Exactly two months ago, I gave birth to our sweetest little baby boy, Kavir! When I found out I was pregnant in April 2022, I had two very clear intentions, and being an “older” first-time Mum, at age 37, I thought I had my work cut out for me.
My first intention – have the happiest and healthiest possible pregnancy, and the second – have a happy and healthy baby, ideally by natural delivery.
As a Holistic Health Coach, who focuses on empowering and supporting her clients to reach their wellness goals through nutrition & lifestyle shifts, I was excited to take on my personal mission of seeing my intentions through.
Through my bio-individual approach, I teach my clients how to ditch the “diet-mentality” and instead learn the ‘how, what and why’ of eating for their particular condition or goal, and also the management of daily stressors, focus on improving sleep and lifestyle, and incorporation of movement, all of which together form the pillars of well-being.
While I am well-versed in the prevention and management of lifestyle conditions ranging from cystic acne to more serious diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol etc., pregnancy was a whole new ball game! To allow myself a real shot at having the pregnancy and delivery that I desired, I decided to further educate myself on pregnancy nutrition & lifestyle right away.
I wanted to share a few things I did that I believe aided my pregnancy and delivery outcome :
- Eating just the right amount and types of food: In the 1st trimester my calorie intake was the same, followed by a marginal increase of about 18% in the 2nd and subsequently 25% in the 3rd trimester. I was not eating for two!
- Focused on a balanced, anti-inflammatory diet with key nutrients: Balanced and anti-inflammatory meals have been my go-to even pre-pregnancy and form the basis of my coaching program as well. Key nutrients I focused on getting enough of for my health & that of the foetus were Iron, Folic Acid, Omega 3, Vitamin D3 & B12, Choline and Calcium through food, and supplementation where necessary.
- Inclusion of plenty of quality protein: While carbs are required and great for maintaining your energy levels, protein is essential for the growth and development of the foetus
- Incorporating movement: As soon as I got the go-ahead for my doctor, I incorporated movement in the form of Pilates, light strength training, swimming and walking to keep up my energy levels, mobility and also keep weight gain in check
- Breath-work: This helped me immensely through labour and I believe also contributed to a natural delivery
- Living life like I normally did: I travelled plenty, maintained an active social life and tried to live as close to my pre-pregnancy life. Personally, I needed this for my mental well-being. The emotional roller-coaster of pregnancy is real (!) so do what you need to, to stay ahead of it
The Impact On My Body – During & Post Pregnancy
- Have an active and healthy pregnancy, where I was fully functional even on the day I went into labour
- Gain 13kgs
- Give birth to a healthy baby
- Have a quick 14-hour labour, with a natural delivery
- 5 kgs above my pre-pregnancy weight soon after birth
- Healed quickly after, to care for and enjoy my time with the baby!
While I do believe that all the food & lifestyle practices I have adopted thus far leading up to getting pregnant, and also implementing everything I learnt while I was pregnant, allowed me a relatively easy pregnancy and delivery.
I don’t believe that it is ever too late to start on the path to eating and living better – pregnant or not!