What Your Period Says About Your Health

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It’s that time of the month again. You’ve probably proclaimed that your period is the absolute worst at one point in your life. What your period says about your health can reveal more than you know.  Whilst the time of the month is often far more inconvenient than not, there is one bright side.

Your menstrual cycle can reveal more about your health than just pregnancy. Because of menstruation’s tight relationship to hormone health, your period can provide information that extends beyond the reproductive tract. The experts at Midwife 360 in South Florida have compiled some of the most important bits of information regarding ‘that time of the month’ and what it says about your health.

What A Normal Period Looks Like

A woman’s menstrual cycle occurs when her body removes its uterine lining each month. The uterine is preparing for the probable implantation of a fertilized egg in the womb, thus, resulting in pregnancy. However, because there is no fertilized egg, our bodies must shed the lining and prepare for the following month. 

Periods can vary greatly from woman to woman. Where some can experience a regular cycle, others are irregular. Periods typically last three to seven days, and the usual cycle is 28 to 32 days.

Women can experience the following symptoms during their period:

  • Cramps
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Migraines
  • Lethargy
  • Mood changes
  • Food cravings.

Monitoring your symptoms, as well as the length of your cycle and the textures and colors, can help indicate important changes or issues about your health. 

What Your Period Color Means

Menstrual blood color can vary from black to bright red, as well as brown or orange. These changes in color are very normal and ObGyn’s are rarely concerned with the changes. 

Bright red: frequently indicates that you are at the start of your period and is shedding blood quickly. Don’t be alarmed, this is usually the sign of a healthy, regular menstruation. 

Pinkish: when a period is just beginning the vaginal discharge can mix with the blood creating a pink tone. This is just a diluted version which can also mean your period is lighter.  In some cases, this can show signs of low estrogen. 

Diluted or watery: indication of severe anemia which is caused by a nutritional deficit.

Brown, dark brown/dark red: older blood found in the uterine lining that has oxidized. This often occurs at the end of a cycle. 

Large clots in a jam-colored red: when the uterus does not contract well and sheds blood quickly, blood remains in the uterus and clumps together. Thus, forming clots that can be big or small and deep in color. Have no fear, this is very normal. 

The only time most ObGyn’s raise concern is when spotting occurs between cycles. 

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Irregular Cycle

Again, as with other period-related issues, irregular periods may be completely normal. However, there are other variables that might be causing your inconsistent flow. For starters, stress might be a major factor here. 

When you’re anxious, your body creates extra cortisol, often known as the stress hormone. High levels of stress can disrupt the hormones that result in the production of an egg. This ultimately leads to your menstruation, so your period may be late or you may skip it entirely.

Another possibility is that you have polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS is a moderate (and treatable) hormone disease in which you develop excessive amounts of the male sex hormone androgen. Leading to increased hair growth and weight gain. Women with PCOS may not ovulate every month, therefore they may not have a period every month.

Furthermore, if you’ve had any type of medical treatment in your uterine cavity, such as abortion, scarring may make it more difficult for the blood to flow normally. 

Finally, if you engage in high-intensity workouts, you can experience an extremely light or nonexistent period. This is due to the fact that your body isn’t producing enough hormones. Talk to your doctor to determine the best course of action.

Heavy Flow? 

The problem with identifying your period as “heavy” or “light” differs depending on who you ask, making it difficult to measure. If your flow lasts more than seven days and you have to replace your tampon/pad every two hours, this is considered heavy bleeding.

However, it can also suggest other health issues that need to be addressed, such as 

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Adenomyosis
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Von Willebrand Disease

Another thing to bear in mind is that some drugs can influence the sort of bleeding you’re experiencing. Non-hormonal copper IUDs can also make your period heavier. Certain birth control medications such as the Depo-Provera injection can alter the way you flow as well. 

If you are worried about the length and heaviness of your period, consult with your gynecologist.

Looking For A Better Way To Track Your Cycle? 

Unlike other devices, Tempdrop measures your temperature rather than hormones. For example, your sleeping temperature, or baseline body temperature(BBT). So, whether you have regular cycles, irregular periods, or awaiting fertility to return, Tempdrop can help you detect temperature variations that are key to maintaining ovulation. 

Tempdrop provides remarkable precision in BBT measurement. Science is leading the way for female reproductive technology.  Tempdrop, on the other hand, is the most convenient and affordable choice available.

