Wellness

Nutrients you didn’t know you needed in pregnancy - and where to find them.

Pregnancy is a time when moms start to think about their environment, what they are eating, and how they can best support a growing baby. What we eat is an amazing tool we have in our control to support our bodies and the development of our baby throughout pregnancy. But, this can quickly become overwhelming when we start to think about all the nutrients we need.

We all hear about needing folate (aka “folic acid”), B vitamins, iron, and calcium in pregnancy.  But there are several lesser known nutrients that play a key role in pregnancy. Not only do these nutrients support our developing babies, but they can also help support mom as her body goes through huge changes.   

Zinc:

This is a mineral that helps support muscle growth and repair, supports the immune system, and helps to balance hormones.  Zinc is essential to support the rapid growth and development of your baby’s cells. Zinc may also help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure in pregnancy as well as reduce risk for low birth weight.

Where to find it: Crab, turkey, chicken, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and collard greens.

Try this recipe: Smoked Turkey and Collard Green Stew - you could always replace the turkey with chicken!

Magnesium:

This is another mineral that assists with tissue growth and repair.  Magnesium is also an important mineral for bone health and can play a critical role in the development of your baby’s bones and teeth. Magnesium is important for maternal health, helping to relax muscles (helping fight against those pesky leg cramps).

Where to find it: Spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, avocado, yogurt, figs, and dark chocolate

Try this recipe: Simply add some pumpkin or sunflower seeds, almonds, and/or figs to your morning yogurt or granola mix.  Avocado toast is another great option. Smash some avocado on whole wheat bread and top with radishes and seeds (sunflower or pumpkin).

Choline:

Choline is important during early pregnancy.  It has been tied to a decreased risk of neural tube defects. It is a key factor in development of baby’s cells and nervous system, impacting brain and cognitive development.

Where to find it: Eggs, kidney beans, broccoli, spinach

Try this recipe: Spinach and Egg scramble

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk or water
  • 1 handful of frozen spinach, thawed and drained or ~1 cup fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter for pan (~1 tbsp)
  • Optional: 1-2 Tbsp shredded cheese of choice
  • Optional: 2 oz. of canned salmon (great source of Omega-3 Fats - see below!)

Directions:

  1. Add 2 eggs, milk/water, and seasonings to a small bowl and whisk eggs
  2. Melt butter in pan on stove
  3. Add spinach to pan (if fresh allow to wilt), and salmon if using
  4. Then add eggs to pan
  5. Top with cheese, if using
  6. Stir until eggs are cooked through
  7. Enjoy!

Omega-3 Fats:

FAT! Yes, I’m telling you to eat fat, specifically DHA and EPA Omega-3 fats.  This is another nutrient that is crucial for development of a healthy nervous system – including brain development and development of vision.

Where to find it: Salmon, sardines, grass fed beef, flax seeds

Try this recipe: Simple Chocolate Delight (add 2 Tbsp of ground flax seeds into your next smoothie)

Ingredients:

  • 1 med. Banana
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Flax Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp Almond butter
  • 2 cups Almond milk
  • Ice (per your preference for thickness)

Directions:

  1.       Combine ingredients in blender.
  2.       Blend until smooth.

Or have a snack of canned sardines - this is a great source of protein and omega-3s.  

When you look at the sources of these wonderful nutrients, you see a lot of overlap! If you are getting in a variety of vegetables (especially cruciferous veggies/leafy greens) and protein from trusted sources, you are getting these valuable nutrients to fuel you through your pregnancy.

Food and pregnancy can be challenging between aversions, cravings, heightened sense of smell, heartburn, decreasing space….need I go on?  If you are having trouble with any of these things and are working toward starting or maintaining a healthful diet but need guidance and support, I’m here to help!

I offer FREE intro sessions for Health Coaching at Blooma Minneapolis and would be happy to help you through your pregnancy.  Schedule your visit here. (Under "Appointment Type" scroll to "Health Coaching")

 

Written by Margaret Achu – Certified Health Coach, Occupational Therapist, Mama

You can follow me on Instagram @coach_margaret_achu or check out my website margaretachu.com

To schedule a Health Coach appointment with Margaret, you can contact her at coach@margaretachu.com,  or you may schedule an introductory session through Blooma’s Wellness page.

*This is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions, please talk to your medical provider regarding any concerns you have regarding nutrition and pregnancy.

