The Impact of Nutrition in Pregnancy, Postpartum, and Beyond
Browsing through instagram, I came across the account of a Brazilian artist called Will Ferreira. What I love about his art is that it provokes emotions, and that always helps when trying to communicate a point of view. We’ve all learned about the importance of nutrition in order to prevent diseases, and live a good life, but more often than not, it’s hard to truly get a picture of what's going on inside until someone is sick enough to need medical assistance.
Art by Will Ferreira
Due to environmental and food toxins, most of us carry viruses and pathogens just waiting for the right moment to attack our immune system. They don’t often attack when we are living a healthy life and everything is well. More often than not, these viruses and pathogens attack when we go through mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical hardships, or a combination of each. They unfold as different types of diseases, from simple fatigue and headache, to extreme chronic diseases; symptoms start showing up without knowledge of where they came from.
I have heard from many mothers that after having kids, their bodies started showing diverse symptoms. The pregnant woman’s body undergoes immense stress in order to generate another human being. There are changes happening on every level, and knowing how to attend to these changes can make a world of difference in the mother’s health for years to come.
Although food choices are just a fraction of wellness, while pregnant and breastfeeding, everything you eat becomes nourishment for your baby too. His or her development depends on how well you are eating, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. If you don’t eat enough nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for both of you, your baby will take what it can from your body resources, leaving you depleted.
Postnatal depletion causes the body to become weak, opening doors for pathogens and viruses to survive and thrive, at the expense of your health. Mysterious symptoms start showing up and more often than not, your doctor can’t do much besides medicating you.
Taking care of your body by choosing healthy foods will make a difference not just for yourself but also for your entire family.
If you haven’t taken ownership of your nutrition thus far, this is the time to change your repertoire. Even if you have already been through pregnancy and postpartum, and now you are a mother of a little (or big) one, there is one thing to keep in mind, your kids will mirror you. They learn mostly by example, not by spoken words. As a mother, you are the role model to your kids, family, and community at large.
What can you do today to be more mindful about nourishment?
We have many free resources in our Good for Mama site and facebook group but one thing I always tell mamas is to start simple. Start the day with some lemon water, cut down the caffeine, add more fruits and vegetables to your diet and get some exercise. If you are already doing all of this then I would advise to start drinking celery juice in the morning and consider doing the intermittent fasting if you aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding.
Consider health as a whole, check in with yourself and notice how your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing are going. If there’s something that feels offbeat, simply change it by taking action.
Remember to be kind with yourself. We hope to support you through your motherhood journey with great ideas for a life well lived. Count on us.
Written by: Ariel Pinho
Edited by: Lily Zara