The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Group Q&A Summary – Cheree Sheldon, Nutritionist

Q&A Summary - Cheree Sheldon, NutritionistIn The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Support Group we hold Q&A sessions each week or two with experts to talk about relevant topics to do with healthy pregnancy.

On March 25, 2015, Cheree Sheldon, Nutritionist, held a Q&A session and below is the summary of questions and answers:

Q: Any suggestions for great flavour combos to have with the Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie?

A: Flavour combos – cacao and banana, berries, ginger…So many to choose from!!

Q: I have noticed a HUGE difference in my energy levels after having the Pregnancy Smoothie. Can you tell me what it is that is giving me such a huge boost?

A: The energy boost will come from a combo of things in the Smoothie. It has a good amount of protein which is required for our body for energy production, and B vitamins, which when we are low, we start to feel fatigued.

Q: I’m not sure if you can answer this but I’m confused about how many calories I should be aiming to eat each day. Is it the same amount of calories I was eating before I fell pregnant? With my first pregnancy due to chronic morning sickness I ate terribly so never bothered calorie counting or anything. I also ended up with gestational diabetes which I’d love to avoid this time?

A: You will need to increase the amount of food you eat per day by roughly 400 calories. For an “average” woman we need 2000cal per day but this varies enormously depending on age, weight, height and activity levels. Then just add to that 400cal.

Have a read of this link, it explains all about pregnancy calorie intake and will give you a personal pregnancy calorie goal based on your information

Q: So HEAPS of pregnant women who are using The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie are reporting significant improvements in morning sickness from using the smoothie – can you explain why this would be the case as it is constant feedback – which is fab but it would be good to get your feedback as to why it is helping so much?

A: The reason why the Smoothie will help with morning sickness is due to a number of things.. It contains fibre, which helps you feel fuller for longer- so your stomach doesn’t empty. One theory for morning sickness is that an empty stomach can’t deal with all the extra hormones floating around…. It also contains ginger, which has so much research behind it in assisting with nausea.

Q: Other than meat and eggs how can I get enough protein in my diet? At the moment I cannot stand the thought of meat or eggs and I am not gaining enough weight and Dr isn’t happy with me.

A: Are YOU not gaining enough weight or BUB?? Because they are two different things!! Don’t feel pressured to be textbook. It is always good to stick with the recommendations but sometimes our bodies just want other things!! So to get more protein the easiest way is through the Pregnancy Smoothie. More nuts and seeds, legumes, fish if you can!!

Q: Someone asked today on the page, after their health care professional advised them to eat a high salt diet until the end of her pregnancy, what would be foods she could eat?

A: A high salt diet?? Is it for low blood pressure?? Add in anchovies, olives, capers, and get some Himalayan salt and add a pinch to water… It is not something I would advise most pregnant women to do though!!

I am just cross checking a textbook, and here are some more sodium suggestions: corn flakes (very high), salada biscuits, salted nuts, miso paste, feta cheese, parmesan cheese, fish roe, vegie juice, vegemite, and dried apple!!

Q: I was hoping to have lost some weight before falling pregnant this time but if anything I’m heavier so just wondering if the Smoothies would help to lose weight in a healthy way whilst benefiting bub by sticking to calories and nutritional value?

A: It is not advised to lose weight at all during pregnancy. If you are overweight, you are able to feed baby off some of your stores and this may able you not to put on much weight though!! The Pregnancy Smoothie will help you get the nutrients required in pregnancy. After you give birth, switch to the Healthy Mummy Smoothie that will assist with weight loss.

Q: Would the Healthy Mummy fish oil tablets be safe & beneficial to take during pregnancy? And what amount?

A: Fish oils are generally safe to take during pregnancy. Up to 4000mg a day depending on your needs.

Q: I’m getting awful leg cramps throughout the night. I have been making the Smoothie in the book, but are there any other foods I can try that will help?

A: Magnesium is the go to nutrient for cramps. Any of these foods would be useful as they are higher in it: Nuts, legumes, buckwheat, millet, rye, whole-grains, dark green vegetables, seafood, dark chocolate, artichokes, oranges, plums, apples. Also have a good electrolyte everyday like endura, as this will help balance magnesium with the other salts in our bodies.

A few other things you might want to try is a bath in epsom salts or getting magnesium oil and rubbing on where it is sore!!

Q: Has anyone heard if drinking water with lemon in it in the morning, helps with pregnancy UTIs?

A: I don’t know if there is any research behind this, but it will help keep the body in a more alkaline state, and it is antimicrobial- so it will hopefully stop any bugs from adhering to our bladder walls. A more researched thing is cranberry. Get a juice that is 100% and not sweetened or cranberry supplements. A small amount everyday works as a preventative.