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

The uterus grows 500 times its original size during pregnancy. FIVE-HUNDRED!!! It starts deep in the pelvis & by full term it reaches the rib cage, which means everything attached to it stretches & moves too. In addition, all the body parts that are not growing are moving to accommodate your baby. Your lordodic curve (or the curve in your low back) increases exponentially during pregnancy to maintain your balance and keep you from falling over – this can put added stress on your muscles and ligaments on top of all the other body changes occurring. Thank goodness for chiropractic adjustments!

Chiropractic care during pregnancy not only focuses on correcting spinal subluxations in order to restore normal, all-over body function, but it also looks at the sacrum's role in the pregnant pelvis. By adjusting the sacrum we can support healthy pelvic function in an expecting mother throughout pregnancy and into birth. This is done using an analysis called the Webster Technique.

Since the pregnant pelvis is a unit, all its pieces are connected to one another and must be working together to create a comfortable place for baby to grow. The Webster Technique looks at the sacrum and its joints, while checking the round ligaments for tension. The sacrum is attached to the uterus by a strong ligament, therefore misalignment of the sacrum may cause tightening and twisting of this ligament that can contribute to excessive tension in the uterus. By adjusting the sacrum, we can release tension in the structures around the uterus and relieve stress on the uterus. An important part of prenatal care is keeping the round ligaments flexible and relaxed while keeping the pelvis aligned. This helps the uterus maintain balance for the baby to grow in a good position throughout pregnancy. This not only helps keep mom comfortable during pregnancy, but can contribute to a safer, easier birth.

Women usually seek out chiropractic care for low back, hip, and pubic pain as well as discomfort in their ribs and mid-back. These discomforts can also be caused by misalignment of the sacrum and can be improved when receiving regular chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. Getting adjusted while pregnant helps prepare the pelvis for an easier pregnancy and birth by creating balance in the bones, ligaments, and muscles around the birth canal. Chiropractic care has shown to reduce birth times for first time mothers on an average of 24% compared to women that did not receive chiropractic care while pregnant. Women who have had previous births had a 39% shorter birth times.

A pregnant mama's body is literally changing everyday all day long to accommodate her baby's needs. It's a good idea to get checked regularly to be sure all the growing & moving parts are working together so you have comfort and ease during pregnancy and birth.

Written by Dr. April, Chiropractor and Mama

Dr. April offers gentle, individual pre and postnatal chiropractic care for women and their families. She believes by nurturing and supporting our bodies we are able to experience our full potential – this care is especially important during pregnancy and the months following birth for mom and baby. She is seeing participants in Blooma Mpls, and is Webster certified and a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. Make an appointment here, or give us a call: (612) 223-8064

 

Sources:

Nature, Int Wkly J Sci - December 2007

  1. Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - May 10, 2012

ICPA Ohm Notes

Fallon J. Proceedings of the world chiropractic congress. 1991; 24-31

Thank Goodness for the Prep Work! Margaret's Birth Story

“Giving birth can be the most empowering experience of a lifetime – an initiation into a new dimension of mind-body awareness.” ~Ina May Gaskin

As soon as I got pregnant I read everything related to pregnancy and childbirth. I wanted to know what to expect, and what I could do to ensure everything went smoothly.

I opted to take Hypnobirthing class through Blooma (shout out to Channing!).  

Hypnobirthing provided me with information about what to expect in the different stages of labor, and offered several techniques to help me cope with the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that pop up during childbirth.  It also provided a platform for my husband and I to talk about my wishes during labor and birth, and how he could best support me.  It helped him to know what to look for as I was going into labor and what he could expect.  Which, it turned out would be very helpful in my labor and birth.

As a part of Hypnobirthing you do daily work on affirmations and visualizations.  These were incredibly helpful for me on so many levels.  It not only helped me work through my own fears leading up to my labor and delivery, it helped me cope with the new experiences I was having in pregnancy empowering me as “labor-day” drew near. 

Doing this work helped me to honor and trust in my body and my son to birth safely.  These things that I practiced turned out to be critical, allowing me to have a labor experience that left me feeling happy and empowered.

I had measured “big” all along, and was so convinced my son would come early. I think every first-time mom thinks this - or is it just me?  I remember my midwives telling me that it’s normal for a first-time mom to go past her guess date.  I also remember thinking “yeah, okay – but that won’t be me”. The universe was laughing in my face.  It was a full eight days after my guess date that I went into labor. Nine days post-guess date my son, Crosby, joined us Earth-side. 

By labor started with a false-alarm water breaking (being that pregnant in the height of the summer – one never knows).  After this false alarm I was having inconsistent surges/contractions.  This went on for several days…

Finally, on Friday, August 3rd, I hit a mental break.  I had been having surges irregularly for at least 24 hours and I felt like I was not progressing AT ALL.  I remember thinking I was going to be in this in-between state forever.  As these surges continued, I utilized my breathing skills that I had been practicing and continued my affirmations.

