Tuesday, December 17, 2013

what we learned about having babies in 2013

this is a great article by the Huff post summarizing key research published about having babies in 2013. While there is so much information out there, it can hard to sift through and process all of it. But having knowledge is power and the key to making the right decisions for you and your family. 

"When it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, it seems like parents-to-be often fall into two camps: Those who devour every bit of information they can get their hands on about what to expect and how to prepare (heh), and those who take a less-is-more approach when it comes to the latest research.
But really, keeping up with all the information being thrown at you -- at the same time that you're doing the very hard work of growing your family, or trying to -- can be overwhelming. That's why we assembled this list of eight of the biggest health research findings about preconception, pregnancy and childbirth to come out in the last 12 months -- with the caveat that science is a process and any finding requires replication and verification before it's considered definitive. Because while we at HuffPost Parents support anyone's decision to put their heads down, ear-buds in and do this whole baby-having thing their own way, we also believe that being informed can help parents-to-be make decisions that feel right to them -- in consult with their doctors, nurses, midwives, etc.
So with that in mind, here are just eight of the most interesting things researchers learned about making and having babies in 2013:

1. Sleep and diet can affect fertility.
woman sleeping

What makes one couple particularly fertile, while another struggles for months or years to get pregnant is, in many cases, a mystery. And though infertility is often due to factors that are entirely out of a couple's control, more and more research suggests that, in some cases, certain lifestyle factors, like sleep and diet, can make a difference. One study found that women who do shift work (working outside of the typical 8 to 6 framework) may have disrupted menstrual cycles and reduced fertility, while another found that getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night was linked with the best outcomes among patients undergoing IVF. In terms of nutrition, one preliminary study suggested that women with polycystic ovarian syndrome hoping to conceive may benefit from eating a large breakfast and a smaller dinner in order to help with insulin levels, which can affect hormones.

2. Specific fertility treatments lead to more multiple births.
 twin babies
A major report that delved into why the number of twins and other multiples in the U.S. is so much higher now than it was four decades ago found that a third of all twin births, and more than three-quarters of all triplet and higher-order births (i.e. multiples of three or more) were due to the use of some form of fertility treatment. But notably, the report also found that in vitro fertilization -- often singled out as the main culprit -- was, in fact, no longer the greatest contributor to the rate of multiples. Instead, other treatments, such as ovulatory medications, were the top cause.

3. Miscarriage is more common than most people know.

When researchers with Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx polled a group of more than 1,000 men and women between the ages of 18 and 69, they found that they grossly underestimated how common miscarriage, or the loss of a fetus before the 20th week is: More than half said it occurs in fewer than 6 percent of all pregnancies, but estimates suggest it actually happens in roughly 15 to 20 percent. Moreover, many respondents wrongly identified the major causes, citing stress, oral contraceptives and physical exertion, when, in fact, chromosomal abnormalities are most often to blame. The study wasn't meant to stoke fear, but rather to point out how much misinformation there is about miscarriage, and how that can leave the women and men affected by it feeling very alone.

4. Maternal exercise benefits newborns' brains.
pregnant yoga
Exercise is, understandably, the last thing on many women's minds when they're exhausted, sick and can't remember the last time they saw their toes, but one study showed that just a bit of moderate exercise (in addition to helping with things like mood and sleep) might also boost babies' brain activity, by contributing to a healthy fetal environment. Babies born to women who clocked at least 20 minutes of moderate cardio three times a week appeared to be better at processing certain sounds, which may have implications for overall brain development. "Our results show that the babies born from the mothers who were physically active have a more mature cerebral activation, suggesting that their brains developed more rapidly," the study researcher told HuffPost.

5. Junk food addiction may start in the womb.
potato chips
It was a highly preliminary study done in rats, but an investigation out of Australia nonetheless raised interesting questions about what can happen when women eat a significant amount of junk food during pregnancy. Researchers found that rats whose mothers ate diets high in fat and sugar (think sweet cereals and potato chips) had a greater preference for high-fat foods after birth than those whose mothers ate a diet that was low in fat and sugar -- and the gene expression in the reward pathways of their brains was changed, so that they had a greater predisposition to a junk food addiction later in life. Though it's too early to say if the findings can be extrapolated to humans, the study's main researcher argued that the "take-home message for women is that eating large amounts of junk food during pregnancy and while breastfeeding will have long-term consequences for their child's preference for these foods."

