Getting Pregnant Naturally & the Benefits of Natural Childbirth

26 Jul

A Different Way of Looking at Endometriosis

25 Jul

5 Things Restaurants Don’t Want You To Know About Their Food

22 Jul
Holistic Nutritionist, Carina Parikh,  MScN, MSiMR

Holistic Nutritionist, Carina Parikh, MScN, MSiMR

  1. There is a LOT of butter involved. And not small amounts of high quality, grass fed butter, but rather a ton of low-quality butter from cows that are likely treated with hormones and/or antibiotics. Butter is added to proteins, vegetables, sauces, and desserts to enhance the flavor and make things creamier.
  2. They add more salt than you would guess. Salt is a natural preservative and a flavor enhancer. Most restaurants are not concerned with their diners looking to watch their sodium levels, but rather on making sure the customers love the food and think it tastes great. Salt helps with this. Steaks are salted before cooked, vegetables are blanched in salt water, and a lot of salt finds its way into soups and sauces. Some salt is better than others. Table salt is heavily refined and processed with added chemicals, while unrefined sea salts are harvested by hand and have greater mineral content, and thus lower sodium. These sea salts don’t have added ingredients either. However, chances are that the restaurants are not using the more expensive, higher quality sea salts.
  3. They cook at very high heat. High temperatures are necessary to get the perfect sear on a steak, or cook vegetables fast enough to keep them from getting mushy. Using this high heat is generally impractical at home, which is why you most likely cannot get a perfect sear at home the way you do at a high end restaurant or steak house. The problem with this ultra high heat cooking is that it produces Advanced Glycation End-products, or AGEs, that research shows to be carcinogenic.
  4. You can almost always bet that your steak is grain-fed. Grassfed cows have less fat, and so the steak cuts lack that fat marbling that makes your steak so flavorful. Even if restaurants say that their steak is grassfed, it is likely grain-finished to add in that fat at the end. Now, a high end steak house is still going to have higher quality cuts of meats than fast food or more mediocre restaurants, generally using USDA prime beef, but that does not mean that nutritional value is necessarily a lot better.
  5. Chefs tend to go heavy on the cream. Cream adds flavor and richness to sauces and soups. When you add this to all the butter used to cook, you end up consuming a lot of saturated fat in one sitting, and paying a lot more money for it than you would at a lower end restaurant! Again, it is unlikely that this cream is organic or from grassfed cows, meaning that you are probably consuming dairy that contains antibiotics or synthetic hormones.

THE TAKEAWAY: The best way to ensure that you get healthy meals into your routine is to eat at home. You do not have to spend an hour each night preparing dinner to make a nutritious meal. In our practice here at Holistic Wellness, we provide ways of cooking healthy food at home that will empower you to take charge of the health of you and your family. Schedule a nutritional consult with me and let us help you optimize your health!

The connection between Acne, Birth Control, Weight Loss, & Painful Menstrual Cycles

21 Jul

The Body, the Mind & the Heart

20 Jul

Moms and Exhaustion

19 Jul

Genetic Diversity

13 Jul

‘Should we wait to have kids?’

7 Jul

Have a listen my answer to the question “Should I wait until we have all our ‘ducks in a row’ before trying to conceive?”

The links between Fertility, Sun Exposure, and Vitamin D

6 Jul

Welcome our new holistic nutritionist, Carina Parikh

3 Jul
Holistic Nutritionist, Carina Parikh,  MScN, MSiMR

Holistic Nutritionist, Carina Parikh, MScN, MSiMR

Carina Parikh, MScN, MSiMR is joining the practice July 13th as our new Holistic Nutritionist. We are so excited to have Carina! She holds a Masters of Science in Nutrition and a Masters of Science in Integrative Medicine Research from National College of Natural Medicine – an accredited Medical School in Naturopathic and Classical Chinese Medicine located in Portland, Oregon.

Needless to say, Carina knows healthy food in a really deep wayCarina will be available for highly tailored meal planning via in-office Nutritional Counseling Visits, in-home Pantry Clean Outs as well as Guided Grocery Shopping Visits with you at your local Dallas area Whole Foods, Central Market, or Green Grocer.

