• 9 Tips to Naturally Boost Your Immunity During Pregnancy

    Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to illness during pregnancy because of their compromised immune system. The stress that pregnancy puts on a pregnant body is intense, which means you need to be proactive about keeping your immune system strong. Fortunately, there are many ways to step up your immune system’s functioning while pregnant. Here are nine all-natural ways to stay healthy and vibrant during pregnancy.  

    Stay hydrated to keep your body’s systems in top shape. A pregnant woman needs about 2.5 liters of water of day to stay properly hydrated. When your body is hydrated, it means that your cells are getting the oxygen they need to perform well. Water also flushes toxins from your system and helps produce lymph, which circulates white blood cells and nutrients throughout your body.

    Go back to basics and remind yourself to wash your hands. Everyone always remembers to wash their hands, right? Whether or not you do, now is the time to be vigilant about hand-washing. Washing with soap and water will help remove the bacteria and germs that accumulate on your hands as you go about your day. Always wash after using the bathroom, preparing foods, eating meals, and moving through public spaces where you’re touching the same surfaces other people touch (like the subway or bus). If you’re on top of proper washing, you can ditch antibacterial soaps and harsh sanitizers.

    Sleep during pregnancy might be a dream, but try to get a decent night’s rest. As you progress in your pregnancy, your sleep is likely to be interrupted or difficult to come by, period. But try your best to get a proper night’s sleep every night. Sleep deprivation can negatively affect your immune system’s functioning, and over time, it can be hard to fully repair. For better sleep, choose one side to rest on (don’t sleep on your back), use a full body pillow, spring for a calming white noise machine, or take soothing warm baths before bedtime.

    Your immune system stays healthy with physical activity. Regular exercise does wonders for your entire body, and your immune system is no exception. Recent studies show that moderate exercise leads to an increase in white blood cells: the ones that circulate through your body to fight off infections. Aside from the immunity-boosting benefits, physical activity while pregnant is important to maintain a healthy weight, build stamina, and reduce stress.

    Have a good laugh for a healthier immune system. The saying goes that “laughter is the best medicine,” and research has shown that this advice might hold some weight. According to one study, “our physiology changes when we laugh. Our pulse and blood pressure go up, we breathe faster, and we send more oxygen to our tissues.” All of these effects have positive impacts on the immune system, so find a friend to giggle with or a silly movie to laugh over.

    Probiotics are the friendly bacteria to include in your diet. Find a food like yogurt, which contains probiotics, to add to your pregnancy diet. Probiotics aid your body in digestion and colon detoxification, both of which have an impact on a keeping your immune system healthy. Yogurt has other pregnancy health benefits, too, like a high serving of calcium and vitamin D.

    Up your garlic intake for a simple, natural immune boost. Garlic has a long history as a wonder-food for maintaining good health. Raw garlic is particularly potent: a single clove contains over 100 sulfuric compounds (along with a high dose of calcium and potassium), which can kill bacteria in the body. If you can’t stomach eating a clove of raw garlic, you can still reap its benefits by seasoning your favorite meals with the spice.

    Soak up sunshine for a healthier immune system. Aside from putting a smile of your face, a moderate dose of sunshine can benefit your health, too. The rays of the sun trigger your skin’s production of vitamin D, which is crucial to maintaining an immune system that can fight infections. It’s also important to note that when you’re pregnant, your skin is more sensitive to the sun, so be sure to limit full summer exposure to short bursts of 10-15 minutes and wear a natural, pregnancy-safe sunscreen.

    Vitamin C is another superstar for immune health. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and is an antioxidant that can protect your system from free radicals. Unlike some other vitamins, vitamin C is easy to find in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eating a vitamin C-rich diet will also give your body an abundance of other vitamins and minerals necessary for the healthy development of your baby.

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  • Crab Cake Recipe for Pregnancy

    There’s a new cookbook to feed your pregnancy symptoms away.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Every new mother-to-be gets a laundry list of things that she can’t eat when she’s pregnant. What about all the yummy things that she can (and should!) eat? Proper nutrition during pregnancy and after delivery is so critical — your body’s working so hard! Eating healthy foods not only makes sense, but also can lessen some major pregnancy discomforts, like nausea, water retention and cramping.

