Real Moms

9 Surprising Tips: Pregnancy Digestive Health

Natural health has become very popular among pregnant women and moms lately– and for good reason!

Mom’s are now more aware than ever that our diet, exercise routines, and environments affect our pregnancy and our children, not just our own health! Since digestion, your tummy, and your whole gut system is affected by so many factors, especially during pregnancy, here are some great tips to creating and maintaining digestive system health through your pregnancy and beyond.

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Digestive System Bacteria– What you NEED to Know

Probiotic, now a hype word, was once a topic only discussed among “holistic” health practitioners has become center stage in the topic of many health discussions, since probiotics contribute to healthy digestion and intestinal balance. Our gut is filled with hundreds of different species of good bacteria. In fact, there are more of them in a healthy gut than there are cells in the entire body! The intestinal flora is also a key contributor in detoxification, ridding the body of 40 percent of the toxins in food. If the gut didn’t have the intestinal flora, the liver would have to work almost twice as hard.
Avoid These Things to Maintain the Balance in Your Belly:

1. C-sections
While often absolutely necessary, today, too many women are induced. This leads to C-sections that would not have been necessary if the natural process of labor had been respected and allowed to proceed without disruption. A baby in the womb is sterile, but when passing through the birth canal, it is exposed to bacteria, mouth first. These bacteria are supposed to colonize the gut, nature’s first vaccination of sorts. This does not happen during a C-Section.

2. Antibiotics
Antibiotics are the second (and often most commonly seen) problem the intestinal flora often face. While our culture is beginning to become aware of our over-prescribing of antibiotics, it is still often the case that children (and adults for that matter) are given antibiotics for every kind of infection-many of which if given the proper time and rest would resolve on their own. In fact, because this antibiotic regime starts early, many of us have always lived with compromised intestinal flora and have never been truly healthy.

3. Chemicals in Your Food
The chemicals found in our food is the most common way that we make trouble for our intestinal flora on a day-to-day basis. A trip to the doctor isn’t the only place you’ll find antibiotics, some of the same antibiotics doctors prescribe to humans are administered to livestock by the food industry. This goes for processed and packaged foods in boxes, jars, bags, tubes, and bottles. The food industry calls them preservatives, but in essence they act as antibiotics. These antibiotics kill the friendly flora naturally found in your digestive system.

4. Chlorinated Water
Tap water and shower water are two places that can cause problems for our intestinal flora. The water we shower with is absorbed through the skin and ends up in our circulatory systems, just like the water we drink. Recent reports reveal that your shower and tap water may contain increasingly detectable levels of most of the popular prescription medications such as antidepressants, antibiotics, hormones, and immuno-suppressants, all serious problems for the good bacteria in our gut.

5. Stress
Research is beginning to suggest that stress itself can cause significant changes to the diversity, composition, and number of gut microorgansims. Stress has been linked to a variety of conditions such as food allergies, GERD, and IBS.² Stress has also been shown to slow bowel transit time, which encourages the growth of bad bacteria!

Tips to Keep Your Tummy Happy:

1. Eat chemical-free whole foods and use chemical-free products. You have heard this before and it is worth repeating. Look for whole foods free of preservatives, conservatives, and coloring agents. Use chemical-free makeup, body-care, and cleaning products. I so often hear of the expense that comes along with eating organic whole foods and my thoughts on this are pay now or pay later. You really are what you eat… and so is your baby!! Decreased exposure to pesticides, added hormones, and antibiotics is good for you & baby.

2. Take a multi-strain probiotic. The truth is we are still learning about which probiotics are the most useful and in what quantities. We do know that probiotics support the intestinal flora. I recommend rotating your probiotics to include different strains and different amounts. The brands I have found most reliable are VSL #3 and Primal Defense by Garden of Life

3. Filter your tap & shower waters. Keep chlorine and other chemicals from being absorbed and damaging your microflora by using a shower and drinking water filter. On top of decreased exposure as an added bonus you may notice softer skin!

4. This is SO IMPORTANT while pregnant. Reduce stress. There are many strategies to help reduce stress, so find one that works for you and use it.

On top of these things, don’t forget that healthy eating, staying hydrated, safe and effective exercises, and above all– plenty of rest, will help your total body health. Avoiding the chemicals and toxins that bombard your daily life can seem overwhelming, but when you know where to look for them, how to avoid them, and alternative lifestyle choices, you can have a happier healthy pregnancy and beyond!

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Other Posts by Knocked-Up Fitness:

5 Tips for Fighting Pregnancy Fatigue
Healthy Product Talk with Mommy Greenest
Getting Pregnant: 7 Pre-Pregnancy Health Tips

 

 

References

1. Clean Gut by Dr. A. Junger

2. http://www.jpp.krakow.pl/journal/archive/12_11/pdf/591_12_11_article.pdf

Real Moms

“Healthy Lifestyle for The Busy Mom” 21-Day Program, Starts October 20th!

