5 Lactation-Boosting Recipes for Breastfeeding Moms

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Breastfeeding is a magical experience that forms a lasting bond between mother and child. Unfortunately, many new mamas struggle with lactation when it comes to breastfeeding their little ones. The little one you shared your body with for the last 9 months is now in your arms, and as before, you are the source of their life.

It’s okay if the immense love you’re feeling right now is mixed with a bit of uncertainty. Bringing a child into the world is a pretty big deal, but you also may be concerned about whether you can produce the amount of nourishment they’ll need to thrive and grow.

However, this is a common concern that a lot of mothers have. To help you feel more at ease about nursing, we’ve put together some lactation-friendly recipes, foods, and general advice so that you can take your mind off of your milk supply and live in the moment with your precious little gift.

Lactation Boosting Foods (Galactagogues)

Galactagogue is a fancy name for substances that naturally increase breast milk production. Galactagogues come in various foods and herbs, and anyone can easily use them in lactation-boosting recipes. As a matter of fact, you probably already consume them regularly and don’t know it.

Lactation-friendly foods:

– Pumpkin
– Oats or Oatmeal
– Brown rice
– Chickpeas or garbanzo beans
– Lean proteins
– Electrolight rich beverages (such as coconut water)
– Healthy fats like eggs and avocados
– Herbs like turmeric and fenugreek
– Dark green leafy vegetables
– Moringa leaf

Lactation Boosting-Recipes for Breastfeeding Moms:

Lactation-friendly Pumpkin Chai Latte

Usually, when we think of pumpkins, we think of autumn. But you can enjoy this warm, delightful treat and stimulate milk production any time of the year.
lactation_latte_recipe
Directions:

– Bring ½ cup water to a gentle boil in a small saucepan.
– After removing the water from heat, add the teabag.
– Let the tea bag steep for a few minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
– Next, add the pumpkin purée, almond milk, vanilla, pumpkin spice blend, and salt to the saucepan.
– Whisk in the cornstarch. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until the ingredients are creamy. (1-2 minutes)
– After the mixture is blended, pour it back into the saucepan.
– Warm the mixture on low heat to your liking.
– Finally, top with totally optional whipped cream and star of anise or cinnamon stick.

Stimulating Southwest Vegetarian Bake

Think brown rice is bland? Well, this recipe begs to differ. This savory south of the border dish includes more than one lactation boosting ingredient. Plus, the whole family will love it!
lactation_vegetable_bake_recipe
Directions:

– Bring water to a boil, and then add the rice.
– Cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer, for 35-40 minutes until tender. – Preheat oven to 350°
– Layer beans, corn, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and rice in a large bowl.
– Then, mix in the salsa, sour cream (optional), and pepper.
– After mixing food, transfer it to a baking dish coated with cooking spray.
– Add in the onion and olives.
– Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes until everything is heated all the way through and the cheese is melted.
– Let stand 10 minutes before serving and enjoy.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

This colorful Mediterranean-style salad could give breastfeeding moms the boost in lactation they need while helping them get back to their pre-pregnancy shape!
chickpea_lactation_boosting_salad_recipe
Directions: Toss ingredients together in a bowl and drizzle with vinegarette dressing.
Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Salmon and Lactation-Boosting Dressing

In reality, dark leafy greens should be a staple in every breastfeeding mom’s diet. However, this recipe takes greens and mixes them nicely with other nutrient-rich powerhouses like salmon and sweet potatoes. Then couples them with a lactation-friendly dressing.
salmon_spinach_salad_breastfeeding_recipe
Directions:

Combine ingredients in a bowl and toss with dressing. Enjoy!

Moringa Leaf Morning Smoothie

This spicy little plant may be lesser known to the masses, but it lacks nothing in the ‘good for you’ department. Moringa leaf is packed with vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, amino acids, protein, and antioxidants. Not to mention, it’s a natural galactagogue! You can find it in powder form at your local health food store.
moringa_lactaction_smoothie_recipe
Directions:

Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Diet is undeniably the most important part of sustaining your milk supply. But outside of diet, you can do some other proactive things to make sure your milk supply is strong and steady.

