Tuesday, August 30, 2011

9 weeks!

It's been awhile since I posted! But, when you only have time to blog after the kids go to bed, and you're hit with first trimester exhaustion to the extreme and go to bed at 10pm every night, well, some things take a backseat. Like my sewing, the house cleaning...and this blog!

Anyways, I'm still here, and I have lots to update on! I am now 9 weeks, due on April 4th, 2011. My dates were just slightly off (turns out I did find out at exactly 4 weeks pregnant, just like with the other 2!) and an ultrasound at 8 weeks confirmed my suspicion. Maia's due date was April 5th, so this baby will be term right when its big sister and big brother celebrate their birthdays...I could very well still have a March baby (again!) Of course I can't get the scanner to work, but the ultrasound was great - saw the healthy heartbeat, little hands & even the spine.

The biggest thing in my life right now? Food. I am constantly controlled by food. I'm always hungry! And always thinking about food. It's exhausting! I have to eat rather constantly to a) get my protein in and b) just to feel okay! But it's going well. I've started drinking a morning smoothie with 3 scoops soy protein powder from Trader Joe's, plus a splash of juice, greek yogurt & some fruit & spinach - that, my friends, is a lovely 50g smoothie! So nice to get that 1/3 out of the way right off the bat. Then I usually follow that up with 2 eggs. It's working really well for me! The rest of the day is spent eating small 'meals', and mostly everything has protein in it, or is paired with something with protein. My body definitely knows it needs protein because that's all I crave! Red meat, yes please! Sweets & sugars and carbs? NO thank you. They are really turning me off, and if I do try some I feel extremely sensitive to them and get a stomachache. I've really turned my diet around to be so sensitive to sugars now!

I have also interviewed midwives & picked one, but I'll post on that separately. She has me taking 1000mg magnesium in addition to my aforementioned supplements, as that's been known to have some help preventing high blood pressure/pre-eclampsia. (See this link for more info.) I am trying to cover ALL bases and make sure I have no deficiencies!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

vitamins & supplements

Back when I was pregnant with my other 2, the only thing I took was a prenatal vitamin. Look at me now! Based on my research about different ways to prevent pre-eclampsia, I am taking the following:

  • Selenium: based on this study, this study and finally, this one, finding that selenium lowered the incidence of pre-eclampsia.
  • Vitamin B12: based on this study finding that B12 deficiency may have a hand in HELLP syndrome.
  • Fish oil: I started taking this 3 times a day for heart health before I got pregnant - remember, I used to have high cholesterol! A bonus for me is that it probably has something to do with lowering pre-eclampsia risk, too! This study says that "women with the lowest levels of omega-3 fatty acids were 7.6 times more likely to have had their pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia as compared with those women with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids."
  • Magnesium (not pictured) I take this to keep my blood pressure low, at my midwife's suggestion. This article discusses why it's an important mineral. I personally take 1/4 tsp. a day of bulk magnesium citrate powder from a local co-op, and I put that in my smoothie. It makes for an effective laxative as well - a bonus in pregnancy! The powder is a purer, more effective form than pills, and I believe you can get it online if you don't have a co-op near you that sells it.  Another way to add magnesium into your life, besides food and supplements? Epsom salt baths!
  • Vitamin D: This study is one of many that touches on Vitamin D deficiency being a risk factor for pre-eclampsia. I was tested on May 23rd to have a blood level of 41.7, which, as you can see below, is the lowest acceptable level. This website talks about former and current suggested levels for Vitamin D. My physician must go by the older guidelines because she told me 30-80 was acceptable. In preventing pre-eclampsia, that's not acceptable to me! So I am now taking 400IU from the prenatal + 4000IU, making my total 4400IU a day. According to my research, that should bring my blood levels up from 41.7ng/ml to about 80ng/ml.

Old guidelines for Vitamin D:
Blood levels below 20 ng/ml or 50 nMol/L constitute a serious deficiency
Blood levels above 32 ng/ml or 80 nMol/L had previously been considered acceptable
(I was at 41.7ng/ml in May-acceptable by these older guidelines)

New guidelines for Vitamin D:
Blood levels of 40 ng/ml or 100 nMol/L are now considered the lowest acceptable level - now, 41.7 is way too low!
Blood levels of 60 ng/ml or 150 nMol/L are now considered an optimum level
Blood levels of 80 ng/ml or 200 nMol/L are now considered a safe upper limit -here's where I'm aiming for!

So that's where I'm at so far, at the beginning of the pregnancy before consulting my midwife. These amounts may certainly change and I may add in some more supplements if that's needed.