Meet Gina Urlich, a beacon of light and an advocate of evidence-based nutrition. With a tonne of experience as well as a deep understanding of the relationship between food and the human body, Gina has earned a reputation in the world of nutrition and wellness.
Whilst Gina enjoys all aspects of nutritional medicine, Gina has a keen focus working with a wide range of female health issues, including fertility and preconception, menopause, PMS, period pain, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, weight loss, acne and other skin issues.
Gina’s care is holistic and comprehensive by nature and she feels very privileged to be able to share life’s journey with her patients and their families.
We took a moment to speak with Gina to get a few insights:
Q. What are you most passionate about in supporting modern mamas throughout their pregnancy journey?
My professional focus lies in the field of women's health, where I dedicate myself to educating and advocating for women throughout the stages of preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum. Maternal and neonatal health outcomes are significantly influenced by nutrient availability throughout preconception, pregnancy and lactation. It is crucial that every woman experiences a sense of support and assistance during this period, combining a holistic approach with nutrition, physical well-being, psychological support, and spiritual nurturing. The well-being of the mother holds immense significance, as she requires adequate support and nourishment to ensure the optimal development of her growing baby & her ongoing health.
Q. What’s an interesting fact about nutrition during pregnancy?
Did you know that the concept of "eating for two" during pregnancy is a bit of a myth? While it's true that a pregnant woman's calorie needs increase, she doesn't actually need to consume double the amount of food. The general guideline is to consume an additional 300-500 calories per day during the second and third trimesters. These extra calories are meant to provide the necessary energy for the baby's growth and development, as well as support the mother's changing body. It's important for expectant mothers to focus on the quality of their food choices rather than just increasing quantity. Opting for nutrient-dense foods such as colourful & seasonal fruits, vegetables, proteins, gentle carbs, and healthy fats is key to meeting the increased nutrient requirements without overeating..... but I'm also well aware cravings for salty chips & chocolate are totally real too & a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to get through.
Q. What’s a common misconception about nutrition during pregnancy?
Myth - The notion that supplementing with iodine and folic acid alone is sufficient for expectant mothers.
While these two nutrients are commonly prescribed by midwives and GPs, it is crucial to understand that pregnant women require a much broader range of nutrients.
Choline plays a vital role in promoting the cognitive function of both the mother and the baby, while also facilitating the baby's neurological development throughout infancy. Insufficient choline intake has been linked to neural tube defects in children.
Recent data obtained from a national survey reveals that approximately 6% of women achieve adequate choline levels, highlighting the significance of ensuring ample choline intake during pregnancy. Consuming adequate choline throughout pregnancy to ensure the healthy development of the baby's brain and spinal cord is fundamental.
This example highlights the importance of not only choline but also other nutrients such as iron, zinc, activated B vitamins, iodine, omega-3, and vitamin D. All of these nutrients are equally vital and should be consumed to meet the recommended daily intake during pregnancy. Doing so supports the growth and development of the baby as well as maternal health.
Q. What are the top things you would recommend people to eat during pregnancy?
+ Macronutrient balanced meals of protein, gentle carbs & health fats.
+ Red meat & poultry
+ Wild salmon
+ Nuts & seeds
+ Root vegetables cooked in olive oil
+ Bright berries
+ Leafy greens
+ Beans & legumes
Q. What’s your advice for our community who are often overwhelmed with information on what is safe and not safe to eat when pregnant?
There is so much noise out there about what is safe & what is not. My advice is always fresh, fresh, fresh food & when in doubt leave it out. If you're not sure if it's safe for you to eat then opt for something that you know is safe. Cook your food at home so you can ensure it is freshly made.
Always consult with a nutritionist who is experienced in pregnancy nutrition if you have any questions.