Let’s stay healthy!

Give yourself a break.

New Years 2020

This New Years happened and like the rest of the world you felt very hopeful about the days to come. You thought about vacations, concerts, gym goals, weddings and of course good health. When COVID 19 swept through and turned into a global pandemic it caused allot of fear, people were and still are at a loss, loss of loved ones, feelings of isolation, concerns about how finances will unfold and many lost their jobs.

It’s important at this time to not loose the things you do have. Focus on what is here in the moment. When lock down first began I made a promise to myself to preserve and make the most of this extra time at home. Of course I had some days that I cried and felt defeated or that our lives were over in some way. I am human like the rest of us. I had to/ have to push through fear of the unknown and concerns for my families well being. Here are some things that are helping me along the way that I’d like to share with you.

My Diastasis Recti Journey

Lots of people talk about Diastasis Recti, you maybe wondering what that actually means. Diastasis recti is the separation of the rectus abdominal muscles ( the 6 pack). This separation can occur in men and women whenever there is allot of intra abdominal pressure. Examples of intra abdominal pressure is lifting heavy weights repeatedly ( happens to body builders) weight gain, and abdominal growth from pregnancy.

Often times after pregnancy this separation with heal on its own. If you are not properly engaging your core or doing the wrong exercises ( think crunches or anything that makes your abdominals bulge out) once you are cleared to workout again you can be furthering your Diastasis separation. Multiple C sections/ births or abdominal surgerys can leave your core and pelvic floor muscles weakened. It’s important to start thinking about Diastasis recti while pregnant. There are things you can do to help maintain a core connection through out pregnancy. Remember get professional help. Don’t just believe any blogger on the internet or anyone just saying they can help you. In fact don’t even believe me. Do your research, find what works for you. I’ve had people reach out to me online and say they could help me. I researched them and they had no credibility whatsoever. Not even in the medical or health and wellness profession.

Why is Diastasis a big deal? Here are some problems I’ve been having.

I am a former body building competitor one of my strongest aspects was my core. It was phenomenal. After gaining 90lbs (woah) and loosing it with my first daughter who was born via emergency C section. I had some minimal Diastasis recti after her birth, once cleared to workout I began to hit core hard. Post C section I didn’t realize I needed to be more forgiving on my core. I did get my core back into amazing shape. Pregnancy number 2 I gained 60lbs and lost it as well. However my abdominal separation is considerably larger and deemed severe where my belly button is. I have 2 small abdominal hernias as well, I am a yoga and barre instructor, I kept up with my practice through my pregnancy but I was not properly engaging my core at the time. At my 6 week check up I asked my OB/gyn asses me for diastasis. He said I was “fine”. I really didn’t feel that was so and had no direction on how to heal and prevent further damaged. 2 years later struggling with constant abdominal pain, low back pain, incontinence issues and not feeling my core. I am a nurse and do allot of full care for wheel chair bound clients. My back pain was increasing with my lifting at work. I went to my primary doctor he said my separation was very bad and he felt I had a hernia as well. He recommended seeing a general surgeon. General surgeon said I needed a full tummy tuck in order to properly manage the abdominal separation and heal my core, I also saw a plastic surgeon and the same as said at that appointment. I didn’t want surgery so I reached out to a Physical therapy office. The PT said “maybe some exercises can help you but this is pretty deep”. Quoted at over 8,000 dollars to fix my abdominal separation and over 8 weeks of down time. I decided to research some credible sources to heal myself. I had been following recommendations on some fitness professional sites but my work was getting no where. I’ve had all this extra time because of the Corona virus so I did some intense online research and it led me to Every Mother. I am on day 16 of my path and I am already feeling a huge difference. My abdominal separation is from pubic bone to sternum. I am starting to feel the upper portion of my abdominals closing. My waist is getting smaller and I don’t have as big as a mom pooch at the end of the day.

I recommend seeing a physician and ask for an evaluation to see if you have the separation.At your 6 to 8 week postpartum check up is a great time to assess you, if you are pretty far removed from postpartum don’t worry, you can assess yourself at any time follow the recommendations on Every Mother.

If you are interested in healing your abdominal separation click this link Happy Core Healing!!!

Disclaimer

This my personal opinion ( not to be confused with medical professional evaluation. I was not paid to publish this article in anyway by Every Mother. My statements have not been evaluated by Every Mother. Always seek professional medical help when needed. Happy Reading!!

Navigating the cold and flu season naturally.

Vitamin D

Many people are deficient of vitamin D3 due to lack of sun light exposure, and lack of vitamin D3 from food sources. People with a BMI of 30 or higher are at higher risk of being deficient( vitamins a, d e, and k are stored in the adipose tissue of the body, the more fat tissue the less available vitamin D is to the body) people with darker skin are at a higher risk of being deficient related to melanin blocking out D3 during sun exposure, living in northern states and being elderly affect you as well.

What are the benefits of vitamin D3?

Reduces occurance of respiratory illness such as pneumonia, the flu, bronchitis and can provide better support for conditions like COPD and asthma. Supplementing my toddler with vitamin D decreased her asthma symptoms by 50%.

Vitamin D aids in the absorb calcium and phosphorus which is essential to bone health.

Vitamin D has benefits for us mentally especially during winter time when sun exposure is reduced. Vitamin D can help with with the symptoms seasonal depression.

How do I take it?

One of my favorite supplement companies is Life Extension. For a small amount of money you can supplement your body with vitamin D easily.

Supplementing is good way to obtain Vitamin D. It’s ideal to obtain vitamin D from whole food sources. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel , cheese and egg yolks. Plant forms of vitamin D are actually called vitamin d2 and this is often found fortified in almondmilks, soymilks and available in mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light. Nothing beats getting sunlight itself!

Can I take too much?

Yes ,when prior to supplementing with vitamin D you should do some blood work to see if you are deficient of vitamin D or not. Over supplementing can result in high levels of calcium in the body resulting to damage of the kidneys and bone.

Wash your hands it’s actually #1

In nursing school it was literally drilled into my head that #1 for reducing infection is hand washing! Over use of hand sanitizers removes the good bacteria on our skins surface. It’s important to wash your hands with soap and water to remove bad bacteria. When your hands are visibly dirty, after using the bathroom, going out of the house ( touching money, door knobs etc), touching your germ trapped phone and before making meals is a small list of a whole slew of times/ reasons to wash your hands on a regular basis.

Hand sanitizers contain alcohol which dries and cracks the skin, leaving it open to bacteria. It’s good practice with any handwashing to use lotion when hands are dry to prevent cracking/ drying.

Read the link below to find out the pros and cons of using hand sanitizers over good old soap and water.

Are Hand Sanitizers Harmful? | Rush University Medical Center
https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/are-hand-sanitizers-harmful?amp

Supplement with Zinc!

Zinc has many roles in the body that support immune function. Zinc helps break down carbohydrates for cell function, aids in cell growth ( wound healing benefits). Zinc can help prevent the common cold and shorten its duration. If you are deficient in zinc you’ll find that your sense of smell and taste maybe altered. Zinc helps reverse those problems.

Where can I find zinc as whole food sources?

  • nuts, grains, legumes ( chickpeas, beans)
  • Animal protein beef, chicken, lamb
  • Mushrooms, kale, garlic

You can also purchase zinc and zinc lozengers as a tablet or capsule over the counter.

Apple cider vinegar ( with the mother)

Apple cider vinegar is a fermented food that is rich in probiotics. Probiotics support the immune system function, aid in digestion and reduce fungal infections.

Mind Body Green’s blog states apple cider vinegar may result in a trimmer mid section and additional weight loss as it aids in appetite suppression.

I have personally used apple cider for it’s anti fungal benefits, ph balance benefits (for my oral health) . I’ve used AVC for my skin ( it’s antibacterial properties works well on acne caused by bacteria)

I’ve used it to clean my hair and any time I feel a cold coming on I begin supplementing with Bragg’s AVC. It’s raw unpasterized and contains those live probiotics.

