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Healing with Wholefoods Nutritional Therapy

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Baby Boom

According to the last census, Ireland’s population has grown considerably, whilst also having the highest birth-rate in Europe.

I don’t know whether we should put it down to the recession (just see what happened in the 80's...) or to the bad weather, but I see more and more ladies with bumps and small children running around them. If you are considering starting a family yourself, you can not plan ahead early enough. Pre-conceptual care is very important for both a problem free pregnancy and for the child's health for life.

Baby bump with both blue and pink ribbons. Many toxins that we store in our bodies are ... harmful for the growing foetus ...

Mother's Nutrition Prior to Pregnancy

The egg itself takes 3 months to mature and its health will determine the progesterone to estrogen ratio that is critical for successful impregnation and a full term gestation. Hormonal imbalances (PMS, painful periods, mood changes, etc.) can lead to miscarriage or infertility. Many toxins that we store in our bodies are teratogen, i.e. harmful for the growing foetus, therefore a general gentle detoxification and nutrient replenishing diet should forego the family planning.

Nutrition During Pregnancy & Genes

Nutrients play key roles in activating or silencing genes. The mother's nutrition can permanently change gene expression in her foetus - poor maternal diet at critical periods permanently alter body function and pre-dispose the baby to chronic diseases later in life: e.g. maternal malnutrition alters blood vessel growth and lipid metabolism development, resulting in cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. Now, malnutrition does not only mean under-eating. One can be obese and still malnourished. It is the quality of the foods, and the nutrient density of our diet that matters. Read on

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Critical Periods in Foetal Development

What we call critical periods are times of intense foetal development, whereby some cellular activities can occur only at those times, and if this is impaired, full recovery is not possible. Each organ and tissue is most vulnerable to adverse influences (e.g. nutrient deficiencies or toxins) during its own critical period.

Happy pregnant mother. Each organ and tissue is most vulnerable to adverse influences ... during its own critical period.

Pregnancy between 3 & 7 Weeks

For example, malnutrition in- 3-7 weeks can cause major morphological abnormalities: during the 3rd week the central nervous system and the heart is developing, around the 4-5th weeks the eye, ear, and heart, 9-16th weeks the brain.

Pregnancy between 12 Weeks & 5 Months

From 12 weeks to 5 months of gestation (which is critical period for the development of pancreatic beta cells) any problems can increase the risk of diabetes type 2 development. Small mass of beta cells during times of poor nutrition is insufficient in times of over-nutrition later in life.

Nutrition Before Becoming Pregnant

The critical period for neural tube(spinal cord): 17-30 days of gestation‐time when one doesn’t even realise one’s pregnant. Therefore all women of childbearing age who are capable of becoming pregnant should consume 400mcg of folate daily for at least 1 month prior and then for 12 weeks post-conception. This recommendation can be met through a diet that includes at least five servings of fruits and vegetables (plenty dark green ones) - daily, but many women fail to do so and receive only half this amount from foods.

Eat High Quality Nutrient Dense Foods while Pregnant

Pregnant women also need more iron, zinc, B12, Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin D and Vitamin C to provide the foetus with raw materials, and all these ingredients are found in bio-available forms in every day wholesome foods in enough quantities to supply all needs - taking that the mother eats enough and her digestion is optimal. Elevated calorie intake is necessary only in the 3rd trimester, and only by 200-300 calories.

Almonds and other nuts. Nutrient dense diet is recommended to support foetal brain development.

Nutrient dense diet is recommended to support foetal brain development: 175g more carbohydrate to spare protein for growth, essential fats from nuts and seeds, plenty of wholegrains for B vitamins and fibre, eggs and lean meats for protein and fish - avoiding large fish(tuna, swordfish) which accumulate mercury and may cause organochloride toxicity.

Go Local & Organic

Environmental Contaminants are harmful not just to the foetus, but later in life also. Infants and young children that are exposed to environmental contaminants show signs of delayed mental and psychomotor development - therefore it is important to use fresh local produce, organic where possible - as the further our food travels, the longer it has to stay looking fresh, therefore more chemicals are used and less nutrients left in the produce.

A naturopathic treatment always starts with a thorough investigation to find the root of the problem, whatever the health concern may be. We are all very individual: as there are no two snowflakes alike, neither are any two human bodies. Once we found the cause, with a tailor made menu plan and herbal supplement regime your body can be gently ushered back to health - without side effects.

Find out more about Nutritional Therapy.

Try my Nutrient boost Cabbage "Tagliatelle" recipe!

For pre-conceptual care and avoiding fertility problems, Contact Éva