Blog What Not to Eat What to Eat

Where I’m breaking, and following, the rules of pregnancy. (And oh yeah, I’m pregnant.)

And… oh yeah, I’m due like several day now. Sorry. I’ve kinda been hiding in a gap this complete eight 1/2 months. (I used to be only about 28 weeks in that photograph—I’m 39 weeks now!)

However I assumed I’d give a better-late-than-never replace on how this entire journey has been going, and share some ideas on the decisions I’ve made throughout it. There’s so much of issues it’s a must to make up your thoughts on in relation to this pregnancy stuff. And it type of looks like there’s two primary camps so far as making those selections—the mainstream, and the “crunchy” alternative-minded people. Each with their very own set of “rules” you’re purported to comply with. Or, properly, I assume it’s extra that the mainstream suggestions are pushed to everybody, while the crunchy aspect tends to encourage you to interrupt all of those rules and do things totally in a different way. I wound up somewhere in the center, performing some things in another way, while (surprisingly) making some mainstream decisions alongside the means. Right here’s what I ended up selecting.

I’m seeing a midwife as an alternative of an OB.

Yeah, this isn’t all that out-there, however it’s a bit totally different from the norm I assume. I don’t have a “doctor” I’ve been seeing for prenatal care, or one I’m planning to have ship my child. I’m going old-school and seeing a midwife as an alternative. Better part? I get to go to my prenatal appointments at a comfortable little hippie-house at my downtown midwifery clinic, as an alternative of a cold, sterile, scary hospital or doctor’s workplace.

My midwife is completely superb. She makes me really feel so snug and cared for, and confident in my body’s potential to handle my pregnancy and delivery efficiently. She is a licensed nurse midwife, which is totally different than a “certified” midwife in that she is a full-fledged nurse practitioner, who’s licensed in midwifery as nicely. My midwife is the only one in my state who works in a personal clinic and attends residence births, and additionally has hospital privileges and works with a staff of nurse midwives in the hospital setting. She has the greatest credentials of anybody that I might have chosen, so I feel super fortunate to be beneath her care.

What I really like most about seeing a nurse midwife is feeling like I’m getting the greatest of both worlds—the security of a practitioner who is very educated and well-versed in superior western drugs, however who is ready to keep a extra versatile, holistic strategy. My midwife’s views and fashion of apply particularly strike me as having a superb stability of the two—she could be very curious about evidence-based medical care and analysis, but she acknowledges and appreciates traditional various drugs fashions as nicely. Like, she had me get all the similar blood work and labs I might have gotten via an OB-GYN at the hospital, however she also beneficial a hypnotherapist for me to assist recover from my phobia of needles! I couldn’t ask for a greater strategy to prenatal care than what I’ve skilled with my midwife. And I’m wanting ahead to being beneath the care of a midwife for the delivery as properly.

I’m consuming some things which are no-no’s, like uncooked milk and additional vitamin A

I laughed at myself the different day as a result of I used to be telling my pal how I assumed I couldn’t have like, brie cheese or one thing (you realize the rule about the tender cheeses?). As a result of I’ve completely not cared about the incontrovertible fact that I’ve been consuming raw milk since being pregnant, and that’s way more of a dangerous “risk” in line with the “experts,” right? Ha. Yeah.

Uncooked milk is essential to me as a result of the nutrients are a lot more bioavailable, together with enzymes needed for his or her digestion. You understand how they be sure that pasteurized dairy is absolutely protected for shoppers? By testing it to ensure they’ve killed off all the enzymes. Bummer.

I reside in Portland, Oregon, where farm gross sales and herd shares of raw milk are authorized, however simply north of us in Washington, uncooked milk is authorized even at the retail degree. So you possibly can simply cross the state border, walk proper right into a health meals retailer and decide some up. (I know, we’re actually lucky!) Which was what I used to be doing up till a couple months ago once I discovered a uncooked dairy farm and herd share with a convenient drop-off location for me, and THE BEST MILK I HAVE EVER TASTED EVER. It’s unbelievable. I feel if we had a vast supply of it, my husband and I might drink a gallon like each other day.

And I really feel completely effective about consuming raw milk from a trusted, very small farm that has lots of expertise in making certain the security of their milk. Is it 100% guaranteed to be protected? Properly, nothing is. I might have gotten listeria from an organic frozen pizza a pair weeks in the past (which I’ve truly bought before, but haven’t just lately, thankfully) or hummus which have since been recalled. The minuscule danger that there could be one thing unsafe in my recent, unprocessed milk is so not value giving up on all that vitamin for baby and me.