6. Pregnancy interventions are common ... and not always welcome.
pregnant woman
Despite the fact that roughly 60 percent of moms in the U.S. who were included in a survey about birth practices and beliefs said they feel giving birth is a natural process that shouldn't be interfered with unless it's absolutely necessary for medical reasons. However, one-quarter of the women surveyed said they had at least three interventions during birth, from taking drugs to speed up or start labor to having a C-section. Twenty five percent of respondents who were induced or had an epidural said they felt pressured at the hospital to do so, as did 13 percent of those who had a C-section. 

7. Midwifery care is linked to better outcomes.
umbilical cord
Most women in the U.S. rely on doctors to provide their primary care during pregnancy and birth, but a growing minority rely on midwives, and a Cochrane review lent some serious support to that model. The review found that consistent midwifery care throughout pregnancy was linked to better outcomes for mothers and their babies, compared to women who saw family physicians, OBs, or some mix of health care providers. Women who worked with midwives had lower rates of episiotomy and epidural useand they were less likely to deliver their baby prematurely. None of the studies cited were conducted in the U.S., but the review's lead author argued that the findings are still relevant in this country.

8. Delayed cord clamping has benefits.
baby feet

The clamping and snipping of the umbilical cord can be a memorable post-birth moment -- particularly for hands-on fathers and partners -- but an investigation released in 2013 suggests its best done at least a minute or two after the baby is born. The review of 15 previously published trials from around the world found that delaying by just one minute can increase a newborn's iron supplies for up to six months post-birth." article source

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

things you should never say to a pregnant woman

as I approach the end of this pregnancy and the glow from 2nd trimester definitely fading... 
I thought I'd share a list of things never to say to a pregnant lady. 
Actually some of these brought some serious LOL's, read the article here

“Was it planned?”
  Does it really matter? Whether it was planned or not, she’s obviously sharing the news because she’s happy and excited not because she wants to answer to nosy people. Questioning her decision-making is unnecessary (and kind of rude). What to say instead: “Congratulations, kids are great!” 

“Did you take fertility drugs?”
Getting pregnant isn’t easy for everyone and the struggle with fertility is emotionally and financially exhausting. When a woman is pregnant at a certain age or is carrying multiples, be mindful of the delicate story that may be behind her joy; intrusive questions just rain on her parade. What to say instead: “Do multiples run in your family?” 

“You look like you’re ready to pop!”
(What she’s thinking: What’s your excuse? I’m carrying a life!) Come on, women are self-conscious enough as it is and when she’s carrying an extra 20 or so pounds she’s extra sensitive about her looks (and everything else for that matter). What to say instead: “Do you know what you are having?” 

“Can I touch your belly?”
  (What she’s thinking: I don’t even know you!) Unless you’re a close relative or friend, this is just awkward for her. Just because a woman is pregnant doesn’t make her belly community property. What to say instead: “Wow, you look great! What a cute belly!” 

 “Have you picked a name yet?”
  It seems harmless, but trust us, she doesn’t want to answer this question and subject herself (and her partner) to your opinions. It’s hard enough agreeing on a baby name as a couple and input from strangers just makes the process more difficult. What to say instead: “Are you having fun picking a name?” 

“Enjoy ____ now because once the baby comes, you can kiss it goodbye.”
Pregnancy is an emotional time for a woman especially if it’s her first. She’s very aware that her life is about to drastically change. She doesn’t need you to suggest that she’ll never enjoy sleep, skinny jeans or a minute alone ever again. What to say instead: “Parenting is certainly full of ups and downs but it’s worth it!” 

 “You shouldn't be eating/drinking that.”
(What she’s thinking: Thanks Dr. Stranger, but I’ll eat and drink whatever I please and if you get in the way, you may lose a finger.) Pregnant women are well aware of their new dietary recommendations and restrictions and if you don’t trust she’s making wise decisions, keep it to yourself. What to say instead: “Boy, does that look delicious!”  

