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Triggering Labor Through Supporting Lung Development

Triggering Labor Through Supporting Lung Development

Lung Development

  • lung surfactants – made of 6 types of fat and 4 proteins
  • surfactant protein A (SP-A) –  has collagen-like domains similar to SP-D
  • phospholipids – fat (lecithins)
  • cholesterol
  • calcium dependent lectins

Ways to Support Lung Development

  • exercise
  • eating vitamin D rich foods
  • eggs – yolks contain lecithins
  • meat (white meat is the best)
  • collagen – powder or bone broth
  • colloids – butter, collagen, eggs, gelatin, bone broth, mayo
  • beans
  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • support immunity – vitamin C and zinc
  • spices/pungent foods – horseradish, ginger, mustard, garlic, onion, etc – “Pungent foods generate the lung”
  • white foods – potatoes, apples, cauliflower, oats, rice, almonds, onion, garlic
  • fermented foods
  • warm foods

Relaxation

  • lower your cortisol
  • massage
  • no chores
  • low child stress

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfactant_protein_A

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulmonary_surfactant_protein_D

https://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/what-causes-labor-to-start/

The Lung in Chinese Medicine

https://www.google.com/search?q=chinese+medicine+foods+lungs&rlz=1C1NHXL_enUS734US734&oq=chinese+medicine+foods+lungs&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.6351j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/lung.htm

http://breathe.ersjournals.com/content/9/6/476

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3929318/

Top Foods for Healthy Lungs

https://www.livestrong.com/article/163935-fetal-lung-development-stages/

Lung Health

1st Trimester Must Haves for a Natural Pregnancy

1st Trimester Must Haves for a Natural Pregnancy

My Second Pregnancy

This is my second pregnancy, and thankfully, I have felt less fatigued and barely sick! I think having a very nutrient dense diet before pregnancy was very important. I have been so thankful to be able to keep up with two kids (7 and almost 2) and train for a half marathon.

Not everything has been easy, but it has definitely been physically incredibly easier than last time. My husband definitely picked up the slack taking care of the house in the evenings though when I would crash on the couch after the kids were in bed.

Our body is doing some major work though! So, some changes and fatigue are expected. We can definitely take some steps during pregnancy however to feel the best and have the easiest pregnancy possible.

Important Nutrients

Probiotics – from foods!

Probiotic and fiber-rich foods are so important in keeping things moving, especially when digestion is slowed down due to progesterone. Your body is putting a tremendous effort into growing a baby, building a placenta, and maintaining a pregnancy. You will absorb more nutrients with these as well.

So, incorporating these foods really helps out. You can even add a probiotic supplement, but I personally find that probiotic foods work so much better. Plus, they are less expensive.

Some of my favorite probiotic foods are raw apple cider vinegar, unpasteurized saurkraut, kombucha, raw honey, and kefir. If you can tolerate dairy you can do a raw cheese or a yogurt with live cultures.

For fiber, fruits and vegetables are important. At this stage, your body is going to do better with cooked vegetables because it is a lot more work to break down raw vegetables. You can also incorporate chia seeds or flax.

Ideally, you should be having a bowel movement within 20 minutes of getting up in the morning and possibly one in the afternoon. If this is not the case, even when pregnant, you are having a form of constipation and are not properly detoxing and eliminating waste.

Magnesium

Magnesium is important for progesterone production. It also aids in sleep quality and digestion. Many pregnant women experience constipation or leg cramps. Magnesium can help with both of those.

Food Based Prenatal

Prenatals are not just about what we ingest, but more important, it is what we digest and absorb. For about half of my pregnancy, I took generic prenatals and didn’t feel great. Once I found food based prenatals, such as Vitamin Code’s RAW prenatal, my stomach felt better and overall I felt better because I was getting more nutrients.

Ultimately, a nutrient dense diet is the most important, but I think prenatals are important as a catch-all to make sure your baby is getting everything it needs. With two kids in the house and many responsibilities, I have noticed that this pregnancy that I have been forgetful in taking them because I am running around and stuff my breakfast in my mouth rather quickly. So, now I have set reminders every morning at 7 am so I make sure to grab them.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is a great source of vitamins A, D, K2. These are essential growing nutrients for every system of the body. These our also nutrients we struggle to get in the modern diet with low fat foods, less consumption of liver, pasteurized dairy, and spending more time indoors.

Iodine from Kelp Extract

Big factors in our pregnancy and the development of our baby is detoxification. I found that because I had detoxed before this pregnancy and incorporated iodine in food form and a kelp supplement. I had way less fatigue. When we sleep, our body uses that time to process out toxins. Last pregnancy, I was sleeping during the day and crashed at 8:30 pm that first trimester. This time, I didn’t need naps (not that I had an option with a toddler), but I also didn’t go to bed quite as early. It was probably more like 9-9:30 pm this time.

Iodine supports our thyroid health, which supports our metabolism and energy. It is also important in the development of breast tissue for breastfeeding. We use a ton of iodine in the production of breast milk, and if our iodine levels are not monitored some women find they have hypothyroid after breastfeeding.

This could also play a role in why many women with autoimmune issues see a flare up after pregnancy. Without the resources to properly detoxify, these women’s immune systems struggle.

Listen to Your Cravings and Aversions

Want to dig into that ice cream and cheese? Downing that jar of pickles? Can’t stand the smell of chicken? I hear ya. Between my two pregnancies, I have been through all of that.

In my first pregnancy, I craved french dip sandwiches, blue cheese, and Frank’s hot sauce. I think the important take aways from that were:

  • salt – your body is increasing its fluids rapidly and electrolytes are really important
  • beef – with the increased blood volume your body needs a ton of iron
  • blue cheese – (Yes, I know soft cheese is frowned upon in pregnancy but I am a rebel sometimes. It is a personal choice.) I think cheese and ice cream are important for K2 sources, calcium and fats needed for the growing bones and the brain.

In my second pregnancy, I had more aversions. I could not stand meat, seafood, and vegetables for awhile. I felt crazy since that makes up my normal diet. I think my body wanted the most easily digestible foods.

Now, for my cravings:

  • sushi – (I know, I am a rebel again. My rule of thumb was get the best quality.) The rice and raw fish digested really well and gave me omega 3s, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates.
  • raw honey – contains enzymes that help with digestion, vitamins, minerals, B vitamins, and carbohydrates
  • paleo sweet treats – I was all about that carbohydrates for easy digestion and energy to run and make a baby.
  • yogurt – great source of calcium
  • fruit – I felt so great when I would get a good amount of vitamin C

I list these cravings just to give you my personal experience and what worked for me. I was able to make healthy choices with the cravings and aversions to give my babies what they needed, which is the most important. You have to do what is right for your body and choose the foods you like.

I mainly tell my stories because it is so important to be aware of what our bodies are telling us. They are so smart and can help guide us.

Acupuncture

I will be writing a whole separate post on my experience with acupuncture, but with this pregnancy I found myself needing some emotional help. Unlike last time, I have deal some extreme mood swings and little ability to emotional cope with some stresses I have had.

