Month: May 2015

Congratulations, you’re growing a baby!

Isn't that crazy? And exhausting!

When you first get pregnant, your body kicks into baby-building mode by flooding your system with HCG. I like to think of it as a reverse hormone hangover (the higher your blood alcohol, the bigger the headache; the bigger the spike in hormones - twins, for example - the stronger symptoms you may have).

Did you know less than half of pregnant women experience morning sickness? If you were surprised that you weren't terribly sick, you're not alone. If you WERE terribly sick, you're a special snowflake and it sucks to be you. Sorry!

First up: growing a placenta.

Growing is HARD WORK you guys, that's why kids take naps. And so should you. Resistance is futile, so just cave in now -- you'll feel better, I promise. I was just lucky I work at home because I took 2 naps a day. I even turned down a job offer because it would interfere with my nap schedule. #naps4eva

So! There's a 50/50 chance you're nauseous, you're so tired you can barely sit upright, and now you have to feed yourself?

Well, crap.

A few thoughts on eating during early pregnancy

  1. A puppy dies every time someone says, "You're eating for two!" You are eating for 1, plus a clump of cells the size of a pea which requires no extra calories.
  2. Lightning should strike people who say, "The baby takes what it needs." The baby can't take what's not there, so if you are low on folic acid, so is the baby.
  3. There is no such thing as too much fiber during pregnancy. The same goes for water. True story: I once ate half a watermelon by myself one day when I was pregnant with no deleterious side effects. (Yes, then I took a nap.)

Do I really need to take prenatal vitamins?
As a health coach, I work with clients to get nutrients through whole foods. However, pregnancy is tough and exhaustion can take a toll on your desire and ability to cook. Taking vitamins isn't going to hurt you or the baby, and will probably help. Missing a dose will not cause your child to have webbed toes or something.

My first trimester diet staples were Greek yogurt and cereal because that's all I could tolerate or prepare. Taking a prenatal vitamin reduced my stress about trying to cook. There was also a major heat wave when I was pregnant and Ryan Gosling coming over for a home-cooked meal would not have enticed me to turn on any appliance.

Other ideas for easy, nutrient-rich foods:

  • Fresh fruit has fiber and water - double win! Dried fruit can be high in sugar, but is a great snack combined with nuts for slow-digesting fat and protein.
  • Green juice and green smoothies flood your system with nutrients but don't take much work. Especially if you just grab one at the juice bar. Make sure it's not too fruit-heavy.
  • If you normally cook a lot from scratch, don't feel guilty getting pre-cut fruit and veggies, or getting take out more often. Focus on getting enough protein and iron, then just try to eat as much fiber as possible.
  • Protein can help reduce nausea and fatigue, plus it keeps you full longer. I ate a lot of eggs. If you can only tolerate carbs, at least make them whole grain to prevent spiking your blood sugar.

Many pregnancy books suggest meal plans that are more food than many women want to eat. Your blood volume increases by 50% or more, and dehydration can masquerade as hunger. Drink a metric crap-ton of water (start with half your weight in ounces - so 140 pound woman should drink 70 ounces of water) every day, take your vitamins, and do your best.

Next time: What NOT to eat. ...Or can you?

Now go take a nap. You've earned it.

Are You Crunchy Enough?

Hey Mama! Welcome to the crunchy club.

I'm glad you're here.

No matter where your crunchy path began (or if you're still trying to find it), you're in the right place. We're all doing the best we can for our kids with the information we have at the time.

At least the information we can remember. We're a little sleep-deprived up in these parts.

(According to reliable source Urban Dictionary)

Crunchy parenting is a slippery slope. Your friend lends you a book and suddenly you find yourself injecting tea tree oil into your wool dryer balls for a load of organic cloth diapers, wondering how you got here.

But it doesn't happen all at once. Five years ago I lived on white pasta and coffee, took hormonal birth control, and had a cabinet full of pills for cold symptoms. Now, even my husband reaches for the neti pot and asks me where the essential oils are.

When I got pregnant with my son in 2012, I started to research. Like any modern pregnant lady I dutifully trotted my digital self over to BabyCenter and signed up for my birth club.

O. M. G. You. Guys.

There are some seriously crazy people out there, and they flock to BabyCenter like flies to honey laced with cocaine. A few of their articles are helpful, but most left me shaking my head.

I looked up attachment parenting (AP), but Dr. Sears' The Baby Book made me stabby. I wanted a drink, but that was out (or was it? So confusing!). Shouldn't something exist between the choices of "just do what your doctor says" and "only sustainably-raised organic virgin unicorn tears should touch your baby or he will die?"

So I decided to find and make it myself.

I'm a compulsive researcher, so friends who got pregnant after me started asking for my lists, compilations, and spreadsheets. They even sent them to their friends. That's when I decided to create the resource I wish I'd had in the first place.

I'm not here to tell you what to do. I want you to make educated decisions that work for you and your family, not just go along with mainstream advice because that's all you've heard. It's like the argument against abstinence-only education: you should really know what your options are--just in case.

...And that clearly didn't work because you're knocked up! (Congrats, by the way.)

I hope you feel comfortable here. I promise not to kick you in the ribs OR the cervix, so I'm one up on your baby already.