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10 tips for a mindful birth

By May 10, 2017 Article

It is of paramount importance to create space for mindfulness as part of the birth preparation and to cultivate mindful relationships with your partner, your family, and most importantly, yourself. Mindfulness may not give you the birth experience you want, but it helps you fall in love with the birth experience you get.

  1. Meditation helps everything

The benefits of meditation are long-established. Meditation creates a deep level of mental rest that is very soothing for both the mother and baby during pregnancy and birth. When implemented daily, an inner silence and space for confidence is created, which teaches you and your baby to avoid reacting negatively to stressful situations. Meditation is the safest and most effective way to non-pharmacologically reduce anxiety and stress, thereby restoring and promoting the immune system of both the mother and her baby.

At 32 weeks, the placenta transports hormones from the mother’s blood into the fetal environment. The fetus relies on the mother for reassurance about the safety of this environment through the hormonal bath. Meditation decreases the production of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and gives the fetus a signal that it is safe and protected. This is essential as it sets the temperament of calm or anxiety in the baby. Meditation also produces endorphins, our pleasure hormone, which assists with preparation of childbirth due to its pain relieving effect. The effect actually improves with time, so the earlier you start practicing meditation during pregnancy, the greater your endorphin levels will be when it comes time to give birth.

Meditation lowers blood pressure and heart rate, which reduces the risk of preeclampsia, placental abruption, miscarriage, preterm labor, and improves relationships with your loved ones. Meditation also increases breast milk production which is key to a child’s early development, helping your baby sleep well, be less colicky and irritable, have fewer allergies and infections, have a higher tolerance for discomfort and develop skills for self-soothing.

  1. Prepare your mind

Louis Pasteur once said, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.” Sudden flashes of insight don’t just happen—they are the products of preparation. Educate yourself so that when it’s time to make decisions, you can make the right choice. I encourage all my patients and their partners to attend childbirth and breastfeeding courses so they know what to expect. The more informed you are, the more empowered and relaxed you’ll be during labor. Fear of the unknown creates pain, which elicits more fear, which produces painful deliveries. Ask lots of questions at your prenatal appointments. Choose a doctor who will provide you with compassionate, individualized care and with whom you form a solid bond of trust as you enter childbirth. Instead of focusing on “the perfect birth,” build your knowledge of different labor outcomes and decide how you’d want to deal with the various possibilities.

  1. Slow down

This is the best gift you can give your baby. Focus on creating space and making yourself emotionally healthy. Be mindful in not only the external details of pregnancy planning but the inner preparation. Try to avoid over-scheduling and block off some time for yourself. Most women find the last part of pregnancy to be the most exhausting and uncomfortable and your lack of energy needs to be honored. Nap, change your exercise routines and find time to relax and connect with yourself, your partner, and your baby. The quiet time will allow you to pay attention, hydrate, and rest, which will decrease risks for preterm contractions, improve swelling, help you enter childbirth energized, and provide your baby with cues of safety and calmness as it prepares to enter the world.

  1. Don’t get attached to plans

I have performed thousands of deliveries, yet each pregnancy and birth story is unique and special. A written birth plan can encourage unrealistic expectations because the truth is, we can’t plan childbirth. We can’t plan the timing, the amount of pain a woman can tolerate, the length of labor, the size and direction of the baby’s head, the contractions or how well the baby will tolerate labor. When and how you deliver may be beyond your control. What you can control is how you deal with the unexpected and how you feel about what happens. I prefer a ‘birth wish list’ of things my patients hope I will honor during their experience. Our plan is always the same: a healthy baby delivered in the safest way possible.

  1. Train for a marathon

No one would show up for a 26.2 mile run without dedicating months to a regimented training schedule. Similarly, fitness throughout pregnancy is imperative. Exercise helps reduce backaches, prevent diabetes, increase energy, reduce stress and improve your mood. It promotes muscle strength, tone, and endurance, improves sleep and helps you adjust to the physical demands of birth. When Lucinda was in labor, she would liken each contraction to a workout—three sets of ten. She’d put maximum effort in her mental and physical energy expenditure during the contraction. The rest in between contractions provided a reprieve to mentally recharge, breathe, rest mentally and physically, create space and build up her energy stores to start again. Her biggest cheerleader, Andy, was beside her providing her with love, support, and encouragement which played an integral part of her successful delivery.

