Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Importance of a Healthy, Active Lifestyle – Preggo or Not!

Gotta shed those excess pounds!

So I have to admit, I’ve never been a very healthy individual.  I eat to much of too many bad foods, drink too much soda, and hardly ever work out.  I guess I’m lucky that, over a two year period of living this way, I’ve only gained 40 pounds.  For some folks, two years in this lifestyle can cause much worse than that.  So I recently decided to change it up, try something different.  Funnily enough, this was caused by an overdose of The Biggest Loser!!  So I pulled out some old workout tapes, downloaded this amazing food and workout tracking app on my Android called Noom, and got started.  My workout tape library is not extensive- in fact, there are only three discs.  But that’s enough.  I have one that’s targeted at belly fat, one for legs, and a cardio dance DVD that I’m in love with that was created based on the Pussycat Dolls by their manager, Robin Antin.  If you don’t have any of these, don’t fret!!  Check out Amazon, where you can find great deals on used discs, or scope out the selection on Netflix’s streaming section- they have quite a variety, actually!!  Because over the past week, I’ve lost FIVE pounds.  FIVE!!  That means only 35 to go before I’m high school skinny again!

Now don’t get me wrong.  Being curvy is NOT something to be ashamed of.  No matter how skinny I get, I still have disproportionately larger thighs and a butt.  I love those curves.  What I don’t love, for you or I, is that unhealthiness that comes along with carrying around extra fat that we don’t need.  This is especially important for women who are planning to become pregnant.

If you’ve had baby on the mind lately (or even if it’s still a long ways in the future!), a healthy lifestyle is vital to eventually having a healthy baby!  Women who are overweight are at a higher risk for gestational diabetes, which is known to be associated with birth defects, and may not pass along enough nutrients to their babies in-utero.  So think about what you’re eating.  Resist temptation.  Order the chicken or fish, but get it grilled.  Have your veggies steamed.  Eat an apple with peanut butter instead of that bag of Cheetos.  I understand, it is SO HARD sometimes.  Trust me, I know.  So every once in a while, indulge a little.  Have some dark chocolate or that frozen cocktail.  But do so sparingly!  You’ll see and feel the difference sooner than you would believe.  Oh, and if you want to conceive in the next year, start taking a good pre-natal vitamin now!!  It’s important to already have the right nutrients at conception, and since you don’t know you’re pregnant until weeks later, it’s better to be safe and already be on the vitamins!

If you’re already pregnant and not leading a healthy lifestyle (aka fried chicken, pizza, and unlimited couch time), please go consult a doctor about how to reduce the risks for your baby.  It’s never good to try to lose weight during pregnancy, but your doc might have suggestions about how to make sure baby is getting the required nutrients and how to prevent gestational diabetes.  And please take a prenatal vitamins!!!  They’re soo good for that little bundle of joy you’re carrying.

Has anyone else been struggling with diet and exercise lately?  If so, what have you tried?  What’s working?  What isn’t?  Leave it in the comments!

Comments Off on The Importance of a Healthy, Active Lifestyle – Preggo or Not!

Posted by on December 29, 2011 in Perspectives


Tags: , , , , ,

6 Steps To Make Your Theme Park Vacation Less Stressful.

Hello, everyone!!  I’m sorry for the unexpected hiatus; I’ve been away in Florida for the holidays!  It was a beautiful trip, and full of lots of magic.  We went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney World, and then trekked down to Sarasota, to Siesta Key, for a few days of fun and sun.  But I want to talk about my experiences at the DIsney Parks.

I have a brother who is disabled.  He was born three months prematurely, and is now 23 years old.  He was, of course, a part of the family vacation, and our experience at the parks was understandably unique.  I want to discuss this topic for all you moms out there with children who have special needs.  My brother’s primary disability is that he is extremely visually impaired.  In semi-dark scenarios, he is essentially blind.  This poses a challenge for my family and I on vacations like this.  Most of the rides are hard for him to appreciate, and getting around the parks is also a considerable task.

So I devised a plan for our trip.  I don’t think this plan works for everyone with a disabled member of their party, but it certainly worked for us!  We knew the parks were going to be teeming with people who would be in a rush and lost and irritable, etc, and that’s quite risky for someone who has issues with his vision.  So the night before we visited each park, I came up with a detailed gameplan.  I asked each member of the family what their main points of interest were, and set about finding the easiest way to see them all with the least amount of walking and the least amount of waiting.  I grouped each attraction by the part of the park it was in (i.e. Fantasyland, Tomorrowland), and set it up so we would basically make a big circle in the park while still maximizing our time.

In order to maximize our time, I tasked myself with the job of runner.  They have this new thing at DIsney now called Fastpass.  If you haven’t heard of it, it means you get to go to a ride and scan your park ticket and not wait in line.  You can only get one every few hours, as laid out on your ticket.  As runner, it was my job at that designated time to run off and get our next fastpass for the whole group while everyone else stayed and rode a ride with no line or got a snack, or something.  While this put a LOT of extra miles on my legs, it saved us from making my brother’s life more difficult, and saved a lot of time and energy in the group as a whole.

