Firstly, if you’re pregnant or have recently brought a new bundle of life into the world - CONGRATULATIONS!
When you’re expecting or nurturing a new-born, we know it is more important than ever to look after your body and feed it with the best nutrients possible. We want to ensure both you and mini you stay happy & healthy to supercharge your immunity.
Our curated, deliciously nutritious meal bundle gives new parents one less thing to have to think about.
With the help of the fabulous Samatha Bourne, Registered Nutritionist, Author and Therapist, DipNT, NTCC, CNHC and our brilliant chefs, these boxes have been carefully designed to make your transition to a new parent as smooth and healthy as possible
Shop our New Mum's Survival Speciality Box and New Parent's Survival Speciality Box so you can be sure you're getting all of the nutrients you need whilst having more time to spend with your bundle of joy.
Fancy some not so naughty sweet treats to boost of energy after sleepless nights? Receive a POW award winning brownie box worth £20 with every order of over £75 this week. Head HERE to check it out.
During pregnancy the body has to suppress infection-fighting white blood cells so they don’t mistake the fetus as foreign cells or microbes intruding. The changes in your immune system can activate as early as the first trimester and last as long as six weeks postpartum. Sleep deprivation during pregnancy and after birth can put the immune system under additional stress, affecting the way it naturally operates.
Stress is immunosuppressive meaning it can lead to discretion in cell activity and signalling, affecting the ability to kill pathogens and infection.
Expecting and new mums are more likely to succumb to physical and mental health struggles. Much of these are due to the stress pregnancy creates on the body along with the anxiety involved in planning and taking care of a newborn. Then we have the emotional and exhausting experience of giving birth.
Hormones are rapidly adjusting which can often cause people to experience baby blues between day 4 and 5 post birth.
Thankfully we have come up with a few tips and steps to help new mums protect their and their babies health and feel more balanced during and after pregnancy.
(These tips are not limited to new mums - you may also find them extremely helpful if you’re a supporting parent.)
During and after pregnancy, new mums aren't exactly ripe with opportunities for shut-eye, but finding time to make up for sleep is critical. Immune responses such as fevers which are influenced by infection can affect one’s ability to sleep. On the other hand, inconsistent sleep, or sleep deprivation can cause the immune system to malfunction, leading to illness. Sleep provides the immune system with the support and time it needs to function. This is why it is always best to try and copy the sleep pattern of Baby, and if you find this a struggle, try to find moments to rest and relax, even rest your eyes.
For obvious reasons it is best not to overdo physical activity during pregnancy and the months leading after. However, the more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be to adapt to the changes in your body including weight gain. Evidence even suggests that women who keep up a regular exercise regime are less likely to encounter complications during pregnancy and labour. Exercise also improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure and boosts circulation, making it easier for infection fighting cells to travel more sufficiently through the body.
- Social support
Support from friends and family is proven to help new mums better deal with the stress that is often involved in pregnancy and the months after labour. Studies reveal that women who gain help from their close ones have elevated levels of self-esteem, and confidence as a parent. It is also extremely useful to gain support from like minded individuals and other new mums.
- You time
And self-care. Time is of the essence when you’re a new mum, so when you manage to get an hour here or there, it is necessary for your mental and physical state to take some time doing the things you love, or things that deviate stress levels. It is also imperative to re-establish yourself as an individual.
Evidence suggests that meditation can have a profound effect on the immune system due to its ability to mediate stress. High levels of stress and anxiety can create a higher chance of premature delivery, hence why meditation is vital during pregnancy. Mindfulness and introspection can reduce the reactivity to exterior/environmental stimuli. Studies also suggest that prenatal stress can affect fetal development and often impact development during childhood. Frequent practice of mindful meditation also reduces adrenaline in stressful situations or ‘flight or fight mode’, often activated during pregnancy, which in turn reduces baseline cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Babies who are exposed to music during pregnancy and infancy are shown to have developed significant improvement in their overall mental, cognitive, behavioral, sensory, psychological and emotional development as opposed to babies who aren’t. Soothing music also has the ability to calm your mental state, and deviate stress, critical in maintaining a healthy mum and tum. It also releases a surge of immunoglobulin (a vital antibody).
- Stay Hydrated
When you’re pregnant, or feeding, you need more water than the average human in order to build new tissue, carry nutrients around the body, enhance digestion, reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and decrease the risk of complications during labour. Staying hydrated is crucial in sustaining a healthy immune system. A fluid in your circulatory system known as lymph, made up of around 90% water, carries vital infection-fighting white blood cells around the body, and helps remove toxins, abnormal cells and pathogens from the body, more vital during pregnancy. Dehydration decelerates the movement and production of lymph, which can often impair the immune system.
During pregnancy, a mum is not only fuelling their own body, but their babies too! Your diet has an impact on you and your babies health and wellbeing in the short and the long term. Despite ‘eating for two’ women do not generally need to consume additional calories until the last phase of pregnancy (the third trimester), however new mums need to nourish themselves with nutrient dense food. Pregnancy draws on all nutrients and energy reserves. After giving birth no matter how busy, good nutrition to: stay healthy, have energy for the task ahead and to support her mental health and wellbeing through.
Here are some of the main nutrients to make sure you are getting the right nourishment:
Vitamins: B Vitamins especially B12 and Folate
Vitamin D to support mental health and immune function
Vitamin C for tissue repair, collagen production, energy and immune protection.
Protein: High quality proteins are vital for recovery, if you are plant based you must make sure to pay special attention to your protein intake as this may be the most important nutrition tool for recovery.
Essential fatty acids: salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, ground chia seeds and fish oil.
Eat anti-inflammatory foods: colourful fruit and vegetables that are packed with anthocyanin: All berries and foods with dark purple and reds in their skin and flesh.
Collagen supporting foods: brown rice, chickpeas, tempeh, asparagus, watercress, sweet potatoes and seaweed.
* Vegan options available*
The first few weeks after the birth of a child offer an essential and fleeting period of rest and recovery for the new mother. Short on time, low on energy; eating well is paramount but problematic – with everything else to think about! Sleepless nights and busy days merge into one at the realisation that nothing will every be the same again.
What a beautiful whirlwind and unforgettable experience it is being a new parent.
We’ve got the perfect care bundle of meals ready in minutes sorted, offering you more time and less stress to savour your special bundle of joy. You’re welcome.
As always, we wish you the best, and hope that this information will bring you a little closer to an improved, healthier and happier version of yourself (& your new baba).
POW Food x