Eating for (Almost) Two: Nutritional Therapy in Preconception

Sarah Wight BA., DipION, mBNTA

Nutritional Therapy is a preventative approach to nutrition. It centres on the idea that real health can be achieved through a holistic and bio-individual approach to nutrition and lifestyle.

When it comes to preconception, nutrition can play a huge role in improving chances of getting pregnant, and later, impact the health of a baby. Nutritional Therapy it is not just about the absence of disease, but about vitality. What you eat long before you get pregnant will influence your baby’s development and future health.

Through working with hundreds of clients over the last few years I’ve noticed that there is a gap in nutrition support for young women, which should be provided as early as our teenage years. Today is a good day to start. Here are some ways that nutritional therapy can support you before pregnancy.

When to Begin Thinking About Preconception?

It is never too early, and it is never too late. Wherever you are, you are in the right place to begin. It takes 12 months to make a baby; three months to improve sperm and egg health and nine months to grow a baby. As much as you can, be proactive in the pursuit of wellbeing and know that wherever you are, today is the day to make small, sustainable changes.

Getting Mama (to be) The Nutrients She Needs

Specifically:

Iron
folate
calcium
Vitamin A, C, D, K, B12
zinc
selenium
vitamin D
choline

The health of both parents before conception can improve chances of getting pregnant and impact the health of a baby. Nutritional Therapy addresses nutrient levels both through food and supplementation and works to sustainably replete these nutrients. This takes time. Interestingly, we do not always absorb what we eat,  so micronutrient-level testing is a great way to focus support. Learning how to nourish yourself with specific nutrients will also come in handy throughout pregnancy and during the postpartum phase.

Getting Daddy (To Be) The Nutrients He Needs

For men, research suggests certain antioxidants can improve sperm quality and to be able to make meaningful change in these parameters. You need at least three months (the length of sperm production / maturation).

Balancing Blood Sugar

For many of us living modern-day-buys lives, we eat too many refined carbohydrates and sugar. Combine that with the sedentary lifestyle we have come to love (Netflix and Chill anyone?), and you have a recipe for spikes. Managing blood sugar and knowing your HbA1c — or how well controlled your blood sugar has been over a period of about 3 months — are two fantastic ways to prevent gestational diabetes, and this is something you can focus on well in advance of conception. Gestational diabetes doesn’t just occur into those who are overweight, insulin resistance can occur in those of normal BMI, too. Having an HbA1c of 4.8 is a number to aim for.

Even if baby is just an idea, Nutritional therapy is the best way to start getting both mum and dad the nutrients they need to improve sperm quality, take you through a healthy pregnancy, and avoid any gestational diseases such as diabetes. Nutritional therapists support this journey by setting you on the right track for success.

Sarah Wight is a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist at Ocean Rock Wellness specializing in preconception, fertility and gut health. She has a holistic approach to health, looking at our environment and lifestyle as well as nutrition. With a background in sustainability, Sarah brings a deep appreciation for cooking and seasonal eating as a way to connect our health with the environment. Sarah dives at the opportunity to use local produce and is great at sourcing clean-eating options. She is a recipe contributor for the award-winning Bermudian Magazine and host of a seasonal cooking class series ‘Eating at Our Island Table’ at the local Chef Shop. Sarah’s cooking skills are relatable, and her recipes are both approachable and a celebration of good health. Sarah has a beautiful way of making people feel comfortable and cared for. She brings energy to the team and supports collaboration in client care. Sarah enjoys hosting dinner parties, yoga and cold winter dips in the ocean.

 

 

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