Oh, however you recognize that in the event you take cod liver oil, it should give your child delivery defects and they’ll principally die, right? Eh, yeah, I’m consuming that, too. The mainstream recommendations say that supplements excessive in vitamin A (like cod liver oil) ought to be prevented as a result of an excessive amount of vitamin A may cause start defects, but there’s lots of evidence that exhibits that’s pretty unlikely. I’ve been taking cod liver oil (not as much as WAPF recommends, however some), and additionally do-it-yourself raw dehydrated beef liver capsules (I’m totally going to make a brand new publish with a tutorial for those). Liver (not carrots!) is your very best source of fully-formed vitamin A—the sort your body truly knows what to do with. It’s additionally full of many other necessary vitamins, many of which are particularly useful throughout pregnancy, similar to vitamin B12, folate, and iron.

I’m planning a waterbirth

The plan is to go au naturale—hopefully unmedicated and with minimal intervention. I’ve undoubtedly gotten my justifiable share of “are you crazy!?” reactions once I inform individuals I’m not solely planning on not going the epidural-route, however that I additionally intend on giving delivery in a blow-up pool.

I’m pretty stoked about this. Waterbirth, or actually giving delivery when you’re in a bathtub of water, has lots of advantages for making labor and supply simpler on mom and baby. It’s been proven to offer vital ache aid and rest, helps to speed up labor, scale back blood strain, scale back the danger of perineal trauma, and scale back the need for medical interventions during delivery. It’s also believed to be a gentler strategy to welcome child into the world—I assume the principle is they’ve already been swimming round in a watermelon-sized “pool” inside you, and then they come out to a similar-feeling surroundings in the warm water of the birthing tub, easing the transition to life above the floor. I variety of like the concept of that.

However I actually like the concept of being in a heat, enjoyable pool while I labor my baby out, as an alternative of strapped right down to a hospital bed. I’ve all the time been soothed and comforted by water, and whenever you’re full-term pregnant, the buoyancy and anti-gravity effects of having your stomach submerged really feel superb! Waterbirthing also facilitates easier freedom of movement as you’re capable of place yourself simpler by yourself. I might think about with the ability to more easily comply with no matter movements my physique is directing me toward can be an enormous assist throughout labor.

Pregnancy - pregnant woman natural water birth

I’m hypnotizing myself

Have you ever heard of utilizing hypnosis for delivery? It’s type of an enormous factor, for us crunchy varieties, apparently. There are two foremost packages that folks use to organize for start with hypnosis—Hypnobirthing and HypnoBabies. I’m doing Hypnobabies, as a result of it was advisable to me by my midwife and several different crunchy mothers I know, and it’s AWESOME.

There are licensed instructors out there that do in-person courses, but I’m doing the house research course, which rather a lot of moms-t0-be select. It has all the things in it that you simply’d anticipate from a birthing class—details about prenatal well being, the physiology of delivery, and so forth.—but with the added bonus of coaching in very efficient self-hypnosis methods to help give you a neater, extra snug childbirth expertise. The course also has some other belongings you wouldn’t anticipate, like methods to turn a posterior-positioned child, info on various birthing plans, and tons extra. It even has pretty good vitamin recommendation in it!


The Hypnobabies residence research course* features a sizable workbook with five studying modules, and a set of six audio CDs with the hypnosis tracks on it. You possibly can undergo every class in every week, or take longer if you need. The courses have you ever go through two of the hypnosis tracks per week, alternating day by day between them, so you find yourself listening to each one several occasions and learning and training the hypnotic methods in each individually. There’s also a pregnancy “affirmations” monitor that you simply’re advised to take heed to day by day. I’ve actually enjoyed having the enjoyable every day ritual of working towards my hypnosis, and then falling asleep listening to the affirmations, which has really helped to form my ideas about pregnancy and my upcoming start in a very constructive approach.

