Rosalyn’s Story – Her Baby is HERE!

Rosalyn’s baby is here.

She arrived one month ago in perfect health!

Mom and baby are doing great!  They are breastfeeding, and Rosalyn’s milk is coming in so good now that she has decided to donate to the Ontario Milk Bank!  What a wonderful gift she is giving to other new moms and their babies!

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Rosalyn and baby

What else can I say about Rosalyn and her baby?  I can tell you that I am beyond thrilled that this sweet little girl has come into the world.  In case you haven’t read the previous posts about Rosalyn, she had suffered multiple miscarriages and unexplained infertility.  I have learned a lot from Rosalyn (which is not her real name) and this experience.  I’d like to thank her now for being so open and honest with me and everyone else who is reading this blog.  It was a long journey, with plenty of frustration and heartache along the way.  When you realize what some couples go through to get pregnant, you appreciate what you have and are extremely grateful.  At least that’s what happened to me.  I have heard not only from Rosalyn, but other clients and friends who have gone through infertility treatments.  I was shocked when I learned some of the things they have to do.  Sometimes these couples never do get their babies, and I am truly sorry for them.

I don’t mean to be sad right now.  This is a happy ending!

Just look at this beautiful baby!!

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How adorable is she!?

Rosalyn is the 5th winner of my Biggest Contest Ever, a contest I created to help women achieve and support a healthy pregnancy through holistic nutrition.  It has been an incredible honor for me to work with Colleen, Denise, Melissa, Ashley and now Rosalyn as each of these women shared their pregnancy journey’s with me and this blog.

The Biggest Contest Ever is officially over.  I no longer have the time to dedicate to this contest and blog.  I thank you for reading, and sharing these stories with me.  Thank you to all who have entered past contests, and to those women who have won.

Feel free to leave a comment, should you wish to send congratulations to Rosalyn and her family.

Thank you to Jennifer Willard Photography for sharing this beautiful photo of Rosalyn just before her baby girl arrived.

Rosalyn pregnant

Rosalyn’s Story

Remember Rosalyn?  She is my contest winner who I’ve been working with and posting updates on this blog.  If you read my previous blog posts you’ll know she suffered a miscarriage.  In fact, this INTRODUCTORY BLOG I wrote was one of the hardest I’ve ever written.

I took a little break from updating on Rosalyn’s story.  I did this for two reasons.  First, Rosalyn came out.  Meaning, she shared my blog with her family and friends.  When I started this blog just over 4 years ago, it was important for me to keep the identities of my clients confidential.  I mean, who am I to share personal, intimate details about these women with the world?  No, I would never do that.  But, confidentially, I wanted to share these women’s stories.  Their challenges and successes.  And if it comes to it, their heartbreak.  There have been 4 ‘Biggest Contest Ever’ winners before Rosalyn.  I am very pleased to share that each and every one of them now calls themselves mom.

Rosalyn is no longer anonymous.  It was important for her to share this story and she wanted people in her life to know what she was going through.  I feel this was a brave thing for her to do and I’m glad she did it.

The other reason I took a short break from Rosalyn’s story is because I wanted to give her time to grieve her loss.  She was kind enough and strong enough to share her story with me, and anyone reading my blog.  I was not about to pressure her into giving me monthly updates so that I could continue regular blog posts.

Until there was something important to share.

Which there was.

Rosalyn became pregnant again.

Remember, she revealed her identity to her family and friends.   So, when she received that positive pregnancy test she did not want to announce it publically.  I understand that.  And so we did not update on my blog.

Until now.

Rosalyn is currently pregnant!  In fact, she is 34 weeks pregnant today.  She and baby are perfectly healthy! 

White Tulips

 

In the past I have written these blog posts with nutrition concerns and recommendations based on whatever the mom is experiencing.  But this time I will not be doing that.  Instead I want to share what it feels like to be pregnant after miscarriage.

