Health

Looking & Feeling Beautiful & Radiant

A couple of weeks ago on the Mom Show we talked about a Spring Detox. Doing a basic detox is a great way to kick into a healthy life style shift. Life's busyness can get in the way of us feeling good about ourselves. Here are some tips on how to feel radiant from the inside out!

Supplements: Supplements can be very helpful for your body to feel good and balanced. A good food-based multivitamin is a nice start. Make sure it is food-based, they are much easier for your body to absorb. Some other key supplements are B Complex, fish oil, magnesium and vitamin D-3. This regimen will help with long lasting energy, improved mood, healthy cholesterol and strong immune system.

Sleep: Eight hours of sleep every night is ideal. Sleep deprivation can wreck havoc on your body. Sleep helps your skin glow, your mood to be steady, you body to be free of illness and of course good energy levels! If you have to wake up early, plan to go to bed and hour or two earlier. Do something relaxing before bed to help you get into a deep sleep such as reading for 10 minutes, a bath or meditation.

Water: Try and make 3 liters of water per day your goal. Get a water bottle that holds a liter and keep track of how many you drink. If you need something more exciting than water, try adding fruit. You can add any fruit to water. Put it in the fridge overnight; pour it into your water bottle the next morning and you have an amazing tasting beverage! Water does wonders for wrinkles and just helps you feel good in general.

Skin Care: There really is no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on skincare, unless you want to of course! If you are looking to save money and have beautiful skin, you can keep it simple. Buy a micro-fiber cloth and wash your face with a gentle soap in the morning and before bed. After washing use a toner is important; it helps your moisturizer soak into your skin. Use a moisturizer with an SPF to protect your skin from sun damage daily, even in the winter. Last, use an eye cream for around your eyes, not face moisturizer. The skin around your eyes is sensitive and needs something formulated for that area.

Exercise: There are so many exercise programs out there today. There is something for everyone! Whatever route of exercise you use, whether it be walking, running, yoga, a home DVD or crossfit, it is important to move your body for at least 30 minutes per day.

Diet: The main thing to keep in mind for your diet is eating whole foods. If you can stick to fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, nuts and whole grains, that is key. Stay away completely from all processed foods. Sleep, water intake, exercise and diet all work together for a healthier, more radiant YOU!

Dr. Amy's Guide to Food Introduction

 photo credit: Big River Farms CSA

photo credit: Big River Farms CSA

One of Dr. Amy’s passions is food introduction. It is a fundamental building block for a baby’s development, their immune system and has long-term health benefits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding (no formula or solid foods). Breast milk contains antibodies that support immune function as well as optimal nutrient ratios that change as the child grows. Until approximately 6 months of age, a baby’s digestive tract is not able to adequately digest most foods. Early introduction of foods may result in food allergies or sensitivities. Around six to nine months, breastfed and formula-fed infants will begin to develop their gastrointestinal track in a way that makes them ready to start some solid foods.

Food introduction is one of the most important times in your child’s health; it becomes the building blocks and foundation of health for the rest of your child’s life. The gastrointestinal tract is an extension of the immune system. Introducing foods in a way that will not cause allergic reactions will help build a stronger and more solid foundation than if your child is always fighting off immune reactions. So many early health problems in children are related to food introduction. It is pertinent that you observe your child for signs of a reaction, such as red marks around their mouth, red cheeks, eczema, diaper rash, constipation or diarrhea, etc. (see below more complete list). If these early warning signs are not headed, more serious reactions may result as the immune system becomes more and more compromised.

Signs Baby is Ready for Solid Foods

•      Is at least 6 months old

•      Able to sit unsupported

•      Can push away food

•      Can turn head from side to side

•      Shows interest in what you are eating

Since breast milk is all your baby needs in terms of nutrients, there needn't be any rush to start your baby on solids. Let your baby lead. If she is always grabbing for your food, then allow her to explore it. But if she isn’t interested, don’t force her to try it. Most babies will become interested in food between six to nine months. If your child hasn’t started trying solids by nine months, start offering it to him and see how he responds.

