Around the Bump: Tips for staying healthy during and after your pregnancy! Thank you to everyone who attended our special 6/16 event for Expecting & New Moms at Soulistic Studio & Spa. Soulistic Studio & Spa, as an added bonus, stretched us through the benefits of exercise and relaxation for pregnancy and post pregnancy. Check out the photos (thank you Julia Franzosa) of our wonderful soon to be and new mommies in their beautiful space!
We spend quite a bit of time caring for our bodies during our pregnancies and there is A LOT of health information to be sorted out. And if that doesn't make your already pregnant brain more confused, don't worry! In case you missed the event or need a quick refresher - here are my top 10 takeaways:
Before the baby:
2. Be sure to ask these top 5 questions during your 20-week ultrasound to ensure you baby is not at risk for Congenital Heart Defects, the number one birth defect in America. You can also seek out a local grassroots organization called Saving tiny Hearts Society. Saving tiny Hearts Society is the only organization in the country that was formed for the sole purpose of raising funds for CHD with 100% of general donations going directly to funding this research.
3. Babies are now living in a toxic womb. High levels of BPA, Teflon, pesticides and about 300 other chemicals have been detected in the blood cord of newborns. Take action to reduce your exposure to certain chemicals. Use websites like the Environmental Working Group to find out which personal care products rank best to use, including nailpolish, hairdyes and other toxic products.
4. If you exercise, ask your trainer or healthcare provider to check for Diastasis Recti an abdominal separation that happens in 2 out of 3 expecting moms and postpartum. This separation can cause low back pain, stress or urinary incontinence and put extra stress on your pelvic and digestive organs postpartum. You may have to change up your exercise routine by avoiding forced twisting movements. Also, indulge in a prenatal massage aboutonce every other month if you can afford it, otherwise, get that massage during your last month of pregnancy.
5. Take a high quality, food based prenatal vitamin. If you are not sure if yours are good, take one vitamin and place it in one cup of distilled vinegar for 30-minutes. If it dissolves or almost completely dissolves, that means it is absorbing in your body. If after 40-minutes it hasn't changed much, you may want to consider looking into a new brand. Also bump up your Vitamin C levels by week 28 to 1000mg. The third trimester is a crucial time for babies to store their iron for the first 4-6 months of life. Iron needs vitamin C in the body to absorb and this will also be helpful when it comes time to deliver the baby when you lose some blood during the delivery. New Chapter Prenatal is an excellent prenatal brand and one Emergen-C per day will do the trick.
After the Baby:
1. If you had a c-section or group strep B and had antibiotics, take a high quality probiotic to replace the friendly bacteria in your gut. This will be important for restoring your inner healing. This will also be helpful for your newborn if you are breastfeeding. As they received the same antibiotics you did, their friendly bacteria will also be low. Renew Life Critical Care for 30-days should do the trick. Then take a daily probiotic for maintenance.
2. Buy a step stool to help aid in going to the bathroom. Especially after a c-section when using your "bathroom" muscles will hurt. Placing your feet on the step stool and leaning back will let gravity help do the job. You can use the same step stool for when your toddler starts using the potty as they too will need something to support their feet. I like the EZ Folding Step stool, it is easy to store and easy on the pocket.
3. Boost your fiber intake naturally by using 2 Tablespoons of flax oil and 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds daily. Constipation is inevitable and using natural foods to boost your fiber intake is better than taking fortified shakes. Just be sure to increase your water intake (which breastfeeding moms should be drinking about half of their body weight in ounces, anyways) to help move things along.
4. And with constipation may come hemorrhoids and just because you may have had a c-section doesn't exclude you. Just simple dab some tea tree oil on some toilet paper and dab on the area gently. Zen Med is also an all natural cream that works effectively within 3-5 days.
5. Last but not least, it is YOUR job to take care of the baby and everyone else's job to take care of you, the house, clean, help with laundry and cook. Consider signing up for the free site called MealBaby, an online meal registry where friends and family can organize when to bring you home cooked meals. And if you have a friend that doesn't like to cook, they can mail you a gift card to your favorite restaurant for take out or come and clean your bathroom.
Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, ACE-CPT
Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant Specializing in Gluten Free Living and Women's Health
June 28, 2011 at 4:01 PM