We held our co-ed baby shower this past weekend, and I am overwhelmed at how well-dressed, well-exercised and well-educated baby winberg is going to be!
The sunday afternoon event was held at our house but hosted by my mom and sister. I dressed up for what felt like the first time in years!
One of the gifts got me thinking about being proactive - ANCHOR homeopath Aimee Marples gifted me muffins to freeze and have on hold for once the baby is born. Genius! I since kicked it into pre-baking and freezing mode.
Here is an awesome recipe I found, made and have since frozen (and yes....already eaten a number of....)
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS
(recipe and photo from www.acalculatedwhisk.com)
In a time when so much is unknown, at least I'll have some good food on hand for myself and to pack for lunches for Jordan as he takes on both of my chiropractic practises.
- Dr. Cain
online diary of my pregnancy originally written from November until now
I am living and I am growing another life.
It is incredibly important to have support throughout this process.
Chiropractic has been an important part of my support team throughout my pregnancy. I've experienced so much structural change to my body, and my biomechanics have altered greatly. Without adjustments I don't think I would have been able to continue working at the rate that I have been - I just finished my busiest month ever in practice!
I'm down to just two pairs of lululemons that fit but I'm still holding out on not buying maternity clothes (ok, I was gifted a pair of maternity jeans by my husband because he couldn't deal with this "goal" of mine).
This part of my pregnancy has been a challenge in a different way. The first 4 months were dealing with the extreme fatigue and the mental changes of an identity shift. Months 5-6-7 featured a much-welcomed boost in energy, but daily changes to my body, my nutrition, my fitness and some back and hip pain. Now, as my belly has grown quite a bit I've been challenged with pregnancy-induced rhinitis, shortness of breath as well as the extremity swelling I've heard so much about. Pregnancy-induced rhinitis I've been trying all sorts of natural remedies like a saline spray, nasal strips and homeopathic remedies - but the biggest help with the rhinitis has been getting adjusted regularly.
How I'm feeling //
A little frustrated with sounding sick when I feel otherwise fine.
More and more tired as the days pass by and I continue to grow.
Ready to get our house ready for baby (stay tuned for reno picks!)
Advice I've received//
I had a wonderful phone call with a chiropractic colleague of mine in Maple Ridge, BC, Zehra Gajic who has a special interest in pediatric, pregnancy, birth, and post-partum care. She owns a clinic where she works alongside a team of doulas + midwives + RMTs to give women the support they need during this time, and to empower them with education. She was a wealth of knowledge, and offered me advice in a multitude of areas relating to birth.
Breastfeeding can be extremely difficult - what to expect and what services are available should I need extra support.
Changes I've made//
I am wearing compression socks often to help with the ankle and foot swelling - a gift from my husband that has made a big difference in decreasing my end-of-day soreness.
Just this week, I've reduced my coaching schedule and reduced my chiropractic schedule to ensure I keep my energy high.
How I'm eating//
A regular appetite, finally!
- Dr. Cain
WHAT NEW BELIEF, BEHAVIOURS, OR HABITS, ADOPTED WITHIN THE LAST 5 YEARS, HAVE MOST POSITIVELY IMPACTED YOUR LIFE?
I was as guilty as the next person for only being half-there in conversations I was having. Now, I put the phone down and work to engage fully with the person(s) in front of me.
This has allowed me to have some of the best conversations that I may have otherwise missed out upon.
PURCHASES OF LESS THAN $100 THAT HAVE MOST IMPROVED YOUR LIFE?
YogaToes - I wear these daily for 45 minutes after a long day of being squeezed into shoes.
WHAT WOULD YOU PUT ON A BILLBOARD?
A slogan at ANCHOR. Far too often we sell ourselves short, I truly believe that if you want to do something, you can do it so long as you show up for yourself.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FAILURE?
