Spinach had been around for a really long time. The earliest references to Spinach were fro the Sassanian Empire, which rules fro 226-640 AD. Through sophisticated irrigation techniques Arabs brought Spinach to the Mediterranean.
2 cups of spinach is 3 milligrams of Zinc. ¼ of your daily requirement.
Here in Colorado Spinach enjoys a pretty long growing season. A variety of Spinach grows well in Colorado including Savoy types such as Bloomsdale and melody and Semi-Savoy such as, tyee.
Spinach is high in iron, zinc, vitamins A & C, as well as folate and magnesium. Of course, like other leafy greens, spinach is a good source of fiber. It also contains antioxidants.
So basically spinach is good for you. So what do you do with it? One of my favorite ways to eat it in a salad.
Basically anything you would use lettuce for, you can substitute spinach. I don’t use any type of lettuce in my tacos any longer, just spinach. (This is simply a taste preference.)
1 cup of spinach contains 260 micro-grams of Folate. A pregnant woman needs 600-800mg daily.
One of the best things about spinach is that is cools down A LOT. Raw spinach cooks down to hardly anything.
What is your favorite way to eat Spinach?
Food Spotlight is a series dedicated to my discovery of the foods I eat, and the nutrients that are in them. I do not have specialty in nutrition. Anything that appears on my blog regarding food is from research I have done. If you have more accurate information post it and your source. I love new information!
To celebrate Pueblo’s breastfeeding families Pueblo WIC held a celebration in honor of World Breastfeeding Week at the Pueblo Mall. It was a lovely event that included a Big Latch On that made the event exciting and fun.
Here we are getting ready for the latch on!
A Big Latch On event is slightly strange to describe. To promote and support breastfeeding everyone takes their nurslings and latches on at the same time. It was fun. It gave me a sense of comradery, sitting with these women I have never met and nursing our babies. In my case I tandem nursed my children for the first (and probably last) time. I nurse both my infant and two year old, but not together. I really should have sat on the floor poor Eva was hanging off my lap so uncomfortably.
Pueblo WIC did a fantastic job. With this event. We received tons of swag from WIC and the various vendors, and there was a raffle to on some goodie baskets!
I ran into Lacey Albrecht and Emmy Harmon from Your Birth Story Doula and Birth Services. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Emmy and her little nursling during the latch on.
I also got to chat with Sharon McDougal C.P.M. again
Elmo was there. Poor Eva was really scared. It was a bit of a parenting fail. I did not prepare her for a 6 ft Elmo. On Sesame Street puppets are smaller than people. I think she was expecting puppet Elmo. (She asked to watch Sesame Street last night, so she isn't traumatized for life.)
We left after making our rounds. It was nap time for the bubs, and Eva was afraid Elmo would come back. Overall I think this was an excellent event and will be back next year for sure!
I have a fellow Birth Boot Camp instructor who is a School Food Consultant. She posted this article on Facebook about a month ago.
I have definitely had experiences like the one described in the article. Recently I was in a little market in downtown Denver, Marczyk Fine Foods. They have a little deli that makes sandwiches. I had no idea what so many of the menu items were. I ended up not like the herbed goat cheese on what I got, but I tried something new. This got me thinking about food, and how much I do not know about it, and how very little I have eaten of it.
So I am going to start a blog series surrounding my exploration of the foods I eat, and I am going to share the information I learn here. Perhaps it will be valuable to someone else as well. Stay tuned!
So how is knowing your your cycle works cool? (If you haven't read it here is Part 1)
You can use this information to help you get pregnant.
I have used Fertility Friend for charting my cycle since 2009. Then on the computer, now on the app on my phone. They have a basic course in charting that will help you get to know your cycle better. When charting your cycle the first day of a woman’s period is Cycle Day 1. Knowing that ovulation occurs when a woman’s estrogen levels reach a certain threshold, it is safe to say that not all women ovulate at the same time. However when a woman’s due date is calculated using their Last Menstrual Period the model assumes that all women ovulate on Cycle Day 14 of their cycle.
