The Secrets to a Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy Health

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This evening practice can make your days brighter

I am always encouraging women to drink enough water during pregnancy. Now more than ever, it is important to be intentional about hydrating our body. Dehydration can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, and even premature contractions, among other symptoms.When I was pregnant with Bella and Mila I would get extremely thirsty, specially during night time. This is why I carried a 64oz water jug everywhere. My thirst became more extreme in the middle of the night. I would wake up to take a sip of water because my mouth and throat would get very dry. Perhaps it was being so aware of my need for water that helped me be healthy, happy, and full of energy during my pregnancies.

A dear friend is 7 weeks pregnant with her third baby. She had been struggling with tiredness and nausea until she tried something new. What worked Samantha was waking up at night to drink water and have a healthy snack, like a banana. A hydrated body can function adequately, properly flush out toxins, and results in glowing and elastic skin that is less prone to stretch marks.

So, make sure you remain hydrated even during night time. It may your days so much better. Something like drinking enough water seems so simple but many times we need to go back to the basics.

Sometimes water by itself isn’t easy to drink. It can even make nausea worse. Adding lemon is helpful, plus citric fruits are good remedies for nausea.

I recommend using a large water jug to monitor your water in take. Check out my post on how to prevent premature contractions and 5 reasons to own a big water jug.

There are tons of healthy tips in my book “The Secrets to a Healthy Pregnancy.” You can get the first chapter for FREE here. 

Hope you have a great weekend!

A hug,

Maria

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What you don’t know about ULTRASOUNDS

When you go to your prenatal visits your practitioner may want to use ultrasound scans or a Doppler to track your baby’s development. The medical community has regarded ultrasound scans and Dopplers safe, but the FDA has issued a warning about their overuse. “[T]he radiation associated with [ultrasound imaging and heartbeat monitors] can produce effects on the body,” says Robert Phillips, Ph.D., a physicist with FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). “When ultrasound enters the body, it heats the tissues slightly. In some cases, it can also produce small pockets of gas in body fluids or tissues.”[1] Research regarding the safety of ultrasounds have found their effect range from changes in the movement and migration of cells and neurons, to damage of the cells themselves.[2]

During pregnancy, in the first trimester, your baby’s cells are rapidly working together to form organs. This is a critical stage in your baby’s development. The sound waves transmitted by the ultrasound shake the cells to result in the image. This vibration can affect the formation process.

Bone heats up more than tissue. So,during the second and third trimesters, when the bones are formed the heat effects of the scans increase and the risk of damage to the baby’s brain due to high heat increases as well.

Remember there was a time when doctors used X-rays on pregnant women. They later found that the radiation was harmful to the babies.

Ultrasounds are a relatively new technology. My husband and I weren’t aware the effects of ultrasounds from the very beginning of our first pregnancy, but as soon as our doctor gave us several clinical research papers on the risks we decided to only do the anatomy ultrasound going forward. We wanted to know the sex of our baby and make sure all her organs were okay. However, all other ultrasounds that we would typically do just for the fun of it or to get a new picture of the baby were not medically necessary so we preferred to avoid the risk.

Instead of ultrasounds and dopplers, I recommend the use of a fetoscope, which is like a regular stethoscope that a doctor uses to hear your heart beat, but for the womb. This conventional device doesn’t pose any risk to your baby, but is very effective. I was able to listen to my baby’s heartbeat through this device during each of my visits.

Lastly, there is now a new blood test that allows you to learn the sex of your baby without an ultrasound. I would have opted for this test if they had it available when I was pregnant.

My upcoming book has tons of healthy tips for pregnancy. Subscribe to my email list and get the first chapter FREE.  http://eepurl.com/084uP

A big hug,

Maria

Related articles:
http://chriskresser.com/natural-childbirth-iib-ultrasound-not-as-safe-as-commonly-thought

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/ultrasoundwagner.asp

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The benefits of protein you may be missing out on

Pregnant women need more protein than non-pregnant women. 1) Protein helps develop your baby’s brain and his or her muscles. 2) Protein helps build your own muscles. 3) Stronger body makes labor easier. 4) Stronger muscles during pregnancy will make it easier for you to bounce back to a fit body. 5) Protein provides you with the nutrients and antioxidants you need to keep your immune system healthy.