Midwife 360 has partnered with Tempdrop to provide a better look at what your period says about your health. Midwife 360, located in Palm Beach, began in 2014 and is now a staple to women’s care in South Florida. Some of the services offered at Midwife 360 include; holistic gynecology as well as midwifery services such as routine women’s care, family planning, and pregnancy care and birthing.

We are passionate about this tracking system and want everyone to experience it for themselves. Be sure to use our coupon code to receive a 10% discount on your order. To apply the coupon, copy and paste the link below and falling love with Tempdrop!

http://www.tempdrop.com/discount/MIDWIFE360 

Natural Labor Induction Methods That Work

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If you’re approaching or have surpassed your expected due date, you may be eager to finally meet your baby. As if your hormones aren’t working hard enough, your feelings of uneasiness continue to grow. The thought of hospital inducement is also a scary topic that many women hope to avoid. However, there are natural labor induction methods that work.

Whatever you may be experiencing, inducing your labor naturally at home is very possible and isn’t as scary as you think. There are various natural induction methods that can assist to initiate labor in a natural and safe way.

You may have heard everything from exercising, having sex, or ingesting castor oil will help labor start naturally. However, what is genuinely fact, vs what is fiction? Here are several natural induction methods we’ve advised our patients here at Midwife 360 for your pregnancy.

Let’s Talk About Sex

Many women have had success with natural labor induction with sex. This is due to the presence of prostaglandins in sperm. These are the same estrogen molecules present in cervical ripening drugs such as Cervidil.

Partaking in sex frequently increases the effectiveness of inducing labor. “Third times the charm” is the natural labor induction strategy motto. For example, the amount of sperm from three ejaculations has the same quantity of prostaglandins as Cervidil.

Now routine sex at 40+ weeks can come as a shock to some, it sure beats the alternatives of Cervidil and Pitocin. These medical alternatives can cause more painful contractions and even ruptured membranes or fetal distress.

Self Care

Pampering yourself is a wonderful way to unwind and refocus before the arrival of the baby. While prenatal massages aren’t bad, you might want to concentrate on the feet. Foot massages contain trigger points that have the power to induce labor. Try an assortment of natural treatments like a foot massage, reflexology, and even a pedicure.

Natural Herbs

Midwives and elder medical practitioners have traditionally utilized herbs for induction. Clinical induction approaches incorporate some of the same lines of therapy as traditional herbs. Although these herbs are natural and used for medicinal purposes, they should only be provided by a medical professional or midwife.

The safety and effectiveness have not yet been proven for use on their own. However, may utilize a mix of the following herbs/remedies: Evening primrose oil, Caulophyllum, and Cohosh

Keep Things Spicy

Experimenting with spices is a great way to induce labor. Keep in mind these methods are not scientifically proven but have worked for many as a natural approach. Spicy dishes encourage the gastrointestinal system to generate prostaglandins, which cause uterine contractions.

Although spicing things up can induce labor, keep in mind that spicy intake can generate unwanted side effects such as heartburn. It is always best practice to discuss with your health care provider if you are unsure of any activity or method you wish to partake in.

Meet the Midwives at Midwife360

Midwife360 was founded in 2014 and has since been a mainstay in women’s health care in South Florida. Midwife360 provides both holistic gynecology and midwifery services such as regular women’s care, family planning, and prenatal care and childbirth.

This group of lovely and clever ladies all has a love for combining traditional and modern medical care practices. Importantly, they bring together a practice focused on a strong bond between physician and patient, personalized requirements, and genuine healing.

Dos and Don’ts for Your Second Trimester

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What is the Second Trimester?

There are many dos and don’ts for your second trimester, but what exactly is it? The second trimester is known as a turning point for mother and baby. Your second trimester begins on week fourteen and ends on week 26, thus starting the third trimester.

During this trimester, there are many things you can do to ensure you have the most healthy baby and pregnancy possible. This trimester is where pregnancy becomes a reality as you grow and expand, and feel your baby kick. It is also when the hard to manage symptoms you experienced during the first trimester become less severe.