This transition in life can be a source of stress for many parents. Take your time and be patient with your child. Know that she is getting all the nutrients she needs from your breast milk or formula.

Up until the first year, the benefit to babies of trying solids is being exposed to new textures and learning hand mouth coordination; prior to a year most babies gastrointestinal tracts are not mature enough to be absorbing many nutrients from solids, so if your child isn’t eating a lot of solids, it is not compromising his nutrient intake as long as he is still drinking breast milk or formula.

Introducing Foods

New foods should be introduced one at a time. Wait a few days after introducing each new food to see if your baby reacts to the food. If your baby has any of the following symptoms below, remove the food from baby’s diet for 2-3 months, then try again.

If your child has a life- threatening reaction to a food such as difficulty breathing, call 911.

Your baby will show you he has had enough to eat. Stop feeding him when he spits food out, closes his mouth, or turns his head away.  Let him control how much he eats.

Symptoms that may indicate a reaction to a food include:

•      Rash around the mouth or anus

•      Hyperactivity or lethargy

•      “Allergic shiners” (dark circles under eyes)

•      Skin reactions/rashes

•      Infections/cold/flu

•      Diarrhea or mucus in stool

•      Constipation

•      Runny/stuffy nose or sneezing

•      Redness of face/cheeks

•      Ear infection

•      Other unusual symptom for your child

Use the following schedule as a general guide for introducing foods to healthy, full-term babies. You can hang it on the fridge and put a date next to each new food introduction so that it is easier to remember what your child is eating and for reference if your child develops a reaction. If your child has chronic illness, special needs, or has signs of allergies or sensitivities such as asthma, chronic respiratory infections, or chronic ear infections, a modified schedule may be necessary.

Even though it is a common practice in our culture to give babies powered rice cereal, this is not an evidenced based practice and is not recommended by nutritionists. Start with vegetables and fruits. When it is time to introduce grains, use whole grains whenever possible, instead of processed grains.

Finally, enjoy this new time in your baby’s life as he explores new textures and tastes. Be playful with your child and let meal times be a fun game or a time to be social and sing songs about foods. Use it as a time to learn colors or numbers, instead of always focusing on getting your child to eat. If they don’t like something, introduce it again in a few months. Try to make it easier on yourself by modeling good nutrition to your child and giving them some of your meal, instead of always having to make something completely different for them. Enjoying our meals improves digestion and overall quality of life, so do what you need to for yourself to de-stress mealtime and enjoy.

Join us on March 26th at 10:00am on the MyTalk, 107.1 Mom Show to learn more and visit https://www.health-foundations.com/mom-show/ after the show to download a specific food introduction schedule.

 

Cold and Flu Fighting Ginger Soup

This ginger soup in a great way to fight colds and the flu this season! It is a safe way to fight sickness during breastfeeding and pregnancy. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 inch piece of fresh garlic, sliced thin
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup of mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cups of chicken bone broth or chicken stock

Instructions to Prepare:

Combine ginger, garlic and mushrooms in a pot with a small amount of the broth or stock. Simmer until the ingredients are softened. Add the rest of the broth or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 20-30 minutes. 

This soup can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

Enjoy and be well!

 

Banana Bread for Healthy Lactation

This banana bread recipe promotes healthy lactation in nursing mamas. Some of these ingredients are known for increasing milk supply.  The milk boosting ingredients are highlighted. Enjoy warm with some butter!

Ingredients

  • 2 TBS Flaxseed Meal
  • 4 TBS Water
  • 1 ¾ C Flour
  • 1 ¼ C Oats
  • Dash of Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 4 TBS Brewer’s Yeast
  • 1 tsp Ground Fenugreek
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ C Softened Butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 C Sugar or ¾ C Maple Syrup
  • 3 Medium Mashed Bananas (the riper the better!)
  • 2 TBS Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ C Chopped Pecans or Walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 10-inch loaf pan. Mix dry ingredients together first then blend in all other ingredients. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the bread. Let cool and remove from pan.

Birth Control: Do You Know Your Options?