Before Hypnobabies, I used to be nervous I might get really anxious as my due date approached, however as an alternative, I’ve been capable of stay incredibly relaxed about the entire factor. I imply, I’m nonetheless sort of in disbelief that I’m not only going to be passing a small human by way of my—ahem—delivery canal, however that I’m also going to grow to be a mom. Whoa. I don’t know you can ever be absolutely prepared for that. However, I’m not afraid of giving start, and I really feel assured in the tools I’ve discovered to make use of to make the expertise as nice and constructive as it can be. You need to see some of the YouTube movies of Hypnobabies moms giving delivery with out pain or worry—it’s pretty inspiring. I’ll you’ll want to report again on how my very own hypnotic birthing day went when it comes!

(*Observe: I see that Amazon not carries the course. I’m ready on approval from Hypnobabies to turn into an affiliate for his or her on-line store, and when I’ve a referral link to offer, I’ll come again and plug it in here. That method, should you’d wish to help this website by buying the course, you possibly can, as they’ll ship me a small fee for the referral. It must be coming in a couple days.)

I skipped the flu shot

I’ve by no means gotten a flu shot, and I don’t plan to any time quickly. My immune system has confirmed to be pretty robust—I virtually by no means get sick, and once I do, I get well shortly. I’m not in the class of people who are in danger for critical problems from influenza, I’m in excellent health, and I’m not satisfied that the advantages outweigh the downsides for someone like me.

I’m not saying that nobody should ever get a flu shot—simply that it’s not one thing I’d choose for myself.

Also did you see that the CDC admitted they messed up this yr’s shot, and that it didn’t truly sufficiently shield towards the most prevalent strains of flu? Lulz. Pretty glad I went without it, regardless that you’re really supposed to get one if you’re pregnant.

My healthcare practitioner was fantastic with my selection, I’m advantageous with my selection, and I’m very confident in the power of my immune system. Truly, my husband acquired what we expect was a flu bug a pair months in the past (with a fever and every part), and guess what? I didn’t catch it. I imply, he’s my husband, we’re… we’re pretty close. Clearly. However he recovered shortly and I never caught it from him.

I’m using essential oils

I’m pretty constructive that the purpose why I didn’t catch my husband’s flu is that the millisecond we realized he was starting to get sick, I cranked up my essential oils diffuser in every room of the home we have been in (especially our small bed room where we sleep and share the similar air all night time), and went to town on my other oily regimens. Utilizing a diffuser purifies the air because certain important oils are capable of truly digest micro organism and viruses. I just don’t assume they ever had an opportunity to get to me because all the germs have been knocked out before I might breathe them in. There have been a pair occasions this sick season once I hadn’t been nearly as good about diffusing, and where I felt the menace of a cold, however this time, nothing.

3472291940_f308878e19_zEach time I’ve began to feel a bug approaching though, I attain for a couple of of my sick season must-have cures: vitamin D3, garlicky bone broth, and Thieves oil. And Purification oil. And Lemon oil. And my DIY throat spray with important oils (I’ll should publish the recipe), that I exploit each time I’m getting sick. And you already know what? Despite the fact that my immune system is compromised (you’re rather more vulnerable to viral infections while pregnant), I’ve been breezing by way of the menace of these bugs within a day. As in, I begin to feel icky, do my factor with my oil routine, and then the next day I’m positive. I all the time make sure that to allow myself a lot of rest and sleep as a lot as I can, which is fairly essential, too. But in previous years, all the things I used to do earlier than I had therapeutic essential oils often wasn’t sufficient, and I’d get a real chilly (lasting every week or extra) no less than a few times during the season. Not anymore!

You wanna know one thing although? Many people will inform you that you simply actually shouldn’t use virtually all essential oils throughout pregnancy. And with some important oils, they’re right. I wouldn’t contact a bottle of peppermint oil from the health meals store with a ten-foot-pole whereas I’m carrying this teeny child inside. Essential oils are generally adulterated with synthetic substances and are far from being 100% pure, pure, and protected. And even with the highest-quality, pure therapeutic-grade oils, there are some that ought to be prevented throughout being pregnant simply to be protected, since they could have an affect on your hormones that would do things like stimulate labor before you’re prepared.

However all through my pregnancy, I have been using a wide variety of my therapeutic essential oils from the only firm I trust, and I feel utterly confident in doing so. These oils are so protected that the majority of them are certified as food components by the FDA, and/or have GRAS standing (Usually Considered Protected), one thing that the FDA doesn’t all the time like to provide to natural dietary supplements.

