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Sunday, December 31, 2017


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Thursday, December 28, 2017


Are You Too Sick To Get Pregnant? Gut Health And Its Relationship To Infertility

Guest Post By Dr. Leona Allen

Whether you are having trouble getting pregnant, or have had one or more miscarriages, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. Currently, to treat infertility, medications are used to boost ovulation or adjust hormone levels. There is intrauterine insemination, commonly known as artificial insemination, where the woman is injected with specially prepared sperm. There is also assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART works by
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removing eggs from a woman's body and then mixing them with sperm to make embryos. The embryos are then put back in the woman's body.
Now, I would like to talk about an alternative approach. Let us not focus on just trying to get pregnant, but getting the body healthy enough to become pregnant. It is one thing to get pregnant. It is another to achieve a healthy pregnancy and a give birth to a healthy baby. Standard treatments are not addressing the overall health of the mother. This information is also applicable for women who are either planning to carry a child in the future or want to achieve good overall health and weight loss goals.


Before becoming pregnant, you must first address and restore the integrity and function of your health and immune system. This seems to be missing in standard care. When a woman gets pregnant and is also suffering with leaky gut, sugar balancing issues, multiple food allergies or intolerances, or toxicity, she is putting her baby at risk of developing autism, eczema, asthma and food allergies. Pregnancy is stressful enough on the body and if you do not begin the process in optimal condition, it will take a toll on your health and your baby's health. In my practice, my primary goal is to address the overall health of the woman and determine if she is healthy enough to become pregnant. If a mother is having health challenges, chances are, she will pass them on to her child.
There are several conditions that can decrease the woman's ability to become pregnant, including digestive problems, immune disorders, adrenal fatigue, blood sugar problems, food allergies, chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies and toxicity.
The first place I like to begin, before I address anything else, is in the digestive system. In simple terms, the digestive system works as follows: we eat (good diet or bad diet), digest (complete or incomplete), then we eliminate (good evacuation or bad evacuation) or assimilate (good absorption or poor absorption). The gut is commonly referred to as the "Second Brain" because the enteric nervous system is a collection of neurons in the gastrointestinal tract (GI) that constitutes the "brain of the gut" and can function independently of the nervous system. This system controls the motility, exocrine and endocrine secretions and microcirculation of the GI tract. It is also involved in regulating immune and inflammatory processes. Hippocrates has also said that all disease begins in the gut. About 70 to 80 percent of the body's immune system is found in the digestive tract.
Poor digestive health that involves acid reflux, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or constipation is an extremely common and overlooked condition in this country that affects about 70 million Americans. This accounts for billions of dollars in annual sales of over-the-counter digestive aids that only provide temporary relief. Unresolved or ignored digestive problems lead to worse problems down the road. With any health condition, including pregnancy, it is important to restore gut health.
When trying to achieve pregnancy, focus cannot be solely on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes or other parts of the reproductive system. Because "every system affects every other system," the body must be considered as a whole. Infertility is oftentimes a side-effect of something else. For example poor gut health leads to blood sugar problems, and that leads to constipation. With constipation, the body cannot eliminate unneeded hormones, and estrogen accumulates. Food not digested properly due to lack of hydrochloric acid (HCL) results in putrefied, fermented food that becomes rancid in the stomach. Low HCL results in the gallbladder's reduced ability to secrete bile for the emulsification of fats. Low gallbladder function causes a sluggish liver, and it cannot efficiently detoxify the body of hormones, toxins and other metabolites. When the gallbladder malfunctions, there is no signal to the pancreas to secrete digestive enzymes. Therefore poorly digested food moves to the intestines. Rotting food in the intestines causes inflammation, infection and intestinal permeability, also known as "leaky gut." This prolonged stress exhausts the adrenals, and weak adrenals adversely affect the thyroid. This progression continues until the underlying problem is corrected.
A healthy GI tract does not allow the absorption of bacteria, harmful foods or undigested food particles into the bloodstream. Chronic inflammation brought on by poor diet, poor blood sugar control and chronic stress leads to harmful substances and undigested food being dumped into the bloodstream. Again, this is leaky gut. These harmful particles are misidentified as foreign invaders or antigens that are attacked by the immune system. A stressed immune system leads to other health problems that in turn can result in infertility.
The proper care of the gut requires the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. To repair the gut, the first step is the elimination of foods that create chronic immune responses. These are most commonly gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy and yeast.
A healthcare professional would help determine which foods to remove from the diet. Other nutritional strategies include: the removal of inappropriate organisms such as bacteria, parasites, fungus and yeast, replacement of digestive enzymes, HCL, bile and fiber, to thoroughly digest proteins, fats and essential nutrients, re-populate with ample probiotics to replace an overabundance of bad bacteria with good bacteria, and supporting regeneration and healing of the gastrointestinal mucosa.
The repair of a broken down gut is not easy and it takes time. But it is well worth the effort. It is important to restore gut function whether or not one plans a pregnancy.
For those women who plan to get pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, just remember that the improvement of your overall health will benefit the health of your child. Other body organs may still need evaluation, such as the liver, kidneys, thyroid and adrenals, but many of these issues cannot be resolved until the gut is first examined.
If you would like more information about how to become healthy enough to become pregnant or any other information about raising a healthy family, please visit []. I hope you found this information useful and I would love to hear your comments!
Article Source:

