I’m Bianca and I’m a plant-based mumma of two beautiful thriving boys, Elijah Finch aged 5 and Esra Oak aged 1. We eat a vibrant, nourishing & predominantly whole-food diet made up of lots of fresh and real ingredients. Hemp has been a staple ingredient prior to our children’s conception and throughout my pregnancies was one of the superfoods my body needed the most.
Hemp and pregnancy explained:
Throughout the various stages of pregnancy, our bodies require different nutrients to support the growth and development of our little ones, whilst making sure us mummas receive an adequate level of nutritional support too. Throughout the pregnancy of my two children, I made sure to eat a nutrient-packed diet with a particular focus on maintaining iron and protein levels to sustain energy throughout the day and to nourish my little ones.
Being mostly plant-based one of the great ways for me to do this was to sprinkle hemp in everything! Hemp doesn’t contain any THC or CBD in it meaning it has no psychoactive properties, which is often a misconception. Not only is it completely safe, it’s also a nutritional powerhouse as it contains so many incredible vitamins and minerals that are perfect for fuelling our bodies (omegas 3-6, essential fatty acid GLA, amino acids, protein, fibre, iron, zinc and many other vitamins and minerals… just to name a few!).
Seeing as hemp has statistically similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb I found that it was the perfect plant-based alternative to my meals to ensure that I was getting enough natural protein during my pregnancy.
Nutritional support throughout my first trimester:
Throughout the first trimester in both of my pregnancies I suffered from morning sickness and like many other pregnant women I really struggled to consume the abundance of whole foods I would usually enjoy. Studies have shown that when feeling nauseous eating fiber fuelled snacks can particularly help pregnant women keep the hunger and nausea away and energy levels maintained. I found that hemp seeds were a really great way to increase my fiber intake to help keep me energised throughout the day. I would often sprinkle hemp seeds on top of my meals in order to add some much-needed nutrients at a time where food was very difficult to stomach!
Nutritional requirements changed in my second and third trimester:
Thankfully during the second and third trimesters, my appetite returned as did my cravings for veggies, fruit, nuts, oats, whole grains and seeds. Knowing that my body was creating and supporting another human made me even more passionate about fuelling myself with nourishing foods. I drank smoothies in abundance (my favourite was banana, spinach, blueberries, hemp/chia/flax seeds and coconut milk) and added hemp seeds into pasta sauces, curries, dahls and soups for that extra boost of plant-based goodness. Adding hemp to my meals was also an amazing way to incorporate extra amino acids and protein into my diet in a plant-based way. These powerful nutrients are particularly important in the third trimester as your protein needs begin to increase to help support the growth of your baby's brain, heart, skin, hair and fingernails. *
Studies have also shown that increasing your omega 3 intake in the last trimester of pregnancy can help boost your babies sensory, cognitive and motor development. Omega 3’s are most often found in fish and seafood, so for plant-based mummas or those who are a little nervous about mercury levels in seafood, hemp can be a really great alternative.*
I was lucky enough to have zero deficiencies due to a naturally balanced diet and plenty of energy throughout both of my pregnancies which led to the births of two healthy babies.
My postpartum nourishment:
Postpartum life is a time where mummas really require an abundance of support and nourishment. Ensuring that myself and my little one were getting all the nutrients we needed was essential in my postpartum journey. Particularly when I was breastfeeding, I needed more snacks that were filled with calcium and iron to fuel my body to help sustain calories and energy that I was burning. I regularly fuelled my body with smoothies, bliss balls and smashed avocado, all with hemp seeds within them as I found that this was a great way to ingest healthy fats and iron in a quick and delicious way. My milk supply was abundant and both our children have thrived on their plant-based diets.