– Nurse or pump frequently
– Reduce stress
– Get plenty of rest (sleep when baby sleep if possible)
– Take hot showers

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby

There is no denying that breastfeeding can be emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and mentally taxing. However, it is one of the best things a healthy mother can do for her newborn child. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that you’re doing the best you can for yourself and your baby.
Here are just a few of the benefits of breastfeeding:

– Vital nutrients and antibodies are transferred to the baby during nursing
– Builds strong immunity against common childhood illnesses such as ear infections, asthma, childhood obesity
– Builds immunity against more common illnesses such as colds and the flu
– Lowers the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death) or Crib Death

Benefits of Breastfeeding for You:

– Reduced risk of heart disease, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and type 2 diabetes
– Breastfeeding helps you lose baby weight
– It’s convenient (no waking up to make bottles at 3 a.m.)
– Breastfeeding is free!

Word of advice

It’s always best to speak with your care provider before starting or stopping any routine. The professionals at MidWife 360 can help devise a plan that is right for you, your body, and your baby. Contact us today for more information.

Finding The Optimal Fertility Diet

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If you’re considering becoming pregnant or trying to conceive, you’ll want to make sure that you’re staying healthy and fit. That doesn’t simply mean seeing a lower number on the scale or paying closer attention to how much time you’re spending on the treadmill—being your healthiest means taking a good, hard look inside your kitchen cupboards and at what you’re putting into your body. Practicing a well-rounded fertility diet is one of the first steps to successfully conceiving and carrying the healthiest child possible.

What you’re putting into your body each day is even more important than you think. Some foods may even be hurting your chances of becoming pregnant. To get pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy, you’ll need a fertility diet that increases your chances of conception and keeps you strong.

Fill Up on Fruits and Vegetables

You’re aiming for a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby. To be at your healthiest, you’ll need nutrients that take you there. That’s why eating enough fruits and vegetables is vital to optimizing your fertility.

Somehow those leafy greens and juicy fruits aren’t as familiar to the American diet as you would think. Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough of these essential foods when ordering on the run from their local restaurant or shopping for weekly groceries at their neighborhood grocery store. Although packaged foods tend to be the go-to items that people choose during a hectic workweek, they’re not the most nourishing foods for the body.

If you want to improve the quality of your reproductive system, start filling up your plate with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Here’s a simple tip to remember the portion sizes you need: At each meal, make sure half of your plate is full of fruits and vegetables. Some raw fruits and vegetables contain a good supply of glutathione. This is highly important for your egg quality.

If it feels difficult to get enough fruits and vegetables in each meal, put your juicer to good use. Juice some fresh fruits and veggies rich in vitamins each morning at breakfast. Or, try making a delicious smoothie with frozen fruits and yogurt.

Switch to Healthier Fats in Your Diet

Remember to stay away from trans fats. It’s a cruel culprit in the food world that’s considered one of the worst forms of fat you can eat. Trans fats can hide in vegetable shortening, fast-food items, non-dairy coffee creamers, and even baked goods. They can clog your arteries, and they can also increase insulin resistance. When the body experiences high insulin levels, it can cause a metabolic disturbance. This can affect your ovulation cycles, as well.

From now on, try to only eat healthy fats. Not only are they better for you, but they can also help women who are having a tough time getting pregnant. That means focus on incorporating plant-based fats that give your body the nutrients it needs as well. For example, try adding more avocados, nuts, olive oil, and grapeseed oil to your diet.

The switch from trans fats to healthier fats may be tough, seeing as these items are popular in many people’s diets. These are common foods that you may want to indulge in when you’re craving something sweet during the day. Unfortunately, these foods aren’t healthy for your body or your baby.

Strengthen Your Diet with Powerful Proteins

It’s not always easy to get enough of the protein you need to stay healthy. Also, not all protein is created equal.

When it comes to creating a balanced diet geared toward peak fertility, you’ll want to reconsider the protein sources you’re eating. First, you’ll want to cut out the fast-food meats that may be lurking in your diet. These convenience foods are never good for you. Keeping away from these foods is crucial to sustaining a healthy pregnancy. If you’re not already eating an organic, whole foods diet, start now.

If you’re getting a large amount of your protein from red meat sources in your diet, you may want to begin cutting back. When you’re creating a meal plan, notice how much red meat you’re eating. Switch to other protein sources that will be better for your fertility. That means more chicken, pork, and turkey. These foods will give you the protein, iron, and zinc you need.

Another source of protein to include? Coldwater fish. If that worries you, you’re not alone. Chances are, you may be worried about the mercury levels that physicians warn about ingesting before or during pregnancy. However, food items like salmon, sardines, and canned light tuna are fine to eat a couple of times a week.

