Monday, September 12, 2016

Freedom to PLAY! Baby equipment, swings, preparing your baby registry, and MORE

As a first time mom I know the struggles when creating a baby registry and preparing for the arrival of your little one. I think as parents we want to have every gadget, toy, and swing available to entertain our new nugget. When my son was born I lived in a tiny 2-bedroom condo with a roommate that definitely didn't have enough room to host my boyfriend, let alone a newborn child. I'm so grateful for this living situation because it really forced me to THINK about what we would ACTUALLY NEED for our child. I spent tons of time asking other moms and researching the toys/swings/gadgets that would really be required to help make this whole parenting bit a little less stressful. What I found was astonishing and I'd love to encourage every mom & dad to hold off on cluttering the house with unnecessary toys and potentially harmful 'aids'.

Here is a great article written by a mom that shares my similar view: Set Me Free!

Jumpers and excer-saucers for extended periods of time have been found to confuse the developing child's neurology and have no proven benefits in advancing walking skills or neurological development. Chiropractors and Physical therapists have also come to agree that placing the child in an upright position before they are ready can be detrimental to their pelvis and spine...thus impacting their nervous system, altering their biomechanics, and causing issues that could be potentially dangerous longterm especially if they never are checked by a chiropractor!

* Due to the trauma (even natural childbirth!) of labor...both mom AND baby should be checked by a chiropractor as soon as possible. Can you imagine squeezing your noggin + body through a tiny tunnel???

Listen...a swing can be a great way to let your baby take a little snooze...strollers are necessary to get around, especially to go outside...and a carseat is absolutely required if you plan to leave your home. But please be mindful of how much time your baby is spending in these carriers. Worried about your child developing a flat head? Most people think that comes from children sleeping on their back at night. What pediatricians and researchers have actually found is that flat head tends to occur from being left in the daytime carriers for extended periods of time. So check yourself when you get frustrated that your child doesn't want to be in the stroller or car seat anymore. There's most likely a good reason for that. Moving nourishes the brain and promotes development. Let them move!

'Proofing' your house (by that I don't mean putting a lock on every single thing...I mean getting rid of anything that a child shouldn't be in to and creating a safe environment for them to explore) prior to your child coming and letting them roam around FREE is the best way to aid in their development. Hands down. Let them explore, let them adventure without confinement, and try to reduce the amount of time they spend in carriers/carseats/strollers.

Not to gloat that everything I do is absolute and perfect...but I applied this 'free movement' principal to my son's life/development and it's been so fun! He started crawling around 4 months of age and took his first steps a week before his 9 month birthday! I let him develop on his own and didn't push him or force his neurology to make these changes. He chose to do these things when his body felt it was the time and he was ready. And please don't think that because your child doesn't walk until they are 1 year that they are a failure or underdeveloped. EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT and will progress at different times. Their is a certain time frame when it does become a concern. If you are concerned, have questions, or don't know what the appropriate milestones are and when they should be met...please seek a pediatric chiropractor for help/advice.

Some recommendations and final words:
-A cluttered space is a cluttered mind...keep yourself sane by reducing all the STUFF
-Find Hand-me-downs and consignment shops for used items
-Include helpful things on your registry like a Meal List (friends/family can sign up for days to bring a meal). Try to list things that you will use for at least the first year of your child's life. Clothing and toys get used up and destroyed so quickly...find used for those items and you'll find yourself saving $$!
-Let your child BE! Let them be free. Set free the expectation that your child needs to hang out quietly in a stroller/swing for hours...movement is LIFE and they need to move in order to develop
-A pediatric chiropractor is the best person to see when it comes to your child hitting developmental milestones. They address the nervous system which is the main controller of development! Your medical pediatrician has you schedule monthly checkups to discuss things like the vaccination schedule...they can't really offer much if your child isn't meeting their milestones. And for flat head...the MD will give you a helmet. Something I need to do more research on but I'd much rather take my child to a chiropractor that can help manipulate the cranial bones rather than have my child wear a helmet. Just sayin'!! ;)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Scoliosis & Chiropractic

Scoliosis treatment using a combination of manipulative and rehabilitative therapy: a retrospective case series

Epigenetics and your child's future

A common misconception (that I myself believed) amongst most is that our DNA is structured and determined for life.