  1. Accept the pain

Pain isn’t only a physical discomfort, but an experience of the mind and anticipation of the pain results in needless mental suffering. Mindful birth allows you to experience labor as intense physical sensations which arise, peak and pass. Using meditation to stay focused during childbirth will give you the mental and physical stamina for a successful outcome. Surrendering to the realization that the physical pain your body is experiencing is a sacred, miraculous journey can transform your birth. I encourage all my patients to stay home for as long as possible because labor can last for hours, and pain is always best managed in the comfort of a familiar environment. Remember that asking for pain medication even if you intended to have a natural birth is not a failure. Having an unplanned C-section is not cause for regret if the end result is a healthy baby in your arms. I have never had a patient who received an epidural that regretted her decision. Be flexible.

  1. Set the scene

For most women, a dark and quiet environment is ideal during labor, so ask your nurse or partner to dim the lights and minimize noise. Little things make a difference: a favorite pillow, pair of socks or soothing scent. Aromatherapy, especially the scent of lavender, is very calming in labor. Personal touches from home—pictures, keepsakes or a flameless candle—can bring love into the room. Music is always helpful, even if you’re having a C-section. It’s a birthday party, so have fun and savor the miracle of childbirth.

  1. A watched pot never boils

A patient of mine was so disappointed that after hours of labor, she was only three centimeters dilated. I playfully asked her if there was somewhere else she needed to be. Stop looking at the clock—you have a long journey ahead of you. Choose to be present for the birth of your baby. Breathe and let go of any concept of time or deadlines. When patients get to complete dilation (ten centimeters), I encourage them to “labor down,” meaning that for several hours, they do not push. Gravity, time and contractions will bring the baby down into the birth canal until you feel intense rectal pressure and an urge to push. The less you push, the less exhausted you’ll be, the less swollen your perineum gets and the less you’ll tear.

  1. Support your partner

Watching your child’s birth is one of life’s greatest moments, and a supportive partner can be the most relaxing and calming resource for a mother. I encourage significant others to be full participants in the pregnancy journey by attending prenatal appointments, childbirth and breastfeeding classes, asking questions and being an interactive member of the team. It is a magical time to bond with your partner and your baby. The stronger your relationship is prior to the birth, the more positive your participation will be.

  1. Consider the big picture

The most important goal in childbirth is to bring a healthy life into the world. Please don’t lose sight of this or take it for granted. Trust your doctors and nurses to guide you as situations change. Be an intensely proud new parent, whether you have a two- or 24-hour labor, an emergency C-section, an epidural or a drug-free delivery.

Source:- www.headspace.com

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Top 5 Health Tips for Ending Summer Strong

By May 10, 2017 Healthmeup

End Summer On The Right Path

Remember those health and fitness goals you set for yourself back in the spring? Maybe you wanted to increase your exercise, shed five pounds, or just eat healthier this summer. With summer coming to a close in just a few short weeks, it’s important to carry out those health and fitness goals, and end summer stronger than you’ve ever been!

Summer can be a hectic time for all. Between kids summer camps, family vacations, and just catching up on things that couldn’t be done during the year, health goals can quickly fall to the wayside. It also doesn’t help how fast summer tends to go by! Have you ever noticed how much more rapidly summer flies by than any other season? It certainly seems like the summer goes by in just a blink of an eye, one minute it’s June and the next it’s August, and your scrambling wondering how in the world you are going to reach those pre-summer health and fitness goals!

You’re not alone, many people lose track of their goals during the craziness that comes with summer, but with just a month left until that dreaded September month comes around, it’s back to school time for the kiddos, and back to work full time if you were fortunate enough to take some much-needed rest during the summer months.

Don’t stress if you haven’t reached your health or fitness goals quite yet because I am here to share with you the top 5 health tips you can follow to help end your summer well and fuel up for the fall months ahead!

Tip #1: Start a Morning Workout Routine if you haven’t Already

If you haven’t quite started a workout routine yet, try starting your day with 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise. Exercising before you head out the door is a guaranteed way of making sure you get your sweat on for the day. Exercising before work will also help boost your mood, concentration, and get your metabolism revved up all day long. There’s truly no better way to start your day than with a morning workout. It takes time to get yourself into a routine, which is why this last month of summer is crucial. Set your alarm 1 hour earlier than you normally do, and get up and just do it! Try a morning run, walk, exercise class, a home workout video, or even a gentle morning yoga routine. It doesn’t matter what you chose to do so as long as you are moving your body.

Here’s why exercising in the morning is the best thing you can do for your health:

1. You’ll feel less stress throughout the day: Exercising stimulates endorphin release, which are feel good hormones! Who wouldn’t want to feel less stressed during their work day?