Choose Better Dairy Options

Maybe you’ve heard about people filling their meal plans with low-fat dairy items. Or, perhaps a particular “no-dairy diet” has made enough magazine headlines that it’s made you reconsider your stance on cream and milk products.

The truth? Dairy items aren’t the “bad foods” people have made them out to be in recent years. It just depends on what kinds of dairy items you’re consuming. For example, milk is an excellent source of B-12. It’s essential to have adequate B-12 levels in your diet. Some studies suggest that low levels of this critical vitamin are associated with infertility in some women.

Experts recommended that you get one or two servings a day of a full-fat dairy item. When it comes to milk, make it a glass of whole milk. Full-fat yogurts are always better than low-fat yogurts when it comes to an optimal fertility diet. It’s ok to have a small dish of full-fat ice cream as well.

Complete Your Fertility Diet with Complex Carbs

Carbohydrates that contain the fiber you need are different from the carbohydrates that are in cookies and cakes.

The sugar-filled cookies and frosting-covered cakes that line the shelves behind glass containers in bakeries are the kinds of carbs that aren’t good for you. These foods will digest quickly in your body, and turn into blood sugar.

However, the good carbohydrates your body craves take time to digest. These are the carbs you should be focusing on adding more to your diet. “Slow” carbs are considered to be better carbs for your body. These good carbohydrates come from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

The fertility diet that’s best for you will include nutrient-dense foods that give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to create life. The decision to have a child is one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll ever make. It can be a challenging, and beautiful journey. To create and maintain a healthy pregnancy, you’ll need someone who can give you the guidance, compassion, and support you deserve. Whether you’re deciding on the best fertility diet to implement, or selecting the best midwife to deliver your baby, you deserve someone you trust by your side to make these decisions along with you. Midwife360 is available to guide you through every step of your pregnancy journey. Visit our website today to see our array of services.

The Best Pregnancy Podcasts of 2021

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Having a baby of your very own can be a very exciting experience. However, that excitement may come with a certain level of stress and worry as well. Whether you’re on your first child or your fourth child, there are many online resources to help you through your journey.  Pregnancy Podcasts are easily accessible and appeal to a very wide demographic of parents. There is an endless range of topics, so no matter what you’re looking for there is a pregnancy podcast for you. It can be helpful to hear information and advice from someone who has been in your shoes.

There is a lot of stress and uncertainty surrounding pregnancy and parenthood, but the right pregnancy podcast could help to lighten the load. Plus, the convenience factor of a podcast can’t be beaten. You can easily turn on a podcast while you’re cooking dinner, running errands, or curled up in bed. Whether you prefer to hear real-life stories from families or factual advice from medical professionals, there’s a pregnancy podcast fit for you.

How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Podcasts For You

There are tons of pregnancy podcasts out there that cover a wide range of topics. Therefore, choosing the right one is very important. Searching for specific topics, styles of parenting, and lifestyles will help you choose. Here, we have preselected a few of our favorite pregnancy podcasts that may be beneficial for you.

Best Pregnancy Podcast for Breastfeeding

The Boob Group: Judgment-Free Breastfeeding Support

This pregnancy podcast has over a hundred episodes offering information and support for breastfeeding mothers. It features stories from women who share their personal breastfeeding triumphs and tribulations. The podcast also discusses the impact of society on breastfeeding, which relates to breastfeeding in public and pumping at work.

Listen to The Boob Group: Judgment-Free Breastfeeding Support.

Best Pregnancy Podcast for Gay Parents

 

Rose and Rosie: Parental Guidance 

Comedic duo, Rose and Rosie, launched their podcast back in 2020 as a way of documenting their journey of same-sex parenthood. They discuss various parenting and gender debates, the highs and lows that come with trying to conceive, and eventually, their success with pregnancy. You can follow their journey to parenthood by checking out their podcast below.

Listen to Rose and Rosie: Parental Guidance

Best Pregnancy Podcast for First-Time Parents

 

Pregnancy Podcast‬

A resource to support expecting moms and their partners. Host Vanessa Merten brings listeners evidence-based information to help them navigate the awesome adventures of pregnancy, birth, and becoming a new parent. With 300 episodes and counting, Pregnancy Podcast is your​ evidence-based resource to help you make informed decisions about your pregnancy and your baby.

