My son was born at a birthing center and within a few hours, he was taken from me and rushed to the hospital. From that moment forward I understood the commitment I made to be a mom and I was ready to take it on like a warrior. This meant relearning almost everything I knew about anything, especially gut-mind health.
Maternal microbes are transmitted to you during childbirth, representing a key step in the colonization of the infant gut.¹
Canned spaghetti O's and Dr. Pepper were lunch for me. My diet was gross and my son paid the price. I didn't know a thing about nutrition and because of this, he was born with inflammation causing him to be colicky, suffer from severe eczema all over his body, so bad he was raw at times from scratching, terrible bloating, and developmental disability caused by differences in the brain - you couldn't touch him, he wouldn't look you in the eye and he struggled with loud noises like the subway - we lived in NYC so that one was a HUGE struggle for us.
Here's what I did to get him back to homeostasis:
- nutrition included phytonutrient dense foods like chia pudding, superfood smoothies, only ate organic and farmer's market meat, lot's of plant based meals and lot's of omega's
- movement that started with mommy and me yoga, then to physical and occupational therapy eventually to boxing and kundalini yoga
- holistic therapies like craniosacral, shamonism, massage and meditation
- supplements: probiotics, multi-vitamin, Omegas, and vit C
- rigid evening routine sleeping schedule
- essential oil therapy
- herbs like nettles, ashwagandha, chamomile and tulsi
- no sugar.
- no plastic.
- limited dairy.
The gut heals quickly and when you work on your gut-health, you start to heal not just the inside, but the outside too. Your body wants you to feel good. Because of the major changes in our lifestyle, we were able to help his body come back to homeostasis.
To get started now, on a gut-protocal, Joulebody is a great place to begin. Everything I have ever done from the moment I understood my calling through motherhood has been about finding ways to take care of the gut with easy to follow systems that reset your gut.
Take it from me, a mom, a healer, a survivor, the gut-mind connection is the most important tool to health. My second born came 8-years later, here's what happened.
Like my first, he was not planned, so I wasn't focusing on a prenatal lifestyle, I just happened to be at my healthiest. By this time I had an 8-year-old who went from spectrum behaviors that were debilitating to socializing, riding the subway, and responding when you called his name. I had been a yoga teacher, a personal trainer, and a nutrition coach running my own business after leaving Equinox.
My second son is proof that the gut will heal and that the mother's gut-microbiota affects your child's physical and mental health, directly. Here's the difference:
- first born: born at 36wks and I gained over 40lbs, he was born 6lbs 14oz
- second born: born at 36wks and I gained 12lbs, he was born 7lbs 14oz
- first born: was hospitalized with a high fever and jaundice
- second born: came home with me
- first born: eczema, poor vision, sensory issues, delayed walking
- second born: clear skin, doesn't wear glasses, loves to be snuggled, walked at 11months
- first born: severe allergies
- second born: no allergies
The difference was in the foods that I ate and the lifestyle I kept. Before I understood what it meant to have a healthy gut protocol, my diet was filled with fried chicken, french fries, cold cut sandwiches, psychedelics, lots of alcohol, and cigarettes. I lived on potato chips and soda. I had no problem walking 2-miles to get platanos and fried chicken with Nathan Cheese fries at midnight after I indulged in now a later candy, swedish fish, and Hubba Bubba bubble gum and a "40" (Old English 40-ounce beer- YUCK!!) I was from the hood and this was our beer of choice.
I drank cans of Dr. Pepper and coca cola to quench my thirst. My meal planning included canned spaghetti O's, spam, canned sausages, and coco pebbles. There was no organic, no vegetables or fruit. The closest I got to fruit was the fruit in my daiquiris.
The foods I ate were filled with food coloring that we now know contribute to hyperactivity, mood disorders like irritability and depression, asthma, and maybe even cancer. ²
It's clear to me that the lifestyle changes I made allowed me to be ready and healthy enough to bring in a healthy, vibrant little guy.
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