GUEST POST:  Emma Park on the Importance of Microbiome in The First 1000 days

I have invited Emma Park to share with us her program The First 1000 Days and to tell us about herself and why the microbiome is so important.  Thank you for being so generous in your time and information Emma – over to you:

My name is Emma Park and I’m a Holistic Nutritionist specialising in Gut Health & The Microbiome. I’ve been in private practice for 8 years and have helped thousands of clients optimise their gut & microbiome to support their health & wellbeing goals in one-to-one consults, group workshops & community education programs.
I’m also the Health Professional Educator for Qiara Probiotics, a small Australian Probiotic company that makes an incredible breastmilk strain probiotic. For the last 5 years it’s been my (part-time) job to educate other Health Professionals on the role of the Microbiome & Probiotics in Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Early Infancy, particularly Midwives, Lactation Consultants, Maternal Child Health Nurses & Obstetricians.

I’ve also attended many (or most!) of the Professional Conferences in these fields which is how I ended up with so many awesome connections with Maternity Care Health Professionals and learning so much about the maternity healthcare system in Australia.
After learning this and the current ‘stats’ and hearing so many stories from unprepared Mums & Dads having disempowered and traumatic birth experiences (not to mention pregnancy, breastfeeding & early infant complications!) I was propelled to write this program and make it as educational, accessible & affordable as possible.

I have spent countless hours learning, researching & connecting with other experts, and have poured everything I possibly can into the program.
I hope you get as much out of the content as I’ve put into it!

Importance of Microbiome in The First 1000 days & Summary of the course

The First 1000 days is the time from conception to 2yrs old and is a crucial time for making new humans.
It’s a super important time to optimise your health and wellbeing in general but it is a CRUCIAL time to look after and optimise your MICROBIOME.

Your microbiome is all the microbes that live on and in you (the greatest concentration in the GUT) but ALL body sites have a microbiome and the health, balance & diversity of the microbes greatly determine the health & function of the body site – and the human as a whole.

We have many more microbial cells, and much more microbial DNA than we do human – essentially, we are a HOST for our microbiome!

The microbiome is important at all times – but becomes incredibly important in pregnancy, as mums > you pass you microbiome on to your baby.
Think of yourself as the ‘Custodian of your Baby’s Microbiome’.

Modern life is fraught with ‘microbiome disruptors’ > diet, lifestyle, stress, environmental toxins & medications (particularly antibiotics)

As a result, we’re seeing babies born to mums with very compromised microbiomes already, this is then compounded by the increasing rate of medicalised births & interventions. Our new little humans are really ‘up against it’ when it comes to establishing a healthy microbiome in the First 1000 Day period.

We really need to increase education & awareness around this as research confirms infants with disrupted microbiomes at any stage, but particularly in the early stages (up to 12 weeks) have increased risks for MANY diseases and conditions across the lifespan;

Infections, Allergies, Asthma, Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease, ASD, Autoimmune etc (the list goes on…)

Birth is the time babies have their first major exposure to mum’s microbiome (ideally to the VERY specific microbes in the vagina + some fecal flora) & then breastfeeding becomes the most significant factor shaping the infants developing microbiome until they wean.

Think of the common story of ‘disruptors’ we see for mums & bubs these days;

  • Antibiotics at any time previous to, & in pregnancy and/or stress, environmental toxins & poor diets = already compromised microbiome
  • Potential Interventions in Birth > C-section, GBS positive, synthetic oxytocin induction, epidural (etc) resulting in > no exposure to beneficial birth canal flora, increased exposure to ‘abnormal’ hospital bugs, lack of natural physiological hormone cascade and more antibiotics = further impacts to microbiome and interruption of first major transfer of microbes from mum to bubs
  • Increased likelihood of suffering birth trauma (1 in 3) = impacts mother baby bonding, mothering experience, mental health, recovery, breastfeeding outcomes etc
  • Poor breastfeeding rates > all of the above ALSO greatly impact BF outcomes = Lack of breastmilk and/or increased likelihood of formula exposure. Breastmilk contains all the components specifically designed to modify & nurture a babies developing microbiome. It also must be considered a personalised medicine for baby. Formula contains free sugars that feed a very different microbiome & many also contain cow’s milk protein which can have long term impacts on the developing IMMUNE system. This is not about shaming mums that have trouble breastfeeding – we have very poor support systems in place for helping mums & lack of education around the importance (this is a whole other blog post!)

So think about all of those confounding factors – it’s no wonder our microbiomes are so damaged (and our western, affluent countries are the WORST) think of it similarly to the global crisis – it really is MASS EXTINCTION.

This is why I was compelled to write The First 1000 Days online program for mums & maternity care workers.
Because we need to start considering & optimising the microbiome in Pregnancy (it is also very related to pregnancy outcomes such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, Pre-term birth & GBS infection) AND continue to nurture and nourish it for life – but most importantly (and crucially) in infants & toddlers development stage.. AT LEAST up to two years old.

In The First 1000 Days Program, you will learn;

  • WHAT the Microbiome is
  • WHY the Microbiome During the First 1000 Days is SO IMPORTANT
  • HOW TO Optimise the Microbiome to get the best Pregnancy, Birth, Infant Feeding & Infant Development for you and your baby > all the way from conception to 2 years old!

The other MAJOR component of the program is to PREPARE & EMPOWER you for the Maternity Healthcare System in Australia & how to reduce the likelihood of unwanted Interventions and traumatic birth experiences.

As it stands in Australia we have;

  • 40% Induction rate
  • 1 in 3 C-section deliveries
  • Fear of Birth at an all-time high
  • 1 in 3 births reported as TRAUMATIC
  • 1 in 10 go on to develop PTSD

This program provides everything you need to know to get the best results & support in the current maternity care landscape and/or birthing outside the system.

You’ll Get;
8 Modules covering every stage from Conception to 2 years Old.

Each Module has a specific webinar (approx. 60 minutes) & is also packed full of extra resources; books, websites, blogs, experts to follow, expert interviews (one of which being Catherine & her INCREDIBLE Birth Map Resource), other specific courses etc

And a private FB group to answer all your specific questions..

Modules
Module 1 > The First Trimester
Module 2 > The Second Trimester
Module 3 > The Third Trimester
Module 4 > Birth & Early Infant Feeding
Module 5 > The Fourth Trimester
Module 6 > 12 weeks – 6mths Old
Module 7 > 6mths – 12mths Old
Module 8 > 12mths – 2yrs Old

Via this link you can find a FREE introductory webinar, MODULE 1 for FREE & the price & payment plans.

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Please get in touch if you need any more information.
Websites:
emmaparknutritionist.com.au
thefirst1000days.com.au

Email – hello@emmaparknutritonist.com.au
Insta – @emmaparknutritionist
FB – Emma Park Holistic Nutritionist (@EmmaParkNutritionist)
Click here for the FREE F1KDays FB Group
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