How to Eat Right Before and After Pregnancy

5 min read
How to Eat Right Before and After Pregnancy

There is so much talk about what to eat during pregnancy and what to avoid eating (bye bye sushi, wine and soft cheese for starters) but there is much less talk about what to eat and do before you get pregnant and ditto after you have given birth! 

Preparing for pregnancy is incredibly important and the evidence is all there.

Getting the right nutrition and the right vitamins before you start trying for a baby will give your pregnancy the best chance from the very beginning.

Being at a good weight is also important (did you know being  overweight can actually cause infertility as can being underweight?) and being fit also makes for a better, more comfortable pregnancy. Gentle exercise, abstaining from alcohol and eating a balanced diet is key even before you conceive.

How to Eat Right Before and After Pregnancy | Stay At Home Mum

Nowadays Folic acid is seen as an essential pre-pregnancy supplement. Folic acid is used for preventing and treating low blood levels of folate (folate deficiency) and high blood levels of homocysteine (hyperhomocysteinemia) which can lead to serious birth defects like spina bifida so women should take Folic acid for several month before trying to conceive. 

Increasingly, many women are also turning to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to supplement their pre-pregnancy regime as the results are very favourable especially if there is a history of infertility and miscarriage. Nicole Chien, who is a qualified nutritionist in both Western and Chinese herbal nutrition recommends a few items to women who are preparing for pregnancy.

“I always advise women to eat chicken essence; a nutrient-dence food and extract from good quality chicken – also beef and eel essence are good alternatives as well,” she says. Apart from the protein these essences offer, they also provide amino acids and essential nourishment.

Chicken essence alone is rich in iron, copper, zinc and vitamins and is in fact suitable for the whole family including small children,” she adds.

Chicken Essence

Indeed, chicken essence is a hugely popular tonic in Asia, particularly chicken essence extracted from black chicken. In TCM generally, black chicken (silky chicken) is used to strengthen bones and muscles, speed metabolism, relieve fatigue, and improve overall health.

Nicole who is originally from Taiwan, came here some years ago and started a company called Taste for Life Australia. The company specialises in Chinese herbal nutrition to help with women’s health, pre pregnancy and post pregnancy wellness and recovery and more.

“One of the things that drove me to set up the company was the lack of good nourishing meals for mothers and other Chinese nutritional products available here,” she said. 

“I wanted to make sure that our meals and chicken essence offered the best nutrition to all but especially to women wanting to get pregnant and I think we have achieved that,” she said. 

Taste for Life’s WELLNESS Chicken Essence is an extract of truly fine quality chicken (known as silky chicken in Asian culture) and is processed using an exclusive patented technology, that is able to extract the goodness out of food to the finest molecular level, so it is more easily absorbed. The method means it can be easily absorbed into the small intestine to be exact and contains 3 times more nutrients than other chicken essence on the market!

Snow Fungus

“Equally our eel and beef essence are also made from the best ingredients. Eel essence is known for building physical strength so it is very popular for pregnant women but all three essences contain vitally important amino acids, again which are easily absorbed thanks to our technology,” she said. 

Nicole also advises drinking Red Jujube Tea. This tea, containing red dates also contains protein, vitamin A, C and calcium, magnesium, and other mineral elements. “These red dates are very important in TCM, supplementing and nourishing your health,” explains Nicole. Snow Fungus is also an excellent drink to help prepare for pregnancy. “

Our Snow Fungus is made from Fresh Tremella Mushroom which are very rich in precious polysaccharides, dietary fibre and plant collagen to support general health and intestinal health. Taste for Life’s fresh snow fungus is strictly selected from Alishan, Taiwan making it the best available in Australia.

Herbal Soup

Taste for Life also specialises in postpartum meals including ready-made ones with all the right Chinese herbal nutrition. Each meal is tailored to each mother but essentially the idea behind these foods is to restore Ying and Yang.

According to TCM, the significant amounts of fluid and blood lost while giving birth causes the body to go into a state of cold or Ying and warm foods are needed to rebalance things (hence, Ying and Yang!). A lot of special soups and essences are needed as well as teas and red date jujube teas – yes, it works before and after pregnancy. Tea is of significant importance in helping mothers regain their health. The meals are also designed to help with better breast feeding results,” she says.

“While we have always been popular with Asian Australians we are now becoming increasingly popular with mums and mums to-be from all backgrounds and I couldn’t be happier. To take the best practice and science from both the East and the West gives women the optimum outcome,” says Nicole.

If you are considering looking at TCM and Chinese herbal nutrition to help prepare for pregnancy and to help recover faster and better after giving birth visit their website

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