Parenting and medical professionals answer some of your most pressing questions.
We have personally selected an exceptional team of female nutritional health professionals who share their vision and approach to make motherhood easier.
Ask Henrietta Norton
BSc DipNT, Harley Street Nutritional Therapist and Founder of Wild Nutrition.
Can my diet improve breastmilk production?
Making breast milk is an energy-hungry process for your body and it requires the support of a healthy diet. During breastfeeding, you will need to consume an extra 500 calories per day for the first six months.
Eating a diet to support your blood sugar will support milk production as well as your energy levels. When blood sugar drops too low from not following a balanced diet low in refined sugars or carbohydrates, eating will trigger stress hormones. This, in turn, reduces the production of hormones that initiate milk supply and the ‘let-down’ reflex when your baby is brought to the breast. Eat little and often, preferably aim for three main meals and two snacks per day.
Keep hydrated – drink around 6–8 glasses of water or herbal tea a day. Consuming essential fatty acids remains as vital in breastfeeding as in pregnancy for the healthy development of your baby’s brain and eyes. You may also benefit from taking an omega 3 supplement, especially if you do not like to eat fish.
What about supplements? The Department of Health recommends specific nutrients which are required in greater quantity during breastfeeding. A supplement designed to support breastfeeding (such as Wild Nutrition’s BreastFeeding Complex) can ameliorate your intake of important nutrients for breastfeeding and recovery from birth, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian. In order to support our babies, we, as mothers, require energy and enough of the right hormones in order to improve milk quality, and where necessary, milk quantity.
Ask Heather Morris
Heather Morris is a registered nurse and state certified midwife. She is mum to Freddy, Harry and Jack.
Can nappy rash be prevented?
No matter how careful you are, most babies are likely to get nappy rash at some time. Nappy rash is usually mild and can be managed with a good skincare routine and a barrier ointment. Taking care of your baby’s delicate skin is essential in both treating and preventing nappy rash. Following these simple steps will help: Lie your baby on a towel and leave your baby’s nappy off as often as you can, to let fresh air get to the skin. Change wet or soiled nappies as soon as possible. Clean the nappy area thoroughly using plain water or alcohol and fragrance-free wipes. Don’t use talcum powder as it contains ingredients that could irritate your baby’s skin. Try to bathe your baby every day, but don’t use soap or bubble bath. Gently pat rather than rub your baby’s bottom dry and avoid vigorous rubbing. Use a suitable barrier ointment at each nappy change. Most mild cases of nappy rash can be easily treated with an ointment from your pharmacy and following this skincare routine, but if you are worried always seek the advice of a healthcare professional.
Ask Dr Larisa Corda
Dr Larisa Corda is an obstetrician, gynecologist and fertility expert on ITV’s This Morning.
What are the top tips you’d give to someone wanting to get pregnant?
Most people are led to believe that getting pregnant is something that should happen naturally and quite soon after they set out to. But the truth is that you should start a lot earlier. Studies show that the lifestyle we lead not only influences our health, but also the health of our future children. The five main pillars of this lifestyle approach are featured in The Conception Plan, as followed by three of our couples on This Morning, each struggling to have a baby:
Diet: This needs to be as clean, unprocessed, nutritionally dense and as organic as possible.
Exercise: A minimum of 150 minutes per week is required as a mix of aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic (resistance) training, to improve blood flow to your pelvis and maintain a healthy weight.
Environment: Aim to make this as toxin-free as possible, from the food you eat, what you use to prepare it, to the products you use around the house and on yourself, eliminating as many of the harmful synthetic substances as you can.
Stress: It’s crucial that you become aware of any stress you carry and invest in dealing with this, whether it’s via counseling or hypnosis or acupuncture or reiki, you must align your mind and soul with what you’re asking your body to do.
Relationship: You must commit to free and open communication with your partner and prioritise intimate time together, including sex, not just around ovulation but throughout your cycle.
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