Physical and Physiological Changes

There are a lot of physical and physiological changes that occur during the second trimester for you and your baby. For you, second-trimester symptoms will begin to develop as you expand and grow your child. During the second trimester, you can begin to experience symptoms and changes such as:

  • Appetite increase
  • Leg cramps 
  • Feeling the movement of the fetus 
  • Uterus/stomach expansion
  • The skin on the stomach may itch as it expands 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Heartburn
  • Backaches
  • Vaginal Discharge 

As with all symptoms, they can be more or less severe for certain women. Read on to learn the dos and don’ts of your second trimester 

 The Dos

There are many things that you do in your first trimester that should be habits into your second and thirds. This includes taking your prenatal vitamins and fueling your body with nutrient-enriched foods and high in protein. Although this is one of the safest and the best times of pregnancy, there are some things to make sure you are doing.

Exercise

If you haven’t started already, implementing a regular “pregnancy safe” exercise routine into your schedule is important. Regular exercise during the second trimester will help reduce stress, fatigue, excess weight gain, and improve sleep. Some pregnancy-safe exercise options include:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Lifting light weights
  • Light jogging/ running

Moisturize

During the second trimester is when your baby bump is not so baby anymore. You will experience the most growth during these weeks. For many women, stretch marks and itchy skin occur which is why is important to moisturize.

Using moisturizers and oils can help reduce the signs of stretch marks and prevent the uncomfortable itch from your stretching skin. Check with your provider to make sure the products are safe for you and your baby.

Look into Birth Classes

Although it is recommended to take birth classes during your final trimester, these classes do fill up fast. Start your research now and find the best options for you. Talk to your provider to see if they offer any resources or classes, or can give you a referral.

In this day in age with social media, there is a huge group of moms and moms to be sharing tips and information about their pregnancy and motherhood. This is a perfect resource to take advantage of to join a community and learn about classes to take.

Some ideas for types of birth classes available to you are:

Continue to Hydrate and Get Enough Sleep

Making sure you stay hydrated throughout your entire pregnancy is important. It helps prevent pregnancy conditions like headaches, dizziness, kidney stones, constipation, and premature labor. It is recommended to drink between 8-12 cups of water a day.

Additionally, continuing to get enough sleep is also something to stay on top of. During the first trimester is when many expecting mothers feel exhausted and only want to rest. However, during the second trimester, many women get their energy back. Although this may be apparent, getting 8-9 hours of sleep and setting aside time to nap and rest is helpful.

It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself, if you are tired, sleep. If you are hungry, eat and if you are thirst, drink.

Don’ts

As for the don’ts of the second trimester, they have not changed from the first. Read the Dos and Don’ts for Your First Trimester to learn about the important things to avoid during pregnancy. However, for a recap, you should steer clear from:

  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Eating uncooked seafood, eggs, or meat
  • Unwashed fruits or vegetables
  • Unpasteurized dairy
  • Processed meat
  • Weight loss diets/ supplements
  • Hot tubs or saunas
  • Cleaning your cat’s litter box
  • Tattoo/ piercing

Learn More About The Dos and Don’ts for Your Second Trimester with Midwife360

If you have questions or are looking for midwifery services in the South Florida area contact Midwife360. Our practice is designed to empower and educate women and families about their healthcare options for routine care, family planning, and birthing. 

Midwife360 offers services such as:

  • Midwifery
  • Pregnancy care
  • Labor and delivery
  • Doula services
  • Postpartum care
  • Family planning
  • Women’s care

For more information contact the team at Midwife360 today.

National Midwifery Week 2021: Meet the Midwives

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National Midwifery Week 2021 is here! In the United States, midwives have been serving communities for more than a century. National Midwifery Week was created by ACNM to celebrate the work and dedication of midwives and midwife-led care. From community education to prenatal visits to deliveries, ACNM’s national week of celebration is a time to show your support for all that you do.

This year’s theme, “Midwives for Every Community,” acknowledges the unique skills and abilities of all midwives across the country. The ACNM aims to celebrate midwives in all areas of the country that work in diverse environments to care for women and families. The week will focus on how midwives help address health disparities in underserved communities, provide culturally competent care, and improve health outcomes overall.

Meet the Midwives at Midwife360

P. Fadwah Halaby

Founder of Midwife360 in West Palm Beach, P. Fadwah Halaby was born on March 17 in Washington DC. Fadwah is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, as well as a Certified Nurse Midwife. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in nutrition from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Fadwah studied both childbirth education and home-birth training in Colorado. She is a Certified Nurse Midwife by the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing.

When taking a deeper look into Fadwah and the reason behind her passion for midwifery, these were her answers to some of our questions.

