Archive for the ‘Natural Health in Pregnancy’ Category

Introducing “Nourishing The Childbearing Years”

(youtube cut me off 3/4 of the way through!)

Nourishing the Childbearing Years class series combines my love of holistic health, nutrition and mothering to create a course that reflects a  spirit of nurturing- the foundation of healing and mothering.

The emphasis of this course is not on quantitative nutrition, but rather on the quality of food and the tone with which we nourish our family-body and soul.  Simplicity and practicality of course, is deeply accentuated, given the unique demands of motherhood.

Rarely would there be a better time than during pre-conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding and while our children are still growing, to consider nourishment and self care. The transition into motherhood naturally calls us into an entirely new realm and experience-offering us the perfect opportunity to instill new patterns and habits, as we emerge into an entirely different expression of ourselves- and a new era of our lives!

During this delicate transition point (from maiden to mother), many women share that a shift occurs in their attention and worldview to ultimately include an even deeper concern for the well-being of the community and the planet that they will one day leave behind for their children.

My intention is that the work we do together- mother to mother-will stand as a support network to strengthen, fortify and enhance our own and our childrens’ vitality throughout the growing years.

By healing and caring for ourselves as mothers and by assuming responsibility (the ability to respond) for our own and our children’s health, we imprint our children with this same capacity. Through example we empower and enable our children to embrace a nourishing lifestyle and to trust in their own bodies’ natural wisdom and capacity to heal.

Joy in motherhood and the habit of conscious nurturing and self-care, has far reaching and lasting effects; ones that will be integrated and adopted by our children, who will also one day, go on to have children of their own.  Our choosing to embrace nourishment and nurturing, expands beyond our family and our community to restore greater integrity to human life and the health of the planet.


 

To see the detailed syllabus go here: http://nourishingchildbearingyears.homestead.com/

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The “Principle of Rebuilding” for the Childbearing Years

The “principle of rebuilding”  is an important  facet of  women`s health for all women of childbearing age (as well as to any woman who has given birth at some time in her life). Understanding this principle can prevent future health problems for women, years after they are done having children, and can fortify a woman`s potential for optimal health.

Attending to `rebuilding` or fortifying our health as women is to increase the likelihood of having healthy fertility, an enjoyable pregnancy, an easeful birth without complications, and a baby whose health has been built on a solid foundation.

The “principle of rebuilding“ during the childbearying years acknowledges that as woman we are always giving up of our own tissues. Therefore, we need to give  back to our own bodies on the nutritional level, as much as we  need to attend to carving out time to replenish our emotional, spiritual and social selves etc.

During menstruation (which I like to call our moontime) we build up our uterine lining and then we let it go. Not only does it take extra nutritional reserves to build a home for our potential womb baby each month, but then we give up even more of our reserves by bleeding to let this tissue go when we do not become pregnant.

Being pregnant, giving birth and nursing our young ones can be a very depleting time in a woman`s life on all levels. Especially in modern life where woman are expected to shoulder childrearing and domestic duties all on their own. Beyond the fact that mothers are often overwhelmed, they are also overtaxed nutritionally, especially if they live on the standard north american diet (a predominantly processed, low fat and high in refined sugar diet) or if they have restrictions in their diet, whether self imposed or otherwise.

In cultures such as Ayurveda, this is recognized and accounted for. Special attention is given to restoring or rebuilding mother`s nutritional stores after birth through nourishing food, and massage with oils intended to replenish lost moisture. Because our bodies will give up our own stores of essential fats and minerals to ensure that baby is provided for, the gestation period and nursing duratio,n tend to have a drying effect on the mother and thus advances premature aging.  

Typically a woman will be depleted of essential fats and minerals, which can predispose her to a susceptibility to nervous conditions, depression and exhaustion. “Chronic deficiencies originating during this critical time period may also explain why women tend to experience far more depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and autoimmune disease than men.“

Women who have long since raised children can also benefit from the “principle of rebuilding“. If you have older children or are already a Grandma, you too can benefit from taking some time to pay special attention to optimizing your fat and mineral stores to improve on your health now.

If you are planning to have children or are currently pregnant now, by optimizing your stores of fats and minerals, you can ensure that the childbearing years will be much less taxing on all of your reserves, nutritionally, emotionally and other wise.

For ideas of how to get started, visit my website @ www.wholefoodsfamily.com

or contact me @ sherry@wholefoodsfamily.com to book a nutritional consultation in person, via phone or by e-mail.

References:
http://www.naturalnews.com/028391_pregnancy_nutrition.html

Symbiotic Benefits of Nutrition for Mom and Baby

Fresh Living Food
(your main source of the water soluble B-Vitamins and Vit.C)
-7 ½ cup servings of raw or lightly steamed fruits and vegetables daily (do not cook for long, B-vitamins are destroyed during cooking).