2. You will make healthier choices throughout the day: Working out in the morning sets the tone for a healthy day. If you’ve already made one healthy choice before your busy day even begins, you will be more inclined to make healthy food choices throughout your day.

3. You’ll increase your appetite for breakfast: For those of you who don’t eat breakfast, exercising first thing in the morning will rev your appetite, and make you want to eat breakfast! Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Skipping this meal can slow down metabolism, and lead to overeating during the day. After a morning workout, you will surely be hungry enough to eat. The perfect post workout breakfast is a whey protein shake made from grass fed whey protein such as the Perfectly Natural Whey Protein, packed with BCAA’s to refuel muscles after a morning workout.

4. You’ll boost your metabolism: If you suffer from a sluggish metabolism, a morning workout is the best natural remedy to give your metabolism the boost it needs. When you exercise in the morning, your body will burn more calories throughout the day as opposed to exercising later in the day! Did you hear that….this means even when you’re sitting at your desk at work, your metabolism is working better!

5. You’ll have more energy: You will have much more energy exercising in the morning. Think about it, don’t you think you will have more energy to work out after a night of rest rather than after work? Get your workout is done first thing in the morning and you will know you are giving the workout your all.

Tip #2: Start to Include 1 Smoothie/Shake in your Diet per Day

Replacing one meal, and preferably breakfast with a nutrient dense shake will help to fuel your body with nutrients it needs to thrive, and help to manage your weight, and boost your metabolism. Now, I’m not talking about the artificial sugar loaded protein shakes out there, I’m talking about high-quality grass fed whey protein blended with some almond milk, a frozen banana, some fresh berries, and some superfoods such as flaxseeds, raw cocoa powder, and spirulina. Fueling your body with a powerful shake after a morning workout is not only great for managing weight, but also for boosting your immune system. Start getting in the habit of a shake as your daily breakfast now, so you’re already in the routine for the fall!

Tip #3: Embrace Healthy Snacks

When you’re constantly running around all day, it’s hard to think about what healthy snacks you should be putting in your body, and it’s so easy to eat the wrong foods. Many workplaces have temptations everywhere in sight. Between candy bowls, vending machines, and corporate catered events, it’s hard to avoid coming in contact with unhealthy options. If you pack your healthy snacks, you will always be prepared, and will not even be hungry for those toxic options. Pack things like nuts and fruit, hard-boiled eggs, hummus and veggies, unsweetened Greek yogurt, or another protein shake with a superfood green booster to keep hunger at bay, and fuel your body right. Fueling on the right snacks throughout the day will keep blood sugar levels balanced, and help to eliminate cravings.

Tip #4: Get Creative with Outdoor Exercise

Yes, summer is coming to an end, but we still have many weeks of warm weather head. You can easily burn calories and get an extra workout in by finishing yard work before the summer is over. Getting outside and doing yard work such as gardening, or mowing the lawn is a great way to get an extra sweat in while getting some vitamin D at the same time.

Tip #5: Fuel up on Summer Produce

Before summer comes to an end, be sure to stock up on nutrient-rich summer produce. Some healthy options include cherries, berries, beets, cucumbers, green beans, summer squash, watermelon, and sweet peppers. Make as many recipes including these ingredients as you can before summer produce are no longer in season!

Even though summer is coming to an end, you still have time to reach your health goals. Follow these five steps above to conquer your goals, and start to fall on a healthy and happy note!

Source:- https://perfectlynaturalnutrition.com

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Holi tips: What to do before and after playing with colours

By March 13, 2017 Article

Medideal.in Wishes that this Holi brings joy, togetherness, celebrations, Good health and warmth to the home and heart of everyone.

The festival of colours is here and no matter what, the kid inside us gets wilder every single year. From splashing our peers’ faces in golden and silver factory colours to getting pushed into a slush of mud, tomatoes and eggs, Holi is a festival that leaves a mark on every participant’s body. Literally!

While waiting for the signal to turn green, we may have come across youngsters on bikes who have layers of gulaal even three weeks post Holi. Do you fear it may happen to you as well?

We know that you may promise to go organic and not waste water this Holi, but here’s a handy guide to the quick tips before and after Holi that will help you stay safe and bring your skin back to normalcy in no time.

