Do You Want To Have a Baby

Step-by-Step Diet for Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy

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You can customize a diet like this with the vegetables, whole grains and healthy protein foods that you prefer. Important: Drink 8-10 glasses of pure water daily to help keep the body free flowing. Take your prenatal vitamins with meals or as directed. Have 1-2 tsp. of ginger syrup added to drinks daily if you suffer from morning sickness (good reports for nausea reduction from our testers). On rising: Do yoga stretches and have a glass of herbal tea or room temperature water to encourage regularity.  

Breakfast: have oatmeal or whole grain pancakes with yogurt and fresh fruit (sliced cantaloupe or blueberries are especially good); or poached or baked eggs on whole grain toast with a little clarified butter (ghee) and a glass of tangerine juice. If you prefer a light breakfast, try a whole grain cereal in apple or cranberry juice, a protein drink, or a fruit smoothie with added yogurt.

Mid-morning: have a few handfuls of organic, unsulphured dried fruit for extra iron; or have a green drink like Energy Green; or have a glass of carrot juice (a high calcium source) or watermelon juice (a high silica source).

Lunch: Have a chef’s salad with turkey and avocado, and a baked potato with a little ghee or kefir cheese; or tuna or chicken salad sandwich with light mayo with a mixed baby greens salad with extra carrots and watercress; or a lightly seasoned red beans and rice dish with steamed or sauteed vegetables (use olive oil).

Mid-afternoon: Have an apple or pear and handful of of nuts and seeds; or have fresh, crunchy vegetables with natural peanut butter or hummus. Have a pregnancy tea: like red raspberry, nettles and yellow dock  blend or Earth Mama Angel Baby Heartburn Tea for pregnancy-related indigestion. Or, try our friend Leah’s favorite mid-afternoon pregnancy snack: NutraBella Belly Bars (highly recommended).

Dinner: Have a vegetable lasagna (use whole grain or spinach noodles) and a steamed artichoke; or have Asian stir fry with seafood, brown rice and vegetables; or have a hearty vegetable and lentil soup with steamed greens (dandelion and spinach are especially good) for extra folic acid.

Before bed: Have a cup of miso soup or a nutritional yeast broth. Add a few pinches of kelp granules for extra minerals.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page

Pregnancy Diet Tips

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  1. Limit junk foods, fats and refined foods. Avoid high sugar foods. Just the amount of sugar equal to 1 1/2 cans of soda daily increases risk for preeclampsia (pregnancy toxemia and high blood pressure) 17 times! Focus on a whole foods diet. Shop the parameters of grocery stores where the real food is, or shop in a health food store.

  2. Eat a wide range of healthy foods to assure the baby access to all nutrients. Avoid cabbages, onions, and garlic. They can upset body balance during pregnancy. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, milk and chocolate (the worst!) can aggravate colic in nursing babies. Avoid red meats.

  3. Work with a qualified health practitioner to help determine which herbs and supplements are right for you.

  4. Don’t fast—even for short periods where fasting might be helpful, like constipation, or to overcome a cold. Food energy and nutrient content may be diminished too much.

  5. Avoid chemicalized, smoked, preserved, and artificially colored foods. Eliminate deli meats like ham, bologna and salami since they contain numerous chemicals.

  6. Avoid caffeine (5 or more cups of coffee daily is linked to spontaneous abortion) and tobacco (linked to pregnancy complications, low birth weight, stillbirths, and SIDS- see below).

  7. Avoid chemical solvents, and CFCs such as hair spray, and cat litter. Your system may be able to handle these things without undue damage; the baby’s can’t. Even during nursing, toxic amounts occur easily.

  8. There’s evidence which suggests using non-stick pans may cause birth defects or infertility. Consider stainless steel, glassware or cast iron pans for your cooking needs during pregnancy.