“I never had morning sickness.”
All pregnancies are different, so bragging to a mother who is sick as a dog about your lack of pregnancy symptoms is downright insensitive. What to say instead: “How have you been feeling? Any morning sickness?”  

“I was sick my whole 9 months.”
On the flip side, a pregnant woman doesn’t want to be any more terrified than she already is. Keep the horror stories to yourself. What to say instead: “Don’t worry, you will feel better soon enough!”  

“I was ripped open from end to end.”
 This falls into the horror story category. Like pregnancy, giving birth is different for every woman. And the fact is, most women don’t end up “ripped from end-to-end" — one bad experience shouldn’t set off panic in the mind of a new mother! What to say instead: “I had a rough experience, but not all women go through what I did.” 

“Get an epidural!”  
 Deciding how and where to give birth is extremely personal — it’s about what she wants, not what other people think she should want. Though hospital settings and epidurals are mainstream, not every mother chooses to go that route. Questioning her decision to do something you didn’t gives her zero credit for making an educated decision. What to say instead: “I decided to get an epidural because…but everyone is different.” 

But these have to be my absolute personal favourites from the article.....
  • “Are you still with the father?”
  • “When I told my boss I was pregnant (with my first child), the first thing he said was: “Are you going to keep it?””
  • “Although I had been with my husband for nine years, my MIL had the nerve to ask if the baby was his.”
  • “We were having our weekly ultrasound and my doctor didn’t say anything about the baby’s heart or lungs…instead, she said: ‘And there are his balls.’ Really? Is that the medical term?” 
  • “I was working in a restaurant and attempting to seat some people, when they requested a table on the opposite side of the restaurant and said: ‘You look like you could use the exercise anyway...’”
  •  “As a 44-year-old pregnant woman I often heard: ‘You know, the likelihood of Down's syndrome goes up as you get older.’ Nice, huh?”
  •  “When I told my MIL I would be opting for an epidural, she replied: ‘I hope the doctor doesn't paralyze you, that would make taking care of a new born really difficult.’ Ugh, seriously?” 
  •  “When I was seven months pregnant someone asked me if I’d ever considered losing weight.”
  •  “My OB was concerned that I was measuring very large as my due date was closing in and said: "I just want to make sure you're not having a monster baby."
  •  “I had someone tell me that they couldn't picture me as a mother. How do you even respond to that?”

song of the week

I love this song and this band
blue skies by Noah and the Whale

Monday, December 2, 2013

name game round three

the name game is proving to be just as challenging this time as ever before. 
we like to use family names, at least as a middle name and now even that is challenging to make sure all sides of the family are covered... and well some people just have better names than others. 

this time Oliver is weighing in and making contributions like Harvey, Cat in the Hat and Arva (the female version of Harvey?) while Georgie is holding out for Bebe either way. ha! 

We've done this before (here and here) and always come out with the perfect names
... ummm slightly biased! I can't believe in a few more weeks we will be a family of FIVE!

I can't believe I was 23 weeks pregnant in this picture! 
The belly sure has grown quite a bit since then.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

body brushing

do you brush your body? here's why you should start!

The benefits of dry skin brushing include:
  •  improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. By releasing toxins, it encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes so the body is able to run more effectively. Remember your lymphatic system doesn't have a pump so actively promoting lymphatic movement is key to a healthier life.
  • Dry skin brushing rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin
  •  Dry skin brushing helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores.
  • Increasing the circulation to the skin could possibly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells. No need to take drastic measures like liposuction, how about utilizing the dry skin brushing techniques to help break down unwanted toxins?
  • Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells (and encourages new cell renewal), which results in smoother and brighter skin. It can also help with any pesky ingrown hairs.
  • It helps with muscle tone and gives you a more even distribution of fat deposits.
 you don’t have to book a pricey spa treatment to reap the benefits; this one can be done in your very own bathroom. All you need to do is purchase a natural bristle brush (not one made from nylon or synthetic materials). One with a long handle is also a plus, as it means you can reach all areas of the body. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ghill life lately

As I inch closer to baby # 3's arrival,my nesting mode is in full swing... 
and my hubs to do list is growing by the minute!

