Supplements whilst pregnant and breastfeeding.

A question I have been asked a lot during both my first and second pregnancies and during my time breastfeeding after, is, is it safe for me to take protein powder? Do I take/use any other supplements during these precious times. It is at this point where my answer is always, ‘yes and no.’ The lines surrounding this subject are very important especially as it concerns the health of a baby, therefore, if you are thinking of taking protein and or supplements, it is important to know the ‘rules’ as well as how, when and how much is safe to use. On this blog post I will outline the basic – yes and no’s to what can be taken and what is a no go, however, I will be also uploading a VLOG, so that I can expand and talk about in more detail what supplements I take, what stages I take them and most importantly why I take them.

Prenatal Supplements: YES. Prenatal supplements are extremely important to take during pregnancy, even if you have a healthy diet and lifestyle, a prenatal will help cover any bits missed when it comes to getting a full dose of essential vitamins and minerals that you will need to take care of yourself and your growing baby. On another note, whilt breastfeeding many women choose to just continue with their prenatal vitamin, however, experts suggest that it is actually important breastfeeding mother make the transition from a prenatal vitamin to a postnatal vitamin. This is due to the fact that whilst nursing, the nutritional needs of a mother and baby are different to those of a pregnant woman and that certain vitamins are needed in different quantities such as Vitamin D.

Iron Supplements: YES. Many woman after giving birth are temporarily anaemic due to the massive blood loss. Iron supplementation is very important for some new mothers, yet maybe not as important for others, this widely varies from mother to mother, their birth stories and their general diets. One group of mothers it is important for regardless are those who have had a c-section, as iron supplementation is extremely important for the post operation recovery.

Probiotics: YES. During pregnancy the hormone oestrogen slows down everything that is happening within our digestive tracts, leading many mothers to continue to suffer even after birth constipation, wind, stomach cramps etc. Probiotics help to maintain a healthy digestive tract over the long run and results can be seen even from the first few days of taking them. Depending on the specific probiotic, most are safe for use during breastfeeding and even have been proven to help with maintaining a healthy digestive tract for baby too. No more colic! Although when buying an over the counter probiotic make sure to verify that it is indeed BREASTFEEDING SAFE before buying. 

Protein Powder: YES and NO. When it comes to protein powder it can be a red flag on whether you take it or not. Here it is important to understand how protein powder functions to help us and know how the other added artifical substances can harm/cause damage to our growing babies. There are also so many other factors that vary depending on age of baby, stage of pregnancy and the mother herself. I will expand more in detail on my upcoming VLOG on what type of proteins are okay and what types are a NO – GO. 

 

BCAA’s: NO. The term BCAA is short for ‘branched chain amino acids’. In short they are just basic protein building blocks for our body, so you may wonder, why not for a growing foetus? In general high levels of BCAA in children under 12 years of age have shown to cause mental retardation and brain damage, an unborn foetus or nursing child can inadvertently consume extra levels of BCAA through any kind of nutrition passed from the mother to the child during the pregnancy or nursing stages. This is why it has become a general rule for medical professionals to recommend that women who are pregnant or nursing not take any kind of BCAA supplement. It’s better to play it safe than sorry. 

Fat Burning Supplements: NO. Fat burning supplements usually are just made using a stimulant or a combination of stimulants in order to increase our metabollic rate, thus causing us to burn fat easier/quicker. If you have been pregnant or nursing before, you will know even every day stimulants such as caffeine has to be restricted during these sensitive periods of time. Why? Everything we consume, our child does too and if the effect of a stimulant can have such an impact on our body then inadvertantly it would be like giving crack cocaine to your child. So that is a definite no. 

L – Carnitine: YES. Whilst there is not enough research of L-carnitine use during pregnancy, it is better to be on the safe side and to not use it, however, during breastfeeding reseach has shown that it can help a mother bring her energy levels up during this time where a lot of energy consumption goes into making milk. Moreover research has also shown that small amounts of L-carnitine have had no side effects in nursing babies, yet large amounts of L-carnitine use has still not been researched. It can therefore be concluded that l-carnitine in moderation and at smaller doses is safe to take during breastfeeding. 


 

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Week 9 + Workout

FUN FACT: Baby is the size of a GRAPE

At 9 weeks, baby is now the size of a grape so about 1 inch long. The four little chambers of baby’s heart has now finished forming and it is time to fine tune the valves of the heart. Beneath those mini pink gums the first set of teeth have already formed, can you believe that? Ready for those days of teething after baby is born.The iconic ‘tail’ is now completely gone and baby is looking more and more human by the day, am I the only one who finds the idea of a mini 1 inch human so cute? Two other things which are now fully formed but which will not be able to be seen for a while are baby’s genitals, and also baby’s eyes. Where genitals will only be able to be seen on an ultrasound in about a month and eyes at about the 27 week mark of pregnancy when they are no longer fused shut.