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Registration is now open and I am offering a first-time only discount for my brand new 21-day program “Healthy Lifestyle for The Busy Mom”! I am offering a first time discount!

 For the busy mom  and  the expecting mom alike!

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Includes a 21-day menu plan – including family and kid-friendly recipes you’ve been looking for – over 50 recipes, plus 21 days of workout assignments. The best part, I will be coaching you along the way!

Receive instant access to your 21-day nutrition program upon registration. Access to the online members portal with new workouts and videos will be available on October 19th. Prior to beginning, the first group coaching call will be on October 16th where you’ll get more details about the nutrition portion of the program. Be sure to register prior to October 16th if you want in live on that call! (All calls are recorded so you can listen at a later date if you are unable to attend.) Registration will remain open through October 18th. Reserve your spot today!

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Here’s what’s included in the “Healthy Lifestyle for The Busy Mom” 21-day program. This program is designed for all busy moms – new and expecting! See video below for more:

3 Group Coaching Calls

  • All calls will be recorded so you can listen to them at your own convenience!
  •  More ways to eat healthy with a busy schedule.
  •  Yes, you can eat delicious food and be healthy too!
  •  Let’s tackle concerns with Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation)- because you can do something about it!
  •  Decrease your stress, even with a busy lifestyle.
  •  Find time for you!
  •  Hormones, Adrenals, Thyroid, Insulin, and so much more!
  •  No topics related around your health are off limits.
  •  Q & A

 

21-days of meal planning

  • Recipes even your husband will enjoy!
  • Over 50 recipes!
  •  Includes your weekly menu plan, grocery lists and recipes.
  •  Options for gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian diets.
  •  Extra recipes, and ideas for your kids too!

 

21-days of workout assignments

  •  Receive daily workout assignments including; new workouts, my online workouts, as well as recommendations from my DVD’s and digital workouts.
  •  Pregnant mamas, you’ll receive my pregnancy workout recommendations.
  •  Busy mamas, you’ll be receiving my schedule for quick and effective workouts you can squeeze into your busy schedule.
  • Learn simple release techniques to help with low back and hip pain.

 

Receive exclusive access to my private “Healthy Lifestyle for The Busy Mom” Facebook group – allowing you to connect with other like-minded, healthy mama’s, ask questions and more!

 BONUS: Register now and also receive FREE registration for “Healthy Lifestyle for The Busy Mom” 21-day program in the beginning of the New Year 2015!

Don’t miss out! Registration closes October 18th! Program begins October 20th!

Price regularly $149. First-time offer of $97  (price will go up in 2015)

 Hugs and Health,

Erica

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Real Moms

Gearing Up for Baby: My 10 Must Haves!

Having a baby can turn anyone into a one-woman search engine– there are so many things you want to know! On the top of this list is finding the right baby gear, because you’ll be getting pretty well acquainted with it when your baby is here and you need to use them! As a blog dedicated to all things baby, I wanted to share some of my favorite baby gear with all of you!

1. Bouncer Chair
We have two, actually, because with both my boys this was about the only place they would sleep as infants– at that crucial time where you feel like if they don’t sleep on somewhere other than you for at least an hour, you might cry (just me?).Trust me on this one, when you have somewhere you can put your baby down without them crying, its worth it. I had two babies that hated sleep, therefore, I loved the vibrating bouncer chair.

2. Angelcare Movement and Sounds Monitor
I’m not an enormous fan of the video monitors, but this Movement and Sound monitor was on my must-have list. Monitoring baby’s temperature and heartbeat, and with amazing sound quality, I am so happy with this monitor– especially after going through 3 different monitors with my first that all had poor sound quality or lost signal or just broke!
3. Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat
Currently on loan to my sister who has an 18 month old, this seat is super portable, easy to clean, comfortable, and convenient. I really dislike putting my kids in public highchairs, and what’s worse is going out and there being NO child seats available. We took this seat on visits to family across the country, and to almost every restaurant we went to from the time our first could fit into it, until he was able to sit in a normal seat at the table. If you plan on eating anywhere other than at home, I highly recommend this seat!
4. Eddie Bauer Trail Hiker 3 Wheel Travel System
After fighting with a four wheel stroller with my first, I knew we needed a 3 wheeler for this baby– and I absolutely love this stroller. My biggest complaint with four wheel strollers was the front tires constantly crossing, making it impossible to push! This three wheel stroller is perfect for walking and even light jogging with baby, and can easily be used with the infant car seat or seat a toddler. One note, we have an SUV and the car seat barely fits behind the passenger seat, so be sure it is suitable for your vehicle!

