Posted in pregnancy

Why breastfeed for 18 months?

Gotta admit: Breast feeding has both pros and cons. Some of the pros are you don’t have to meal prep, or clean afterwards so it’s less work from for mom. You don’t have to think about what else to cook or pack food especially if you will be outside for extended periods of time. Your don’t have to search for new recipes either because the taste of your milk changes daily based on what you eat. You don’t have to worry about if what you are feeding your baby is good or bad, organic vs. full of additives or healthy vs. unhealthy.

On the other hand, some cons are, you need to ensure you are wearing proper clothing such as a top or a dress that zips or buttons in the front, chance that your nipple may get chewed on, you may want to limit feedings to only 10 min but your little one does not want to let go yet, also if you are exclusively breast feeding your baby will feed more frequently vs, you give them formula or regular food. Lastly, if you are back to work or away from your baby for extended periods, you need to pump so bring along your pump and storage stuff.

Your intestines carry 70-80% of your immune system. We all have good and bad bacteria in our system and we are always under the attack of bad germs. Keeping your gut heathy is #1 step towards staying healthy and fighting diseases. As per dr palevsky and very well known and cited pediatrician, women need to breast feed for 18 months because babies gut flora is being formed and getting all the good bacteria from breast milk is upmost important. Breast milk is the basis for baby’s health and a strong immune system for a lifetime.

Regardless of what your choice is when it comes to breast feeding, one thing I can say is it is not very much encouraged in the US at least in NY/ NJ region. If anything moms are discouraged by their peers, even if they start breast feeding, most likely they are stopped by 6 months and instructed to continue with formula since it is believed to be sufficient.

As humans we have been around for a long time and as much as we undermine our ancestors, we also have to accept that if they had not done some stuff right, we would not be here today. Back in the day, they did not have much info on nutrition, had access to variety or great quantities of food and they still did ok. People did not follow different diets worrying about sugar cholesterol or bad fat intake. Nature worked it’s way, people mostly died because of war or accidents or disease outbreaks. Breast milk was enough for babies and women exclusively breastfed their babies. Let the nature do its job, at least that’s my take.

Thank you for reading, let me know what you think?

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Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Unwanted baby shower items?

When I walked into buybuybaby to register for my baby registry, sales associate told me moms tend to register for anywhere between 120-140 items. She handed me the scanner and I started exploring the store. Thanks to one of my closest friends, we were able to pick and choose wisely. I ended up with 48 items on my baby registry. I was trying to keep it to a minimum because I don’t like clutter around the house and my goal was to get the items that I was going to use longer than just a couple of months. I thought I was being a very good planner.

IMG_6841But once it came to my baby shower besides getting some of my registered items, I also got many more items that I didn’t register for, want or need. For example, we received 62 bibs, 27 of 0-3 months outfits, 12 bottles of shampoo and baby lotions, 32 toys, 17 blankets and plastic feeding bottles. Talking about not wanting clutter around the house, and being a good planner huh?! I had way too many of everything. Do not get me wrong, I was very lucky to get all the loving and gifts but I did not understand why people did not buy the register items but decided to get creative and get other stuff. I didn’t have any gift receipt or nor I had an idea which store they came from so I was left with bags of unwanted/needed baby items.

I still needed some register items and decided to find a way of get rid of extra items and use that money to purchase what I needed. I went online. My good reliable friend GOOGLE!  Searched for the brands online to see which stores carry what brands and figured both Walmart and Target take the items back if they have it in their stores as long not opened/ damaged of course. That was a really good start! I was able have to return the shampoos- I preferred all organic and they were not-,some bibs, blankets and toys to Walmart and Target and got store credit. Then I head to T.J. Maxx followed by Marshalls. It was a bit of http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sites/womenshealthmag.com/files/images/birth-expense_0.jpgwork both for you and the sales associates but as long as they can match the brand with similar items in the store, they will also give give you a store credit. At the end of the day, I did not get cash back but I got almost $300 store credit. I did some shopping for the house, then I was able to purchase more baby items that I needed. That way I was able to return the items that I wasn’t going to use and I was able to purchase what was left on my baby registry and I completed my shopping. I still had some extra items but I made great progress with completing baby’s room!

Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx and Marshalls- I thank you very much for your cooperation and care! You all made a new mom very happy!

 

Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Hemorrhoids: not a girly topic to talk about, Ha?