It’s not the same as my own pregnancy.  When I became pregnant I wanted to tell the world as soon as I found out.  I wanted to shout it off rooftops and I was confident I had a healthy baby and that I would carry that baby to term.  I never thought for a minute that I may lose her or something bad could happen.  This isn’t what it feels like for Rosalyn.  Instead, she has anxiety.  Worry.  Fear.  She has been through more than one miscarriage and years of unexplained infertility.  She doesn’t simply accept that she is pregnant and going to have a healthy baby.  She thinks the worst could still happen.  Even now at 34 weeks.  By now her baby is healthy and strong.  There is no reason to think that something bad may happen, but it is always on her mind.  Until she has that baby in her arms she will have some doubt.  And even then, there is a possibility of the unthinkable.

Honestly, I am only scratching the surface on pregnancy after a loss.  Rosalyn asked that I share THIS LINK which is much more detailed and in depth.

If you are reading this, and experienced loss, or unexplained infertility, please remember that you are not alone.  Rosalyn is one of many who have been through this.  Her light at the end of the tunnel is almost here.  She can see it.  She is ready for it.  And when it gets here it will be the most magical, beautiful miracle you could possibly imagine.

Thank you for reading Rosalyn’s story.

If you want to be notified when I update next on Rosalyn, please sign up for my email list HERE.

Rosalyn’s Story

Did you read last month’s blog post about Rosalyn and her miscarriage?  CLICK HERE if you missed it.

Pink and yellow flower website photo

 

Rosalyn’s baby is gone.  As they knew it would happen, the baby passed.  Physically, miscarriage can go a few different ways.  Sometimes it happens at home, naturally.  Other times it requires a trip to the hospital for a D & C, also known as dilation and curettage.  Rosalyn was hoping a D & C was not necessary and it wasn’t.  Her miscarriage happened at home, naturally.

I don’t have much of an update this month on Rosalyn.  Except that she is living her life, day to day, enjoying her family and their dogs.  She has a busy life!  She has been enjoying ballet with her sons, and trying to focus on staying positive.  She is truly remarkable and resilient.

I should add that every parent who has suffered a miscarriage will deal with their grief in their own way.  Because Rosalyn has been busy, strong, and positive, does not mean it’s not ok to be sad.  In fact, I am quite certain she has her moments of sadness and cries when she needs to.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that yes, she is moving on, she is ok, she is not giving up.  But, there is no right or wrong way to react to a miscarriage.  And if there were I am far from an expert on that subject.

I especially like this quote that Rosalyn sent me last month.

You just got to soldier on and make it through the other side, because lying down to die is not an option. And really, that’s all people with these fertility and loss problems do, is just keep moving, like a shark that doesn’t want to drown. We’re not brave, we’re just surviving.

 

I know Rosalyn is getting some help by sharing her story.  She has friends and groups that she belongs to that support one another.  We talked a bit about these groups during our last phone call.  I myself joined an online group when I was trying to get pregnant 7 years ago.  I know my group helped me a lot to get through those hard times when month after month I was not pregnant yet, and kept trying.  In fact, I am still friends with many of these women who were in my group at the time.  They are important to me.  They were my support system.  Today I am grateful for these friends, all of whom I have never met in person!

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Rosalyn may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Rosalyn is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment.  If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

Rosalyn’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between us is extensive and continual.

Right now Rosalyn is giving her body a break from the fertility drugs she has been taking.  She is focusing on healing her body with nutrition, and rebalancing her hormones naturally.  One recommendation I gave to her was to eat healthy fats.  Does this surprise you?  A nutritionist who is suggesting to eat more fat?!  Well, healthy fats, or essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are an important part of a healthy diet.  They are necessary for balancing hormones and supporting the endocrine system, as well as the nervous system.  We need EFA’s in our diet.  You have probably heard of the health benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids.  But, this is just one type of fat.  Overall, I recommend a variety of healthy fats (both saturated and unsaturated) that include fish and/or fish oil, cold pressed oils such as olive oil or hempseed oil, coconut oil, butter, eggs (especially eggs including the yolk!) nuts and seeds.

And in case you’re wondering, eating fat doesn’t cause you to gain weight.  Too many calories will!  Just keep in mind that fat tends to be higher in calories which is why you should keep it in moderation.  Generally speaking, we need about 20 – 30% of our daily calories coming from healthy fats.

 

I will be back next month with an update on Rosalyn.

 

If you would like to be notified when I post my next blog, you can sign up for my e-mail list HERE. To thank you for signing up, I will send you my free offer, “You and Your Baby: 7 Simple Steps to Achieving a Healthy Pregnancy and Happy Baby.”

