Anemia + Pregnancy

Anemia

 

By Deidre M. Medina, LMT, CBE

What is anemia?

There are a few kinds of anemia in pregnancy.

Pregnancy-related anemia when your blood has too few red blood cells which in this kind of anemia is due to the increased blood volume during pregnancy.

Iron deficiency is due to mother not having enough red blood cells stores to match the babies use of the mother’s red blood cells for its growth and development.  This is the most common type of anemia in pregnancy.

B-12 deficiency is when there is a low level of B-12 which is important for making red blood cells and protein.  If you are a vegan mom, you may find yourself with this type.  It is found in eggs, milk, poultry, meat.

Folate deficiency can inhibit the production of red blood cells.  It is a B vitamin that is water soluble.  Folic acid is the synthetic version of folate and is not as easily digestible and folate.  You can find folate in dark leafy green vegetables, beets, Brewer’s yeast, liver, etc.  It is a common deficiency because the modern diet of processed foods, though supplemented with folic acid, it is not easily usable as the folate found in fresh unprocessed foods.  Your baby needs this to prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.

Using Food as Medicine

Nutrition is most important in pregnancy.  Food can be used to prevent deficiency and to balance any deficiency in mild cases. If you are in need of iron-rich foods, then you can look to dark leafy greens, beets, legumes, beans, kelp, meats, poultry, liver and more.  For iron to be absorbed well, vitamin C rich food should be paired together or supplementing with vitamin C.   Cooking in an iron skillet helps increase the iron in your meal.  A favorite plant based supplement for iron that I took for all three of my pregnancies was Floradix (I am not affiliated with them) or if you are gluten sensitive their Floravital.  It is an herbal iron supplement that is non-constipating.

There are foods and supplements that can inhibit the absorption of food.  The use of antacids or other alkalis will diminish iron absorption.  These are sometimes commonly used in pregnancy if you are affected by heartburn.  Coffee and black tea can inhibit absorption as well.  Calcium can inhibit iron absorption so it is important to try avoid taking a calcium supplement at the time of iron supplement or with your iron-rich meal.  Iron absorption is a slow process and takes about 2-4 hours for the body to absorb iron so you could take iron supplement at separate meal time than your calcium.

Folate-rich foods that can boost your folate spinach, kale, beet greens, beets, chart, organ meats, brewer’s yeast.  Bean sprouts of mung bean, lentils, and soy are really good sources of folate.  B-12 can be supplemented with a sublingual B-12 or shots every three months during pregnancy.

Eat Well, Be Well

So the pattern as you can seen for a well-nourished pregnancy is eat to well-balanced meals.  Make sure your meals are mostly fresh whole ingredients.  Eat less processed foods.  It really pays to understand nutrition and how it affects your pregnancy and your baby’s health.  Learn, have fun with it, ask for help.  Eat well, be well.

Sources:  https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=90&ContentID=P02428  Staying Healthy with Nutrition by Elson M. Haas, M.D.

New Holistic Postpartum Care Offering!

IMG_2516

I am so thrilled to introduce you to the newest Ebb & Flow offering. Let’s get together and see if this plan is right for you. I know it is worth it. It’s  known in many societies the new mother is not valued. We do not teach new mothers to accept that they are valuable and though countless women before us have birthed, every single one is special and is your own experience. What does postpartum support look like for you? What do you wish it was for you? In the post before I talked about the support I provide mom’s immediately after the birth and in the 5 weeks to follow.  Massage in the home using hot stones to warm and pull back the pelvis area and lessons on self-massage that you can practice daily. IMG_2524.PNG

Nourishing meal preparation in the home to encourage your body’s healing.  IMG_2519

When your body is ready, rejuvenating makko ho stretching. This is about mom and helping her replenish, nourish her baby, and be nourished. Let’s talk about how I can help you feel nurtured in the #4thtrimester.

