Pre-Conception Wellness

Deciding to have a baby is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Or is it? Truthfully, the most important decision you’ll ever make for that baby is to prepare your body in advance for the important job that it will do.

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Healing Hands Chiropractic Named NH’s Family Favorite

best nh chiropractor 2012THE VOTES ARE IN: PARENTING NH’S FAMILY FAVORITE CHIROPRACTOR

Healing Hands Chiropractic Family Wellness Center is named local Family Favorite.

Londondery, NH (Sept. 17, 2012)   Healing Hands Chiropractic Family Wellness Center has been selected by the readers of Parenting New Hampshire as a “Family Favorite” award recipient for Best Chiropractor.

The Family Favorite awards are a new award program that recognizes family-friendly businesses, services and places in over 60 categories- as chosen by the readers of Parenting NH Magazine.

“The Family Favorites’ award program recognizes those places, people and things that make New Hampshire a great place to raise a family,” said Melanie Hitchcock, editor of Parenting NH.  The voting took place online from June 1 through July 31, 2012 and received almost 1,600 votes.

Healing Hands Chiropractic’s mission is to promote and support the overall health, well-being and highest quality of life of all individuals and families in our community through natural chiropractic care and education.  The wellness center specializes in pregnancy, postpartum, pediatrics and family wellness.  Co-owner Dr. Jessica Caruso is a Prenatal & Family Chiropractor, Reiki Master Teacher and Childbirth Educator and is certified in the Webster pregnancy technique used with expectant mothers.

The clinic can be reached at 603-434-3456 or online at www.HealingHandsNH.com.  Convenient online scheduling is available for established patients and the office has a large play room for the kids to play in after their adjustments.

Taking Care of Yourself

By Guest Blogger, Krista Maltais PCD(DONA), CLC, B.S. Family Studies.

“In the day-to-day grind of it all, it’s easy to get stuck thinking, “the day is too short, the to-do list is too long, and gosh darn it, people need me!”. This is especially true for parents. But, in order to take care of others, you have to first take care of yourself. “

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I begin this blog while at an airport returning from the first vacation I have had in years. As I sit here waiting for the plane to depart, I can’t help but reflect on the necessity of taking care of one self.

In the day-to-day grind of it all, it’s easy to get stuck thinking, “the day is too short, the to-do list is too long, and gosh darn it, people need me!”. This is especially true for parents. But I have learned, and this vacation has re-inforced, that in order to take care of others, you have to first take care of yourself.

As a postpartum doula and lactation counselor, I see how burned out new parents, especially new mothers, can get when they go-go-go and try to take everything on themselves. There is only so long that level of intensity (and the adrenaline that fuels the intensity) can sustain itself before stress, fatigue, or full-on exhaustion, shows itself. It may reveal itself in emotional outbursts, illness, accidents, or physical pain.

Amongst the daily tasks of parenting, it can be difficult to remember to eat and shower let alone remember how crucial it is to recharge. However, taking care of one’s self doesn’t have to mean a full week’s vacation (although, I highly recommend it!). Self-care can, and should, be found in a daily routine. Here are some ideas to try and incorporate into your life:

  • Take deep breaths. Breathing deeply helps move your body out of fight-or-flight mode and into the relaxation response and has been proven to help combat fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
  • Eat nutritious small meals and snacks throughout the day and drink to thirst. Set up snack bags and water bottlesin the places you spend the most time (in the living room, next to your nursing chair, in the car, etc). A hungry parent cannot fully function, may become short tempered, and is less likely to deal with parenting tasks/challenges calmly.
  • Exercise and socialize. Moving your body helps reduce stress and has numerous health benefits as does socializing with family and friends. It’s easy to combine the two by going for a walk with your spouse or signing up for a new exercise group with friends. As a bonus, there are many parent-baby exercise classes available in our area which may make this easier to accomplish.
  • Go for regular body work. Parenting is emotionally and physically demanding. It may seem difficult to schedule an appointment amongst the busyness of the day, but having proper physical care through chiropractic and/or massage will make it easier to sustain the tasks of parenting.
  • Ask for help. This is especially important for spouses to remember! Communicate as openly and honestly as possible about how you are feeling and what you want/need. People are usually willing to offer a helping hand and may feel more comfortable taking an active role if told specifics. Don’t have family or friends close by or don’t feel comfortable asking? See the next suggestion…
  • Hire professional support. Certified postpartum doulas are trained to know what new parents want/need. Do you just want a long, hot shower, and a nap? No problem! However, postpartum doulas can also offer education about newborn care techniques, mother care, partner and sibling adjustment, early childhood development, postpartum mood disorders, breast and bottle feeding as well as coping skills. Want something warm to eat that you didn’t have to prepare? Sure! Postpartum doulas can also assist with your family’s daily needs such as organizing the home, running errands and providing additional local resources. Are you breastfeeding? A certified lactation counselor can provide personalized breastfeeding assessment and support to ensure pain-free and successful nursing experiences in the privacy of your home.  There are all kinds of professionals out there to help you – house cleaners, dog walkers, landscapers, etc! Just ask!

