Get Your Body Ready For A Baby

baby

We have headed into a new year where anything is possible!  We can leave behind all the things that didn’t go the way we wanted them to and move forward with a fresh outlook.  This is especially true if you’ve been struggling to conceive.  Let the struggle of the past year go, take a deep breath, and look forward to the possibilities of the new year just beginning.

If you want the best chances of getting pregnant in 2019, put BABY into practice:

B: Boost Your Cholesterol

Most of us have heard all our lives that we need to lower our cholesterol, but that is not a good idea, especially if you want to get pregnant and carry a baby to term.  Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol is good for you. It is the building block of hormones like progesterone, the baby making hormone.  Without progesterone it is difficult to get pregnant and stay pregnant.  Without cholesterol, you can’t make progesterone, click here to learn more!

Action steps:

  1. Have your doctor check your cholesterol levels.
  2. Add cholesterol rich foods to your diet such as eggs, liver, butter, and full fat dairy (just don’t use ultra-pasteurized dairy).

A: Assess Your Iodine Levels

Iodine is important for thyroid hormones which you need for a healthy pregnancy.  Thyroid hormones support nearly every cell in the body including the central nervous system and developing brain of a fetus.  If a mother is deficient in iodine it can affect the IQ and brain function of the baby.  Iodine deficiency can also be a factor in fibroids, endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome.  For more information, click here to read iodine-friend or foe.

Action steps:

  1. Ask your doctor for an iodine loading test.  This is a urine test, not a blood test. You can also order a test yourself by clicking here.
  2. Eat iodine rich foods like seaweed, shellfish, fish, and full fat diary.  An easy way to start is to sprinkle kelp flakes on foods.  Supplements may be needed but it is best to work with a knowledgeable physician when taking iodine supplements.

B: Banish The Toxins

We are exposed to numerous toxins from food, plastic, personal care products, cleaning products, weed killer, fire retardant clothing…the list is endless.  The problem with all these toxins is that many are endocrine disruptors which means they mess up your hormones which can make it difficult to get pregnant.  It may take a while to banish them all so the important thing is to just start somewhere.

Action steps:

  1. Click here for my free getting started guide to eliminating toxins in skincare products and food.
  2. Get a copy of The Switch Diet available on Amazon for a more detailed step by step guide.

Y: Yield To A Time Out

Stress is something we all face, but if we don’t manage it well, it can derail our best efforts to get pregnant.  Stress can come from relationships, finances, our to-do list, and even from our own unmet desires.  It’s good to take a time out periodically to get a new perspective, recharge, and let go.

Action steps:

  1. Schedule some time every day to relax, breathe, and meditate.  Click here to learn more about the benefits of meditation.
  2. Look at your schedule.  Is there anything you can say no to?
  3. Take a break from scheduling (sex) and tracking (cycles) if it’s creating tension in your relationship.
  4. Do something fun every day.

If you remember BABY, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy pregnancy.  If you’d like more support on your journey to becoming a mom, click here to join or get more details about my Baby-Ready Body Academy which will be open for enrollment on January 20th.

How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods and What to Start With

How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods and What to Start With

Introducing solid foods to your growing baby’s diet is a huge milestone for both you as a parent, and your child. Up until now, meal preparation and consideration has been fairly straightforward. The options were limited to breastmilk or formula. 

Now, the idea of introducing solid foods to your baby’s diet can be a daunting task because of conflicting information and the fear of developing severe food reactions or allergies. 

Being armed with solid information on how to best introduce solids to your baby’s diet will alleviate some of the worry and concern and will hopefully allow the transition to be smooth and rewarding.

How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods?

There are several milestone markers that you will start to notice that indicate that your baby is ready to start introducing solid foods in their diet.

Most often these milestones begin to present themselves when the child is around six months of age, however every child will be slightly different.

It is crucially important that your baby can hold his/her own head up and can sit upright in a highchair before ever considering the option of solid foods. 

They will also need to have developed the ability to move their tongue in a way that would allow them to move the food to the back of their mouth and swallow. 

