Why is nutrition essential during pregnancy?
Nutrition is absolutely essential during the months of pregnancy. And not only that. Nutrition is absolutely essential during the preconception period, in the first few weeks after giving birth, and throughout the time of lactation. And, pay attention to the following, it is absolutely essential for both mom and dad. The what and the how, that is, the food we eat and the state of mind we are in when we are in front of the plate, has an enormous impact on our present health, on the health of the child that develops in the womb of the mother, and it will have a great influence on the health and well-being of the future baby, child, adolescent, young person, that is, throughout his life. And finally, taking care of nutrition during pre-conception and pregnancy is taking care of your children's children, of your children's children's children, in essence, of the family lineage. Now, I would like you to take a few moments to savor and connect with the depth of these words. It is not my intention to arouse fears and worries, but hopefully if you have felt a little dizzy, this is a call to take responsibility for caring for your family in the present and for their future. For me personally, it is also a call to care for humanity and the planet we live on.
In this first article, I am going to focus on the relevance of nutrition during pregnancy, leaving the other phases in the life of a mom and dad for future posts. I will let you know, so don't miss them because they're going to be very interesting.
First, I'd like to start with a bit of history. Back in the 1930s, Dr. and President of the National Dental Association Weston A. Price decided to embark on a planet-wide adventure to investigate the health of certain indigenous populations. Populations that kept intact their original ways of feeding, that is, they ate practically the same as their ancestors. One of the great discoveries was that these populations had optimal physical, mental, and emotional health in contrast to what was observed in his clinic, where the physical decline of his patients who followed a modern Western diet rich in sugars, white flour, and processed foods was pretty obvious. Another of the essential discoveries is that all the studied populations had in common that there was a special emphasis on the feeding of the parents, both mother and father, during the pre-conception period, of the pregnant and nursing mother, and of the children during their years of growth and development. They were highly nutritious and carefully prepared diets. This traditional knowledge and this exquisite care for the mom and dad-to-be we have put aside in our modern times. Fortunately, the latest scientific research in this regard, such as the work, among many other experts, of Dr. Catherine Shanahan in Deep Nutrition and the work of Sally Fallon, president of the WAP foundation, are turning the eyes of nutrition experts , and of moms and dads, to this topic. As is happening in many other fields, scientific knowledge supports the traditional knowledge of indigenous populations.
Pregnancy is a giant journey for the mother's body. Building, so to speak, a baby requires an impressive amount of raw materials. The process of building his bones, tissues, nerves, organs, biochemistry, musculature, and so on, requires an enormous abundance of energy and high grade raw materials that come from the food we eat. This unfolding within the maternal uterus until the moment of delivery, carries within itself a fascinating veil inherent in the great miracle that is life, and also carries within itself something very real and tangible: continuous abundant material input, actual building blocks delivered via the food the mom choose to eat before and during pregnancy. The growth and development of the fetus during its nine months in the womb will depend enormously on the reserves that the mother has been building during the pre-conception period as well as during pregnancy. The quality of nutrition during these two stages leads to life long effects on the physical, mental and emotional health of the baby and the mother.
Secondly, I would like to continue with an image that helps me to bring clarity to understand the process of supporting the development and maturation of a baby in the womb, it is the process of growing a plant. The optimal growth of the seed until it becomes a plant will depend on the environment where it develops, mainly on the soil, and one of the essential factors is the quality and quantity of nutrients available around it. Adequate environment and abundance of nutrients = healthy and vital plant, which will surely give precious flowers and fruits ready to continue the cycle of a new life. Inadequate environment and lack of nutrients = seed that does not germinate or weak plant that is eaten by insects or does not mature with enough vitality to continue the cycle of a new life. The seed is the baby that the mother carries in her womb. The soil is the mom and the environment is the lifestyle, and related factors, of the mom and dad.
Finally, the good news is that it is in our hands to care for and restore the genetic wealth that we all carry within, and our diet and our lifestyle are undoubtedly fundamental stones for the health and well-being of our family.
In the next blog I'm going to talk about some of the essential foods for moms and dads
Thank you very much and see you soon.
Co-founder of Tonantzin Health and Birth
This is a translated version of the original text written in spanish
Deep Nutrition, Why your genes need traditional food. Catherine Shanahan, MD
The Nourishing Tradition Book of Baby & Child Care. Sally Fallon, Thomas S. Cowan, MD
Awakening Fertility, The Essential Art of preparing for pregnancy, Heng Ou
Weston A. Price Foundation