Even despite the rainy/snowy weather and now cooler temperatures, 
we've managed to fit in some fun!

check out our ghill life on instagram

raspberry leaf tea

one of my favourite teas (and not just because I'm 37 weeks pregnant)
 is  raspberry leaf tea while it has a great reputation for benefits during pregnancy, this tea is beneficial to all women in any stage of life. As it's name suggests, it's made from the leaf of the raspberry plant, it's naturally high in magnesium, potassium, iron and b-vitamins and this specific combination of nutrients make it highly beneficial for women's reproduction health. 

In pregnancy it helps alleviate nausea, leg cramps and improves sleep while also strengthening the uterus and pelvic muscles which many claim lead to a shorter and easier labour. It is also recommended for women to increase fertility and helpful for couples trying to conceive. I've drank it throughout my pregnancies although I've found at times it made me crampy and then I would reduce my intake to a couple of times a week instead of daily. But always consult with your midwife or doctor before taking any herb while pregnant.

Pregnancy aside,  Raspberry Leaf Tea has been used for centuries as a folk medicine to treat an assortment of ailments including but not limited to:canker sores, cold sores, and gingivitis in persons of all ages and anemia, leg cramps, diarrhea, and morning sickness in pregnant women, and as a uterine relaxant. 

I've been a fan of raspberry leaf tea for some time, 
check out my other posts here , herehere and here

Friday, November 15, 2013

etsy love

so I died and went to coat heaven.
these coats are.... I MEAN! honestly. 
just stop because I need deeper pockets and gahhh! I'm in LOVE.

Can you even handle it? Well done littlegoodall
check out this etsy shop for even more adorable creations.

52 ways to get up off the floor

if you are like me the idea of hitting the gym is like total torture. 
treadmills, crossfit, lifting weights and elliptical trainers all sound pretty miserable to me. 
I've been exploring movement in other ways. Natural movement as part of a healthy lifestyle opposed to bursts of intense exercise. I've mentioned it before on the blog and I highly recommend Aligned and Well to anyone and everyone who will listen. You can read my past posts here and here.
through the aligned and well blog and facebook page I've come across great articles, tips and ideas of how to incorporate healthy movement into your life and kids' lives without these intense "workouts" that can cause injury and issues in other areas. 

checkout this article and video about 52 ways to get up off the floor. 
Simple movement that will give you a workout! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

song of the week

I've had this song on my ipod for years and 
the lyrics make me gigle every single time I listen to it. 
I'll kill her by Soko

talking to your kids

I just seen these youtube videos and busted a gut. 

check more of their hysterical videos on their youtube channel

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

baby love

 a little gift giving idea for those little ladies in your life...
check out this etsy shop. I've ordered a couple of dolls from this shop in the past, 
for birthday gifts etc and the owner/designer Secelie is such a doll to deal with.
Recently I ask her for a custom listing of 2 large dolls and 4 smaller mini dolls. 
With some back and forth (her attention to detail is great!) she sent me these photos last night!

The cutest right? 
I can't wait to spread the joy this holiday with these adorable dollies.

 these yellow/grey mixes are so unbelievably sweet! 

Check out Heart Felts for your custom creation 
or choose from her wide selection of ready to ship dolls. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

birth and beyond conference

In just over a week, I'm going to see Ina May Gaskin
speak at the birth and beyond conference
I purchased the tickets months ago and now that it's so close,
my excitement level is through the roof.