Today I want to take the opportunity to list the various options in birth control.  Last week we talked about IUDs.  This week we will be learning about the various other options listed, what they are, how they work and how effective they are. How many of these options were you aware of?

  • Abstinence

  • Birth Control Implants (Implanon & Nexplanon)

  • Birth Control Patch

  • Birth Control Pills

  • Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera)

  • Birth Control Sponge (Today Sponge)

  • Birth Control Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)

  • Breastfeeding as Birth Control

  • Cervical Cap (FemCap)

  • Condom

  • Diaphragm

  • Female Condom

  • Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs)

  • IUD

  • Outercourse

  • Spermicide

  • Sterilization for Women (Tubal Sterilization)

  • Vasectomy

  • Withdrawal (Pull Out Method)

Do you have questions about family planning and birth control options?  At Health Foundations Women's Health & Birth Center we believe in providing the best care based on each woman's unique needs for every stage of her life.  Our providers take the time to listen to you, to answer your questions and to make sure you leave your appointment feeling informed and cared for. Give us a call to schedule an appointment 651-895-2520.

Understanding IUDs: Is It the Right Birth Control For You?

If you keep up on women's health, or talk to other ladies about their hooha, I'm sure you've heard a lot recently about the rising popularity of the intrauterine device and wondered if you should get an IUD. After years of living in the shadow of its flashier sister the Pill, the IUD is finally having its day in the sun — it's 99 percent effective against pregnancy and it's been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the best form of birth control for young women. Everybody seems to be crazy for IUDs these days — but does that mean that they are the right birth control for you?

 

What is an IUD?

An IUD is a tiny device that's inserted in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It's long-term, reversible, and one of the most effective birth control methods out there.

 

What does IUD stand for?

IUD stands for Intrauterine Device i.e. a device inside your uterus. It's a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a T. 

 

What are the different types of IUDs?

There are 5 different brands of IUDs that are FDA approved for use in the United States: ParaGard, Liletta, Mirena, Skyla, and Kyleena.

These IUDs are divided into 2 types: copper IUDs (ParaGard) and hormonal IUDs (Liletta, Mirena, Skyla, and Kyleena).

The ParaGard IUD doesn't have hormones. It's wrapped in a tiny bit of copper, and it protects you from pregnancy for up to 12 years. The Liletta, Mirena, Skyla, and Kyleena IUDs use the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy. Progestin is very similar to the hormone progesterone that our bodies make naturally. Mirena works for up to 6 years. Kyleena works for up to 5 years. Skyla and Liletta work for up to 3 years.

 

How do IUDs work?

Both copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy by changing the way sperm move so they can't get to an egg. If sperm can't make it to an egg, pregnancy can't happen.

The ParaGard IUD uses copper to prevent pregnancy. Sperm don't like copper, so the ParaGard IUD makes it almost impossible for sperm to get to that egg.

The hormones in Liletta, Mirena, Skyla, and Kyleena IUDs prevent pregnancy in two ways: 1) they thicken the mucus that lives on the cervix, which blocks and traps the sperm, and 2) the hormones also sometimes stop eggs from leaving your ovaries (called ovulation), which means there's no egg for a sperm to fertilize. No egg, no pregnancy.

One of the awesome things about IUDs is that they last for years — but they're not permanent. If you decide to get pregnant or you just don't want to have your IUD anymore, your nurse or doctor can quickly and easily take it out. You're able to get pregnant right after the IUD is removed.

 

Is an IUD right for you?

Maybe. IUDs have a lot going for them — they're the most effective form of reversible birth control for women, and you don't have to fiddle with them before sex or remember to put them in every day. But everyone comes to birth control for different things. Some of us are looking to help our forgetful selves. Some of us are trying to lessen our bad menstrual cramps. Some of us are just using birth control because we're on another medication that requires it (like Accutane). And because we all have different birth control agendas, we all need to sort through different sets of facts.

 

Interested in getting an IUD?