If you aren’t a big meat-eater (like me), organic peanut butter is a great alternative and can also be a great snack with some veggies or fruits. Look for one that only contains organic peanuts and sea salt. These are the best! Eggs are well known for being the food with the highest amount of protein on the market. I buy my eggs through a buying club for $6/dozen and the yolks are amazing! (This is how you can tell they are good eggs from healthy hens.)

Additionally, during both of my pregnancies, I turned to protein shakes as a way to get the 71 grams of protein that the American College of Nurse-Midwives recommends as a daily intake. I had a protein shake for breakfast and sometimes a second one as an afternoon snack. Some protein powders contain herbs that could be harmful during pregnancy like soy lecithin. Look out for artificial ingredients that are harmful to you and your baby when choosing a protein powder. I recommend i5 or FitFood Vegan by Xymogen (which I get from my naturopath but you can buy online) and Whey Cool (also available online).

You can add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your shake for a nutritional boost. It will harden and become tough to pass through the straw but I noticed a big difference when I added it. I didn’t get cravings for greasy foods or sudden rushes of hunger. In other words, I ate healthier when I did add it.

My upcoming book has my favorite protein shake recipes. You can use this link to register to get the first chapter for free!

Much love,

Maria

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Sleeping As Your Belly Grows

“Sleeping on your back is the best way to sleep when it comes to your spine” says Dr. Joe Coffman, chiropractor at Vivify Miami.  During your second trimester, sleeping on your back may be uncomfortable and is not recommend after your 4th month. Sleeping on your side (some studies reveal the left side is better), supported by pillows may be most comfortable from this point forward.
During my pregnancies, with each trimester that passed, the number of pillows I used to sleep increased. My record was 4 pillows! I used one pillow for my neck/head, a second one under my belly, a third (long) one between my legs, and a fourth one behind me, supporting my back.Keep in mind that the pillows are meant to support your body so that your neck and spine are in a neutral position. When your neck is properly supported and your back aligned you will feel refreshed after a good night sleep. Sleeping comfortably will not only help you stay pain free during pregnancy, but also healthy. My upcoming book, “The Healthy Pregnancy,” includes a chapter that explains how misalignments in your spine can affect your overall health. Next week, I will share ways to help you fall asleep, and deal with restless legs. To stay tuned, subscribe through email to thehealthypregnancybook.com.

Until next week!

Maria

 

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Is that drink worth it?

Have you ever seen a pregnant woman drinking alcohol and wonder if it’s safe for her baby? Are you wondering how much alcohol is safe for you?

The reality is that there is no safe amount of alcohol for a pregnant woman. Some women have higher levels of the enzymes that break down alcohol (alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase) than others, so establishing a threshold is difficult. Because there are so many unknowns, the CDC, the U.S. Surgeon General, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics advise you to abstain from all kinds of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.[1]

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, she puts her baby at risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). FASDs effects can include physical, behavior, and learning problems.

So is that drink is really worth the risk? After all, you are only pregnant for 40-weeks. After you deliver, even if you chose to breastfeed, there are ways you can enjoy an occasional drink without it affecting your breast milk.

There are healthier options to alcoholic beverages. At parties I would enjoy Perrier, with or without lemon. A bar tender can put any beverage in a champagne glass for finesse. At home, nothing beats a cozy herbal tea, with milk and honey. For tips to relax (in lieu of a drink) check out my post “Winning the Battle against Stress.”

[1] WebMD Pregnancy http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/drinking-alcohol-during-pregnancy

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The Pregnancy Hall Pass Myth

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book, “The Healthy Pregnancy.” Enjoy!

One day, while pregnant with Bella, I bumped into another pregnant woman at the supermarket. We smiled at each other and continued shopping. Then suddenly, I heard her say, “This isn’t really good for you.” I figured that she was talking to me, so I turned around and noticed that she was near a table full of cakes and sweets on sale—holding a box of pound cake. I immediately smiled and affirmed her with a nod. I began walking towards her to engage in a casual talk, when she said, “Who cares! I’m pregnant!” She took two boxes of pound cake and threw them in her cart. “How could you think that? You have it all mixed up.” These were my thoughts as I stood there in shock and still as a rock. I was not shocked because she took two boxes—after all, they were buy one get one free. I was shocked at the misconception that she didn’t have to care about whether what she ate was good for her or not simply because she was pregnant.