    Taking a “food-as-medicine” approach, Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, nutrition experts for SELF Magazine and registered dieticians, have released a cookbook designed to help you take the guesswork out of what you’ll need to fuel up pre- and post-partum. The best part about Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook is that it’s organized by what you really care about: relieving those less than lovely pregnancy symptoms. I totally needed “Chapter One: I’m Gonna Hurl…But I’m Still Hungry” when I was pregnant — in fact, I probably could’ve written a book with the same title. Other chapters include “My Chest Is On Fire” (heartburn) and “I’m Officially a Walking Snack Machine” (for nursing mamas).

    I’m not much of a chef, so I really appreciated the fact that all of the 120-plus recipes in this book require just a handful of easy-to-find ingredients, are fairly quick to make, and don’t call for any fancy equipment or advanced cooking skills. Here’s one of my favorite recipes:

    Barley Crab Cakes (serves 4)

    6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
    ½ cup shredded carrots
    ½ cup shredded zucchini
    ½ cup shredded onion
    ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
    ½ teaspoon ground turmeric


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  • Things We've Read: Week of May 1st, 2017

    Never Mind The Students; Homework Divides Parents (NY Times): "Homework wars were really a proxy fight about what constitutes learning." 

    "My Child Is Not Required To Share With Yours" (Refinery29): "We should be teaching children how to function like adults, who would never ask a stranger to use something that doesn't belong to them."

    Child's Play Is Good For All Of Us (NY Times): "If all of the children who currently are sedentary started exercising every day, societies could save enormous amounts of money in the coming decades and have healthier citizens as a whole."

    For Parents Of Kids With Pre-Existing Conditions, Trumpcare Is Terrifying (Huff Post): "These kids are going to fall through the cracks."

    A Teary-Eyed Jimmy Kimmel Talks About His Infant Son’s Heart Disease, Blasts Trumpcare (Slate): "If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make...I saw a lot of families there, and no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”

    Clues to Zika Damage Might Lie in Cases of Twins (NY Times): While identical twins often share a fate, fraternal twins typically don’t, a divergence that offers clues to researchers. But one case is confounding these expectations.

    More Than 5 Million People Have Watched This Mom’s Powerful Spoken-Word Poem (Huff Post): Hollie McNish reminded her fellow mothers their stories are worth telling.

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  • What to Expect from Prenatal Yoga

    Whether you’re a practicing yogi or you’ve never set foot inside a yoga studio, prenatal yoga is a fantastic way to stay active and relaxed while you’re pregnant. Many yoga studios offer special prenatal classes with specially trained instructors, and finding a good studio for the duration of your pregnancy is well worth it. Practicing yoga while expecting has numerous benefits both for you and your baby, though it can be intimidating if you’ve never been to a class, or if you’re feeling less-than-poised with your expanding belly. But put those reservations aside and find the nearest prenatal yoga class, after reading about what to expect.

    Prenatal yoga is a low-impact way to stay active. Maintaining your physical health during pregnancy is important, but it can be difficult to stay motivated when exhaustion, aches, and pains take over. Yoga is a less rigorous activity, but it still provides a gentle workout. It’s often a challenge to maintain a safe, healthy weight during pregnancy, and yoga can help you manage that. In addition, prenatal yoga increases your strength and flexibility, which is important for everyday health, and also for childbirth. Practicing yoga also improves your balance and circulation; can help decrease the pains that come with tight, overworked muscles; can help you beat headaches and shortness of breath; and can even ease the symptoms of morning sickness.

    Practicing yoga soothes away the stresses of pregnancy. Pregnancy can be an emotionally difficult time, and we’re always being told to manage stress and “just relax!” Prenatal yoga is a fantastic way to keep calm and cultivate some much-needed inner peace when everything, including your own body, feels out of balance. By centering yourself in the present moment, a yoga class can help you be more mindful, and with the focus on your body, you can create a strong connection to your own self that sticks long after class is over.

    Yoga lowers your blood pressure, the calming effects of which stay with you even after the practice is done. Another perk of joining a prenatal class is that you’ll meet other pregnant women and possibly expand your community to women who are in the same boat as you are.

    Prenatal yoga isn’t the same as your average yoga class. As your body changes and grows during pregnancy, so do your limitations. Many common yoga positions become too stressful for joints and the pelvic area when you’re pregnant, which is why a good prenatal class will go through modified positions. Instructors also usually supply props, like cushions and blocks, to make the poses easier. Stretches are milder and more moderate, and the poses are focused on supporting your body, not pushing it. During prenatal classes, you often find more of an emphasis on breathing exercises and strengthening poses that will help you prepare for labor. The breathing techniques you learn can be used during labor, too, to help you manage your breath and get through contractions.

