Answers for Fertility, Pregnancy, Postpartum and Empowering Healthy Living
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When it comes to conception the value of a good egg is priceless. Yet we women woman all too often take for granted that our eggs will be there for us when we need them to give us the most precious gift possible -- a baby.
During women’s reproductive years we use menstrual products monthly for from 3 to 7 days. Rarely do women think about the consequences of what is in their menstrual products. Both tampons and plastic pads have toxins.
Miscarriage is a common occurrence with as high as 20% of all pregnancies ending in the first 20 weeks. Although accepted as common, miscarriage is not normal and though not always preventable there are many ways to support the body to make it less likely. The best time to prevent a miscarriage is before pregnancy.
I am constantly searching for effective yet natural remedies to help prevent and heal sickness. The best medicine is food and environment.
Influenza is normal part of our winters from November to March and we do not think of people dying of it unless they are old or already immune compromised. But we do think of being miserable from it.
If you are actively trying to get pregnant or maybe you are thinking in a year or so I would want to get pregnant right now is the perfect time to do a fertility cleanse. A Fertility cleanse supports the body's own detoxification abilities to help you support reproductive health.
A few years ago I read the book Children of Dreams, Children of Hope by Raymound Veras, M.D. It is the true story of how Dr. Veras developed a therapy to treat children with Down syndrome and heal them so they are functioning and performing mentally and physically in the same way that everyone else does. Wait you say Down syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality how can that be healed?
If you asked me what makes the biggest difference in pregnancy for the health of the mom and baby I would say NUTRITION. Yet, this is not a priority for most care providers. So many times I have heard women say their care provider said, ”It does not matter what you eat as long as you eat enough”. There is great confusion over what is nutrition, what actually provides health to the body.
If you struggle with heartburn on a regular basis, changing your diet to better support digestion, taking a couple supplements to support digestion, and digging deeper into its cause by testing for H.Pylori are all musts. The answer is more stomach acid not less.
During pregnancy women want to be even more careful what they take so certain drugs are out. I want to dig a bit deeper into why you may not be sleeping and what you can do to help it even during pregnancy.
The bottom line is if you take folic acid and have a mthfr gene mutation or your cell receptors are blocked because of too much folic acid you are at higher risk for infertility issues, recurrent pregnancy loss, preeclampsia, a child with Down syndrome or autism, postpartum depression or chronic depression, and elevated homocysteine levels.
1 in 5 women have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) but few realize it and even fewer know they can heal their body naturally. Metabolic Chaos is a term coined by Reed Davis of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. He explains that it exists because of hidden complexities in a person's metabolism and unappreciated influences from their environment. So the key is to find the cause of stress in the body that is affecting the hormones and help reverse it. We have two great keys with PCOS.
Polycystic Ovary Syndromn (PCOS) affects 20% of women, yet as many as 70% of women with PCOS will not be diagnosed until later in life. It is as mysterious as health issues come, without specific symptoms or a specific way to diagnose it.
The gut has been accurately called the second brain. The power to heal and reverse autoimmune conditions, such as hashimoto’s or celiac, is found in the gut. The key to reversing developmental disorders such as autism, Aspergers, sensory processingoverload, and ADHD is in the gut. Even infertility issues may be rooted in the gut. So we know the gut is a big deal, but how do I know what to do about it???
Further, the ability of the body to create healthy gametes (the egg and sperm) and for these to replicate is influenced by bacteria, toxins, infection and presence or lack of certain nutrients in the gut. So put simply, the health of your gut is central to getting pregnant.
What would you say if I told you one simple lifestyle change would increase your fertility rate by 40%? It’s true! Changing your diet to a Mediterranean style diet will increase your fertility.
What is the most beautiful gift to a mom? The answer may be sleep. Until you are a parent, it is hard to imagine the responsibility of caring for a child, and that includes the sacrifice of sleep. So when children are having sleep issues it is magnified by the parent also lacking sleep. Though sleep issues may have many causes, I want you to consider one you may not have thought of---- Electromagnetic Fields/ EMFs.
I know fertility problems can feel devastating, but I also know there are things you can do to greatly increase your chance of getting pregnant. I am confident we can work on these issues together and give you the best chance of possible of getting pregnant and staying pregnant.
In the United States 1 in 7 women are diagnosed with postpartum depression and many more deal with baby blues. As a midwife I have supported 100s of women in the postpartum. Here are my go-to suggestions for women dealing with postpartum baby blues and preventing depression.
Thyroid issues are rampant in the U.S. and even small issues with the thyroid dramatically affect fertility.
It is totally possible to breastfeed, at least to some extent, even though you have not had a baby. Most women are able to produce some milk but oftentimes not enough to solely breastfeed, so it is normal to have to supplement at the same time. If you have nursed a baby before it increases your chance of producing enough milk, but if you need to supplement it is still worth it to build up your milk supply and breastfeed. If you think about breastfeeding from a relational point of view as opposed to only for sustenance then you are more likely to feel that you have succeeded and it may make it more worth the work involved. Breastfeeding, beyond being the best nutritionally, for the baby is key for comfort and bonding of the baby and for you it will cause you to release oxytocin which will increase your patience and attachment to the baby.
Foods up to this point are more for interest then sustenance, though we still want them to be nutritious. Optimally, babies won’t be completely weaned until after a year of breastfeeding or much longer. When you are ready to start weaning start by giving your baby food first and then topping it off with breast milk then start skipping nursing altogether more and more often.
There is not a perfect time to start giving babies solid foods but don’t rush it. Wait for them to be interested. Then start slowly with well-chosen foods.
Why are you so adamantly against formula, you ask? Well, to quote Dr. Joel Robbins, “Formulas are dead, inorganic, and mucus-producing. As a result, they will precipitate sinus problems, ear infections, allergies, and lung disorders.” Let me share with you some better options if breastmilk is not avialable.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful gift to both the mom and the newborn, but for many women it is far from easy. Before the birth is the time to prepare for breastfeeding and prevent any issues that might ensue.
Health is one of the greatest gifts we have in life. It is not something to be taken for granted. I learned this the hard way. In my 20’s I was invincible. I traveled the world. I was on call as a midwife all hours. I lived overseas for a seasons. I loved it and am glad I did it, but I paid for it with my health. I would go and forget to eat until my blood sugars over time became erratic. I worked nights and taxed my body so my adrenals rebelled. I picked up a parasite and my health failed and for three years I fought to regain my health.
One of the worst parts of postpartum can be healing from tears (or episiotomies). If you have been there, you know what I’m talking about. If not, I hope you never have to experience that pain. This is when you want to enjoy your new baby but you cannot move or sit because your bottom is in excruciating pain.
You have just grown a human and birthed it and now you are producing milk to feed it and recovering from the birth. You may have had a long labor, a tear or hemorrhage that your body needs support in recovering from. You want to provide your body with what it needs to prevent an infection, to balance your hormones, and to have energy. Here are my recommendations from years of seeing women recover well in the postpartum.