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 >>>
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.