Garlic, Ginger and cayenne pepper.

I use raw ginger for it’s anti inflammatory benefits. It reduces nausea and muscle pain that comes with a cold or flu.

Raw garlic has many benefits due to its anti oxidant power. It can help boost immunity and prevent infection. I used garlic during my pregnancy to control gestational high blood pressure. It worked well for me. Garlic has many positive affects on heart health.

Cayenne Pepper has pain relieving properties. How is this so? The active chemical in Cayenne pepper is Capsaicin. Capsaicin reduces certain amounts of a neuropepitde related to pain. It reduces those signals going to the brain which in turn reduces pain levels throughout the body.

Lemon and Apples! An apple a day…..

Lemons are a great food source of the almighty vitamin C. Lemons have anti inflammatory benefits and are a rich anti bacterial properties that prevent infections. Lemons aid in the removal of wastes from the body by improving the kidneys and liver function. Lemon is often used in detox protocols for this reason.

Apples are a rich source of vitamin C just like lemons! Havard Nutritionalist have studied the benefits of apples and this is what they’ve come up with.

“Apples are rich in quercetin and pectin, both of which are credited for supplying apples with their health benefits. [1] Quercetin is a flavonoid, a type of naturally occurring plant chemical that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Pectin is a type of soluble fiber that may help prevent constipation and have a modest effect on lowering LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. “

My cold/ flu chasing tea

  1. Filtered purified water ( any amount I just eye everything
  2. Washed raw ginger peeled ( about the size of a teaspoon) kepted whole
  3. Raw garlic ( one clove whole)
  4. Whole apples washed and halved
  5. Thyme, Cinnamon or cayenne and raw honey for taste
  6. Raw washed lemon cut and squeezed
  7. Apple Cider Vingar with the mother 1 table spoon

Instructions

Bring apples, garlic, ginger, lemons to a boil allowing the apples to become mushy.

Add cinnamon, thyme, cayenne pepper ans whatever herbs you’d like.

Strain those ingredients. Add ACV to the tea. And some raw honey for taste!!

Other great sources

I could write a whole blog post about the benefits of elderberries during cold and flu season.. this miracle berry is a great addition to your cold/flu management. I recommend Organic Olivia’s elderberry syrup its packed with antioxidants and immune support.

Disclaimer

This post is not intended to replace medical recommendations, prevent or cure disease. It’s not intended to replace medical advice. Please see your Holistic doctor or primary physican for medical instruction. Do not start supplementation without proper blood work up and without informing your doctor first .

Resources

Taking too much vitamin D can cloud its benefits and create health risks – Harvard Health
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/taking-too-much-vitamin-d-can-cloud-its-benefits-and-create-health-risks

Vitamin D reduces respiratory infections — ScienceDaily
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161116103005.htm

Zinc in diet: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002416.htm

6 Surprising Ways Garlic Boosts Your Health – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/6-surprising-ways-garlic-boosts-your-health/

15 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water in Morning Empty Stomach | Edison Institute
https://www.edisoninst.com/15-benefits-of-drinking-lemon-water-in-morning-empty-stomach/

A Beginner’s Guide To Apple Cider Vinegar: Benefits, Safety & Use
https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5875/15-Reasons-to-Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Every-Day.html

Social Media

Follow me on instagram @Namastehealth._

Thank you

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed my blog please check out my other articles as well. Subscribe to my blog as well. Post and share what you do to stay healthy as well.

Namaste –

Leg Workout Circuit

This workout can be completed at home or in the gym.

Equipment needed Free weights, Stability Ball, Step and Water. You can perform all these movements without weight or equipment with the exception of “bridge to leg curl on stability ball”. Each exercise has a youtube link for instructional information if needed.

Circuit One

Warm up with 10 burpees https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZgVxmf6jkA

Complete each exercise 10 times and repeat this circuit for 4 rounds.

1. Weighted Reverse Lunges on stepper https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-g5yPNYv2k

2. Weighted Deadlifts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiGk8g3e41w

3. Weighted Plie Squats https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJzrn0SaiTA go deep, don’t comprise weight for form and don’t forget to squeeze at the top.

4. Weight Lunges ( forward) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOVaHwm-Q6U

Circuit Two

1. Squat Push Press https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3NdExA1Sy8 Instead of lifting the heel like the video, keep heels planted. Push up from all four corners of planted feet.

2. Skater Lunges with weight. No jumping. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUbAhVe0e8Q

3. One Legged Deadlift with weight (a dumbbell held with both hands or kettle bell)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9bHy3ojQWA

4. Standing Legs lifts with or without weight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLxf88HZ85Y Keep standing leg slightly bent to protect knee, keep the chest open and upright. No slouching!

5. Weighted Calf raises to burn out ( meaning do as many as you can without stopping)

Cool down with Stability ball

1. Bridge on Stability Ball (look at minute 3.07 on link provided, lift the hips as high as you can. Drive through your heels. Perform slowly with control https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okDgnZTnpcw

2. Bridge to leg curl on stability ball ( look at minute 4.33 on the link provided above, again drive through the heels, keep hips high and use control)

Yoga Cool down.

I recommend a hips and hamstring related yoga cool down. Tonight following this workout I did a feel 22 minute hips and hamstring yoga flow from Namaste Yoga on amazon prime. Season 3 episode 5.

Disclaimer

Namaste Health does not endorse or share beliefs or ideals of the videos shown. Do not start a new workout regime until you are cleared to do so by your physican. I was not asked to link these youtube videos by any of the providers, neither did I receive any forms of payments or gifts. Any workouts shared with you are those I have created and done myself.

Social Media

If you completed this workout and enjoyed it please let me know! Please subscribe to my blog here at namastewell. Follow my instagram account namastehealth._ for more health related information, exercises, diet ideas and yoga!

Thank you for reading and working out with me!

Namaste ~

MOMMY MONDAY CARDIO

Mommy Monday Cardio

It’s Monday after a busy weekend I needed a quick and effective cardio based workout at home.

Equipment needed –  a workout bench or stair to do step ups on.

A kettle bell or weight and a set of free weights (if you don’t have it body weight alone is just fine).

Complete the Workout in 30minutes. Set a timer for yourself. (rest between sets for 40 to 60 seconds) complete full cycle of workouts in 30minutes time. Aim for 4 to 5 times.

The Workout

1.20 Burpee’s

2.40 weighted step ups,( high knees with weight) that is 20 each side.

3. 50 mountain climbers

4. 25 kettle bell swings

5. 50 Sumo Squats with kettle bell or weights

REST and REPEAT

Enjoy! Let me know if you did it @Namastehealth._ on IG

Disclaimer

Speak to your doctor before trying any new exercises regime. Do not begin working out unless you are cleared by your physican to do so. This is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease.

How to implement a non toxic skin care routine.

Let’s get to know your skin. The skin is the bodies’ largest organ. It absorbs all the ingredients just like a sponge; think of your pores as a swinging gateway. Not only are toxins secreted from your pores they are also let into the body this way. Imagine all the chemicals in your perfumes, soaps, shampoos, lotion, body washes, make up and other cosmetics i.e lubes, deodorant etc. not to mention household products and laundry detergent. Whenever possible we need to eliminate toxicity in our lives and our skin care routine.  One of the biggest questions are what am I looking for when it comes to non-toxic skin care?

No. 1 is be on the lookout for Parabens in cosmetics. Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben and Propylparaben are some of the chemical names you’ll see used. Parabens are a preservative that was originally derived from different kinds of fruit. Parabens are chemicals that are produced as a preservative for foods and cosmetics developed in the 1950’s.  Parabens stop products from growing molds and different bacteria in them. They are widely used in our society. We are often consuming parabens in overabundance on a regular basis. The problem with Parabens is that they are known to be hormone disruptors. I have experienced this first hand when dealing with Estrogen dominance. The constant exposure of this chemical alters how our hormonal profile works. Parabens are xenoestrogen producers. They cause the body to increase production of the hormone Estrogen. Increased Estrogen in the body will cause males to develop breasts and have a low sperm count. Estrogen over production has a negative effect on young girls by causing them to reach puberty at much younger age. Estrogen dominance causes weight gain in all individuals, increased PMS symptoms, memory problems, and increased chance of developing ovarian cancer later in life.

