Melissa’s Story

Melissa could have her baby any day now!  She is officially 38 weeks today.  If you’re new to my blog, let me give you a brief update.  Melissa is a contest winner who has won free nutrition and prenatal coaching in exchange for sharing her prenatal story.  I have been updating this blog monthly with pregnancy symptoms and concerns that she has been experiencing and recommendations I have made to address them.  If you would like to read her complete story, click on ‘Melissa’s story’ in the blog cloud to the right.  Or, go HERE.

Melissa has experienced a very healthy pregnancy so far, although she has recently reached a point of considerable discomfort.  It’s the same feeling I’m sure every pregnant woman gets just before the baby makes his or her grand appearance.  It’s nearly impossible to roll over in bed, tie your shoes or walk a flight of stairs.  Of course, every woman is different, and some may achieve these goals with more ease than others.  But, I think it’s fair to say that at the 38 week mark, most pregnant women feel done with pregnancy.

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

Melissa’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.

Melissa Baby Bump photo 38 weeks

Melissa’s baby bump at 38 weeks

If you read my last update on Melissa, you may remember she was experiencing dry skin.  Since then she has become aware of her water intake and she now makes a conscious effort to bring water bottles with her when she leaves the house.  It is recommended during pregnancy to drink about 3 litres of water per day.  Melissa is drinking more water now and she has noticed a significant improvement in her skin!

Melissa plans to have a home birth.  She does not have a formal birth plan, but she knows that her midwife will avoid any unnecessary interventions, delay cord clamping and encourage immediate skin to skin contact.  I am happy to see that skin to skin contact has become a normal practice not only at home births but also in hospitals because of the wonderful health benefits it provides.  It regulates the baby’s temperature and breathing, it encourages a good start to breastfeeding, it enhances the bonding between mother and baby and it strengthens the baby’s immune system by transferring good bacteria from mom to baby.  These are just a few of the reasons skin to skin is so amazing!

My next update will be in April.  If you wish to be notified, please leave a message or send me an e-mail.

I wish Melissa all the best for a beautiful birthing experience and happy, healthy baby!

Melissa’s Story

Melissa is 34 weeks pregnant with her second baby.  If you’ve been following her story, you will know that she is under the care of midwives.  Midwifery has grown very popular among parents recently, with a demand that actually exceeds the midwives that are available.  Unfortunately not all parents who want midwife care are accepted.  For anyone reading this who is currently trying to get pregnant, and wishes to have a midwife, I recommend you find one in your area and have them on speed dial, ready to call as soon as you get that positive pregnancy test.  I’m not going to bother with statistics, or even the pros and cons of midwifery, but I will say that I was under the care of midwives for my own pregnancy and it was a wonderful experience.  Please, doctors don’t be offended.  There are situations when doctors are necessary and preferred.  But, speaking from personal experience, I was very happy with my midwives and the level of care that they gave me.  I would like to take this opportunity to give a small shout-out.  Yay for midwives!

Now, back to Melissa.  She has won my Biggest Contest Ever, and will be featured in this blog until she has her baby.  In the last blog post (click here to read it) she was advised that her iron levels were low.  She was given a few weeks to boost her iron intake with food before she was tested again.  Now, there is nothing wrong with taking supplements, and often these are necessary when recommended by your doctor or midwife.  But, it is best to obtain your nutrients from food first and this was Melissa’s goal.  She did it!  Her iron level is now normal and supplements are not necessary.  The biggest change that she made in her diet was to include leafy green vegetables daily, both cooked and raw.  Leafy green vegetables are so full of nutrients, they are one of the healthiest foods you can eat!  Not only do they contain iron, but calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, folate, beta-carotene and more.  EVERYONE EVERYWHERE SHOULD EAT LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES.  Not just during pregnancy, but always.  Some options are kale, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, bok choy, collard greens, chard and cabbage.  Eat a variety of leafy greens to broaden the range of nutrients.  Eat both cooked and raw greens.  I know it’s difficult to find fresh, local vegetables during these cold winter months, but in the spring plant your own garden or shop at your local farmer’s market.

Other than leafy greens, Melissa has been snacking on pumpkin seeds (another excellent source of iron) and she ate liver.  Once.  Liver is high in iron and other nutrients like folic acid, Vitamins A and B12.  But, it does have a distinct taste that doesn’t agree with everyone’s taste buds.  Melissa is one of those people, although it had been a long time since she ate liver and she was willing to give it another try.  I suggested she hide it in some chili to disguise the flavor and she did.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to hide the taste, which she still doesn’t like.  She ate the chili, but I doubt she will try that again.

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

Melissa’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.

Melissa Blog Photo Feb 2015

Melissa’s baby bump at 34 weeks

One small concern that Melissa has right now is dry skin.  When I asked how much water she was drinking she couldn’t say for sure.  During pregnancy it is recommended to drink about 3 litres per day.  A good way to ensure this is to fill a jug with 3 litres of water and empty it before the end of the day.  Alternatively, she may keep a note pad on her kitchen counter and make a check mark every time she drinks a glass.  In addition to water, essential fatty acids such as nuts and seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, fish and fish oil, avocado and butter will help with her dry skin (also very important during pregnancy for the growth and development of her baby’s brain and nervous system.)

Other than dry skin, Melissa has no pregnancy issues or concerns right now.  She is enjoying pregnancy and now thinking of her birth plan.  She is open to the idea of a home birth, and considering that as an option.  However, her birth plan details are still undecided.  One thing she knows for sure is that she plans for a drug free birthing experience.  Her last baby was born without an epidural, and she is confident she can do it again.

Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail if you have any questions about Melissa’s pregnancy.

I will follow up with Melissa in March for her next blog entry.

If you would like to be notified when I post my next blog about Melissa, 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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