Tag Archive | "pregnancy"

Is a Holistic Pregnancy Right for You

Is a Holistic Pregnancy Right for You?

This guest post is by Amelia Wood of  MedicalBillingandCoding.org.

Many couples who are expecting a child take classes to be better prepared for the imminent birth. In this way, choosing a holistic pregnancy is no different. A holistic approach, however, is more comprehensive and nurtures the mind, body and soul in preparation for birth. Thus, the classes are more diverse.

Natural Birthing Classes: What can I expect?

It may be easier to talk about what not to expect in holistic birthing classes! There is no event in a woman’s life that will combine physical, emotional, mental and spiritual change as completely as giving birth. That means there’s a lot to cover

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Nutrition, relaxation techniques, partner coaching methods and labor rehearsals are just a few of the topics that will be covered if you decide to take classes to prepare you for a natural, holistic birth. In addition to preparing you for the pain and stress of natural labor, taking classes will transform you into an informed participant during your birthing process.

Although your breathing exercises may help you meditate more efficiently, you will probably want to look beyond these formal classes to grow spiritually during your pregnancy. Assuming the role of a mother is physically and emotionally demanding, and it also opens the door for introspection and reflection. Using structured methods like prayer, meditation and journaling can help you uncover more about your priorities and values. Even taking time to enjoy nature is a great way to calm the spirit. Your classes will set the framework for this, but you will need to do the homework in order to benefit.

Natural Birth: Will I need a doctor or a mid-wife?

Obviously, your approach to your holistic pregnancy will be your choice. Routine check-ups with an OBGYN will not interfere with a natural birthing plan; however, it will not be the best option for those who wish to avoid using technology. If the primary goal is to prepare the mind, body and soul for natural pregnancy, remember that natural pregnancy can occur just as easily in a hospital room.

One drawback to transferring to a hospital is that although you have prepared for a natural birth, you may be pressured to consider alternatives. Taking classes that inform you about your options and the physical process of giving birth will give you the resources to make the decision that is right for you and your child.

Depending on the services offered by your midwife, she/he may accompany you to the hospital and attend the birth. There are natural birthing centers that connect midwives and hospitals. This is a good option for those who are unsure about a home birth. Midwives are certified by the United States and may also be registered nurses. There are two different classifications: Certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives.

In a report released last month by Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, data from the CDC revealed that 2009 saw the highest proportion of births attended by midwives at 8.1 percent. The growing popularity of midwifery is spreading across demographics, showing a more mainstream acceptance of this type of care.

Before beginning a natural birthing plan, check with your medical insurance provider to ensure costs of home birthing and midwifery are covered.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

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Make Every Bite Count. Learn Healthy Eating Habits for Pregnancy.

If you start eating healthy before pregnancy it becomes much easier to make a few minor adjustments to your diet when you become pregnant. This is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby. If this isn't the case, hopefully you'll know right away when you become pregnant so you can make the necessary changes to your eating habits as early as possible. We know this is not always the case. The important thing is to make those changes as soon as you find out your pregnant to have a healthier pregnancy.

Healthy eating during pregnancy is easy.

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The first few weeks of your pregnancy are when your baby will go through some rapid development and growth. This can be a very vulnerable time and the reason why it's recommended to begin eating healthy whether you're planning to become pregnant or not, especially with almost half of all pregnancies being unplanned. Another possible complication to healthy eating in the first trimester is the nausea that many pregnant women face. The most important factors during this time are to prevent dehydration and malnutrition.

Adequate folic acid can help prevent neurological defects, such as spina bifida. You'll want to increase your folic acid intake, but too much can cause risks of their own so it's best to talk to your midwife or doctor.

Quit smoking. Whether you smoke, or are exposed to secondhand smoke, you will be at a greater risk of delivering a small baby with a low birth weight.

Alcohol and caffeine can negatively impact a fetus, so reduce or eliminate them from your diet. Try water instead of drinks loaded with sweeteners and artificial flavors. Our bodies are about 70% water so water makes the most sense. For another option, try the healthy Coconut Water drinks on the market. Again you'll want to avoid artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors. Don't confuse coconut milk for coconut water as they are completely different. Coconut milk is created from the coconut meat, while a young coconut is filled with coconut “water.” High in electrolytes it's a great alternative to sugary sports' drinks.