The airplane’s safety announcement has just come on. The flight attendant has checked our safety belts and is telling us that in the event of an emergency, air masks may drop and that you must always put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. How true. It’s not easy and sometimes it can feel selfish to take care of yourself, but the earlier and more regularly you incorporate self-care measures into your life, the easier and healthier your life will be.

About the Author:

Koru Care Postpartum Doula Services
Krista Maltais, PCD(DONA), CLC, B.S. Family Studies
Koru Care Postpartum Doula Services provides in-home postpartum doula and breastfeeding support to families in Southern Maine, Southeast New Hampshire, and Northern Massachusetts. Krista’s mission is to provide the highest quality of care and education to your entire family so that you may achieve the confidence, skills, and resources needed to build a strong and successful family foundation.

About Healing Hands Chiropractic:

Healing Hands Chiropractic is a full-service family wellness center specializing in Webster certified prenatal & family chiropractic care, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioral therapy, reiki & aromatherapy, massage therapy, pregnancy & birth classes and breastfeeding support.

Pregnancy and Bone Health

By Guest Blogger, Alyssa Maynard- CAPPA Childbirth Educator & Doula in training

Pregnancy is a time of great changes for the body. While some changes can be seen with the naked eye, there is also a lot happening deep within the body. This article specifically aims to talk about bone health, an area of pregnancy that is not always discussed.

Pregnancy is actually reported to be good for a mother’s bones. During pregnancy, women are more able to absorb calcium from what they ingest and their bodies produce more estrogen, which acts to protect bones. During the beginning stages of pregnancy, a mother’s absorption of calcium doubles and is stored in her bones. This calcium will be used in the later stages of pregnancy to form the bones of the growing fetus.

If the mother receives enough calcium during pregnancy, there should be no negative side effects to her body. However, many women are not in the habit of getting enough calcium normally, never mind during pregnancy. If the mother does not receive enough calcium, the growing fetus will draw the calcium that it needs from its mother’s bones. This can cause a loss in bone density and in extreme cases, osteoporosis.  If  a woman is of  normal childbearing age, any bone mass lost during pregnancy is usually recovered when pregnancy and breastfeeding are ceased.

Breastfeeding is also a crucial period for bone health and can also result in a decrease in bone density for women. This is because the infant still wants the calcium but the body is not producing increased levels of estrogen anymore which make the body more susceptible to calcium. Therefore, the calcium for the baby comes from the mothers bones.  However, women rapidly regain bone density when breast feeding is stopped. It is important to continue to take prenatal vitamins and have an increased calcium intake during breastfeeding for this reason.

There are many different ways to promote bone health, in both habit and diet. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 should ingest 1000 milligrams of calcium per day. Calcium can be found in dairy foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other great sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, bok choy, collard greens, and mustard greens. Foods high in protein can also be a good source of calcium, such as edamame, eggs, tofu, beans, and some fish. Some people use calcium supplements as a way to obtain the needed calcium. It should be noted that this is not the recommended way to obtain calcium. Calcium supplements should be used to make up the deficit not as a primary source of calcium.

There are other vitamins and minerals that are important to bone health. Vitamin D plays an essential role in calcium absorption during pregnancy. The most common way that people get vitamin D is by foods fortified by Vitamin D, such as milk. Vitamin D only naturally occurs in fish, liver, and egg yolk. Other minerals and vitamins crucial to bone health are protein, phosphorous and magnesium however calcium and Vitamin D remain the most crucial.

Besides diet, a great way to maintain bone health during pregnancy (and throughout life in general) is to exercise the bones. The best way to do this is by weight bearing exercises.

It is important to note that most women do not experience significant bone damage during pregnancy. If mothers keep up with their nutrient intake and remain active, the effects of pregnancy on bone health will be minimal.

About Healing Hands Chiropractic:

Healing Hands Chiropractic is a full-service family wellness center specializing in Webster certified prenatal & family chiropractic care, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioral therapy, reiki & aromatherapy, massage therapy, pregnancy & birth classes and breastfeeding support.