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Pregnancy Over 40, Over-40 Mothers, Competitive Parents

I love articles like this one. It's funny and so true. So many parents out there use their kids as an extension of their self worth.  It can be subtle, but some parents try to "one up" you with how much seemingly better their kids are and their lives are. The fact is, we all have our strengths and everyone excels in different areas.  Although we all have earned our bragging rights, there are some parents
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who go overboard.  There are a number of moms I avoid at all costs so I don't have to hear the constant barrage of what their kid is better at. 

If you're pregnant, the same may hold true.  One expectant parent may talk about how their baby is kicking more or about how they go for a run every day.  When I was pregnant I was so nauseated I could barely get out of my recliner.  And, of course, there are those who love to brag about how tough they are going through natural childbirth.  I think there's a medal out there somewhere that some women must be competing for!  No, I did not have a natural childbirth.  I was more than happy to get an epidural!! Read more:


I surveyed the parents in my circle, who admitted that they, too, compare themselves with other parents and compare their kids with other kids. I think we all do it. And it's not (only) to make sure we're Number One. We do it because we're looking for reassurance that we're not alone in our struggles. You see, it's comforting to know that while, say, our kid won't eat more than five foods, another child in her class refuses to ingest anything but potato chips and the occasional grape. That all kids are nuts. And they're all going to be okay.


Saturday, December 23, 2017


Is It Safe To Fly When You're Pregnant?

I was afraid to get into my car when I was pregnant let alone an airplane.
However, many women wonder whether or not it's safe to fly when pregnant - especially now that air travel is high with the holidays. The following article pretty much gives the green light up to 35 weeks unless you are experiencing certain complications.


Although the article briefly discusses exposure to radiation on airplane flights, I should mention that I
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knew a fertility doctor who would not let his clients fly during and after their fertility treatments because of the exposure to radiation at high altitudes. Read more:

 Decreased air pressure during flight may slightly reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood, but this isn't likely to cause problems if you're otherwise healthy. Likewise, the radiation exposure associated with air travel at high altitudes isn't thought to be problematic for most business or leisure travelers. There's a caveat for frequent fliers, however. Pilots, flight attendants and others who fly often might be exposed to more radiation than is considered safe during pregnancy. If you must fly frequently during your pregnancy, discuss it with your health care provider. He or she might limit your total flight time during pregnancy.
from: (mayoclinic)

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Pregnancy Over 40:  The Benefits of Drinking Water

Drinking enough water in pregnancy is so important. I made it a point to start drinkng water in the morning so I could get all of my water in during the day.
 Here is an article that explains the importance of getting enough water in pregnancy. However, they do recommend stay away from tap water. Read more:


How is water good for your body and your baby?