Why Did You Choose Your Career?

“I was moved by Spiritual Midwifery– an iconic book written by Ina May Gaskin- the mother of modern midwifery. I read this book while in college at the age of 19, and knew I had found my calling.”

How Long Have You Been Working in Midwifery?

“I gave birth to my first child in 1985 as a ‘free birth’- confident in my ability to birth through my self-study in midwifery over the previous 5 years. I went on to assist another woman in free birth with a breech baby in 1986. In the early 90s, I trained as a lay midwife, completed my nurse-midwife training in 2005, and started my first job as a CNM in 2006.”

What is Your Favorite Part of Your Job?

“Knowing that I had a part in empowering a woman and family through the birthing process. Also, being able to assist women that no one else will help, for example, high order VBACs, twins, and breeches.

What Do You Think is Most Important About What You Do?

“Educating families about the normalcy of birth, as well as protecting the spiritual experience for mama and baby.”

What are 3 Facts About You That Patients Should Know?

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  • I live a plant-based lifestyle
  • I practice Native American spirituality
  • I am Palestinian

What Motto Do You Live By?

“Live and let live.”

What is Your Favorite Book and Why?

The Presence Process, this book has changed my life for the better. It has made me a better and happier person by enabling me to exist in the present moment.”

What is Your Favorite Quote and Why?

” A quote by Octavia Butler says, ‘All that you touch you change. All that you change, changes you. The only lasting truth is change. God is change.’ This quote for me means nothing is permanent, time marches on, and flowing with it is the only way to stay sane!”

What are Some of Your Goals for 2022?

“Continue to organize Midwife360 so that all of our employees feel supported. Create a space where everyone who enters feels like they have come home. Achieve a sustainable work/life balance, including time with my kids and grandkids.”

Joanna Bronkema

Another midwife at Midwife360 is Joanna Bronkema who was born on November 21 in Grand Rapids, MI. Joanna is a Certified Nurse Midwife and Nurse Practitioner, however, she first began her career as an environmental biologist. She went back to school and attended the University of California San Francisco where she received her RN, CNM, and NP degrees.

Below are the answers to our questions to get a better understanding of why Joanna chose the midwifery path.

Why Did You Choose Your Career?

“I love science and I love supporting women’s rights. Bringing a midwife approach, who uses science and compassion to empower women around their health.”

How Long Have You Been Working in Midwifery?

“I started teaching reproductive health in developing countries in 2010. I then became a doula, a nurse, and finished by receiving my NP and midwife license in 2016.”

What is Your Favorite Part of Your Job?

“Watching families find out that they can take back their own power surrounding their health and birth.”

What Do You Think is Most Important About What You Do?

“Health and patient autonomy are the most important objectives of my work.”

What are Facts About You That Patients Should Know?

“I see myself as a lifeguard at birth, letting the family take the lead while quietly monitoring for safety.”

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What Motto Do You Live By?

I am love, I am energy, I am peace.”

What is Your Favorite Book and Why?

Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols. Nourishing the self nourishes the baby and sets into motion lifelong healthy habits.”

What is Your Favorite Quote and Why?

“The quote by Gandhi that says, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ This is because we all need some inspiration, and living with integrity gives my life purpose.”

What are Some of Your Goals for 2022?

“I joined Midwife360 in 2021 and we moved to a bigger, and nicer office a few months later. So, in 2022 I’d like to continue to see us grow and develop as a cohesive team.”

Lauren Marie Danella

Our final midwife at Midwife360 is Lauren Marie Danella who was born on June 5 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lauren is a Certified Nurse Midwife as well as Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner with a dual master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Lauren worked as a  Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse, and as a Pediatric Nurse for orphaned children with complicated medical conditions. She also studies the art of natural childbirth with the midwives of Bali, Indonesia.

Below are the answers to the questions we asked Lauren to learn why she chose midwifery.

Why Did You Choose Your Career?

After working in an orphanage for 8 years in Mexico, I was looking for the next step in life. I know I’m happiest when helping others and wanted to find a career I could be passionate about by knowing I was helping others in a loving way. In the orphanage, I saw children healing from their trauma just by connecting with a staff member and feeling loved. 

Midwifery seemed to be a way to help mothers bond with their babies from the very beginning, so they are loved from the very beginning and grow up with the strength they need to face the world.”

How Long Have You Been Working in Midwifery?

