Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Caffeine and Pregnancy
In recent years, research has emerged demonstrating that coffee, in moderation—may have a number of previously unrecognized health-promoting properties.
However, it's important to understand that coffee is both a potent drug, and a whole food provided it's organically grown. The drug element of coffee can present problems for pregnant women.
Caffeine can significantly impact the growing fetus as it is able to freely pass through the placenta, and since caffeine does not provide any benefits to your baby, only potential hazards, it is strongly recommend that pregnant women avoid ALL forms of caffeine.
Unfortunately, most people (pregnant or not) use coffee for its energy-boosting properties, which can end up serving as a band-aid for poor nutrition. If you're supplying your body with the nutrients it needs, you simply won't need the extra energy boost.
If this sounds like you, you may want to consider taking a look at your dietary habits. Proper nutrition clearly becomes even more important when pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
Coffee in Pregnancy Tied to Smaller, Later Newborns
In a recent Norwegian study, which included data on nearly 60,000 women, coffee and other caffeinated beverages increased the odds of delivering a low birth weight baby and/or extended the gestation period.
Lead researcher Dr. Verena Sengpiel, an obstetrician/gynecologist believes women are advised to limit their caffeine intake.
Higher caffeine consumption was found to be associated with an increased risk for reduced birth weight. Every 100 mg of caffeine consumed by the mother per day equated to a nearly one ounce reduction in the baby's weight at birth. Every 100 mg of caffeine also increased the length of the pregnancy by five hours.
Interestingly, when the source of the caffeine was coffee, the length of the pregnancy was extended by eight hours. The reason for this difference is unknown. Seeing how your average cup of coffee contains anywhere between 95-200 mg of caffeine, it may be best to err on the side of caution.
We do know that caffeine crosses the placenta and the baby is not able to metabolize it very well, it may affect some of the factors associated with growth.
Caffeine During Pregnancy May Damage Your Baby's Heart
Previous animal research from 2009 found that drinking the equivalent of just two cups of coffee while pregnant could be enough to affect long-term heart function of the offspring. They also found that this minimal exposure could lead to increased levels of body fat in males, when compared to offspring not exposed to caffeine in the womb. Scott Rivkees, Yale's Associate Chair of Pediatric Research and a senior researcher on the study.
"Our studies raise potential concerns about caffeine exposure during very early pregnancy, but further studies are necessary to evaluate caffeine's safety during pregnancy."
"Caffeine is everywhere: in what we drink, in what we eat, in pills that we use to relieve pain, and even in candy... This report shows that despite popular notions of safety, there's one place it probably shouldn't be: in the diet of an expectant mother."
When You're Eating for Two...
There is rarely a more nutritionally demanding time during a woman's life than pregnancy (and later breastfeeding), when your intake of nutrients from foods and supplements are needed not only to keep your body running but also to nourish and support your rapidly growing baby. Proper nutrition is crucial at all stages of fetal development, and if mom doesn't eat right, her growing baby won't either.
If you're a woman in your childbearing years and you're planning to have children any time soon, it's imperative that you start eating healthy now. Research7 published just last year showed that women who ate a vegetable-rich diet during the year before pregnancy had a significantly lower risk of having a baby with certain birth defects as women who ate an unhealthy high-sugar diet.
Crucial Nutrients for Pregnant Women (and Women of Childbearing Age)
Healthy nutrition cannot be limited to a handful of nutrients; it can only be achieved by eating a variety of whole, high-quality foods daily. I cannot stress this enough, as if you seek to make up for a diet of processed foods by taking a multi-vitamin or eating a salad here and there, you are deceiving yourself and missing the point -- and the benefits.
· Fermented Foods and/or Probiotics: Nearly everyone can benefit from optimizing the balance of good vs. bad bacteria in their gut using probiotics, but if you are pregnant or planning to be, this is of utmost importance to you and your new baby. One of the best ways to do this is to avoid sugar and processed foods and to include fermented foods in your diet. A high-quality probiotic supplement is an option, especially if you don't eat many fermented foods.
· Vitamin D: Your main source of it should be from the sun, not from food. Supplementation may be necessary in winter months.
· Vitamin B12: B12 is critical for normal neurological development and maintenance, and shortages can result in permanent birth defects.
· Folate in the form of Metafolate: Another B complex vitamin (vitamin B9), folic acid deficiency at the time of conception is known to increase the risk for birth defects such as spina bifida.
