Monday, March 9, 2015

New and Improved! (Pregnancy Preparation and Hyperemesis Prevention Plan)


(Latest Update: February  2015)


Introductory Comments


It's that time of year, folks! The time when I go through my supplement and diet plan and revise for the coming year. And... here it is! Version 2015, at your service.

This year, I have done several new things:
  • I have greatly pared down the information to avoid redundancy.
  • I have changed the formatting for easier access.
  • I have included a whole new sourcing section for ease of reference and planning. 

The question arises - am I doing all of the things on this plan?

Short answer, no. 

Firstly, this is a work in progress. I'm getting there, folks, but it's a long time in the making. Secondly, there is the small matter of finances. I simply am not able to make all of this work financially right now. (Working on it!) 

I'd say that right now I am maybe, maybe achieving a quarter of the items on the plan. On a good day, if I exaggerate. My goal is to work up to somewhere like 75%. Hopefully that will be possible with time, planning, and work. Right now I'm taking a few supplements, but doing all the supplements isn't possible - and organic, free-range, etc. is completely out of the question. Hopefully some time.

Two things have become extremely apparent to me:

(1) Diet and supplements can have a hugely positive effect on morning sickness and other pregnancy issues, and...

(2) It is extremely important for women to pay careful attention to their health during their childbearing years. (It's always important, of course, but during the childbearing years the negative consequences of neglecting one's health can be particularly dire.)

Thus, I do take my diet and supplement regimen extremely seriously, and I put lots of energy, effort, and time into both developing my regimen and putting it into place. It's a work in progress, but I hope to make consistent progress. 

I'd love to hear any input - and also to see your supplement and diet plans, so do let me know what you're doing!



* sourcing information provided below



PRE-CONCEPTION PLAN


Diet

Very Low Carb (VLC) at 3 months postpartum

Clean (no additives)

Avoid industrial seed oils (cottonseed, soy, etc.) and fake fats (hydrogenated oils, margarine)

Lacto-fermented foods - preferably with each meal

          Kefir* (one-quarter to one-half cup daily)
          Kombucha*
          Yogurt* (small amounts daily)
          Raw sauerkraut*
          Raw pickles*

High in good fats

          Saturated animal fats (free-range organic grass-fed preferred)
          Avocado
          Coconut oil* (2-4 Tbsp. per day)
          Olive oil
          Butter* (2+ Tbsp. per day, preferably grass-fed)

Lemon water (for alkalinity and liver cleansing)

Bone broth (2 cups per day)

Eggs (3-4 per day, preferably organic and free-range)

Some form of healthy meat at each meal

Coconut based snacks like coconut cream*

Unrefined sea salt* (pink or grey)


Supplements*

I am no longer taking vitamin D, as this is provided by fermented cod liver oil

Multi-vitamin (Super Mom* or other) - Since I'm taking fermented cod liver oil and dessicated liver, I believe that the multi is less important. It may go on my optional list.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil * (Preferred dose = 10 mL per day, to provide 1000 mg DHA daily)

Alpha Lipoic Acid (600 mg/daily)

Vitamin B complex*

Probiotics

        Pill form*
        Lacto-fermented foods (see above list under diet)

Dessicated Liver Pills* - For iron and micronutrients

Magnesium

        Oral supplement - Natural Calm or Doctor's Best Chelated Magnesium (or other options)
        Epsom Salts baths* - minimum once per week
        Magnesium oil* or Magnesium Lotion*
        Magnesium water*

Zinc*


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Other:

Finances Permitting (both of these decrease inflammation; turmeric is also anti-microbial)

        Resveratrol (100 mg twice daily)
        Turmeric (350 mg twice daily)

Occasional

        Kelp - occasionally for iodine
        Yearly Liver Cleanse (dates done: May 2011, May 2012)

See my list of pregnancy supplements for other pregnancy-specific supplements (most are third-trimester birth and postpartum prep supplements).


Lifestyle

Exercise - Especially weight bearing exercises, since muscle mass helps with insulin/glucose metabolism.

Sunlight - As much as possible. (I'm terrible about this.)

Sleep - Minimum of eight hours per night.

Self Care - Keeping my house clean so that I'm not a stress-case about it. Doing things I enjoy occasionally. Staying off of the computer. Going for walks. Keeping up with my devotions and Bible study. All of the things that keep me sane, balanced, and emotionally healthy.


Healthcare

Find a naturopath. (I have several recommendations, plus the local naturopathic college.)

Contact acupuncturist. (Done! They recommend starting pre-conception. This will also be a matter of finances.)


