Postnatal support

Giving birth is physically very demanding on your body. For example, iron levels may be reduced with any blood loss, calcium and magnesium levels may be reduced from repeated muscle contractions and B vitamins are used for energy production. An enhanced nutritional programme is therefore recommended for 2 weeks following the birth.

Issues commonly encountered in the first few months such as colic, eczema, constipation and nappy rash may be helped through nutritional therapy. Please contact Transform Your Health for further information.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding requires an additional 500 calories per day - one quarter more than before you were pregnant so now is not the time to cut back on your food or worry about getting into pre-pregnancy clothes! Your baby will continue to get its nutrients from you via the breast milk and the quality of your diet determines the quality of the breastmilk. Nutrients such as vitamin B6 and zinc are often deficient. Water intake is also vital.

Sore nipples are common initially when breastfeeding. Try refridgerating then bruising a savoy cabbage leaf then putting it inside your bra. Also rub in vitamin E directly from the capsule.

Bottle feeding

Make sure you do your homework before choosing a formula - is it organic, does it have a high nutrient content including manganese, chromium and selenium and does it contain essential fats. If these are lacking it then consider either switching formula or supplementing essential fats and minerals. Transform Your Health also recommends supplementing probiotics to bottlefed babies as these help to reduce the risk of tummy upsets, eczema and asthma but are not present in formula milk in the same way as breast milk.

Postnatal depression

Around 10-15% of mothers experience postnatal depression. Wendy's dissertation in  her final year examined the research into omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids and postnatal depression as follows:

    'Do EPA and DHA play a role in the prevention or 
    treatment of Postpartum Depression?'

Essential fatty acids are key nutrients, together with zinc. Zinc is often deficient in people's diets. It is estimated that the human placenta contains 360-600mg of zinc - traditionally this would have been eaten after the birth to replenish a women's zinc stores! However, as this does not appeal to most people Transform Your Health does recommend zinc supplementation for 12 days after the birth. Speak to your nutritional therapist for advice.