Enrolling in a sport business management program graduate degree after I graduated from university and subsequently quitting the associated internship 2 months early. This program led me to realize I did not want to be in the corporate world, and it was during this time I discovered chiropractic and knew that was my calling. Although I pride myself in my follow-through, this job was leading me away from what my heart desired, so I quit. When disappointed at myself for my 'failure' my dad pointed out to me that it's as important to discover what you don't want as much as what you do want.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FEEL UNFOCUSED OR OVERWHELMED?
I rarely feel unfocused, but I can get easily overwhelmed. When this happens, I make time in my day to write or journal. I do a huge brain dump and I find clarity in this.
WHAT BOOKS HAVE YOU GIFTED THE MOST TO OTHER PEOPLE?
How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. I re-read this book yearly and regularly reference or refer people to read.
HOW DO YOU ASK BETTER QUESTIONS?
I try to understand the type of learner or thinker of whom I am asking the question of. I regularly try putting yourself in the shoes of the other person. What would elicit the best response?
WHAT HAVE YOU BECOME BETTER AT SAYING “NO” TO, AND WHAT APPROACHES HAVE WORKED FOR YOU?
I say no to things that don't support my health, happiness or definition of success.
Know your core values.
Visualize how you would feel if you said yes.
Trust your gut.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST WORTHWHILE INVESTMENTS YOU’VE EVER MADE?
My chiropractic education. While at the time, the 4-year and $150k (more than that if you consider 4 years of lost income) was very overwhelming-- I now have complete control over how I spend my time, complete control over my financial future and I have the opportunity to be active and work with people. I also have the opportunity to go into any subset of chiropractic I feel compelled to-- athletics, family care, pregnancy, prenatal, coaching -- even the business side. Having freedom of choice is the greatest gift I gave myself when I began chiropractic in 2011.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU SHOULD WRITE A BOOK?
If you feel compelled to do so, you should write it! I wrote my first e-book last year -- mindshift macros because I felt like I had something important and useful to share with the world, and that would impact the health of others.
WHAT ARE SOME UNUSUAL HABITS YOU HAVE?
I wait until my gas tank is on E until I fill up.
I've made the same "wish" at 11:11 since I was 14.
As a medical professional with a profound interest in nutrition and a baby on the way, I was excited to receive this book for Christmas from my mother-in-law. I dove into it right away!
Right from the start, I knew this book was going to be a great resource for me, and become a recommendation to patients and friends who are expecting and/or have young children.
Babies don’t do much besides eat, sleep & poop. So, in order to know as much as possible about how baby is feeling we need to look at how they perform these 3 things. Digestion is a complicated process, and one of the leading causes of pediatrician visits. Looking out for number two is an extremely well-written book taking an evidence based approach to how to set your baby's gut up for success - all in a non-shaming, guilt-free way. The author, paediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Bryan Vartabedian tackles hot button items such as the microbiome, breastfeeding, formula, allergy development, immune system and more in a way that makes you feel informed to make the best decision for you + your baby + how your birth and the early months and years unfold.
Here is an excerpt from the book about some things to keep in mind about just how important the intestinal tract of your baby is:
1. It’s the ultimate source of nutrition. That is . . . after the placenta. Before birth the placenta gives your baby all the nutrients she needs. After delivery, the gut takes center stage to replace what your placenta was doing.
2. It’s part of the immune system. The gut plays a key role in the development of a healthy immune system. In fact, most of a baby’s immune cells are in her intestines.
3. It’s a hormone factory. It may sound surprising, but the process of digestion is under heavy hormonal control. Depending on what your baby eats, the tummy hormones released will vary. Gut hormones shape things like hunger, fullness, and how hard the gallbladder squeezes.
4. It holds on to fluids and minerals. The intestines are key to holding on to liquid to meet a baby’s basic fluid needs.
5. It’s home to the microbiome. As we’ll learn, the bugs found within the intestinal tract play a key role in helping a baby adapt to a world full of foreign things.