Another thing that will help with UTIs is cornsilk. The stringy bits on cobs of corn. Brew it up like a tea and drink it!!

If you are having sex, swap lubricants for a natural oil like jojoba or almond oil, as a synthetic or flavoured lube can be really irritating.

Another common issue is vaginal thrush and the BEST treatment for that is to get a probiotic capsule and sprinkle it on a pad and leave it to absorb overnight

Q: Not everyday in my second trimester but every now & again & quite regularly in the first, I have been getting headaches. Just horrible & bring on all day nausea. Am I missing something in my diet? I’m pretty careful about drinking lots of water.

A: It could be a few things. I couldn’t say what is missing in your diet without a consult BUT I would try magnesium!!! I know I seem a bit in love with it tonight!! But it is used in the treatment of migraines and headaches as it relaxes muscles, and sometimes the muscles that are tense are neck/shoulders that restrict blood flow to the brain. So get some electrolytes and some more magnesium foods!! Also worth going for a nice massage!!

Also your protein needs increase in the second trimester, so have a look if that could be the reason. Sometimes headaches are from low blood sugar- and this can be fixed with regularly eating small meals.

Q: I got bad headaches when my iron was low, can low iron be a reason too?

A: Yes, iron could be the cause. General fatigue. Low blood pressure. Excess copper. Not enough zinc. Poor liver function- as it needs to clear all those extra hormones. Maybe adding a nettle tea 2 or 3 times a day will help. It is high in iron and helps your liver!

I like nettle tea cold rather than hot. Brew it overnight (way more than 10 min steep!!) and it will get every last nutrient out of the tea. Then you can add some lemon to it and have a really refreshing drink throughout the day!

Q: Raspberry leaf tea. It scares me a little. What are your recommendations for taking it? Also, any other natural labour inducing suggestions? I am determined to go naturally this time around?

A: I need to rephrase that for you as raspberry leaf tea IS NOT a labour inducing tea!! It is safe to use all throughout pregnancy, it will not bring on labour!! It is termed a “Uterine tonic”, which means it prepares the uterus for battle!! It helps the muscles of the uterus get stronger so it can cope with contractions and by using it properly, you can reduce the second stage of labour.

So any natural labour inducing suggestions?? TIME!!! A really long bushwalk… Nipple stimulation (but this takes COMMITMENT!) there are also herbs that a herbalist or naturopath could prescribe to assist.

Q: It is so misunderstood. My midwife told me the other day to steer clear at all costs before 30 weeks and the research is very 2 sided. Does it have any affect if not used through out pregnancy? Have I missed the boat if I start now at 18 weeks?

A: It is very misunderstood. That is why you get a herbalist/nutritionist to give you advice on herbs and food!! You haven’t missed the boat. My general rule is to limit to one cup of tea during first trimester, increase teas up to 4/day during second. Then swap to a supplement or liquid herbs at the third trimester. You have really only missed out if you start at 40 weeks!! (which I see people overdue coming in to buy tea thinking it will help- it won’t!!) but it is like a “pre-workout” for the muscles in your uterus don’t wait until the day before the marathon to get it.

Q: Suggestions for how to help haemorrhoids?

A: Haemorrhoids – fibre, fluids, essential fatty acids, chia seeds, coconut water, blueberries!!

Q: I’ve always suffered issues with sinus headaches but this pregnancy it’s been full on, all the time! I’m using saline spray etc but any ideas nutritional wise that could help?

A: This is really common. It is because your body builds the mucous plug, and so excess mucous is everywhere for a while!! Saline spray is great. Lots of antioxidants. Food wise all the dark colourful fruit, berries, acai, chia seeds. Also vitamin C – you can take up to 4g/day, but ease into it or you will get diarrhoea. Start off at 500mg and build slowly!! And then ease off slowly as well! You can drink elder tea as well. It is awesome for sinus and colds.

Q: Energy!!! How and where do I find it?

A: I can swear by the new Pregnancy Smoothie for an energy boost. It has saved me! And have a read through this post that may give you some ideas for what foods to choose for an energy boost.

Click here to visit our pregnancy products shop.

Healthy Pregnancy

Disclaimer: Always speak to your doctor before changing your diet,taking any supplements or undertaking any exercise program in pregnancy. The information on this site is for reference only and is not medical advice and should not be treated as such, and is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional medical advice..

Our plans promote a health weight gain in pregnancy to benefit the mother & baby and you can read more on this here 

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