You're not really “eating for two” in the sense of calories, so don't start doubling your daily. Try to consume about 300 more calories than usual every day. Listen to your body and eat when you are hungry. Eating every few hours can help you with some of your nausea by keeping something in your stomach at all times. Don't let it get empty.

Protein can greatly help feelings of fatigue and nausea in pregnant women. Blood sugars remain more stable compared to the effects of sugar and carbohydrates which can regulate your energy levels. Find a protein that works for you, but aim to intake at least 70 grams of protein per day. The only protein to be watchful for is seafood with higher mercury levels like shark, swordfish, tilefish and mackerel. Typically the larger predatory fish have higher mercury levels. Safe fish that are high in healthy fats and low in mercury include rainbow trout (farm raised), sardines, whitefish and salmon (wild or farm raised).

In addition to nausea, many pregnant women face constipation. Uncomfortable and preventable, avoid constipation and start adding fiber to your diet. Whole grains, fruits, and even vegetables can be a great source of fiber.

As many women have a bit of iron deficiency, you'll want to add iron to your diet when pregnant. Meats and dark leafy vegetables are good sources. Try to avoid iron supplements as they can cause constipation, diarrhea or cramping.

When you reach your second trimester you'll want to increase your calcium intake. You'll need around 1,500 milligrams. This is missing from many diets and can be added with dairy products, calcium tablets, and even calcium fortified juices on the market.

You are your baby's only source of nutrition so eating healthfully when pregnant just makes sense. Hopefully these tips can help you get started on making smart and healthy choices in your eating habits to promote your baby's growth and development. Make every bite count.

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I’m Pregnant and Exhausted – And I’m Supposed to Exercise?

You're pregnant and exhausted – and yes, you're supposed to exercise. Or at least keep up a somewhat active lifestyle. Staying fit during a pregnancy is never easy, especially if you're someone experiencing symptoms of fatigue and low energy. Exercising can actually help increase your energy levels, but there are many other benefits to exercising regularly when pregnant. Not only will an active lifestyle promote your good health, but can help you carry the weight you are gaining and prepare you for the physical stress of labor.

Keep in mind that you are pregnant and don't overdo it. Listen to your body and take a break if you need one. This can be aggravating if you're used to a specific routine and find you can no longer keep up. Just remember you are pregnant and your body is going through several emotional and physical changes. You'll want to discuss your exercise plans with your midwife or doctor.

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I'm Pregnant and Exhausted – And I'm Supposed to Exercise? A simple exercise you can do anywhere is simply taking a walk outside. Get some fresh air and lift your spirits – especially if you've been stuck indoors all day.

If you're just starting an exercise routine when pregnant try to stay away from activities that require more balance like bicycling. You might find yourself a little clumsy and off balance just walking, so you won't want to start an activity that requires balance you don't have. However, if you've been on a bicycling routine before you become pregnant your muscles used in balancing for that particular activity may be strong enough to continue. Again, listen to your body.

Exercises that help develop your posture, like Yoga and Pilates, can help strengthen your lower back and help reduce back pains. You're adding weight and you might experience muscle fatigue by merely sitting or standing.

Drink plenty of water, you don't want to dehydrate. This is especially important when pregnant as the amniotic fluid is replaced completely every few hours. The more fluids you intake the more cushion for your baby. Another reason to stay hydrated is that during your pregnancy your blood volume will increase by 40%. Plenty of water can also help you avoid some fatigue and irritability.

Whether you're experiencing nausea or not, try not to exercise after eating a big meal to not add that pregnancy symptom. As hard as it seems when you are too tired to move, getting up for a quick walk around the block might surprise you. You might just feel a little better. It'll be easier for you to stick to a routine when you plan your workout at a time you are most energetic. 

