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Who loves baths? Take a magnesium bath for a healthier pregnancy!

  • Posted on February 11, 2013 at 9:22 am

If you are like me, you love a good soak in the tub. I can take my book and a cup of tea and be in there for an hour. But if you are pregnant, you have probably been told or read somewhere that baths are unsafe. Generally, baths are perfectly safe and even recommended. As long as your water hasn’t broken and you don’t sit in boiling water the whole time, you’re probably fine. Always check with your health care provider.

I thought you would find the following article on Magnesium Baths interesting. It talks about how pregnant women are often deficient in this very important mineral and how supplementing with magnesium, even by taking a bath, can help many pregnant ailments and potential problems in your pregnancy and in your newborn.

Enjoy! I’d love to hear what you have to say about this too!

Magnesium Baths for Safer Pregnancy and Birth

What to think about BEFORE you get pregnant! Part Deux

  • Posted on February 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

Las time, we were thinking about if you body is in peak condition for conceiving. Read Part 1 here.

Today, I wanted to talk about another aspect I think it is important to think about before you even get pregnant.

2. What kind of birth do I intend to have?

You may feel like this is putting the cart before the horse, so to speak, but really there is sooooo much information out there. So many different types of births, different health care providers, different locations to deliver etc. Here is an overview of some of the options.

Hospital/Obstetrician – This, of course, is your typical care that is received in the United States. You go to your OBGYN, deliver at a hospital etc. Choosing this can vary from OB to OB, from hospital to hospital. If you are high risk, you will most likely choose this route.

You will have standard pregnancy care, you will receive a bunch of routine tests (some you can refuse) and you will deliver at a hospital with all the emergency care and interventions you may (or may not) desire. You will most likely not be free to move around, will likely be tied down with an IV and won’t be allowed to eat or drink. Nurses will be coming and going, in and out of your room. You will wear a lovely gown that makes you look like a hot air balloon. And don’t even get me started on the postpartum part! I couldn’t get out of that hospital fast enough after my oldest was born.

If you choose this route, please research your doctor and hospitals C-section rates. Ask them (and yourself) how they feel about routine interventions and drugs, ask about positions you can deliver in, and how baby will be treated after delivery.

Hospital/Midwife Care – Similar to regular OB care, though generally midwives in hospitals are more encouraging and open to natural birthing, changing positions, water birth etc. Midwives also tend to spend more time with their clients and are less apt to medicate or do invasive procedures.

Birth Center – Delivering at a freestanding birth center, is much more relaxed than a hospital setting. You receive the same, wonderful midwife care and most birth centers are set up to feel comfy and inviting. Much like being at home. This can be a good option if you really want a natural birth and a comfortable setting, but aren’t really sure about homebirth.

Homebirth – Well, I have to admit, this is my favored way. I am planning my second home birth for late spring and I couldn’t be more excited! After one hospital birth and one homebirth under my belt, I would never willingly choose anything other than homebirth. In this scenario, you are at home. The place where you feel most comfortable, most at ease. You can eat, drink, and move around at will. Your midwives will come to you. You can have as few or as many people as you want. You can light candles, play music, deliver in the shower, tub, in bed….anything you want. The midwifery model of care is superior, bar none. Seriously. I realize that if you are high risk or don’t have a partner on board this may not be an option for you. But really, just research it. Think about it. The best part? After you deliver this adorable little baby, au natural, you get to shower in YOUR shower and climb into YOUR bed and let everyone else around you clean up and bring you nutritious food. All while staring at this amazing life you create.

Another thing to think about is, DO I WANT A DOULA?

No matter where or how you deliver, a doula can be an amazing resource. She is trained and experienced in comfort measures, support and communicating your needs to those around you. Even if you think your partner is an amazing support and totally confident, you never know how they will behave as they are watching you in discomfort. Sometimes they need support too!!

Here are a few links for midwives/doulas/birth centers:

My current group of midwives whom I love – Mother to Mother Midwifery

In case you are delivering in Las Vegas, this was my midwife there – Baby’s 1st Day

Birth Centers in San Diego (I have never delivered at any of these, so this isn’t a recommendation as much as information):
Best Start Birth Center
Birth Roots
UCSD Hillcrest also has an in-hospital birth center.

