Mothers play one of the most rewarding roles on the planet, but we all know this comes with some of the toughest physical, emotional, and spiritual trails of a lifetime. In this week’s blog, we’ll look at a number of ways mothers and newborns can begin their life together with natural, healthful supports.
Pregnancy & Postnatal Fitness – Regular attention to fitness before, during, and after pregnancy allows for a healthier and happier mother and child. In fact, those looking to conceive are often guided to pair exercise with ovulation for more reproductive love making. The benefits of practicing yoga during pregnancy are great, whether you currently practice yoga or if you are interested in the benefits of yoga during pregnancy. The tools yoga provides for pregnant women include exercises, breathing techniques, mudras, meditation, and deep relaxation that promote health and facilitate a smooth birth. Click on healthandyoga.com’s pregnancy page for more information on these, and check with your local yoga studio to see if they currently offer classes for expectant mothers. It’s a great way to share in the experience with other mindful mothers-to-be.
Perinatal Nutrition is one of the most important areas to focus on to keep you and your baby in optimal health. They say pregnant women are eating for two, and women do require between 200-500 extra calories a day when with child. However, these calories should be well spent, because they’re needed to produce extra blood, build a placenta and a baby, and to enlarge the uterus. All of these efforts require ample protein intake. Of course, eating all the right things get complicated within the context of a busy life, nausea, and encountering food smells that make you sick.
At IMS, we can work closely with you to develop a nutritional plan and supplements that fit your needs. Perhaps you might benefit from taking certain herbs, like fennel which can ease gas during pregnancy, support breast milk production, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Red raspberry is rich in nutrients like Vitamins C, E, A, and B, calcium, phosphorous, manganese, potassium, and iron, and strengthens the uterus so that contractions are more effective during birth making the process a bit easier and faster.
Consider buying hemp bedding as an alternative to mainstream cotton. Why? It takes two-thirds of a pound of pesticides to generate the cotton for a single pair of jeans! By going with hemp bedding, you’ll avoid exposing your baby’s sensitive system to trace pesticides. Newborns sleep 16-18 hours a day. While much of this time may be spent in the arms of a loved one, there will be a considerable amount of crib time in the first year of your baby’s life. Hemp fabrics are processed to be soft on the skin, and they last longer than cotton or polyester products!
The Diaper Dilemma: Disposable vs. Cloth – Disposable diapers are a priceless innovation for the modern mom. That’s why parents are willing to pay around $1000 a year per child on supplying the constant demands of their baby’s bottom. There are many situations where a disposable diaper is preferable. However, it’s worth considering a mixed approach for health as well as financial reasons. Disposable diapers, especially those labeled at “superabsorbent,” limit breathability and expose your child’s reproductive organs to chemicals 24 hours a day for the first two years of life. The sodium polyacrylate gel beads that soak up 100 times their own weight in liquid in “superabsorbent” diapers is the same chemical linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome in women’s tampons. Other less absorbent diapers are made of materials processed with dioxin, various forms of which are linked to cancer, liver damage, birth defects, and skin diseases.
So, what are the virtues of cloth diapers? First and foremost, COMFORT. Babies are more comfortable in cloth diapers, because they are healthier in them. The materials used in cloth diapers allow for breathability, which cools and prevents diaper rash. The absorbency of disposable diapers doesn’t allow caretakers to monitor success of BREASTFEEDING as easily as fabric alternatives. Sometimes it is hard to tell if a baby is wet in the superabsorbent diapers, and mom may switch to bottle feeding on bad evidence. For more information on cloth diapers visit www.diaperdecisions.com . And remember today’s cloth diapers aren’t the safety-pinned, difficult to manage diapers we remember from our past. They come fitted in various sizes with snaps or Velcro to keep them in place.
Please – Feel free to add to this discussion by posting information on your experiences with herbs, exercises, baby gear, etc. by clicking the “Post a Comment” link below, or make an appointment with Dr. Lisanti to discuss your concerns and interests regarding a present or future pregnancy.