This chart shows a woman who did ovulate on Cycle Day 14. She got a positive pregnancy test at 16 days post ovulation.
It can be helpful to know exactly when you ovulated, so that you can have a more accurate due date. If you ovulated later than that, it can make a difference when, at the end of pregnancy, due dates become a big deal. You might be facing an induction when, if calculated by the day of ovulation, your baby isn’t even sue to be born yet.
This is my chart from when I got pregnant with Malcolm. I stopped taking my temperature after the plummeting temp. It was too nerve wracking for me to keep taking it. I ovulated when an "average" woman would be expecting her period, making my due date 2 weeks off of the date my Last Menstrual Period would have provided.
You Can Use It For Birth Control
If you do not want to use commercial birth control, for whatever reason, this is a good way to know your body. I would strongly recommend checking out a much more in-depth look at how using this method could work for you than the Fertility Friend course could provide you.
If you are looking for something with a religion slant, the Couple to Couple League is a Catholic Organization that has various types of classes:
Live Classes - Scheduled live, in person class with instructors. (At the time of writing this, there was no live class in Pueblo. There are some however, in Colorado Springs.)
Live Online Classes- Live, online course where one would interact with instructors through scheduled class times.
Self Paced Online Course
While I am not Catholic, my introduction I got to Natural Family Planning was. The resources I got were Catholic in nature, and they helped me learn a lot about my body.
I love Toni Weshler’s book, Taking Charge Of Your Fertility. When I realized my cycles were outside the realm of normal, I needed more help than my previous resources could provide me. So, I purchased Taking Charge Of Your Fertility on Amazon. It is a book that is, I believe, essential to someone who is using this method to avoid pregnancy. They have an app. I haven’t checked it out, but they have one.
You will be able to closely predict when her period will arrive.
So really this is number one for me. Because the Follicular Phase all depends on the level of estrogen, it can vary in length. However, a woman’s luteal phase is usually fairly constant. Mine is usually in between 12-14 days. With one outlier in either direction. This is important because many women do not have a 28 day cycle. They might ovulate earlier or later or have a shorter luteal phase. Knowing exactly when you ovulated can help a woman be prepared for the arrival of her period. Knowing when she ovulated can also keep a woman from buying unnecessary pregnancy tests. I usually ovulate around day 21 of my cycle. If I went off the assumption that women have a 28 day cycle I would always think that my period was late, when really it wouldn’t be due to arrive for another 5-7 days. A lot of unnecessary money and worrying.
My fertility is coming back after having my son. I recently had an experience in which, because of my cervical fluid, I had assumed I had ovulated. So I was waiting and nothing, more waiting, more nothing. I started taking my temperature again, in hopes of understanding what is going on. I really do love knowing my body, and what it is doing. It makes me feel better. Plus I don’t want to worry about being caught with white pants on when my period is going to start!
Until I was 21 I didn’t really know what my body was doing during my cycle. I got my period and moved on. I had heard that women ovulated 2 weeks after their period starting, but that was it. In the summer after my oldest was born I had had it with my Mirena IUD. I had been having cramps that ranged from milk, to putting me on the floor. It also effected my mood in a negative way. So I decided into hormone free birth control. I was skeptical about the copper IUD. After my experience with my Mirena, I did not really want something that sat in my uterus.
I stumbled upon natural family planning. I read a lot of material online. My friend Melissa was very helpful when I was first figuring it out, by providing me materials to read, answering questions, and has answered questions I have randomly asked since.
I use the sympto-thermal method of Natural Family Planning. It uses cervical fluid, and your basal body temperature (your temperature right upon waking) to determine fertility. How does it determine fertility? Science. Women’s bodies are so cool. When a woman ovulates her temperature rises.When you collect this data, you can get some really useful information from it.
So why does a woman’s temperature change when she ovulates? Hormones. There are 4 different hormones involved in a woman’s menstrual cycle. The first is the Follicle Stimulating Hormone, which is release by the pituitary gland. (Which is in the brain.) Girls are born with all the eggs in their ovaries they will have.