Do you have additional questions about IUDs?  Are you interested in getting an IUD?  At Health Foundations Women's Health & Birth Center we believe in providing the best care based on each woman's unique needs for every stage of her life.  Our providers take the time to listen to you, to answer your questions and to make sure you leave your appointment feeling informed and cared for. Give us a call to schedule an appointment 651-895-2520.

Bath Bliss: Relaxing & Rejuvinating Recipes for Your Soaking Pleasure

 Photo credit: Jennifer Liv of  Twin Cities Birth Photographers  

Photo credit: Jennifer Liv of Twin Cities Birth Photographers 

Soaking in a bath with added herbs, oils and minerals is a wonderful way to relax the mind and body. Did you know it is also excellent for healing and supporting overall health? There are many types of baths that can benefit you.  These simple, natural therapies can be used in the comfort of your own home, all while relaxing in your bath.

The following are a few examples of the different types of baths that can be enjoyed, and some of their health promoting properties that can benefit you. Whether it’s to help your body heal from a condition, or simply support and maintain your overall well-being, I am certain there is one for you to enjoy.

Herbal Baths

Adding herbal preparations to a warm bath can be very effective, as the healing properties of the herbs are delivered through the skin. Here are two ways to make an herbal bath.  

One is to put a handful of each herb you are using in a large pot. Fill the pot with water and heat to almost boiling, keeping a lid on the pot so the essential oils from the herbs don’t evaporate. Take the pot off the heat and let your bath infuse for 20 minutes to a few hours. Then strain the liquid directly into your tub, fill the tub the rest of the way  with water and your bath is ready.  

The other method is to fill a cloth, muslin bag or even a sock with your herbal mixture.  Close the top and toss your herb bundle into a tub filled with the hottest water you have.  Walk away for a while and give your bath time to cool down to a comfortable temperature.  When you come back your bath will have infused right in the tub!  This is a great method for making pre-packed baths to have next to your tub or even to give away as gifts.   

Dr. Amy's Favorite Herbal Bath Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup Rose petals
  • 1/2 cup Lavender flowers
  • 1/4 cup Green Tea leaves (try a rose or jasmine flavored tea)
  • Three drops Rose essential oil
  • Three drops Lavender essential oil
  • One drop Rose Geranium essential oil

This gentle, nourishing herbal bath tea recipe softens your skin and soothes your nerves. Deeply relaxing and healing, antioxidant-rich lavender, rose and green tea help fight the signs of aging. Scented with precious rose essential oil, this yummy aromatherapy bath recipe's sweet, floral scent brings you back to a healthy place of quiet peace.

Aromatherapy Baths

Here is wonderful and simple way to enjoy the healing powers of essential oils. While you enjoy the pleasant scents of the oils, you also allow for their healing properties to be inhaled into the lungs and diffused throughout the body. There are a multitude of beneficial effects available, simply based on the essential oil or blend of oils used in the baths. You may use calming oils to release tension, or soak in a soothing rose infused tub, or perhaps even try a uplifting blend of black pepper and juniper.

Dr. Amy's Favorite Aroma Bath Recipe:

  • 3 cups of epsom salt
  • 4 drops chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil.  

This is a wonderful relaxing bath to enjoy before bed.

Salt Baths

Epsom Salt Baths

Use 3-4 cups of epsom salt in a warm bath and soak for 30 minutes.  Epsom salt is wonderful for soothing muscles aches and is relaxing before bedtime.

Sea Salt Baths

Dissolve 5-8 cups of pure sea salt in warm bath water and soak for 15-30 minutes.  Sea salt brings the benefits of ocean water into the comfort of your home. This bath will benefit your circulation, neurological function, skin health, as well as aid in relaxation.

I will leave you with a cool fact: 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body, so bathing in herbal bath tea really does improve your health. Not only do you get the nourishing effect of the ingredients, but you also de-stress during your time in the tub. 

*Essential oils are not recommended to be used in the first trimeter of pregnancy.  In the second and third trimesters some essential oils are considered safe. It is always best to check with your provider to discuss any safety concerns before starting in pregnancy.