Unfortunately, hemorrhoids are very common to have during pregnancy due to increase intra-abdominal pressure. They are also likely to happen during labor, as you bear down to push the baby out, you can imagine that you’re very likely to get hemorrhoids. They are the most common reason of rectal bleeding.  Once they swell, they bulge even more and they can start bleeding especially after going for number 2.

I did not have hemorrhoids when I was pregnant but was blessed with them after labor 😦 After giving water birth, I felt very sore on my bottom that somewhat improved in about 2 weeks. As my soreness improved, hemorrhoids still caused pain, difficulty going for number 2, and decreased my sitting tolerance on the bed nursing my little one.

Being discharged home, I was given two packs of witch hazel pads and Dermaplast pain relieving spray. After using the bathroom, all you have to do is to dab the pad on your behind then discard it. Witch hazel pads helped with recovery by decreasing itching and swelling as they alleviated the pain.

I was also instructed to do potty baths in warm water to clean out my bottom. Since you cannot wipe yourself due to increased tenderness in the area, sitting in a potty in warm water will help you relax and allow any discharge to come out.

Using potty bath and witch hazel pads definitely helped with hemorrhoids but they returned after a month. Ouch! I realized that the diet is also very important because your stool needs to be loose so once it’s coming out, it’s not irritating the area even more. After your hospital stay, you are prescribed laxatives which is great until you run out. Eating fiber rich food and drinking lots of water is the key.

Even though hemorrhoids are not a girl’s best friend, there are ways to get rid of them. Be consistent and have patience. They sure do not go away as quickly as they appear, but sooner or later they will be gone.

 

Images retrieved from:

http://www.onhealth.com/content/1/hemorrhoid_treatment

Posted in pregnancy

What about the Vitamin K shot for your newborn?

http://www.spineuniverse.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/gallery-large/wysiwyg_imageupload/3998/2015/09/01/syringe_14497301_M_0.jpgOne of the injections that your newborn is scheduled to get is Vitamin K shot. But why Vitamin K? The medical world’s reasoning is to assist your precious one with clotting abilities to prevent any bleeding in the brain post partum or if you happen to get into an accident during your drive from hospital to home.

You would not want your baby to bleed to death right? So, after hearing the purpose, many parents agree to get the Vitamin K shot since it seems to be no brainer. However, what is really in that Vitamin K shot? Is it all natural and harmless to the baby? Is it all necessary?

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/1d/1c/e0/1d1ce043533a509665bcfec63b80a129.jpgVitamin K is found naturally in dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli etc, however, a synthetic form of Vitamin K is administered in a shot. What is wrong with synthetic form? Well, the synthetic form is produced in the labs and is not natural for our body to process properly. In fact, any synthetic can actually cause more harm than good.

Is there only Vitamin K in that injection or is it a cocktail form of many substances? It is not a shocker that Vitamin K shot is actually composed of multiple ingredients that are used for different purposes in the medical industry. A shot of Vitamin K has about 4-6 ingredients including Propylene glycol, Polysorbate 80, Sodium acetate anhydrous and ŸBenzyl alcohol  are some of the other ingredients. The manufacturer includes the warning of severe reactions may happen. You are on your own risk pretty much..

Another question you need to ask as a parent is how much vitamin K is in the shot and how much does your baby’s body need? A full term baby has full organ function however what happens to large doses of Vitamin K in the body, no one truly knows. Where is it stored and how is it processed? Some claim that large doses of Vitamin K causes childhood leukemia and cancer but there is not sufficient research to prove that either.

What are your other options? If you were to decline Vitamin K shot in the hospital, there are couple things you need to keep in mind. The biggest challenge for us was we could not get our son circumcised during our hospital stay. We needed to wait 4-6 weeks for the circumcision until our baby had enough clotting abilities.

http://www.revital.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/i/bioticsresearchbio-k-mulsion-17829.jpgIf you plan on declining Vitamin K shot at the hospital, you can choose to provide oral vitamin K for your baby. You need to give a dose at birth then at 1 week and 6 weeks. You need to make the purchase and have it with you at your hospital admission. The research claims that it is not as effective as the shot however, do they really know how much is enough? Also how much of the dose does baby’s body really absorb and process?

