Local naturopathic doctor releases book designed to guide pregnant and postpartum women create a plan to safeguard their mental, emotional, and long-term cardiometabolic well-being

By Dr. Emilie Wilson

Four weeks after giving birth, I was already working full-time again when my daughter and I moved back into town.

My story isn’t typical. But Google “most stressful life events,” and having a baby rarely comes up. Consider that becoming a new parent happens within the context of an already-full life, and it’s astounding that new parents have so little support.

Here’s what we know: stress causes chronic disease, partly by raising blood sugar. High blood sugar is a health risk at any time in life, but pregnant and postpartum women are especially vulnerable.

Because of intricate physiological changes in pregnancy, many pregnant women develop a transient blood sugar issue called gestational diabetes. This often reverses after childbirth, but a woman who develops gestational diabetes has up to 70% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes years later.

Type 2 diabetes, technically a cardiometabolic disorder, is a huge contributor to the maternal healthcare crisis and the U.S. obesity epidemic.

Blood sugar dysregulation is also linked to depression and anxiety, frequent postpartum struggles.

The heart of the maternal healthcare crisis is this: health issues that arise in pregnancy and postpartum are red flags for developing chronic cardiometabolic disease later.

There is a silver lining: the best time for women to transform their health and prepare for a better postpartum, is during pregnancy.

In pregnancy, many women think more about their health than ever before. And attending regular medical visits means that they have more access to healthcare, as well as a medical professional to monitor their weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar.

Then the baby arrives. A woman’s priorities, her body, and her life all transform, yet postpartum medical care is routinely unavailable.

The number one complaint postpartum is not enough support. Consider that a new mom is expected to “bounce back” in life, health, and work at an irrational pace, and the unreasonable demands on a postpartum woman in the setting of new parenthood plus life is apparent.

Until our medical system catches up with the demand for more postpartum support, the answer lies in us. A better postpartum starts with self-care in pregnancy.

The four essentials of a healthier pregnancy and postpartum are diet, exercise, sleep, and de-stressing. Having counseled many women as a naturopathic doctor, I know that women need support to make these lifestyle changes happen. So I created a plan inside my book POST: The Essential Guide to Creating Your Postpartum Self-Care Plan in Pregnancy, so new moms can focus on what matters: their health and their new baby.

Dr. Emilie Wilson founded Sanos Wellness, became a mom in 2022 and a published author in 2024.

To learn more and buy “POST: The Essential Guide to Creating Your Postpartum Self-Care Plan in Pregnancy,” visit www.sanoswellness.com.