Unfortunately, she is one of the many women who believe that they have a hall pass to eat whatever they want, whenever they want during pregnancy. Our culture celebrates cravings and encourages moms to wake up in the middle of the night and demand that their husbands run out and buy desserts or fatty foods from strange places far away from home. We get angry with the husbands if they don’t do it because “it’s their job.” We think that it is preposterous to prevent a pregnant woman from satisfying her craving—no matter how crazy it is.

However, we must watch what we eat when we are pregnant more than ever. What we eat has the potential to nourish our developing baby, but can also harm him or her. This is why I began eating so much healthier when I became pregnant with Bella, and my health and body were very grateful for it.

“The Healthy Pregnancy” can be your guide from preconception through delivery and your aid to bouncing back to your pre-pregnancy body! To stay tuned, follow our blog, thehealthypregnancybook.com or join our Facebook page, facebook.com/thehealthypregnancybook.

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Winning the Battle Against Stress

During pregnancy, it is normal to feel some stress. Your body is going through many changes, and as your hormones change, so do your moods. You might begin worrying about a new life forming inside of you and become very protective and sometimes even a little paranoiac. Financial stress is another common culprit, and there are many others. However, it is important to create outlets for that stress. Otherwise, the stress hormone cortisol builds up in the blood and creates distress on your mind and body.From communicating your anxieties to exercising, there are tools within your reach that will help ensure your healthy pregnancy goes on. This post is about the antidotes that have helped me fight stress during pregnancy. I have created an acronym to help you remember. It’s called REACT.

1. “R” is for Rest
Research has found that napping regularly may reduce stress and even decrease your risk of heart disease. Moreover, stress can sometimes affect your evening sleep and that can lead to lack of energy, decreased immunity, bad moods, and other health issues. Napping compliments your evening sleep so you have enough rest to function properly throughout the day.

2. “E” is for Exercise
Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to walking, can act as a stress reliever. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress levels and your baby will enjoy the serotonin and endorphins that the body produces. These hormones are responsible for modulating mood and brain chemistry. At high levels, they prevent pain and sadness, while low levels tend to obstruct positive feelings. Regular exercise can also increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep which is sometimes affected during pregnancy.

3. “A” is for Alternative Medicine
Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Naturopathic Care have methods of reducing stress levels. I am a fan of alternative medicine because I have found that it is more focused on addressing the situation and not the symptoms. Whereas a doctor would typically prescribe mild medication, alternative medicine works with your body and mind so that the root of the issue is resolved. Many healthcare plans have included alternative medicine treatments in their coverage. I found that getting adjusted by a chiropractor during pregnancy helped me feel better and more relaxed right away.

4. “C” is for Conmunicate
When struggling with a stressful situation, it may be helpful to talk with someone you can trust. Venting to your spouse or friend can be very therapeutic. If you are feeling stress about pregnancy or motherhood it is important you let your midwife or doctor know. They have a lot of helpful information to ease your concerns. My midwife always had the right words to say whenever I had doubts about anything. I’m so glad I got to benefit from her wise counsel. All I had to do was open up.

5. “T” is for Take Action
Assess whether the situation requires an action from your part. There are things you can solve, others that you can put on hold, and others you simply can’t do anything about. Either way, some degree of action is required from you; from the action of fixing the issue to the action of letting go. Stressing or worrying about something you cannot do anything about isn’t going to help. As a matter a fact, it’s just going to hurt you and your baby. If your assessment of the situation reveals that there is an action required from your part, go for it. If there is nothing you can do to aid in the situation, then let it go.

Dr. Walter Calvert conducted a study of the things we worry about. He found that we spend 92% of our emotional energies over things that won’t happen or things we can’t change. That’s a lot of wasted time and energy.

I endured periods of high stress during both of my pregnancies. From losing my job (and lots of money) to serious issues with my older kids. These stories and how I went about them are in my book.

Prayer was (and still is) vital during those difficult times and this Bible verse really encouraged me throughout the way. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7

I hope that this, along with the 5 elements of REACT, will help you win the battle against stress. Enjoy your pregnancy! Don’t let stress rob you of this precious experience of bonding with your baby in your womb. Small things will go away, even things that seem like big problems won’t seem so big a few years from now. Trust me.