So, together Brendon and I decided to send me to acupuncture. Within one session, I felt more balanced and able to cope with every day things. As I have continued to go, it has really help balance me hormonally and deal with emotional issues. I think reducing stress and being happy is extremely important for you and the baby.

 

My Stats and Symptoms with My First Pregnancy

My Stats and Symptoms with My First Pregnancy

Tracking My First Pregnancy

I am definitely a numbers girl. I love data, and so, when I found out that we were pregnant. I thought it would be fun to track everything from my symptoms, weight, emotions, etc.

It has been great to look back on for several reasons. I got to see what helped my different symptoms, and that has been especially helpful in my second pregnancy. I also thought it was interesting to learn more about my body through conceiving, birth and postpartum.

I loved keeping track of all the appointments and what we talked about. I thought keeping track of stats and questions were really helpful to look back on. Plus, it made me feel confident that I was doing a good job taking care of my baby, which was actually really reassuring. When I felt so out of control of your body in many ways, this helped me feel more in control.

I also liked to track my weight and digestion to make sure that I was eating balanced food. By keeping a chart, it was easy to see that I got bloated and constipated when I ate junk food or too many treats. I didn’t want to go into pregnancy with the common mindset of it being a free for all or eating for two. I wanted to gain enough healthy weight for my baby, and then, be able to lose it easily and in a healthy way. For me, I was able to learn that gaining between 20-25 lb allows me to have a healthy 8 lb 2 oz baby with a large placenta. I credit that to eating a lot of whole foods and exercising regularly.

Finally, I made notes from baby center and reminders for myself of when to start taking certain supplements or do certain exercises. I planned for a natural birth, and so, I had some additional things to keep track of. It was really helpful to know that at least weekly, I would look at this spreadsheet and get reminders to start certain regiments. It was really helpful!