Finally, you may have noticed that your baby takes interest in what you are eating and reaches out to touch or smell your food.

Once you feel that your baby has reached all of these milestones, it is time to think about what solid food to feed your child first.

My Doctor Is Recommending That I Start My Baby Off With Rice Cereal (Pablum). Is That Really The Best Option?

Let’s think for a moment about the most vitamin and nutrient dense food groups.

Do processed grains come to mind? No, of course they don’t.
So then what food group should we be looking to? Fruits and vegetables, of course!

One of the simplest and most nutrient dense options to introduce as a first food is avocado. It requires no preparation whatsoever. Just cut it open, remove the pit, mash up the flesh (much like you would mash a banana) and serve. It can also be easily mixed with a bit of breast milk or formula to change the consistency and make it easier for your baby to consume.

Solid Food Quick Tips

  • Introduce one food at a time with a couple of days in between foods to watch for potential food reactions and to allow your baby’s palette to develop.
  • Hold off on introducing sweet fruits and vegetables until your baby has developed a palette for the more bland fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep a food diary for the first month to record likes, dislikes, reactions, etc so you have a record to look back on.
  • Be patient. This is a learning curve for both you and your baby. If your baby loses interest don’t force the issue. Maintain your regular breastfeeding/formula schedule and slowly introduce solid foods as a supplement to their diet.
  • Take the stress out of meal times. The attitude you have during feeding times will stick with your baby for life, so maintain a positive approach and don’t get frustrated.

How many pounds of pressure did your newborn withstand at birth?

How many pounds of pressure did your newborn withstand at birth?

Congratulations! You’ve just given birth and now you have a beautiful baby to cherish.

Let’s think for a moment about your personal birth story and how your baby arrived in the world.

  • how many hours were you in labour?
  • was your baby born at home, in the hospital, or at a birthing centre?
  • were there interventions involved?
  • was your baby in some way pulled or suctioned from you?

In many birth situations, the baby is often forced out of the mother. This puts an immense amount of pressure on the head and neck of your baby.

Imagine your 8 pound baby potentially experiencing anywhere from 60 to 120 pounds of pressure (tractional force) to its head and spine.

If we use 100 pounds of pressure for the ease of math, 100 pounds divided by an 8lb baby is 12.5 times his/her weight.

Now, what would happen if you pulled a 180 pound man across the floor by his neck at 12.5 times his weight? That is 2250 pounds of tractional force, by which he would most likely be killed instantly.

It takes only 120 pounds of pressure (or less) to sever a baby’s spinal cord, and doctors often apply nearly that amount pulling the baby free in delivery.

The spinal cord is the most important part of every body, without its function, you could not survive even one second.

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The spinal cord houses the central nervous system, which controls every single aspect of the function, development and healing of the body.

And when we realize the amount of trauma that your baby (and you!) have just gone through to have him/her arrive in the world, we can see the connections with lasting side effects of a potentially now-misaligned spine, called subluxations.

There are many symptoms that can indicate that your baby has a misaligned spine, but sometimes there are no symptoms. A partial list of symptoms can include:

  • strained breastfeeding (baby can’t turn his/her head one way or the other)
  • unable to latch on
  • colic
  • sleeping problems
  • reflux
  • vomiting

Now that we understand the lasting side effects associated with birth, we must take a moment to consider how we can help your baby to grow and develop.

The first step is to identify if your baby has subluxations present in his/her spine. The only way to do this is have him/her examined by a doctor of chiropractic.

Chiropractors are trained to identify and correct subluxations to allow your baby’s spine to return to the correct alignment and allow optimal health to be expressed.

To correct a subluxation, the chiropractor performs an adjustment – with very light touch – to shift the bones back into the correct alignment. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like you imagine from the movies. The amount of pressure that a chiropractor uses to adjust a newborn is the amount of pressure that you would use to touch your eye with your pinky finger.

Having a spine in the correct alignment sets your baby up for optimal development and a great start to their health.

Just in time to become a toddler – where he/she will fall 2000 times learning how to walk. So keeping up with baby’s adjustment schedule through childhood will maintain a healthy spine for his/her growth and development.