My book “The Secrets to a Healthy Pregnancy” has a lot more helpful information on this topic and more. You can get it here or on Amazon.

Until next week!

Maria

 

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Labor Can Be Less Painful

If you want to experience a less painful birth regardless of how you plan to deliver, this post is for you.

Exercise during pregnancy reduces stress levels and pain perception during labor.[1] I exercised throughout both of my amazing pregnancies; and always thought this was a key factor in my quick deliveries. Now a study reveals it may have also affected my perception of pain.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins.[2] Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in the body.[3]  

A study published by PubMed.gov studied 36 women in their second or third pregnancies. They were divided in two groups to determine whether exercising during pregnancy could elevate endorphin levels. The women were monitored and their blood was tested—during pregnancy and labor—for the levels of 1) endorphins, 2) the stress hormone cortisol, and 3) the growth hormone, which increases with stress. The results showed that women who exercised during pregnancy had less painful births and less stress than those who didn’t.

Exercising is also important in maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. A weekly total of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity is recommended.[4] My upcoming book “The Healthy Pregnancy” has a lot helpful tips and information on exercising and an active lifestyle. So, stay tuned!

Until next week!

Maria

 

 

 

[1]Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Mar;160(3):707-12. Effects of physical activity on maternal plasma beta-endorphin levels and perception of labor pain. Varrassi G, Bazzano C, Edwards WT.

[2] http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression

[3] http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression

[4]The Office of Women’s Health of the Department of Health and Human Services http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-are-pregnant/staying-healthy-safe.html

7 Reasons Why Everyone Should Try Gluten-free

Gluten is found in breads, cereals, pizza, baked goods, many processed foods, and even in cosmetics, hair and skin products. So, what’s the big deal with Gluten? That it gets in the way…

 

Gluten gets in the way of our digestive system’s proper functioning. This is a big deal because our digestive system does a lot more than breakdown food so we can dispose of it later. Not only is it responsible for the absorption of nutrients and the fueling we need for energy, growth and repair; but it is also an integral part of our immune system, which affects our entire body, including our nervous system.

 

There is a debate on whether or not humans are capable of digesting gluten.[1]We are certain that at least those diagnosed with Celiac’s disease, an immune reaction to eating gluten, cannot. In people with Celiac’s (and perhaps us all) this “undigested gluten” triggers our immune system as soon as it reaches our small intestine—where 90% of the digestion and absorption of food occurs. The immune response can range from undetected inflammation of organs, to allergies or colds that one may brush off as “normal”, to painful stomach cramps and diarrhea, among others.[2]

 

A gluten-free diet offers many benefits—seven of them are noted on this post. More generally, a gluten-free diet offers everyone the possibility of a more satisfying life. People that go on gluten-free diets report feeling healthier and stronger than before. It is said that numbers don’t lie and results speak louder than words. So hopefully this post, which contains both, will inspire you to try gluten-free.

 

Here are 7 reasons why everyone should try gluten-free.

 

1- To be healthier

For starters, many people heal from illnesses and allergies when they adopt a gluten-free diet. In all humans, gluten causes too much production of the protein zonulin—which modulates the permeability of tight junctions between cells of the wall of the digestive tract.[3] This excess causes the junctions to open too much and allows unwanted things like toxins and gluten fragments to get into the bloodstream, causing various immune responses.

 

Going gluten free when I was 15 was one of the things I did to treat my chronic Asthma. I noticed its positive effect right away. If you are struggling with an illness, you may find this is a far better option than loading up on medication.

 

In 2011, the American Journal of Gastroenterology conducted a double-blind study with people who suffered from irritable bowel syndrome and were on a gluten-free diet already. The individuals were given bread and muffins to eat for up to six weeks. Some of them were given gluten-free baked goods; the others were given conventional ones. Those who ate gluten reported they felt significantly worse than before.[4] In other words, they felt better when they were on a Gluten-free diet.

 

Lastly, food without gluten is easier to digest. This is why some people feel they get hungry faster than when they eat gluten. This is a good thing. Dr. Frank Lipman puts it this way, “If the body is expending less energy to deal with this hard-to-digest protein, it has more energy for other processes. Moreover, the liver, digestive and immune systems are given time to rest and recover, which is why taking gluten out is so important in the process of returning patients to health.”

