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Avoid the ‘rrhoids

September 22nd, 2008 by Glow Mama

It’s a unpleasant and painful subject we know… and one so often left out of those gorgeous soft pink and blue pregnancy handbooks, but hemorrhoids are far more common during pregnancy and after childbirth than you’d think.  Some estimates are as high as 50% of moms-to-be! 

While there are a lot of great products for relief of the ‘rroids, how about preventing them in the first case? Since constipation is one of the main contributing factors in developing this type of “vericose veins” (along with pressure from the baby and those weird hormones)… wouldn’t we all want to tackle it head on?

The 3 Fs to keeping regular:

  1. Fitness - get moving every day, even if its a short brisk walk or a pre-natal yoga class
  2. Fluids - drinking 8 - 10 glasses a day of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic liquids will keep you hydrated
  3. Fiber - while there’s no official recommendation on fiber, most nutritionists agree that adults should get between 25 and 35 grams of fiber a day, in a mix of both soluble and insoluble.  The scary part is that most people in the US average between 5 and 10 grams per day!

How much is 25 grams of fiber?

Does that mean we have to start having bulgar, lentils and vegetable barley soup every night?  Luckily, no.  While brown grains and pastas are all good sources of fiber… so are fruit and veggies… and Glow Mama.  This yummy looking plate of breakfast is infact 25 grams of fiber!  Talk about getting the hard work over and done with for the day.

(1 banana (3g) + 2x Glow Mama (8g) + 1 bowl hot oatmeal (8g) + 1 apple (4g) + 1 brand muffin (2g) )

More fiber tips:

  • For a brand to be able to claim it’s a “good source of fiber” it must have at least 2.5 grams per serving (Glow Mama has 4grams per bottle).
  • Don’t suddenly increase your fiber intake as that’ll shock your body and make you burn through the bathroom tissue faster than they can chop the trees down. 
  • Also, it’s important to remember that fiber acts as a bulking agent by absorbing some of the fluid in your body… so you have to keep hydrated, or extra hydrated so things can keep moving.

The Dish on Fish

March 8th, 2008 by doctormama

wildsalmon.jpgIn all of my pregnancies, the taste, the smell, even just the thought
of cooked fish could send me right into gagfests.   No worries, I
thought, I don’t want to expose my baby to all that mercury anyway.
And, not to mention, our oceans and fish supplies are suffering due to bad fishing practices, so no need to contribute to that environmental quagmire.

But then the news came out that pregnant mamas who eat fish have smarter more coordinated babies (a Harvard study in June 2005 and a British study in Feb 2007), and I had reason to revisit the fish issue.  Or at least find a way to get those potent omega -3 fatty acids in me and my in utero baby and my young children’s developing brains!

What about just taking fish oil supplements and not have to think about it?  Unfortunately, there is no way (yet) of knowing that there is no mercury in them and/or that they are coming from eco-friendly sources.  Give it a few years and some regulation getting involved and that will probably be a great option.

So back to the fish.  From my research I knew that mercury is truly bad news and has seriously detrimental effects on young nervous systems in particular.  Not worth rolling that dice.  I also had tacked up in my kitchen the Environmental Defense Fund’s “eco-worst” list of fish to avoid if you care about our planet.  So where was I to find fish that was safe to eat, that I could swallow without puking and that I could eat without feeling guilty?

My list had dwindled down to: wild salmon, pacific halibut, and yellowfin tuna, caught in US waters.

Fast forward to a recent date night with my husband when we visited our favorite sushi bar.  As we settled in, the sushi chef asked, “How’s the sushi baby?”  Two years later, he still remembers me for eating sushi right through the ninth month of my last pregnancy.   And I’m not talking just California rolls, girls, I mean the real deal sashimi.  Sushi?!?!? I hear you scream, but it’s RAW!!!  Yes.  And a food borne illness in pregnancy should be avoided at all costs.  With names like Listeria, Salmonella, Shigella, better to leave them on an exotic baby name list, as my girlfriend suggested,  than have them wreaking havoc on your GI system.  So why would I risk it?  Well, they do it in Japan and the reason is that if you are eating the freshest of the best, as I was, you can eliminate your risk.  I trusted my sushi source; he would rather die than have someone be sick from his sushi.  And in over 20 years of eating there, no one I know ever has been.

And so with that assurance, I gorged on high grade sushi, which never has a fishy smell so I never once gagged.  The result?  My little “sushi baby” - is one smart whippersnapper, if I do say so myself, who happens to love eating raw fish too.