As always, we appreciate you inviting us on your personal health journey and we’ll see you soon!

Background and Credentials

1 Jul

Keep Calm and Call the Midwife

23 May

Miriam’s Well & HeartStrings Midwifery presents :

Keep Calm

A monthly Q/A series giving Dallas the opportunity to meet your
community midwives and have your questions answered. What is a
midwife, and what do they do? Whether you are pregnant or not, are interested in natural birth, or are just curious about what a midwife does… please join us! All are welcome, so spread the word.

The series will be the 1st Thursday of each month at 7pm in Dallas,
starting July 2nd. Each meeting will be dedicated to answering your
questions and getting to know our community. We will also be hosting other natural health practitioners that compliment midwifery care, such as chiropractors and doulas. Stay tuned to facebook for continued updates.

Contact: Lincey Knox-HeartStrings Midwifery – lincey@heartstringsmidwifery.com

Elizabeth Spring-Miriam’s Well Midwifery  – office@miriamswellmidwifery.com

Location: 3110 Webb Ave Ste 200 Dallas, TX 75205

https://www.facebook.com/heartstringsmidwife (second floor, right out of the elevator)

Skin-to-Skin Love for Your Newborn

9 Feb

We love educating women on the benefits of midwifery care. In pursuit of that goal, I encourage you to read this blog in our series from midwife (and guest blogger), Lincey Knox LM, CPM of Heartstrings Midwifery.

Those first few moments after the arrival of your new baby are so important for both mother and baby. This is true not just medically, but emotionally and physically as well. Skin to skin love is not something only the mother can provide – in fact, the bonding between baby and father through skin-to-skin care is also vitally important to the process. Through these first snuggles, a newborn learns the scent of mother and father, learns to feel safe, helps establish breastfeeding, aids in the newborn’s transition to living outside the womb, and keeps him- or herself warm.

A newborn survives off of its instincts and reflexes during the first few weeks of life. Its greatest senses are those of smell, touch, and hearing. With skin-to-skin contact a new baby is able to utilize these three senses as (s)he can smell mother’s scent, touch mother’s skin, and hear mother’s heartbeat – the same sound that has been lulling baby to sleep for the past nine months.

“There are now a multitude of studies that show that mothers and babies should be together, skin to skin immediately after birth, as well as later. The baby is happier, the baby’s temperature is more stable and more normal, the baby’s heart and breathing rates are more stable and more normal, and the baby’s blood sugar is more elevated.”

Immediate skin-to-skin contact between newborn and mother should be standard of care for all deliveries. Even in the situation where a cesarean delivery is necessary, many obstetricians are beginning to facilitate skin-to-skin between mother and baby in the operating room, as its importance is recognized more and more. Hopefully this practice will continue as more care providers recognize the bonds that are formed during these precious first moments.


REFERENCES

http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&id=82:the-importance-of-skin-to-skin-contact-&Itemid=17

2 http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/jack_newman2.html

3 http://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-skin-to-skin-care-after-a-cesarean/

Water Birth

19 Jan

I frequently discuss birth options with my newly pregnant clients. ‘Should I have a home birth, birth center birth, or a hospital birth?’ ‘What is the difference between a certified professional midwife (CPM), a certified nurse midwife (CNM), or an M.D.?’ In pursuit of our goal to help shed some light on these questions, I encourage you to read this blog in our series from guest blogger, Elizabeth Spring.



Water birth is a topic that has been making recent headlines, and inciting conversation between women, obstetricians and midwives.

What are the Benefits?

Imagine yourself drawing a warm bath, slipping in and relaxing your cares away… Similarly, when a woman who is in intense labor settles into the bath or birth tub, the warm water alleviates some of the physical discomfort of labor by easing muscle tension and creating the effects of buoyancy. When the woman has less discomfort, she will naturally relax more and produce more of the amazing hormone oxytocin! Oxytocin – also called the “love-hormone”, is the primary hormone involved in love-making, labor/birth, and breastfeeding. This feel-good hormone causes more effective contractions while allowing the mother to cope with labor pains more easily. Studies conducted on the safety and efficacy of water birth to ease labor pain concluded that women who labored and/or birthed in clean, warm water were less likely to use analgesic, less likely to have severe perineal lacerations, had shorter first-stage labor (1) and were more satisfied with their birth – with no increased risk to the mother or baby (2), (3).