Listen to Pregnancy Podcast

Best Podcast About Home Births

 

Doing It At Home: Our Home Birth Podcast

A weekly podcast about home birth and one couple’s decision to go from a traditional hospital birth to a natural birth at home with midwives. This show is all about adding an empowered conversation to the topic of home birth and natural birth, while keeping it real and fun.

Listen to Doing It At Home: Our Home Birth Podcast

All in all, there are many online resourses for pregnant women and their families. Pregnancy podcasts are a great option for those wanting to hear real stories and advice from experienced mommies and experts. If you have more questions about family planning, pregnancy, or overall women’s care, contact Midwife360 today.

Natural Approaches To Depression During Pregnancy

The media makes pregnancy out to be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life. Pregnant women are always portrayed as being overjoyed and looking forward to their new life with their baby. The reality is that many women develop depression during pregnancy, and it often continues after the birth of their child. There are many different factors that could lead to depression in a pregnant woman, including the fact that many prescription antidepressants aren’t safe for women to take while pregnant. When a woman has to give up her antidepressants in order to carry a healthy child to term, her mental health can suffer greatly.

Fortunately, there are many signs that can identify depression in a pregnant woman. For example, rapid mood swings or noticeable changes in her sleep patterns could be a symptom of depression. A lack of enthusiasm about the pregnancy or baby and thoughts of death and suicide are also markers for depression in a pregnant woman. If a pregnant woman speaks of having feelings of worthlessness, or if there is a noticeable change in her eating habits, these are also indicators of depression during pregnancy. If someone you know is displaying symptoms, you should encourage them to seek help within her community, or from a licensed therapist to ensure that her mental health is addressed early in her pregnancy.

Natural Remedies for Depression

 

Unfortunately, commonly prescribed antidepressants and MAOIs on the market can be harmful or fatal to the fetus. However, there are many natural remedies for depression that will have no negative impact on the mother or the unborn baby. The following list is a sampling of some of the popular natural remedies for depression.

Keep A Diary

You may find that documenting and journaling your thoughts and emotions can help you to get to the cause of the problem. You may be sad after visits from a certain family member, or after seeing particular clients at work. Keeping a diary of your activities and feelings helps to clear your mind and might even reveal what is causing your depression. 

Get Some Exercise

You don’t have to do high-impact aerobics in order to feel better. Yoga is an excellent choice for a pregnancy workout and is also a great postpartum program for weight loss and toning. It also has high impact rates on depression. Another healthy option is brisk walking or light jogging. Always be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a new workout routine while pregnant. 

Get Some Rest

Pregnancy alone causes women to feel exhausted, If you don’t get adequate rest, you’ll quickly feel like you’re suffering from chronic fatigue. Be sure to get plenty of rest, at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night if possible. This will greatly improve the way your pregnant body feels, and also will improve your mood. 

Women’s Peer Support Groups

Pregnancy groups on Facebook are a great example of peer support groups that could help you feel better. Many of those ladies are experiencing a lot of the same emotions that you’re also feeling. It helps to know that you aren’t alone. Wherever you can find groups of supportive women in similar situations, you may find help with your feelings of depression. 

Turn to Your Faith

Regardless of your beliefs or denomination, many people find that prayer and/or church services can help to lift them out of depression. If it is something that you regularly practice, then allow your spirituality to elevate your mood. 

Avoid Inflammatory Foods

Foods such as carbohydrates, refined sugars, and caffeine can actually make your depression worse. Stick with a healthy diet that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables. Include probiotics and prenatal vitamins in your daily regimen for some extra pep in your step. 

Sunlight/Lightbox

Sunlight, or a high-intensity light in a lightbox (to simulate sunshine), could be what you need to feel refreshed and add happiness to your mood. Sunlight allows your skin to produce Vitamin D, which plays an essential role in your mental health. 

 

If you’re feeling hopeless, please know that this is not abnormal for pregnant and post-partum women. Reach out to your spouse or family members to help you get the treatment you need. You want to be healthy and happy for your growing family. 

Professional help is available to you 24/7, call  1-800-273-8255

Prenatal Vitamins: How to Choose Which Prenatal is Right For You?

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Prenatal vitamins support fetal and placenta development, and the overall health for mommy. Whether your pregnancy was planned or you unexpectedly journeyed into motherhood, the first recommendation is to become aware of your nutrition.

What are Prenatal Vitamins?