Rosalyn’s Story – introductory blog

Meet Rosalyn.

Rosalyn is losing her baby as I am writing this blog.  Or she has lost it already.  Truth is she doesn’t know.  Her baby is 8 weeks old and she was told by her doctor that the heartbeat isn’t strong enough to survive.  They know the baby will die.  They are waiting.

This is the first time I am introducing a contest winner with such a tragic story.  My heart goes out to Rosalyn and her family.  I thought Rosalyn would want to wait for the blog.  I thought she would need time to grieve and I told her we can write this blog later.  Nobody is really waiting for it anyway.  It’s not like I have that big of a following.

But guess what.  Rosalyn asked me to write the blog now.  She wants her story to be heard.  And so here we are.

Have you ever said something with good intentions that came out all wrong?  Not sure what I mean?  When it comes to miscarriage I can think of a few.  Like, ‘at least it wasn’t too far along so you didn’t get too attached.’  Or ‘at least you know you can get pregnant so you can do it again.’  Or ‘the baby is with God now’ to an atheist.  For a complete list of things you should never say to someone who has miscarried, do a search online.  These examples are in the top ten.

When a woman (or a couple – I don’t want to offend any men out there either because their feelings are just as important) is experiencing a miscarriage the last thing you want to do is make her feel worse.  You want to say the right thing.  You want to comfort her.  But, how can anything be comforting at a time like this?  What could you possibly say?  I don’t know.  “I am sorry for your loss” or “I’m here for you if you want to talk about it” are a few that come to mind (I will get into this more a bit later).  You know what you don’t want to say, and you can’t put your foot in your mouth if your mouth isn’t open.  So, you remain silent.  You assume she has a supporting husband or family that will help her get through this.  You feel sad for her until something else comes along to distract you.  And then you forget about it.

Because let’s be honest.  Losing a baby is unthinkable.  You don’t want to think about it.

I don’t know what it feels like to lose a baby.  I am very grateful to have never experienced such a loss.  I do know how it feels to yearn for a baby.  I know how it feels to learn that you are pregnant, after months of trying, and you are the happiest and most grateful you could ever possibly be.  I know how it feels to be eight weeks pregnant and you love that baby growing inside of you.  That baby is real!  That baby is real to a mother the minute she learns she’s pregnant.  You can’t see it or hear it or feel it or touch it, but it’s there.  (I will write ‘it’ in reference to the baby for ease of flow, but I want to write he or she because it is a human being no matter how small or undeveloped.)  By the way, if you would like to see what an eight week old fetus looks like, CLICK HERE.

I am going to be completely honest, although in hindsight I realize I was quite naive.  When I first started working with women who were trying to get pregnant, I assumed most of them would be quick to get pregnant and have beautiful healthy babies.  I knew some women may need a little extra help, and some were struggling with fertility.  Of course, I knew about miscarriage and stillbirths and dying babies.  But, this isn’t something that happens to me, or people I know.  It certainly wouldn’t happen to my clients.  They would all have beautiful pregnancies with no health issues or concerns.  When I started writing this blog three years ago, I imagined every pregnancy being perfect.  They would all be happy ending stories.  Success stories.

I was wrong.  That’s not reality.  Now to be fair, most of my past clients are now blessed with healthy babies.  And I truly feel Rosalyn will have her baby too.  Unfortunately, for some couples their dreams of becoming a parent never do happen.  Or they adopt or find alternative methods of having children.  Or sometimes sad stories get their happy ending eventually.  But it’s a long, arduous road to get there, filled with grief and disappointment along the way.

Rosalyn is not alone, and she is not my first client to have a miscarriage.  She is the first one I am blogging about.  But, I have seen many women with fertility issues and repeated miscarriages.  It happens a lot more than we may think.

We should talk about it.  Chances are you know someone who has lost a baby.  It could be a co-worker, a friend, cousin, sister or neighbour.  It could be anyone and they may be suffering in silence.

There is help out there.  One resource is a group called Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network or PAIL.  If you are reading this and have experienced a loss I encourage you to reach out to them.  Or reach out to your family and friends.  You may be surprised to learn that someone you know has also suffered a loss.  Find a local support group in your area.  Find help.  It’s out there.