I started working in the birth world as a doula in 2009. Then as a nurse in the NICU and pediatrics. I graduated from my midwifery program in 2016.”  

What is Your Favorite Part of Your Job?

“Seeing our peaceful, smiling babies who were born gently at home. When parents who have had previous children in the hospital sometimes ask, “Is she okay? she never cries.”

What Do You Think is Most Important About What You Do?

Creating an environment where our mothers feel safe and supported. When there is no fear and doubt, this makes for a faster, more comfortable labor, and babies take their first

breath coming into the world where they feel the love surrounding them from the beginning. This is when babies are born gently.” 

What are important Facts About You That Patients Should Know?

  • Multiple trainings with Debra Pascali-Bonari, creator of Orgasmic Birth
  • Lived in Bali, Indonesia for over a year, working at Bumi Sehat Birthing Center and trained by Ibu Robin Lim and Lianne Shwartz
  • Graduated from The University of Pennsylvania, one of the top midwifery schools in the country. It is also recognized as the top nursing school in the world.
  • Before midwifery, I helped to open an orphanage and elementary school in Mexico, where I taught yoga, meditation, and nutrition.  

What Motto Do You Live By?

“Keep Life Simple.”

What is Your Favorite Quote and Why?

“My favorite quote is by Liza Rossi and she says, ‘Love is the Answer to Everything,’ which I find to be so true.

What are Some of Your Goals for 2022?

“To continue learning and learning new practices and techniques to have the ability to give each mother and baby the care and love they deserve.”

Visit Midwife360 and Meet the Midwives

Midwife360 began in 2014 and is now a staple to women’s care in South Florida. At Midwife360, they offer holistic gynecology as well as midwifery services such as routine women’s care, family planning, and pregnancy care and birthing.

Along with their three midwives, their team also includes Sandra Alandete (Admin), Vanessa Scoz (MA/Admin), and Dawn Downs (Office Manager). This team of beautiful and intelligent women all share the same passion for combing traditional care methods with modern medicine. Furthermore, they bring together a practice based on a deep connection between provider and patient, individual needs, and true healing.

Holistic Gynecology FAQ

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Q. What is a Holistic Approach?

A holistic approach to modern medicine is characterized by treating the person as a whole, rather than treating specific diseases or symptoms. This approach is concerned with prevention and health care, not simply curing disease after it has taken hold. The support should also consider their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing.

Q. What is Holistic Gynecology

Holistic gynecology is a branch of medicine that focuses on preventive care and enhancing well-being. This type of gynecology provides healthcare throughout a woman’s entire life and addresses holistic women’s health, rather than just treating illness once it occurs. 

The holistic approach uses and emphasizes natural therapies that promote wellness for the body, mind, and spirit, as well as using traditional medicine when needed. It also helps vaginal health by using natural remedies instead of harmful chemicals.

Q. How is Holistic Gynecology Different Than the Rest

One main difference has to do with treatment. A mainstream ob-gyn relies on pharmaceutical drugs, synthetic hormones, and surgical procedures to solve women’s health problems. Holistic gynecology chooses treatments such as herbal remedies, supplements, nutrition, and mindfulness.  It also supports the natural processes of the body and traditional treatments when necessary.

Another difference is in how a holistic gynecologist thinks about health care for women. A typical ob-gyn says that with proper medical treatment, she can help most women with their health problems. A holistic practitioner believes this as well, but also knows that healing does not always come from a pill. 

Q. What is Offered with a Holistic Gynecologist

Healthcare at a Holistic Gynecologist, like Midwife360, offers primary care and treatment for women of all ages. From their first PAP-smear through menopause. It includes preventative measures to detect and treat gynecological conditions before they become more difficult to manage. When mainstream medical care is necessary, it also offers a support system that can work in conjunction with other practices or hospitals.

At Midwife360 we offer and educate on:

  • PAP-smears
  • Annual Examinations / Office Visits
  • Problem Visit Examinations
  • HPV
  • Thermography
  • STDs
  • IUD or implant placement
  • Pregnancy and prevention strategies
  • Blood Draw & Testing
  • Birth Control (natural and artificial methods)
  • Fertility issues (natural and artificial methods)
  • Mammograms and ultrasound prescriptions
  • Any vaginal or genital discomfort
  • Convenient electronic prescription and medical records

Q. Is it Important to Use Organic Feminine Products

Yes. It is important to use organic feminine products because you must protect your delicate vaginal mucosa from chemical irritants. This can be done by using 100% cotton tampons or pads and natural, non-chemical-based feminine care products such as menstrual cups.

