted nuts!
🥦 Green Leafy Vegetables:
Spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are examples of green leafy vegetables that contain vitamin E. These can be incorporated into salads, stir-fries, or smoothies.
Certain fish, such as salmon and rainbow trout, contain vitamin E. Including these fish in your diet not only provides vitamin E but also offers omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.
Fruits like kiwi, mango, and blackberries contain moderate amounts of vitamin E. Enjoying a variety of fruits as part of your diet provides a range of essential nutrients, including vitamin E.
Bell peppers, particularly the red variety, are a good source of vitamin E. Including a variety of colorful vegetables in your meals ensures a diverse range of nutrients.
🥜 Nut Butters:
Peanut butter and almond butter are good sources of vitamin E. Spread nut butter on whole-grain toast or use it as a dip for fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, so consuming it with a small amount of healthy fat can enhance absorption.
It is also really helpful when it comes to maintaining the gut barrier function. This barrier is crucial for preventing the entry of harmful substances, such as bacteria and toxins, into the bloodstream. Vitamin E may contribute to the maintenance of gut barrier function, helping to preserve the integrity of the intestinal lining and reduce the risk of leaky gut syndrome.🤯
Join my waitlist here to get my pregnancy guide when it launches! Packed with tips, resources and food support for a healthy pregnancy.
The biggest mistake I see people make after birthing their baby is not giving their body the rest it needs. Your body just went through a crazy experience these last nine months and it’s important to give it time to heal and restore itself. I heard many different stories about recovery after birth from my mom’s of ‘I was walking up and down three floors right after birth’ to staying put and not getting out of the house for 40 days. I knew I wanted something in-between these two aspects and learned about the 5-5-5 rule.
5 days in the bed, 5 days on the bed, 5 days near the bed.
This gives you a solid two weeks of focused intentional rest. Framing it 5 days at a time can sometimes be really helpful for not just the mom, but for those around her who might be confused why she's resting so much. This prevents you from overworking your body or pushing yourself too hard. The #1 goal is simply to rest!
It also helps to get your priorities in order when it comes to those eager visitors. They will get to see the baby, but they don't get to make the rules (don’t get me started on this!). If you’re respecting your body and taking the time to rest, it will cause others to respect your time as well.
I wouldn't at all say that 15 days is the only postpartum time you need for rest and recovery, but I thought the concept was cool! You no doubt need more time, but it’s a great place to start.
I didn’t end up moving from my bedroom for over a week and when I did, I would walk downstairs and not go back up until the end of the night to not overdo it and let my body heal.
What did you do after birth? A long recovery or right back at it?
Click here to to join the waitlist to grab my pregnancy guide to support you along your pregnancy; packed with tips, recipes and more!
Morning sickness is common among pregnant women, but I don’t think it’s talked about enough!I just read this article about it and thought it was really interesting! I didn't have too much morning sickness, but I know a lot of women do!
One possible explanation for pregnancy nausea is lack of bile. The body makes bile (which is needed to digest fats) and sex hormones out of cholesterol. If not enough cholesterol is available to handle the excess requirements of pregnancy, as most available cholesterol is focused on the production of estrogen and progesterone, this might mean that there is not enough available for the production of bile. When there is not enough bile, eating fatty foods can sometimes cause that nausea.
Now it's not that this is 100% the cause of all morning sickness for all women, but it is a possibility!
So what do you do?
Well what you can do is make sure you are consuming cholesterol. (the old me would be really confused by this sentence but believe it or not my masters held a lot of excellent knowledge about this!).
The 'problem' with cholesterol is not so much the actual cholesterol, but the oxidation of the cholesterol cells which comes from the sourcing of animal products and stress.
👉foods to avoid with cholesterol:
Research has linked high added sugar intake to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mental decline, and certain cancers. Plus, these foods often lack nutrients your body needs to thrive, such as vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats.
It’s important to consume foods with good cholesterol, even if though the foods above sound appetizing!
Click here to join my waitlist to get my pregnancy guide when it launches! Packed with tips, resources and food support for a healthy pregnancy.