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February 2020

Pregnancy post #2 – being sick

By Food for thought, Pregnancy No Comments

The nausea

From when we found out about baby bean (as he was known from then on) the nausea continued. I was only physically sick once but had nausea pretty much all day every day until around 17 weeks. We had a weeks holiday booked in Portugal when I was 9 weeks pregnant so I was hoping some R&R would be welcomed. It was, however with a little bit of drama, some could say I’m my fathers daughter (for those who know dad, you’ll understand what I mean and laugh).


We were sitting down to lunch beside the pool and I didn’t feel right, thought I was going to be sick so tried to make it to the toilets, fainted and woke up on the ground with an audience staring at me and blood coming from my chin. It could have been so much worse and now I have a lovely scar and a chipped back tooth to always remind me of this little bean. After a ride to the hospital, glue and steri-strips, a scan to confirm everything was ok and a few stiff brandy’s for my hubby we were back at the hotel and I was subject to many inquisitive guests for the rest of the trip.

I was then also under the constant watch of my hubby and told to rest more than usual. Which I struggled with. I don’t really do rest that well and neither does he. The day we returned to the UK we were supposed to be going to see P!NK in concert at Wembley Stadium. It was one of the hottest days of the summer in the high 30’s so needless to say we bailed on that, which was totally the right decision. When you know, you know and don’t ever be afraid to trust your instincts. Not just in motherhood but in general. (When it comes to my birth story, I’ll talk more about trusting your instincts).

I got a cold at 28 weeks. It really took its toll on me, moreso than a cold normally would. One of the benefits of being your own boss is working from the sofa. Also, at this time was when I started to get uncomfortable. My sleeping really took a knock and I was waking every few hours not only for a wee but also because it was just awkward. I started to feel a stretching type sensation in the sides of my tummy, which I assumed was totally normal. My lower back also ached pretty permanently which I learnt to get used to. I tried not to let it stop me. I’m a big believer in not moping around because quite frankly it’s not going to help your mental state of mind. Sure, rest is important, but there is a difference between rest and simply not doing anything which can often make you feel worse. This was the only time I got sick throughout my entire pregnancy. Which is probably less than how often I get sick normally.

The final weeks

The nausea came back intermittently in the remaining few weeks but nothing compared to what it was like at the start. It was usually in the first few hours of waking up and then it would go. Being uncomfortable got worse. And getting up in the night also got worse although it depends where baby bean was lying. He must have moved occasionally as I had some nights that were just worse than others.

And that was it. There wasn’t anymore sickness (oh until labour where I vomited twice, the first time I had my head so close to the bowl it splattered back in my face, lucky I’ve got a good sense of humour). I firmly believe because you know there is an end in sight, you can mentally process it and get through it.

Pregnancy post #1 – the beginning

By Personal, Pregnancy No Comments

Here goes…

I don’t often write a lot of personal perspective stuff as all my nutrition work is based on science and research. However, when I found out I was pregnant and started my own research on the parent population I found that there are so many inquisitive mothers to be out there, who just want to be listened to and also want to understand how it was for others. Not for comparison, but to help them during their own journey. I certainly found it helped me to understand pregnancy by listening to others and reading a lot of other mothers stories. So, over the next few weeks I’ll be posting about my journey, what changed, how I felt and hopefully to make you all feel a little calmer about things. It’s not broken down into weeks or months, but topic focused, everything from food to shopping, female body changes and what people say. Let’s start at the beginning shall we…

The beginning

We found out about baby Law at around 7 weeks. We’d been away with friends for a long weekend in France and when we got back I felt awful. I had zero energy, was nauseas for three days straight and said to my husband “I think I might be pregnant, and if I’m not then I’m booking a doctors appointment because this isn’t normal”. Two days later he got home from work and we had both purchased pregnancy tests. It was my mum and dads 39th wedding anniversary, what a gift. We were going to be parents.