A prenatal vitamin is a supplement taken 2-3x a daily to ensure the absorption of important nutrients and minerals. These nutrients and minerals are formulated to aid in the development of your fetus, placenta and health of motherly bodily changes.

What Does My Prenatal Need to Have?

When selecting your magic supplement keep in mind that everyone’s body is different and may require variation. We recommend you meet with your midwife (or call Fadwah Halaby) for guidance on which is best for you, as an individual.

The two most common elements that you’ll notice in your prenatal supplement are folic acid and iron.

Folic acid is a form of water soluble B vitamins. Folic acid prevents neural tube defects, serious abnormalities of the fetal brain and spinal cord. Three months prior to becoming pregnant you should consider supplementing folic acid into your diet.

The second common element is iron. Iron supports the placenta and fetus development, and it helps the blood to supply oxygen to the fetus. Iron also prevents anemia, a condition where a person has low red blood cell counts in their blood.

There are other important vitamins and minerals that you’ll find in most prenatal vitamins, regardless of brand. You should look for a prenatal vitamin with calcium and vitamin D, as both of them aid in the development of the baby’s teeth and bones.

Look for prenatal vitamins with vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B12, vitamin E, zinc, and iodine. Prenatal vitamins typically will have the daily recommended value of these vitamins in them, because they are all necessary for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

Do I Need To Take Prenatal Vitamins?

We believe it is important to begin balancing your diet, water intake and supplementing vitamins as early as pre-conception.

Ways to Prepare for Pregnancy as a Family

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Pregnancy is an exciting and memorable time for both the mother and father to be. There are lots of preparations and planning to do as you get ready for the child. The bliss you enjoy during gestation is determined by the preparations you make before you get pregnant. For this reason, to help you have a simple pregnancy term and successful delivery, your preparations should start as soon as you start trying to get pregnant. This helps your body get ready for the changes you are likely to go through when you conceive. Additionally, it enables you to be receptive of the inevitable lifestyle changes after gestation. Here are some of the pregnancy preparations to do as a family before you start your term.

Talk About it as a Family

Being expectant affects not only the mother but everyone else in the family. For this reason, there is a lot to talk about and critical decisions to make before you get pregnant. For instance, you need to talk with your partner about handling the issues that may change after getting pregnant. This mainly involves duties and responsibilities that you may be unable to handle when you are pregnant. Additionally, discuss issues concerning the baby after birth. This involves issues such as your priorities and expectations in parenting. Talking about these issues even before you get pregnant unites you, thus, making gestation and parenthood easier.

Make Lifestyle Changes to Prepare as a Family

There are some lifestyle changes necessary to make before you start your gestation term. For instance, you need to strive to have a healthy weight before you get pregnant. Being underweight or overweight in gestation presents some challenges that will put you or your baby at risk. Therefore, as the family, you work together to ensure that the mother-to-be has a recommendable weight for gestation. Other lifestyle changes that you need to make include quitting alcohol or smoking. Making these lifestyle changes before you get pregnant helps you prepare your body to go without these substances throughout the gestation term. It is easier to adapt to such changes if you handle them as a family.

Go for A Pre-Gestation Checkup

Before you get pregnant, you and your partner should visit a doctor together. This visit gives the doctor a chance for a pre-gestation checkup, which helps determine whether your body is ready for gestation. The doctor will then treat some of the issues that may prevent you from getting pregnant or negatively affect your gestation. Additionally, the health care provider will advise you on some ways to make conception easier to prepare for as a family. Going through these checkups as a family or with your partner will ensure they offer you the support you need throughout the pregnancy.

Prepare Your Finances as a Family

As mentioned above, the gestation term will have a great impact on all areas of your life. For this reason, the time before you get pregnant is the time to brace yourself financially and get ready for all changes. Remember that you will have an extra expense during gestation and even more after birth. Additionally, after you conceive, you may not be in a position to work sufficiently and earn as much as you do before the gestation. Therefore, take time and prepare your finances as a family. Come up with a plan to help you manage the pregnancy and raise the baby after birth without struggling financially.

Conclusion

The process of becoming a parent starts before you conceive. Every preparation that you make now determines how easy or complicated your pregnancy term will be. Going through these pre-gestation preparations as a family helps make everybody equipped for the changes ahead after conception. If you’re looking for a pre-conception coach to help you prepare as a family contact us.

