HEALTHY BABY BLOG. In our HEALTHY BABY BLOG we focus on a different topic each time and have experts talk about their role in keeping little ones happy and healthy. Today we speak with Wal Herring, Nutritionist, Author and Personal Health Coach and we talk about pregnancy and tips to keep you (and baby) happy and healthy x
Who are you and tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi I’m Wal. I am a mother of three, soon to be four children, author of Healthy Little Eaters – How to help your children develop a healthy relationship with food and personal health coach to expecting mothers and mothers wanting not only to be healthy, but thrive.
I was one of the lucky ones and knew when I was in high school that I wanted to be in the health industry. Starting out in Physical Education I was soon drawn to Nutrition and ended my time in Otago with a Master of Science in Nutrition as well as a Bachelor of Physical Education.
I have since lived and travelled the world, having all three of my children in different countries and currently about to move back to New Zealand from Japan. Travelling and completing my Diploma of Homeopathy has been a huge influence in my practise as it has given me a deep understanding and appreciation of an individual’s nuances. Understanding the person in front of me as an individual with their bigger picture in mind is paramount to helping people make changes that last. I like the analogy that when I work with clients I aim to teach them to fish rather than giving them the fish. This I have found to be paramount in clients attaining satisfying long lasting changes.
I love to learn and sharing that knowledge on my blog is hugely satisfying. I also love working with mothers, either expecting, during pre-pregnancy or mothers who have lost their mojo, I feel it is my calling in life and gives me a profound sense of appreciation for life.
What are some tips you could give expecting mothers?
I am sure most will know that they should ‘stay healthy’ and to be taking Folic acid. Below are three tips to help you Be healthy as well as two extra supplements I recommend and personally take during pregnancy.
Three tips to stay healthy:
1. Take care of your Gut Health
If you have not already heard about gut health, microbiome or foods such as pre and pro-biotics then you will. Research is relatively new in this area but very exciting.
Your gut needs special attention during pregnancy as our gut health as mothers not only impacts our health during pregnancy but it directly influences our babies gut health, which has an impact on not only their future immune system but food allergies, eczema and more. If you are going to try ‘be healthier’ when you are pregnant start by eating pre-botic and pro-biotic rich foods. If you have never eaten these foods, it may require you to ‘train your taste-buds’, which is great practice to help your future toddlers train theirs! For more information go to (http://www.walherring.com/email-sign-up.html ) for a free audio download and accompanying PDF of mazing microbiome foods.
2. Checking-In – Be mindful of how food makes you feel
spend a lot of time with clients teaching them how they can recognise their own personal triggers. Checking-in to see how food affects you not only in that moment but 2 hours after is a really profound way to create self-awareness around food.
When I was pregnant with my first child 9 years ago, I felt quite sick in the first trimester and craved some crappy food. Even though I knew it was not so great for my future baby, sometimes the moment takes over. Fast forward to the present and I have just come out of the first trimester with my fourth. I stilled craved crappy food, but because I checked-in I quickly realised that, that crappy food made me feel ten times worse than if I had eaten something healthier. When I felt that urge to eat salty chip’s or have a sweet something, my mind would jump forward to how I would feel after I had eaten it and that feeling alone was enough for me to get my A into G and make a healthier alternative.
Creating self-awareness through checking-in, won’t make you magically want to eat healthier foods, but keep working on it and you will be amazed at your relationship with food changes.
3. Check your stress levels
Being healthy is not just about your physical health but it includes your mental/emotional health. It can be like a loaded gun bringing up this topic as if we were to fully understand how our stress levels can influence you and your developing babies health, it may leave you more stressed! Keep in mind though, we will all experience stress, the goal is not to be in some Zen like state throughout pregnancy and motherhood but to be less stressful that you currently are. Everybody releases stress differently – find out what works for you from meditation, mindfulness to exercise, fresh air or even singing and dancing. There is no ‘right’ way, experiment what makes you feel calmer and centred.
Two Supplements I Recommend During Pregnancy:
Click here to find out more about Wal's Pregnancy Health Course >>>
HEALTHY BABY BLOG. In our HEALTHY BABY BLOG we focus on a different topic each time and have experts talk about their role in keeping little ones happy and healthy. Today we speak with Michele, founder of Frankie Apothecary and creator of Frankie Kawakawa Eczema Balm.
Michele has been so kind to offer us a special 15% discount code!! You will find this at the bottom of the article xx
Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you started Frankie Apothecary.
Hi I’m Michele, Kiwi, Maori mother to two girls Eva and Frankie, and creator of the award winning skin healing balm - Kawakawa Repair by Frankie Apothecary.