 My Stats and Symptoms with My Son in 2015

Week Dates Ideal Weight Gain-Single Actual Weight Exercise How am I feeling? Cravings/Appetite
1 12/31/2014 130 130 run
  • eat 6 dates a day
  • increase Vitamin C
  • get appointments for Webster techniques/exercises
2 1/7/2014 130 130 run
  • moody
  • breast tenderness
  • not any major symptoms
  • tracking CM for ovulation
  • using Pre-seed during the expected fertility window
3 1/14/2015 130 129 run
  • getting tired and nauseous
  • I don’t really want to eat much
  • I need to put together workouts
  • January 8th (1 dpo)-feel very nauseous throughout the day, dizzy, headachey, and I do not have any more visible CM in my underwear. I am guessing I ovulated yesterday, and therefore, I am in my luteal phase. I think I am getting sick because of the rising progesterone. I need to eat more grains and greens this week so I don’t get sick., I don’t recall having sex this day
  • -Jan 9 (2 dpo)-had last glass of wine, i think we were still using pre-seed for a few days
  • -January 10th (3 dpo) – relaxing day, errands, went out on a date night to Longhorn Steakhouse, I remember around these days thinking that some CM came back and temps got weird for a second and wondered if I miscalculated O’ing (or just increased white CM in luteal phase)
  • -January 12 (5 dpo)-had a lot of cramping, pinching in abdomen and had a very strange hot flash in the morning, felt kind of snappy in the evening when Brendon ate candy without me and I had wanted to make s’mores but I don’t think I showed it, also increased libido, for once I didn’t think our bedroom was cold, Snap slept by my feet all night last night which hasn’t happened in awhile
  • -January 13 (6 dpo) -BFN, little nauseous on the way to work and feverish, Anne even said I was flushed and felt my head, some waves of cold, wanted treats badly and normally I am indifferent (had a brownie), I smell really strong to myself (sweet, bready), annoyed when dinner wasn’t ready when I got home, they say animals are very attracted to pregnant women or kids just know you are pregnant-Brynn was very attached to me that night (for comfort and love) and she mentioned having a sister, felt bloated and some cramping
  • **first positive pregnancy test was 5 days after this day-I have read it can take that long for a urine test to show a positive. The implantation occurred in the afternoon, and the urine test was in the morning.(so really 4 days??)
  • January 15 (8 dpo)- BFN, I cried on the way to work today, but who know if that was because of pregnancy or because i am in a bad mood because of how people treated me last night, some pain in breasts, woke up feeling hungover/headachy (but Brendon said he did too so maybe it’s just the cold weather drying us out), feeling warm, feeling headachy. by the afternoon I am in absolute rage mode (probably shouldn’t talk to anyone especially Brendon) and I am really dreading being around Brynn this weekend. I don’t want to spend my birthday with her and skiing seems like such an utter hassle, heightened anxiety (Bre texting to say Brynn has fever of 103), thought I was going to puke at Kroger, didn’t want graham cracker and icing when Brendon made it
  • -January 18 (11 dpo) – BFN, used dip strip and FRER and both Neg, boobs hurt this morning, could barely stomach food for lunch, nap in afternoon, nausea in evening, hot flash at night
  • -Jan 19 (12 dpo) – faintest positive line (BFP), used dipstrip, nausea has increased and I still feel hot, last week I tapered off one pill of maca and today I took away one pill of vitex, I still feel hot and thirsty, out of breath after walking up stairs, tightness in abdomen, got my blood work done this morning and asked that they add a blood pregnancy test into the test request, took a test when I got home and it was fainter than the morning (only could see it if you held the morning test next to it)-I drank a lot of water during the day so it makes sense it would dilute, fatigue
  • – Jan 20 (13 dpo) – faint BFP again using dip strip, hot face and thirsty, a little nausea with coffee but not very nauseous all day (took b6), blood work came back with a slight positive (17.0 hcg) so I have to go back tomorrow to test again
  • -January 21st would be my expected next period- BFP on dipstrip and FRER (both very visible), very emotional, 4 weeks pregnant today, went to get my bloodwork done again, I have read that HCG levels don’t consistently start to double until 6-7 weeks, call this week to schedule appt with OB-GYN, doctor called and said that my level is at 47.6 (multiplied by 2.8 since last test) but they want me to come back and test again in a week, when we took a shower at night I noticed darkening of my breast skin and size
4 (end month 1) 1/21/2015 130 130 run
  • positive pregnancy test
  • emotional
  • exhausted
  • cramps
  • hard to run
5 1/28/2015 131 130 run
  •  retest blood work: new HCG level is 936.7 (levels are multiplying by 2.7 every 48 hours)
  • cramping
  • gassy
6 2/4/2015 131 130 run
  •  restless leg
  • vivid dreams
  • boobs are sore
7 2/11/2015 131.5 130 minimal
  • fatigue, morning sickness
8 (end month 2) 2/18/2015 132 130 minimal
  • fatigue, nausea, had some anal bleeding on 2/17/15 and 2/18
9 2/25/2015 132.5 130 minimal
10 3/4/2015 133 130.6 minimal
  • noticing cravings for spicy food and Mexican food
11 3/11/2015 133.5 132 run, strength
  • getting energy back
12 3/18/2015 134 132.2 run, walk
  • swollen feet
  • ears plugged-due to water retention?
  • very itchy back and shoulders
13 (end 1st Trimester) 3/25/2014 134.5 134.2 run, walk
  • ** start drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea every day once second trimester starts
  • bump up calories
  • baby’s heartrate 163
  • 4.2 weight gain in first trimester
  • nuceal fold 0.102? or 1.02 can’t remember – very low risk
14 4/1/2015 135 135.4 run, strength
15 4/8/2015 135.5 135.8 run, strength
  • very bloated and sluggish from holiday weekend
16 4/15/2015 136 136 run, strength
  • vitamins made me throw up on 4/12/15, ligaments around uterus/groin tense
17 (end month 4) 4/22/2015 136.5 136.2 run, strength
  • to gain 0.5 lb per week -250 calories extra per day
  • start webster technique appts (Volz Family Chiropractic Cedar St. Holt, MI) – first appt on 4/18/15
  • stop biking per Dr. Tremp
  • baby’s heart rate 158
  • said if I am not feeling hungry then I am eating enough
18 4/29/2015 137 137.8 run
  • had a few more treats than usual this past week and started exercising more – so I think this extra weight gain is muscle or water weight
19 5/6/2015 138 138.6 run,swim,bike
  • genetic testing: 1/980 risk factor based on age, 1/100,000 risk based on test, negative test results for downs and trisomy
  • ate a ton for Brendon’s birthday=bloated, getting fuller faster/bloated (was 139.6 technically on Wednesday but that was a lot of bloating and not real weight gain so I officially used Thursday’s weight-planning to be better about how many treats I eat
20 (find out gender) 5/13/2015 139 138.8 run, bike
  • gender reveal = BOY
  • started to wear pregnancy girdle (Gabrialla) just when running
  • heart rate is 150
  • small cyst on brain (similar to blister)-rechecked at 28 weeks to make it goes away
  • baby currently breech (butt down)
  • anterior placenta but high so not a concern
21 (end month 5) 5/20/2015 140 140.2 run,bike
  • Hypnobabies and hospital paperwork
  • pick baby name and color of room
22 5/27/2015 141 141.8 run, bike
  • loving french dip sammies (beef and blue cheese)
  • felt like it was a growth spurt week with hunger and extra sleeping/napping
23 6/3/2015 142 143 run, bike
  • pretty bloated or growth spurt this week
  • went for sushi and snacked (was really 144.4 on Wed but knew it was from sushi)
24 (viability) 6/10/2015 143 143.8 run, bike
  • **schedule check in to hospital and placenta encapsulation (Red Cedar Birth)
  • start doing MRYTL routine
  • start having him listen to things (music, lectures, stories)
  • ran a 6 miler this week and started wearing compression socks while running
  • having some acid issues while running
  • heartbeat 144, my blood pressure was 100/80
25 6/17/2015 144 143.6 run
  • digestive system is a mess
  • running is harder
  • nesting in full effect
26 (end month 6) 6/24/2015 145 143.8 run, kayak
  • complete fitness journal
  • order belle bandit
  • on Saturday woke up and gained a pound overnight, went to bathroom but didn’t feel it was ‘enough’ considering how much fruit/veg I ate, and then on Tuesday took cranberry pill with lemon water, on Wed morning, system totally cleaned out and I lost the lb
27 (end 2nd Trimester) 7/1/2015 146 146.2 run, bike
  • start eating 400 extra calories per day to gain 1 lb per week-focus on protein and keep carbs/sugars moderate
28 7/8/2015 147 146.2 run, swim
  • 7/1/15 – ran 6 miles and had intense BH contractions for a few hours-at appt doctor said I should reduce running because premature labor is considered 5-6 contractions for 2 hours
  • appt (7/6/15)-while checking cyst-cyst gone
  • posterior/anterior baby?-posterior (need to start doing spinning babies exercises), head down?- head down; heartbeat = 132; BP = 104/70; TDAP shot; glucose test=passed; iron level=passed, by end of second trimester
  • I ran 300.4 miles in pregnancy
29 7/15/2015 148 146.8 run
  • It is typically recommended to be drinking 30oz of RRLT a day beginning at 30 weeks, staying regular by eating greens and flax seed, aiming for 15 miles a week (5 * 3 miles), forward lean inversion
  • Appt 7/21: measuring right on 29 weeks fundal height, glucose test-68 (they just want it to be under 140), iron-12 (most pregnant women get 10-11, which is barely passing), heart rate-134, Dr. Tremp said only sticking point for birthplan is they want you to have at least a heplock but prefer IV, said he is still in my pelvis
  • http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/hic-blood-glucose-test results 50-70 for glucose are only seen in healthy people
30 (end month 7) 7/22/2015 149 147.8 run
  • start packing hospital bag and have nursery together, make big sibling basket, baby should go head down around this week, able to go #2 twice a day at this point (6am and 3:30pm)
  • comfort measures class
31 7/29/2015 150 146.4 run
  • 7/23-weight went down to 146.8, 7/24-weight went down to 146.2 (still going twice a day because of increased veggies)
32 8/5/2015 151 146.2 run
  • want to start taking the calcium/magnesium supplement (with dinner) I bought to support my mineral levels-it is supposed to help with labor contractions (Ca & Mg)
  • Get organized with diaper stockpile (approximately what we will need for 1st year):
  • Newborn: 13¢ – 16¢ (approx. 252 diapers)-currently have 128 (need 124)
  • Size 1: 11¢ – 14¢ (approx. 280 diapers)-currently have 288
  • Size 2: 14¢ – 16¢ (approx. 560 diapers)-currently have 620
  • Size 3: 16¢ – 19¢ (approx. 1368 diapers)-currently have 1044 (still need 324)
  • Second Year:
  • Size 4: 19¢ – 22¢
  • Size 5: 22¢ – 26¢
  • Size 6: 26¢ – 30¢
  • **in these last two months really focus on protein intake to support surfactant protein A (SP-A) production (baby’s lungs) that are the last to mature in utero and signal when he is ready to be born (hormone release)
  • hunger has increased since 7/30 and starting to get more tired
  • 8/4 appt with Dr. Mirate- blood pressure 118/78, she said Noah is staying on left side and head down (I might have a horn on that side of my uterus to explain why he has always been on that side), he is measuring right on even though I haven’t gained weight/lost weight, his heartrate- 137
  • emailed doula to set up birth plan meeting
33 8/12/2015 152 147.2 run
  • 4 lbs & 17 inches (based on Baby Center)
  • Dr. Herman says for sachral discomfort lean over a table/counter and sway & sit on birth ball
  • night of 8/11 – had an hours long episode of Braxton Hicks with nausea
  • 8/17 – Dr. Seiler said measuring right on for 33 weeks, heartbeat – 136 and very easy to find
  • birth center tour: TDaP for parentsCan leave 24 hours after delivery, if strep B negative, for vaginal birthCircumcision happens around 24 hoursBaby has to wait 2 hours after circumcision to be released
  • had some Klavon’s and just seemed to have some issues staying regular twice a day without taking Fiber and wasn’t able to go to bathroom first thing everyday
34 8/19/2015 153 147.8 run
  • 4.75 lb (based on Baby Center)
  • once I hit this week, if I went into labor, I would not have to be shipped to Sparrow for high risk birth – can stay at McLaren