What to Expect During Your Second Trimester

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The second trimester marks the second phase of the pregnancy journey. This trimester ranges from the 13th to the 28th week. Essentially, this trimester lasts between the fourth, fifth, and sixth months of pregnancy.

For most women, the second trimester is the easiest and most comfortable. The fatigue and morning sickness gradually begins to fade. Additionally, your energy levels are higher than in the first trimester.

Lots of body changes happen during this trimester. Your pregnancy belly begins to show as the trimester progresses. You also start to feel baby movements towards the end of this trimester. An ultrasound between the 18th and 22nd week will help determine the baby’s progress in the tummy. Here are the significant changes to expect during the second trimester.

1. Weight Gain

Typically, your weight increases as the pregnancy journey advances. The primary reason for weight gain is the increment in the size of your baby.

Towards the 20th week, the body weight grows by eight to ten pounds for most women. Essentially, your body weight increases by a pound every week. In some cases, the weekly weight gain might be half a pound. The average weight increment throughout this trimester ranges from 12 to 14 pounds.

2. Backaches

Back pains become more prevalent during this trimester. Weight gain during this phase builds up pressure, mainly on your lower back.

It will help if you use a couch or chair with a stable back support feature. Most women prefer sleeping on the side to ease the back pains. Additionally, shoes with low heels are more comfortable during this phase.

If the backache becomes unbearable, consider going for a professional pregnancy massage. Alternatively, you could request your partner, friend, or caregiver to gently rub your back.

3. Abdominal Cramps

You might experience mild cramps in the lower abdomen from time to time during the second trimester. Usually, the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby. Abdominal cramps arise due to pressure on the pelvic muscles as the uterus expands. Other causes of mild abdominal cramps include gas accumulation and constipation.

Taking a warm shower will come in handy to soothe the pain. You could place a bottle filled with warm water around your lower abdomen. Soft belly rubs also help to minimize the pain. In case you’re experiencing sharp pain, seek immediate medical attention.

4. Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are quite common in the second trimester, particularly during sleep. Often these pains occur due to the baby’s pressure on the blood vessels. Additionally, the baby may also be causing pressure buildup in the nerves connecting to the legs.

Other leading causes of leg pains include calcium and magnesium deficiency. Make sure to stick to a healthy diet rich in calcium and magnesium minerals.

5. Mild Swelling

You may experience mild swelling in your ankles, face, hands, and feet halfway through this trimester. The main reason for swelling is increased fluid retention for your growing baby. In some cases, swelling occurs due to reduced blood circulation in the body. Indulging in physical exercises is vital to control the swelling. Additionally, avoid sitting or standing for a long duration. While sleeping, make sure to change sides occasionally.

6. Dizziness

Pregnancy requires your body to pump lots of blood. Subsequently, you may experience low blood pressure. Dizziness arises due to low blood pressure or hormonal variations in the body. If you’re experiencing frequent bouts of dizziness, consider embracing a healthy diet. Moreover, take more fluids to alleviate dizziness symptoms.

Other notable changes include skin sensitivity, bleeding gums, and nasal congestion. Amid all the changes that come with pregnancy, remember to create beautiful memories during this trimester.

Have questions about your pregnancy? Contact our midwives.

8 Facts About the Placenta

The placenta is a vital organ that enables your baby to grow inside your womb. Within a few days of conception, this organ begins to grow. It takes over with the umbilical cord by the time your baby is 12 weeks old. This organ supplies antibodies, oxygen, and nutrients to your unborn child.

Here are eight interesting facts about the placenta.

1. Hormones
The placenta functions as a gland, secreting the HCG hormone that is responsible for the birthing process. It also produces estrogen and progesterone. All of these hormones are necessary in order for your baby to grow.
2. Immune System Support
This organ will transfer antibodies from the mother to the baby. It will provide around 3 to 6 months of immunity after the child is born.
3. Healing Fetal Cells
The placenta sends fetal cells to the mother in case of injury. These cells can also go to areas where there is diseased tissue in the mother, offering profound healing.
4. It Takes Two
This organ is created by both the dad and the mom. The cluster of cells formed when fertilization begins becomes the placenta and the baby. Both the sperm and the egg contribute to this process.
5. Disposable Placenta
The placenta is the only human organ that ejects itself when it is done. A new organ will be formed during each pregnancy and then is ejected when the pregnancy is over.
6. Edible
The placenta is edible. Many mothers eat this organ to help increase energy, boost milk supply, reduce postpartum bleeding, and balance hormone levels. This practice is done in many different cultures. The most common way to consume the placenta is through encapsulation. This is where the organ is cooked and dehydrated down and then put into capsules.
7. Spiritual Benefits
Many cultures believe that the placenta is sacred in pregnancy. In some cultures, it is known as an elder sibling or sacred twin. A Lotus birth will involve leaving the organ attached until the umbilical cord falls off naturally.
8. Cancer
The placenta will form in the body even if there is cancer present and will not be attacked by cancer. Researchers are trying to learn more about why this organ is not attacked by cancer. This may help in the future to protect against various cancers.