All in all, we did as much as possible in each park, and really enjoyed ourselves, too.  In Animal Kingdom we rode every ride, saw each of the exhibits, and even squeezed in the Lion King show at the end of our day.  In Disney World, we rode 8 of the main rides (Jungle Cruise, Pirates, Space Mountain (2x), Thunder Canyon Railroad (2x), Snow White, Peter Pan, the Disney Railroad, and the People Mover).  We also went to Tom Sawyer Island and did a couple more small rides.  IN ONE DAY!  It was insane, but we still had hours of downtime AND got to see the Electric Light Parade and the Wishes fireworks show!  If anyone is planning a trip to Disney, I highly suggest trying this way.

We also had to make special accommodations on the rides for my brother, since he couldn’t see.  The line attendants were extremely understanding, and when we mentioned my brother’s vision to them, they made sure he had the very best seat.  We were initially nervous about going to the parks, but it turned out to be one of the most magical vacations we’ve had in a long time.

So, in review, here are the steps to making your theme park trip magical, memorable, and hassle free.

1. Find a map of the park and all its attractions online. Find out which attractions are the important ones for your group, and list them according to which ones are in the same area of the park.

2. Name one quick, willing member of the group to be your “runner”.  This person should be good at fighting crowds and navigating through a busy place.

3. Determine which ride is most important to the group- it was Space Mountain for us.  As soon as you arrive at the park, send your runner to grab the fastpasses.  In Disney World, make sure this person has ALL the park tickets and a good place to store the fastpasses!  We used a business card holder.  If they don’t have all the tickets, someone will be left out!  Once the fastpasses for the first ride are obtained, check for the time you can get another fastpass.  It’s usually 1-2 hours, and is a specific time.  Also check the time to come back and ride- you don’t want to miss it!

4. Set an alarm for the time listed to receive a fastpass for another ride.

5. When it goes off, send the runner for the next set of fastpasses at the next ride everyone wants to go on!

6. Don’t forget to go back and ride the attraction at the specified time on the fastpass!  Go with the flow here- we got our Space Mountain passes 3 hours before we could go back and ride!  Once you have a few fastpasses, you can see where you’ll be at certain times of the day, and you can do all the attractions in that area that have shorter lines, and no fastpass option, when you need to be there for your fastpass ride.  You can also determine the best places to eat based on where you’ll be near during lunch and dinner.

Has anyone else done something special on their Disney (or any theme park) vacation to make your day easier or accommodate someone with a disability?

1 Comment

Posted by on December 27, 2011 in How To, My Story


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kids born just a few weeks early at risk of behavioral problems, study suggests – StumbleUpon

Kids born just a few weeks early at risk of behavioral problems, study suggests – StumbleUpon.

Another great reason not to elect to have an intervention like a c-section — due date calculations can be off enough to put your baby in the “moderately pre-term” category, leaving them at risk!  Try to wait until you actually go into labor before deciding on interventions!  Then, you know for sure that that baby can’t stay inside the womb any longer.

Comments Off on Kids born just a few weeks early at risk of behavioral problems, study suggests – StumbleUpon

Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Perspectives


Tags: , , , , , ,

Why You Should Wait At Least Two Minutes to Clamp & Cut Your Newborn’s Cord

The common practice in hospitals today is to cut newborn baby’s cords immediately after birth.  The cord is usually still pulsating, which is NOT a good thing.  You see, the baby is still sharing it’s blood with the placenta at this point.  Until that cord stops pulsating, at least 1/3 of baby’s blood is still stuck in the placenta.  This won’t kill baby, but research has shown that it can increase iron deficiency and anemia.

Give the cord some time to get all the blood back to baby!

A study was done by Ola Andersson, consultant in neonatology at the Hospital of Halland in Sweden, and a team of researchers on 400 full-term babies who were from low-risk pregnancies.  Some of those babies had their cord clamped just ten seconds after birth, while others were given a full three minutes.

Results showed that the babies who were given more time were, at the age of four months, experiencing better iron levels and had fewer cases of neonatal anemia.  According to the study, only about 1 in 20 babies who received delayed cord clamping would suffer from iron deficiency.  Furthermore, there were no other health risks found to be associated with delayed clamping.

Based on this study, I can’t believe that this isn’t common practice in the United States.  But even some midwives don’t wait for the cord to stop pulsating.  I think this is an issue that is so easily solved, and poses no health risks, so I don’t see why anyone is waiting to fix it.  Take your baby’s health into your own hands.  Demand that the doctors wait to cut the cord.  Iron deficiency and neonatal anemia are serious problems!  If your child becomes anemic, they could suffer permanent mental and physical problems.

Give your baby his or her best chance.  Tell your doctor to back off for a couple of minutes, and stick to your guns.  You’ll get valuable bonding time with your bundle of joy before they’re whisked off to be examined, and your baby will have an easier time out here in this big world.