  • noticed an increase in exhaustion and anxiety – cortisol must be surging quite a bit right now so I need to focus on supporting my adrenals and sleeping
  • not able to go #2 first thing in the morning anymore – need to take fiber/caffeine/water and still it takes until about 8:30
35 (end month 8) 8/26/2015 154 147 run
  • 8/21/15 – was told I look like I have dropped, feeling more pressure in vag/low belly (stretch marks came in)/increased constipation but not sure because I don’t have to pee that much more
  • 8/24/15 – having much more intense BH with twinges/pinches in cervix (effacement or dilation?), back pain, had two ribs out at chiropractor this week
  • 8/25/15 – thought I peed myself this morning then saw underwear, and I am pretty sure I lost at least a huge part of my mucus plug, back pain to the point of feeling nauseaous
  • 5.25 lb & 18 inches (based on Baby Center)
  • have nursery done and shopping done
  • Can hand express milk after 35 weeks; refrigerate for 48 hours(?), and then freeze. Can be used for 24 hours after thawing
  • last run (he dropped on a nerve on 8/28 – made it to about 450 miles run in pregnancy
36 9/2/2015 155 148.6 run, walk (done running because he dropped)
  • 6 lb & 18.5 inches (based on Baby Center)
  • sciatic nerve pain on left side for a week or two 8/28 – tried to run in morning and something happened where I cannot even walk properly without holding sciatic nerve, did forward leaning inversion and that seemed to move him and help him continue to drop (I have to get up and pee once a night now)
  • start doing perineal massage with oil, evening primerose oil, listen to birth day affirmations
  • 9/1/15 – Dr. Tremp appt: He was very active, did Group B Strep, he is fully engaged and in pelvis (She said with runners babies go low early, and once I start contracting the pressure on my cervix will make it dilate), measuring right on track
  • **Head to hospital when contractions are 45 sec long, can’t talk, 5 min apart for at least an hour
37 9/9/2015 156 148.2 swim, walk
  • 6.33 lb & 19 in (based on Baby Center)
  • start pumping colostrum, bake almond joy oatmeal cookies, relax/boost oxytocin (eat favorite foods and be affectionate) some people stop gaining weight at this stage because they are so large and everything is pushed out, clean the house
  • have 37 week appt with doulas, drink coconut water with pineapple juice; Food mentioned containing oxytocin besides chocolate include protein rich foods, such as eggs. chicken, beans, apples, bananas, beets, watermelon and wheat germ, if you’re not allergic to any of them.
  • boost melatonin with tart cherry juice at night, coconut water at night supports adrenals to relax
  • reduce cortisol/stress – sugar and inflammatory foods raise cortisol
  • nadi shodhana (stress reliever)
  • strong sense of calm for the last week to week and a half – for the past few weeks I have really focused on my fat intake (i.e. adding a spoonful of sunflower seed butter (contains zinc that helps use hormonal data), lox, coconut/almond butter, butter, etc. I have not gained more weight just hoping to support Noah’s development (brain, heart, lungs) and my hormones to prepare us both for birth
  • adding mango to fruit I eat in morning seems to be keeping me regular again
  • adding vinegar to water that you drink before any high carb intake lessens the blood sugar spike you would undergo by about 30%, going for walk right after food does the same thing as well-vinegar also good to do before Group B test
  • pelvis very mobile
  • 9/6/15 – we went to McLaren to check if water had broken: water had not broken, Noah was extremely active with heartbeat of 125, was less than a cm dilated, cervix long (not effaced?) and GBS test was negative, my blood pressure was perfect, contractions could be seen on monitor I just couldn’t feel them
  • appt 9/9/15 – contractions and cervical pressure yesterday means it’s close, heart rate 138 but he was moving a lot away from Dr. Tremp, measuring right at 37 weeks, breasts hurt, my blood pressure = 104/68
38 9/16/2014 157 149.4 walk, bounce on birth ball
  • average baby is 6.8 lb & 19.5 in long (according to Baby Center)
  • walk up stairs – every other step while taking wide steps (to get baby low)
  • laughing during labor-makes labor progress more swiftly, ensures lots of blood is still flowing to uterus/baby, reduces perineum damage. similar to hypnosis, endorphins are released, nature’s best pain killer.
  • feeling nauseous this week, fuller, but also harder to go to the bathroom
  • 9/14/15 appt with Dr. Seiler – heartbeat at 148, feeling nauseous, measuring on track, active
  • methods to induce: ran out of dates, pineapple, sex, bouncing on birth ball, Evening Primrose Oil, walking
39 (full term) 9/23/2015 158 152.8 bounce, walk, swim
  • average baby is 7 lb & 20 in long (according to Baby Center)
  • nausea, contractions, tightening in back (mid to upper), had lots of sex this week and EPO
  • made some unhealthy eating choices this week – Thursday – Monday (grilling night at life group, monte cristo/sweet potato fries/two sugar cookies at Kara’s shower, Buddies’ for lunch Sunday, Dairy Dan’s on Monday) so I think this led to bloating and the higher perceived weight gain this week
  • 9/18 – constipated, took fiber day before and today, lots of fruit and no urge
  • irritable/moody, fatigued – progesterone dropping and preparing for birth?
  • 9/22 – 3 hours of contractions 4 – 10 min apart and they got more intense. Went to bed and they stopped (even had sex to try and induce).
  • 9/23 – nausea, body clearing itself out in morning, contractions all day, went to chiropractor/bounced on ball/spinning babies inversion/sex/EPO
  • 9/24 – appt with Dr. Maser – blood pressure 106/72, heart rate – 130, cervical check – 3 cm dilated, 75% effaced, and his head is VERY low, predicted to have him by the weekend, measuring 37 for fundal height, also lost a large amount of mucus while in the waiting room of the office
40 (end month 9) 9/30/2015 159 151.2 bounce, walk, run/jog
  • 9/26-9/28 – nausea & diarrhea getting progressively worse each day, more tired, more mucus, lots of sensations of opening in cervix and he seems to be getting lower somehow
  • 9/29 – Dr. Tremp, about 3 cm, 80% effaced, -2 station (low), measuring 39 weeks, stripped membranes
  • average baby is 7.5 lb & 20 in long (according to Baby Center)
  • after giving birth assess weight and set up fitness plan, bio oil if I have stretch marks, take glucosamine postpartum for sore joints that still have relaxin, take blessed thistle with fenugreek to up milk supply
Birth 9/30/2015 151.2 Water broke at 7 pm in bathroom as we were trying to go to the Y, and he was born at 10: 24 pm. I told Brynn and Brendon to still go and I would get ready. I started gushing on floor and ran up to our shower. Then I grabbed a towel and put on running shorts to hold it. I went downstairs to finish stuff like Brynn’s lunch for the next day and stood on another towel. Left the house with contractions 2-3 min apart. Got to hospital check in at 8:33. In triage, I was checked at over 9 cm and +1 station. Before then I was very scared for what I was feeling so intensely because things were progressing so fast, but I didn’t know. I was telling Brendon “But, seriously I want drugs. Our nurse was also a doula, and she was just telling me to get through each one. Standing up during contractions and relaxing pelvic floor. Bleeding meant cervical change. The nurse was going to have Brendon fill out paperwork but changed her mind when she saw there was no time. We had to back date it and fill it out after the birth, First check in delivery room was a 10. I fell into Brendon during a contraction and said I have to poop. They told me to get on the table so I didn’t have the baby on the floor. Then they said, “You wanted a natural birth right? Well, good because you don’t have a choice. Started pushing on side but was not very effective. Pooping. Started pushing on back. 3- 10 sec pushes per contraction. I started out going very hard pushing at first part but that wore me out. They gave me some oxygen because it seemed I was tiring and Noah’s heartrate was going down (even though he has always had a low runner heartrate). Maser told me to ease into it, and it started going a lot faster. Started to feel “ring of fire”, but it wasn’t unbearable. Contractions slow down during pushing to let you rest, and they are not really painful, just pressure. I just knew it was getting closer. They were pouring oil or water on me to stretch. They told me he had a lot of hair, I asked what color, and they said black. I said “aww, like his daddy”, and that seemed to perk me up. As I was making progress, they asked me to keep pressure down there so that he would stay there, and they were amazed with the control I had, especially for not having an epidural. I got the head out, and Dr. Maser said for the rest to do small pushes. He came out with a nucal hand, which was really uncomfortable and his face got a bit of a bruise. I did not tear though. Brendon was very involved and got to watch everything, which made him so excited after. When they plopped him on my stomach, they asked Brendon to cut the cord and he said “Alright!” with a huge smile and proudly grabbed the scissors. I delivered the placenta, and it was huge meaning good nutrition and high oxygen due to running. They stamped Noah’s footprints on his arms, and he was proudly showing them off. He went over with Noah for the weight check, and Noah grabbed his finger very tightly. He was strong.
  • exposing him to fresh air in the afternoon may help him to sleep at night (go for walks/runs): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1477238/A-daily-dose-of-fresh-air-helps-babies-to-sleep-longer-at-night.html
  • exposing him to a second language and music early may make him smarter – play music during day time naps
10/2/2015 141.6
10/3/2015 140.2
10/4/2015 138
10/5/2015 135.4
10/6/2015 136 walking, play music/red to him/expose him to different languages to stimulate brain, tummy time
10/7/2015 135 cluster feeding day and night
10/8/2015 135 uterus definitely shrinking back to normal, start pumping even when he is not feeding
10/9/2015 134.8 kegels, exercises while breastfeeding
10/12/2015 135
  • itchy rash on butt and legs (cleanse liver because it is overwhelmed processing hormones -apple cider vinegar, probiotics)
  • need to increase milk supply- coconut water, power pumping, red raspberry leaf tea, flaxseed, coconut oil, lactation cookies, brewers yeast, oats (Noah has not gained weight since peds appt last week- even after cluster feeding and feedings every 2-3 hours)
    low estrogen
    trying to walk every day 2-4 miles, do squats, etc
10/14/2015
  • skin to skin to stimulate prolactin for more milk & pumping after feeding, ran walked-wear running pregnancy belt to support pelvic floor
10/18/2015 134.4
  • eating more veggies and body has started pooping more, itch is less
10/30/2015
  • my weight loss seems to be stalling, dealing with some constipation this week when Noah went through a growth spurt and was feeding all the time, bleeding stopped this week and I am running 15 miles a week
  • figuring out how many calories I burn breast feeding (each oz is 20 calories):
  • 3 weeks – 3 months: 24-32 oz/currently pumping at night – approximately 600 calories burned from breastfeeding
  • try to lose last 5 lb – follow SANE diet (water, fiber, protein, fats, low fructose fruits) double digit serving of veggies a day
11/18/2015
  • my weight is still at a plateau, did add double digit servings of veggies, cut coffee
  • plan to give up sugar for a time to lose last 5 lb and start doing pilates to tone stomach (no processed foods)
  • noticed on 11/17 that I had some white cervical mucus but it seemed the infertile type – plan to monitor if I have some fertile mucus to start to track ovulation
  • start to bring square of dark chocolate to lifegroup instead of having dessert
  • adrenal reset – fat/protein in morning and midday, but add carbs after 3 pm to reset cortisol
**for my height if I stay under 159 lb, I get to stay in the category of “healthy weight” even while pregnant
after delivery 12/19- weight 133.8…finally thinking my body is healing 2.5 months later – adrenals regulating and hormones balancing
sit on exercise ball to strengthen abs
1/17/16 – 131.8 weight
We’re Pregnant with Baby #2!

