Wellness

Watermelon Lemonade Mocktail | Non-Alcoholic Summer Drink Recipe

Hot summers can be rough in pregnancy! Cool off with this yummy Watermelon Lemonade Mocktail. 

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Ingredients 

  • 3 Cups of diced watermelon
  • 1  Cup of lemonade (homemade is best!)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1-2 Cups of ice

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender, starting with the watermelon. Add the ice in 1 cup at a time.
  • Blend until combined.
  • Serve immediately.

How to be a Flu-Fighter!

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The flu virus seems to be lurking around every corner! Thankfully, there are some ways to combat this nasty virus naturally.

What is the Flu?

Many times there is confusion as far as what the flu actually is. Influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system. It is more severe than a common cold and is not the same as a ‘stomach flu’ virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting.  The flu tends to come on suddenly whereas a cold usually develops slowly over a couple of days. Symptoms include:

  • Fever over 100.4 F
  • Aching muscles, especially your back, arms and legs
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat

How to prevent the flu:

  • A good vitamin D supplement is a wonderful way to keep your immune system, 5,000 iu. With our months of underexposure to sunlight, we need to be particularly vigilant about getting enough vitamin D through diet and supplementation.
  • Eat nutritious, whole foods and avoid processed sugar. Load up on fruits and veggies; particularly green leafy vegetables. Keep your protein intake high as well. Eat protein with every meal and snack.
  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night. This can be tough a with little ones but try your best to go to bed early so that you can get your 8 hours in.
  • Wash your hands regularly throughout the day. This may seem easy but it sure is effective! 
  • Avoid contact with sick family members and friends. You may find yourself having a family member or friend that needs support in their time of sickness. You can still do this. Make them a meal and set it outside their door.
  • Exercise has been shown to flush bacteria from the lungs and airways that may cause colds and viruses. It also can cause changes to the body’s white blood cells and antibodies positively impacting the immune system.

What to do if you get the flu:

Sometimes there is just no avoiding it! If you find yourself with the above symptoms there are some ways to try and shorten how long you feel miserable!

  • Rest, rest and more rest! You probably won't feel like doing much anyway but try and stay in bed and sleep throughout the day and night.
  • Stay hydrated! You can alternate water, Emergen-C and coconut water to help with this. The Emergen-C and coconut water will help keep your electrolytes up.
  • Eat simple foods such as vitamin rich bone broth.
  • Take extra Vitamin C daily.

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!

 

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.