Before Holi:

  • Massage your body with coconut oil, including your hair and face. Allow yourself to stay that way for atleast 10 minutes before you go out into the pit, to get yourself coloured.
  • Coat your finger and toe nails with a dark shade of nail polish. Why this tip? It keeps those evil mixture of colours away from entering the fine gaps between your nail and skin.
  • Remove all ornaments, especially gold or silver before heading out.
  • Don’t wear any sort of make-up, including kajal, if you are aware of the intensity and roughness with which your buddies would be colouring you up. Make-up plus chemical colours plus water is the easiest recipe to skin problems.
  • Tie your hair up into a simple bun or a plait, as colour finds it tough to crawl up the roots of your hair when tied up.

During Holi:

  • Avoid the use of factory colours (those with chemicals) as they can cause several skin allergies.
  • Mixing colours may be fun, but it will just make life hell when you want to scrub it off.
  • ‘What you sow, so shall you receive’ is the ultimate rule while playing Holi. If you prove to be nasty and mean, you will bear the brunt of the it from your peers. So be careful!

After Holi:

  • Before heading for a shower, coat yourself in a layer of coconut oil again, as this helps get rid of the last bits of the colour that may refuse to come off.
  • Dip cotton buds in warm water and use that to clean colour from behind, inside and around your ears.
  • Lastly, after bathing and before retiring for the day, make yourself some nice lemon sherbat and use the left over lemon pieces to scrub in parts of your palms and heels, in order to remove colour from skin cracks.

Stay safe and Happy Holi!

 

Source:-newindianexpress.com

 

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Simple Ways to Protect Your Skin This Holi !!

By March 3, 2017 Article

Holi is celebrated at a time when nature renews and refreshes herself.

With a little care, we can do the same and also sustain our youth and beauty. The dry “gulal” and colours are generally not derived from natural sources. They contain chemicals, shiny particles of mica and even lead, which not only irritate the skin, but collect on the scalp.

Since Holi is played out of doors, sun-exposure can also have a detrimental effect on the skin. Apart from harmful UV radiation, exposure to the sun makes the skin dry by causing depletion of moisture and also tans the skin. People with dry skin can really suffer, even leading to itching, flaking and rough patches. Both the skin and hair can become dry and dull after playing Holi.

 

Remember to apply a sunscreen and moisturiser 20 minutes before going out to play with colours. Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 and above. If your skin is prone to pigmented patches, select one with a higher SPF. Most sunscreens have built-in moisturisers. If your skin is dry, mix a little moisturiser with your sunscreen and then apply it. If you wish, you can use light daytime make-up, touch up your eyes with an eyepencil or kajal stick and use a lip gloss.

The real problem is removal of colours after playing Holi. After playing with the colours, do not wash your face with soap immediately, because soap is alkaline and causes further dryness. Instead, use a cleansing cream, or lotion. Apply this on the skin and massage it. Then wipe off with moist cotton wool. Remember to cleanse the area around the eyes too, using a light touch. A cleansing gel helps to dissolve the colours and facilitates their removal.

You can also make your own cleanser. Take half a cup of cold milk and add one teaspoon of any vegetable oil, like “til,” olive or sunflower oil. Mix well. Dip cotton wool into this mixture and use it to cleanse the skin on the face and body.

Sesame seed (til) oil can also be used to remove colours, massaging it on the skin on face and body. This not only helps to remove the colours, but gives added protection to the skin. Sesame seed (til) oil actually helps to counteract sun damage. While bathing, scrub the body with a loofah and remember to apply a moisturiser after your bath, while the skin is still damp. This helps to seal in moisture.

While washing your hair, first rinse with plenty of plain water to wash away the dry colours and tiny particles of mica. Then apply a mild herbal shampoo, working it into the hair with your fingers. Massage the scalp gently and rinse thoroughly with water again.

Add the juice of a lemon to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. This helps to restore the acid-alkaline balance of the scalp. Beer can also be used as a last rinse. In fact, it will soften and condition the hair. Add the juice of a lemon to the beer. Pour over the hair after shampoo. Leave on for a few minutes and rinse off with plain water.

The day after Holi, you may have to deal with the effects of sun exposure, like dryness or tanned skin. Mix two tablespoons honey with half a cup of curd. Add a pinch of turmeric. Apply this on the face, neck and arms. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off with water. Honey is a powerful natural moisturiser and helps to soften the skin, while curd will nourish and restore the normal acid-alkaline balance. It also removes tan.

 

Within the next few days give your hair a nourishing treatment. Mix egg yolk with almond oil or olive oil and massage it lightly into the hair and scalp. Then dip a towelin hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for five minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap three or four times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Wash your hair after an hour.