She's the founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Centre located near Summertown, Tennessee
which has handled more than 3,000 birth with amazing outcomes, low intervention and cesarean rates. She lectures all over the world and is a champion for women's birthing rights.

check out the Birth Story documentary trailer below to catch a glimpse of the Farm and Ina May!
This documentary is so incredibly good, with archived footage of the midwives giving birth to their own babies in the 70's and 80's.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I was an awesomer kid

If you haven't checked out this tumblr page yet, 
I highly recommend you do so. 
I nearly pee my pants every time I read it. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013


A few weeks ago as I was surfing the web looking for minimalist footwear
suitable for Canadian winters, I came across these...

knowing that I will be hauling three little ones around this winter, I wanted something practical, comfortable but that still has some style. I couldn't be happier with the summit so far, made from super-soft, 100% waterproof fabric with plush lining for extra warmth, it features 2mm of Neo-TechTM insulation, a dual-density, contoured EVA insole with DuraFresh anti-odor protection and molded rubber outsole. Thy are machine-washable and rated for temperatures up to 14°F/-10°! 
I originally opted for the black mix but it was unavailable in my size so I went with the red and am so glad I did, although I'm contemplating ordering the black too...

I also picked up these baby bogs for Oliver and Georgie. I wanted something easy on and off, warm and waterproof. Georgie has tiny feet so these are a great fit. She's still getting used to wearing socks and  boots although she really prefers to be bare foot or wear her favourite pink shoes. 

so if you are in the market for fall/winter footwear,
I highly recommend you check out BOGS.

song of the week

start a war by the national 
from the album boxer

This album is a few years old but I love it and play it constantly, 
 Matt Berninger's voice really gets into your bones. 

Monday, October 21, 2013


my first issue of kinfolk magazine arrived last week!
filled with beautiful photography, recipes and great articles, 
it's such a pleasure to read and peruse. 

Hubs and I have made a pact to entertain more and after some small home renos 
I think we will have an even better setup for doing so. 
Oh yeah and I need to learn to spend a bit more time in the kitchen too. 
Hoping this new mag will help give me some inspiration!

ps. looking for a great gift for the foodie in your life 
or for someone like me that needs foodspiration?

Check out the kinfolk table
recipes for small gatherings- can't wait to my mitts on this.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

52 weeks ago

52 weeks ago our life was like this
what felt like a never-ending Saturday at the time, 
would have completely been erased from my memory if I didn't have this wee little blog. 

I've decided to keep more of my personal moments and kids milestones off this space
and use it to persue other topics and personal interests. 
Lately I've been feeling more inspired to write here again 
but I certainly love to look back once and a while!

Amazing how quickly a year goes by...
from cow baby to playing (eating) playdoh with her big brother.
I can't believe in about 2 months this little lady is going to be a big sister!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

busy equals important

I read this blog the other day and it struck a bunch of different emotions in me. 
I've never thought that working-in home moms are lazy nor do I wonder what they do all day, I know full well what they do because while I do it after working hours and all weekend and they do it all the time. I also know that sometimes I welcome Monday's because I get to go to work and you know pee alone, or have 5 minutes to myself to think or not think and enjoy silence. Also applause to this husband for being so grateful and appreciative to his wife for mothering their children, raising them and knowing how difficult her "job" is!

I also know that sometimes the judgement is coming the other way too. I've felt it from other moms (work-in-home moms) that look down at me (a working-out-of-the-home mom) for "not caring enough to stay at home" or that I'm somehow less than because I send my kids to daycare. It's tough no matter what your situation is. The grass is always greener or so we think.

"It’s true — being a mom isn’t a “job.” A job is something you do for part of the day and then stop doing. You get a paycheck. You have unions and benefits and break rooms. I’ve had many jobs; it’s nothing spectacular or mystical. I don’t quite understand why we’ve elevated “the workforce” to this hallowed status. Where do we get our idea of it? The Communist Manifesto? Having a job is necessary for some — it is for me — but it isn’t liberating or empowering. Whatever your job is — you are expendable. You are a number. You are a calculation. You are a servant. You can be replaced, and you will be replaced eventually. Am I being harsh? No, I’m being someone who has a job. I’m being real."
It's true though, no matter how good you are or how much you care about your job- you are expendable and replaceable. It's a sucky reality especially when you've held a lot of your self-worth in your working life. It's not to say you still can't get satisfaction out of your job but consider this....