Avoiding Parabens is overall very good for your health. I saw a significant change when I began removing xenestrogens from my cosmetics. I lost belly fat, felt more energy and overall lost fat deposits around my waist. My periods haven’t been as heavy and the menstrual period went from 7 days of bleeding to 5 days. I was pleased to shave 2 days off my cycle.

No 2 be on the lookout for “natural”  Xenoestrogen producers. Some of the essential oils that I love the most I must refrain from using or use sparingly. Lavender and Tea Tree oil have been cited by Medical News today as hormone disrupters. Does that mean you need to throw out all your favorite essential oils? No absolutely not! I encourage the use of essential oils however; with everything else limit your use of it in cosmetics and detergents. Decreasing exposure is important for individuals with Estrogen dominance imbalance.

No 3 be on the lookout for Sodium Laurel Sulfate and Aluminum Laurel Sulfate in your cosmetics. These chemicals were created to make skin care products foam. Sodium Laurel Sulfate strips your skin of its natural oils creating skin irritations. This chemical is also well known as a hormone disrupter and can cause Eczema as well as dry skin on a regular basis.

Use Vegan and Cruelty free cosmetics.

Whether or not you are an avid meat eater, dabble with being a vegetarian, or full blown Vegan everyone can benefit from taking the vegan route with cosmetics. Vegan skin care as a whole is so beneficial to our society, the companies creating these products are already inclined to remove toxins from their cosmetics. Non vegan cosmetics are full of Animal by products. Cosmetic Companies are often using the very waste of the animal such as urine, known as (Carbamide) in ingredients list, crushed bones ( Keratin, hydrolyzed animal proteins ) and tendons, ligaments of animals known as Gelatin or Collagen in products. Vegan companies are reducing man’s the carbon foot print placed on our planet. We are all aware of the toxins animals are eating, produced inhumanely, and increased cause of methane gases from the beef and dairy industry. By supporting Vegan Cosmetics we are essentially cleaning our air. Cruelty free means that your products were not tested on animals. Think lab rats and little bunnies. These animals were not involved in the process of creating your skin care. I see this as a plus in both ways, no animals were harmed or tortured and it means there are no heavy chemicals in your products causing need to “ test on animals” before humans,  If you believe in or practice Niyamas such as Ahimsa it maybe a personal benefit to you as an added effort to practice non harming.

Use natural detox methods and Lymph draining to improve skin quality.

Skin brushing is the act of dry brushing your skin in an upward motion towards the heart. Skin brushing increases circulation, detoxifies the skin, increases energy levels and exfoliates your skin. My personal favorite Lymph drainage method is Gua Sha. Gua sha is an ancient Chinese method of rubbing a tool against the body ( jade stone, wooden etc). I use it on my face. It increases blood flow (circulation) helps produce natural collagen in the skin, tightens the skin naturally, increases relaxation and helps with sinus issues. Getting adequate exercise, moving your body and sweating is a great lymphatic system detox as well.

Hydrate

Getting an adequate amount of water daily is so important for your skins appearance and health. Oily skin is often the result of dehydration. The body sends signals to your oil glands that the skin needs hydration, this causes an over bunce in oils which in turn becomes acne and black heads.  Through proper hydration these signals won’t be released as often. Water intake will prevent your skin from becoming dull, flaky, dried out and wrinkly.  I have to admit I lack in the hydration department of my skin care routine, it’s a work in progress. It’s literally the cheapest and most effective way to better skin.

Choosing non toxic skin care products

One of my favorite go to’s for finding out about vegan cosmetics and clean skin care products is the ethical elephant. I am a Glossier fan for cosmetics and they give the run down about how they are not vegan but do claim to be cruelty free. While Ethical Elephant does not help you look for sulfates or parabens a few companies I really like are 100% vegan and cruelty free Derma- E, Pacifica Beauty and Nature’s Gate. Think Dirty is a skin care app that helps you find out if your products are “clean or not.” They also offer beauty boxes. I love Maro Skin care face cleansing oil. The oils are pure, vegan and paraben free. Maro Skin care is an upcoming woman run cosmetic company out of NYC. Check them out on IG.

Disclaimer

I was not asked by any of the products mentioned above to write this or received any benefits of doing so. Nothing in this article is intended to treat, diagnose or cure any diseases

References

https://www.livescience.com/64862-what-are-parabens.html
https://ethicalelephant.com/vegan-makeup-skincare-brands/
http://alnewstoday.com/articles/321262.php#1https://www.perriconemd.com/blogs/forever-young-blog/the-importance-of-hydration-for-body-and-skinps://www.vegancatwalk.com/blogs/articles/5-most-common-animal-ingredients-hidden-in-your-makeup


Love and Light.

My husband and first daughter are bonding in this picture through play. 🙂

LOVE BEGINS

 I have many theories on life. One theory is that love is the only concrete human experience in this life. We have all experienced love, being in love, the lack of love and its effects on us. Love is a part of every personal relationship in our lives, from lovers to friendship building it’s the fore front of our being.  Love is beneficial to our brains in so many ways. In the early years of life we depend on love. Love is the building block to our development. Everyone can get by without it right? Sure you can. Not well though. If a baby is not nurtured and loved there is a high chance for mental health issues to arise later on in life. Depression and anxiety arise out of the lack on human connection and lack of love and attachment as an infant. Special hormones are secreted by neurons in our brains when we experience love and connection as humans these chemicals help babies develop socially and emotionally without them there are often developmental delays presented in the first 2 years of life.

Skin to skin contact or kangaroo care is when a mother or father takes a naked baby and places them on their bare chest. The baby feels the beating of their parents or caregivers heart. The rise and fall of their chest, love and bonding chemicals are released by the brain neurons at this time by everyone experiencing contact. Mama has special hormones called oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone released by mothers when feeding their babies. It’s also released during skin to skin contact. When a father lays his child on his chest for kangaroo care the man secretes the hormone vasopressin. The vasopressin hormone lowers the father’s blood pressure allowing him to relax. The father also shows decreases in cortisol levels as well as his newborn baby. When the baby feels the beat of his parent or caregivers heart and the easy of their breath, the baby begins to regulate his/ her breath accordingly. The cortisol levels (stress hormone in the baby drops) and bonding between the families begins. These are the first stages and facilitators to love between families. This is how the brain chemically makes a family “fall in love” so to speak.

LOVE ADDICTS

Romantic love is so addicting. Of course sex makes love addicting than, companionship, friendship and building a life with someone. Love gets increasingly more or less complicated when we learn about the effect that it has on our brain.  Loyola University states “There are three states to love, lust, attraction and than attachment.”  The initial lust stage to falling in love is a very hard chemical reaction going on in our brain. Dopamine a chemical flooding our neurons equivalent to that of cocaine is flooding our neurotransmitters creating euphoria. Our cortisol stress hormone is increased, hearts are racing and another neurotransmitter serotonin is depleted. Serotonin levels are lowered at this time creates an almost singled focused obsessed feeling for the person you are thinking about. That’s why you can’t get someone out of your head. Dopamine is also a reward seeking chemical in the brain and a motivator, so of course it really helps us follow up on the person we are interested in.

During the act the sex these happy hormones and endorphins (natural pain killers) are secreted by our neurons, Dopamine, higher levels of serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin. Over time from having a romantic relationship with the same partner through skin to skin contact and the repeated release of oxytocin and vasopressin (bonding hormones) something special occurs there. is a development of long lasting love.

According to Harvard Neuroscience studies found these hormones are responsible for monogamous and long term relationships that have gone well beyond the lust and attraction phases of love.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE DO WITH ME?