    No matter your yoga level, you need a renewed focus on safety during prenatal practice. As with many activities, whether new or not, you’ll want to discuss practicing yoga with your doctor. Prenatal yoga is considered safe for most pregnancies, but wait until you get the official green light to do so. During your class, be sure you’re drinking enough water and staying hydrated. Also, this is not the time to try out hot yoga (Bikrim) or other intensive yoga classes; save those for after you’ve healed from childbirth.

    Additionally, if you’re taking a yoga class that’s not specifically labeled “prenatal,” tell the instructor that you’re expecting before class begins. That way, he or she can suggest modifications to poses, or tell you if there are poses you ought to avoid altogether. No matter the class, once you’re out of the first trimester, you’ll want to avoid poses that have you lying on your back. The weight of your growing baby will put too much pressure on your body, and can make you feel sick.

    An important rule of thumb is to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it and don’t push yourself. No one will care if you’re not following the flow down to the exact letter.

    Don’t twist yourself into knots choosing a class. First and foremost, look for classes that are labeled “prenatal.” If you can’t find any, then choose a beginner class and call ahead to mention that you’re pregnant, and make sure you find out how the instructor will accommodate you. If there are several prenatal classes in your area, get to know the yoga studio to figure out if it’s a good fit. Yoga studios can have vastly different vibes, from the fitness-focused to the spiritual havens. Check to see if you can observe a class ahead of time, so you can make a better judgement. Every yoga instructor has her or his own style, and every studio is a little bit different. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable wherever you go.

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  • Build Your Breastfeeding Wardrobe

    3 strategies to help you be your fashionable best when nursing on the go.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Now that baby is earth side, you’re probably eager to get back to your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. But if you are breastfeeding, you’ll probably have to wait just a little bit longer — especially if you plan on nursing on the go. Whether you want to be discreet or don’t mind putting your breast out there when baby needs to eat in public, wearing the right clothes can be a tremendous help in embracing this beautiful, natural aspect of motherhood comfortably and without sacrificing your style. So now is the time to get strategic about what you wear when strolling with baby. Here are 3 tips to make on getting a breastfeeding-friendly wardrobe to help your baby-nourishing breasts navigate between the comfort of your own home and the outside world as seamlessly as possible.


    Beautiful clothing brands, like Loyal HanaMitera and Kinwolfe, have developed their lines specifically with the breastfeeding woman in mind. With strategically placed zippers and layered fabrics, these brands are getting you ready to nurse wherever you go and be stylish, comfortable, and functional all at the same time. A few other brands that we love include Teat & Cosset, Fillyboo Maternity, Boob Design, and SeraphineGeBe for Asos launched this month!


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  • Things We've Read: Week of Apr. 24th, 2017

    How Working Women And Families Have Fared After 100 Days of Trump (Fast Company): A look at the progress (and lack thereof) on policies for women after President Trump's first 100 days in office.

    Mom Opens Up About Why She Was In Denial About Postpartum Depression (Huff Post): “We need to talk about this issue and bring it to the light so that mothers know they don’t need to suffer in silence.”

    Beyonce 3.0: The Maternal Ideal (NY Times): "The reimagining of Mrs. Knowles-Carter not just as the Queen of Sound, or as a Black Lives Matter activist who uses her celebrity to speak up, but as the Mother of Us All"

    7 Raw Photos Uncover A Rarely-Talked About Side Of Breastfeeding (NSFW) (Refinery29): Leah DeVun's series In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction.

    There Is A Right Way to Wash Your Hair (NY Times): Tips from Christophe Robin, the star Parisian colorist, on how to shampoo for maximal volume and shine.

    How Child Care Enriches Mothers, And Especially The Sons They Raise (NY Times): Aid for high-quality care has the biggest economic payoff for parents and their children--and even their grandchildren. 

    A Dad Took His Daughter On A Trip, Just The Two Of Them (Upworthy): "Though I always acted as a cheerleader by my wife’s side, I think I felt left out of the overall experience. My daughter naturally sticks to her mum more, and her father is always a second option or a third. On a dedicated trip out there with my little one with minimal distractions, I finally had the opportunity to be a full parent."

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