By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
We all probably know someone who is currently pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or who already has children (like myself!). As moms, we want to be sure we are the healthiest we can be during our pregnancy to make sure we create a healthy environment inside our bodies for our child to grow. Since juicing offers many wonderful benefits, it’s common for moms to show interest in Rebooting during pregnancy, but we DO NOT suggest a Reboot during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Why? A full Reboot will not provide the proper nutrition that is required during this important time for the healthy development of the baby. In pregnancy and during breastfeeding you have increased nutritional requirements to nourish your baby and keep your milk supply up.
Reasons we do not suggest a Reboot while pregnant or nursing:
While you are pregnant or breastfeeding you can certainly include juices daily for additional nutrient support and include plenty of our Reboot recipes.
In fact, when I was pregnant I loved smoothies and juices and often craved avocados, leafy greens and banana smoothies! I was always happy to think of the wonderful nutrients I was having while drinking these concoctions. Here are a list of simple eating guidelines that are important for a healthy you and baby.
Rebooting before and after pregnancy/breastfeeding:
In saying all of this, doing a cleanse a few months prior to conception is highly recommended as juicing can boost fertility and it may improve the health of the baby, the mother and the father.
Completing a Reboot after you have finished breastfeeding is also a wonderful idea as you have just had a surge of natural hormones and it can be a perfect time to cleanse and Reboot to replenish and stimulate a healthy metabolism back into action.
Some important nutrients essential during pregnancy and breastfeeding:
Protein – we need an extra 10 grams per day! This is important for the growth of all tissue. Here is more on plant protein sources. Other sources are grass fed meats, seafood, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains.
Calcium –if a pregnant or lactating woman does not intake enough calcium then it will be leached from her bones to ensure the baby’s needs are met for proper development. Leg cramps that often occur during pregnancy are a deficiency symptom of low calcium and magnesium levels. Here is more on Calcium sources.
Vitamin B12 – is essential for proper nerve and brain function for both mother and baby, a deficiency can caia, delayed growth, development and movement disorders. B12 is found in meats, seafood, dairy, eggs and other fortified foods. Other non-animal sources are kombu, nori, tempeh and tofu although the B12 content can vary due to different growing conditions. It is important to make sure you are not deficient and there are a number of factors that can increase your risk of B12 deficiency such as many medications and poor stomach acid/digestion. A blood test can determine your B12 level.
Folate – is essential for the prevention of neural tubal defects and many studies stress the importance of this nutrient pre-conception and during pregnancy. There is certainly plenty of folate during a reboot (pre-conception) as our best sources are leafy greens, cabbage family vegetables, cucumber, fruits such as berries, banana, figs, whole grains and legumes.
Iodine – Iodine deficiency becomes particularly critical in pregnancy due to neurological damage during fetal development as well as during lactation. Foods high in iodine are seafood, fish, dairy, eggs, sea vegetables and iodised sea salt.
Iron – It is recommended to have approximately 30mg per day, double the normal recommendation. Foods rich in iron are avocado, beets, asparagus, dark leafy greens, leeks, figs, apricots, berries, nuts, seeds, grass-fed red meats, seafood and legumes. Combining a Vitamin C rich fruit or vegetable with a plant-based iron food will help to enhance absorption of this important mineral. For example, add strawberries to your spinach salad or dip green peppers in mashed avocado.
Zinc – deficiency has been associated with birth defects and low birth weights. Sources include nuts, seeds, seafood, meats, egg yolk and whole grains.
Vitamin D – there are numerous studies associating this deficiency with pre-term labour, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, poor growth, bone fragility and an increased incidence of auto-immune disease. Vitamin D deficiency is common in pregnant women (5-50%) and in breastfed infants (10-56%). Ensure you receive adequate sunlight and/or fortified foods and if not supplement with Vitamin D. A blood test can determine your level.
Vitamin K and C – it is estimated that many women are vitamin K deficient during pregnancy. Certainly not a problem if you are including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet particularly dark green leafy vegetables.