The placenta is truly a miracle organ helping your baby to grow and get adequate nutrition. The miracle of life would not happen without this amazing organ.

To learn more, reach out to us directly.

Birth Plan: Why You Need a Midwife and Doula

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The Birth Plan

If you are an expectant mother, then you understand the importance of having a birth plan. Each couple will have a different plan for their pregnancy and birth; this plan is associated with their wishes and values. Do you have a birth plan? Does your birth plan include a Midwife and Doula? First, it is necessary to understand how a Midwife and Doula can help you before, during and after your pregnancy.

Midwives and Doulas

Ever since the beginning of humanity, women have been giving birth, and they have had individuals who were there to support them in their birthing process. Midwives and Doulas are the individuals who help mothers to create and fulfill their desired birthing plan. Even though these specialists have job descriptions that pertain to pregnancy and delivery, their responsibilities are actually quite different.

The Work of a Doula

Doulas are individuals who are particularly concerned with the mother’s comfort and care before, during and after the birthing process. Doulas are able to give the mother the comfort that she needs. This comfort can include massages, soft music, aromatherapy, encouraging words or other techniques that will help the mother to have the best birthing experience possible. A Doula is not a medical professional and cannot perform any medical procedure. She cannot help a woman give birth, she is only there for the comfort of the mother who is in labor.

What is a Midwife?

A midwife is a medical professional who works directly with a mother who is giving birth. The job of this specialist may vary according to the state where she practices. Generally, midwives have received training from an accredited establishment that has licensed them as a midwife.  Midwives are able to help the mother in the delivery process. A Midwife also has the skills and knowledge to know when a delivery may require the skills of an obstetrician.

Your Birth, Your Choice

You have a choice when it comes to your birth plan and who attends (doctor, midwife, doula etc). There are traditional methods, holistic methods and natural methods that you can choose from for your labor and delivery. There is nothing that can be more special or personal than giving birth, and a midwife and doula will help make the experience more comfortable and personalized.
We’d love to help. Contact us today.

What Are Braxton Hicks Contractions?

Braxton Hicks contractions take place during the third trimester of pregnancy. These are different from regular contractions. Whether you are an experienced mom-to-be or a first-time mom, Braxton Hicks contractions can be worrying for you. In this article, we will explain Braxton Hicks contractions and how to know the difference.

Your Body is Getting Ready for Birth

We can look at these contractions as a practice for your body as it changes to prepare for birth. Some midwives even call them practice contractions to help pregnant women understand exactly why their body is contracting as early as the second trimester, NCT reports. We tend to associate any form of contractions with labor, but practice contractions are a way for your body to prepare itself to give birth.

How do They Feel?

Practice contractions begin as early as the second trimester. They are caused by your uterus beginning to prepare for the birthing process. What to Expect explains Braxton Hicks contractions begin at the top of the uterine muscles and will spread downward for 30 seconds. The timing of these practice contractions is irregular and last between 20 seconds and two minutes.

The intensity of these contractions is not the same as real labor contractions. They will cause your abdomen to take on a “pointed” appearance. When occurring early in your pregnancy, practice contractions will not be intense and can be eased with a change of body position. As you move through your pregnancy, you will find your practice contractions will become intense. Your contractions will not be as easy to halt with a change of body position.

Knowing the Difference Between Contractions

There are some ways of understanding the difference between practice contractions and real labor pains. The real labor contractions you face will be regular in length and intensity, growing closer together and more intense as you move closer to giving birth. In the majority of cases, a real labor contraction will last between 30 and 70 seconds in length, with a more intense feeling.

The pain and intensity of labor contractions are accompanied by other signs of labor. The Braxton Hicks contractions are easier to control and are not as intense as labor pains. Your cervix is not affected by practice contractions in the same way as it is with labor contractions that cause you to dilate.

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