If you know someone who has experienced a miscarriage, let them know you are thinking of them and that their baby matters.  Ask them how they are feeling and be there to listen when they need to talk.

Rosalyn has won my Biggest Contest Ever. This means from now until she gives birth, we will be working closely together on her prenatal health and nutrition goals.  If she is unsuccessful in achieving pregnancy we will end this blog after one year of trying.  Of course, this is not the outcome we are all hoping for.

When I first met Rosalyn I knew she knew her stuff.  She has done a lot of her own research on fertility and miscarriage.  I knew right away that it would be a challenge for me to come up with new methods of improving fertility that she hasn’t already tried.

She and her husband are currently undergoing fertility treatments.  Rosalyn has been pregnant in the past, a total of eight times.  Three of those pregnancies were successful and she has 3 beautiful, healthy boys.  She has suffered 5 losses altogether.  This last one is the first time they have found a heartbeat and this makes it the most difficult of all.

Next month I will post an update on Rosalyn’s story.

I’d like to do something different this time and Rosalyn has given me permission to share her thoughts after reading this blog.  Here they are.

You never think it’s going to happen to you, or probably anyone else you know, until it does. Infertility and miscarriages are shockingly common. As a society we just suck at talking about it. When I came out on (social media) with my third loss, I was amazed how many women had been through the same. We need to stop making it a taboo to talk and share our stories. And it’s more than just infertility and miscarriages, there’s also late term loss, still births, and it happens to real people. Not just to ‘other’ people you’ll never know.

I knew when I was younger and had my boys, how precarious nature was. How hard it is for every little thing to come together to make a baby. I knew, but I don’t think I *knew*, if you know what I mean? Now I look at my kids and am overwhelmed that they were ever possible in the first place.

People keep saying how brave I am, but I don’t really think so. You just…..deal with the hand you’re dealt. Like right now I still have to go through this miscarriage, I have no idea how it’ll play out, if my body will take care of it or if it’ll end up in the hospital, or if it’ll drag on and on. I have no idea. It’s ugly, it’s huge, I don’t want to do it. But there’s no way around that wall of ugly – you just got to soldier on and make it through the other side, because lying down to die is not an option. And really, that’s all people with these fertility and loss problems do, is just keep moving, like a shark that doesn’t want to drown. We’re not brave, we’re just surviving.

I used to think that RPL (repeat pregnancy loss) would be the most horrible thing ever. And somedays, it is complete hell on earth. But somehow, you make it through when it happens to you, mostly because you really don’t have a choice not to.

Thank you for bringing up the spouse! Men often get ignored. I think seeing the heartbeat has been especially tough on my husband.  Men grieve too, but somehow our society is even worse about men grieving and being affected by fertility issues than women. We ARE talking more about it, and it’s less taboo for a woman to have infertility issues, but it’s still very taboo for men. The stats are – 50% of infertility cases have a male factor issue at least partially. Which means, half the time, the guy is at least part of the problem. And yet, everyone assumes it’s the womens’ body at fault all the time – it’s not. For us, we believe that we are repeatedly creating aneuploid (chromosomally abnormal) embryos because of a combination of my older eggs and my husband’s DNA damaged sperm. It can be extremely hard for guys to accept that and it’s very taboo.

I’m not grateful for having this crap happen, obviously…..but in a way I value feeling the loss and sorrow, because it gives shadow to the bright spots in my life and makes my human experience fuller and more complete…….I’m not sure that makes sense, but somehow a life filled with nothing but good would seem a bit, shallow by comparison? That the human experience isn’t complete without the darkness too, like a yin/yang thing.

Rosalyn's baby.

Rosalyn’s baby.

 

Here are a few articles that Rosalyn found helpful and wanted to share:

“Why Are We So Bad at Acknowledging Pregnancy Loss”

“Let’s Talk About Miscarriage”

 

Right now, I ask that you please take a moment and think of these babies who have been taken too soon.  Keep their memories alive.  If you know someone who has suffered a loss, let them know you haven’t forgotten.  Those precious little lives had meaning, however short their time was on earth.  If you have any kind words you would like to share with Rosalyn, please leave a comment or send a private message to karen@natureprenatal.com.