My oils have helped to take care of my emotional health (I’ve actually had very minimal hormonal-driven crying episodes, temper swings, and different typical emotional up-and-downs of pregnancy), given me a sense of peace and rest, boosted my power and helped me sleep once I needed it, and simply allowed me to really feel extra like myself throughout this entire pregnancy. If I might have skilled nausea, heartburn, varicose veins, and other icky-but-common being pregnant symptoms, properly, there’s an oil for that! I felt well-armed to deal with anything that got here my means, but I’ve fortunately had an easy time with pregnancy. I’ll should share extra about why I feel that has been the case, in one other publish.

When you’re curious about utilizing essential oils during being pregnant, please know that I solely advocate ordering oils from here, and that I’d be pleased to personally help you in your journey. You might also need to be a part of in our personal essential oils group on Facebook the place extra info is shared on oil usage together with a lot of different assets.

I’m giving delivery at a hospital

Yep, still a water delivery, still with a midwife, but at a hospital. We now have personal delivery centers round here, we’ve the option to do residence delivery (my midwife clinic focuses on this), but I’m choosing a hospital delivery. I have many the reason why I made this selection, and truly I’ll be writing an entire different publish about it, however for me the largest deciding issue is just this: I need to do whatever I can to scale back the danger of preventable damage or demise to my child or myself. I might have the very best midwife in the world attending my house delivery, however because of the location and out there assets, the danger for these potential issues would nonetheless be larger than it is in a hospital setting.

Especially a mama-and-baby-friendly, super-progressive and accommodating hospital like the one I’ve chosen. Truly, all the hospitals here in Portland are superb. Actually. I have yet to listen to even one scary story of a mother being bullied into getting any type of interventions she didn’t want, or harassed about her start plan, or something like that. Hospitals here have low c-section rates, and even low epidural and episiotomy rates in comparison with the relaxation of the nation. And my hospital has a dedicated water-birthing middle, a workforce of nurse midwives, and a superb fame with moms who select “natural” delivery. If I lived in an element of the country the place horrific issues like infants being taken from mother and father because of their refusal of a vaccine or crazy issues like that have been more widespread, perhaps I’d be extra inclined to make the residence start selection. I definitely perceive why many moms do, however it’s simply not for me.

I’m very fortunate to have access to a water-birth-friendly hospital—they are sadly onerous to return by. Most girls choosing water achieve this at house with a midwife, where they will delivery their infants nevertheless and the place ever they please, but I feel fortunate to be able to have the waterbirth expertise whereas also being in a hospital setting. No need to worry about having to switch in case of an emergency, and that basically provides me peace of mind (which equates to less nervousness during labor—all the time an excellent factor!).

I obtained ultrasounds

This was one thing that I swore I’d never do, at one point, properly earlier than I ever saw those two pink strains on a pee stick. I received scared into believing that ultrasounds would trigger brain injury or have an effect on organ improvement and even—*gasp*—trigger left-handedness (lol). But, as I’ve come to study since then, the evidence to help the principle that ultrasounds are probably harmful could be very scant and removed from conclusive. Where I draw the line is the 3D/4D, see-every-last-detail-of-your-fetus-face variety of ultrasounds. Those have not been round for very long, and apart from just creeping me out (my baby isn’t finished cooking!), the increased degree of ultrasonic waves does concern me, and I don’t really feel snug with utilizing that know-how and not using a professional medical cause to take action.

I ended up getting two ultrasounds—one in the first trimester for courting functions and to verify viability, and another at 20 weeks for a full anatomy scan. Each left me feeling far more confident about the well being of my pregnancy and child, which I was very grateful for.

Oh, and I’m also grateful to know from the ultrasound, that the bulging bundle of child squirming round in me is a candy little woman. We’re pretty excited. ?

Benfit Baby-5951

I’m specializing in a balanced weight-reduction plan and also taking prenatal nutritional vitamins

For me, I felt that some of the recommendations that the WAPF makes for the “pregnancy diet” are a bit of excessive, unnecessary, or too troublesome to adhere to. I’m sorry, but even for me, consuming a HALF a STICK of butter day by day, in addition to two day by day tablespoons of coconut oil, is simply too much. I eat all the butter I would like! However I’d guess that’s often more like a tablespoon or two a day, relying on what I’m eating. I also use a very good quantity of coconut oil in my cooking, and I eat and drink lots of full-fat dairy. I’m definitely not hurting for enough saturated fat in my weight loss plan.