5. NUK products
I have been fortunate to be able to exclusively nurse both my babies so far, but they have pumped bottles for each of them if I have an appointment or need a nap– and I will likely never use another bottle after using NUK bottles and pacifiers. This is personal preference, but both of my babies preferred the nipple of these bottles and pacifiers to other brands, which I think has to do with its unique shape.

6. Evenflo Single Electric Pump
As I mentioned above, I do occasionally pump a bottle; and when my kids start cereal I add milk to their cereals instead of buying the brands with formula added. That being said, this pump is perfect for our needs. It’s perfect for busy moms– I can use it on one side while feeding on the other, so pumping doesn’t mean sitting around for longer than I have to! It isn’t used every day, but I use it regularly enough that a manual pump wastes too much time (had a manual with my first and it was torturous!). This pump is effective, comfortable, easy to clean, and fairly inexpensive when compared to other pumps– just some of the reasons I love this product!

7. Nursing Covers
While not all nursing covers are created equal– many of them do the same job in a similar way. I used my nursing cover a lot more with my first than with my second, and as you and your baby become more comfortable nursing, you may not need it. While your both learning, though, a nursing cover can be an essential part of nursing-in-public success, since you aren’t worrying about holding up a blanket and latching and holding baby (how many hands do we have, anyway!?!). To choose a good cover, make sure the material is breathable so baby and you are both comfortable, and it should have a secure, adjustable strap so it fits right, stays in place, and can be adjusted when needed!

8. A comfortable baby-wearing device
Again, not all brands are created equal, but many do the job right and it will depend on how it fits you personally. Be sure that whatever wrap you choose fits securely and is comfortable. Some of my favorites are: Moby wrap, the ErgoBaby Carrier, and the Infantino Wrap & Tie.

9. Live Clean Baby Products
With a complete line of baby products (we especially love the lotion, body wash, and non-petroleum jelly), the Live Clean Baby line is eco-friendly and free of harsh chemicals, leaving baby comfortable and clean. Plus the smell absolutely amazing!

10. Munchkin Baby Food Net Feeder
This little device makes giving baby the foods you’re already eating so much easier, and helps them learn to chew. Perfect for babies who are curious about food or teething, this tiny-hand-sized net gives them more options and satisfies their taste buds with real, healthy foods! My little guy ate strawberries in this thing like they were going out of style!
So there you have it! Some of the best items that we (my kids included) have absolutely loved! Hopefully you find these and any other products you buy make your life with a little one, a little easier! :)

Julianna

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Real Moms

Life With 2: Second Time Moms Tell All!

‘Having a baby changes your life forever!’
It’s absolutely true; and when you’re pregnant with your first, everyone reiterates that your life will change (like it hasn’t already during pregnancy!!). But once you’ve tried your hand at mommy-hood, and announce a second pregnancy– people don’t mention quite as often how much the balance shifts again. Some will mention a change for older siblings, but many forget to mention that you will now be outnumbered!
Life with two has a whole new set of challenges and rewards. For example, your oldest will be sharing toys and attention– but the reward of seeing them play together and interact is so worth it. The great thing about life with two or more, is that no matter how different each child is, you’re a little more experienced each time. This might be why some studies are showing a co-relation between happiness and having 2-3 children, and a decreased risk for post partum depression and delivery disatisfaction. Second time moms can be more in control!
Another interesting study shows that 2nd time moms (and in subsequent pregnancies + beyond) there are greater feelings of control over situations and emotions, leading to happier moms and happier babies.
As a second time mom myself, I’m slowly finding that there is balance (and life!) after two, outside of my house.
Shopping trips, family outings, and time for yourself can happen with a 6 month old and a 4 year old (or more!)– and the more times you do it, the more normal and manageable it becomes. Some of these issues are the most common concerns among parents with multiple children, and the best response to alleviating the stress by experienced parents, is to schedule your time. Making a plan and schedule you can stick to– one that’s reasonable and achievable– will make you feel more satisfied with your time.

Here are a few important things you may not think to schedule in, that can improve your day-to-day satisfaction:
1 on 1 dates with older children– a walk to the duck pond is my son’s go-to mommy date.

Movie Night In with your Spouse– it’s inexpensive, comfortable, and can do wonders to reconnect.

Express Mani/Pedi– Time for yourself doesn’t have to mean hours away. Taking an hour for some easy pampering, time at the gym alone, or a bubble bath will refresh your mind and body.

Baby Massage– Time alone with baby can often equate to groggy, 3am diaper changes. To get to know your baby like you did with your first, schedule a little time alone with your wakeful baby while someone else has time with just the older kid(s). Baby’s little personality without distractions might surprise you!

Whether you’re only child is on the way to becoming an older sibling, or your a seasoned mom of multiples, these tips can help you manage your time with your little loved ones.