I want to introduce you to Epigenetics.

Epigenetics is defined as the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.

To better explain this: our genes are like an ‘on and off switch’ [like a light switch on the wall]. The choices we make in our every day life can activate these genes by turning them on or off.

Positive lifestyle choices = proper nutrition (giving your body what it can UTILIZE to function), exercise (we are MEANT to MOVE!), sleep

Negative lifestyle choices = smoking, eating toxic foods, chemical products in the home, sedentary lifestyle.

Many people think that because they aren’t experiencing pain or symptoms at this exact moment, they are healthy. It can take YEARS for signs/symptoms to show up…and by the time something like heart disease or cancer is detected…it’s either too late or in the very late stages making it more difficult to reverse. This is why it is so incredibly important to formulate your life around positive choices that will allow your body to express itself and heal 100% of the time. When your body is healing ALL THE TIME…you are fighting cancer, preventing heart disease, lengthening your life span ETC ETC.  If this already doesn’t seem incredibly important for a mother-to-be, then let’s go further and talk about how it can impact your soon to be developing child à à à à

A woman’s body is literally like a home for a developing child. Would you move into a home that only had a foundation but no walls or roof? Absolutely not. So why would we think that a child would want to inhabit an environment that isn’t going to provide the best resources for growth and development? Think about it…the body is so incredibly smart that it rejects a growing child (miscarriage) if the environment isn’t ready for it. I know it’s a sad occurrence but isn’t this an amazing phenomenon in a way??? The body is trying to tell you something!! It’s not ready and something needs to change! And the change isn’t drugs and hormone treatments and forced fertilization…it starts with mom [and even dad! Which I won’t get in to in this blog but it should be noted that dad can have fertility issues as well that can be dealt with without drugs or hormone treatments].

Environmental factors are what influence our epigenome. It’s not a matter of CHANCE when certain genes are expressed and we experience chronic diseases. It’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to ignore the data and research that link a poor environment with infertility and miscarriage. The main offenders that prevent a woman from being able to get pregnant include: chemicals, physical trauma (subluxation to the spine and nervous system), and emotional stress.

Chemicals can come from our food source [unfortunately]…GMO’s, pesticide-laden foods, ingredients that I can’t even pronounce…etc. Nutrition plays a huge role in a woman’s epigenetics. You NEED to be consuming foods that your body can utilize and do something with. Doesn’t it make sense when you think of food as the building blocks that create the cells which essentially make your baby? Do you want your baby to be made from McDonald’s French fries or from REAL food that God put on this Earth for us to consume?  

I also think most people blow off how detrimental stress is to our body. I’m one to know because I became extremely sick and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis back in high school because I was under a tremendous amount of stress. Something like losing your job can alter your epigenome and negatively effect your health. A poor relationship or negative self perception are other examples of stress.

Physical trauma and subluxation to the spine can stem from an accident, repetitive movements, scoliosis, etc. What this means is that your brain cannot properly communicate with your body (reproductive organs). There’s a disconnect somewhere within the nervous system and your chiropractor can check you for any subluxations to get your brain communicating with your body and functioning at 100%. This is the first and most important step prior to getting pregnant AND having a healthy pregnancy. What do you think controls the development and growth of that little nugget in your uterus? Your Brain!!!!