After two phone calls to the midwife, an increasing pressure and discomfort low in my pelvis, and continued inconsistent surges, I was convinced I was in very early labor or prodromal labor. I consciously welcomed the sensations that I was feeling and let them flow.  In fact, I remember wanting to feel more of it – because I knew that would mean we were getting somewhere!

Eventually, I felt like I needed to use the restroom, so I tried, and tried, and tried.  I didn’t need to go to the bathroom - it was a head, my sons head. In the moment I was confused. Listening to my body I thought I was progressing, but because of my irregular surges and after my conversations with the midwife I was convinced I wasn’t even close to birthing this baby. (Side note: my husband was NOT confused – he knew what was up.  But remained a steadfast observer and supporter.)

Before I knew it, my body sprang into action.  I felt a surge coming and my whole stomach bore down! After a conversation with my husband, and a call to the midwife, we were on our way to the birth center!

These pushing surges continued and about 30 minutes later we arrived at the birth center.  My midwife checked baby, I got in the water, I was checked, and he was on his way out!

This is where things got good! The water was AMAZING.

This was a happy phase for me – it felt good that my baby was coming, that I was in a comfortable space surrounded by the support team I trusted.  I worked with my body and breathed through the pushing phase. This is really where I feel the techniques that I had learned and practiced paid off!  About 2 hours after arriving at the birth center, we had our baby boy.  It was the most crazy and surreal experience.  I wouldn’t change a moment of it.

In the moment, I couldn’t tell you what stage of labor I was experiencing, but I knew to use my breath. I knew how to build support around me that allowed me to get through the moments of fear. The months prior to my birth, I had been learning and practicing so that I could put these lessons into action. It felt so good to work with my body as I brought my dear boy into this world.  My experience would not have been the same if I did not put in the work.  By preparing and practicing coping skills I set myself up for success.

Doing the work, taking time to educate yourself (and your partner), preparing your mind and body, and sharing your wishes with your support team are amazing steps you can take to create an amazing and empowering birth experience.

Written by Margaret Achu – Certified Health Coach, Occupational Therapist, Mama You can follow me on Instagram @coach_margaret_achu or check out my website margaretachu.com

To schedule a Health Coach appointment with Margaret, you can contact her at coach@margaretachu.com,  or you may schedule an introductory session through Blooma’s Wellness page.

Mindfulness 101

There has been a lot of buzz about mindfulness lately. If you get the concept, but are not sure how to apply it, you’re in luck! Let’s take a look at what it looks and feels like. Breaking mindfulness down can help take the complexity out of it. Small adjustments and shifts can help us de-stress and become more self aware.

What is mindfulness?

Being mindful means, we absorb what’s going on fully. For example, if we’re on a walk, we’re there, aware to the sounds, smells, and our environment. We chose to be present and don’t lean into distractions even with boredom. Being mindful means putting away distractions and focusing on the present. We are frequently ‘plugged in’ phone in hand, half browsing, half focusing on what’s in front of us.

What are the benefits?

Mindfulness allows our brains to grow. When we practice a new habit our brains form a new neurological pathway and this makes us sharper, faster, and stronger. Our brain is a muscle, we must exercise it. Having a daily mindfulness practice helps us to do that. If we’re present, we are learning, and when we learn, we become smarter.

How do I find time?

Studies show that 10 minutes of mindfulness can have a huge impact on our brains. Parenting, work, and life stressors can make us feel like we don’t have a minute to spare. Start small and work your way up. You’ll find a routine that’s comfortable for you.

What are some mindfulness exercises?

     -Mindful Breathing: seated for 3-5 minutes and solely focusing on 5 second inhales paired with 5 second exhales.

     -Mindful Walks: go outside and absorb your environment. Perhaps look at exploring unfamiliar paths or trails. Notice what you    observe, feel, and smell. Process these senses in your mind and commit to being present.

     -Mindful Journaling: take a moment to reflect on your day. Write down a couple things you are grateful for. Reflect on accomplishments and areas you can grow. Notice your feelings, self talk, and overall mood while doing this practice.

Written by Nicole Pierce-Risvold, MS – Family Psychotherapist

**Nicole is currently taking clients at Blooma St. Paul. Give us a call to find an appointment: (651) 340-8538

What Is a Health Coach?

The short answer is that as a health coach, I am here to empower you to make changes and meet your health and wellness goals.