 

Conditioning with henna will add shine to the hair. To the henna powder, add four teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, two eggs and enough curd to mix into a paste. Apply on the hair and wash your hair after an hour.

Courtsey:- Times Of India

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Start your engines! How to Have Great Sex after Pregnancy

By February 18, 2017 Healthmeup

Do a quick Google search for “when can I have sex after baby” and you’ll see that women everywhere are wondering about how pregnancy and childbirth will affect their sex lives. And no wonder – sex is important for your mental, emotional and physical well-being! Yes, your body has changed, and yes sex might be a bit different for awhile, but rest assured that you will enjoy sex again – perhaps even more than you did before you gave birth. However, there are some things you need to be aware of. So let’s talk about sex, post-baby.

When can I get back in the sack?

Your body is still recovering from 9 months of changes and a delivery, so even if you feel ready right away it will need some time to heal.  Most doctors will recommend waiting about four to six weeks after childbirth before you start having sex again, depending on whether you had a vaginal delivery or a c-section, and whether there were any complications like tearing or an episiotomy. So it’s best to wait until after your six-week postpartum visit with your doctor before getting back to it.

Even when your doctor gives you the green light, it’s important to pay attention to your own intuition. Some women feel ready weeks before their postpartum visit, others need more time. So don’t put pressure on yourself – it will happen when you’re ready.  The important thing is to be upfront with your partner about how you’re feeling about sex. And remember your partner may also not be ready to have sex, so encourage your partner to share their feelings as well.

What about pain?

While you’re healing, you’ll probably be a bit sore so sex might hurt a little at first. However, some women don’t experience pain at all – everyone is different. So don’t force intimacy – you need to give yourself time to heal and get back into the mood. When you start having sex again, go slow and dedicate lots of time to foreplay – which is half the fun anyway!

Another easy way to make things more comfortable is to invest in a good feminine moisturizer. Vaginal dryness is common after delivery, thanks to lower estrogen levels – especially if you’re breastfeeding. This is totally normal and nothing to be embarrassed about, but it can make sex a little uncomfortable. So don’t be shy about bringing it out (whether with your partner or solo).

Speaking of which, what about breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding also affects sex post-baby, from hormones that reduce sex drive, to experiencing leaks or sprays of breast milk (called letdown) during orgasm. You may also find that after nursing a baby all day, your breasts just want to be left alone! But don’t worry – these are all normal and temporary. If letdown during sex bothers you, you can nurse or pump before sex, or wear a bra. Make sure you also tell your partner how much touching your breasts can handle – think of it as a chance to explore your other erogenous zones.

Will sex feel different?

Even if you don’t feel pain, for some new moms sex just feels a little different – and not necessarily in a bad way! Your body had to change to accommodate that new bundle of joy in your life. That can mean changes in how sex feels, and that might take a little getting used to. What’s most important is to make sure your vaginal muscles (aka the pelvic floor muscles) are healthy and strong. Kegel exercises can help tremendously with tightening your vagina, strengthening the pelvic floor muscles (crucial for supporting your pelvic organs and reducing little bladder leaks post-pregnancy), and maybe even improving your orgasms.

Rather than thinking of Kegels as another thing you’re supposed to do during the day (as if you don’t have enough on your plate!), think of them as a chance to do something that’s just for you. A smart Kegel exerciser makes it easy: it measures your pelvic floor strength, chooses the perfect workout for your level and guides you through a routine. You can get the most out of every Kegel, without having to worry about a thing.

Other ways to be intimate.

It makes sense that you might not feel that frisky, but keep in mind that even if you’re not having penetrative sex, there are still lots of ways to be intimate with each other. Take a few moments (or more!) each day, just the two of you, to be affectionate with each other, outside of the bedroom. Simple things can make a big difference in feeling a closer bond with your partner (and as an added bonus can be great foreplay). Plus, researchers in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the biggest drivers of sexual desire in new mothers are psychological factors like closeness. So get cuddling – who knows where it will lead!

It may seem overwhelming to handle everything that comes with the arrival of your baby, especially when it comes to keeping romance alive, but don’t get discouraged. Sex shouldn’t be a source of stress.  Keeping your relationship strong and the fire alight can help you both recharge, and you may even find that improving intimacy brings you closer together in the bedroom. A stronger relationship and better sex life? Win-win!

For more information about rediscovering your sex life after pregnancy, check out this video by sexual health educator and Intimina Medical Advisory Board member Sue Goldstein.

Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.

Source:-www.intimina.com

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