Thank you for taking time from your day to read Rosalyn’s introductory blog.  I hope you will continue to follow her story as it unfolds.  To be notified when the next blog is posted, CLICK HERE  to subscribe to my email list.

Sincerely,
Karen.

Ashley’s Story – Final Blog.

IT’S A GIRL!

Ashley’s baby is now just over eight weeks old and doing amazing!  She is your typical healthy baby, pooping, sleeping and eating.  Repeat!  I am happy to report that Ashley and baby are exclusively breastfeeding, which is so important.

little baby sucking breast mother with open eyes

Please no offense to the formula feeding moms out there, but understand where I am coming from when it comes to breastmilk.  It is just the best possible source of nutrition for any baby.  Period.  Plus, it’s good for mom too!  I will not list all the health benefits of breastfeeding, but if you would like to know more, CLICK HERE.

If a new mom is struggling with breastfeeding, I highly recommend seeking professional help.  The nurses at the hospital and my midwives were amazing for me when I had my baby.  There are also lactation consultants, and support groups such as La Leche League.  And guess what else?  Nutrition plays a big role!

When it comes to diet during lactation, it’s important to eat about 2,800 calories per day with at least 65 grams of protein and 3 litres of water*.

*This is an estimate and individual needs may vary.

Ashley is a contest winner who won my ‘Biggest Contest Ever’.  This blog post is my final update on Ashley.

To read Ashley’s full story, CLICK HERE.

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Ashley may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Ashley is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

Ashley’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between us is extensive and continual.

In my last blog update on Ashley, I mentioned that things don’t always go as planned.  This is true for everything in pregnancy, including labour and delivery.  Ashley’s baby was born via c-section.  This is not an ideal situation, but it was necessary.  There are many health benefits to the baby and mom from a vaginal delivery, but when complications arise, the only thing that matters is the health of baby and mom.  In Ashley’s case, she and baby are both doing great!

I’d like to thank Ashley for this touching testimonial:

Karen is amazing to work with. She made me feel comfortable the moment I started working with her. Right away, she made me much healthier with all her food recommendations, lifestyle change and overall life outlook. Anytime I had a question, she was quick to answer and always had a response. This pregnancy went by super fast and I owe a lot of the positivity, overall health well being to Karen. I highly recommend her service/assistance through this special journey and milestone in your life. Thank you Karen!

I am so happy for Ashley and her family!  I would like to wish them all the best for a happy and healthy future together!  Thank you for sharing your prenatal journey with myself and my readers.

Sincerely,
Karen.

PS.  I have started working with Rosalyn, who is my current contest winner.  I will be writing an introductory blog for her story very soon.  If you would like to be notified when I do CLICK HERE to join my email list.  As an added bonus, I will send you my free offer, “7 Simple Steps to Achieving a Healthy Pregnancy and Happy Baby.”

PPS  If you are currently trying to get pregnant, and would like to work with me, you still have time to join my online program, “How to Make a Baby in 90 Days.”  We start July 17!  CLICK HERE  for all the details or send an email to karen@natureprenatal.com to request a free 15 minute consultation.

 

Ashley’s Story

Ashley is now 36 weeks pregnant.  This blog post could be the final pregnancy update before her baby arrives!  Unless she goes over her due date.  Which is very possible, and very normal.  When it comes to a baby’s birth date, he or she makes all the calls (unless it’s a planned cesarean section).  There is no guarantee that the baby will come on or before the due date.  Baby may want to come early, on time, or even late.  Time will tell for Ashley.

Wild chamomile. White flowers. Selective focus. Bokeh

Some aspects of Ashley’s pregnancy did not go according to her original plans.  And that’s perfectly fine.  This is the way pregnancy goes.  And labour, I will add.  No matter how detailed your birth plan is, you can never predict exactly what will happen during labour.  All you can do is take it moment by moment and do what you feel is best for you and your baby at the time.  If you have been following Ashley’s story, you may remember she was planning to see a physiotherapist for her back pain, but the wait list was too long.  She opted for massage therapy instead, which has been very helpful.  She also had plans to wrap or bind her belly to provide support and relief.  She has not done this either, because she has been feeling very hot and the idea of wrapping her belly was too much.  I get this.  During pregnancy your core body temperature does increase by about a half a degree celsius.  This may not seem like much, but it is.