We’re Pregnant with Baby #2!

We are so excited to be pregnant with our next and probably final child!

We are so excited about welcoming another baby to our family in January 2018. We are considering it the “final leg” of our Speedy Thiede marathon relay team. Yes, we are runner geeks.

Conceiving this time was such a guessing game since I am still breastfeeding our son. It took until he was 16 months old for my cycle to return. I continued to pump at work until about 15 months, and when together, he nursed 4-5 times a day still. So, my body was not ready for another baby.

I kept trying to guess what my body was doing, but because I wasn’t cycling, I had no idea. I spent many months guessing what my body was doing and taking a bunch of negative pregnancy tests. It was really frustrating. Since I wasn’t having a cycle we planned to have sex every few days to try to catch the first ovulation before I would have a period.

Breastfeeding while Trying to Conceive

I was all for Noah nursing until he was ready to wean, and I love the idea of tandem nursing. However, this comes with its own set of complications, especially when trying to have another baby. Until I was able to nurse less or low enough amounts that my prolactin levels decreased to a level that allowed me to ovulate. That took about 7 months from when we were open to having another baby until I had my first post-partum period. Part of this delay occurred because I continued to pump at work for longer than I needed. Emotionally, I wasn’t ready to stop that because of all the nursing issues we had. I had a complex about providing every drop of milk that I could. Once I was able to make peace with the fact that he is incredibly healthy, I was able to let go of pumping, and I WAS SO MUCH HAPPIER to be able to let go!

MyFLO app

Finally, I heard that Alissa Vitti, author of Woman Code, was coming out with a MyFLO app. Typically, I am very frugal and would scoff at the cost of even a $1.99 app. However, I knew this one would be worth it.

