Nutrition for the athletic mum: considerations for before, during and

Presenter – Henrietta Paxton

Government guidelines for activity during pregnancy and after childbirth suggest aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, with the general advice that if you are already active, to stay active. This goes alongside some very basic nutrition guidance, including choosing fat-free or low-fat foods, and avoiding eggs. This level of activity is already far less than many elite athletes will be doing during much of their pregnancy, as well as when they are returning to training after childbirth. Additionally, the nutrition advice is very out of step with what we now understand about the role that fats play in the human diet; especially their importance for pregnant women. So, with this in mind, how do the nutrition requirements for a healthy pregnancy and postpartum recovery change when you add in the increased demands of training?

In this webinar, Henrietta synthesised the evidence base around pre, peri and postpartum nutrition from her clinical experience with athletic mothers. She discussed the integration of nutrition with the incredible hormonal, metabolic and biological changes that take place during and after pregnancy; in this way supporting athletic mothers through healthy pregnancy and lactation, then back to performance.

Henrietta Paxton MSc DipCNELM BANT is a former international athlete for both Scotland and Great Britain. She came to nutritional therapy after a major sporting injury, from which she was told she would not recover. Simultaneously her father died of liver cancer and she found herself battling major injury and real emotional trauma. 18 months later, after some fundamental nutritional changes, Henrietta competed for Scotland at her second Commonwealth Games, and went on to complete her MSc in Personalised Nutrition with CNELM. This experience gives Henrietta a deep understanding of the huge potential that good nutrition holds to make life changing differences in health and performance.

Since qualifying, Henrietta has worked with a broad range of individuals, including many elite athletes, and Henrietta completed the Certificate for integrate Sports nutrition with CISN in 2018. She is still very involved with the sport she loves and works closely with a number of national and international athletes, using an integrated sports nutrition model. Having now had two children, her focus has expanded to include tackling the inadequate advice on nutrition for fertility, pregnancy, breast feeding and weaning for athletic and training mothers, and she has further specialised in nutrition for fertility and pregnancy.

Twitter: @henri_pv

View original video here.