Make your Own Pizza with Quinoa Crust

Quinoa Pizza Crust Recipe

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup quinoa, covered by 1" of water and soaked for 6 - 8 hours (or overnight)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

Soak the quinoa in water, covering it by at least 1", for 6 - 8 hours. Once you're ready to make the crust, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 9" cake pan with parchment paper and drizzle one tablespoon of oil in the center. Spread around with your hands until evenly coated and set pan aside. Thoroughly rinse quinoa, then add to a blender. Add the ¼ cup of water, baking powder, salt and remaining olive oil, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. This should resemble a thick pancake batter. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, flip and return to oven baking for another 10 - 15 minutes until browned and edges are crispy. Top with sauce, cheese and any other toppings you'd like and bake for 12 - 15 minutes until cheese has melted and started to brown. Remove, let cool for a few minutes in the pan, transfer cutting board and slice. Garnish with herbs, pepper flakes, grated cheese, etc., and serve immediately!

Transcribed from: Alyssa Rimmer

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Protein Muffins

Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Protein Muffin
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp (56g) coconut flour (measured correctly)
  • 2 scoops (84g) vanilla whey protein powder 
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp (8g) poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp (5g) lemon zest (about one medium)
  • 1 tbsp (14g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (60g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup (60mL) agave syrup
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about one medium large)
  • ½ cup (120mL) unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk)
  • 1 cup (140g) fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and lightly coat 9 standard-sized muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk together the coconut flour, protein powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the Greek yogurt until no large lumps remain. Stir in the agave, lemon juice, and almond milk. Add in the coconut flour mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 23-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack.

Notes:

This recipe was specifically designed for whey protein powder. Most protein powders behave differently, especially when it comes to absorbing moisture. If you substitute a different whey-based protein powder than the one linked to in the recipe above, you may need to add more protein powder if the batter is too wet OR more milk if the batter is too dry. Do not substitute plant-based protein powder; it tends to be much more absorbent and will most likely result in dry, crumbly muffins.Frozen blueberries may be substituted for the fresh. To do so, reserve 1 tablespoon of the coconut flour and protein powder mixture from Step 2, and toss that with the frozen blueberries just before gently folding them into the batter. The baking time may increase by a few minutes.These muffins freeze really nicely. To thaw quickly, place individual muffins in the microwave for 40-50 seconds on 40% power.

Transcribed from: Amy’s Healthy Baking

Baked Chicken Parmesan Over Zucchini Noodles

Baked Chicken Parmesan

This recipe is perfect for a cozy evening inside as the weather gets cooler. What I love about this dish is that it is hearty and protein rich and the zucchini noodles get some veggies in! Feel free to substitute whole wheat pasta if you aren't a fan of zucchini. 

Ingredients

•    2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
•    1 tablespoon chopped
•    Fresh thyme
•    6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced and divided
•    1 shallot, thinly sliced
•    1 pound heirloom tomatoes, chopped
•    ½ cup dry white wine
•    ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
•    ½ teaspoon black pepper
•    2 eggs, lightly beaten
•    4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
•    1 teaspoon garlic powder
•    Cooking spray
•    4 medium zucchini
•    2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, very thinly sliced ½ cup torn basil leaves, divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add thyme, 4 garlic cloves, and shallot; cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper; cook 8 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.
  • Sprinkle chicken cutlets with the garlic powder and place cutlets on a wire rack coated with cooking spray. Place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until done.
  • Using a julienne peeler, or a spiralizer, peel zucchini lengthwise into noodles or thin strips.
  • Preheat broiler to high. Top each cutlet evenly with mozzarella. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add remaining 2 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute. Add zucchini; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Toss with sauce, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and half of basil.
  • Arrange ¾ cup zucchini noodles on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 chicken portion; sprinkle servings evenly with remaining half of basil.

Recipe transcribed from: Betsy Life

‘Can I (FILL IN THE BLANK) While Pregnant?’