Common Concerns

Many people are concerned about an increased risk of the newborn acquiring an infection from a water birth, but studies show that there is no increased risk between water and land births (1). Another concern is that the baby may take a breath under the water, it is forgotten that the infant has been living in water for 9 months and that he is still receiving oxygen through the umbilical cord. You may have seen on your ultrasound that your baby is making breathing movements, this is to build muscles needed for breathing outside of the womb. 24-48 hours prior to birth however, babies stop practicing these movements due to the presence of the hormone Prostaglandin E. Until the newborn’s face makes contact with air, it will not attempt to breath unless it is in distress – which your healthcare provider would detect beforehand (4). Moms-to-be, consider adding a tub to your birth plan!  In combination with good health practices, water immersion has been established as a safe and comfortable method of child-birth, and an extremely helpful coping method during labor.

References:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16147851
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15346814
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10971083
  4. http://www.arquitecturadematernidades.com/sites/default/files/administrator/BLOG/20140707BagneraVSpotro/estudio-queensland_waterbirth_2013.pdf

****** If you’re not pregnant yet, pre-conception care is what you do to prepare yourself to become pregnant. Come learn how to enhance your health in preparation for optimal fertility, a healthy full-term pregnancy, a straightforward labor, a rapid recovery, successful breastfeeding – and of course,a bright, healthy beautiful baby! Learn how nutrition, changes in body composition, exercise and sleep can positively impact female and male fertility and impact the health of any future pregnancy. 

The Midwifery Model of Care

8 Dec

I frequently discuss birth options with my newly pregnant clients. ‘Should I have a home birth, birth center birth, or a hospital birth?’ ‘What is the difference between a certified professional midwife (CPM), a certified nurse midwife (CNM), or an M.D.?’ In pursuit of our goal to help shed some light on this question, I encourage you to read this blog in our series from guest blogger, Elizabeth Spring.


The Midwifery Model of Care

Licensed midwives have specific guidelines on which they base their method of care. Midwives themselves vary as much as any one person from another, but their core beliefs and practice protocols are built upon the same foundation. The Midwives Alliance of North America and the Midwifery Task Force have defined this foundation in a statement titled The Midwives Model of Care (1), which  includes the following:

  • Monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
  • Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
  • Minimizing technological interventions
  • Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention

The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section while providing a healthy outcome for mother and baby (2).

 

From this foundation, midwives develop common philosophies of the midwifery model. The International Coalition of Midwives has written a document outlining common philosophies entitled The Philosophy and Model of Midwifery Care. Some of the foundational aspects included in this document are used to define the model of care that midwifery provides: 

  • Midwives trust that women are capable of natural childbirth, thus midwives partner with women to achieve each mother’s desired birth.
  • Birth is a natural physiological process, and pregnancy is a state of health.
  • Childbearing is a hugely profound experience in women’s lives.
  • Women should be supported in healthy choices for their pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Midwives are to be continuous partners with women in their decisions and experiences during this time, not authoritarian “providers”.
  • Midwifery care is holistic, avoiding unnecessary interventions and using a thorough knowledge of the expectant families’ cultures, beliefs, and life experiences. (3)

 

For other blogs in this series please see:  What is the Home Birth Experience Like? and Is Midwife Attended Birth Safe?

References

****** If you’re not pregnant yet, pre-conception care is what you do to prepare yourself to become pregnant. Come learn how to enhance your health in preparation for optimal fertility, a healthy full-term pregnancy, a straightforward labor, a rapid recovery, successful breastfeeding – and of course,a bright, healthy beautiful baby! Learn how nutrition, changes in body composition, exercise and sleep can positively impact female and male fertility and impact the health of any future pregnancy.