 

2- To feel happier

Depression is the number one cognitive complaint in people with Celiac’s disease.[5] Scientists are still researching the connection between gluten and depression, but one accepted theory suggests that the production of antibodies produced when gluten is consumed affects the brain and nervous system, causing inflammation that leads to depression. Studies also show that gluten sensitivity may interfere with the absorption of the amino acid tryptophan, which is needed to stabilize mood, and it’s associated with feelings of well-being and relaxation.

 

3- To have more energy

Many people report increased energy levels and better sleep habits, indicating they need less sleep than before to function normally. Dr. Lipman says: “Along with sugar and processed foods, I believe there is no greater drain on one’s energy and trigger for inflammation than gluten.” People that go gluten free, report increased levels of energy—even tenfold! There are many reasons that can cause this. From nutrients in foods now being able to be absorbed to higher levels of endorphins, since the brain is no longer under attack by the gluten antibodies.

 

4- To lose weight and look better

One of the side effects of gluten is bloating. I remember my naturopath telling me to eliminate it and I would see how among other things my post pregnancy belly would go away. Many people lose weight when they go gluten-free, primarily caused by releasing retained water. But watch out. Gluten-free goodies have as many calories and sugar as regular ones. For example, rice flower has a higher glycemic index than wheat flour. So if you’re eating pastries made with rice flour, it alters your blood sugar more aggressively than eating pastries made from wheat flour. This is why I prefer baking with coconut flour instead. Just like you wouldn’t indulge in regular pastries, make sure you don’t go over board with gluten-free ones. They are treats, not veggies.

 

5- To increase fertility

If you want to increase fertility it is best to not eat gluten. Gluten sensitivity causes zinc deficiency which impacts fertility.[6] For women, zinc is important in balancing the reproductive hormones and a deficiency can lower egg quality. For a man, it can greatly impact the sperm count. It is also needed to make the outer layer and the tail of the sperm. Read more on zinc and fertility here.

 

6- To have a healthier baby

Since gluten is likely to affect your absorption of nutrients, it makes sense to avoid it during pregnancy. Not only is it important to nourish yourself, but also your baby. During pregnancy you and your baby are both gathering resources from the same source. Making sure you are able to absorb nourishing foods is very important. Additionally, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry found that people with gluten antibodies in their blood had a risk of autism that was more than four-and-a-half times greater than the risk in the general population. Moreover, every child with autism in the study had elevated antibodies to gluten from birth. It is believed that these antibodies came from the mother’s elevated antibodies during pregnancy.

 

7- Because it’s not that hard

There are lots of healthy gluten-free options even at regular grocery stores. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness reports that the gluten-free food market has become a $20 billion industry. Check out gluten-free alternatives like, brown rice or quinoa pasta instead of regular pasta, Basmati rice, brown rice, organic corn or potatoes. Consider snacking on healthier options like cheese, nuts, and fruits. A lot of people like Ezekiel bread because it is sprouted (or its grains soaked) so it’s easier to digest but it is not gluten free. I buy Rudi’s Original Gluten-free bread at home (shown toasted on this post). I also love the three cheese gluten-free pizza by Against the Grain. I just baked it for lunch today along with some healthy coconut flour cupcakes. My kids like them and they are very nutritious.

 

 

Here is my original coconut flour cupcakes recipe. Enjoy!

Cupcake Ingredients (makes 4 large cupcakes):

 

1/2 cup of organic coconut flour (I like Raw Coconut Flour by Coconut Secret)

1/4 teaspoon of aluminum free baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

4 organic eggs

1/3 cup of organic coconut oil

1/2 cup of organic agave or raw honey (sometimes I do ¼ agave and ¼ raw honey)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 ripe banana (optional)

 

Method:

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine all the dry in ingredients and blend well.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a mixer to blend well.
  4. Now, if desired, add the ripe banana and blend well.
  5. Spread organic coconut oil on the cupcake pan before pouring the batter. (Use cupcake liners if desired.)
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

 

Until next week!

Maria

 

 

[1] Alessio Fasano, Dr. Fasano from Harvard Mass General Hospital and director of pediatric gastroenterology.