You can see where I’m going with this. Life-long chiropractic care is essential at every stage of life to maximize your family’s health.

So be sure that you also have your spine checked by your chiropractor to be sure that your spine is in the correct alignment after the trauma of giving birth as well.

With Sources From: The Effect of Subluxation at Birth

Breastfeeding and Immunity

breastfeeding and immunity

There has definitely been more than enough negative social media coverage over the past few years regarding public breastfeeding.

What those people with negative comments probably don’t realize is that they are impacting the way some parents are raising their children.

Shaming a woman for feeding her child is the absolute last thing that should ever occur, yet it is still happening. Education and support for young families is vital to remove some of the stigmas that comes with breastfeeding an infant.

It is important to understand that the benefits of breastfeeding to mom and baby last a lifetime. Providing a newborn with the most perfectly composed breast milk provides them with such a wonderful opportunity to thrive, grow, and develop.

As compared to formula, which has a set nutritional composition, breast milk changes as the baby grows and their nutritional needs change. Early on, breast milk is higher in lactose (sugar) and water, and as the baby gets older, breast milk becomes higher in fat to support the baby’s growing caloric needs.

Possibly one of the most important benefits of breastfeeding is the fact that breast milk contains antibodies that aid in developing the infant’s immune system.

It has been reported that babies that are breast fed have fewer illnesses than babies that are formula fed. In addition, babies that are breast fed have a lower risk or developing diabetes, childhood cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, obesity, allergies and asthma. It is also reported that there are fewer cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies that are breastfed.

If that evidence is not convincing enough, then how about the fact that breastfed children tend to score higher on IQ tests and academic performances. The nutritional components of the breast milk and emotional bonding with mother help to promote cognitive development in infants.

The benefits of breastfeeding for the mother are also quite significant. The most obvious benefit would be the bonding time that is spent as the baby is nursed several times a day. In addition, it has been shown that mothers who breast feed have a lower risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer later in life. Breastfeeding also helps gradually restore the body to its pre-baby weight as more calories are burned daily to produce a steady supply of breastmilk. It has also been reported that women who didn’t breastfeed or who stopped breastfeeding early on had a higher risk of developing postpartum depression.

What To Do If Breastfeeding Isn’t An Option

We can certainly appreciate the fact that not all new moms have the opportunity or the ability to breast feed their children. In that case, there are options for mothers to explore. One of those options is to look for milk donors, who are other women with a sufficient milk supply to pump and freeze their extra milk.

If this option is not available, then the next best thing would be to research organic formula options and choose one that best fits your comfort level. Remember to do some serious research on what the ingredients are in the formula you choose. Just because it is organic does not mean that it is suitable for your baby.

The Diaper Debate: Which side are you on?

Diaper Debate

We have to admit that becoming a parent comes with its fair share of new responsibilities and parents are presented with a plethora of decisions to make about how they plan to raise their children. Decisions include the birthing process, breastfeeding, introducing solid foods, diaper choices and everything in between.

Today, we will dive into the topic of diapers to help make this decision a little easier for you and your growing family. The average baby has 2500 diaper changes in their first year of life. Yes, you heard me right, TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED diaper changes, making this a huge investment in your child’s first year of life. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of the three most common diaper options.

Disposable Diapers

The most obvious benefit of disposable diapers is the convenience factor. Dirty diapers are disposed of directly into the trash and there is no further thought or mess to consider.

In my opinion, the cons of disposable diapers far outweigh the convenience that they offer.

According to research done by the Real Diaper Association:

•136 kilograms of wood,

• 23 kilograms of petroleum and

• 9 kilograms of chlorine

are required to manufacture enough disposable diapers for one child for one year.

The use of petroleum and chorine products pose a significant risk to children as their delicate skin is in contact with these harmful materials, not to mention the incredible amount of wasted resources and the cost of purchasing these products.

Eco-friendly Disposable Diapers

Eco-friendly disposable diapers also present the issue of filling up our landfills with more waste, but due to their use of more environmentally friendly raw materials, the hazard to the environment and to our babies is less pronounced. Careful research still needs to be done before settling on a company that makes eco-friendly diapers. Just like any product that is labeled “natural” or “eco-friendly,” research and discretion is still required to make an informed decision because labels are often misleading and not entirely true on many products.

