The Healthy Celiac Podcast

Pregnancy and Celiac Disease

May 09, 2022 Belinda Whelan Season 1 Episode 57
The Healthy Celiac Podcast
Pregnancy and Celiac Disease
Show Notes Transcript

WARNING: This episode may contain sensitive topics to some listeners.

In this episode I am discussing pregnancy with celiac disease and talking about some of the myths that can cause concern.

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Music Credit 

All conte

Speaker 1:

Hello. And welcome back to this week's episode. So this week I am responding to a message that I received via Instagram, and it was from Andrea. And she messaged me asking if I could talk about pregnancy and how that relates to celiac disease. So Andrea actually wants to start a family of her own in the coming year. And her main concern was she's heard lots of horror stories around women with celiac disease and they fall pregnant and they get glutened and then they have a miscarriage. So she wanted me to talk about that and share some tips with you and, and basically shed some light on this subject. And so I figured there must be many other women in our community that also needs to hear this message today. All right . So let's dive into it. Now. I am a mother of three children. So if you've listened to any of my other episodes where I talk about my kids, I have a teenager, I have a five year old and I have a three year old . So my teenager was , um, she was born and I didn't have celiac disease. And my doctors believed that having her well, not, I shouldn't say having her, but pregnancy triggered the gene for me. And that's what turned on the celiac disease for me. So it was after I had her that I discovered that I had celiac disease. So my second and third child were born with absolutely no complications. Um, having lived with celiac disease. So we're gonna talk about some of these myths and some of these things that you might have heard that you may have concerns about and , and talk about some of the best ways that you can have success in falling pregnant and keeping a healthy baby. All right . So let's dive in now, as we know, a gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease. So if you are on a gluten-free diet and you are doing absolutely everything that you possibly can to stay healthy and to make sure that you are not accidentally getting glutened and you are not letting cross contamination get into you. And you know, you are on this journey and you feel like now is the time to start falling PR trying to fall pregnant. Then let's talk about how we can be at our very best. So my top tips for any woman trying to fall pregnant is to focus on your health in the lead up to getting pregnant. Don't wait until you've just fallen, pregnant and start taking, you know, a prenatal supplement and looking after your body and eating well, do it beforehand, focus on your health prior. Now this makes a huge, huge difference to your entire pregnancy, as well as giving

Speaker 2:

Birth. I am a huge, huge advocate for that. I truly believe that it makes a massive difference to childbirth. If you are fit and healthy and also eating well, can, you know, sustain your, he not only your health, but your feeding your baby at the same time when you are pregnant. And also if you choose to , um, breastfeed, then you are also giving nutrients to your baby. Then. So you need to be at your peak condition. Think of this as this is your Olympics. This is childbirth Olympics. And it's time for you to be the best athlete that you can be the best mom , the best that you can possibly be being pregnant and giving birth and looking after your baby afterwards. So I am a huge advocate for supplements. I truly believe that supplements make a massive difference in our health and our life. And, you know, a lot of people say, well, I get it from my food. Well, you you'd have to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables to get the amount of nutrients that you need. We need a higher amount of nutrients when we are pregnant. Okay. So a prenatal is super important because it has these key ingredients, which are zinc selenium and folic acid, and they are very important when you are pregnant. Okay. So I highly recommend that you get the best prenatal that you can possibly afford. Don't get just some cheap, crappy thing. That's probably not even got as much goodness in it as a good multivitamin, get the best one that you can afford because it can make a big difference. Now you also need to be making sure that you are consuming enough calcium iron fiber , um , vitamin D and also magnesium. So make sure that you've got all of those in a really high quality supplement and make sure that you are consuming well, not the fiber. The fiber is something that you need to focus on in your diet, but for those other , um, ones, you definitely need to make sure that you are getting a good amount of those into your body. So very, very important to be focusing on those. The next one is to eat well. And when , when I say eat well, eat as much healthy food as you possibly can handle, because it will make a big difference to your body and your baby. Now we could go on about this for an entire episode, because that's just what I love to talk about eating well and focusing on your health and yeah, all the good stuff, but eating well for you may be very different to what the next person classes as eating well. So I'm not going to give you specifics of what you should eat, because it varies from person to person. It varies from culture to culture, country, to country. It depends on you and your lifestyle. So you may have things that, you know, you eat and they're not the best for you. So , um, focus on crowding out. I've talked about this in another episode and you can have a look on my website where I've got a blog post on crowding out, and it's basically where you introduce something that is better than that. Not so great , um , choice. So let's say for example, you sit down to a big bowl of, I don't know , potato chips or crisps, whatever you wanna call them. Not exactly any nutrition in them. Yes, they can be delicious, but you know, you might wanna change that up for something a bit healthier, some, some mixed , nuts and seeds and maybe a bit of natural yogurt or something like that. I don't know it's different for all of us. So pick something that you think you could replace, you might be drinking five cups of coffee a day, and you might need to lower that amount down because that's a lot of caffeine and you know that and you feel guilty every time you do it, but it can be as simple as replacing one of those coffees with a green tea and doing that for a week. And then the next week focusing on replacing two of those coffees with a green tea and continue on and on until you've dropped your coffee intake. All right , exercising. I truly, truly believe that the fitter you are the better you will be able to handle being pregnant. The better you will be at going into labor and giving birth, because it is so much easier when you are fit and healthy. My first two children, I was very fit and healthy. My third, I had a two year old when I had my third child when I gave birth. And I probably wasn't as fit and healthy as I had been with my first two, because I hadn't been focusing on myself as much , um, because I wasn't getting as much sleep being pregnant and looking after a two year old . And I, yeah, I was bit sleep deprived. I wasn't as fit. I was still not eating the best that I could be. And I did notice that my postpartum recovery was no way near as good as my first two children. So I know for a fact that it makes a huge difference when you are fit and healthy and, and looking after your body in the best way that you possibly can. So exercising for you could be something very gentle. It could be just going for a daily walk. It could be doing some gentle stretches, just whatever works for you. So this is something that I have touched on quite a bit in other episodes, but obviously when you're pregnant, it depends on you. And you need to talk with your doctor about what your doctor thinks is okay for you, because we all have different , um, other conditions and things that we need