It can be bad for vaginal health to use non-organic because tampons absorb vaginal and uterine fluid to keep you dry. This allows the vagina’s delicate bacterial balance to be disrupted, allowing bad bacteria to grow. Thus, releasing chemicals into your body (including pesticides from non-organic cotton).

Q. How Do I Find A Holistic Gynecologist

If you are in the South Florida area and are looking for a provider who takes the holistic approach, look no further. Founded by P. Fadwah Halaby CNM, Midwife360 is a holistic evidence-based practice for midwifery services such as routine women’s care, family planning, pregnancy care, and birthing. 

If you are ready to make an appointment visit the Midwife360 today.

A Guide on Postpartum Thyroiditis for New Moms

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Women go through a lot of changes after pregnancy. Some are physical, some are emotional and others cognitive. These changes can be attributed to the pregnancy itself or postpartum depression, which is very common for women in this time period. However, what if these symptoms are actually signs of something more serious like Postpartum Thyroiditis?

Postpartum Thyroiditis is a condition that primarily affects women and it has many symptoms that overlap with pregnancy-related issues such as fatigue, weight loss struggles, hair loss, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. This article will explore all you need to know when you’re expecting.

Know the Symptoms of Postpartum Thyroiditis

It is extremely common for women, especially new mothers, to experience postpartum depression following the birth of their baby. Some of the symptoms are mood swings, withdrawal, loss of appetite, insomnia, and fatigue. Oftentimes, mothers feel extremely depressed as a result of the excess weight they may have gained during their pregnancy.

On the other hand, these symptoms are very similar to what one may feel if one is experiencing postpartum thyroiditis. Some of the common symptoms of both postpartum depression and signs of postpartum thyroiditis are; weight gain, depression, lethargy, muscle weakness, and trouble sleeping. Although it is uncommon for many women to develop postpartum thyroiditis, it can happen and be missed. Due to the similarities in symptoms, many women can have the misconception that they are only experiencing postpartum depression when something much more severe is occurring.

Can It be Detected

Postpartum thyroiditis is a condition that impacts postpartum women. This can occur after the birth of your child and most commonly arises in the first trimester or early second trimester. If you test positive with this antibody during early pregnancy, there is a 40% to 60% higher risk of developing postpartum thyroiditis. Thus, more reason to get checked by your healthcare provider early on.

Types of Postpartum Thyroiditis

It is important for mothers to be aware that they may be experiencing one of the two types of thyroiditis. These being:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism

Knowing and being aware of symptoms of both types is important to be aware of during your term. Although it is easy to miss diagnose these symptoms as something less severe, it is important to report all of them to your healthcare provider.

Hyperthyroidism

This type of postpartum thyroiditis refers to an overactive thyroid. This means the thyroid gland is producing too much thyroid hormone. Thus,  causing the body’s metabolism to speed up, in turn, speeding up other parts of the body.

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Nervousness/ anxiety
  • Spead up heartbeat/ palpitations
  • Weight loss
  • excessive sweating/ heat flashes
  • Increased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent or loose stools

Hypothyroidism

Exactly opposite of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism is when the gland is deficient in thyroid hormones. When an expecting mother has this type of postpartum thyroiditis, the body functions a lot slower.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Depression
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Decreased milk volume
  • Muscle weakness
  • Constimaption
  • Dry or brittle hair/ nails
  • Hair loss
  • High cholesterol
  • Always cold
  • Weight gain

When mothers experience either type of postpartum thyroiditis it can feel as if they aren’t able to fully enjoy their new baby. The symptoms are hard to overcome making everything feel stagnant.

Prevention

One form of therapy that has worked to help prevent postpartum thyroiditis in women who have high antibodies during pregnancy is giving selenium. Selenium is an essential trace mineral that helps to support many bodily processes. When taken during pregnancy, selenium acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce the chances of developing postpartum thyroiditis. 

Other helpful prevention ideas can include changing your diet to a more anti-inflammatory diet. Reducing or stopping gluten intake can help reduce inflammation. Choosing BPA-free, phthalate-free, and paraben-free also helps avoid toxins that can be a factor in causing thyroid issues.

More Questions?