In the app, you track your monthly cycle and symptoms. The app starts to recognize where you have issues, what areas of your cycle are long or short based on your symptoms, and the best part is it recommends lifestyle and food choices to help improve your symptoms.

Every month, I had less and less symptoms, and by the time we got pregnant, I had no symptoms. Plus, I have had a way easier first trimester this time, which I will discuss in another blog post.

Want to hear more about some Mama Bear Updates? Watch my video chit chat about life and the business!

6 Ways to Eat 6 Dates a Day in Pregnancy and Why You Should

6 Ways to Eat 6 Dates a Day in Pregnancy and Why You Should

20160705_211508A study out of Jordan found that women who ate 6 dates a day in their last month of pregnancy had shorter, easier labors. Research has also found that dates have an oxytocin effect on the uterus to help tone it. Dates also have great nutritional benefits. Dates contain iron, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and folate. Dates are one of my favorite sweeteners for desserts due to their nutritional benefits, and their natural sugars provide great energy without spiking blood sugar in the same way as refined sugar.

1.Pair dates with chocolate

Ingredients:20160705_205051

  • 2 squares of dark chocolate (chose a chocolate sweetened with stevia)
  • 6 dates

Directions:

  1. Eat dates in their whole form with 2 squares of chocolate. OR
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for intervals of 30 seconds until it is fully melted.
  3. Dip your dates into the chocolate.
  4. Eat right away, while the dates are still warm, or refrigerate the dates

I like to keep the chocolate in the freezer or I would melt some and drizzle it over the dates.

2. Pair dates with nut butter

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates
  • 2 tsp nut butter of choice (almond, cashew, sunflower seed, macadamia nut)

Directions:

  1. Cut a slit in one side of the date and open like a book.
  2. Use a knife to smear a very thin layer of nut butter onto each date.
  3. Sandwich the sides of the date back together.

3. Blend in a smoothie

blueberrysmoothie

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates
  • 1/2 banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2-1 cup water or coconut milk
  • 2 TBSP grass-fed collagen (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place water and dates into a blender. Blend for one minute to break up the dates completely.
  2. Add the other fruit to the blender, and mix until smooth.
  3. Pour into your favorite glass!

4. Date Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates
  • 2 TBSP grass-fed gelatin
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (separate 1 tsp for blending)

Directions:

  1. Place dates and 1 tsp coconut milk in a food processor. Blend until the dates are smooth.
  2. Add the gelatin to the rest of the coconut milk. Let bloom for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk gel to the food processor, and blend until incorporated.
  4. Roll the mixture into balls or squares.
  5. As a bonus step you can roll them in shredded coconut or dip them in melted chocolate.

5. Date Caramel over yogurt, sliced bananas, or sliced apples

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates
  • coconut milk (1/2 tsp for a thick caramel, 2 TBSP for a thinner drizzle)

Directions:

  1. Blend the dates and coconut milk in the food processor.
  2. Move the mixture to a saucepan, and heat until warm and gooey.

6. Date and Nut Bars

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates
  • 1/4 cup cashews

Directions:

  1. Add the dates and cashews to the food processor. Pulse until incorporated but you can still see chunks of dates and nuts.
  2. Press until cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
  3. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

For ideas of how to feed your child nutrient dense food, check out my E-Book, A Recipe for a Healthy Baby.

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Celebratory Milestones and Meals of Pregnancy

Celebratory Milestones and Meals of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time to treat yourself! But, you should nourish your baby and body at the same time too.

Celebrate your pregnancy and all the milestones along the way! Though it may not always feel like it, being pregnant is a gift that not everyone gets to experience. You have a beautiful baby on the way, and celebrating making it through each phase in a healthy and safe way can help you deal with some of the discomforts that come along with your growing bundle of joy. This is also an important time to connect with your partner and continue to strengthen your bond since a baby makes finding time for each other difficult.

1st Trimester

Positive Pregnancy Test – Hopefully, at this point, you are still feeling well, and you can still fit into your clothes. So, this may be a great occasion to get dressed up and go out to dinner. Some top things to avoid when eating out for a healthy diet are fried foods, pre-made bottled salad dressings, most soups as they are made from powders and contain MSG, refined carbohydrates, and excessive sugars. Some great options at restaurants would be salmon for Omega 3s or steak for iron, zinc, and Vitamin A.

First Heartbeat or Ultrasound 

A favorite celebratory meal for my husband and I is rib eye steaks and bacon Brussels sprouts. To cook the bacon Brussels sprouts

Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 8 strips bacon (refined sugar-free, preservative free)

Directions:

  1. Heat a large saute pan on medium high heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot, lay 8 strips of bacon into the bacon. Turn when browned to your liking and cook until done.
  3. Lay the bacon on a paper towel.
  4. Cut the ends off of the Brussels sprouts and cut sprouts in half.
  5. Gently dump the Brussels sprouts in the pan that contains the bacon grease. Careful not to splash yourself with hot oil.
  6. Cook the Brussels sprouts for 10-15 minutes or until they are softened and browning.
  7. Cut the bacon into cubes, and pour back into the pan after the Brussels sprouts are almost done.
  8. Cook everything together for 1-2 minutes.

I would also recommend that you develop a habit of having a fun pregnancy drink. I loved sparkling water, either plain or with a splash of cranberry juice. La Croix is another great option. Next pregnancy, I plan to drink Kombucha as my special drink since it is mine currently while nursing.

Second Trimester

Surviving the First Trimester

Now that you are hopefully feeling better and have more energy. I would suggest some special time with your significant other having brunch in bed.

Make an orange juice spritzer, eggs with sausage or bacon, and some gluten free banana nut muffins. To make the orange juice spritzer fill a wine glass with half orange juice and half sparkling water or whatever ratio works for you.

Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2/3 cup dates (pitted)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.

2. In a food processor, combine dates, banana, coconut oil, coconut milk and vanilla. Blend until the dates are completely ground. This may take a few minutes. Then, add in the egg, and blend to combine.

3. Stir wet ingredients into dry until just moistened.

4. Fill the cups in a cupcake pan, and bake at 350 F for 22-25 minutes.

Gender Scan

To celebrate finding out if your arrival is a boy or a girl, an easy treat is chocolate fondue. You can spend some time sharing your dessert and discussing what you need to buy, baby names, or your thoughts on the gender. If you are not finding out the gender, you can still celebrate having a healthy ultrasound and being halfway through pregnancy.

Chocolate Fondue

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of chocolate sweetened with stevia
  • 1/2 cup full-fat milk of choice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Favorite fruit (bananas, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple)

Directions:

1. Melt chocolate in a bowl sitting on a pot of boiling water (double boiler).

2. Cut up the fruit and place in bowls.

3. Move pot and bowl to the table.

4. Dip the fruit into the bowl and enjoy.

Third Trimester

Early term

My husband and I love playing games together. So, as a fun night, find some of your favorite games and play 1 or 2. For this, make some healthy nachos to fuel your body and feed your cravings.