Speaker 3:

To make sure that we are discussing with our healthcare provider. All right ? And the last one is lowering stress and I can't stress this enough. So stress plays a huge factor on whether you can fall pregnant or not. If your body is in fight or flight mode all the time, your body is in not in the peak condition to fall pregnant and have a baby. So stress is huge. And this does not get talked about enough. I had a client years ago who happens to be one of my very, very good friends. And she came to me because she wanted to fall pregnant and she was struggling really badly to fall pregnant. She was getting bogged down. She was so upset about the situation she thought she was gonna have to go down the IVF route. She was just, she was just lost. She didn't know what to do. And when we started coaching, so I did , um, a six month coaching program with my friend and immediately I knew what her problem was. I could see what was going on for her. She was so highly stressed that her body was not ready for her to fall pregnant. Her body kept saying, no, this is not the right time for you. <laugh> funnily enough. So she was very, very busy with work. She was very, very busy supporting her family business. She was very busy socializing and going out and drinking a lot. And I, I basically had to sit her down and say, you need to start saying, no, you need to say no to going to your friend's houses on weeknights and sitting down and drinking until 11 o'clock. And then having to get up at six o'clock in the morning, you have to say no to going away with work all the time. You need to rest. You need to nurture your body. You need to make sure that you are putting your body in peak condition for falling pregnant. Before we had even finished our six month coaching, she was pregnant and she's gone on to have two beautiful children since then. And we both put it down to lowering her stress. And it was phenomenal to know that I played a part in that. So if I can play a part in you falling pregnant, if that's what you are looking to do, then I am so, so grateful for you listening to this episode. And I truly truly believe that if it's meant to be, it will be. So please do the best that you can for your body. Now miscarriage in a woman with celiac disease. This is, this is a touchy subject. And I I'm very blessed to have not experienced this, but I know many women that have, but I don't know anyone with celiac disease that has suffered from a miscarriage. And the thing is miscarriage in a woman with celiac disease is no more likely to happen than it is to another woman. If they're eating, if they're eating gluten free , if they are healthy and they are making sure that they are doing the very best for them, what they need to do living with celiac disease. So you don't need to go into it stressing. You don't need to go into, oh my goodness, what if I fall pregnant? But I've got celiac disease and well , you know what, if this happens and what if that happens? These things happen to the best of us. These things happen because of a number of reasons. It's not because you have celiac disease. If you are eating gluten free , you're looking after your body. You don't need to stress that celiac disease is going to play a part in you not being able to fall pregnant, or you having a miscarriage. There are studies that prove this. I'm not gonna rattle off those studies in this episode, but you can find them on the internet. They're there. They're , they're free to read. You can access them if you need further confirmation, but please know that, you know, you are, you are able to do this. Your celiac disease is not going to hold you back. If you have been living with this for a while . Now, if you've just found out that you've got celiac disease and you wanna have a baby now, I think it would probably be best to get your body in peak condition before you even think about that. And I think if you went and spoke to your doctor or your primary caregiver or your healthcare provider, they would say the same thing, they would agree with me. So I hope that helps. I think that's all I need to talk about. I think that's all I can share with you on this subject. If you have a story behind this that you'd like to share with me, I'm very open to you sending me an email. You can send me an email info, Belinda . All my DMS are always open on Instagram, but otherwise I hope this inspires you. I really hope that this helps you and, and know that, you know, there, there has been studies that prove that if you have celiac disease, that's not controlled. If you're not looking after yourself, there are studies that show that things like miscarriage and , um , preterm labor, and low birth weight and stillbirths , things like that, they do happen. But when you eat gluten, gluten free , these risks are no longer heightened. Okay? These, these risks are no, no higher than the next woman. They're no different. Okay.

Speaker 4:

So you've got this, you've got this, I believe in you. And I, I truly believe that you, you take the steps that you need to be healthy and, and comfortable in who you are and feel that you are not so stressed and don't worry. And don't focus on the negative focus on the positive, you know, it will happen. So thank you so much for listening. And like I said, I really hope that this inspires you and, and supports you. So thanks again to Andrea for sending through her question. I hope, I hope you enjoy this episode, Andrea. I made this, especially for you and all the other women that need to hear this. So thank you so much for listening and I will talk with you again next week. Take care. Bye.