Love is relevant. It’s part of the very fiber of our beings. Our neurons secrete endless feel good chemicals for us in order to enjoy the endless possibilities of love. From lust, attraction, falling in love, sex and finding the right person to grow old with to finding long lasting love. If we choose to grow a family someone, we even have warm loving chemicals in place to make the best experience of love when hold our child in our arms and up to our hearts the first time.

I wrote this article for two reasons. 1. If you have a partner, husband or wife and you love them with everything you have, stop waiting for whatever it is. Don’t sleep on love. Lay them on your heart. Share some heart beats / skin to skin, get that oxytocin and vasopressin released. Create your long lasting love.

2. it’s never too late to show anyone you love them especially your children. Of course kangaroo care is out the window once they are no longer babies but you can always place them close to your heart with a warm hug. Tell them you love them. Life is short. I hope this article helped show you that even our brains are connected when we show each other love.

Thank you for reading – Namaste-

Disclaimer / Social Media

Disclaimer nothing is intended to prevent cure or treat any diesease. Any product mentioned here on the blog is not intended for marketing purposes, only for my own personal recommendation and enjoyment.

If you enjoy the blog please follow me on instagram at Namastehealth._

References

https://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/love-and-brain

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17571472.2015.1133012

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1099800417735633

https://nuroobaby.com/skin-to-skin/the-benefits-of-skin-to-skin-contact-between-dad-baby/

Loyola University Health System. (2014, February 6). What falling in love does to your heart and brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2019 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206155244.htm

Chemical/ Vinegar Free DYI Counter Top Cleaner!

I am not sure if anyone is like me and really dislikes the scent and taste of Vinegar. Most Organic DIY household cleaners that I’ve found throughout the years contain a base of White Vinegar. I found that as I diluted the Vinegar or added essential oils, the Vinegar continued to stink. I could always smell it while cleaning or notice the smell lingering in the house after wards and it never felt fresh.

The major player in my DIY ingredient is Witch Hazel: We all know Witch Hazel well for its natural cosmetic quality from natural facial toner to naturally treating hemorrhoids. Witch Hazel has an antibacterial and astringent quality to it that I wanted to add to my cleanser. It also has a nice base smell to it naturally all on its own.

Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus oil combination: This combination creates a relaxing and fresh smell while adding additional antibacterial qualities to the cleanser. Both oils have a great ability to fight mold in the environment (It will not kill mold on porous environment areas such as rugs and carpets) I will be experimenting in the future with different oil combination especially when I do my wood cleanser. I love this smell combo. I feel I could like it just a little bit more with a fresh mint hint to it.

Kirks Castille Soap or Dr. Bronners : Safe soap made from plant oils will help with cutting the grease on any of the surface areas you are trying to cleanse.

Overall I am very happy with the streak free cleaning results of of my cleanser so far. I am so happy to now longer be working with Vinegar.

The Recipe: What I did was combine 1/4 a cup of Witch Hazel, 1 table spoon of Castille Soap, 3 drops of each oil and 2 cups of distilled water, shaking it well each time. I added the solution to a recycled spray bottled. It works well on my counter tops in the kitchen, kitchen sink, bathroon toliet, bathroom counter top and babies plastic high chair. I do not recommend using on wood or mirror’s. Enjoy!

Resources

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/witch-hazel-benefits-uses

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tea-tree-oil

https://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/everyday-uses-castile-soap

Disclaimer

Nothing on my page is intended to prevent, treat or persuade you to purchase items. Its intended for sharing knowledge about health and wellness information only.

Please follow my instagram account at Namastehealth._

Anxiety is The New Black.

black and white close up eyeball eyebrow
Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

Anxiety definition : a feeling of worry or fear, typically about an imminent event or something with an unknown outcome. Other words to describe anxiety would be panic, agitation, tension, stress, suspense, fear, nervousness, and angst.

Anxiety increases when you begin to physically feel it’s blow, the chest pain, the headaches, maybe shortness of breath, nausea, cold sweats, eye twitches, stammering, forgetfulness, irritable bowel symptoms, inability to perform in regular activities and feeling intense fear.

The DSM- 5 a psychiatric diagnostic tool. It uses specific criteria and rules for diagnosing anxiety. It states that a generalized anxiety disorder is excessive worry or fear occurring more days than not, over a 6 month period that involves a number of events or daily activities such as work, school performance, socialization etc.

“Now is the age of anxiety.” –  W. H. Auden. 

What causes Anxiety?

Life is a beautiful gift. We are all here breathing but we don’t intentionally use those breaths. Much like breathing, experiencing anxiety is apart of life. Life comes with many changes through out the years and some of those changes can leave us feeling a bit unsettled. Change of course will come with some natural anxiety. Even good things come with a small amount of anxiety from time to time. For some people there is no true root cause of anxiety, they are born anxious. For others anxiety has many causes. Some very logical relevant causes to anxiety can be relationships, work stress, school performance, health conditions, traumatic life events, raising a family, and poverty. These things can weigh heavily on a person and rightly so. Often anxiety and depression accompany one another, playing an ugly game in a person’s mind. Anxiety is often known to run in families. If your family members tend to get anxious easily you may be more likely to be so yourself, it makes sense too because a lot of our behaviors in life are learned from our family. Drugs and alcohol abuse can cause anxiety. Withdrawal from anti-anxiety medications can cause anxiety. Social media can cause anxiety, comparing yourself to others and not having what other people have can lead to you feeling anxious about your life. The Depression and Anxiety Association of America produced an article about how much social media effects a persons mental health and anxiety levels it’s pretty astounding article.

Can I get better?

We can always better ourselves it’s one of our best human traits. When we put our mind to something we can achieve it! You will get better! Seeking the right treatment and making the right steps and starting immediately is crucial in your success for treating anxiety. Don’t allow it to build up. Recognize the warning signs of stress in your body. Are your shoulders tight? Are you getting tension headaches frequently? Are you having digestive problems? How are you sleeping? Are you feeling anxious? Are you feeling overwhelmed? What are you doing for self-care? What are you doing for mental health breaks daily? You can get better you just need to begin. Do not stop trying once you get started.  That leaves you with the question we all ask, where do I start?

 Where do I start?

Step one:  You need to begin breathing. When you find yourself in an overwhelming state of mind.  Find intentional breath, not even meditation at this point. Just focus on the in and out of your breath.  Tell yourself ” I am breathing in, I am breathing out”. Close your eyes if you are in an area you can do so. Start there. Simply be for a moment. Check in with yourself. Ask yourself 1. How do I feel in this moment? Get used to being in the present moment. Lots of times anxiety comes from living in the future. Our thoughts are not in the present. We are concerned about what may occur in the upcoming moments, months, weeks, years in the future etc. 

Step two: Daily movement. You may have a job or school schedule that takes up a good portion of your day. Your mind is tired but your body is not necessary tired. There is stagnant energy that is surrounding you. It’s fueling your anxiety. Daily movement will improve your health by calming the mind, lowering the blood pressure and improving focus, if you are doing activities outdoor you will be getting vitamin D which is a great natural source of happiness and mood boosting qualities.

Movement suggestions

Yoga : Take a class either at a yoga studio, gym, online, or on the TV ( amazon prime has some great teachers) Audible app also has guided classes that are great! Even a few moments will give you benefits.

Walking: Getting out doors for a brisk walk daily will help you clear your mind. Even walking on a tread mill and taking that time to listen to a positive podcast or active meditation/intention setting podcast is a great way to not only improve you mood but work on yourself mentally. If you are walking outdoors maybe bringing a friend to vent to about life and share your stories with while simultaneously getting fit together!

Martial arts: The practice of self-control through movement and energy release! A perfect combination for some one who has anxiety and perhaps some anger issues as well.  (No you don’t learn martial arts to go beat people up.)  It’s about learning an art form and releasing energy through a practice of self-control and respect for others. Karate, Tai chi, MMA, Ji Jistu etc.