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Julianna

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Sources:

NCBI

Real Moms

My 3rd Pregnancy {Being Induced}

My 3rd Pregnancy gave me an introduction to induction. While I was nervous at first to be induced, I researched my options and embraced the induction process. I’m thankful for my healthy baby girl. Watch the video below for the full story, with lots of information about being induced!

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Real Moms

Sex After Baby: Real Moms Talk!

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Just when you thought your body could go back to normal, you realize your postpartum hormones have something different planned! Sex after baby can be a big change for you and your partner. Even when you finally find the time and feel physically ready, your body might not get the message– so we asked 200 moms about their postpartum sex lives, and they shared it all!

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Depending on your delivery experience, you could be ready to resume sex sooner (or later) than you had expected, which can be confusing for new moms. Often, postpartum hormonal changes can affect your sex drive, and even your physical ability to enjoy sex, but rest assured, this can be normal– especially if you had a traumatic delivery or required a c-section. Health experts agree that issues like pain, dryness, emotional or physical discomfort, and even feelings of anxiety about sex after baby can be completely normal, and should be addressed with your doctor, and your partner, to help you safely overcome these challenges. Additionally, many moms feel great shortly after delivery, and if that’s you– just be sure your doctor confirms you’re all healed to reduce your risk of complications.
To show you just how different postpartum sex is for each individual, here are a few things real moms had to say about sex after baby!
“After having two babies back-to-back, my sex drive has disappeared. I mentioned it to my midwife and she says its normal and due to hormones — mother nature’s birth control!”

“I had a pretty traumatic delivery and it took a few months to heal totally, then I had a lot of anxiety about sex being painful. After talking it out and having my doctor check everything, I’m slowly starting to enjoy sex again.”

“We had sex 5 weeks after I had our first, and 3 weeks after our second and it was great! Our sex life surprisingly got better after having our second (I had a low lying placenta and wasn’t allowed to have sex from 15-34 weeks).”

“Once I healed well enough from giving birth, my sex drive is back and better than ever!”

“I had ZERO sex drive my entire pregnancy! We started trying again around 5 weeks, and it was kind of painful but the more i did it the better it got. Now I think my sex drive is even better then it was pre-pregnancy.”

“I had a pretty quick delivery with very little tearing (no stitches). I felt great after my postpartum check-up and was ready to have sex… when we can find the time.”

Whether you’re ready to jump back into your sex life soon after delivery, or it takes you several weeks to feel ready– remember it’s most important that you feel comfortable, your doctor says you’re physically healed, and you listen to your body!

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Julianna

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Real Moms

Sex During Pregnancy: Real Moms Talk!

If you’re pregnant, or thinking about trying to conceive soon, you’ve probably thought a least a little about sex! If you’re curious about how other women deal with sex during pregnancy, this is the place for you! We talked to 200 moms and, not surprisingly, many have similar experiences and concerns.
Sex during pregnancy can be completely safe, and even healthy for your body– but pregnancy can change a lot of things, including your sex drive. Some women find sex more exciting and even better than before pregnancy, while many others struggle with discomfort, both physically and emotionally, during sex.

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It’s important to understand is that many of the changes to you and your partners sexual preferences during pregnancy are totally normal, and health experts agree changes in sex during pregnancy are often attributed to hormonal fluctuations. What’s also amazing is that exercise can actually increase your energy level, and improve your body image & confidence! Here’s what some real moms have shared with Knocked-Up Fitness about their sex life during pregnancy!
” I had a big sex drive when I was pregnant but my husband didn’t want to have sex because I had some bleeding early on and he didn’t want to hurt the baby.”

“Sex during pregnancy was almost non-existent. I was sick for 20 weeks and then the last half of my pregnancy I was large, miserable, and felt unattractive.”

“I had a high drive until I got pregnant with my first. Then it disappeared like magic.”

“I had a high sex drive during my pregnancy and the couple weeks after…I was also open to a lot more things sexually during my pregnancies.”

“Pregnancy was the first time I felt totally secure with my body in years, so sex was great!”

“I had no sex drive in the first trimester; I was nauseous and exhausted. Then in my second trimester I started feeling a little better, and resuming my workouts, and my sex drive came back stronger than ever!”

So if you’re feeling less than motivated to get busy– or if you’re one of many women who feel liberated and wonderful during pregnancy– the good news is it’s probably pretty common, and you’re not alone! Always remember to talk with your doctor about your concerns during pregnancy, and listen to your body & do what feels comfortable!

 

Check Back With Us Next Week to Read What Our Real Moms Said About Sex After Pregnancy!!

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Julianna

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Real Moms

My 2nd Pregnancy {Push Prep}

Though my second pregnancy was fairly easy, my second time going into labor took a scary turn when my son’s heart rate dropped with each push. Watch the video below to hear how exercising and my Push Prep helped saved me from an emergency C-Section.

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