I’m Margaret, I’m a health coach and a new mom. Through my journey into motherhood I have experienced how transformative this time is. Our bodies, minds, and hearts are in constant transition through this journey of becoming a mother.  This time of change and transition is HARD. It can be easy to allow your needs as a mom, woman, and human to take a back seat.  However, self-care is paramount for women, especially during pregnancy and postpartum. Self-care allows us to truly know and be in tune with who we are and what we need.  It allows us to approach life from a space that is more balanced, and in turn provide the best care for our families.  This is why I’m so passionate about helping moms during this transformational period.   

A health coach is on your side to offer guidance, support, and accountability on your journey of personal growth and development.  A coach will not tell you what to do or how to meet your goals, but rather will work with you to find solutions that are right for you in your life.  

During a coaching program we will look at your life holistically, touching on areas of diet, exercise, relationships, career, and spirituality – to name a few.  These sessions are tailored just for you and are all about what YOU need.  Some examples of specific topics that could be addressed include:

  • - Diet & nutrition
  • - Exercise and movement routines, including to return to activity postpartum
  • - Stress Management
  • - Self-Care
  • - Fears surrounding life changes (such as pregnancy, labor and birth, and transitioning to parenthood)
  • - Body image and body changes
  • - Work/Life Balance
  •   And More

Programs can be 100% customized to meet your needs.  I offer FREE introductory sessions.  This is a 45-minute session dedicated to getting to know you and learning about your individual goals.  After we determine what your specific needs are we will create a program just for you.  

If you have further questions feel free to contact me at coach@margaretachu.com,  or you may schedule an introductory session through Blooma’s Wellness page.

Written by Margaret Achu - Certified Health Coach, Occupational Therapist, Mama

What to ask you kids besides, “How was your day?”

We pick our kids up from school, from a neighbors, from after school care and we ask them, "How was your day?" They typically respond with "good", "fine", or the dreaded "I don't want to talk about it". This lighthearted conversation hits a dead end fast. We quickly move on with our day, never really getting a sense of what they did or how they felt throughout the day. Sometimes we hear about their day from others - their teachers, a friends mom, etc.- and we think, "why didn't they share that with me?"

Some minor adjustments to the way you talk to your child can make a big difference. The way you ask questions can lead to more meaningful conversations, making each day a learning experience for both of you. These conversations can also help your child build foundational social skills and help them to handle situations better.

So get rid of the old “How was your day” and give these questions a try!

“What did you notice today that made someone else happy?”

This question helps your child be mindful and think outside of themselves. Build on their response and ask “How did you know it made them happy?”, then take the dialogue from there. Pose questions that they respond to with specific names and experiences.

“Tell me about someone that you helped today."

Pay attention to how they talk about helping others. Praise for them helping others and for making good choices. Share how it would make you feel to have received help in a similar situation.

“What is something you can do tomorrow to make sure the day is good for you and others?"

Listen as your child responds to this and use some guiding examples. Over time, your child will pick up on your guiding ideas and themes and will implement them. Asking your child about how they feel when doing things for others will help them to continue to repeat mindful behavior. They will begin to understand the joy that comes along with helping others.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After using these guiding questions, more questions will come organically. It is important to listen as your child talks. Children feel more willing to talk when they feel heard. If we can convey the message that they can share with us in a free manner, we will have better overall communication with our children, and get a good picture of how their day really was!

Written by Nicole Pierce-Risvold, MS - Family Psychotherapist

**Nicole is currently taking clients at Blooma St. Paul. Give us a call to find an appointment: (651) 340-8538

 

 

The Importance of Self Care for All Mamas

When does a mother take a break? Often, the answer is rarely, if ever. Self-care can quickly fall by the wayside as we take care of everyone and everything else. We know this; taking better care of ourselves is a broken record we all hear. But, what can you do?

Chiropractic care is an excellent tool to focus on self-care and spend some well deserved time on your body and mind. It’s a gift you can give yourself, one that benefits you beyond your appointment. This type of wellness care is an easy way to take care of your body, with little personal effort on your part. Just give Blooma a call. Then you show up, talk to us about how you're feeling, and relax! We do all the work to help your brain better communicate with your body, decrease muscle tension, and improve mobility. You may receive a little homework to help you along the way!

Mamas can experience a wide variety of symptoms while pregnant and postpartum, from headaches to muscle tension to low back pain. We can help with all of these! Low back and pelvic pain is so common in pregnancy due to the change of weight distribution. As those low back muscles tighten to keep you upright and hormones are relaxing your ligaments, it's much easier to have those joints move out of alignment which causes extra tension and pain. The same goes for mamas breastfeeding and carrying an infant when shoulders often slouch, creating headaches, neck pain, and upper back tension. 