Running: I am sure everyone has heard of a runners high. Running boosts endorphins. Running is something you can set either pace goals or distance goals for yourself.  You can use apps like Nike Training Run app that tracks you distance and has free coaches that inspire you and give you positive pep talks along your route as you run your specific distances and a paces! Running is great for the anxiety/depression combination. Great for the goal setter personality!

Weight lifting:  Lifting weights either by following specific training guide lines by in app purchases like BBG, or doing your own thing in the gym, preparing to compete in body building competitions, crossfit or powerlifting. Weight lifting can be very therapeutic for people as they refocus their energy to specific goals they set for themselves.

Zumba: Dancing is a great way to get out there move your body and raise your endorphins, relief anxiety, reduce your blood pressure and get a great fat blasting full body workout in at the same time while having a ton of fun. Studios, Martial arts studio, online/ tv workouts, community centers and gyms all offer a variety of Zumba classes.

Barre: Traditional Barre workouts stem from the beautiful art of ballet, they are upbeat and offer a full body workout that is challenging and fun. On average you burn a total of 500 calories each workout! There is also a floor barre option that is usually fused with yoga, it offers uplifting principles and offers an atmosphere that totally reduces stress! You literally sweat it away!

Pilates: A great way to build lean muscle and gain control your core. If you know one thing about someone who practices Pilates regularly they are in overall great shape! Developed by Joe Pilate, Pilates integrates breath work that differs a bit from yoga but it does reduce stress all the same. Gives a full body workout and it’s a lot of fun! Great for spine and core health! Catch a class in studio, online, on tv or in a community center or gym. So many options.

Biking: So many options here. Outdoors! Yes! Indoors at the gym! Yes! or take a very upbeat competitive soul cycle class or jump on your bike in the gym or at home and take a class in the comfort of your own home, tour Italy! There are so many options! It’s lots of fun! Your mind will get lost in a good way!

Step three: Meditation. I was too jittery and had too much anxiety for meditation. I used to be the person that would roll up my mat before the end of a yoga class and run out before the final resting pose savasana. I could not bear the silence and being alone in my own thoughts. In yoga savasana is often said to be one of the hardest poses. All you are doing is laying flat on your back in relaxation. My anxiety in the silence was overwhelming to me. My thoughts raced. Even closing my eyes was too much. I would just skip it and leave immediately, if I ever did go to yoga back then. Once I was in yoga teacher training many years later, the importance of mediation practice was explained to me. So many thoughts are entering and exiting our minds constantly throughout the day. How do we know which ones are important? My giving ourselves a few moments of clarity. We allow time for our thoughts to clear and once they re-enter we have time to re-evaluate which ones are important.

How to start mediation practice as a person with anxiety.

  1.  I move first,  before Fibromylagia really took over my energy levels with chronic fatigue. I used to have lots of energy that was stagnant. I needed to move first. I would exercise or practice power yoga first, then mediate. My bodies nervous energy was released and my mind was more clear and ready to receive the practice.
  2.  I do guided mediation on my worst anxiety days, If I leave myself to guide my own practice on a really overwhelming day the likelihood of success is not very high.
  3. My goals are small, it’s really daunting to aim to practice 30 minutes of mediation in one sitting a day. Especially if it’s not your practice. Start with 5 minutes a day! If you find that successful increase it each week by 5 minutes or however you see fit to pace it. If increasing by 5 minute increments is too much, try 2 minutes instead.
  4. Time! You have the time trust me! Stop endlessly scrolling through your phone. Set your timer and breath. Down load insight timer on your phone, down load audible get some of their guided mediations and DO THEM!

Step four: Pick up a hobby. Try starting a hobby like reading, painting, sewing, knitting, weaving, flying kites, doing puzzles or collecting bottles.  A hobby can be very therapeutic and keep your mind in the present moment.

Non Pharmaceutical Anti- anxiety medications!

Cannabis: My favorite supplement for anti-anxiety! My Soul CBD oil drops! As I had stated before anxiety sometimes runs in families. My sister and I are both using My Soul CBD for our anxiety. I am using it for many other reasons as well but, she is also using it for her anxiety management. The CBD oil is organic, third-party tested for quality assurance and it’s THC free! The CBD tincture is flavored with essential oils and they taste amazing, the flavors include peppermint, orange and lemon lime. Lemon lime has been my personal favorite so far. If you are buying the 1500mg bottle 0.33ml equals to 16.7mg of CBD isolate. My current regime is 50mg of CBD oil daily. I take 16.7mg under my tongue at 10am, 2pm and 10pm along with my seizure medication at 2pm and 10pm daily. My sister purchases the 500mg bottle and takes 1 full dropper daily equally to a total of 16.7mg of CBD isolate daily. I have Epilepsy and Fibromylagia so my needs differ from hers as far as dosing goes. My Soul CBD just released a sleeping aid that has 25mg of CBD isolate along with Valerian root, Passion-flower and Pepper and 5mg of Melatonin. If you’d like to try this product, I have an affiliate link you can go to under my resource section to shop this great product!

 

 

Kava Kava : Is a herb sold as a tincture, tea or capsule. People often use it to boost their mood, calm anxiety, improve sleep and reduce pain. Some have described its effect as euphoric much like the effects of alcohol. Kava kava has been known to be more effective for women than men, more effective in younger patients and more effective for people with severe anxiety verses mild.

Valerian root: Similar to kava kava, sold in the same form, tincture, tea or capsule form. Most often used for sleep and often mixed into teas that are made for the function of improving either sleep or mood. Valerian roots action on the brain is increasing the Gamma aminobutryic acid (GABA) receptors, this regulates nerve cells and calms anxiety.  The pharmaceutical drugs Xanax and Valium play similar roles in the brain with GABA receptors. Interesting right?

Chamomile Tea:  Healthline produced an article that states ” Chamomile is commonly regarded as a mild tranquilizer or sleep inducer”. My mom used to prepare Chamomile tea for me as a kid with a little bit of honey and it would give me a great nights sleep. Even as an adult pouring a cup of Chamomile tea has a very relaxing benefit. Anything that makes you feel relaxed enough for sleep of course is a win. Try pouring yourself a cup when you are feeling overwhelmed. The tea taste delicious. Chamomile reduces inflammation in the body and improves digestion, its non habit-forming. Very inexpensive and readily available to use. Overall a very safe to try.

Prescription Medication.

There are numerous options when it comes to prescription anti-anxiety medication. Just remember from the beginning when I stated that even anti anxiety medication can cause anxiety. Two issues are at play here when I mention withdrawal.  Withdrawal anxiety is when you no longer need the medication and wish to get off the medication. The weaning process may produce more anxiety for you or an upswing of symptoms. Or withdrawals due to a habit that is being formed from taking the medication either by abuse/ over use or the body is becoming dependent. Talk to your doctor about the severity or risk of habit forming potential of the drug you are trying and about your family history. My Neurologist had prescribed me Xanax for anxiety and it caused me more harm than good. My seizure activity increased, I was heavily confused and had severe memory loss the times that I took it. After trying it 2 times, I discontinued using it. I do have Ativan which is for seizure rescue use and I use that on rare occasions to get cluster seizures under control. Ativan is also used by many people as an anti anxiety medication. I kept in contact with my doctor how I felt the times I took the Xanax. She knew right away it wasn’t for me. Always communicate to the doctor prescribing you medication on how you feel about a drug and do not just accept that is how you should feel, if it’s past a certain point and you should start feeling better by this time and you aren’t then it’s possible this isn’t the drug for you. Not every drug works the same for everybody. You may need to try a few medications first. Always use a medication as prescribed by your doctor. Exactly how it is prescribed! especially anti-depressant, anti anxiety or mood stabilizing drugs, I can not stress this enough! A doctor can not determine if your medication is working or not if you are not taking your medication properly. In nursing we are taught the Right’s of medications. The right patient, the right time, the right dose and the right route.

