Holistic Prenatal Care & the First 1,000 days of life
Holistic Prenatal Care looks at the the first 1,00 days of a child’s life is critical. This I the period between conception to the child’s 2nd birthday. This period of time support’s the child’s development, their long term health and can have many short as well as long term impacts towards their health. Environmental as we as nutrition can play a vital role in the development of the babies brain, digestive tract, metabolism, and immune system.
Pre-Conception – If a woman has a clean bill of health (not just an absence) of disease but a truly comprehensive view of her lab work from a functional diagnostic perspective it takes one year to prepare the body to get pregnant. Holistic prenatal care looks deeper than just the absence of disease but rather prepares the body for pregnancy. Many people assume that because they do not have symptoms that they are free and clear. It takes the body quite a while to develop disease and disease is not just merely the absence of health but rather the total health. Even subtle things can have critical impacts tot he body if left unaddressed. Simple gas, bloating, fatigue can all be signs of deeper biochemical imbalances that will show itself more throughout the pregnancy. During the perinatal phase of holistic prenatal care, it is recommended to do the following:
- A healthy lifestyle of regular physical activity
- No alcohol or nicotine consumption
- Control of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hyeprtension]
- Adequate water intake
- Stable home life
- Healthy stress management techniques
- Screening, treatment, and prevention of any infectious diseases
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- A healthy, balanced diet
- Stable mental health
During the pregnancy phase of holistic prenatal care, a baby is exposed to various environmental factors the mother is exposed to, such as nutrition, toxic agents, medications, etc. So it is important for a mother to get in the best health possible to potentially work with their medical providers to reduce the toxic load on the body. This includes things like medication reduction, detoxification of organs, etc. It is important to note that it is dangerous to reduce medication load without the assistance of a qualified healthcare professional.
During pregnancy, it is helpful to have a balanced diet with supportive nutrient supplements. Energy requirements are only minimally increased during pregnancy, which leaves the fallacy of eating for two to the wind. Any cravings experiences during pregnancy are often as a result of nutrient deficiencies either in the diet or lacking in absorption. Therefore attention should be made to the diet to include healthy and balanced nutrition. Critical nutrients to be mindful of our iron, iodine, calcium, zinc, magnesium. All necessary vitamins A- E, as well as added Omega-3 Fatty acids.
A Healthy Lifestyle while pregnant is critical. Here are some healthy habits during pregnancy that we outline in holistic prenatal care.
- A healthy, balanced diet
- Moderate weight gain
- Regular to the moderate exercise of hiking, yoga, walking
- Regular prenatal visits
- A balance of work-life
A healthy delivery after holistic prenatal care is a key to the development of the babies immune system including vaginal birth, being able to breastfeed for at least a year, and ensuring that the same lifestyle habits that were maintained during pregnancy care over to the babies, the first year or until breastfeeding stops.
Breastmilk is the best choice for quality nutrition for the baby. It is recommended to breastfeed for a minimum of four to six months. Breast milk has so many quality nutrients for the baby while also supporting the babies digestive tract, immune system, neurological system, and reduces the risk of late development obesity. Breastfeeding also promotes bonding between mother and baby and can have a positive influence over the mothers’ hormones as they return to normal.
Breastfeeding women have an increased need for several micronutrients of iodine, vitamins, and EFAs, as well as a healthy and balanced diet. It is important to continue a healthy balanced diet, adequate water intake with no unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol, smoking, etc. Here is a company that sells herbs to help mamas milk production: https://www.euphoricherbals.com/
As baby crosses over the 6-month mark into 7 months of life, complementary feeding can be encouraged. Solid foods should not be initiated before 5 months but not after 7 months while continuing breastfeeding for as long as mom and baby would like to continue. Move slowly with adding complementary foods in and do so one at a time. Try to avoid cow’s milk int he first year of life, sugar-sweetened beverages. Ruit juices, and honey that is not fully pasteurized. It is encouraged to make your own whole food baby foods rather than the store-bought options that are often loaded with sweeteners, etc. This will allow for a healthier palate that will last for many years to come down the road.
The first 1,000 days of life are critical to the immune system, neurological system, and digestive system of your child. With the new medical and healthcare information at our fingertips with genetic as well as epigenetic understanding, it is a very exciting time to have children. Care must be taken to ensure mommy and baby are healthy and happy before, after, and during pregnancy. Holistic Family Practice is here to help ensure you and your family are healthy with expert care and attention to detail.