Support your overall wellbeing thanks to optimum nutrition

Having a mindful awareness of what you consume can really support you on your journey to parenthood — from prenatal to postpartum and beyond. But, sometimes, knowing what to eat and which supplements to take can seem confusing, and you may have a lot of questions. A consultation with a nutritionist or nutrition coach can help you feel more confident in reaching optimum nutrition levels to keep you and your baby healthy at every stage.

Learn more about nutrition

1. What do nutritionists and nutrition coaches do?
2. Why is nutrition important during pregnancy?
3. Which foods should be avoided during pregnancy?
4. How can a nutrition coach support my postpartum healing?
5. Which supplements should I take after giving birth?
6. How can nutrition help maternal mental health?
7. Family nutrition beyond postpartum

1. What do nutritionists and nutrition coaches do?

Nutritionists and nutrition coaches can both provide you with advice about food and nutrition and how they impact your wellbeing, particularly at times when your nutritional needs change. A nutritionist is a specialist trained to degree level, while a nutrition coach does not necessarily require specific qualifications. When choosing someone to guide you, you can discuss your specific needs and see which type of specialist will be most helpful for you.

Prenatal nutritionists focus on health throughout pregnancy, but nutrition coaches and nutritionists can also guide you on staying healthy after childbirth. 

Nutrition plays an important role in hormone regulation, digestive health and your immune system, which are all areas of change when you have a baby. Guidance from a prenatal nutritionist can give you a greater understanding of your body’s evolving needs.

2. Why is nutrition important during pregnancy?

Getting enough nutrients during pregnancy not only influences your own health but can impact that of your baby. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can benefit your baby’s development and encourage a healthy birth weight.

Your body goes through some incredible physical changes throughout pregnancy. A prenatal nutritionist (or pregnancy nutritionist) can help you identify and manage these micronutrients. Alongside identifying newly-required nutrients, a pregnancy nutritionist can:

  • Analyse your current eating habits 
  • Offer guidance on prenatal vitamins and supplements 
  • Help you maintain a balanced diet throughout pregnancy
  • Support you with recipe ideas in some cases
  • Advise you on food safety and what to avoid 

Additionally, if trying to conceive, you may find it helpful to book an appointment with a prenatal nutritionist to prepare your body for pregnancy.

3. Which foods should be avoided during pregnancy?

Consumption of some specific oods and drinks better be avoided or limited during pregnancy — for example: liquorice, caffeine, and unpasteurised dairy. At first, the thought of cutting out certain ingredients may seem scary. A pregnancy nutritionist can help put your mind at ease, so you feel comfortable knowing what’s safe to consume and what’s best to avoid. 

A prenatal nutritionist can also offer you guidance on which products to take care over certain foods. They may be able to advise you on how to cook meats, soft cheeses, and eggs to the correct, safe temperatures, for example, or offer suggestions for alternatives to higher-risk ingredients.

4. How can a nutrition coach support my postpartum healing?

The postpartum period is sometimes referred to as the ‘fourth trimester,’ an extension of the pregnancy journey. As such, what you consume still plays a big role in your wellbeing, and your nutrition coach can help you transition from the third to fourth trimesters in a healthy way.

During the fourth trimester, your body is recovering from the birth experience, and you may be coping with sleep deprivation. You might find that focusing on a healthy diet filled with lean protein, folate-rich vegetables, and complex carbs can speed up your healing process.

If you are looking to safely lose weight after giving birth, a coach can help you do this in a healthy and sustainable way.

5. Which supplements should I take after giving birth?

If you saw a prenatal nutritionist, perhaps they guided you in choosing prenatal supplements to increase your micronutrients intake. Many of the same nutrients are needed in postpartum recovery.

Pregnancy and childbirth take up a lot of energy and nutrients. As such, your nutrition coach may recommend you continue taking prenatal supplements for six months after giving birth to ensure you are fully replenished. If you are breastfeeding, many doctors and nutritionists suggest you continue taking supplements until you stop nursing.

In addition, if breastfeeding, your daily recommended dose of nutrients such as vitamins A, B12, D, and iodine, is much higher than it was during pregnancy as these go towards producing milk. It can be challenging to get enough of these vitamins in food alone, so you may find supplements helpful. A nutritionist or coach can advise you on which types will help you recover your energy and support you breastfeeding.

If you have any difficulties or questions about breastfeeding, you can also get advice from a lactation consultant.

6. How can nutrition improve maternal mental health?

In addition to supporting you physically, maintaining a healthy diet during postpartum recovery can also strengthen your mental wellbeing.

The weeks and months after giving birth can be overwhelming for any new parent and, during postpartum recovery, your body is likely to be adjusting to hormone fluctuations that can impact your mood. The food you eat can play a role in balancing your hormones.

Of course, when you’ve got a newborn, finding time to come up with healthy meal plans can be tricky. A nutritionist may devise a practical nutrition plan uniquely tailored to you. 

Some parents also find it helpful to hire a postpartum doula, who can offer postpartum advice, help around the house, and assist with cooking nutritionally-appropriate meals for the family. Why not take a look at our doula page for more details?

7. Family nutrition beyond postpartum

The benefits of a healthy diet go beyond pregnancy and the fourth trimester. Follow-up sessions with your nutritionist can help you see what’s working and what may need adjusting. 

What’s more, you may find that establishing a meal routine can greatly improve your nutrient intake long-term and encourage a healthy lifestyle for the whole family. 

You may also wish to start planning ahead towards weaning your baby. Further appointments with a nutritionist or nutrition coach can help you with this next step — particularly if you, your baby, or anyone in your family has allergies or specific dietary requirements.

Browse through our network of nutritionists and book a consultation now! 

Whether you’re looking for advice during pregnancy or after giving birth, you can browse our catalogue of recommended prenatal nutritionists and nutrition coaches. Here, you can find someone who matches your needs, and book a consultation. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our team at hello@parentally.nl. We are here to help! 


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The Parentally team


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