I suppose one way to look at it is, Ashley’s back pain is manageable without the physiotherapy and belly band.  I mean she is still walking and taking the stairs every day!

Ashley is a contest winner who won my ‘Biggest Contest Ever’.  This means that for the remainder of her pregnancy I will be working closely with her on the nutrition needs of herself and her baby.  She has agreed to allow me to post it here, on my blog.

*I AM CURRENTLY ACCEPTING ENTRIES FOR MY NEXT BIGGEST CONTEST!  IF YOU ARE ACTIVELY TRYING TO CONCEIVE OR IN YOUR FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY, CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS AND TO ENTER.

To read Ashley’s full story, CLICK HERE.

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Ashley may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Ashley is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

Ashley’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between us is extensive and continual.

Ashley is feeling pressure from the baby and experiencing some Braxton Hicks contractions.  If you are unfamiliar with Braxton Hicks, these are sporadic uterine contractions that can come and go during pregnancy.  Not all women will feel them and they are mostly painless.

Ashley has started to drink red raspberry leaf tea daily, in preparation for her labour.  When it comes to herbs including herbal tea, I strongly recommend pregnant women have a discussion with your doctor or midwife first.  Some herbs can be harmful during pregnancy and can be dangerous when used in combination with certain medications.  If you missed last month’s blog, CLICK HERE to read how red raspberry leaf tea can help.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Ashley the best of luck for a positive birthing experience.  I hope she and her family are soon blessed with the baby of their dreams.

If you would like to be notified when I post my next update on Ashley, you can sign up for my e-mail list HERE. To thank you for signing up, I will send you my free offer, “You and Your Baby: 7 Simple Steps to Achieving a Healthy Pregnancy and Happy Baby.”

7stepscover

Ashley’s Story

Ashley is currently 31 weeks pregnant.  She is well into the third trimester and feeling all the normal discomforts thatyou-want-a-baby-large come with it.  At 31 weeks, her baby is about 3 pounds and the size of a coconut.  A coconut!  Of course that is going to be uncomfortable, right?  Any moms with twins reading this is probably laughing to themselves right now….

 

Overall, Ashley is feeling good.  She was planning to see a physiotherapist for her back pain, but the wait list was too long.   She is currently receiving massage therapy instead and finding some relief in that.  She is also planning to start wrapping her belly.  I’ll be honest, I’ve never tried that during my own pregnancy.  Now that I am doing some research I wish that I had.  I will update on her belly wrapping next blog post and let you know how it goes.  In the meantime, if you wrapped your belly during pregnancy, I’d love to hear about it.  Feel free to leave a comment and share your experience.

Ashley is a contest winner who won my ‘Biggest Contest Ever’.  This means that for the remainder of her pregnancy I will be working closely with her on the nutrition needs of herself and her baby.  She has agreed to allow me to post it here, on my blog.

To read Ashley’s full story, CLICK HERE.

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Ashley may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Ashley is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

Ashley’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between us is extensive and continual.

Ashley is still taking the stairs every day instead of the elevator!  At 31 weeks, this is impressive!  She does admit it’s not easy, but she will continue to climb for as long as she can.

Now that she is getting closer to her due date, Ashley is thinking of her birth plan.  This is her second baby and she is hoping her labor is not as long as it was with her first.  Good news is that subsequent babies usually do come faster as our bodies remember what to do.  Another way she can prepare for a shorter delivery time is to drink red raspberry leaf tea starting now until she has her baby.  Red raspberry leaf tea has been known to reduce labor time by strengthening the uterine muscles.  I recommend drinking 1 – 2 cups per day but when it comes to herbs (including herbal tea) you should discuss this with your doctor or midwife.  Or you may seek the help of an herbalist or naturopathic doctor.

Studies have also shown that having a doula can shorten labor time.  (Source:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16881989)   If you’re not sure what a doula is, or how they can help you, check out my interview with Bliss Doula HERE.

In honor of World Doula Week (March 22 – 28), I’d like to invite any doula’s reading this now to comment below with your contact information.  Thank you for the wonderful work that you do!  I encourage any expecting mom’s to reach out to a doula in your area to learn more.