The eggs are housed in a follicle. When FSH is released during a woman’s cycle it causes about 15 eggs in each ovary to mature. The follicles of these maturing eggs begin to produce estrogen. When a woman’s body reaches an estrogen threshold, the pituitary gland produced the third hormone, Luteinizing Hormone. The surge of this hormone causes whichever of the maturing eggs that has become the largest to be released from the ovary. At this point the follicle that housed that egg caves in on itself and becomes a corpus luteum.
This image was taken from Encyclopedia Britanica for more information about the Corpus Luteum visit their site here.
This then produces the fourth hormone progesterone. It is this hormone that is responsible for the temperature shift. One cannot tell whether or not you are fertile from your temperature. One cannot get any information from just one temperature reading. It is a pattern in which one can tell if ovulation occurred. This separates a woman's cycle into two parts. The Follicular Phase before ovulation, and the Luteal Phase after ovulation.
This is where other signs of fertility come into play. The main one is cervical fluid. Unlike men, women are not fertile all the time, just the days around ovulation. During this time a woman’s body will produce a fluid so that sperm can easily reach the egg. Throughout the month cervical fluid will change from dry, sticky, creamy, wet/slippery/egg-white. It is his sign accompanied by the thermal shift that indicates that ovulation occurred. Another sign of fertility in cervical position. A woman’s cervix changes position throughout your cycle that a woman could feel with her fingers.. There are other secondary signs as well. Some women feel cramping, others breast tenderness. Some feel an increased sexual desire around the time they ovulate.
So, now that we know what is happening, why is knowing this cool? Check out Part Two!
Omega-3 Fats and Pregnancy- 7 ways Omega-3s help you and your growing baby
A pregnant individual needs lots of nutrients to help grow a baby. One of the most important nutrients a growing baby needs is Omega-3 fats. A baby extracts Omega-3 DHA from their mother’s blood. During the last three months, when the baby’s brain is growing the most, naturally the baby takes the most DHA.
So how do Omega-3s help a growing baby?
Omega-3s help at the cellular level. DHA/EPA make the cell membrane healthier, conditioning cells to be selectively permeable- keeping the bad stuff out, and letting the good nutrients in.
Omega-3s serve as food to the baby’s brain cells. Myelin coats nerve cell fibers. It is mostly fat. The more Myelin, the better these cells can work. Cells that make Myelin have high nutrient requirements. Omega-3s feed these cells.
Omega-3s help the baby’s brain make connections. They make activity between receptors and neurotransmitters more efficient. Furthermore, hydrogenated oils (such as margarine and shortening) and other factory made fats can interrupt this process.
Omega-3s also help pregnant individuals during pregnancy and postpartum. Omega-3s can help lower blood pressure, promote tissue healing, and can lessen dangerous blood clots.
There are studies that suggest that pregnant individuals who consume more Omega-3s experience less depression prenatally and postnatally. During pregnancy and breastfeeding the baby’s nutrients come from said individual, which may lead to depression resulting from a DHA deficiency.
The most concentrated to get Omega-3s is through eating fish. If you cannot stomach fish, a good fish oil supplement can help you. If you adhere to a special diet, there are many other ways to get Omega-3s.
If you are unsure, consult a Dr./Nutritionist to make sure you are getting the required nutrients for your growing baby.
I do not have specialty in nutrition. Anything that appears on my blog regarding food is from research I did. If you have more accurate information post it and your source.
I had a table at the Just Between Friends sale at the Pueblo Convention Center this past weekend. It was a lovely experience, if you have never been to the sale check it out! There is one in the Spring and one in the Fall. The next one is in October. The number one thing I heard from people was “That sounds scary,” or “I couldn't do that.”