Safe Beauty During Pregnancy

Safe Beauty During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, it’s important to remember that everything that you put into or on your body has the potential to cross the placenta and be shared with your baby. Everyday beauty habits and treatments, while perfectly safe while not pregnant, may not be safe for the developing fetus. Here’s the low down on ten common cosmetic and skincare practices and whether or not they are safe during pregnancy.

1. Dying Your Hair

Verdict: Probably Safe

Whether or not it is safe to dye your hair is one of the most commonly asked beauty questions during pregnancy. While there has not been extensive research done on the effects of hair dye during pregnancy, the American Pregnancy Association has stated that it is probably safe due to the minimal amount of dye that is actually absorbed by the skin. If you want to be extra cautious, avoid any hair dye during the first trimester and opt for color treatments like highlighting or lowlighting that do not expose the scalp to chemicals. Also, make sure the room you are in is well ventilated and that you promptly rinse any excess dye from your hair after the treatment. 

2. Using Sunscreen

Verdict: Safe with Precautions

Certain sunscreens during pregnancy are not safe as they contain chemicals that can get into the bloodstream and be transferred to baby. Specifically, you should avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone, homosalate, octocrylene, para-aminobenzoic acid and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor. Opt for sunscreens that are not absorbed by the skin like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Also, wear a hat and avoid sun exposure between the hours of 10 and 2 when the rays are the strongest. Pregnant women are actually more susceptible to sunburns during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and are also more prone to heat exhaustion. For these reasons, it is imperative that you protect yourself from the sun during pregnancy for you and your baby!

3. Whitening Your Teeth

Verdict: Unsafe

Because whitening treatments have not been extensively researched during pregnancy and contain potentially harmful ingredients like peroxide that can cross the placental barrier, they are considered not safe during pregnancy. Consider using a whitening toothpaste instead or waiting until after your baby is born for a professional or over-the-counter whitening treatment. It is important, however, to keep up with your dental hygiene and exams as unfortunately pregnancy can do a number on your teeth and make you more susceptible to cavities and gum disease.

4. Treating Acne

Verdict: Certain Treatments Safe

Pregnancy hormones can often wreak havoc on your skin and leave you with acne reminiscent of your freshman year in high school. To make matters worse, many of the most common and most effective acne treatments that can be prescribed by your doctor are absolutely not safe during pregnancy. Many  of these prescription options have the potential to cause serious birth defects. Acne medications that should be avoided during pregnancy include topical retinoids, oral tetracyclines, isotretinoin, and hormone therapies. There are some prescription and over-the-counter topical acne medications that are most likely safe due to low absorption rates. Always discuss these options with your doctor or midwife before using any acne products during pregnancy. To err on the side of caution, opt for drug-free approaches to healthy skincare. This may include practices such as washing your face twice daily and after exercise, changing your pillow case frequently, using an oil free cleanser and moisturizer and avoiding touching your face with your hands or cell phone. Pregnancy related acne will almost always clear on its own over time once your hormones stabilize. 

5. Using Hair Products

Verdict: Probably Safe

Using products like hair spray and mousse are probably perfectly safe during pregnancy. There has been some evidence in animal studies that phthalates (found in hair spray) have the potential to cause complications with male sexual development but no risk has been found to human babies thus far. Although, hair spray, gel and mousse are all most likely perfectly safe during pregnancy, if you wish to err on the side of caution, opt for products like mousse or gel that are applied topically versus products that are sprayed on the hair and pose the risk of phthalate inhalation. 

6. Getting Botox

Verdict: Unsafe

Because there have been no extensive studies examining the effects of Botox on unborn babies, it is recommended that you abstain from the treatment during pregnancy. Studies in animals show evidence of fetal abnormalities associated with Botox exposure during pregnancy. While the results cannot be generalized to human babies, the research presents a compelling reason to avoid the treatment while pregnant. Fortunately, you may find that your wrinkles are actually are less visible during pregnancy due to the extra fluid retention and that healthy pregnancy glow often experienced due to extra oil production. 