IMG_2520.PNG

 

What do Buffalo mom’s feel is their ideal birth experience?

 

Deidre M. Medina, LMT 140 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14201 (716)292-6113 dee@ebbandflowbirth.com

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT PROVIDER FOR YOUR PREGNANCY?

Congratulations!  You’re pregnant.  There are so many things to plan and look forward to.  Besides the name of baby, the room colors, etc., the one thing that may be tough to decide on is who should be your care provider.  Depending on where you live, your options may include, a family doctor, an OB/GYN, or a midwife.  How do you choose?  What are some things you can ask your potential candidates?   I hope by the end of the article you’ll know what to ask and start thinking about what is important to you for your birth experience.

  • Where were you trained? What school did you attend for your training?
  • How long ago were you trained?
  • Please tell me a little bit about your practice?
  • How many births have you attended?
  • What are the kinds of births you have attended?
  • How many of those births were you there from start to finish?
  • Will you be available for my birth and is there any chance that someone else will attend?
  • If someone else will be attending my birth, who are they and can I meet with them?
  • When is it decided that a Cesarean is necessary?
  • What are your conditions that a Cesarean will be necessary?
  • Will you allow a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean)?
  • Can I work with a doula?
  • Can I move around in labor?
  • If you’re speaking with an MD ask if they work with a nurse-midwife?

Questions specific to a midwife

  •  Is there a backup midwife and if so, can I meet them?
  • What are the conditions that would require a physician’s referral of my care?
  • Will you allow an HBAC (Home Birth after Cesarean)?

You want to know the stats of the provider you are choosing.  This can tell you what kind of care you will likely receive.  If it is an OB/GYN or family doctor, they are most likely associated with a hospital and those statistics are a matter of public record.  Here in NYS, you can go to http://profiles.health.ny.gov/

Things you will be looking for is what are the percentage of Cesarean sections, what are the percentage of vaginal birth Cesarean, What is the percentage of drug use in labor, the percentage of Epidurals, the percentage of vaginal births, and more.  It is nice to be able to compare and contrast the hospitals you are looking at in comparison to each other and the national average.

Though it’s a big decision to decide on a care provider for you and your baby, just know that if you feel you are not getting the care you need with the provider you have chosen, no matter how far into the pregnancy you are, you can switch your care to another provider.  Whoever your final candidates may be, ask family and friends for their recommendations or if they have had experiences with those particular care providers.  The first thing we do in making a choice a  household service or before hiring a mechanic, is ask friends who they recommend.  How much more so care should be given in choosing a provider to attend on us as we bring our child into this?  I wish you the best in choosing your provider as you build your birth team.  Happy birthing!

Holding Space – The First Hour


Birth workers have long known the importance of holding the space during a IMG_1091woman’s labor.  The goal has always been to make sure she feels safe and able to be vulnerable, to give in to the waves of birth without judgement, and as little interference as possible.  The benefits of letting her body guide her are numerous.  Holding the space, however, does not end with the birth.  It should continue on after the birth.  This is the moment the family has been waiting for.

Allowing the mother, partner, and baby to adjust and become one is so important.  There are physiological and emotional needs being met in that first hour.  It is sometimes a struggle for the birth worker not to swoop in busily doing this and that.  Really, what mom needs is a moment to allow her body and mind to adjust and take in what just happened.  She is coming out of birthing mode.  For some this may mean holding her baby and looking into baby’s eyes and others they may need time before connecting to baby both are fine.  Ina May Gaskin wrote in her book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, of the first hour – “We have no routine that interfere with the euphoria that is present in the birth room…They are falling in love.  We enjoy witnessing this process while being conscious not to interrupt it.”

Stepping into the background and letting the family’s natural rhythm unfold.  Respecting and honoring that first hour is the best thing that those in the birth room can do for the family.  As long as mom and baby are in good health, less interference is only for the best and can affect that family circle’s rhythm for the best for the long run.