Spiritual

Bible verse memorization - I find that having Scripture verses to recite during stressful or panicky times is truly a lifeline, and it's one that I want to develop more fruitfully.

Regular prayer and Bible study


Personal and Practical

Make the most of the time! I find that the thought of future pregnancies helps me to treasure my time, and encourages me to use my time wisely - to take every advantage of time with my children, to train my children as much as possible in character and practical skills, etc.

Work on organizational projects as much as possible.

Read as widely and deeply as possible on the topic of health. (See my ever-growing booklist here.)


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POST-CONCEPTION 

Diet

       Strict VLC (very low carb)
       Constant snacking - every hour at least
       Lemon/ACV water - lots of it.


Supplements

       Add more Epsom salts baths (daily)
       Add digestive enzymes
       Consider Protandim (this might also be a good pre-conception supplement)


Healthcare

       Start Vitamin B/Magnesium/Folate shots at naturopathic college
       Contact acupuncturist to let her know in advance


Spiritual

        Pray!


Personal and Practical

        Buy paper supplies (plates, bowls, utensils)
        Easy kid snacks - gold fish, healthy bars, raisins, juice boxes, cheese sticks, dry cereals



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* Sourcing Information:

Kefir
Kefir is easy to make. Just buy grains or get some from a kefir-making friend, and follow easy directions for culturing plain milk. I unfortunately have not had good luck with it, so I buy plain, full-fat Lifeway kefir from Sprouts.        

Kombucha
Kombucha can be purchased, but it's so easy to make! My directions here. The longer you culture, the lower the sugar content.        

Yogurt
Full-fat plain yogurt is also easy to find, but it's pricey. I make a gallon a time in a crockpot. My updated directions here.

Raw sauerkraut
The sauerkraut you buy in the supermarket is not real sauerkraut. It is heat-treated for sterility and not useful from a probiotic standpoint. Look for the words "raw" on the label. Raw sauerkraut is available at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and most health food grocery stores. I buy raw Bubbies sauerkraut from Azure Standard.      

Raw pickles
The pickles you buy in the supermarket are not real pickles. They are heat-treated and not useful from a probiotic standpoint, and if you're buying typical brand-name pickles, they are also loaded with toxic dyes, additives, and aluminum compounds. (For non-toxic regular pickles [non-probiotic], buy at Sprouts, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe's.) For probiotic pickles, look for the words "raw" on the label. Raw pickles are available at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and most health food grocery stores. I buy raw Bubbies dill pickles from Azure Standard.      

Coconut Oil
I buy Wilderness Naturals from Azure Standard or the coconut oil now available at Sam's Club. Coconut oil is also available online from Tropical Traditions.

Butter
The butter I hear most often recommended (organic and grass-fed) is Kerrygold, now available at Costco. I buy the slightly cheaper Rumiano's from Azure Standard.

Coconut Cream
I buy Artisana Coconut Cream from Azure Standard. Coconut cream is available online from Tropical Traditions.

Unrefined Sea Salt (Pink or Grey)
Pink sea salt is available very inexpensively in the bulk bins at Sprouts. Other types (purchased in smaller individual packages) at Sprouts or Whole Foods will be much more expensive.

Supplements
Online, I buy supplements from Amazon.com and Azure Standard (available only in areas to which Azure Standard delivers). I buy herbs locally from Desert Sage Herbs. I buy supplements locally at Sprouts Market, Trader Joe's, and the medicinary at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona.

Supermom Vitamins
The most inexpensive way to purchase that we found was to buy a three-month supply through Amazon. This is not currently available, but we hope it comes back soon! It's much more expensive through the product website.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil by Green Pasture. I purchase through Azure Standard.

Vitamin B Complex
See Rachel's recommendations (in general and for specific brand).

Probiotics (Pill Form)
See Rachel's recommendations.

Dessicated Liver Pills
My favorite brand is Radiant Life Dessicated Liver. Because of cost, I currently use a cheaper brand, Solgar, purchased at Nature's Health in Chandler, AZ.

Epsom Salts
Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) are available in any pharmacy store (Walgreen's, CVS, etc.) or in the cosmetic/pharmaceutical area of any Walmart or Target. It can get quite pricey - most two pound bags run around $6 each, and you use two cups per bath. The best price I have found is the 50 lb. bag for around $45 from Azure standard. 

Magnesium Oil
Make your own or purchase ready-made. 

Magnesium Lotion
Make your own

Magnesium Water
Make your own

***


Now it's your turn, dear readers! What supplements and/or dietary changes are you using to prepare for possible pregnancy and to improve or prevent pregnancy health conditions?


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