Comments Off on Why You Should Wait At Least Two Minutes to Clamp & Cut Your Newborn’s Cord

Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Perspectives, Rants


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Evidence-Based Medicine: Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM)

Evidence-Based Medicine: Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM).

This lovely post by Mother of Fact is a great resource for any expectant women out there!  Know the risks and the benefits, and make the best choice for yourself.  It’s all about educating yourselves, ladies!!  Check out the rest of her blog here!

Comments Off on Evidence-Based Medicine: Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM)

Posted by on December 5, 2011 in Perspectives


5 Strange Pregnancy Cravings (And Why They Happen)

Every woman has them at some point during her life, whether during pregnancy or not.  Cravings!  Sometimes they can be friendly, sometimes not.  Here’s how to spot what you really need when you crave certain foods!

Sugary Cravings:

Orgasmically delicious!

Sugary foods, ESPECIALLY chocolate, are very common.  Chocolate contains magnesium and iron, which could explain why you crave it!  Your body needs extra iron during pregnancy, and if your prenatals don’t have enough in them, chocolate will pop up on your radar more often.  Best solution:  Reach for some dark chocolate and kiss that craving goodbye.

Dairy Products:

Sounds awesome, right?

Dairy products contain a lot of nutrients your body needs during gestation.  Most commonly, your body is lacking calcium.  Instead of reaching for the ice cream or the cheese, head over to the veggie section for some fresh broccoli or other green veggies.  You’ll be happy you did after baby comes and you’re trying to get out of those maternity jeans!

Salty Snacks:

So yummy, but so not good for me!!

If you’re craving something salty, steer clear of the processed chip aisle of the supermarket.  Instead, go for some nuts, pickles, or olives.  Don’t forget, though – All that sodium could trigger a gnarly bloating episode, so balance it out with plenty of water!  Salty cravings can also mean you have a calcium deficiency.  If you crave salt constantly, get yourself on a good calcium supplement and see if it helps.

Spicy Foods:

Also known to boost metabolism!

Spicy foods help bring down your body temp.  All that extra difficulty moving around during pregnancy can really make your body heat spike, and when you eat spicy foods you sweat more.  More sweat equals less hot. Old wives tales even suggest constant spicy food cravings mean you’re going to have a boy!

Sour Fruit:

Oh hell yes! Tastes good and good for you

There are a couple of reasons you could be craving fruit.  The first is specifically if you crave it between meals.  This could mean you have low blood sugar at those times and need a boost!  Best way to prevent that?  Eat breakfast.  Proven fact!!  The second option is that you’re lacking vitamins commonly found in fruits, such as vitamin c.  In this case, it would be best to check how much of those vitamins are in your prenatal supplement and consider switching to one with a higher content.  Or just go ahead and eat some fruit!

Other Reasons for Cravings

There are plenty of other reasons your cravings could be triggered, as well, that apply to all the cravings listed above.  Drastic changes in hormonal levels can trigger strange cravings with no other explanation, and create those nasty mood swings you will likely experience if you haven’t already!  Your emotional needs may also affect your taste buds (and hunger).  One example of this is craving foods that remind you of your childhood, like that boxed Mac ‘N Cheese you had for lunch yesterday!

So don’t stress about your cravings.  So long as they’re for food-related items only (some pregnant women do crave non-food items, like cigarette butts), consume in moderation and relax.  Cravings are normal, healthy, and probably just your body telling you what it needs to nourish you and your little one properly.  Happy snacking!

Comments Off on 5 Strange Pregnancy Cravings (And Why They Happen)

Posted by on December 5, 2011 in Interesting tidbits


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Start of My Path to Midwifery

So last summer, I was scanning through Netflix one day looking for something good to watch, and this documentary caught my eye.  It’s called The Business of Being Born, directed by Abby Epstein and produced by Ricki Lake.  It seemed pretty interesting, so I popped it on and settled in.  I was mesmerized.  That hour and a half began a journey of research, discovery, and dreams for me.

So The Business of Being Born was flipping fantastic.  It presented not only what birth, done naturally and beautifully, looks.  It also presented research, showed the other options women have to give birth, interviewed midwives, doulas, and OB/GYNs, and also showed that midwives are trained, smart, empathetic women who know what they are doing.This documentary is the first time I really saw a birth.  And not only did I see natural home births, a caesarean was included, as well as birth center experiences. It ignited this fire in me to learn more, see more, experience it.  And three months later, the idea of becoming a midwife slowly began worming it’s way into my mind.

Something important to know about me: Once I’ve decided something, it’s DONE.  And I think the idea of becoming a midwife quickly morphed into a goal, and I began trying to figure out how to make it happen.  I start at Maternidad La Luz (god willing, still waiting for acceptance!) next September, and I couldn’t be more excited.  This is me.  My calling.  My passion.  And I can’t imagine it any other way!

Comments Off on The Start of My Path to Midwifery

Posted by on December 5, 2011 in My Story


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: