Womens Health – Pregnancy Nutrition is for All Women of Child Bearing Age

During pregnancy your nutrition needs are going to increase. Even before becoming pregnant it is a good idea to make every effort to start eating healthy and taking a women’s multivitamin. A prenatal multivitamin is a better choice during pregnancy.

Let’s start with the recommended daily intake of food during pregnancy.

DURING PREGNANCY :

7 or more Fruits and Vegetables (3 fruits/4 vegetables)

Fruits and Vegetables high in vitamin C are the best. These include strawberries, melons, oranges, papaya, tomatoes, peppers, greens, and broccoli.

9 or more Whole Grain Products

A fortified breakfast cereal containing iron and folic acid is the best way to start each day. Enriched bread, rice, pasta, and any whole grain product are your other choices.

4 or more dairy products

Low-fat milk or non-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are the obvious choices.

60 grams of protein (two or more 2-3 ounce portions of lean meat)

Other sources of protein include eggs, nuts, dried beans, and peas. Do not eat undercooked or uncooked meat or fish. (NO SUSHI) Do not eat deli luncheon meats

PREGNANCY NUTRITION FACTS

Fish

Some fish are higher in mercury content than others. Mercury can cause problems with your growing baby’s brain and nervous system.

Fish to avoid completely:

shark
swordfish
king mackerel
golden snapper
white snapper

Fish eating limitations:
Limit your intake of fish to 12 ounces a week
Limit your intake of white tuna or tuna steak to 6 ounces a week

Safest fish to eat:
shrimp
salmon
catfish

light tuna

Weight

Calorie intake should only be increased by 300 a day during pregnancy for the average woman.
Weight gain should be around 28-40 pounds for women that are underweight at pregnancy.
Women that are overweight at pregnancy should gain only 15-25 pounds.
Weight gain should be around 2-4 pounds the first trimester and 3-4 pounds a month for the remaining time.
Excess weight gain is hard to lose after pregnancy because your body’s fat increases up to one third during pregnancy.
Breast feeding burns 500 or more calories per day making it easier to lose weight.
Consult your health care provider for your specific healthy weight gain.

Vitamins and Minerals

Check the RDA chart for your needs during pregnancy.

Folic Acid is a special concern because a deficiency can lead to neural tube birth defects. Your multivitamin should contain 400 mcg of folic acid. Birth defects happen before you even know you’re pregnant so always take a multivitamin with folic acid during child bearing age.

Vitamin C taken in doses over 500 mg/d can lead to your baby being born dependent on large quantities of vitamin C.

Iron is also of special concern because the average American diet does not provide enough iron during pregnancy. If your prenatal multivitamin does not contain enough iron your doctor will prescribe an additional supplement. Iron is needed for you and the baby to have healthy teeth, bones, and blood.

Water is often overlooked during pregnancy but it is vital for you and your baby. It carries the nutrients from your body to the baby and it helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, swelling and urinary tract infection. A minimum of 6 eight ounce glasses a day is required. Juice can count toward your 6 glasses but be careful of the added calories. Any drink containing caffeine actually reduces the fluid in your body and cannot count towards your 6 glasses.

Calcium is needed by you and the baby for strong teeth and bones. During pregnancy you need 1,000 mg/d and 1,300 mg/d if you are less than 18 years old.

Alcohol Consumption

There is no safe time or amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy. No alcohol is the only way to insure the health of your baby. Alcohol you drink goes to your baby through the umbilical cord. Alcohol affects the baby’s growth, the baby’s brain, and can cause birth defects. These effects will remain with your unborn child for his/her entire life. FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) is the name given to anyone affected by their mother’s alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Problems learning, memory retention, and hearing are just a few things that alcohol can do to your child.

Caffeine

Caffeine in large quantities can lead to low weight babies. It also reduces the amount of vital water in your body. Although not yet proven, some studies suggest that it may harm the fetus. While not as dangerous as alcohol it should still be avoided.

Diabetics

Diabetics can have perfectly normal babies like every other woman. There are a just a few things you need to be careful of.
1. Keep your blood sugar under control for a minimum of 3 months before becoming pregnant.
2. Make sure you get enough folic acid at all times during your child bearing years (400 mcg/d).
3. Don’t let your blood sugar get too high during pregnancy. This can lead to birth defects or your baby having blood sugar level problems

Ways To Control Morning Sickness

*Eat 6 small meals instead of 3 large ones

*Don’t go without eating for long periods of time

*Don’t drink fluids with your meals

*Don’t eat greasy, spicy, or fried foods

*Avoid unpleasant smells

*Don’t get over tired

Pregnancy and Teeth – What You Should Really Know

While for most of us, oral health is limited to daily brushing and flossing and visiting the dentist every six months, there are some people with special health considerations that have an influence on their oral and dental health. There can be no doubt that lifestyle and genetics play a big part in determining whether or not you have strong, white and attractive teeth. However, should you contract a disease like diabetes, or should you fall pregnant, your oral health may be affected quite severely.

It is important to remember that your oral health is a reflection of your state of health in general. HIV/AIDS, excessive stress, smoking, cancer, diabetes, and even certain kinds of medicines may have an effect on your teeth. For this reason, you need to ensure that you are living a healthy lifestyle and that your doctor and dentist are always fully informed about changes in your state of health. In particular, should find yourself the victim of a serious condition; consult your dentist as soon as possible, to find out whether there are any considerations to take into account for the benefit of your oral health. Pregnancy can affect the state of your teeth quite substantially, so visit your dentist regularly.

Pregnancy causes a wide variety of changes in every woman’s body, and these often have a considerable effect on her mouth and teeth. There is an old wives’ tale that one loses a tooth with each pregnancy, and while women will certainly notice a difference in their oral health during and after their pregnancy, there are a number of steps they can take to minimize the risk and ensure their teeth stay as healthy as possible. The first factor influencing oral health is the change in a woman’s hormonal profile, which not only gives rise to the mood changes associated with pregnant women, but also leads to inflamed gums.

This inflammation causes the gums to swell, which makes cleaning teeth, and the important junction between the crowns and gums, more difficult. As a result, many women end up with pregnancy gingivitis, gum disease caused by pregnancy. Gingivitis tends to occur more often during the second trimester of pregnancy. This is because estrogens levels rise, increasing blood flow to all the body’s tissues. As a result, when cleaning their teeth, pregnancy women often notice that gums start to bleed. This is not a sign that the gums have been injured. Rather, it is an indication that extra care must be taken to ensure that brushing and flossing are as efficient as possible.

Mobile Massage Therapy – Massage Reduces Stress, Relaxes and Boosts Immunity

The accumulation of everyday stress

Working long hours at the computer can result in stress, muscle tension, injury or pain which can drain you physically, mentally or emotionally. This can impact negatively on your social life as well as on your work. As the most important benefit of massage is the reduction of stress, general health can be improved and maintained by massage therapy and the negative effects of stress can be alleviated or prevented. On an ongoing basis it can reduce pain, prevent injuries and maintain health. It is an important part of staying healthy physically and mentally as it relieves stress which is responsible for 90% of illness and pain.

Due to reflex effects through the autonomic nervous system, massage affects internal organs and areas removed from the area being treated. It promotes relaxation, reduces pain, boosts mood and mental clarity. Massage can be used for relaxation or stimulation and may be applied to rehabilitation after surgery, injury or poor health. It improves blood and lymph circulation, increases natural killer cells and lymphocytes which destroy cancer cells, boosts mood by increasing serotonin and dopamine and relieves pain by increasing pain killing endorphins. Massage can relax the body, decrease blood pressure and heart rate and reduce stress and depression. It may also provide symptomatic relief for acute and chronic conditions such as headache, facial pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. It realigns and rejuvenates, restoring balance to body and being, so you can take in your stride whatever life throws your way. It promotes digestion, joint mobility, muscle relaxation, relief of spasms and cramps.

Bodywork as a medical treatment

Massage therapy is becoming increasingly sophisticated and effective as it moves into new areas such as medical massage which is the fastest growing modality of massage today. Training in massage therapy was an integral part of medical massage and nursing care up to the mid 1950s when it dropped to almost nothing due to the rapid development and almost exclusive use of technology in the twentieth century. Manual therapy was no longer seen as necessary for standard hospital care. Today, however, it is realized that massage in the hospital is necessary to provide a sense of wholeness and care which is absent in the increasing fragmentation of hospitalization due to the growing emphasis on specialization. Medical massage uses the traditional strokes of massage which are then specifically adapted to treat, for instance, cancer patients, hospital patients and pregnant women. Medical massage may be given in the hospital setting, an outpatient clinic or as a mobile therapy where the therapist travels to the patient’s home to give the patient a personally tailored treatment protocol.

In massage therapy for the cancer patient, the therapist pays close attention to the side effects of the curative medical treatment to devise an appropriate protocol. Here the therapy is designed around the particular side effects the patient is experiencing such as pain, lymph-oedema, scarring, nausea, stress, tension, insomnia, fatigue, anger, depression and anxiety.

Thus cancer massage is a uniquely designed therapy which complements the curative medical treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Hence, it requires more extensive knowledge of medical procedures, pathology and side effects than ordinary therapy. Failure to understand this will result in harm to the patient as the therapist will not be able to adapt the therapy to design a competent treatment protocol.