"In any case, I’m not looking to get into a fight about who is “busier.” We seem to value our time so little, that we find our worth based on how little of it we have. In other words, we’ve idolized “being busy,” and confused it with being “important.” You can be busy but unimportant, just as you can be important but not busy. I don’t know who is busiest, and I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. I think it’s safe to say that none of us are as busy as we think we are; and however busy we actually are, it’s more than we need to be." 

sound familiar? this hit me like a tonne of bricks. YES, I totally equate being busy to being important. If you are busy and stressed then you must be important, or doing important things. It's rather twisted and definitely something I am working on in my life.

But being a mom is not replaceable, being their mom is not expendable. We make mistakes and we are not perfect but either way we love our kids. fiercely.

So whether you are are stay at home mom or a working outside the home mom- high fives! This is a rough gig sometimes, sometimes it's the greatest too.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

the big carrot

I've been adding carrots into a lot of my juice recipes lately, not just because they are so readily available but because the bright orange root packs a powerful nutrition punch,
fresh carrot juice is full of beta-carotene, vitamin and minerals.
100 g of fresh carrot juice contains:
 2.1 mg of beta-carotene and 350 micrograms of vitamin A
    Up to 3 mg of vitamin C, which is necessary to maintain immunity
    0.2 mg of vitamin PP, which has beneficial effects on metabolic processes in the body
    0.01 mg of vitamin B1, required for proper function of the brain and nervous system
    0.02 mg of vitamin B2, needed to maintain healthy metabolism and vision
    0.3 mg of vitamin E for healthy cells and synthesis of hormones 
(It’s several times greater than in beet juice.)

Carrot juice is also rich in potassium (130 mg/100gr), calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. Besides, this juice contains flavonoids, phytoncides and enzymes as well as organic acids, monosaccharides and disaccharides, starch and ash.
Carrot Juice Benefits, Nutrition Facts & Side Effects
April 23, 2013 Posted in Health Benefits and Side Effects of Foods 

Carrot Juice Health Benefits And Nutrition Facts Fresh carrot juice is the king of vegetable juices. It contains a lot of beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals. All this makes carrot juice indispensable for health maintenance, particularly for people with weak immune systems, skin and vision problems. Carrot juice benefits children greatly.

Read more at: http://myhealthbynature.com/carrot-juice-benefits-side-effects/
Copyright © MyHealthByNature.com

the big carrot juice:
4-5 large carrots
1 pear
1 gala apple
handful of strawberries
makes a full serving for me, the hubs and each of the kiddos (I top theirs up with water)

Benefits of carrot juice:    
  • Slow down the aging process
  •  reduce the risk of cancer 
  • Help cleanse the cells of toxins and impurities 
  •  Drinking carrot juice can help you get rid of dermatitis and eczema. 
  •  Vitamin C acts as a protector of the nervous and immune systems. 
  • A glass of fresh carrot juice perfectly relieves stress after a hard day and calms if one is overexcited. 
  •  Vitamin C in combination with B vitamins reduces the level of harmful cholesterol, thereby protecting the cardiovascular system. 
  •  Fresh carrot juice improves digestion.
  •  It serves as a great resource in atherosclerosis, infections and kidney stones. 
  •  Carrot juice is very helpful to women. Carotene normalizes the synthesis of female sex hormones. That allows women to stay young and healthy for longer. Because the lack of vitamin A leads to infertility, carrot juice, in some cases helps to resolve that problem. 
  •  it contains a substance related to endorphins, which promotes a sense of joy.

Friday, October 11, 2013


have you heard about stickygram yet?
Turn all your sweet instagram pics into magnets, it's super easy and extremely fast (and free!) shipping even though they come from the UK. The kids love seeing the magnets on the fridge and where ever else they end up around the house. Also they make a great gift for friends and family, party favours, etc. 

 Use code FRIENDCWHD to receive $2 off your first order!

magnets not your thing? they recently started making phone cases also...

Thursday, October 10, 2013


"the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel"
  - steven furtick

Thursday, October 3, 2013

esty love

I bought these ultra adorable felt masks for party favours 
for Oliver and Georgie's joint woodland themed party last May.
and they were a huge hit with the kids (and parents too!)

I thought I would share as they make a great gift for the littles if you are starting to think about xmas gifting... and even if you weren't.

woodland masks from Mahalo, cost about $10 each

 I also bought this adorable set from magicalattic for about $30


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...