Taking time out of your week to focus on your health is important. Our society focuses so much on “sick care.” We wait until something is wrong or painful before we get help. Changing the focus to wellness helps you feel and function better. Being preventative in our choices increases energy, comfort, and happiness. Isn't that something we could all use?

Dr. Ellen and Dr. Danielle are now taking appointments at Blooma. To schedule Chiropractic Care, please give us a call.

 Minneapolis & Plymouth: (612) 223-8064

St. Paul: (651) 340-8538

Contributed by Ellen Jabs, D.C. & Danielle Finden, D.C

* Gift Cards can be purchased and used for Wellness Services at Blooma. Learn more HERE.

Chiropractic Care in the 4th Trimester (Postpartum)

Sometime in the 4th trimester, after all the happy hormones of birth start to fade, the reality of pain can be a shocker for some mamas, and not always where they expect it.  While bellies and bottoms are healing, mamas are often surprised at the physical workout that comes from holding, changing, nursing, and carrying a little one outside the womb! Low back pain gets a lot of attention as the spine is recovering from pregnancy, however chiropractic care is also an excellent way to address neck pain, upper back strain, muscle tension, headaches, wrist, and shoulder pain that are so common in the early postpartum weeks.  Often, these are the result of the awkward postural demands of early baby care (bouncing, carrying, feeding, sleeping).

neck

 

     I want to remind everyone about the power getting an adjustment can have in the 4th trimester.

 

 

Even with all the great gadgets, wraps, and pillows, despite our best intentions, we are often inclined to accommodate baby - no matter how uncomfortable it is.  When mamas are a few weeks postpartum and experience  headaches, tension in the shoulders/neck, constantly stretch out their wrists, or arch their upper backs, it is time to visit the chiropractor and get re-aligned (yes even those little wrist bones and elbows can get out of place). Your body will feel amazing and will thank you for the attention! The first adjustment after birth is often one of moms’ favorites.

Come in and visit me at Blooma and get your adjustment pre or post baby. At Blooma, there is so much more to experience than yoga and barre. Take time for you and give your body the attention that it needs for happy and healthy motherhood!

Written by Dr. Jessica D.C (Chiropractor and Mama at Blooma)

Jessica-Peterson

*Dr. Jessica was recently interviewed for MN Parent Magazine as a contributing Chiropractor on this same topic. Thank you to Rachel Guyah for highlighting this in April’s MN Parent magazine, and for consistently supporting Blooma as a superstar resource for our community! You can read the full article HERE.

New Year's REVOLUTION-Changing the Conversation in the New Year

At Blooma, we are taking an ANTI resolution stance for 2017. Instead, we want to focus on a revolution - of our bodies & our minds. We want to stop looking at the scale and focus on the love we share in the Blooma community. Thank you to Blooma mama and teacher Jessie for sharing her outlook for the New Year! Bring on 2017!!

 

It's that time of year again, we start discussing the things that we need “to get rid of", "get over", "lose", or "kick". Our resolutions usually start with something we feel bad about-weight, money, habits, time. But as women, mamas, sisters, friends, and partners, we do amazing things every damn day, all year long. Why do we feel the need start our New Year by punishing ourselves with restrictions and limits? I was just having a conversation this morning with two women I love dearly. I look up to them both, especially when it comes to life management and health. Here we were berating ourselves over our sugar "addiction", however, within minutes we were able to change the way we spoke about our plans by saying "I want to add more vegetables in our daily meals". Yes!

Let’s change the conversation. Let’s not make our New Year’s plans about restrictions, let’s make it more about expansion. Forget about getting rid of the pieces of our lives, let’s just focus on adding something into it. So, instead of dieting-let’s add a veggie to every meal. Instead of giving up sweets- let’s add in a Yoga class. Instead of giving up something to make more time for our children-let’s add in an activity that we can all do together.

img_5558

 

Don’t get me wrong, it is great to make guidelines for ourselves to become better in the New Year, but I was forgetting about all the good things I had done the year before. I was a good mother to my kids. A good partner to my husband. A good friend and daughter. So, for this year I’ve started planning all the of the things I will “add-in”. And, I remind myself that I take care of my mind and body because I am worth it. Because taking the time to focus on me allows me to be a better version of myself for the other people in my life.

Change the conversation. Add things in. Enjoy the New Year.

 

Contributed by Jessie Seehof Carlson

Just another human trying to be kinder to myself