· Animal-based Omega-3 Fats: Most women have major deficiencies of animal-based omega-3 fat like EPA and DHA, which is unfortunate because fetal cells cannot form omega-3 fats, meaning a fetus must obtain all of its omega-3 fatty acids from mother's diet. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is so essential to a child's development that if a mother and infant are deficient in it, the child's nervous system and immune system may never fully develop, and it can cause a lifetime of unexplained emotional, learning, and immune system disorders. Studies have shown that sufficient levels of omega-3 fats optimize brain growth in children, especially during the third trimester. But because the fetus depends on the mother's DHA sources, the constant drain on a mother's DHA reserves can easily lead to a deficiency and some researchers believe that preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure) and postpartum depression could be linked to a DHA deficiency. The DHA in animal-based omega-3 fats will also help to prevent the vast majority of premature deliveries.
Dr. Stephen Kelly is located at Family First Chiropractic. www.family1stchiro.ca 403-347-3261. 142 Erickson Dr. Red Deer
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
The short answer is yes. There are conditions for which CranioSacral Therapy is unsuitable. Although, one of the things that attracted me to CranioSacral Therapy was the wide range of conditions it can treat – conditions such as sinusitis, infant colic, tinnitus, migraine etc., as well as the range of ongoing natural and medical conditions that it supports very effectively such as pregnancy care, chronic pain, cerebral palsy as well as other specific conditions.
However, the following conditions make the use of CranioSacral Therapy unsuitable:
· Recent skull fractures – for example if you have been recently involved in an accident and there has been serious head trauma (intracranial pressure).
· If a stroke (including acute hemorrhage) has occurred inside the last 6 months. If the condition has been stable for at least six months, then CranioSacral Therapy can be very beneficial.
· If there has been any recent leaking of the spinal fluid
(Due to lumbar puncture etc.). However, once the situation has stabilized and your doctor has given the ok, CranioSacral Therapy is a very effective treatment aid to healing in this area.
Any swelling in the blood vessels of the head (acute cerebral aneurysms.)
Call Family First Chiropractic at 403-347-3261 to schedule an appointment. We are located at 142 Erickson Dr, Red Deer. www.family1stchiro.ca
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Infants, Toddlers and pre-teens are not thought of when talking about chiropractic care. Young healthy people are certainly at the top of that list and it’s because they might not have pain like we see later in adults. Usually it is only after we are in pain from an accident, poor posture, or after a period of time when arthritis that we think of chiropractic as an important healing tool. However, the gestation and birth process can leave trauma too. Many newborns start life with subluxations/misalignments of the spine. This is easy to miss if we are not aware how common this occurs. As children grow and become more adventurous they are prone to many falls and bumps along the way. This continues as they enter elementary and secondary school and start getting into sports with further sports injuries. Like adults, children required to sit for long periods of time will start showing stress on the spine from poor posture and sedentary habits. Even sleeping posture can have a negative effect on the spine. Low quality or old mattresses may not give the needed support and should be replaced. Children are engaging with electronics at earlier and earlier ages and “text neck” and TV or video gaming postures all have its toll on a growing body.
It may take several years or even a few decades before these misalignmentS cause enough pain to bring these people into our clinics. Meanwhile spinal degeneration has been going on undetected all that time.
The main take away message is to have your children assessed for possible misalignment's as soon as possible, especially if they have the following symptoms:· stiffness or restricted back or neck movement; · posture shows the head being tilted to one side; one shoulder higher than the other; one hip higher than the other; or one leg longer than the opposite;· Any child who has pain when light pressure is applied to any part of the spine, or who has tightness or muscle spasm anywhere along the spine. Should have a thorough spinal examination to determine the possible cause.
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Because most Medical and Healthcare practitioners see CranioSacral Therapy as a gentle and non-invasive Complementary Therapy - it is considered as suitable for the co-treatment of a number of conditions.
Many medical professionals criteria for recommending therapies is that if it is doing no harm, makes you feel good and does not cost too much then go ahead.
To answer the question more directly, I often receive new clients in the following situations:
They have been through formal medical channels.
Often in the case of back pain, stress related illness etc. clients feel they have exhausted all that formal medicine has to offer. This is ideal from my point of view as a full medical history has been built up and the individual's condition has been pre-checked by a medical practitioner.
The client wishes to complement formal medical treatment with another therapy.
Many of my pregnant clients and moms with infants and children are receiving formal medical care for their conditions and related complications. They typically continue with this care as they attend CranioSacral Therapy to further relieve symptoms or to reach the parts that they feel formal medical interventions cannot reach.
In summary, in my experience the answer is yes - CranioSacral Therapy can be used alongside formal medical interventions.
As always, first check with your Healthcare practitioner.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Jeannette, call Family First Chiropractic 403-347-3261. 142 Erickson Dr, Red Deer.