I always encourage people to get the help they need without fears of stigmas. If you have never been a medication person or you have fears about what others may think of you for needing anxiety medication. Firstly it’s your private medical information, you don’t need to share if you don’t want to. Secondly if you need to take medication to get well, that is what needs to be done. I recommended talk therapy and counseling to everyone with and without medication use who struggles with anxiety.  If you like alternative medication. Medical Marijuana and CBD oil are now being prescribed by doctors all over the country, look up the laws in your state and see how you can obtain your medical Marijuana card. The chemical component THC in Marijuana can sometimes have a similar effect on the brain ( depending of the Marijuana used) that may cause more anxiety like some people on anti-anxiety medications. Finding the right medication is a science. It may take some time. Be patient.

 

You can also cut out all the personal medication trials if you are doing the prescription drug route and look up a company called Genesight. Genesight offers Genetic testing to provide you and your doctor the best information available to you based off your bodies genetic response and tolerance to medication without having to go through the hassle of trial and error. This is available to not only anxiety medication but also behavioral medications and antidepressants. Information will be provided in the resource link. I heavily suggest taking this extra step for your mental health.

Talk therapy

Talking to a family member or spouse may not help when your anxiety has come to a point that it’s overtaking your life. Perhaps outside help is necessary. It’s also good to have someone to talk to that is not emotionally involved in your situation in any way. They can give some feedback and suggestions, offer a set of listening ears and some compassionate support. A therapist is also a professional . What you speak about together is completely confidential, if you have had difficult experiences in the past or present and you are having a hard time with them. Your sessions are completely private. The only time your information is shared is if you are a threat to yourself or others. In addition to one on one therapy many therapy offices or mental health clinics offer group therapy sessions. I suggest both talk therapy modalities. One on one is good to get your personal story shared and perhaps somethings you wouldn’t want a group to know or be involved in. Obviously the point of having a group is sharing but sometimes we can all be a bit shy or have fears of over sharing. Group therapy shows you that you are not alone. Everyone struggles. Life is messy and we all go through different problems. We can all connect on some level to each other through these problems and circumstances. Perhaps you can even be there to support someone else through a tough time every once in a while!

Resources

Find the right anti anxiety medication through genetic testing with Genesight

Product

Take advantage of My Soul’s THC free non habit-forming CBD oil! Reduces anxiety, helps with insomnia, decreases pain and inflammation

Home

More benefits of Chamomile Tea

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-benefits-of-chamomile-tea

More benefits of Valerian Root

https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/valerian

More Benefits of Kava Kava

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/kava-kava#section1

Disclaimer

All the information I have collected is only to share my personal opinion and story in order that it may benefit you personally. I was not asked by any of the companies I listed  to mention them or was compensated in any way. I do have an affiliate link with My Soul CBD oil,  I was not asked to mention them here on my blog.

Social Media

If you enjoy following my blog please give my instagram a follow @namastehealth._

I hope you find this blog beneficial and uplifting ~ Namaste~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pressures of Perfecting Motherhood Begin in the Womb.

mother and child figurine
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Babies change our world.

It’s your first baby and you are super excited! Or this is your second baby you have been trying for or it’s your third baby and you have this down to a science. You are well prepared. Or at least you think. Maybe this baby is your rainbow baby and a lot of emotions are rising during your pregnancy or even the planning or getting pregnant in the first place. Perhaps this baby is your first and you hadn’t planned this baby at all. Whatever the circumstance. I promise you. Married. Unmarried. Planned or Unplanned, pregnancy will leave you feeling absolutely in love and ready to take on any challenge for your baby yet at the same time scared of everything for them. You’ll feel pure joy some days and other days you’ll say to yourself ” how can I do this?” Am I ready to be a parent? Will my baby have all it’s fingers and toes? What will we do about money? Can I do this on my own? Pregnancy is hard enough making a little human being. This is pressure enough. There are certain pressures that are placed on us in society that are absolutely overwhelming. Post partum depression is very real in our society. I feel it’s even more of an issue now that social media is so alive and well. Highlight reels depicting mothers who have gained very little weight posting already visible abdominal, pictures 2 days post baby saying they lost all their weight and just feel a little bloated and can’t wait to get back to lifting regiment, their babies are perfectly healthy not one complication exists, baby is clothed in expensive crap, the mom never returns to work and the father of the child happens to be in all the pictures. Everything seems so perfect right? Let’s talk about some old and new topics and lay some silly notions about how we are supposed to feel during pregnancy and child-birth experience or how we should allow ourselves to feel.

You will gain weight /  or may not gain a lot of weight.

It’s necessary for a woman to gain weight during pregnancy. Depending on your size and weight prior to the start of pregnancy that will help you understand how much you should gain. It’s suggested that normal weight women to gain an average of 25 to 35 lbs in pregnancy. The range is lower if you are obese and more if you are underweight pre-pregnancy. My first pregnancy I gained 90 lbs. Wow that was extreme right? I did gain an extreme amount of weight. What you didn’t know is that I was under my natural weight when I became pregnant. I had been prepping for bikini competitions and strictly dieting for months and months prior. I still gained way too much weight with all that being said. I lost all that weight after my baby and got into the best shape of my life after that. I got pregnant again and gained 60 lbs. I have lost 45 of those 60 lbs. I haven’t gotten back into the best shape of my life again yet due to other health issues but my mindset is already there. 15 lbs is not going to hold back any of my joy.  I am not encouraging anyone to go out and gain a ton of weight during pregnancy but I am encouraging you to realize that scales should not define how you feel in pregnancy.

Everyone is created differently. Our genetic make up is so complex and each and every one of us is unique. Every woman’s body should be appreciated. I think as our culture is becoming more body positive towards bigger women we are starting to shame women that are naturally slim. Body positivity is every BODY. Some moms won’t gain much weight. Their bodies don’t need the same fat stores as others do, they have different life styles, their needs are different. I have seen numerous times on Instagram mother’s being questioned as to why they aren’t gaining when they are tiny or when they remain in fantastic shape while pregnant. Even if a mother isn’t gaining for a specific reason other than genetics and pure luck, we have no right to police others on those topics! You also have no idea if a mother is having health complications of her own, struggles with body image issues or has depression.

Stretch Marks!

Stretch marks, they were described to me as like one of the worse things in the world by other women. I was a woman who prior to having children had not one stretch mark on my body. When I mean not one. I mean literally! I once had a panic attack after a bikini competition because I thought my water intake caused me to get a stretch mark. How vain! Now I am covered in them! From shoulders to knees. What I learned about stretch marks is

  1. They aren’t that scary, they do not harm you physically in any way.
  2.  Buying expensive oils does not necessarily prevent stretch marks, stretch marks are caused by rapid weight gain or loss in a short period or time. The elasticity of your skin is involved in this process therefore, creams and lotions have nothing to do with improving the elasticity of your skin. With this in mind it comes down to genetics and cortisone levels ( a chemical produced by your adrenal glands). What you can do to help is stay well hydrated, eat a well-balanced diet and exercise. This maybe prevent/ limit stretch marks by  preventing undue stress levels and keeping your overall health well during pregnancy.
  3. Those stretch marks are so beautiful to me they changed my body forever. I will die with those marks on my body, whether my children remember everything I did for them or not those marks are like tattoos. I love them. I will never look to remove them.

Working while pregnant.

I will have to warn you, it’s not like the movies. Being pregnant at work is not a hall pass to put you feet up and rest. Unless you have great co workers. I was working full-time as a nurse in a nursing home with my first pregnancy and even with my baby belly popping I was being asked all the time to lift and transfer patients because I was known for being strong. ” thanks everyone.” Several days I vomitted into my hands and scrubs instead of my nursing cart while doing my rounds. I was left doing lots of 16 hour days because 3-11 nurses or 11 to 7 nurses weren’t showing up etc. I chose to go for another job that one wasn’t working out. I did not want to be discriminated against for being pregnant at my new job interview so I hid my pregnancy under a big shirt, I didn’t want my future maternity leave to be a reason for them not to hire me. This was a mistake later in my pregnancy. While I was lifting a patient I started to bleed profusely on an overnight case, I was working in home health at the time and could not leave because no one was aware I was pregnant. That was my fault.  I waited until the end of my shift to leave go to the hospital and check on my baby. I was very emotional for hours waiting to see if my baby was ok. By my second pregnancy I learned so much about working while pregnant and here are a few things that helped me along the way.