[2] The Better Health Channel’s website (Australia)

[3] Living Gluten-Free For Dummies by Danna Korn. Wiley Publishing (2010)

[4] Carroccio, A., Mansueto, P., Iacono, G., et al. (2012) Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity Diagnosed by Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Challenge: Exploring a New Clinical Entity. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 107(12):1898-906

[5] Dr. Tom O’Bryan #61 Gluten Sensitivity, Celiac’s & Bulletproofing Your Gut, with Dr. Tom O’Bryan

[6] 67% of Gluten Sensitive Patients Have a Zinc Deficiency. www.glutenfreesociety.org

10 ways to fight pregnancy sickness

SYou can beat the odds and experience a pregnancy free from nausea. Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy your pregnancy to the fullest.

1-Take a prenatal before and during pregnancy
Taking a good prenatal vitamin is important. I like Pro prenatal Complex, recommend by my naturopath Dr. Gisela Hernandez. You can take one a day. Check yours to make sure it has at least 100mg of vitamin B6, which often helps with nausea. Magnesium also reduces your risk of nausea. Some women attribute being symptom free solely to supplementing with magnesium. Amazon sells one called Natural Vitality Natural Calm in Raspberry Lemon flavor for under $25. Also, make sure you take your prenatal and/or magnesium supplement daily. Dr. Hernandez, recommends that you take it with food, preferably during breakfast. If you think this can trigger nausea, try taking it right before bed. If nausea persists, try switching to an iron free or low iron prenatal since these are easier to digest. You can check out my post on how to choose a good prenatal here.

http://thehealthypregnancybook.com/2014/03/03/should-i-be-taking-a-prenatal/

2- Watch your eating habits
Eating habits can trigger pregnancy symptoms. For starters, an empty stomach can aggravate nausea. Make sure you eat frequent small meals every two hours, or find the time frame you see your body responds best to. Broths and light soups are a great option. High-carb, low-fat meals that are easier to digest are commonly recommend in cases of nausea but high protein meals have proven to be more nutritious and beneficial.

3-Add ginger to your diet
Powdered ginger (1 to 1.5 grams in divided doses over 24 hours) has a positive effect. You can check out my post on ginger for a delicious recipe that may be just what you need to feel better.

http://thehealthypregnancybook.com/2014/02/05/ginger-natural-remedy-for-nausea-morning-sickness/

4-Eat before you step out of bed

Since brushing your teeth in the morning many times triggers nausea, some women find it helpful to eat crackers or some kind of carbohydrate before getting out of bed in the morning.

5-Stick to cold foods until the sun goes down
The smell that comes from warm foods can have a negative effect on many women during their first trimester.  During my first pregnancy (with Bella) I would stick to smoothies, cereals, salads and other cold foods in the morning and afternoons and only eat warm meals in the evening. You can try making healthy ice pops from orange juice or lemonade (since citric drinks have been found to help relive the symptoms). I bought my ice pop molds at Amazon.com.

6-Incorporate a nap into your schedule.
Nausea can become worse if you’re tired, so give yourself time to relax and take naps when you can. Napping is also beneficial in preparation for labor and your overall health.

7-Stay hydrated
Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can often cause nausea; and frequent vomiting cause dehydration. Dehydration may bring headaches and premature contractions. You can avoid this vicious cycle by making sure you drink enough water. Many women find Seltzer water helpful. However, this should be taken in addition to water and not as a replacement.

8- Get checked by a chiropractor
Women under chiropractic care tend to experience less pregnancy symptoms. I began chiropractic care when I was 3 months pregnant with Bella and before Mila was conceived. I am a big fan! You can visit icpa4kids.com for a list of chiropractors that specialize in pregnancy and children or vivifymiami.com for info on my chiropractor’s practice in Miami.

9-Try alternative medicine
Some women experience relief from motion sickness bands, which are a form of acupressure treatment. You can also visit an acupuncture physician (AP). Many women find it to be the only thing that helped relieve their nausea.  Is the thought of needles in your delicate pregnant body making you cringe? You are not alone, but many physicians are likely to use heat and light pressure instead of needles. So, worry not. It is worth a try. You may end up feeling better than ever.

10-Have a positive outlook
Don’t dwell on your condition. It will soon go away. Enjoy the fact that you have a baby in your womb. This symptom, just like all others, is a sign that your baby will soon be in your arms.

The more you prepare for pregnancy and the better you care for yourself (and your baby) during pregnancy, the greater your chances of being sickness free will be. So, be encouraged to stay healthy. I look forward to your comments and questions.

A warm hug,

Maria