Your Pregnancy Checklist – To-Do’s to Stay Healthy and Happy
by Tera Keatts
No doubt you’re full of excitement for the day you first hold your child in your arms. I know I was (and am for my 2nd!) But I also know it’s a long and anxious road to the delivery room.
So, here to help, are 10 things to remember to do before your delivery, from meditation to prenatal chiropractic care. These tips that helped me, and other women, look and feel their best along the way. Practice these and not only will your pregnancy be surprisingly tolerable, you’ll be better prepared for the delivery and your postnatal recovery.
#1 Most Important To-Do
- Relax relax relax. Easy to say, but harder to do. I love playing calming music throughout the day to block out noise and stress, while also keeping my mind from wandering to my never-ending “to do” list. I also incorporated a morning meditation into my routine, reminding me to just breath. I recommend the charming How to Meditate by Pema Chödrön for both beginners and practiced meditators. Meditation will keep you stress-free—good for both you and the baby—and keep your mind sharp.
The First Trimester
- Let people know. I’m not talking friends and family, I’m talking the people in your life you might not think to tell, specifically: dentists, trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists, and others who work on your body. If they’re HIPPA-compliant, your information will be safe in their hands. Letting them know keeps you and your baby safe and allows them to come up with a plan to see you healthily through your pregnancy.
- Beat weight gain to the punch. Every mom-to-be goes through that moment where their normal clothes no longer fit. It sucks. Start wearing flowy tops, tunics and seasonal-appropriate layers right away to avoid many of those “it doesn’t fit!” moments. Also, you might want to invest in a Bella Band and cute, comfortable flats—one size up from what you’d normally wear (your feet are going to swell).
For All Trimesters
- Buy ginger candies wholesale. The other famous highlight (not!) of pregnancy is nausea. Ginger is naturally-engineered to beat stomach ailments: it neutralizes stomach acids, relaxes stomach muscles, and speeds digestion to rid yourself of toxins. You can easily carry ginger candies wherever you go, so you’re never defenseless. Plus, they’re delicious. Win-win. You can buy 1-lb. bags of The Ginger People’s excellent Super Strength Gin-Gins on Amazon; you won’t find better bang for your buck.
- Indulge yourself. When the baby comes, you’re going to have a lot less time for the things you love. So, as long as they’re safe to do while pregnant (and ask your doctor if you aren’t sure), store up good times like a bear before a long winter.
Time for a shameless plug for my dear friend, Dr. Bill, who, full disclosure, asked if I would share my experiences here:
- Get adjusted. Following the advice of a fellow mom and “Indulge Yourself,” I went in for a prenatal chiropractic adjustment. It was so helpful, I kept going back, even after my delivery to recover. We often overlook just how completely pregnancy transforms our bodies: your lumbar spine increases its curvature; breast growth increases weight on the upper body; increased water weight causes swelling that impacts nerve function; and your pelvis opens. Our new bodies change the way we walk, sit, stand, drive, etc.Sciatica pain, false carpal tunnel, tension headaches, acute pain in the neck and shoulders, and restless sleep can all be traced back to our bodies not knowing how to handle these drastic changes. Chiropractic care (which involves far more than just your back) can alleviate much of these symptoms. It can also help reduce stress and make you feel more fluid and comfortable in your new body. Proper nerve flow also ensures better organ performance, for healthier pregnancies and babies. And, with proper alignment and looser muscles, your pelvis will open wider for easier deliveries. I guess what I’m saying is that it is wonderful!
- Stay active. Contrary to outdated science, prenatal exercise makes for a healthier pregnancy, easier delivery, and faster recovery. It requires some adjustment, so find trainers with certified prenatal training to help modify your workout and mechanics to suit your new body and needs. If you’re looking for a workout that is especially wonderful during pregnancy, consider Tai Chi, the most graceful of martial arts. Described as “meditation in motion,” this low-impact exercise is great for reducing stress and improving balance and flexibility—a must for carrying your new weight. If interested, click to learn more. Or watch the renowned Master Gāo, the most decorated Tai Chi practitioner ever, in action below.
- Meet with a nutritionist. You’re eating for two now, and while cravings are often your body telling you what you need (so don’t feel too guilty about them), it’s great to have the advice of other experts. Food is basically magic: eat right and not only will you better manage your weight and keep your baby healthy, you can manage hormones and moods, find deeper reserves of energy, sleep better, and on and on. Your OB will have a lot of advice, particularly about prenatal vitamins, but a certified nutritionist can help unlock benefits from the rest of your meals.
