It’s exactly a year since I found out that I was pregnant with MM and wow what a year it’s been! MM is now just over 5 months old and has already grown so much in her short life.
The nutrition a baby receives during the first 1,000 days (from the day of conception up to their second birthday) is key for their health and development. This is why SMA Nutrition and medic and columnist Dr Ellie Cannon are educating mums about the importance of nutrition during this time and how this impacts a child’s future health.
Knowing that I suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) with my pregnancy with Munch, I tried my best to take all the right vitamins and eat all the right things leading up to my pregnancy with MM. Sure enough, week 6 of my pregnancy and I was already feeling the effects and then promptly hospitalised by week 7.
I felt bad that my ability to provide the right nutrition for my baby from the start was taken away from me. My HG meant that I couldn’t bear to swallow even small sips of water without being sick, let alone my vitamins and 5 a day! Despite making a recovery around 20 weeks with Munch, I suffered the entire term of MM’s pregnancy. Meaning that for that important first 37 weeks, MM was only getting what I could tolerate. I was concerned about her development during this time. I tried to cope on the lowest doses of antisickness I could, however this would often lead to a relapse and days when I couldn’t eat again…I felt very much stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Guidelines recommend breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of a baby’s life as it’s full of protein and nutrients proven to support an appropriate rate of growth. Protein is a key factor in breastmilk and this adapts over the course of a baby’s life. Protein levels in breast milk decrease as your baby grows, something that most mums don’t know (only 8% knew this in research conducted by SMA Nutrition). This evolving protein structure ensures your baby is getting the correct quantity and quality of protein to support growth and development and can decrease their chances of obesity in later life.
We have enjoyed watching MM grow over her first 5 months of life. She has learned to smile and steady her wobbly head and we are looking forward to more milestones as she gets older…it’s hard to believe that we now have weaning just around the corner and I will get to make up for those first 37 weeks and make the rest of her nutritional journey count. I’m already planning and refreshing my memory from our first weaning experience. Munch was such a good eater and I’m hoping MM will be the same. Even at age 4, Munch still enjoys a variety of vegetables (more so than me) and I’m glad that we are getting to lay down great nutritional foundations for her growth and development in the future.
To spread the word about the importance of infant nutrition and the right quantity and quality of protein in the first 1000 days, Dr Ellie Cannon will be answering a selection of your questions in a follow up post. So if you would have any questions about baby nutrition or growth during the first 1,000 days, please leave them in the comments below.
This post is in association with SMA Nutrition.