I spend my whole time taking care of my wonderful girls, so the best advice anyone gave me is to take care of you. Having a baby can really play havoc with your body and leave all your reserves feeling a little empty. So girls its time to put back in and restart your body.
My skin took a real blow after having Marvellous Martha, so I was really thrilled to be in touch with
Henrietta Norton, the Head of Nutrition at London’s Grace Belgravia and founder of Wild Nutrition.
So here is some invaluable tips for keeping yourself strong and healthy, so you can be the best you can be for your little ones too.
Musings from a London Mum meets Henrietta Norton
A Little bit about Me
I am a Nutritional Therapist, specialising in women and children’s health with a clinic in Sussex and Grace Belgravia, London. I am also the co-founder of Wild Nutrition, a Food-State Supplement company, which I set up with my husband two years ago. I had been working as Head of Nutrition for some of the larger supplement company’s on the market and became increasingly despondent and concerned about the use of ‘synthetic’ nutrients and the doses that were being used. This inspired me to do some more research into a more natural and effective way of providing nutrients in a supplement form. I discovered the Food-State technology and was blown away by the impact it was having on my clients and my family when I used them in clinic.
My Family Life
I have 3 gorgeous boys, Alfie who is 7yrs, Ned 4.5yrs (the half is very important!) and our newest addition is Oscar who is 6 weeks as I write this! My husband Charlie and I live Sussex, having moved from London when we had children – Our oldest boys need alot of trees and space! We run Wild Nutrition from the outbuildings at our home & use local resources whenever we can. So life is very busy but fruitful!
Changes in your Skin after Babies
There is a substantial shift in our hormones during pregnancy and in the first 6 weeks post partum and often women find this reflects in their skin. For some this can make their skin ‘glow’ but for others they mind it becomes more dry or prone to spots. The baby draws on the nutrient stores of the mother in utero but also when breastfeeding and this can mean that some mums can be easily be low in key skin nutrients such as zinc, iodine, selenium and vitamin E. Taking a good Food-State Pregnancy supplement during this time can support your stores of these and other vital nutrients during the pre and post partum stages and support a ‘glowing’ complexion.
Things all New Mums should do for Themselves
Approach stress mindfully – look at your ‘stressors’ and work out what can be avoided and what cannot. Avoid those that can be and work on ways to find some calm amongst those factors that cannot. Exercise, especially more flowing methods such as yoga, dance, swimming or walking can be enormously helpful. Also think about those things in your life that help you to unwind – this could be reading or setting the world to right with a mate. Think whether it is your mindset or the factor itself that is causing the stress. If you would like some more pointers on stress management, let me know as I know some fantastic practitioners that may be able to help with this.
Eat regularly – Every 3-4 hours. I.e three smaller meals with 2 snacks throughout the day. Again this stabilized blood glucose and supports the adrenal glands.
Choose wisely when it comes to sugar & alcohol – High sugar intake can increase the process of inflammation, reduce immune function (thereby increasing inflammation) and use up important nutrients needed to reduce inflammation. A high sugar intake comes from confectionary, pastries, white flour products such as white pasta & bread. Alcohol can trigger this same reaction. Always eat something when drinking alcohol and drink mindfully.
Choose lean proteins to eat with every meal – poultry, fish, pulses such as lentils, chickpeas, cannellini beans, nuts, seeds or yoghurt are all great sources of protein needed for hormone balance as well as skin repair. This helps to balance the glucose levels in your blood and reduce the unnecessary release of stress hormones that can trigger inflammation.
Take a good Antioxidant supplement preferably in a Food-State – Wild Nutritions Antioxidant Boost contains natural ingredients such as pycnogenol, bilberry and which natural anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Reduce intake of trans fats – These can be found in processed foods such as biscuits and fried foods. These produce increase the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body and can inhibit the body’s use of beneficial fats.
Eat plenty of omega 3 fats – These fats are in high demand during the last trimester and during breastfeeding so maximise your intake of seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), nuts (brazil, walnuts, almonds), cold-water oily fish (mackerel, sardines, trout, salmon, anchovies & herring) and use oils such as flaxseed oil or hemp oil are excellent to use for salad dressings.
Increase whole-grains – This includes brown rice, barley, quinoa, rye, whole-wheat. A great source of fibre and key vitamins such as magnesium, zinc and the B vitamin family, as well as important trace minerals needed by the immune system to regulate inflammation. These foods also supply the blood stream with an even source of glucose so that the adrenal glands do not need to release unnecessary stress hormones (which can increase inflammation).
A rainbow of fruit & vegetables per day – this provides a healthy cross section of nutrients called antioxidants (flavonoids, anthocyanidins to name a few) that are needed to support the function of the immune system (and therefore its control of inflammation) as well as aiding the repair of ‘inflamed areas’ around the body. Don’t focus on one particular ‘super’ fruit or veg, they are all wonderful and eating variety (and if possible seasonally) is the most important factor.
My Super Product
The Wild Nutrition Antioxidant Boost is an excellent product for increasing your intake of antioxidants to support health and I regularly use this to support my clients who are experiencing high levels of lifestyle stress as antioxidants are used up more readily. The Food-State Skin, Hair & Nails is an excellent combination of Food-state nutrients and phytonutrients which have been shown to support supple looking skin, hair and nails as well as protect skin cells from oxidative damage.
|Hair & Nails by Wild Nutrition available at Space NK £30 for one month’s supply|
The Real Truth
It is a well-used adage but beauty really does come from within. The mucosal lining of the skin reflects that of the gut so the crux of any skincare routine has to be looking after your digestion. To do this ensure you have a good balance of beneficial flora and eat as nature intended – if you cant pick it, grow it or catch it reduce or preferably avoid it!
Thank you so much to Henrietta, such invaluable advice for all new Mums, actually all of us. We should make sure that we are looking after ourselves just as well as we look after everyone around us.
London Mum x