Until the past few years I’ve had little interest in early child development and fertility. Because none of my close friends were even thinking about having children it just wasn’t on my radar. But slowly as the years have gone by, I’ve been getting more questions on the subject and many of my close friends are either having or thinking about having children. Of course I love my friends more than anything so naturally I want them all to have the most brilliant, gorgeous, healthy children possible. And if you’re familiar with the work of Dr. Weston A Price, you’re probably aware that the inner health of a mother is directly connected to all three of these characteristics.
This is why I’ve decided to start a mini-series on pre-natal nutrition. The 2 years leading up to pregnancy are quite important for building nutrition stores in a woman’s body. So even if you’re not at the stage of considering pregnancy this post will be quite helpful. And if you’re on the other end of the spectrum and only have 6 months before conception, I believe this series will be vitally important to the health of your future gorgeous, healthy, talented, genius, future-president children.
Where does it start?
It’s been widely recognised that a child’s micro biome (inner ecosystem) is established at birth during the travel through the microbes of the vaginal canal. During this process, a child is exposed to the mothers anti-inflammatory bacteria which kick starts the establishment of a healthy, immune system. One of the reasons that vaginally birthed baby have lower rates of asthma, and autoimmune disease than those delivered via cesarean.
However, new research has shown that a child’s micro biome is actually established in utero via the umbilical cord (this seemed fairly obvious to me already). This leads to an increased awareness of the importance of a mother (and hopefully father as bacteria, good or bad, is passed during intercourse) establishing a healthy and thriving inner ecosystem.
The inner ecosystem that I’m talking about is primarily found in the digestive tract where enzymes are released, pathogens are hopefully killed, food is digested and our neurotransmitters responsible for happy moods are created and released. Unfortunately this inner ecosystem can become damaged through poor diet, excess toxicity, inflammation, heavy metal poisoning and more. But not to worry! A few steps to take will get your inner ecosystem baby ready in no time!
1.Do your research on pregnancy vaccines. I am pro-choice on this issue but more importantly, pro-research. Remember that everything you take in whether nourishing or toxic is transferred to the baby who at this point is very weak and does not have an established immune system nor liver to remove toxins. Please read all inserts of doctor recommended vaccinations, be weary of neurotoxic additives such as mercury, aluminium and MSG and have your opinions made up before your first pregnancy check-up.
2. Remove sugar- Everybody is different, and responds accordingly to certain foods. What’s nourishing for one may be harmful to another. However there are quite a few foods that are on the avoid list and when talking about the immune system sugar is on the avoid list! Yeast, bacteria, foreign pathogens and parasites all feed off sugar, exacerbating the cravings for more. Every time you consume sugar you are giving these foreign pathogens fuel to stay, steal your nutrients and mess up your digestive tract.
3. Create an alkaline environment-In order to have a healthy body your blood must always be slightly alkaline. Acidic blood is attributed to a host of diseases, weight gain, early ageing, and degeneration of the body. One of the best ways to do this is consume mostly (not all) alkaline forming foods.
Avoid: Acid-forming foods such as refined sugar and grains, coffee, artificial sweeteners, processed food, and inflammatory oils.
*Animal foods are mildly acid-forming by nature but contain important nutrients necessary for foetal development including b12, heme iron, vitamin A and K2. Remember, the goal is to eat a majority of alkaline forming foods, not entirely alkaline-forming foods. Always chose organic, free-range animal products.
Another important way to support alkaline blood is by food-combining.
4. Consume a variety of probiotics- Probiotics are the antidote to damage done by the birth control pill, antibiotics, and overgrowth of bad bacteria. It’s good to eat probiotic-rich foods at every meal, but when preparing the body to enter pregnancy it’s important to consume many different strains of beneficial bacteria. Sticking to yoghurt or sauerkraut will only get you so far in your baby-ready journey. I highly suggest taking a good quality probiotic supplement daily along with fermented foods.
Some of my favourites are Bio-kult, and Primal Defense ultra. Each have a variety of strains (the more the better) and over 2 billion microorganisms per capsule! It’s a good idea to rotate your probiotic supplement so you’re getting unique strains. For example, starting to with a month of bio-kult and then switching to Primal Defense for the next month is a great plan.
5. Heal your gut lining- The gastro-intestinal tract is by nature, mucosal. Slippery, wet and malleable (all the most enjoyable words!), it should allow partially digested food to pass without problem. However, due to stress, toxic overload and poor diet the walls of the gastrointestinal tract can become easily inflamed. In this case, the body can’t efficiently absorb nutrients.
It would be terribly sad to spend money on good pre-natal supplements if they’re not being absorbed. A great solution to ensure a soothing and calming effect on the digestive organs? Healthy fats and gelatine! Coconut oil, ghee, raw butter, olive oil and pumpkin-seed oils are great for the gut! Gelatine is also a great superfood that should be consumed daily during and before pregnancy. My favourite way to get gelatine in the diet other than bone broth is Great Lakes Beef Gelatine. You can add it to smoothies, and soups or make sugar-free jello. Personally I add it to tea in the morning as it dissolves and leaves no taste. A great way to start the day!
These are a few of the ways to kick start your body so that those 9 months are most enjoyable and healthy. Next week I’ll be writing on a few specific diets that can heal the body and increase your nutrient stores significantly.