- Share your experiences. Take advantage of opportunities to talk with other women who are expecting or have gone through pregnancy—either friends and family, or other women seeing your OB. Don’t be afraid to share (or vent about) even the grossest or most unflattering stuff. Although no two pregnancies are the same, everyone struggles, often with the same issues. The women you talk with will lend empathetic ears and give you the support you need. And though you want to relax, don’t bottle up or pretend your emotions don’t exist. Sometimes getting your emotions of your chest and mind is the healthiest thing you can do.
#2 Most Important To-Do
- Listen to your body. You know how you’re feeling better than anyone; be it emotional turmoil, gut feeling or physical pain. Be open and honest with your healthcare providers about everything you’re experiencing, especially if it’s your first child. They can help. And if anyone waves those feelings away, or, worse, tries to tell how you should be feeling, call their “BS” and seek another opinion.
I hope I have helped! If you want more help and are interested in learning more about chiropractic care for maternity, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Bill today.
Get a Chiropractic Adjustment Before Spring Break
Spring breaks are coming up and whether you’re lounging on a beach in Mexico or ice-hiking in the Cascades, chances are your body will not be relaxing as much as your mind.
Vacation puts our bodies in unfamiliar situations and positions—mundane things like airplanes and strange beds; even the exciting things, like touring Paris for miles on foot or clenching every muscle in our body as the roller coaster drops, can throw your body for a loop.
So make sure to get in for a chiropractic adjustment before you go, so nothing holds you back from good times. And after you return, before trying to dive straight back into your normal life, come in for another adjustment to recover.
This way you can be sure your body will return from vacation as rested and raring to go as your mind.
Travel Tip from Bones: If you’re kenneling your canine friend or leaving them with a friend for your vacation, make sure to leave them with a familiar item of yours that smells of you. It puts my mind at ease, though between you and me, Dr. Bill is more broken up about leaving me behind.
Have a Happy Vacation!
The key to happiness? Try a little selfishness.
Living a good life is all about maintaining a happy and healthy balance of mind, body and spirit. Many of us find that helping and putting other people’s needs before our own helps, but over time this can backfire. If we don’t take care of our needs as well, we’ll end up the ones needing the assistance of others.
If, like many people, you have become the caretaker to an elderly parent, the overworked breadwinner, the taxi driver shuttling family members all over, or are just dealing with personal stress, it’s time you took a moment for yourself.
Taking just 2-3 hours a week to keep your own body functioning properly isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. If you suffer from misalignment, keeping a chiropractic adjustment in your schedule is very important to staying balanced in your own life. But there are many other ways to treat yourself and keep your mind, body and spirit on track.
Many of my healthcare partners are offering specials to my patients to keep them on track. This includes Greg Dyer who is offering my patients a free week of personal training during January. Please contact him to take advantage of this kind offer: Greg@BirthdaySuitTailor.com. If you need something else, just ask when you come in for an appointment and I’ll refer you to the wellness partner that can help.
Embrace Life’s Pickles
Life is a journey, bringing each of us new experiences everyday. Sometimes these experiences can put us in a pickle resulting in spinal misalignment or muscle spasms. But don’t worry you have us! Caring Hands the body mechanic is always there to correct these issues and send you back on your journey.
So embrace life, embrace both the good times and the pickles. Both types of experiences enrich your life, and neither will knock you out permanently.
Which, speaking of embracing pickles, November 14 is National Pickle Day! We’re fairly confident you won’t hurt yourself eating pickles, but just in case, we’re here for you.
Introducing Bones’ Referral Network
You have all been such wonderful patients, and through your generosity, many more wonderful people have been referred our way. It’s high time Bones and I paid forward that generosity, so Bones had the great idea of introducing the unique, and eponymously-named Bones’ Referral Network.
Starting today (Oct 27), when you refer a friend to our caring hands for chiropractic help, we will make a donation in your name to Ho-Bo Care Boxer Rescue, a Denver-based Boxer Rescue Shelter. It’s a great shelter run by great people, and it was kind enough to give “Marty,” who I showed to many of you, a home.
Together, we can support each other in our quest for healthy lives and happy dogs.
Dr. Bill & Bones
Recover from the Election
The month of October is full of fun days to celebrate! Two of my favorites are Kick Butt Day and Make a Difference Day, which is this Saturday, the 22nd. Not only are they great days, together they make an excellent pair of rules to live life by!
This election season has left many of us on edge, short-fused and pitted against friends. We could wallow in the election’s remaining weeks. Or we could get outside, go exercise, stay healthy, kick butt at all of life’s challenges, and make a difference in our world!