7. Using Wrinkle Cream

Verdict: Generally Unsafe

Because many anti-wrinkle creams contain retinol which has been linked to birth defects and miscarriages, it is safest to steer clear of them during pregnancy. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that has been found to cause serious birth defects such as cleft palate and other developmental abnormalities in high doses. Instead, opt for safer ways of caring for your skin like a mild facial moisturizer, drinking plenty of water and getting sufficient rest.

8. Using Self-Tanner

Verdict: Better to Wait

While tanning from a bottle or spray booth is likely safer than tanning beds or excessive exposure to the sun, there is still some concern about dihydroxyacetone which is the primary active ingredient in these products. Dihydroxyacetone or DHA is able to penetrate the skin and therefore can get into your bloodstream and ultimately to baby. Because research has not been performed examining the effects of DHA on the fetus, your safest bet is to avoid self-tanning until after your baby is born. Additionally, you may find that your skin is more sensitive during pregnancy and more prone to irritation. If you do decide to use a self-tanning product, be sure to do a patch test first before covering your entire body with the solution. 

9. Getting Your Nails Done

Verdict: Safe

In general, it is perfectly safe to get your nails done during pregnancy. Nail polish, and even acrylic nails, cannot be absorbed through the nails and therefore pose no risk of getting into your blood stream and crossing the placenta to baby. The primary concern in the nail salon while pregnant is the solvent fumes which can make you feel queasy or light-headed. To avoid over-inhalation of dangerous fumes, be sure to sit in a well-ventilated area or save your manis and pedis for the comfort of your own home where you can better control the ventilation and airflow. 

Getting Your Hair Professionally Straightened

Verdict: Unsafe 

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety, Japanese and Brazillian professional hair straightening treatments are not safe during pregnancy. This is due to the fact that these procedures involve harmful chemicals like formaldehyde that have the potential to cause fertility problems, fetal abnormalities and miscarriage. If you want straighter hair during pregnancy your best bet is to use a flat iron which will not expose you and your baby to potentially harmful chemicals. 

While pregnancy may feel like it has an endless number of rules about what you can and cannot do, try to remind yourself that their all to protect the health and well-being of your future baby. There are not any beauty treatments that cannot wait nine months in exchange for the peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to protect your developing child. For questions about safe beauty and skincare during pregnancy, or for a free consultation with a midwife and a tour of our Birth Center, contact Health Foundations. We are here to answer all of your pregnancy related questions and more!

Blueberry Pancake Smoothie Full of Pregnancy Essentials

Blueberry Pancake Smoothie

Breakfast or dessert-take your pick! This delectable smoothie is not only tasty but full of pregnancy essentials like protein and calcium. Not a fan of blueberries? Swap the blueberries out for strawberries or raspberries for an equally delicious treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of reduced-fat milk
  • 2/3 cup of reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ¼ cups of frozen blueberries
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Place ingredients in blender.
  2. Cover and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from: Parents.com

Red and Green Veggie Frittata

Veggie Frittata

Feeling bored with your usual breakfast? Whether you’re pregnant, hoping to be pregnant or postpartum, this Red and Green Frittata is loaded with essential nutrients like protein, fiber, calcium, Vitamin C and potassium. The best part is this recipe should leave you with leftovers for lunch!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of bite-size broccoli florets
  • 8 large eggs
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 1 cup of grated white cheddar or fontina cheese, divided
  • 4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook until tender for approximately 2 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in broccoli, red pepper, ¾ cup of cheddar cheese and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
  3. Heat oil in a 12-inch, ovenproof, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour egg mixture into pan and reduce heat. Cook for 3 minutes to set the bottom on the frittata. 
  4. Sprinkle top with remaining ¼ cup of cheddar and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.
  5. Transfer pan to oven and bake until the frittata is set and appears slightly puffed up. Approximately 15 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then loosen edge with a spatula. Slide onto large plate and cut into wedges.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from: the BUMP

A Road Map for Moms: Beating Stress and Overcoming Fatigue

Dr. Amy Johnson-Grass

Don’t skip breakfast!