If you would like to be notified when I post my next update on Ashley, you can sign up for my e-mail list HERE. To thank you for signing up, I will send you my free offer, “You and Your Baby: 7 Simple Steps to Achieving a Healthy Pregnancy and Happy Baby.”

7stepscover

 

Ashley’s Story

Ashley is currently 25 weeks pregnant.  Over half way!  This is typically when symptoms change from nausea and fatigue to lower back pain and heartburn.  This is when things can start to get uncomfortable.  The baby is taking up much more space.  And he or she will move everything out of the way to get it.

Ashley pregnant belly pic Jan 2016

Ashley’s baby belly at 23 weeks.

Ashley is a contest winner who won my ‘Biggest Contest Ever’.  This means that for the remainder of her pregnancy I will be working closely with her on the nutrition needs of herself and her baby.  She has agreed to allow me to post it here, on my blog.

To read Ashley’s full story, CLICK HERE.

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Ashley may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Ashley is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

Ashley’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between us is extensive and continual.

I will keep this update on Ashley brief.  Basically, she is doing great, and baby is healthy.  She is experiencing some back pain and will be seeing a physiotherapist soon.  And still, she takes the stairs at work, up to three flights at a time!

Ashley doesn’t have any concerns or nutrition related questions for me this month.  If you do, feel free to send them to karen@natureprenatal.com.  I will reply to your e-mail and maybe feature your question in the next blog update.

If you would like to be notified when I post my next update on Ashley, you can sign up for my e-mail list HERE. To thank you for signing up, I will send you my free offer, “You and Your Baby: 7 Simple Steps to Achieving a Healthy Pregnancy and Happy Baby.

 

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Ashley’s Story

Ashley is currently 18 weeks pregnant.  She is almost half-way!

Ashley is a contest winner who won my ‘Biggest Contest Ever’.  This means that for the remainder of her pregnancy I will be working closely with her on the nutrition needs of herself and her baby.  She has agreed to allow me to post it here, on my blog. Closeup on tummy of pregnant woman, wearing long green dress, ho

To read Ashley’s full story, CLICK HERE.

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Ashley may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Ashley is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

Ashley’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between us is extensive and continual.

Last month I wrote about ingredient lists.  Specifically food ingredient lists.  It’s important to know what is in the food you eat.  This month Ashley has asked about sunscreen (yes, she took a trip down south and had a fabulous time!) and belly cream.  You probably know that you can use creams and oils to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.  There is no guarantee, of course, and sometimes stretch marks come no matter how much we try to avoid them.  I do recommend using creams and oils on your belly (and breasts) during pregnancy.  Not only will they possibly prevent stretch marks, but they provide added moisture, which is never a bad thing.  Speaking of moisture, it is important to drink enough water.  This is my biggest piece of advice to improve anyone’s skin, pregnant or not.  When it comes to creams, lotions and oils, read their ingredient lists as well before you purchase anything.  Especially during pregnancy.  These ingredients can be absorbed through your skin and into your bloodstream.  Yes, it requires a bit of homework to determine what’s safe, but it’s worth it.  The Environmental Working Group tests a lot of these products and gives them a rating.  Go to their website here and see how your products measure up (not only for belly creams, but cosmetics, seafood, fruits and vegetables, water and more).

According to the Environmental Working Group, Personal care products are manufactured with 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system or known to disrupt the endocrine system. Though some companies make products that are safe to eat, others choose to use dangerous ingredients like coal tar and formaldehyde, both human carcinogens, and lead acetate, a developmental toxin.”   (Source)

One more option to consider is olive oil or coconut oil.  These may also be used topically during pregnancy or even for conditions like dry skin and eczema.

If you would like to share your own experience with a product you have used during pregnancy, please leave a comment.

As for Ashley’s pregnancy, all is well.  She has started to feel movement with tiny kicks and jabs.  This is (I feel) the best pregnancy symptom!  The baby is still small enough that it is not too uncomfortable, and those reassuring movements are enough to melt your heart.

If you read the last update on Ashley, you will know that she has had concerns about leg cramps.  So far she has felt a few, but they have been mild compared to what she experienced with her previous pregnancy.  I mentioned last week that water intake is important to prevent leg cramps (again with the water!)  I will say it again.  During pregnancy you should drink about 3 litres of water per day.