Maintaining a healthy body—muscles balanced and spine aligned—makes it easier to clear your mind of negativity (making room for positive thoughts to move in). And once you’re full of this light-hearted spirit, not only can you kick butt and make a difference in your own life, you are in a better state to reach out to others and aid them in making a difference in their lives!
So over the coming weeks, take a friend who is reeling from election stress, point them in the direction of wellness, and help them smile again. Joy pays itself forward and soon we may all be able to make a difference in this place we call home: Mother Earth!
Forget October, we’ll make this a Rocktober to remember!
Dentists and Chiropractors
Visiting the dentist soon? You might need chiropractic care afterwards.
We know dental care is important, it gives us beautiful smiles to express our happiness and love. Thing is, nobody likes going to the dentist. Many of us openly fear it, and when we’re afraid our muscles get tense.
That’s a recipe for disaster, as most check-ups involve sitting awkwardly in that dentist’s chair for at least an hour or so—mouth stretched wide-open, hands clenched. Often, as our tenseness wears us down, we begin to experience muscle tiredness or spasms, which in turn can result in a neck/upper-back spinal misalignment!
Don’t make going to the dentist any worse than it already is. If you’re going in for a check-up, consider scheduling in advance a chiropractic appointment as a follow-up (maybe not all in the same day, but within a day or so). You can have your cake and eat it too, healthy alignment and healthy teeth.
Tip of the Month: Relaxation Exercise
Before your check-up, or anything you’re feeling anxious about, here’s a strategy for calming your nerves down.
- Keeping your elbows off armrests, place your hands on your lap, palms up and hands open.
- Take two long slow deep breaths.
- Roll your shoulders down and back, down and back.
- Take one additional deep breath.
- Remind yourself you’ve survived similar situations before, and you’ll survive this one.
All or Nothing Day is Approaching!
July 26th is All or Nothing Day! We have one shot at life and we often have only one chance, when given the choice, to give our all in the moment! To make the best of the opportunities before us, we must be ready for anything, no matter how out of the blue. To prepare for July 26th, your body should be functioning at its best—properly aligned and all muscles balanced—to make “All” a part of your vocabulary.
Sometimes in life, it does not matter if you come in first or last, but whether you run the race to the finish, pushing yourself towards higher goals. This July 26th, don’t fall back on excuses and ‘next time’s, be ready for an amazing day!
Happy Father’s Day from Bones
Hey all! Bones here!!
This Sunday is Father’s Day and I couldn’t be more excited! Well, if I’m being honest, Zeus (my South African Mastiff half-brother) and I had a bit of a scare this weekend about the food Dr. Bill plans to serve on the big day…
Dr. Bill told us that he wanted to grill burgers and dogs for Father’s Day. Well you can imagine the look in Zeus’ eyes!! “Grill us!!!” he howled. “Is this why we’ve been getting extra treats lately???”
Well Zeus and I ran straight for the bedroom! “It’s your fault, Zeus!” I barked, “Eating all the dirty tissues in the wastebasket, I told you he’d be mad!” Zeus turned to me, “Hey! Before you start pointing paws, don’t forget, you’re the one who thinks his tongue is the dishwasher prewash!!”
I was about to reply when Dr. Bill entered the bedroom! OH NO!
Putting our differences aside, Zeus and I huddled together. Dr. Bill reached down holding something long, thin and pink. It smelled like food. We gave it a taste and WOW! “That hot dog taste good, Bones?” Dr. Bill asked.
That’s when it hit me: he didn’t want to grill us! He wanted to put this unnatural, but tasty meat byproduct on the grill!! Now Father’s Day can’t come soon enough.
So the moral of the story: chiropractic care can be like hot dogs, you don’t know how good it is until you try it!! If the fathers in your life have never tried chiropractic before, now is a great time to give them back the gift of a loose and pain-free body!
Happy Father’s Day!
Spring Snowstorms bring Spinal Subluxations
This has been a crazy month of weather! Have you ever wondered how the snow and cold can kill your garden, but the weeds seem to enjoy it? As we look at our yards now that the sun is shining, the grass is a bit out of control and weeds have flourished! What gives?
Our bodies are also gardens of life and if we are unable to properly take care of them, problems can flourish while our wellness wilts. If we don’t attend to our bodies, especially with all the weeding ahead of us, they can start to go out of alignment with subluxations (spinal misalignments), muscle tightness and discomfort.
It is easy to mask these issues with aspirin and other pain relievers, but they are not truly getting to the root of the problem. Stop into our office and have your spine adjusted and your muscle trigger-points relieved, so your garden can thrive as the sun shines and people play!