A few tips for a better work day.

  1. Always bring snacks, don’t catch yourself getting hungry or having to eat overly sweet or salty foods while pregnant. Always healthy quick foods if you don’t have the time to have a meal.
  2.  If you work in health care or a job where bad smells can make you feel very sick, having peppermint essential oil on you in your bag to smell every once in a while for a little aromatic reset really helps. Trust me.
  3.  Call out when it’s necessary, do not call out for BS things. Save your sick days and do what’s right.
  4. If you have a lunch break, put your feet up during the break! It helps with the edema! Get a good pair of supportive shoes, don’t worry about fashion at this time.
  5.  When you are exhausted and need that 2nd coffee, wash your face with cold water and do some light stretches to wake yourself up, drink your water girl !

When you prepare to go on family leave, give yourself the maximum allowed time available. Prepare your disability paper work online as soon as you are allowed to, this paper work takes a long time to go through, you don’t want to have the hassle of worrying about monetary things during your postpartum period. Even if you have a healthy uncomplicated pregnancy life doesn’t always hand us the opportunity to relax and get some down time. Perhaps you recovery quickly and are feeling great, you can take that extra time to spend with your partner or treating yourself. You may also need more recovery time. Not everyone progresses the same when it comes to recovery. If there are complications, you don’t need to worry. The time has been alloted for you. If you chose not to go back to work after having your baby that is good too!

Birth Plan

I encourage everyone that is a first time mother to attend the birth classes that are offered. Look into all your options.  Water births, getting a Doula (a Doula is a birth coach that encourages women during the birthing process and postpartum they are known for a high success rate in completing a birth plan as planned)  Having a Midwife deliver your baby versus having an Ob Gyn. Benefits of having a home birth vs hospital birth. C-section birth vs vaginal birth.  Gather all your information. Start manifesting what you see for your new family. Locate the best professionals you can find. Meaning if you want a home birth, find the best qualified Nurse midwife in your area. Ask around. Talk to all different women about their birth experiences. Tour the hospital you’ll have your baby in. It’s your experience. Birth is special! If you are having a high risk pregnancy and having a C- section but wanted a more natural feeling to your birth ask about a gentle C- section. I had a gentle C-section with my 2nd daughter and it was a beautiful experience. In a gentle C-section because it’s scheduled there is time to lower the curtain allowing the parents to view the baby coming out, then baby is cleaned and placed on their mother’s breasts for some skin to skin. My husband was able to cut my daughters cord. It was truly a nice experience compared to the emergency C-section with my first daughter. Whether you chose to give birth outside in a tent with a Midwife burning sage or get an epidural and have an Ob Gyn deliver your baby in the hospital. Birth is still birth. No woman should ever be discredited for the route in which she has brought her child into the world. Our end goal is to have healthy babies. I am one of seven children. My mom had two C- sections and five vaginal births at home in our livingroom. She had intense back labor with these hard-headed kids for over 24 hours a piece, I swear. She is one strong mother. She had them without so much of a peep most of the time. I cut my little sisters cord, which is totally awesome. It was truly an amazing thing to experience. In nursing school when we did the emergency birth scenario, I did the entire thing so quickly. My professor said, it’s like you’ve seen or done this before laughing. I told her “oh yeah my mom had my siblings in the livingroom.”

Home birth was something I had wanted for myself, I soon realized I wasn’t cut out for the task. After talking it over with my husband who was supportive of any route I chose. I decided on the traditional route. Looking back I am more than happy I didn’t have a home birth. Everything did not go well. After over 32 hours of labor. I needed an emergency C-section. I hemorrhaged with my first and needed two blood transfusions. Everyone is different. Everyone’s pain level, personal level of comfort and family support systems are different. Some women are weak and sick through out pregnancy the thought of battling hours of draining labor is daunting other women feel beautiful and ready to take on the world when they are pregnant empowered and very well. It’s important not to judge other people’s choices.

Supplements I took during pregnancy or prior to giving birth.

  1. Find a good Prenatal vitamin with DHA and iron.
  2.  Folic Acid
  3.  Vitamin D3 2,000 iu daily throughout pregnancy

Pre birth prep (targeting tissue healing post C- section)

Vitamin C –  ascorbic acid is involved in all phases of wound healing, it aids the synthesis of collagen in the body to build new tissue. 

Collagen –great protein source, increases elasticity of the skin and  improves gut health .

Molasses – black strap molasses is known for increasing your iron after giving birth. blood loss causes iron depletion, this will help increase your red blood cell count.I had a low RBC count throughout pregnancy and I started taking black strap molasses in orange juice a week prior to giving birth. My RBC’s were finally normal when I did my pre-birth check in and remained normal even after the surgery! I was super thankful for this!

Be careful with too much iron supplementation. If you are having constipation during pregnancy. Constipation is common in pregnancy. Only supplement at times where you know you are deficient and always ask your physician about the safety of supplements, especially in pregnancy! 

Use the nesting energy!

The extra energy that you have to do random things like rip boxes of clothes out and go through them or clean old cupboards and re decorate is called nesting. Do those things. As you can see in both photos I was feeling my nesting phase. While you are feeling that way, try to prepare some nice home cooked meals for yourself that you can freeze and have them reheated after the baby is born. Nothing is better than a good home cooked meal after having hospital food for a few days or take out. You’ll need some nutritious wholesome food and some of your favorite foods. If you are the breast-feeding try to avoid making meals with a lot of beans, brocoli and kale until you see how your little ones tummy is doing. Pack that hospital to go bag early. I had high blood pressure and I had a few scares where I may have needed to have my 2nd daughter early. I had to go to the hospital a few times. I was happy the bag was already packed. I didn’t pack my bag well the first time around because I planned to an uncomplicated vaginal delivery and thought I won’t need anything. I’ll be home about two days time. I was gone a whole week.

In my bag I packed

  1.  Contact solution and case ( yes something I forgot the first time)
  2.  My own shampoo, travel size body wash, tooth-brush and tooth paste, having your home stuff makes you feel better, deodorant, dry shampoo and body lotion . the hospital stuff is really greasy and heavy
  3. Multiple changes of clothes and no not clothes in my size before I was pregnant. My pregnancy clothes.
  4.  Dandelion root tea – helps reduce swelling and water retention ( important, this was my 2nd baby and I knew full well about my milk supply and about supply and demand, I do not suggest using this at all for mother’s with supply issues, this can reduce your breast milk supply!)
  5. Mother’s milk tea this increases your milk supply! get it!
  6.  Babies clothes, hats, socks, mittens, blankets.
  7.  Belly bandit C- section support panties- I started wearing this day 2. I was up walking around like crazy back and forth to the NICU to breast feed my daughter. This is also available for mom’s who have vaginal births. The extra support helped me feel more intact while walking around.

Don’t leak your nudes.. Wait what?

You are in charge of your personal information. When it comes to having a baby whatever information you chose to share with others is entirely up to you. You are your own media link. Every has their own opinions from how to carry your baby, what to eat, how to exercise, how to dress, act, sleep, stand, poop you name it! When you are pregnant people have so many things to say. Most everything is out of pure love and excitement for the new earthling but for a new mom with all her own worries, it can be quite overwhelming. I found a simple solution for the opinion problem, it’s easiest just not to share sensitive topics with people. I learned the less you share the less someone can have something to say about a topic. It saves you emotional stress and aggravation. As we all know pregnancy is a very emotional time. It’s not rude to share less. After all it’s only important we share our deepest thoughts and feelings with the people we love the most.

What exercise plan should I follow?