6. It has its own brain. There may be some truth to the accusation of having your brains in your arse. The intestines are home to a vast network of nerves rivaling those found in even the spinal cord. This enteric brain, as it’s called, is critical to digestion and the elimination of the stuff we don’t need.
7. It’s a work in progress. Your baby’s gut goes through several months of growth and development as it adjusts to the new outside world and all its nutrients.
[source: Dr. Bryan Vartabedian's looking out for number two: a slightly irreverent guide to poo, gas and other things that come out of your baby]
This book enables all parents to be equipped with the science + tools you need to make important decisions for your baby.
I recommend this book to all expecting parents or parents of young children.
- Dr. Alli Cain
There is no standard of care for post-partum women.
Birth is trauma to the body. Whether you feel birth is a positive or a negative experience, it is still an injury. Recently, I was listening to an activeRX podcast with BIRTHFIT founder Lindsey Matthews and she said "if an NFL player sustained a birth injury, they would be out for the season!"
Chiros, PTs, midwives & OBgyns have undergone a ton of education pertaining to embryology, prenatal care, and identifying red flags but when it comes to the post partum period -- there is simply no standard rehabilitative program.
There is a significant gap in the training of health professionals in the post-partum period for women. A few weeks ago, I found a 4-finger diastasis recti in a patient 3 years post partum. The patient has returned to full exercise (CrossFit) 6 weeks after giving birth, but had persistent low back pain ever since. Upon discovery of the diastasis, she said to me "why didn't my doctor check for this before clearing me?" to which I responded "well, it's not your drs fault.... they didn't learn this stuff in school."
But while we can blame a lack of education, as health professionals we are taught to think critically — and does it make sense to give better rehabilitation to a sprained ankle than it does to a women after she has given birth?
Of course not.
When I see a patient with an ankle sprain, I typically give an 8-12 week prognosis for healing. We look at this healing process in phases.
When the injury occurs -- there is an initial rupture of the ligament, as well as torn blood vessels which release inflammatory cells and hormones that cause pain. The injured party typically limps their way into my clinic and reveals a swollen ankle with localized bruising and tenderness everywhere.
In the acute phase - the body is working to protect from further damage -- this is typically 2-4 days post injury, but the time varies dependent on how you treat your injury.
As an acute injury transitions from protecting the injured site to repairing the injury tissues, you enter the sub-acute phase of healing. This phase commonly lasts up to six weeks post-injury and features the body doing what it does best - healing itself! At the cellular level, fibroblasts are synthesizing proteins to restore the injured fascial connective tissue framework, and new capillaries grow to re-vascularize the injured area. The new tissue is weak, but responds to stress + load from the body in order to increase tensile strength.
After the sub-acute phase, we move into the chronic remodelling phase - tissue healing does not stop at that magic 6 week post injury mark - it can last for over a year! Healing is a continuum, and the new tissue laid down by the body continues to mature and respond to you as you strengthen and stress it. The body is amazing at healing itself, but when it first lays down the new tissue post-injury, it lays it down in haphazard fashion and it does not have a lot of strength. The injured ligament gains strength as it is loaded and stressed in a proper, controlled way (through a proper rehabilitation program!). Again, this remodelling phase can last up to a year, and if you're following a proper program you are given timeline goals, and are regularly reassessed to ensure your proper progression.
So, if this is the timeline to heal an ankle -- don't you think a woman deserves more time to rehabilitate after she gives birth?
Let's shift our mindset away from the magic 6 weeks of healing, and change our expectation that a women should snap back to mental + physical normalcy by this mark.
The post-partum period deserves more respect.
- Dr. Alli Cain
Dr. Alli Cain is a doctor of chiropractic, and owns a clinic + fitness + yoga studio in Keswick, ON. She is currently expecting her first child due Feb 2018, and is aiming to lead a shift in how women approach their body & fitness post partum. Her first post partum fitness series will launch in spring 2018 at ANCHOR / crossfit. yoga. lifestyle.
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