If you are looking for more information about thyroid issues and the threats of postpartum thyroiditis, talk to your healthcare provider or give us a call at Midwife360. We are a holistic evidence-based practice for women’s care, family planning, pregnancy care, and birthing throughout South Florida. Our practice is designed to meet the individual needs of each woman and family we care for. We believe women should be informed and educated about their healthcare options and empowered to make their own choices.

A Complete Guide About Shoulder Dystocia

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What is Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder Dystocia is a birth complication that happens during vaginal delivery. When this occurs, one or both of the baby’s shoulders get stuck inside the mother’s pelvis during labor. This causes a stall in the delivery process, which can be life threatening. In most cases, babies born with this complication are delivered safely. However, it can cause problems for both the baby and mother. 

Shoulder dystocia happens in 0.2 to 3 percent of pregnancies, and sadly, is unpredictable and unpreventable. When complications happen during labor, doctors turn to urgent cesarean delivery or surgery to avoid further issues. Although this may work in most cases, urgent cesarean delivery or surgery cannot correct this condition. 

Continue reading below for answers to all questions regarding this topic. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Does Shoulder Dystocia Look Like?

When Shoulder Dystocia occurs, the fetal head is delivered but the shoulders are not seen and are not being delivered with normal maneuvers. In other words, this delay in labor causes the baby to be trapped mid delivery. When this is happening, your midwife or provider tries to move your body and baby into better positions to continue natural delivery. 

The shoulder of the baby normally gets stuck behind the mothers pubic bone or sacrum. During this delay, the baby cannot breathe and the umbilical cord may be squeezed or wrapped around the baby’s neck. It is dire that everyone stays calm but acts quickly and efficiently to prevent further complications. The midwife will ask the mother to cease pushing so she can reposition her and the baby as needed.       

Why Does This Happen?

Shoulder Dystocia can occur during any vaginal birth, and without warning. Some of the most common causes for this are that the baby is too big, the baby is in the wrong position or the mother being in a restricting position. Oftentimes, your midwife or provider will change the mothers position to help free the shoulders from the pelvic area. 

It is nearly impossible to predict the risk factors of whether or not your baby will have this complication, but there are some things that can make it more likely. This includes:

  • Shoulder Dystocia occurred during previous pregnancies
  • Fetal Macrosomia (having a larger baby)
  • Having twins or multiple babies
  • Mother is overweight
  • Mother has diabetes
  • Labor induced 

Although these factors may increase the risk of a baby being born with Shoulder Dystocia, it is not clear why some pregnancies experience this complication while others do not. One statistic states that women with a history of having a delivery with Shoulder Dystocia are 10- 20 percent more likely to have a recurrence. 

What are the Complications?

Although most mothers and babies may not experience any further issues regarding this complication, it can bring about further issues. When delivering a baby with Shoulder Dystocia, a midwife or provider may have to break the baby’s collarbone to help with removal of the shoulders. This is a last resort, but may be necessary. This is only one risk that may come from this condition. 

Further risk for the baby may include:

  • Fractured collarbone (clavicle) or arm
  • Fetal brachial plexus injury
  • Lack of oxygen to the body
  • Brain injury due to lack of oxygen (this is rare)
  • Loss of baby (this is rare)

Further risk for the mother may include:

  • Maternal hemorrhage/ postpartum hemorrhage
  • Repairs for episiotomy or tearing during delivery 
  • Uterine rupture

Can You Prevent or Treat Shoulder Dystocia?

Like we touched on above, Shoulder Dystocia is extremely unpredictable and there is very little prevention. Being mindful of potential risk factors like diabetes and watching your weight during pregnancy are all things to help lower your chance of complications during labor. At Midwife360, we recommend our mothers to give birth lying on their side or on all fours to help natural movement of the delivery process. This will help prevent complications like Shoulder Dystocia. 

It is important to inform the expecting mother about the complications and risks of Shoulder Dystocia.  As well as reassure her that, as a midwife, we are trained thoroughly on how to deal with these complications in the safest and most efficient way for the safety of you and your unborn child.  

If You Have Further Questions

If you have any questions unanswered or need more information contact us at Midwife360. At Midwife360 we provide holistic gynecology and pregnancy services, including home and water birth to women throughout South Florida. Our mission and practice is designed to meet the individual needs of each woman and expecting family we care for. We believe women should be informed and educated about their healthcare options for routine care, family planning and birthing.