Cloth Diapers

The initial investment may seem daunting, but if you spread the cost out over the years that you’ll be purchasing disposable diapers, it ends up being a significant cost savings.

Cloth diapers can also be passed down to younger siblings, making the initial investment more justifiable.

The obvious benefit of cloth diapers is their lower impact on the environment because they aren’t being thrown away.

But the primary benefit of cloth diapers is the fact that they are usually produced with organic fabrics and do not contain harmful chemicals (like the disposable diapers have in their absorbent pads).

The drawback of cloth diapers is the fact that more time has to be invested by parents in the washing and drying of the diapers on a daily basis.

Regardless of how we slice it, there is going to be some form of environmental impact from the use of diapers. Disposable diapers will take years and years to degrade in a landfill and contribute to the amount of waste that is generated each year, while cloth diapers need to be washed and dried regularly, utilizing water and electricity. Your goal should be to choose what feels right to you as a parent, considering your lifestyle, values, and budget.

How many times per day do you shut down your laughter?

How many times per day do you shut down your laughter?

I’ve heard it said many times in life that “laughter is the best medicine”.

Do you know that it’s impossible to frown, be sad and in the state of stress at the same time as smiling and laughing? Even though this makes perfect sense, how many of us actually take the time to leave our stress behind in favour of the free life-giving, health-promoting joy that is available to us in smiling and laughing in the moments of our daily lives.

While sitting at my desk in front of my computer, contemplating what health subject to write about for this article, my little 6 pound maltese-poodle-chihuahua is barking at me incessantly while the baby is upstairs having a nap.

Like most mothers who see naptime as precious as gold, my initial response is stress… stress that I only have so much time to write this article, stress that her barking will wake the baby up from her much needed nap and I won’t get this done and that I’ll have an overtired cranky baby. If she doesn’t stop barking, mama’s gonna get really mad if she wakes the baby up!!

I decided to get up to see what all the barking was about and my annoyed scowl turned to a smile and my stress turned to laughter as the little yappy barking machine proceeded to play her favourite game of chase around the basement. I take a step in one direction and she runs around the sofa at mach- speed until she almost bumps into me again and then quickly runs the other way in the opposite direction. This game continues until I decide to walk away or until the dog is so tired she collapses, usually it ends because of me. This time I couldn’t help but laugh and smile as I realized that she just wanted to play. My mood changed in an instant.

How many of these free joy-giving moments are we letting pass us by in life in favour of stress?

The stress response in our bodies leads to the release of cortisol, our natural anti-inflammatory made in- house. Too much cortisol leads to the breakdown of our cells and tissues and is not good for our health.

Life insurance companies know that the effect of negative stress in a person’s life destroys health more effectively than almost anything else. What do most people do to deal with stress? Usually dis-engage from life through the use of alcohol, drugs, anti-depressants, overeating, TV, computers, and a multitude of other addictions.

What are you doing to deal with your stress? I challenge you to see the situations in your life from a different perspective. I could’ve continued to get annoyed with the fact that my little loving dog wouldn’t stop barking. Instead I played her game for a while, laughed and smiled, then picked her up and put her on my lap. Now she’s keeping me warm, the baby’s still napping and my article is finished.

I hope you can find something to laugh and smile about today and every day. Don’t believe me? Try it.

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Blog by Guest Author:

Dr. Bernadette VecchioDr Bernadette Vecchio, DC
Dr Bernadette Vecchio is a Chiropractor in Collingwood alongside her husband, Dr David Vecchio. In practice she is passionate about serving families and helping restore their health through Corrective Chiropractic care. Currently on maternity leave, Dr Bernadette is enjoying raising their daughter and getting to know the other new moms in the Collingwood area.

Find Dr. Bernadette and Dr. David at www.innerharmonychiropractic.com and https://www.facebook.com/Inner-Harmony-Family-Chiropractic-790997060930616/