This month we look at common problematic foods and chemicals for Mother and Baby. Some foods will trigger an adverse reaction in either or both mother and a breastfed baby. These are most commonly eggs, cows milk, peanuts, wheat and fish. Some of the symptoms to look out for include headaches or migraines, diarrhoea, skin rash, irritability or fatigue. These symptoms are associated with an immune response to specifics foods (allergy) or a reaction to ingesting certain chemicals (intolerance).
Tip: If you know that you react badly to a specific food, it is best to avoid consuming this during pregnancy and lactation. Doing this may reduce the risk of your baby inheriting a sensitivity to the food.
When it comes to adverse reactions to food, it helps to think also about any added chemicals, colouring, flavourings or preservatives. For example, when purchasing supplements like vitamins, be aware of the sources of materials used 紮肚 to make up the capsules. Some vitamins such as soy-derived vitamin E may irritate a baby with a soy allergy. And many food colourings are associated with intolerance symptoms such as lethargy, irritability and poor concentration. The anthroposophic approach to nutrition stresses lots of natural, organic and biodynamic vegetables and grains. Whether it’s a skin lotion applied topically or a meal internally digested, the purity of the product or food is paramount. The anthroposophic diet provides extra nutrition for the digestive system and less toxicity symptoms such as constipation and headaches.
I thought it useful to mention sugar in this article, as sugar cravings are common among new mothers. Highly refined sugars are prevalent in the modern diet, and in some people, they trigger symptoms in the body that resemble an allergic response, such as skin irritation, headaches, inflammation and hyper-activity. If this sounds like you, it is best to avoid over-indulging in sugar by following these simple tips:
- Ensure you eat enough protein so that your energy levels are balanced.
- Avoid eating a sweet breakfast such as sweetened cereals, as this set you up for energy spikes and dips for the rest of the day.
- Check with your naturopath or doctor for any evidence of poor blood glucose management. This is associated with many common health conditions like metabolic syndrome, obesity, polycystic ovaries and adult acne.
- Chewing licorice root is thought to help not only to modulate blood sugar levels and reduce cravings, but also to reduce addictions such as smoking.
- Eat plenty of bitter foods like rocquette, cress, radicchio and sprouts and give your digestion a boost!
- Pumpkin, beans and aniseed in a casserole for example offers a high protein, lactation stimulating meal.
Not all new mothers will experience symptoms of sugar indulgence however, and many can benefit from the energy provided by this carbohydrate. The physical demands of motherhood require a lot of energy, and it is usual for new mothers to experience fatigue! Sugar is necessary for this as well as brain function.It also provides a strong anti-bacterial preservative for many medicines and herbal tonics such as Blackthorn elixir.