A Complete Guide to Miscarriage at Home

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Is Miscarriage Normal?

Pregnancy and miscarriage carry a ton of emotions, and one may feel devastated or uneasy when going through a natural miscarriage. Although this is can be an extremely tough time mentally and physically, it may be comforting to know you’re not alone. 

An estimated 10%-20% of women who know they are pregnant will have a miscarriage. Also, most women (87%) who do experience a miscarriage will have a successful pregnancy and birth following that miscarriage. 

Maybe your pregnancy test was positive after missing your period, or some women have that gut feeling without having missed a period yet. Feeling excited, scared, happy, nervous, or just numb are all in the normal range of emotions when you first discover a pregnancy. Or maybe you’ve been trying for months to get pregnant and now you finally are. 

Just when you feel like you are beginning to get comfortable with your pregnancy, you start to have some spotting, maybe a little red bleeding, and then some light cramping. 

Next Steps

Contacting your health care provider and making them aware of what is going on is important. They may offer to have an ultrasound or blood work done. The bleeding becomes heavier and the cramping gets stronger and you no longer have the pregnancy symptoms you were starting to feel prior. Unfortunately, you are most likely experiencing a miscarriage. 

If your body is already starting to bleed and cramp, this is a sign your body is getting ready to expel the products of conception. Sometimes there’s not an actual fetus present. This means it could be a chemical pregnancy with no fetus, just a gestational sac. 

If there are no complications, you can safely miscarry at home. You may want to have some ibuprofen on hand and a hot water bottle. Soaking in a warm bath can also be very soothing. The worst of it can take about 2 hours with some pretty intense cramping and heavy bleeding. 

When to Seek Help

You would need to seek out medical care if you have pain that you cannot tolerate, or if you begin to hemorrhage. The definition of a hemorrhage is, soaking a maxi pad to where you can wring it out, and doing this for 2 hours. Of course, if the bleeding is much heavier than that or you feel unsafe, don’t wait to get medical help. 

Missed Miscarriage

A ‘missed miscarriage’ is where the fetus stops growing but there’s no signs of bleeding or cramping right away. It’s usually during the first ultrasound that this will be diagnosed. Or if you were following the beta HCG hormone, and it isn’t doubling or rising appropriately in the first 10 weeks, a miscarriage can be diagnosed this way, as well. 

If you do have a missed miscarriage, do not wait before seeing your provider for an intervention. It is dangerous for the pregnancy to sit in your womb for months, as it can cause some dangerous bleeding when the natural miscarriage begins. You will most likely be given several options, depending on the preference of the provider. It is always best to be informed ahead of time, in case your provider does not offer all the common or available options. 

Intervention Options for Missed Miscarriage

  • D&C or Dilation and Curettage

A D&C is a fairly common procedure to eliminate uterine lining and pregnancy contents. This procedure is very safe and complications are rare. Light spotting and cramping is common in the first few days after a D&C. 

  • Medications

Medications like Misoprostol are also an option, which cause your uterus to cramp. This process usually takes about 24 hours to complete. This option is also very safe and complications are rare.  

Miscarriage is Common

Miscarriage is very common, you would have to have 3 in a row before it is considered a medical problem. An option is to see a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor to have a consult regarding any specific blood tests needed to determine if you have a genetic predisposition to miscarriage. These may include: Anticardiolipin, TSH, Lupus anticoagulant, beta 2 glycoprotein, and maternal karyotype. 

Some providers will recommend taking a baby aspirin every day to reduce the risk of miscarriage. And sometimes they may recommend taking progesterone to help you maintain the pregnancy. These all depend on the results of the blood tests and the actual medical diagnosis that is causing the miscarriages.

Next Cycle and/or Pregnancy After Miscarriage 

You can have your beta HCG levels checked, or simply wait for your next cycle. You should have a period by 4-6 weeks after the miscarriage. If you don’t have your cycle within 4-6 weeks, contact your care provider for further testing or ultrasounds. It is recommended to actively prevent pregnancy for 2 cycles following a miscarriage to lower your risk of having another miscarriage right away.

Holistic Gynecology and Pregnancy Services

If you are looking for holistic gynecology and pregnancy services, including home birth and water birth in South Florida, contact Midwife 360 for all of your questions and needs.

Finding The Optimal Fertility Diet

Finding-the-optimal-fertility-diet

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.