* By flushing out your system, it helps get rid of unnecessary sodium and prevents Urinary Tract
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Infections (UTIs).
* It hydrates your body; pregnancy hormones are making you retain water and drinking more water helps fight that.
* Water facilitates the flow of nutrients through the blood to the baby.
* Did you know that the amniotic sack replenishes itself every hour, using approximately a cup of water stored in the mother’s body? This protects the baby, so help keep the sack wet!
* Your blood volume doubles and thickens during the eighth month of pregnancy; drink water to prevent hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
* You’ll have healthier skin and less acne.
* Drinking eight glasses of water a day helps prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Trust us, you want to prevent this.
* Drinking water may alleviate morning sickness (NVP).
* Drinking water during your third trimester helps prevent premature birth

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


If you love apples and you have a family history of asthma, this will be good news.  There is some evidence that apples eaten during pregnancy may protect your offspring from asthma.  in addition, consuming fish can help with another allergy related condition.  Read more:

 (HealthDay News) -- An apple a day while you're pregnant may indeed keep the doctor away. But the
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real beneficiary could be your unborn child.

Recent research suggests that when moms-to-be eat apples during pregnancy, their offspring have lower rates of asthma.
And, mothers who consume fish during pregnancy may lower their child's risk of developing the allergic skin condition called eczema.
"There are influences that occur in utero that can have lasting impact," said Dr. Jennifer Appleyard, chief of allergy and immunology at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit. "More and more, we're finding influences for later health develop earlier than we anticipated." 


Sunday, December 17, 2017


Some Nail Polish Harmful in pregnancy

I took a break from nail polish when I was trying to conceive and pregnant.
 Of course I didn't have time for all that after my daughter was born either! But if you must use nail polish, especially around the holidays, follow the advice of this article and use the least toxic type you can find. 

From the article:
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The Complete Organic Pregnancy suggests (What you need to know – from the nail polish you wear to the bed you sleep in to the water you drink), nail polish isn’t the sort of thing you want to be slathering on your digits when you’re pregnant. It likely contains phthalates to make it flexible and chip resistant. 


Certain phthalates are banned in Europe, and some big American companies are starting to pull them out of their nail polishes as well, because research has shown they can cause cancer and/or reproductive abnormalities in lab animals. A small study suggested baby boys exposed to high levels of the chemical in utero were more likely to exhibit penile anomalies. The FDA still deems the chemical safe, and critics say these studies are too small. Other chemicals of concern in nail polish are formaldehyde, which can be absorbed through nails and skin, and is thought to be a carcinogen by the EPA and the National Toxicology Program, as well as toluene, which is a skin and respiratory tract irritant. In extreme amounts, it can cause liver damage.

Friday, December 15, 2017


Pregnancy Over 40, Diet and Holidays

If you're like most people, you are put into the position of eating some new and perhaps strange foods at holiday parties and get togethers.
Some holidays are behind us, but there's plenty of leftovers and new year's parties are still coming up. Here is an article that discussed what you should avoid if you're pregnant:

Winter holidays

* Unpasteurized soft cheeses: Fruit and cheese platters are a party staple, and a relatively healthy

way to fill up, but stay away from soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. Unpasteurized or "raw milk" cheeses may contain listeria, which is killed during the pasteurization process.
* The FDA recommends checking the label of any soft cheese before eating, to make sure it says "made with pasteurized milk." If you can't check the label — for example, if you're at a party — avoid
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blue cheese and soft cheeses (including Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, feta, and Roquefort) and Mexican-style cheeses like queso fresco, queso blanco, and Panela. If you're not sure which cheeses are safe, stick with hard cheeses like cheddar and Swiss, and semi-soft cheeses like Monterey jack and mozzarella. Cream cheese and pasteurized processed cheeses like American are also safe.
* Sushi: Avoid sushi trays with raw fish, because it may contain parasites and bacteria. If you’re a sushi fan, opt instead for a California roll, made with avocado and cooked crab. Although raw fish poses little direct risk to your baby, if you get ill from sushi you'll likely suffer from vomiting and dehydration, which can affect your unborn baby.
* Carving stations: If your party features a carving station with roast beef or turkey, make sure the meat is cooked well-done and is still steaming hot. Unless you're sure they're well cooked, avoid sauces like bearnaise, hollandaise, and aioli, which can contain uncooked eggs.
* Eggnog: Homemade eggnog is generally off-limits, because it's usually made with raw, unpasteurized eggs — and alcohol. But you can make a virgin, pregnancy-safe version at home with a pasteurized egg product or an egg alternative like Egg Beaters. Or try store-bought eggnog — just check the label to make sure the eggs are pasteurized.
* You might also consider "soy nog," which doesn't contain eggs or any other dairy products. You can find it during the winter holidays in most large grocery stores and in natural food stores.
* You'll also want to avoid desserts that may contain raw or undercooked eggs, like some custards and mousse, and homemade ice cream.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