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How to Modify Your Pilates Routine When Pregnant

How to Modify Your Pilates Routine When Pregnant

Pregnancy changes a woman’s body in many ways. To help adjust with the sudden emotional and physical changes pregnancy brings Pilates can help women adjust more comfortably. Many Pilates’ moves incorporate lying flat on your back and these are not recommended later in your pregnancy. It’s always best to talk to your midwife or doctor before beginning any workout routine when pregnant. If you’re just starting a Pilates routine look for Prenatal Pilates workouts. These specifically target pregnant women and have adjusted many of the moves depending on the trimester.

Tips for Modifying Pilates When Pregnant:

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-   Avoid the moves that require the strength of your abdominals, such as crunches, as these can cause diastasis recti (the separation of your abdominal muscles).

-   Focus on alignment and good posture, trying to move your body in fluid motions. You are trying to strengthen your body, not stretch it, so don’t extend fully.

When you reach the second trimester you’ll want to stop all lying down exercises as this will reduce the blood supply to your brain. This is the time to work in squats as they will help open your pelvic region and better prepare your body for labor.

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Beat Acid Reflux and Heartburn When Pregnant

How to Beat Acid Reflux and Heartburn When Pregnant

Many pregnant women, estimates as high as 80%, suffer from acid reflux and heartburn thanks to fluctuating hormones and a crowded stomach. Before you hit the pharmacy in search of heartburn drugs, many which have never been tested on pregnant women, there are natural ways to help calm that burning chest and throat.

Acid Reflux and Heartburn are uncomfortable when pregnant.Try eating small meals when you are pregnant and avoid excess sugar and spicy foods. Wait at least an hour after eating before you lie down. Natural remedies to alleviate acid reflux include various herbal remedies, organic Apple Cider Vinegar, and clear sodas.

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For a quick approach try sipping on a tasty clear natural soda. The carbonation can help relieve acid buildup in the stomach.

Papayas contain the digestive enzyme papain which dissolves protein and fat, thus soothing your stomach. Dried papayas work quickly, but you might also look for Papaya Enzymes in your local health food store.

Another remedy you’ll find at your local health store is Ginger Root capsules. This natural herb is known to absorb stomach acid while simultaneously calming your nerves. Immediately after dinner take one capsule. Side effects of Ginger include the stimulation of saliva, another natural antacid, and possible relief of nausea and vomiting. Always a plus during pregnancy.

Apple Cider Vinegar, get the organic variety, helps stabilize your stomach acid by acetic acid. You’ll want to dilute 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar with a glass of water and then sip it while you eating whenever your heartburn appears.

A powerful and aromatic herb, taking ½ teaspoon of Fennel Seeds and chewing them slowly after your meals will help your digestive tract immensely. Containing the compound Anethole Fennel Seeds help to suppress the spasms of the stomach.

And last, but not least, you can help reduce the amount of acid in your stomach with a simple Lavender and Anise Tea. Mix equal parts of the Aniseed and Lavender. Boil 2 ½ cups distilled water. Pour the boiling water over 1 teaspoon of your herbal mixture and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the tea and drink up to 8 ounces of your homemade tea in the morning and again in the evening. You can add some honey to sweeten the tea to your liking.

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Pregnany Gift Set

With soothing blends of the highest quality organic essential oils and living herbs, this pampering set is an ideal gift for a pregnant friend or relative. The Back Rub Oil provides relaxation for tired muscles and minds, the Mommy-to-Be Milk Bath soothes the skin and senses, and the Stretch Mark oil nurtures expanding tummies. Made in Southern California.

 

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Schone Suzanne Maternity Tunic

A beautiful turquoise blue, this Suzanne Maternity Tunic is vibrant and spring at its best. Created in Earth friendly bamboo with a pretty black twill sash, pregnant mothers can pair this with favorite jeans or black trousers.

 

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"Schone" means "Clean Beauty" in Dutch – each piece of Schone Maternity is made with care using environmentally friendly, fairly traded fabrics and is produced in fair labor practicing factories in the United States.

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Organic “Seeded” Maternity Tee Shirt

Soft and 100% organic cotton makes a fun statement on this Seeds Organics Boy Sprout Maternity Tee. Available at EuphoriaMaternity.com you can share your happy news with this Earth friendly dyed tee shirt.

 

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EuphoriaMaternity.com concentrates on providing eco-friendly moms with stylish maternity clothes.

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