  9. Avoid smoking and secondary smoke. Your baby, like you, metabolizes the harmful cancer-causing residues of tobacco. The chance of low birth weight, SIDS and miscarriage is much more likely if you smoke. Smoker’s infants have a mortality rate 30% higher than a non-smoker’s. Nursing babies take in small amounts of nicotine with breast milk, and become prone to chronic respiratory infections. Research shows smoking during pregnancy may also double your child’s risk of having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

  10. Alcohol exposure is the most common cause of mental retardation in the U.S. More American babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) than with Down Syndrome. Don’t drink to prevent FAS, mental retardation and motor-skill problems. Even small amounts of alcohol (3 to 6 ounces daily) may increase your child’s risk of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We recommend no alcohol at all during pregnancy.

To your best health,

Sarah Abernathy

Benefits of a Water Birth

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Water birthing has been around for centuries. Ancient Egyptian women delivered babies who were destined to become royalty by water birth. Women from indigenous tribes around the world have traditionally entered the shallow ocean or river waters to help ease labor pain and delivery. Water births are still widely practiced in Europe and are gaining popularity in the West. Laboring in water offers hydrotherapy benefits for mother and child. One Canadian study showed 100% of women who birthed in water used no pain medication. (Women who choose water birth are less likely to want drugs in any case.) Midwives say that birthing in water reduces pain by 20-80% for women. It is so effective that the term “aquadural” is popular among midwives as the natural alternative to an epidural. Water creates a sense of weightlessness, so a laboring women’s muscles don’t have to work so hard at supporting her. Water also relaxes the pelvic floor muscles, decreasing birth canal injuries and the need for episiotomy. Birthing pain and pressure is reduced, and water birth labors tend to be shorter, provided a woman waits long enough before entering the water. (Most doulas suggest waiting until the cervix is dilated to 4-5 centimeters before entering the birthing pool. Entering the water prior to this may actually prolong labor.) Hot water from the birthing pool improves circulation to all the organs, especially the uterus, helping to protect the baby against fetal stress. Experts feel that transitioning from the womb into the world is easier for babies surrounded by warm water.

Many expectant moms worry their  baby will attempt to breathe during a water birth. The trigger to start a newborn breathing is contact with air on its face.  While the baby is submerged, it is still connected to the umbilical cord and receiving oxygen just as it did in the womb.  Still, water birth attendants insist a women’s legs and hips be completely immersed in water during the birth process. If she is partly out of water, the baby may breathe in both air and water, increasing risk for lung problems.  (If the baby is in distress, a water birth is not  a good option.) Other moms worry about the temperature of the water and how it might affect the baby. The temperature of the water is kept to about 98 degrees, normally well tolerated by mother and child. Higher temperatures can be exhausting for the mother and dangerous for the baby. During a water birth (or any birth), staying well hydrated is important, particularly if your labor is long lasting and you’re in the water a long time.

Home births and water births attended by a qualified midwife can be a good option for uncomplicated pregnancies. Many new moms and dads who choose water or home births feel empowered by the calm and personal setting. Some insurance companies  cover home birth expenses with in-network providers, but others do not.  Check to see what your insurance options are. If you choose to have a home or water birth, have a back up plan ready to go to a hospital with maternity and NICU units quickly if necessary. Unless you have a very experienced midwife and live within a few minutes ride to hospital, home births or water births are not the best choice for high risk pregnancies.

-Sarah

New Theories on Colic

Harvey Karp, M.D., author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, theorizes that colicky babies are suffering from what he calls “the missing 4th trimester” in their first three months of life. During this time, he believes that babies are missing a calming reflex, which was stimulated by the sounds and comforts of the womb. After a few months, most babies adapt to the drastic change, develop new calming reflexes and cry less. If you are nursing, watch your diet carefully. Sometimes mother’s milk is acidic from stress or diet. Avoid cow’s milk, cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, yeasted breads, fried and fast foods. If nursing, consider a weak fennel seed tea or Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid tea with added herbs to soothe baby’s digestion. Avoid red meat, chocolate, alcohol, sugary foods and caffeine until the child’s digestion improves. Tried and true digestive remedy for colic: try Gripe Water with ginger and fennel.

If symptoms don’t resolve after a few months or are accompanied by frequent vomiting, it may be a sign of infant GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Consult with a pediatric gastroenterologist if you suspect your child has GERD.

To Life-long health,

Sarah Abernathy