At least now I could put my feelings of total rubbish down to something. Most of my friends have had children and they had recommended going for a private scan just to check the viability of the embryo as otherwise we had a nervous five weeks to wait until the NHS scan you book in for at 12 weeks. I acknowledge here that we are privileged to be in this position and £80 later we knew our baby had a heartbeat. That was the only private scan we had throughout the entire pregnancy.

The pregnancy journey

I had a relatively smooth pregnancy, I can’t and won’t complain. There are others who go through hell. I do however, think it’s about being realistic about the situation too. For me personally, pregnancy almost calmed me down a bit. I am always on the go, with things to do. I’m busy. And relaxation for me isn’t really sitting on the sofa all day under a duvet watching re-runs of Friends. It’s more like going for walk, watching one episode of something on television, having a bath, reading, cooking and even cleaning sometimes. But people struggle to understand that. I guess what I learnt from this journey is you know yourself the best and if you are up for something then do it.

At my 20 week scan the sonographer noted that my placenta was lying ever so slightly low so I was booked in for another scan at 32 weeks. I was secretly delighted as it was another chance to see our little baby bean before his arrival into the world. I wasn’t overly worried about the placenta. From what I was told from friends a lot of the time they can move up and in the end what will be will be. If it didn’t move then I’d need a cesarean and that would be out of my control. At 32 weeks, we were re-scanned and it was no longer close to the cervix which was great. Bubs was cosy and his head was down already, I remember my husband saying, “so basically he is upside down, for like the next 2 months”. This was confirmed when he regularly and persistently kicked me in the ribs.

Midwife appointments and the start of labour

My midwife appointments went as normal every 2-3 weeks and then weekly from 40 weeks. In Hertfordshire where I live we see community midwifes at the children’s centre so there aren’t any trips to the hospital unless its for a scan or consultant appointment.

I declined a sweep at 4o + 3 as I wasn’t overly convinced on the benefits and despite being uncomfortable most of the time I was happy our little baby bean would be here when he was ready. I went into labour at exactly 41 weeks.

#35 Milk and dairy (Part II)

By Sunday Shutdown Series No Comments


This is a question I get asked at almost every workshop or talk I run, via my social media and from friends too. Is dairy harmful for human health? I have written a Sunday Shutdown on it already (check my website) however I wanted to elaborate further.⠀

Summary of the evidence

In 2016, a review (Thorning et al.) was published summarising all the evidence on milk and dairy products and their impact on human health. The analysis looked at obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cancer and all-cause mortality. It’s important to note that butter was not included in the overview, and given its nutritional profile is very different to other dairy products it’s quite good it’s been left off.⠀

Some important findings from the overview were:⠀

  • Magnesium is important for bone health, and in children pretty much all their intake comes from dairy. This is also true for calcium. Whilst plant based milks have calcium added into them it isn’t organic to the product and there is limited research on how this reacts in the human body. Does it work in the same way or not? The products are so new it’s impossible to tell.⠀
  • There is still very limited evidence on dairy and some cancers. A 2011 World Cancer Research Fund report concluded that dairy consumption probably reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. This was further shown in a 2014 meta-analysis (Ralston et al) particularly in adult males, yet not females. However, other than this type in particular, most studies are inconclusive or indicate a positive effect. There are none which indicate a negative effect.⠀

Plant based alternatives

Whilst plant based alternatives may be trendy they tend to have a very low protein content compared to dairy which is high (this is good). This is with the exception of soy which is comparable. We know that the protein content in many peoples diets currently may just meet the UK Governments recommendation. Yet we also know this is no where near enough for optimum health. I advise all my clients to be consuming in excess of 1g/kg of body weight as good practice.


All in all there are very few adverse effects which have been proven about consuming milk and dairy. And prior to the introduction of plant milks on the market there were no other alternatives. My fear with removing dairy completely is the long term health effects of reduced protein, calcium, magnesium and iodine intake. We can certainly all consume less, just not remove completely unless for medical reasons.