In pregnancy massage the therapist must take into account mainly musculoskeletal issues caused by the weight of the growing uterus altering the centre of gravity of the woman’s body. Treatment in this case will focus especially on upper and lower back pain, sacroiliac dysfunction as well as pubic symphysis and lower abdominal pain. The therapist must also be alert to and able to detect acute medical problems such as deep vein thrombosis and preeclampsia which are both potentially fatal if not medically treated.

Bodywork has a broad therapeutic application

The greatest benefit of massage is the reduction of stress and tension. Since a wide range of physical and psychological conditions stem from stress, massage can help alleviate these conditions and therefore has a broad therapeutic application. The most prominent benefit and use of massage is the alleviation of stress which then relieves muscular tension, promotes relaxation and treats lower back, neck and shoulder pain, pregnancy, bedsores, severe burns, iliotibial band syndrome and spinal cord injury as well as ameliorating systemic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, attention deficit disorder (ADD), fibromyalgia, asthma, autism, diabetes, bulimia, eczema, HIV, lymphoedema, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Sleep disorders, cancer-related fatigue, diabetes, high blood pressure, spinal cord injury, low back pain, lowered immunity, post-operative surgery, infertility, autism, eating disorders, age-related disorders and smoking cessation can all be treated by massage.

Bodywork, such as shiatsu and massage, offers a drug-free, non-invasive and person centred approach based on the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Bodywork in Pregnancy

The great physical, mental and emotional changes of pregnancy affect your lifestyle, your job and your relationships with friends and family. Massage helps you integrate these changes successfully. Massage therapy during pregnancy improves overall health, decreases stress and relieves muscles aches and pains. It addresses the many discomforts associated with the skeletal, muscular and circulation changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.

Massage alleviates low back, hip and leg pain, oedema, nausea, heartburn and constipation. Regular massage decreases anxiety and lowers stress hormones during pregnancy. Labour is shorter and easier while babies are healthier. There are fewer obstetric and postnatal complications, such as premature birth and low birth weight.

Bodywork for Cancer Patients

Massage for cancer patients is a safe, non-pharmacological treatment without any side effects. It helps reduce anxiety, fatigue, depression, stress, tension, anger, insomnia and improve self-image and quality of life. Massage may reduce pain, muscle tension, nausea, constipation, lymphoedema and scarring.

Massage as a supportive care intervention for children with cancer helps reduce pain, anxiety, depression, constipation and high blood pressure. Massage also strengthens the function of the immune system and reduces nausea and depression during periods of immune suppression following chemotherapy.

For The Finest In Natural Skin Care, Look To Honey

Everybody has heard of her – Cleopatra. As Queen of the Nile, she was a ‘spokes-model’ for the ancient Egyptians. As matriarch of natural beauty and skin care, Cleopatra established the natural skin care fundamentals – honey. Honey was the core of her natural skin care regime. Yes, you have heard that right. Honey, the thick and slimy stuff that bees make and the stuff that we spread on pancakes, was the main skin care product that kept Cleopatra’s skin youthful and radiant. What is this about honey that makes it good for the skin?

Moisturizer and Antioxidant

You may not know this. Honey is a main ingredient in natural skin care in ancient times, in villages and it is widely used today. Why is honey used? Scientists and researchers have found that honey is an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect the skin from the sun which causes skin damage, premature ageing, and even cancer!

Honey, a natural moisturizer, attracts and retains water. When used as a facial mask or a bath, honey moisturizes the skin. Do you have sensitive skin? Then using honey as part of your skin care regime is for you as it is soothing and does not irritate the skin.

Treatment for Acne

Honey is an anti-microbial agent. It prevents bacteria growth. Why is honey a good anti-microbial agent? Honey, high in sugar content, limits the water amount available to bacteria. Bacteria need nitrogen to grow. It has low protein content and acidity level that deprives the bacteria of nitrogen. The anti-microbial agent in honey makes it an excellent treatment for acne flare-ups. Unlike many other acne products or treatments, it does not make the skin dry.

Treatment for Skin Conditions

A recent research and study done at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health has proven that a mixture of honey, beeswax and olive oil relieve psoriasis and eczema symptoms associated. 80% of the participants with eczema who took part in the study had great improvements. They reported significant reductions in the symptoms – itching, oozing and scaling using this natural treatment.

Honey, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, reduces scarring and pain. It accelerates wound healing. Both honey and olive oil contain flavonoids, which protects cells and inhibit histamines – a condition which causes allergic reactions. Bastyr’s mixture of honey, beeswax and olive oil, is an effective skin care ointment for scrapes, small cuts and abrasions.

Honey is the basis of many natural skin care products. From wound to preventative care to disease treatment, scientists and dermatologists agree that nobody should have a natural skin care regime without it.