Also, especially during the last month of your pregnancy, ensure you increase your vitamin K intake by eating dark leafy greens, also drinking nettle tea everyday can boost your system with Vitamin K which you will share with your baby. Some sources including CDC (Center for Disease Control) claim that breast milk does not supply enough Vitamin K. The truth is some medications can block Vitamin K absorption. If the mom is experiencing gastrointestinal disorders such as celian disease, cyctic fibrosis etc., then she may not absorb Vitamin K properly from her diet, therefore the baby may be Vitamin K deficient at birth.

We live in information age and the purpose of this blog is not to make you decide in a certain way. I truly believe each and every one of us need to be aware of what we are doing to our bodies. Start obtaining information and make informed decisions before you just follow “the protocol” because our doctor says so or that’s what others do. Please do your own research before you make a decision.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Images retrieved from:

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Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Switching providers during your prenatal care

https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/-/media/Images/Slideshows/TuftsMC/640x357/Doctor_with_patient_6_640x357.ashxDuring the first 5 months of my pregnancy I was under the care of an OBGYN. When I found out that I was pregnant, I called my insurance company and inquired about a list of in-network providers in my area. After some research, I chose an OBGYN due to his 22 five out of five stars reviews online so I made my first appointment. The staff was great, he was a great doctor but I decided to switch to midwifery care when I was 5 months pregnant. Let me explain to you why…

My doctor was great; he had great credentials, great reviews and he was very professional with an awesome demeanor. He was also a medicine man. What does that mean? He wanted to rule out any possible disease or condition by ordering bunch of tests every time I had an appointment. His approach was “lets find out whats is wrong with your pregnancy” instead of “Everything appears to be normal and there is no reason why we need to predict otherwise.” His suspicion may be due to just to be on the safe side, that may be just the way he practices or just in case something went wrong, he would be covered since he would have the test results in my file.

http://www.npobgyn.com/assets/images/iStock_000016387993XSmall.jpgOur first two appointments went great. During later visits, he did not seem to engage in much conversation other than telling me what tests we needed to run next. He was very professional but I feel like I was another patient for him, I did not feel a connection. This loss of connection may be due to males do not like to talk too much and/or I was having a normal pregnancy so there was not much to discuss.

The biggest reason why I switched to midwifery care was when I told him that I wanted to do a natural birth, he was certain that I would need an epidural and a possible C-section. His argument was that since the medicine has come far, why was I going to suffer from pain while I could be pain-free?

850d12e2ff165f05135772cda1bbc8d4I wanted to be in more control of my labor experience and I did not 100% agree with hospital regulations. As females, we know what we want, we are strong headed and independent until it comes to giving birth. We give up all control and let someone else be in charge of our birthing experience. I wanted to give my best shot by trusting my body that it is capable of doing what it is supposed to do, and not let anyone tell me that I could not move and had to lie down and stay still, or I needed pitocin because I was taking too long to dilate or I needed some epidural for pain because I was screaming too much. Do not get me wrong, there are situation where medication is indicated due to dangers of complications however I did not want to expect the worst going into labor.

Every woman is different; everyone’s goals are different, every female’s medical history and health status is different. I am not telling you what you need to do or who to trust. My advise to you is interview your provider before you finalize your decision. Do your research, there is a ton of information on the internet, on the books and talk to other mothers to learn from their experiences. Be in charge of your own care and make educated decisions.

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I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

 

Images retrieved from:

https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/-/media/Images/Slideshows/TuftsMC/640×357/Doctor_with_patient_6_640x357.ashx

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Posted in pregnancy

Choosing your doctor after you find out you are pregnant

You find out that you are pregnant and the next step is to find a doctor that you will work with for the next 9 months. How are you going to decide who to see, though?

http://www.npobgyn.com/assets/images/iStock_000016387993XSmall.jpgAsk your friends first: If you have any friends or family members who already has kids, ask them whether or not they would recommend their doctor to you. They will either say “yes, absolutely” then you will be done with your search or “ absolutely not, I am looking for a new provider as well.” Then you will eliminate that doctor from your list.

http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/women/services/pregnancy-and-childbirth/childbirth-at-OHSU-hospital/images/waterbirth-tub.jpgThink about our laboring options: If you want a natural home birth experience then an OBGYN will not do a home visit. If you want to do a home birth or water birth in the hospital, then you may want to work with midwives instead of an ONGYN. If you definitely want epidural and be in a hospital, or you need to have a C-section due to a medical condition then you will have to work with an OBGYN.

birth-expense_0Call your insurance and ask for a list of providers: Today, insurance does not cover your medical services 100%. Meeting your deductibles and paying for your co-pays can become very expensive very quickly. You can contact your insurance for a list of in-network providers that would cost less for you compared to out-of-network offices. I received a 13 page in-network providers list where I had the opportunity to choose the OBGYN that I wanted to work with.