All in all…”lifestyle is even more important to our health and well being than we first believed, and these lifestyle related epigenetic changes affect more than just you - they affect your future children.
Some of the switches in your epigenome can be inherited - that means it isn’t just your genes that you pass down; the effects, good and bad, of your lifestyle have an influence on the future health of your children.
Not only will poor lifestyle choices like smoking and overeating shorten your own life, they may predispose your children - even before they are conceived - to disease and a premature death”

My son Rory! :) 
I’m currently working to get my diplomate to work with pregnant women and children through the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) which is where I get most of my information. I’ve been completing the 14 seminar series since I first got pregnant. My son is now 8 months old and I’m so thankful for what I know. The reason I get out of bed in the morning is to educate women about what they DON’T KNOW. Because you don’t know what you don’t know. It heavies my heart when mothers tell me that they wish they would’ve known about something like eating right, exercising during pregnancy, home birth, vaccinations, etc. and now they regret their decisions. I want EVERY mother to feel confident in her decisions raising her children because she did the research and educated herself. Pregnancy, giving birth, and raising a child are an absolutely empowering experience and it’s something special that God designed for us women to be able to do. We need to move away from being told by the medical community that we don’t know what we are doing …or we are incompetent…or someone else needs to interfere with this beautiful process…and we need to LEARN…we need to educate ourselves…we need to empower each other…and we need to TRUST the body and our maternal instincts. I 100% believe that my pregnancy and labor were so amazing and my son is the wonderful being that he is due to my choices PRIOR to getting pregnant. I live a 5 essentials lifestyle (nutrition, exercise, minimizing toxins, mindset, and chiropractic adjustments) and have lived it for a couple years now. Prior to this change in my life, I believe I wouldn’t be as fortunate as I am today.
Dr. Marcia from the ICPA seminars put it in a great way: (paraphrased) “A baby isn’t eating what mom eats or living off of what mom is doing during her pregnancy…you can think of it as baby is eating and growing from mommy’s pantry – what she did prior to pregnancy”.  I’m thankful for the lifestyle that I’ve been living…considering that my pregnancy was unexpected. 50% of pregnancies are unexpected and it saddens me that women are in such unhealthy conditions and getting pregnant. We need to change the health of this nation not only for our own good…but for our future generations. A developing fetus doesn't have a choice...that choice is up to mom - this is where the next generation of healthy children begins and I'm here to help mothers who want to make a change :).  

Some action steps I'd take and questions that I'd ask myself if I were in your position: 
-Get checked by a chiropractor. Go to and look for a Maximized Living office in your area. They will teach you about the 5 Essentials lifestyle that I previously mentioned.
-Evaluate what you are eating. Are you buying organic? Are you buying packaged products that contain ingredients which are not really FOOD? (If you can’t pronounce it or it sounds like a chemical…don’t eat it)
-Are you in a stressful environment? Is there something you need to change (living situation, relationship, job…) prior to bringing a child into this world?
-Are you getting enough sleep? Your body does up to 85% of its healing while you are asleep. 
-If you are on any medications…can you talk to your doctor about weaning off these medications [no medication is SAFE for a developing child] and see the wonderful effects with living a 5 Essentials lifestyle?

-What’s going on with your mindset and your self talk? Check out some of these articles and webinars on Ever Better Life. Even schedule a free consultation via phone if this is an area that you struggle with!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Milk Madness

It's quite an amazing ability for a woman to produce milk and feed her newborn child. If you are debating whether you'd like to breast feed; if you are planning on using formula; if you are going through a tough time with breast feeding; if you are breast feeding exclusively (any or all of the above!)...Please read through this incredible article about the composition of breast milk.

I think women KNOW that breast milk is best for their child...but there's A LOT to KNOW. With more knowledge = more power. Breast feeding is definitely NOT easy - I struggled for the first 2 weeks. But because I was GROUNDED in my understanding of WHY breast milk is best for my son...I was able to find the strength to push through it. As a mother you become willing to do whatever it takes to create the best environment for your child. Understanding why breast milk is far more superior to formula will help drive you towards that determination to breast feed your loved one. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

19 Weeks annnddddd Pregnant :D

Here are some of the photos from our pregnancy reveal photo shoot done by our good friend Jill! Thank you so much for the amazing pictures Jill. We couldn't be more excited to be bringing a life into this world. I will keep a detailed and updated blog about our birthing experience. Stay posted for the updates :)