There are so many exercise programs to follow and with clearance from your doctor you can continuing enjoying most of the things you did to stay active prior to getting pregnant, through out your pregnancy. During pregnancy important not to push yourself or  looking for achieving personal records. Pregnancy is also not the time to be losing weight unless instructed by a doctor for health related reasons. If you lift weights it’s not time to get the heaviest dead lift. If you practice yoga, you need to keep in mind that a woman’s body is easily over stretched during pregnancy because of a hormone called relaxin. It loosens the ligaments and joints in the pelvis to prepare for delivery, this can be a pleasant surprise getting you into some great splits in your practice but you won’t realize you have gone beyond your edge. So be careful not to over stretch. Yoga is such a great mind-body connection that can prepare you and your baby for a successful birthing process. I practiced yoga religiously throughout my 2nd pregnancy and meditation, my daughter had health complications and that practice saw me through a lot of my emotional discomfort.

If you haven’t maintained an active lifestyle prior to pregnancy and want to make this an opportunity to get healthy. I would suggest starting with prenatal yoga classes and walking. Getting outside in fresh air, soaking in the sun’s readily available vitamin D. Even walking on an inclined tread the mill for 20 to 30 minutes a day can be beneficial. Benefits of walking are go beyond maintaining a healthy weight. Walking boosts your mood, controls blood sugar levels, helps with aches and pains in legs, controls blood pressures and helps move labor along (once you get to that point.)  If you are a mom that has been lifting weights or has been active and doesn’t know where to take things now that you are pregnant. I have something to share with you.

I found the perfect  workout guide for pregnancy and postpartum recovery. I really wish I knew of theses ladies when I was pregnant with my children. These ladies aren’t just pretty fit women on the internet selling workout plans ( be wary of that especially when pregnant) they are trained professionals that really put loads of work into making a pregnancy training guide called Expecting and Empowered comprehensive Pregnancy and Postpartum workout guide. Created by a registered nurse and a physical therapist you are in great hands. I’ll include their information below under resources so you can take a look at their amazing guide.

Baby Moons

I highly suggest baby moons. If it’s your first baby try to get away before it’s too late to travel, to a country or place free of the Zika virus. Mosquitos are carriers of the Zika virus it causes major neurological damage to babies in utero. I wan unable to travel to Mexico with my husband while pregnant with my second daughter for this reason. If it’s not your first baby. Getting out with your significant other for a few uninterrupted hours alone can be amazing. You may or may not be in the mood for anything super romantic but even if you get to spend a night away, perhaps you’ll get some better sleep away from the kids.  Before our first daughter was born some of my favorite moments was actually when my husband and I who were both working nights at the time, totally drained would go to sleep together it doesn’t seem like anything super amazingly special written down but it was, we got to hold hands and fall asleep together uninterrupted by children screaming at us to wake up and make them something to eat. It was awesome. Do the baby moon, mini vacation, run away! Do it!

Involve your spouse as much as possible.

You are the one that is pregnant and making the baby so twenty-four seven you are with the little peanut. You are developing this in separable little bond. Your babys heart is beating just underneath yours, something your husband or wife is missing out on. Not that their roles are any less or more than ours but it is different. It’s important for everyone to feel included. I am extremely blessed to have a husband that is all hands on deck during my pregnancies, he has held back my hair when I’ve vomited everywhere. Cleaned me up. Put me to bed like a little kid. He has gone out and brought me all the weird food I’ve craved in pregnancy and dealt with a whole slew of emotional melt downs. Somethings I’ve done to try to make him feel more included in the whole pregnancy process.

  1. Attend the Ob appointments– my husband came to every one of my 1st daughter’s ob gyn appointments he did not want to miss any. This was a great way for him to be included and fully aware of our plan of care and the staff of doctor’s. It’s also great to get a full family health history as a couple.
  2.  Attend a birth class– have your spouse attend a birth class with you a great opportunity to learn together.
  3.  Talk about how you want to raise your child – some conversations you don’t always have at first are about religion, are we religious? under what religious practices are we raising this baby? it actually changes somethings like baptism and  conversations with extended family, it’s good if you guys discuss it first and you already know where you stand together on a topic.
  4. Skin to skin-  after you or your spouse feed the baby place the baby naked ( if you are brave) on your bare chest and wrap both in your shirt or blanket. The baby hears your heart beating, the warm of your skin and feels very calmed.

Postpartum depression prevention plan

Make a postpartum depression prevention plan, either in your mind, say it out loud or write it down. Think of ways to check yourself or make others aware of ways to know when you are not well. Post partum depression is scary and isolating. It doesn’t matter how many babies you have had before it’s something you should always check yourself for.

What is my red flag?  ask yourself what your red flag is, we have all been depressed but what is your red flag specifically? for instance I knew I was really depressed when I no longer wanted to eat my favorite foods, do yoga or take a shower.

Talk- speak to someone as soon as you start having feelings of sadness or anxiety. Don’t be ashamed of your feelings and know it’s perfectly normal. If talking to family and friends isn’t helping talk to your doctor. I recommend both! 

Get outside-  getting some fresh air and some sunlight on your face after being cooped up inside the house with baby all day is very refreshing, even if it’s just to steal a few minutes alone.

Self care-  Self care in this time frame is so limited but speak to your significant other, tell them what your needs are, make a simple plan to just do 1 special thing for yourself. It can even be a face mask done at home and a hot tea!

Therapy–  family and friends may not be enough and therapy can be necessary. Attending a group can be uplifting and you can see you are not the only one struggling. 

Medication  I would suggest therapy together with medication. Never be ashamed of having to take medication for depression, if that is what you need. It’s needed. Don’t allow stigma’s to prevent you from getting the right help. 

Natural mood boosters  My Soul CBD oil for anxiety relieve and insomnia. It’s THC free and third party tested.  Vitamin B12 is a great mood booster.  Vitamin D3 something everyone seems to be in deficient in these days will help with feeling depressed and having low energy levels. Exercise to boost your mood.  Eat well. Drink water. e

Meditation – allows us to refocus our jumbled thoughts, slowing down our brain, our worries become less. Meditation increases our memory, improves our sleep, mood and promotes a sense of wellbeing. 

Pelvic Floor therapist –   Clearance to have sex within 6 weeks after vaginal birth and 8 weeks after for C- section post partum can be an overwhelming thought it is sometimes not enough time to get our pelvic floors back together. We may be eager to get back in the game  but our bodies may not be. We have created humans and either opened up enough to expel them out of our body or been cut open to do so. It’s extreme! Painful sex can be something that is contributing to a new mother’s post partum depression. Sex should be something everyone enjoys. So make sure you talk to your Ob Gyn about painful sex after birth and look for a pelvic floor therapist to get your sex life back on track. ( we know babies do their best to stop you anyways 🙂 Do your kegels and pelvic tilts in the mean time and lube up or take a longer break from sex if you need to.

Help with baby-  if your baby had health complications and you are trying to do it on your own. You maybe seriously burnt out. Look into having a nurse come into your home to help you out with some of the medical care. Speak to your insurance company and see what they cover. You’ll be able to have your eyes on baby at all times if thats what you want but maybe you need your hands free for a few other things. Having a medically needy child can be very hard on a mother’s emotions and having a small break to collect yourself before getting back into the swing of things can really help.

Enjoy!

I wish you and your new family lots of blessings in this up coming year. I hope you found my blog helpful in some way. ~ Namaste~

 

Disclaimer

This article is made just for information sharing basis only, sharing somethings I found helpful during my pregnancy journey. As always before starting any exercise regime, new supplement or medication consult your physician ( especially as a pregnant or breastfeeding woman)

 

 

Resources

The amazing exercise guide I was telling you about! 

https://www.expectingandempowered.com

Try my favorite CBD oil from My Soul it’s 3rd party tested and THC free!

https://mysoulcbd.com/?afmc=x2

To learn more about the benefits of  Black Strap Molasses 

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-blackstrap-m

olasses#1

Vitamin C for healing Wounds

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24796079

Stretch Mark information

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stretch-marks/symptoms-causes/syc-20351139

Pregnancy Weight information

https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/pregnancy-weight-gain/

Walking while Pregnant

https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/walking-during-pregnancy/