Read reviews online: I found my OBGYN on the 6th page of a 13 page list that was given to my by my insurance. Luckily, Google has a lot of information including providers education, patient reviews and ratings, office hours/schedule and sometimes pictures. I found that the reviews were very helpful. The OBGYNs on the first 5 pages if my list had 2-3/5 starts due to varies different reasons. Some complaints included office staff being rude, doctor being more money than patient oriented, unpleasant smell in the office to more serious things like mismanagement on doctors end and patient getting hurt. Definitely do a little research!

https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/-/media/Images/Slideshows/TuftsMC/640x357/Doctor_with_patient_6_640x357.ashxAsk to go in to the office to get a feel for the office, staff and the doctor before you make a commitment: It is okay to call the office and set a meeting with either the doctor him/herself or with the office manager to get your questions/concerns addressed and answered. Do not feel weird about it because you want to make sure you feel comfortable with what you are singing up for the next 9 months of your life.

Remember you can always change your provider if you want to: Life happens right? If you are not happy with your provider after couple of visits, you can always change your providers. Also in some cases, people have to relocate or even worse lose insurance benefits therefore have to choose another doctor. You will re-start your search.

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Images retrieved from:

http://www.npobgyn.com/assets/images/iStock_000016387993XSmall.jpg

http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/women/services/pregnancy-and-childbirth/childbirth-at-OHSU-hospital/images/waterbirth-tub.jpg

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Posted in pregnancy

How to prepare for traveling during pregnancy 

l_101360929When I was 7 months pregnant, I was traveling to Antalya, Turkey which is a 10 hours flight to Istanbul, following an hour flight connecting flight to Antalya. Meeting my family in Antalya, we were going to travel by car for several hours over 2 weeks period. Even though my doctor was not worried about my travel, my father’s cardiologist strongly advised against the amount of traveling I was getting ready to do. His concern was I was more likely to develop blood cloths in my calves due to increased blood volume, swelling in my legs and upcoming inactivity.

Since I had made all the arrangements previously and my doctor cleared me for traveling, I did not cancel my travel plans. At the same time, I was not going to ignore a cardiologists concerns so I started thinking how to tackle possible problems and better prepare for my travels.

http://www.thepodiatrycentre.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/edema-preganancy-315x315.jpgCalf muscles play a vital role in returning blood back to the heart. When you are sitting a long time, since your knees are bent, your calves will not be able to pump the blood back towards your heart efficiently to provide full return. That’s why everyone experiences some amount of swelling during long travels. When you are pregnant, your blood volume also increases so more blood volume also means more residual blood in your calves. That’s why pregnant women are at a greater risk for developing blood clots after prolonged traveling .

There are 5 ways that you can tackle these problems and minimize any risk to your baby and your body.

e64cc62a2a20a84d7ad6404bdb80b7601- Drink adequate water: the blood has two parts two parts: plasma and particles. Drinking more water is always important since a more viscous blood will flow better and will not clot as easily.

2- Limit salt intake to prevent swelling: salt also attracts water at all cell levels. Once you increase your salt intake, your body will also retain more water to maintain osmosis. You will experience more swelling in your legs and hands. Limiting your salt intake will also decrease your chance to experience increased swelling.

3- Move as much as you can: the best way to reverse adverse effects of sitting is standing and walking. If you are traveling by air, you can stand up or walk up and down in the aisle but if you are traveling by car, then you are more restricted. What you can do is exercising in your seat. You can curl your toes, pump your ankles or draw alphabet with your feet, and march in place.

http://www.healthy-heart-guide.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/fish-oil-heart-benefits.jpg4- Omega 3 fats such as fish oil has many great benefits and one of them is they act as blood thinners. Taking fish oil regularly will also be helpful.

5- Compression stockings: you can find compression stocking almost anywhere. Most stockings offer mild compression which is adequate in decreasing swelling in your legs.

Ensure you are making these changes couple days before and during your travels.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

 

 

Images retrieved from:

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