A boot camp is intended to prepare you for a major life event, in this case childbirth. Birth Boot Camp is not scary, in fact it is designed to do just the opposite, to take fear away by replacing it with knowledge. There IS a lot of knowledge in a 10 week series. That is why it is 10 weeks. We cover so many topics that one might not find at another birth class, including talking about the immediate postpartum period, life with a newborn, and breastfeeding! To learn more about what is in each class click here.
The thing that helped me the most is that we learned and practice relaxation. There are 8 relaxation exercises that you participate in when you take a Birth Boot Camp class.
I was calm and relaxed through 95% of my second daughters labor. (The 5 minutes at the end got a little hectic and intense.) The information learned in class kept my husband so much calmer through that labor than he was during our oldest child's birth. He knew what to expect, he knew what was going on. This carried over onto my son's birth. Knowledge is power, not scary. Knowledge is empowering, not scary. Knowledge helps remove fear, which is of course not scary.
Today I am going to talk about postpartum hair loss. This is the biggest thing I was NOT looking forward to after my son was born. I experienced it with my youngest daughter, most noticeable right in front, and I felt so self conscious. I took to the internet “Please tell me this doesn't happen the exact same way twice! I do not mind the hair loss, but can it at least all fall out on the bottom? That way I could get an undercut, and not look like I am balding.” I did not get reassurance, and they were right to not give me reassurance. I did, in fact, happen the exact same way.
See the thinning? Well it is easier to see in person...
At almost 6 months postpartum it is slowing down, but I feel like my hair is everywhere! It clings to the couch when I stand up. I am constantly picking strands off my clothes, and the clothes of my babies. It comes off en mass when I brush my hair. My shower floor looks like it is trying to grow a mane when I am done washing my hair.
So what causes this? Well your hair has two phases a growth phase- anagen and a resting phase- telogen. When you are pregnant your hormones stimulate more of your hair to go into this growth phase. When your hormones change again after the birth of your baby it signals a lot of hair to go into the resting phase. This resting phase usually lasts about 3 months. Which is why, unfortunately, just about the same time your little one starts grabbing onto things, your hair is falling out everywhere.
The good news is this doesn't last forever! (Even if it may feel like it.) Most individuals who have given birth will return to a normal hair growth cycle in between 6-12 months after their baby is born. The bad news is there is something you need to watch out for. Remember those hairs I am constantly picking off my kids? You need to make sure that a hair doesn't form a tourniquet around parts of their bodies: fingers, toes, and penises need to be checked regularly. (Feel free to google hair tourniquet.) It is easy when toes are hidden in footie pjs not to notice right away, so it might be a good idea during a diaper change to do a quick check for hair on the body, and in their clothing.
So what can you do until your hair grows back in? Some people find help in volumizing shampoos to hide that their hair is thinner. I style my hair in a way that it hides my bare spots in the front
You can still kind of see the bare spot, but it is less noticeable
As that area grows in, I will need to flat iron it so it isn't just a fluffy poof spot on my head. You might find that you may just want a shorter style. My hair is frizzy and poofy when I don't use product (think 1st year Hermione in the Harry Potter movies) so that doesn't particularly work for me. More good news: on average hair grows back at ½ an inch (or for the rest of the world where measurements make sense 1.25 cm) per month, or about 6 inches (15 cm) in a year. Of course, if you feel like your hair loss is excessive, talk to your doctor. They will be able to rule out anything that may be causing additional problems.
If you asked a bunch of women what they found useful after birth, every birthing individual would have a different answer as to what that looked like for them. After giving birth in the hospital twice, these are the things I found most useful after birth. What made your list of things to pack?
Getting to know me:
I didn't know what to do for a first blog post. So instead of doing a typical post about me and why I am writing a blog, I decided to do a Facebook live video. In which, I answered a bunch of random questions, in hopes that it would help to get to know me just a little bit. So here is the video.
This video really was about me personally. If you would like to get to know more about me check out my Instructor Spotlight. It may answer some other questions you have about me. If you have more questions go ahead and ask them. Maybe I will do another one of these.
This post was reblogged when I transferred my website on 2/23/17 it originally appeared on 2/12/17