Benefits to Mom:
Providing B-vitamins, B6 for preventing morning sickness, folic acid for preventing birth defects and all B-vitamins helping to cope with stress and work synergistically; Vit. C prevents bleeding gums, hemorrhoids and varicose veins; whole food fiber for prevention and relief of constipation

Benefits to Baby:
Provides complex carbs, vitamins and minerals, amino acids and EFA’s all of which provide a foundation for a strong healthy constitution on which to establish baby’s optimal health

Water
– Be conscious of your thirst signals and slowly increase your water consumption to the highest amount that feels comfortable.
-Eat more raw fruit
-In order to increase the bioavailability of the water(meaning that it is more usable for the body, meaning you will pee less of it out!), one can add the juice of half a lemon, an 1/8th of a cup of liquid probiotic or ½ cup whey to each glass).

Benefits to Mom: – To facilitate expanding blood volume
– To meet the extra demands on internal regulatory mechanisms
-Plays a preventative role in pregnancy induced hypertension (pre-eclampsia)
-Optimizes energy (think of how a plant perks up when finally watered after neglect!)
-Prevents vaginal itch and dryness.
-Prevents preterm labour, dry skin, miscarriage, constipation, hemorrhage and electrolyte imbalances.

Benefits to Baby:
Did you know that your body replenishes approximately 1 cup of amniotic fluid every hour?
-Give your baby clean fresh amniotic fluids to bathe in!

Probiotics
-1tbsp of sauerkraut with each meal (will also provide more enzymes to improve digestion) or 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in water with each meal (both options unpasteurized of course!)
-traditionally fermented pickles and other fermented foods
– certified organic living whole food probiotic green drink or probiotic liquid
-yogurt and kefir
*homemade because the most beneficial micro flora are at their highest count 3 days after culturing.

Benefits to Mom:
-Essential to keeping the elimination system (digestive tract) and bloodstream clean
-Balancing intestinal flora, and thereby preventing thrush/yeast overgrowth and GBS (common vaginal “bad” bacteria) which is often treated in labour with antibiotics (that further imbalance intestinal flora and can initiate more health problems.
-Required to optimize nutrient bioavailability, ie: fats into fatty acids
-To produce certain B vitamins and Vit. K which are essential for blood clotting

Benefits to Baby:
-Optimizes baby’s intestinal flora balance for good health
-Frontline of the immune system
-Creates a solid foundation for good digestion, assimilation and elimination
-Prevents colic, thrush, allergies and food sensitivities
-Balanced intestinal flora essential for good health
-Frontline of immune system
-Essential for optimal digestion, assimilation and elimination
-Mother “cultures baby” (passes on flora to baby) through the vaginal canal @ birth.
-Baby’s immune system is being fortified through the quality of mother’s breast milk (nutrition, lactoferrin, immunoglobulin etc.) as well as the breast milk’s microbial content.
-Infant colic has been shown to be relieved by L.reuteri  (commercially available by Nature’s Way), otherwise only give baby probiotics specifically formulated for baby’s including b.infantis

EFA’s (essential fatty acids)
-1 Tbsp flax oil or 3 Tbsp ground flax per day on salad or on steamed veggies& in porridge (cooled down to avoid destroying fragile EFA’s)
-fresh cold water fish 2-3 times per week (herring, mackerel, salmon, fresh tuna).
-switch from margarine (of any kind) to butter or organic unrefined cold pressed organic olive and coconut oil. Avoid all refined oils.

Benefits to Mom:
– Lubricates the colon & helping in certain types of constipation.
-Prevents “pregnancy brain” (phospholipids are  major constituent of the myelin sheath promoting a “smooth run” for signals in the brain; commonly they are referred to as the “memory molecules”, however, they also play a role in  mood  & mental performance)
– eliminates morning sickness due to blood sugar imbalance

Benefits to Baby:
-They are essential for brain and eye formation.
-Prevent learning disorders and ADD/ADHD.
-Promote integrity of all cell membranes and myelin sheaths
-Fatty acids optimize immune system functioning (for mom too!):
1) stabilize of cell membranes
2) assist in antibody production
3) anti-inflammatory

Cooked leafy green vegetables, seaweeds and ground seeds (bioavailable minerals and protein!)
*Nourishing a baby while in the womb (and during nursing), takes the biggest toll on our mineral and fatty acid reserves. With each subsequent pregnancy, the mother may find herself more and more depleted.  It is no wonder that we have mothers with hormonal and nervous system disorders along with a general feeling of depletion, reduced immunity and dryness (which can take many forms).  This is unnecessary and can be prevented through optimal nutrition. Building and maintaining excellent nutrition status is prenatal care that you can give to yourself!

Benefits to Mom:
-Magnesium helps bring water into the colon which prevents constipation and water retention.
– Tooth and bone building
-Tones the nervous system

Benefits to Baby:
-Mineral rich amniotic fluid in which to bathe during fetal life.
– A strong healthy constitution on which to establish baby’s optimal health foundation.
-A mom who feels good and has the energy to enjoy life!