And just in case you are reading from Philadelphia, my lovely doula with my second son, now lives and practices there. She is such an amazing woman and a wonderful doula – Expecting Bliss.

I hope this is helpful! If you have any questions, please let me know. Also, please know that I am always coming from a natural birth perspective. I fully believe in birth as a natural process that shouldn’t be hospitalized or treated like disease. That being said, I do not judge anyone who chooses a hospital birth and I fully realize everyone has a different path and different reasons for what they choose. After all, we are all trying to do what is right for our families, yes?

I’ll be back in a couple days with a couple things to think about AFTER you get pregnant. Happy baby making!

What to think about BEFORE you get pregnant!

  • Posted on February 1, 2013 at 8:00 am

Sooooo….I am due with my third baby boy in a few months and it has me thinking about all things baby. Well, let’s be honest, I am around new families and babies so often, I always have babies on the brain. But! I was thinking to myself about what are some of the things I wish I had thought about, done or researched PRE-CONCEPTION and I thought I would share.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a planner. Like, BIG TIME. I am the type that interviewed midwives before I pregnant. The type that is planning the best time to conceive the next baby before the current one is even born. And possibly the most embarrassing, I bought newborn sleepers (gender neutral!) while I was working at JC Penney as a high schooler. Yes, I am an extreme planner. It’s just me.

That being said, not everyone can or even should operate that way. So, this is merely food for thought. Something to think about if you are planning on getting pregnant.

I thought it would be lovely to do a series of posts about ideas for pre-conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and raising those precious little ones. So, here it goes.

1. Is my body in the best condition to get and stay pregnant?

If you are reading this blog, you are obviously into or are researching natural pregnancy, birth etc. So, I am assuming you know that proper nutrition is of the utmost priority when trying to conceive. Here is what I did to get my body ready to receive a baby.

First off, I did a detox. It is important to remember to do this BEFORE you get pregnant. You do not want to be detoxing your body while pregnant or nursing. There are somewhere around 84,000 chemicals that we come in contact with on a daily basis and about 1% of those have actually been studied for safety. Whaaaaaat?! Those are some scary numbers, folks. While you can definitely make efforts to limited your exposure to chemicals, let’s face it, it is impossible to eliminate them all. They are in our air, the surfaces we touch, the clothes we wear and GASP! in the food we eat. ūüôĀ Not trying to be an alarmist, just keepin’ it real. So, try to rid your body of all those yuckies and give your little zygote the healthiest body to implant in. This is the DETOX MIX I used. (Not an affiliate link, I’m just a fan.)

Next, I started taking some herbs to prepare my system and tone my reproductive organs. I took the following:

Vitex – also, called Chasteberry. It is known for helping to regulate your cycles and increase progesterone levels so that a pregnancy can be sustained.

I made a batch of “Nourishment Tea” based on Aviva Romm’s recipe and would drink 1 to 4 cups daily. I also continue to do this during pregnancy, so you’ll hear a lot about this mixture.

2 parts red raspberry leaf
2 parts nettle
1 part oatstraw
1/2 part alfalfa
1/2 part rose hips
1/4 part red clover
1/4 peppermint leaf

This is an extremely tasty tea and is good hot or cold. It is safe to drink for the whole family and from conception to postpartum! I get the majority of my loose herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Then, of course, I resumed taking a whole foods prenatal, fish oil vitamin and a flaxseed vitamin. There are many, many quality prenatal vitamins out there, but not all are created equal. Do your research before taking any supplement. There’s no point in taking a supplement that isn’t well assimilated in your body. It’s just a waste of time and money.

I took (and am taking) the following vitamins:

or and of course,

And lastly, EAT HEALTHY! Try to limit caffeine, sugar and white breads/pastas etc. Try to incorporate as much organic fruits & veggies as possible and you’ll be good to go!

Happy Baby Making!!!

Stay Tuned: For the next segment of what to do BEFORE you get pregnant.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. I am not a health care provider or a herbalist. Please do your research and/or consult your health care provider before taking any supplements or altering your diet.

Also, please be aware this post does contain affiliate links unless otherwise specified. I never link to products/companies I haven’t used or aren’t currently using!