If you would like to be notified when I post my next update on Ashley, you can sign up for my e-mail list HERE. To thank you for signing up, I will send you my free offer, “You and Your Baby: 7 Simple Steps to Achieving a Healthy Pregnancy and Happy Baby.”

Ashley’s Story

Have you been following Ashley’s story?

In case you haven’t, Ashley is a contest winner who won my ‘Biggest Contest Ever’.  This means that for the remainder of her pregnancy I will be working closely with her on the nutrition needs of herself and her baby.  She has agreed to allow me to post it here, on my blog.  Every blog written about Ashley is real and true.  Ashley is not her real name, but she is a real person who is soon to have a baby.  White flower

To read Ashley’s full story, CLICK HERE.

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Ashley may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Ashley is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

Ashley’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between us is extensive and continual.

Ashley is currently 12 weeks pregnant.  She is about to enter her second trimester.

In my last blog entry, I wrote about some minor pregnancy symptoms that Ashley was experiencing.  Bloating, light-headedness and headaches were on the top of the list.  I’m happy to report that all of these symptoms have improved.

Right now one of her biggest concerns is not getting enough time to prepare healthy meals.  Because of this, she has been drinking a ready-made smoothie for the extra nutrition.  I will not mention the brand name, but it is something you will find at your grocery store or health food store.  A lot of these products are not what they claim to be.  Don’t be fooled by tricky advertising!  A label that claims it is ‘Natural’ or ‘Gluten-free’, or ‘No added sugar’ does not necessarily make it a healthy choice.  You have to read ingredient lists.  Know the difference between an ingredient list and nutrition label.  The nutrition label will list calories, fiber, protein, vitamin C, etc.  Nutrients.  An ingredient list will list foods and sometimes additives, preservatives and ingredients that are not food.  Look for words that you know.  For example, apples, kiwi, celery, etc.  If an ingredient is difficult to pronounce or sounds like it came from a lab (for example:  SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE – an ingredient used in artificial maple syrup) it probably did come from a lab.  These ingredients are not food.  When it comes to processed food I don’t think you will find any that don’t have some ingredients that aren’t  real food, like ‘natural flavours’ for example.

Now, here are my feelings on ingredients like ‘natural flavours’.  It’s impossible to make all your food from scratch every day.  Impossible.  So, do what you can.  Make at least most of your meals from scratch.  And if you find that you are not getting the nutrients you need, it’s ok to get it from processed foods (sometimes! – to be clear I am not recommending processed foods, but occasionally it’s ok )  or health products like supplements (vitamins).  Not to mention, the amount of ‘natural flavours’ in the product may be quite small.  In Ashley’s case, the smoothie she drinks is one of the best that I’ve seen and I like most of the ingredients found on the label.

Ashley’s second concern is leg cramps.  She remembers them from her previous pregnancy and would like to prevent them from happening again.  If you do not know how a leg cramp feels, I’m sorry to tell you.  It is painful!  It’s true.  It may be nature’s way of preparing women for the pain of childbirth, I don’t know.

I myself have had leg cramps, and even cramps in my toes.  There is one thing I learned from personal experience; when you feel a cramp coming on, do not point your toes!  This will make it worst.  In fact, there is nothing much you can do except wait for it to be over. (If you know of a way to ease the pain of a leg cramp, please leave a comment)

The good news is there are ways to prevent or reduce the chances of getting cramps in the first place.  The most important is to make sure you are getting enough nutrients.  If you haven’t noticed by now, this is often the prevention of most common pregnancy symptoms.  But, it’s true!  Nutrient deficiencies such as calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium and potassium can all contribute to muscle cramps.  Regularly taking a good quality prenatal vitamin along with healthy meals and snacks should be enough to avoid painful leg cramps.  Some foods that will help are leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, sea salt, bananas and sweet potato.  Also, regular exercise (without overdoing it) and adequate water intake (about 3 litres per day) are important.

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If you would like to be notified when I post my next update on Ashley, you can sign up for my e-mail list HERE. To thank you for signing up, I will send you my free offer, “You and Your Baby: 7 Simple Steps to Achieving a Healthy Pregnancy and Happy Baby.”