As an alternative of making an attempt to satisfy these very specific tips for nutrient intake day-after-day, I simply give attention to together with a spread of meals in my eating regimen for more micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and so forth.), and consuming a stability of all three macronutrients (fats, protein, carbs), while nonetheless consuming the food I would like. Often, I are likely to gravitate in the direction of a carb-heavy food plan. And there’s nothing incorrect with that, however I need to be sure I’m overlaying my different bases, too. What this appears like for me is deliberately adding in more protein sources day-after-day, like eggs, grass-fed meat, cheese, or seafood. I’m usually already coated in the fat division, like I discussed.

And, I eat a completely insane quantity of produce every single day. Okay, nicely, extra like fruit. Principally fruit. Rather a lot of fruit. Yesterday I ate—not kidding—6 clementines, two kiwis, an apple, a banana, two pears, an entire pomegranate, some watermelon, grapes, and a cup of frozen strawberries and raspberries. Am I concerned about all that deadly fructose? NOPE. Is my health practitioner? No. She simply advised me to also embrace different nutrients along with the fruits, like say, a handful of nuts or a hard-boiled egg along with my eighteen clementines. AKA, add more variety, and purpose for eating meals and snacks with all three macros for optimum metabolization, which is already my objective in consuming a balanced eating regimen.

I do suck at greens, although. My answer to that has been eating veggies that attraction to me (uncooked carrots, aaand…um, yeah that’s about it today), and then experimenting with green smoothies so as to add in more sources of greens and veggies. That has been kinda fun, and one thing I’ve never gotten into earlier than.

And, yes, I’m taking a prenatal vitamin, too. That’s one thing that the WAPF individuals don’t advocate, however actually each other supply of well being info does. I see no purpose not to take a high-quality prenatal. Is it attainable to get an optimal amount of absolutely all of the nutrients you need during pregnancy, from food regimen alone? Positive! You need to go pretty far out of your approach from eating a traditional, wholesome balanced food plan that appeals to you, with a view to accomplish that, although. Each single day, too. There have simply been too many days during my being pregnant when all those additional “superfoods” just don’t sound all that good to me, so once more, I simply try to stability issues as greatest I can, and then I complement with a prenatal vitamin along with my different supplements.

This is the prenatal I’m taking, and from what I’ve read, it appears to be one of the greatest out there:

(Trace: Add it to your Amazon Subscribe & Save to get the greatest deal. It undoubtedly helps reduce down on the value.)

I vaccinated myself towards pertussis


Right here’s the deal, though. Pertussis is not any joke for a child. It’s deadly, and the menace of getting it is rather real in lots of areas of the nation (including where I stay, the place there have been outbreaks). And the pertussis vaccine does work to reduce your danger of getting it. And, when you get the vaccine while pregnant (which I selected to do), you’ll be able to move along that protection to your child, to reduce their danger of contracting it during these very weak first few months of life.

There are risks to vaccines. There are lots of individuals out there who inform their stories about vaccine injuries. The pharmaceutical business is pretty usually terrible and definitely isn’t searching for all of our wellbeing. There’s a lot of inaccurate info obtainable from each side of the vaccine debate and it’s extremely troublesome to know who to consider and/or trust. It’s all very scary and it all really sucks.

My tackle it, nevertheless, is that this vaccine particularly (DTaP) is protecting towards something that would very feasibly kill my child. It’s not one thing to fiddle with. I’m not utterly snug with all vaccines and the current vaccine schedule, however I have to rigorously weigh my choices and make the most accountable selection that I can. So, for some of these robust selections for child’s and my health care decisions, I’m making them by way of the filter of: “Is this something that is proven to significantly decrease the risk of preventable serious illness, injury, or death?” If the answer is yes, then that’s what I select. There are mountains of scientific evidence that show how protected and effective this specific vaccine is, and additionally how devastating and life-threatening pertussis is for infants. I actually don’t know that I might stay with myself if I refused the shot, my child acquired pertussis, and died.

My crunchy hippie-friendly midwife recommends it, my integrative pediatrician recommends it, and for me, weighing the risks and benefits to getting it tipped the scales to: get it. I feel good about my selection. I’ll in all probability be writing an enormous lengthy publish quickly about this entire situation, too.

Are you a pregnancy rule-follower?

Or did you break a bunch of the rules? Perhaps you wound up somewhere in the center, like me. Be happy to share your thoughts in the feedback under.

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