Healthy, Yummy Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of onion powder
  • pinch of dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 can organic black beans (rinsed thoroughly)
  • cheddar cheese
  • tomato
  • avocado
  • sprouted chips
  • full-fat greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Brown the turkey in a pan with the taco seasoning spices.
  2. Place your chips on a baking sheet. The more that you spread out the chips to reveal their surface, the more they will be covered with yummy toppings.
  3. Cover your chips in the turkey, beans, tomato, and avocado. Then, sprinkle with cheese. Make sure not to go to heavy with cheese. Just enough to give each chip some flavor.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  5. Top with the Greek yogurt as a substitution for sour cream.

Full-term

Home stretch, and baby’s brain is growing a ton at this stage. That means they need adequate healthy fats, especially ones rich in cholesterol. I would suggest making some of Dave Asprey’s “Get Some” Ice Cream. I have made a custard version if you don’t have an ice cream maker, or I have a pumpkin pie version depending on if you are in the mood for some fall flavors.

Last date night before the baby

A date night for you may be going out, or it may be staying in, watching a movie, and having your favorite meal. Just enjoy your last moments of sleep and peace.

 

For more ideas for healthy, easy family meals, subscribe for my FREE two week meal plan!
For ideas of how to feed your child nutrient dense food, check out my E-Book, A Recipe for a Healthy Baby.

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Nutrients for Each Trimester of Pregnancy

Nutrients for Each Trimester of Pregnancy

How can you help your baby get exactly what it needs as it goes through pregnancy?

Most women sign up for a week by week pregnancy update system that explains your babies developments. However, these do not discuss the nutrients that are needed to support these developments and the support your body needs to perform these functions. You should always strive for a nutrient dense diet that contains all the nutrients below on a weekly basis, but boosting micro-nutrient levels of certain key nutrients each trimester can prevent the opportunity for you feeling depleted and power your baby for optimal growth.

For each trimester, I will list some of the main developments for that portion of pregnancy and detail the nutrients that will support you and your baby the most at that time. This is a general overview, but I will have posts that give more detail about specific weeks in other posts.

1st Trimester

  • Key Developments: heart, brain, nervous system

  • What are the key nutrients?

    • Vitamin A
      • It is the concert master of your developing baby. Sufficient Vitamin A is required so that all the messages are sent to develop each organ and system of your baby. It is important to be aware that though there are many plant sources that contain the precursor for Vitamin A (i.e. beta-carotene), that doesn’t mean that is Vitamin A or that you personally can make the conversion, especially if you are not eating these plant foods with fat to aid the process. So, when I discuss Vitamin A, I am referring to animal sources like liver, grass-fed butter, egg yolks, etc.
    • Iron
      • It is needed primarily in this time due to the increase in blood supply and the growing placenta. Keeping your iron stores up will prevent anemia and may help with energy. So, eat greens, broccoli, and red meat.
    • Healthy Fats
      • We all love a baby with some chunk, and there is good reason they have it! Add in some coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocados, fatty fish, and egg yolks.
    • Vitamin C
      • Our energy takes a real hit in the first trimester as our body works on forming the placenta. Vitamin C supports our adrenals and energy, as well as progesterone production. A study in Fertility and Sterility showed that it improves hormone levels and pregnancy success. This could be due to the fact that cortisol is a precursor to progesterone, and if our cortisol is too high (as is probably the case in many Americans due to stress, coffee, dieting, overexercising), our progesterone production is inhibited.
    • Potassium
      • This is another great adrenal supporter, and as you create more blood and fluids, you need to maintain your electrolyte balance. Potassium specifically aids in the unwinding of the adrenals at night. Foods like coconut water, sweet potatoes, spinach, and avocados are great options. One of my favorite in pregnancy is dates. There is a study out of Jordan showing that eating 6 dates a day in the last month of pregnancy can allow women to have a faster, easier birth. So, I ate 6 dates a day my entire pregnancy!
    • Sodium
      • I added sodium for the same reasons as potassium. However, sodium helps to wake up the adrenals and digestion. So, it is best included in the diet in the morning. I love using Himalayan sea salt on my breakfast.
    • Vitamin B12
      • It is essential for nervous system development.
    • 3-indolcarbonal
      • This is a compound that aids in the breakdown of hormones and helps the body excrete them. So, as we produce and utilize estrogen and progesterone, they can be broken down to prevent some pregnancy symptoms due to excessive hormone levels. This can be found in sprouted and fermented foods.
    • Fiber
      • As progesterone production goes on hyper-drive, our digestion slows. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables may be enough, or you may want to research incorporating a fiber supplement or digestive enzymes.

2nd Trimester

  • Key Developments: movement, senses

  • What are the key nutrients?

    • Beta-carotene
      • It is great for eye health, and the eyes develop at this time. So, eat some carrots and colorful produce.
    • Calcium
      • Your baby’s cartilage turns to bone at this time. Strong bones need plenty of calcium. Grass-fed, full-fat dairy is a great source of calcium. You can also include greens, sardines, okra, and broccoli.
    • Magnesium
      • Magnesium works with calcium in the formation of the bones. You need a good structure for a building to work. Your baby needs the same. Eat avocados, greens, and pumpkin seeds.
    • Vitamin K2  –
      • This nutrient gets confused with Vitamin K1, but is essential for calcium to go to its proper place in the bones. We all want our children to be strong, grow tall, and have great teeth. K2 is the workhorse for all of that, and many humans are deficient due to low-fat diets and not consuming grass-fed dairy. Include grass-fed dairy or a K2 supplement.
    • Vitamin D
      • This nutrient works in tandem with Vitamin A. It is important to have a good balance of both. When there is a deficiency in one, a person may develop toxicity symptoms of the other, and they need each other to perform their functions. Vitamin D works in the bone development, hormones and endocrine function, immune system, brain activity, nervous system, and the heart development.
    • Zinc
      • Zinc is great for muscle growth, immunity, and nutrient absorption. Your baby really starts to gain muscle and move more. Eat lamb, grass-fed beef, and chickpeas.

3rd Trimester

  • Key Developments: brain, lungs

  • What are the key nutrients?

    • Vitamin K2
      • Your babies bones continue to harden, and it is important to make sure the calcium for this goes to the right places. This supports proper formation of the bones. As above, work to include grass-fed dairy like Kerry Gold Butter or raw cheddar cheese and/or a K2 supplement.
    • Calcium
      • It is not only important for bone formation, but it will also help with muscle contraction as you look ahead to labor.
    • Magnesium
      • Magnesium aids in the strengthening of the bones and will help relax your bowels, which may be desired as your organs get squished as the baby grows. If you are struggling with elimination, you may find a magnesium supplement helpful like Ancient Minerals spray or Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm.
    • Vitamin D –
      • The third trimester is the period of the most rapid growth. The baby utilizes Vitamin D for their skeletal growth.
    • Phosphorus –
      • This is also critical for rapid and proper skeletal growth.
    • Healthy Fats
      • This really promotes brain growth in this critical phase. Plus, your baby builds its fat stores at this time to prepare for growth once outside the womb.

