Congratulations on your positive pregnancy test and having another blessing on the way! Having children close together and the dream of tandem nursing is one I can definitely relate to. However, it is important to recognize that your body has given a great deal of its stores to growing, birthing, nursing, and caring for your baby (AKA sleep deprivation!). So, it is even more critical to take your nutrition seriously so that your next child can get the same amount of quality building blocks as your first.
In Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Price notes how subsequent children do not get the same level of nutritional stores, and therefore, they have more narrow faces and less optimal development than the first. You may want to consider getting some blood work done to educate yourself on any important nutritional deficiencies you may have. Some important nutrients to consider are A, D, K2, B12, iodine, and iron.
Here are some key nutrients to focus on in your preconception and pregnancy periods:
Iodine (seaweed snacks, seafood)
Iodine is great for hormonal and thyroid health. It boosts your metabolism. Many people are deficient to begin with and nursing a child can deplete you. Many women find themselves dealing with postpartum thyroid issues, and food based sources of iodine can help. It supports breast tissue and milk production, which you will need again with another baby. I noticed an increase in my supply when I would eat seaweed snacks. Finally, iodine supports a baby’s growing brain, and studies have shown that mothers with adequate stores of iodine have smarter children.
Healthy fats (avocado, salmon, coconut oil, grass-fed butter)
Healthy fats are critical to not only build a healthy baby but for your hormones. Hormones are made from healthy fats, especially saturated animal fats that contain Vitamin A. So, to even get pregnant you need them, and having adequate stores will make for a more pleasant pregnant, meaning less mood swings, more energy, less cravings, and less nausea. In my postpartum period, I realized around 6 months that I had a fatty acid deficiency. I could eat tablespoons of butter on my food, Bulletproof coffee with butter and coconut oil, and half a batch of Bulletproof “Get Some Ice cream” (the BP blog says that it could serve 6-8 people instead of 2). When I did this I lost weight for a time period and felt rushes of energy. During this time period, I almost felt like an animal with how I could ravenously eat fat and craved it. It felt so good in my body. I realized how draining pregnancy and nursing had been on my body and how I needed to correct these deficiencies.
For your baby, they need a lot of fat to grow. The brain is 12% fat, mostly saturated fat. My son ate a ton of grass-fed butter, coconut oil, fatty salmon, liver and salmon eggs, and his head measured in the 95% at his one year appointment.
Vitamin C (fruits, veggies, real fruit powder like Camu Camu)
This may seem like a strange one considering we only think of Vitamin C when we are sick, but this is definitely important. Vitamin C supports our adrenals, energy, and progesterone production. Nursing mothers or moms of young children often find that they are not getting enough sleep. This can wreck are hormones by raising cortisol, our stress hormone. Cortisol is a precursor of progesterone. So, if we are sleep deprived or have high perceived stress, our bodies will produce more cortisol instead of progesterone. This could play a huge factor in why many new moms have a luteal phase defect, or too short of a luteal phase. When a woman has a luteal phase defect, the body does not have adequate time to build the lining of the uterus to sustain a pregnancy.
When I started taking Camu Camu powder, I felt a rush of energy like I had when I started eating more fat. I also dealt with a B12 deficiency around 9 months postpartum and felt rushes of energy when I started eating liver. So, I knew I had landed on something else my body desperately needed. I proceeded to take 3 doses (for the Camu Camu a serving is 1 tsp). I mixed it into yogurt for ease of consumption. Because Vitamin C is water soluble, I figured the worst that would happen is that when my body had an adequate supply or I took too much, I would get diarrhea. That first night, I had no stomach issues and felt great. Over the next few weeks, I would take 1-2 doses until one day I had issues after a second dose (I was taking 1 in the morning and 1 at night at the time). For months prior to this (without having a cycle), I could still track the cycle my body was attempting to have through cervical mucus and PMS symptoms that in some cases were very extreme. I experienced bloating, fatigue, sore breasts, cravings, and nausea like I never had. Then, after taking the vitamin C, I noticed a significant decrease in those symptoms.
High quality prenatal
This can help to correct any other nutrient deficiencies that you may not be aware of. I would recommend Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal or Mega Foods Baby & Me. However, check with your doctor.