Starting your day with breakfast is a quick and easy way to jump-start your metabolism. Eat something within 30 minutes of getting up.  Make sure to get in 12-15 grams of protein with your breakfast. This could be:

  • A protein shake with fruit and greens
  • Eggs, veggies and whole grain toast
  • Greek yogurt and fruit

-> Check out our blog for great recipe ideas!

Be Mindful of Meals and Snacks!

Moving forward from breakfast, make sure you have protein with each meal and snack. It is important to stick to 3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day. Here are some great, healthy protein options:

Source

Amount

Grams of Protein

Fish, cold, deep water

1 ounce

7g

Turkey – organic

1 ounce

7g

Tofu

½ cup

10g

Whole Beans

½ cup

7g

Quinoa

½ cup

11g

Brown Rice

½ cup

3g

Yogurt

1 cup

8-14g

Egg, whole

1

7g

Nuts

¼ cup

8g

Stay hydrated!

Drink 80 ounces of water daily. Adding lemon or lime to your water is a great way to make it a little more interesting! Hold yourself accountable and purchase a reusable water bottle and keep track of how many you have to drink each day to reach your goal.

Basic Supplements to keep on hand!

Multivitamin: Try and find a food-based multi. These are easy to digest and absorb.

B complex: B vitamins have an important role. They help convert our food into fuel for our body, providing more energy throughout the day.

Adrenal Support: Continued stress causes fatigue of our adrenal system. There are many ways to help keep the adrenal system strong and well supported. Some examples include: Vitamin C, Magnesium and B vitamins. There are also a few herbs that are helpful but my favorite is Rhodiola Rosea, which can be taken as a capsule or tincture.

Fish Oil: Fish oil supports healthy cholesterol levels and also is a great mood booster!

Vitamin D3: When choosing a Vitamin D3 supplement, it should have at least 5,000 IU. Not only does healthy levels of Vitamin D3 help maintain a health immune system, it is also another great vitamin to help with mood.

Get Your Labs Checked!

These basic labs are so important to keep on top of as a woman. They are frequently missed so be sure to ask your doctor the following:

  • Iron (hemoglobin, ferritin)
  • Vitamin D3
  • B12
  • Thyroid

Schedule Some “ME” Time!

This is easier said than done but it will make a huge difference! It doesn’t even have to be more than 30 minutes. Some days take longer breaks if you can, other days you may only get 5 minutes of deep breathing. Here are some examples of things you can do to relieve stress:

  • Exercise. Yoga is a wonderful way to calm your body down and rejuvenate.
  • Reading. Grab a book or magazine find a quiet place and let the world round you melt away for a little while.
  • Laugh. Get a few girls together and have an hour or two of fun and laughter. It does wonders.
  • Take a bath. Buy some Epsom salt and your favorite essential oil and take a 15-minute bath before bed.

Sleep!

Try and get to bed by 10pm every night. Having a full 8 hours of rest is ideal

 

Don't miss Dr. Amy Johnson-Grass next Sunday, September 11 at 11:00am on the Mom Show with my Talk 107.1. The topic is A Road Map for Moms: Beating Stress and Overcoming Fatigue. 

Red Lentils with Sweet Potato and Apricots

Red Lentils

Want to increase your milk supply, combat fatigue and get a large dose of your daily vitamins all in one serving? Try this delicious, Moroccan-inspired stew complete with vitamins A and C, potassium, and complex carbohydrates. Apricots are also known for increasing your body’s prolactin production which is the hormone responsible for signaling your body to make more milk. Another great benefit of this dish? Purée the leftovers and make baby food!

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
  • ½ cup of chopped dried apricots
  • 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of fresh cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Fry onion for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently or until browned. 
  2. Add cumin and cinnamon and sauté for one minute or until spices are fragrant.
  3. Add water, lentils, sweet potato and dried apricots. Bring to a boil, cover pot and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until sweet potato is tender and lentils have broken down completely. 
  4. Add ginger and salt and simmer for two minutes.
  5. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro

** To create baby food from the leftovers, set aside one cup of mixture prior to adding ginger and salt and puree in a food processor.

Recipe transcribed from: Today's Parent