And how are the momma’s feeling? Still not visible to the outside world, you may personally begin to feel some thickening at the waist, this is due to bloating, a growing uterus and even the widening of the hips preparing for that cute little baby. You (or maybe even your loved ones) will be noticing more and more mood swings by this point, blame the hormones, they are definitely responsible for causing all this chaos, however, don’t fear, they should level out at some point at the end of first trimester. Some will still not have made it to the gym yet, this is perfectly normal, I managed to make an entrance twice this week, workouts will be down below. ps. Any funny mood swing stories? Comment or message them to me, I’d love to take a read! 

Workout 1

10 mins cardio – 105 calories

6 sets x 20 reps each side (increasing weight) standing oblique crunch

4 sets x 15 reps v crunches on bench 

4 sets x 20 reps tricep pull down

4 sets x 20 reps oblique crunches 

4 sets x 20 reps cable crunches 

10 minutes run 

Workout 2 

10 mins cardio – 100 calorie 

4 sets x 15 bicep curls 

4 sets x 20 each side standing oblique crunch 

4 sets x 15 reps v crunches on bench 

4 sets x 20 reps reclining crunches

4 sets x 10 reps lying leg raises

4 sets x 10 reps ab roller

10 minutes cardio

Working out without music?

Good morning Chocolate lovers! I have SO MUCH work on the agenda today, but before all that I’m going to the gym today to work off all this stress and tension!

Headphones I N – Music U P – Game O N 

Oh and here’s a little video for you, on why I DON’T work out without music, I mean, do you? 😉

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

ps.comment me some new music for my playlist, I want to make a playlist purely out of suggestions and see what I end up with- just a little creative idea, and YES I will be doing a video!

OXOXO

 

Genius Nutrition Protein- why it’s so Genius!

PROTEIN – Many of you may know various brand names of protein powders, may know many people who consume them for many different reasons, you may consume protein yourself, which is great! Once you enter the ‘fitness world’ the word protein becomes a very important word to you…whatever your goals may be.

In the Life of a Chocolate Girl we have me (the sceptic), my husband (the supplement consumer), our little bear cub (Baby Ayan – 18 months old, still breastfeeds), Oh and Cliffy the Spitz. I state this to you because, in this case the relevance of QUALITY of protein plays a massive role in the dynamics. My husband has been a gym goer for years now, and has always taken protein to aid him with muscle growth, repair and recovery – so over the years I’ve seen all the different brands he’s tried and have always had protein in our home at my disposal if I’d ever wanted to take it – well, he looks pretty good if I don’t say so myself. However, I never really took any protein despite having intense workouts and needing the extra protein being also a vegetarian and a breastfeeding mother with a super active lifestyle. I used to say to my husband all the time that the ingredients just didn’t seem natural or healthy and that I simply wasn’t ready to put unknown sourced ingredients into my body simply for aesthetic reasons whilst in the meantime possibly ruining the health of both, me and my baby. That is, until I came across GENIUS NUTRITION! 

I am now a protein drinker, I still breastfeed, have much more efficent muscle recovery, therefore less tiredness, more intense workouts and increased daily muscle progress. I’ve truly converted! Okay, so now you’re wondering what is it about the Genius Nutrition product that converted me? What makes it different to all the other supplement/protein companies I have come across until date? Well, let me bullet point you why…

  • Genius Nutrition has bought out one of the most innovate whey proteins until date
  • They provide only the purest, highest quality whey protein available
  • The whey is sourced only from cows that graze on natural grass pastures
  • Sourced from cows that have not had any antibiotics or hormone influence 
  • Protein is produced without GMO’s, pesticides and artifical flavours 
  • Protein from the macronutrients are calculated (no Amino Spiking on the label) 
  • Made in Belgium – Chocolate Dreams is so delicious and tastes exactly like belgian chocolate (always a bonus if you’re a chocolate lover like me). 

See, what more could you want? Perfect for the vegetarian! Keeps the protein requirements up, is healthy and pure as can. Most importantly the quality that is obtained from happy AND healthy cows is simply not comparible. Need I expand more? You may be wondering why the quality and purity mean so much to me, well here’s the thing…In my opinion, life isn’t just about aesthaetic quality, but just as or even more importantly – true quality. What’s the point in looking great if you’re feeding yourself all types of unknown substances and chemicals on the inside? The effects may not show now, but down the line, you never know what damage you may have been causing yourself all this time. Ask yourself, will the aesthetics or the health matter to you in 30 years time? It’s your choice, opt for Genius Nutrition today, get that kick-ass workout, look good, feel good & guarantee yourself a healthier, happier tomorrow!

🔴⚫️ Oh and guys, as a little present from me, any order you make from www.geniusnutrition.ro just insert code -> LCG at checkout for a 12% discount. Let me know what you think of their products, I can be contacted by mail at lifeofachocolategirl@outlook.com ⚫️🔴

I wish you happy workouts & a wonderful week!

Reema ⭕️❌⭕️❌

WSOTD – workout song of the day. 

My workout song for the day 🙂 – Mario Joy: California. YouTube it, then pump it up ▶️

Love, R 

❌⭕️❌⭕️❌