Nutrient Density is KEY

Again, I want to emphasize the key for the entire pregnancy (and let’s just include fertility, postpartum, breastfeeding, and life in general) is NUTRIENT DENSITY every day. This is not a life sentence to never have something again (like your favorite chocolate cake), but the more you center your diet around real, nutritious food, the more you and your baby will thrive! You may even enjoy being pregnant from time to time 🙂

How to Create a Pregnancy Survival Pack: Healthy, Quick Pregnancy Snack Ideas

How to Create a Pregnancy Survival Pack: Healthy, Quick Pregnancy Snack Ideas

Here are some great healthy snack ideas that you can keep with you and take on the go. In pregnancy, you have an increased nutrient need and may be hungry more often. These healthy ideas can prevent you from having to fun to a fast food restaurant or vending machine.appleandnutbutter

  • Dang coconut chips
  • Dark chocolate
  • Nut butter packets (almond, sunflower, cashew)
  • Hummus and veggies
  • Nuts and seeds – almonds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Sardines or canned salmon (wild-caught)
  • Jerky (sugar & preservative free)
  • Grass-fed collagen/collagen bars
  • Drinks – water, coconut water
  • Fruitchocolatebar
  • Veggies

You can also preemptively put a whole container of something into Ziploc snack bags to grab and go. These also create portion control so you are not reaching unconsciously into a bag and accidentally eating too much. Having a preformed plan for snacks is critical for healthy weight gain and getting the nutrients you need.

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How to Survive Through Pregnancy While Nursing or Having Recently Had Another Baby

How to Survive Through Pregnancy While Nursing or Having Recently Had Another Baby

Congratulations on your positive pregnancy test and having another blessing on the way! Having children close together and the dream of tandem nursing is one I can definitely relate to. However, it is important to recognize that your body has given a great deal of its stores to growing, birthing, nursing, and caring for your baby (AKA sleep deprivation!). So, it is even more critical to take your nutrition seriously so that your next child can get the same amount of quality building blocks as your first.

In Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Price notes how subsequent children do not get the same level of nutritional stores, and therefore, they have more narrow faces and less optimal development than the first. You may want to consider getting some blood work done to educate yourself on any important nutritional deficiencies you may have. Some important nutrients to consider are A, D, K2, B12, iodine, and iron.

Here are some key nutrients to focus on in your preconception and pregnancy periods:

Iodine (seaweed snacks, seafood)

Iodine is great for hormonal and thyroid health. It boosts your metabolism. Many people are deficient to begin with and nursing a child can deplete you. Many women find themselves dealing with postpartum thyroid issues, and food based sources of iodine can help. It supports breast tissue and milk production, which you will need again with another baby. I noticed an increase in my supply when I would eat seaweed snacks. Finally, iodine supports a baby’s growing brain, and studies have shown that mothers with adequate stores of iodine have smarter children.

Healthy fats (avocado, salmon, coconut oil, grass-fed butter)

Healthy fats are critical to not only build a healthy baby but for your hormones. Hormones are made from healthy fats, especially saturated animal fats that contain Vitamin A. So, to even get pregnant you need them, and having adequate stores will make for a more pleasant pregnant, meaning less mood swings, more energy, less cravings, and less nausea. In my postpartum period, I realized around 6 months that I had a fatty acid deficiency. I could eat tablespoons of butter on my food, Bulletproof coffee with butter and coconut oil, and half a batch of Bulletproof “Get Some Ice cream” (the BP blog says that it could serve 6-8 people instead of 2). When I did this I lost weight for a time period and felt rushes of energy. During this time period, I almost felt like an animal with how I could ravenously eat fat and craved it. It felt so good in my body. I realized how draining pregnancy and nursing had been on my body and how I needed to correct these deficiencies.

For your baby, they need a lot of fat to grow. The brain is 12% fat, mostly saturated fat. My son ate a ton of grass-fed butter, coconut oil, fatty salmon, liver and salmon eggs, and his head measured in the 95% at his one year appointment.

 

Vitamin C (fruits, veggies, real fruit powder like Camu Camu)

This may seem like a strange one considering we only think of Vitamin C when we are sick, but this is definitely important. Vitamin C supports our adrenals, energy, and progesterone production. Nursing mothers or moms of young children often find that they are not getting enough sleep. This can wreck are hormones by raising cortisol, our stress hormone. Cortisol is a precursor of progesterone. So, if we are sleep deprived or have high perceived stress, our bodies will produce more cortisol instead of progesterone. This could play a huge factor in why many new moms have a luteal phase defect, or too short of a luteal phase. When a woman has a luteal phase defect, the body does not have adequate time to build the lining of the uterus to sustain a pregnancy.

When I started taking Camu Camu powder, I felt a rush of energy like I had when I started eating more fat. I also dealt with a B12 deficiency around 9 months postpartum and felt rushes of energy when I started eating liver. So, I knew I had landed on something else my body desperately needed. I proceeded to take 3 doses (for the Camu Camu a serving is 1 tsp). I mixed it into yogurt for ease of consumption. Because Vitamin C is water soluble, I figured the worst that would happen is that when my body had an adequate supply or I took too much, I would get diarrhea. That first night, I had no stomach issues and felt great. Over the next few weeks, I would take 1-2 doses until one day I had issues after a second dose (I was taking 1 in the morning and 1 at night at the time).  For months prior to this (without having a cycle), I could still track the cycle my body was attempting to have through cervical mucus and PMS symptoms that in some cases were very extreme. I experienced bloating, fatigue, sore breasts, cravings, and nausea like I never had. Then, after taking the vitamin C, I noticed a significant decrease in those symptoms.

High quality prenatal

This can help to correct any other nutrient deficiencies that you may not be aware of. I would recommend Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal or Mega Foods Baby & Me. However, check with your doctor.

4 Supplements for Pregnancy

4 Supplements for Pregnancy

A good prenatal vitamin is essential as a safeguard against nutritional deficiencies. Also, if you have MTHFR, meaning you cannot convert folic acid to methylfolate, you need to really read your label. You may also want to consider a probiotic. A probiotic will help you digest your food and absorb the proper nutrients. Also, our immunity is passed onto the baby when they pass through the birth canal. So, having good flora is important. Finally, some other essentials for me are a B complex and electrolytes. These help with energy that your body desperately needs to perform all its tasks in pregnancy. Plus, as your fluid volume increases, electrolytes are important for the transport of vitamins and minerals.

  • Prenatal vitamin
    • Folate vs. folic acid (Vitamin B9)
    • Methylcobalamine vs. cobalamine (Vitamin B12)
    • Brands – Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal, Mega Food Baby & Me
  • Probiotic
      • Primal Defense
      • Vitamin Code
      • Klaire Labs
      • Consider rotating brands to get different strains
  • Other considerations
    • Electrolytes (Nuun)
    • B complex (Vitamin Code)