My journey in starting organic skincare Company, Frankie Apothecary, began at a real turning point in my life which I have no doubt was part of the universes bigger plan for me. I was questioning my career as a corporate Lawyer, embarking on a journey of learning Rongoa Maori (Maori plant based medicine) struggling with sleepless nights with a new born and trying to deal with my eldest daughters severely Eczema inflamed skin, all at the same time.
Eva was 18 months old. Her skin was terrible – dry, itchy, inflamed and raw, keeping her awake most nights. She would wake in the morning with blood-stained sheets from scratching her skin to pieces.
Finding a moisturiser that did what it claimed (soothed, stopped the itch and repaired the skin) proved impossible: I tried absolutely every product on the market. All had little or no effect.
Being trained in research, I had a natural tendency to want to know how all things worked and why others didn’t. The market didn’t have a product that worked for us, so sheer determination and a heck of a lot of research combined with my knowledge of how skin troubles were treated by my ancestors in the past, gave me a reason to ultimately create my own product.
Why did other creams on the market not work?
Synthetic chemically loaded moisturisers can cause the skin to become more irritated and worsen flare ups for those with sensitive skin. But interestingly I discovered that all moisturisers contain a very simple ingredient that required these synthetic chemicals to be added to prevent mould, bacteria growth, to preserve the product and to ensure the oils and water did not split apart - water! Lesson 1 - create a product that had zero water so that synthetic chemicals are not required.
When an eczema flare is triggered - trans epidermal water loss begins. Think, rapid moisture loss from the skin, leading to the shredding of the outer epidermal layers and the exposure of the inner layers of the skin. These inner layers should not be exposed to the environment. When they are, the skins pH alters causing the skin to become itchy, inflamed and if not controlled, infected. - Lesson 2 - water based moisturisers do not create enough of a barrier to stop trans epidermal water loss or to protect the inner skin layers.
What makes your natural Kawakawa balm so unique?
Armed with this information, I created an all organic oil-based formula more suitable for Eva’s dry skin, primarily infused with a native NZ plant called Kawakawa which has been used for generations by Maori. Kawakawa, also known as Macropiper excelsium or the Maori Pepper Tree, is endemic to New Zealand and long known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. The leaves and bark can be used to heal wounds, ulcers, skin disorders, burns and more. Drinking an infusion of the leaves can treat colds and flus, digestive troubles, chest problems like asthma and even blood pressure. Healing Calendula was also added and the benefits to Eva’s skin were almost instantly apparent and her skin healing within days.
Further clinical based research, led me on the path of finding the best way to extract the chemical properties of Kawakawa so that every pot of Kawakawa Repair was loaded with the highest healing properties possible. An anti oxidant was also added in the form of vitamin e to ensure every pot was not susceptible to microbes and to ensure the Kawakawa’s healing abilities were still strong a year on. - Something many other oil based ranges fail to ensure.
Since then, my Kawakawa Repair has won a place in the top 10 most recommended products for babies in the OHBaby awards, has sold thousands all over the world and is sold in over 60 retailers across NZ. We have a sustainable Kawakawa farm in Mangawhai where Kawakawa is harvested and extracted applying principles of tikanga Maori.
Do you have any tips for dealing with Eczema?
My top tips for targeting Eczema:
1 - See your GP first to test for any allergies.
2 - If this doesn’t help, undertake a food elimination diet – you can find steps on how to do this on my website.
3 - Eliminate any common chemicals in the home to see if these are triggers (washing powders, soaps, cleaning products).
4 - Switch clothing to eczema friendly fibres like 100% cotton or bamboo like the new Snugbags Eczema Bamboo & Organic Cotton Sleeping Bag.
5- Eliminate mould and keep your home as dust-free as possible.
6 - Take a really good probiotic for the whole family to ensure the gut is functioning as it should.
These steps take time. In the meantime you will no doubt have an upset irritated child, so soaking in our Colloidal Oat powdered mix will help to stop the itch and applying the Kawakawa Balm will soothe and support the skin’s healing.
Michele has been so kind to offer Snugbags customers a generous 15% discount! Please use the code 'snugbagsfrankie' to redeem the discount at checkout.
Click here to purchase Frankie Apothecary's wonderful products.
Kim is the owner of SNUGBAGS - Merino for Kids. Together with her partner James and their little girl Neeva Rose, she lives in a little beach town called Piha on the West Coast in New Zealand. They love surfing, building sandcastles and all things natural and organic.