Homemade Body Cream

  • Posted on January 28, 2013 at 8:00 am

Here is a YouTube video from one of my favorite herb purveyors. This makes a wonderful, creamy lotion for your body! I have been using it for my entire pregnancy and have yet to have an itchy belly (in the dead of winter, my friends!). The beauty of it is you can customize the recipe for whatever herbs and scents you delight in. So, enjoy making a wonderful body cream and lather it on.

You already know that “breast is best” for baby, but for Mom, too?

  • Posted on January 24, 2013 at 9:57 am

According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer among women, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers AND it accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, ranking it fifth in cancer deaths among women. Those are depressing statistics if I’ve ever heard them!

But, my natural mama friends, there is hope! According to a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, breastfeeding can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by up to 91 percent!!

“The study found that women who breastfed for more than 13 months were 63 percent less likely to develop an ovarian tumor than women who breastfed for less than seven months. The benefits jumped the longer that women breastfed. The researchers found that mothers who had three children and who breastfed for over 31 months were up to 91 percent less likely to suffer from ovarian cancer than women who breastfed for under 10 months.” (source)

You’ve doubtless heard that breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer in women with a history of family breast cancer.

So, keep those babies at your breast for as long as possible and let’s beat cancer one nursing baby at a time!

Postpartum Recipe – Tumeric Ginger Chicken Saute

  • Posted on February 15, 2011 at 10:38 am

For a healthy postpartum diet, those¬†who¬†ascribe to Traditional Chinese Medicine¬†believe in the healing properties of such ingredients as ginger, tumeric, Chinese herbs, and sesame oil, among others. The idea of using these ingredients is to accelerate the recovery of the uterus, help replenish blood from the loss at delivery, promote blood circulation, promoting lactation and regulating the bodies’ bowel functions and¬†expelling gas. It is important to drink lots of water and tea and to eat a diet full of fiber and fresh fruits and vegetables. Be aware of how some vegetables may affect your milk and your babies’ tummy. Though, I ate onions, broccoli and all those taboo nursing veges with nary an issue. Every woman is different, so listen to your body and your baby!

Here is a recipe for Tumeric Ginger Chicken Saute. Tumeric is often used as an anti-inflammatory and ginger is wonderful to regulate digestion. This recipe would easily be adapted for vegetarians.

 

Ingredients

  • 1¬† tablespoon¬† olive oil
  • 1/4¬† cup¬† chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4¬† cup¬† chopped green bell pepper
  • 1¬† tablespoon¬† finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2¬† cup¬† thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2¬† teaspoons¬† grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2¬† garlic cloves, minced
  • 2¬† pounds¬† skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into (1-inch) pieces
  • 2¬† tablespoons¬† chopped fresh parsley
  • 2¬† teaspoons¬† ground turmeric
  • 1¬† teaspoon¬† salt
  • 1/4¬† teaspoon¬† paprika
  • 1/2¬† (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry

Preparation

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers to pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add onion; sauté 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium; stir in cabbage, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken and next 4 ingredients (through paprika); cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in spinach, and reduce heat to low. Cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done.

Enjoy! If you have a GREAT postpartum recipe, please share!

The Placenta World

  • Posted on February 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

I have researched and studied the health benefits of the placenta since the birth of my first son in 2006, but apparently, I haven’t even scratched the surface.

As I research and am in connection with other PES’, I realize that the placenta is used in smoothies, encapsulated raw, made into tinctures, salves, shampoos¬†and much¬†more.

I look forward to learning more about all the health (and beauty, apparently!) benefits.¬†Join me as I learn and share. If you have links or info that might interest me, please let me know. ūüôā

Placenta Encapsulation – Ewwww or Awesome?

  • Posted on February 11, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Do you have to be a hippie, crunchy type to enjoy the benefits of placenta encapsulation? Absolutely not! I know many women from all walks of life who have realized the amazing health benefits that the placenta posess.

When I tell someone that has never heard about placenta encapsulation what I am doing, I get 1 of 3 reactions.

1. Huh??? What the heck is that? I’m confused.
2. Ewwww….that is disgusting. Do you not shave your armpits either?!
3. That’s awesome! It makes sense.

All reactions are great in their own way and open up a dialogue where I can explain the amazing emotional and physical benefits that placenta capsules can provide for the postpartum experience.

So, which camp are you in?

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