I experienced some light cramping with all of my pregnancies even my successful one.  In very early pregnancy, some women may think that the cramps are associated with getting their period, but you should be careful about taking medications like ibuprofen since some of these may be associated with miscarriage.
Some of the causes of cramping may include:
  • Implantation:  this can cause a feeling of cramping as the egg implants in the uterus.  It is amazing that something so microscopic can cause so many changes.  I also had implantation
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    spotting with almost all of my pregnancies.  Although it is hard to know exactly what causes the spotting (especially since I miscarried many times), I am assuming it was from the implantation.  Again, many women may mistake this for their period starting, so I would be careful about not taking pain relievers.


  •  Cramping may also be caused by the uterus expanding - the muscles and ligaments need to stretch to support the pregnancy.  In my case, I always felt rather swollen and tender in my pelvic area.  My bladder felt full quite a bit as well.  I'm sure the uterus gets larger even in early pregnancy because the lining is thicker to support the growing embryo.  I also had cramping when I made sudden movements, sneezed or changed certain positions.

  • Cramping can also be caused by round ligament stretching later in pregnancy.  Although in my case, this felt more like a stretched sharp muscle pain rather than a cramp.
I found quite a bit of relief by laying on my left side with a hot water bottle.  Make sure the water isn't too hot.  Also, drink plenty of water to eliminate constipation which can add to cramping.   Most cramping, if mild, is perfectly normal, however if your cramping is severe or is associated with bleeding (heavier than spotting), of course, you should talk with your doctor.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


After going through 6 miscarriages before I finally had my daughter, I learned quite a bit about miscarriage and I felt like I could have actually taught a thing or two to the healthcare professionals who were doing my ultrasounds and delivering the bad news.  For example, I didn't realize how long it took for the pregnancy hormone (HcG) to get out of your system.  This can be quite uncomfortable because you still feel pregnant even though the the baby is not viable.

Another thing I had to get used to is the term, "spontaneous abortion".  Wow, isn't that a loaded term for a miscarriage?  Granted, it is proper medical terminology, but it seems rather abrasive, insulting
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and offensive when you tried your hardest to not only get pregnant, but stay pregnant.

Click here to read more about what you may not know about miscarriage (

Tuesday, December 05, 2017


We have an expanding line of fertility and pregnancy jewelry through my website and one of our newest pieces is the stork necklace.  This fun and whimsical piece is perfect for anyone who is trying to conceive to visualize their goal or it is great for someone who is already pregnant.  Not only does the necklace have a stork and baby, but it also has Rose Quartz which helps with fertility by supporting the female reproductive system.  It can also be helpful when you are pregnant because it's properties support the love energy between mother and baby and it is thought to reduce swelling and hypertension.  This necklace is great for yourself or could be a great gift for the holidays.
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Sunday, December 03, 2017


Finally! Good News About Pregnancy Over 40

Here's an interesting and encouraging article about how there may be benefits to becoming a mother later in life.

Personally, I think there are many benefits to becoming a mother over, emotional, and just being a better parent among them. But now, the scientific community may have to agree.
Although this research is disputed by some, this study disussed below found that having a baby over 40 may reduce your risk of ovarian cancer. Read more:


Previous research has suggested that women who bear children earlier in life cut their risk of breast cancer. But Hans-Olov Adami's team at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, has found the reverse to be true for ovarian cancer.

Adami said: "After correcting for the number of pregnancies, the risk of ovarian cancer decreased by
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about 10 per cent for each five-year increment in age at first childbirth."

The study involved 20,000 subjects and found that the more children a woman had, the lower her risk from ovarian cancer. This finding agrees with previous work. But the study also found that if a woman had only one child, the risk of ovarian cancer decreased by 50 per cent if she delayed pregnancy from age 20 to 45.

from: (

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