A Healthier Halloween

October 24, 2014

Halloween is always an exciting time of year. There are costumes, spooky decorations, and of course, lots of sweets in scary shapes! However, Halloween treats can be scary for other reasons. Most candies on the market are packed with unnatural ingredients that aren’t good for you or your child’s body. Luckily, we have nine healthier options for your candy bowl, so trick-or-treaters can indulge and parents can rest easy.

 

 

YumEarth Organics Assorted Pops ($8) are organic and packed with Vitamin C, making this treat a both tasty and good for you!
Surf Sweets Gummy Worms ($2) fit perfectly into the Halloween theme! These gummy worms are made with organic fruit juice and kids will love them, making these a win-win.
A healthier version of a widely-loved treat, Justin's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups ($23) come two per pack and 12 per case, so trick-or-treaters can indulge without parents worrying about anything artificial.
Endangered Species Bug Bites ($12) are individually wrapped organic milk chocolates that also support species conservation, habitat preservation and humanitarian efforts. Delicious and environmentally conscious, these treats deserve two thumbs up.
GoOrganic Hard Candies ($24) are a treat for the older kids that even moms and dads can enjoy! These candies are certified organic and come in a variety of natural flavors to mix up your candy bowl.
If you're a fan of Twizzlers, but not a fan of artificial ingredients, Candy Tree Organic Cherry Twists ($2) are another healthy version of an original favorite. Made with organic ingredients, these candy twists come in cherry, licorice, and raspberry flavors. We can't wait to try these!
Indie Candy Jackie Lanterns ($2) are so cute and yummy, you almost wouldn't guess that they're made with all-natural and organic ingredients. These sweet pumpkins will surely be a hit with trick-or-treaters, as well as moms and dads!
Both inexpensive and organic, Simply Balanced Organic Fruit Strips ($6) are delicious, individually wrapped fruit leathers that come in a variety of fruity options. They're the all-natural fruit roll-up you don't need to worry over!
For anyone wanting to take a healthy Halloween even further, individually packaged dry fruit is another option. Bare Snacks ($23) offers apple, coconut, and mango chips in a variety of delicious flavors - as well as organic options. What a delicious and natural alternative!

BPA—What it is, How to Avoid it

October 22, 2014

BPA

Google “BPA news” and the laundry list of articles that pops up is enough to take any pregnant woman’s breath away. Just last week, the presence of BPA (or bisphenol A) has been linked to breathing problems in kids with prenatal exposure to the chemical. So – what exactly is it, and why does it pose such a danger?

BPA is an industrial chemical found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. This means the chemical is often found in water bottles, food can linings, bottle tops, baby bottles – even water supply lines and dental sealants. If a bottle or food container has a #7 stamped on the bottom, it is likely to contain BPA.

Since a small amount of packaging materials can migrate into the food and drink it contains, especially if the container is heated, there has been an increased public awareness about the safety of ingesting the chemical. According to the FDA, there have been many exploratory studies on the dangers that BPA present. These studies link BPA exposure to a variety of health problems such as reproductive disorders, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

During pregnancy, it’s especially important to avoid exposure to BPA as it can impact your health and your baby’s health. Minimize BPA exposure by:

  1. Avoid eating canned Fruits and Veggies, And Instead Opt For Fresh: Because BPA lines the cans in which these foods are packaged, you’re better off avoiding them. Fresh fruits and vegetables are so much healthier and tastier anyway, so opt for heading to your local farmer’s market and grabbing what’s in season!
  2. Skip Drinking Water That’s Bottled In Plastic: Instead, go for glass, stainless steel or BPA-free plastic bottles.
  3. Don’t Microwave Your Food In hard Plastic Containers: Much has been made in the news lately about polycarbonate plastics seeping into food when heated. To be safe, store your food in glass, stainless steel or BPA-free containers and never put plastic in the microwave. If non-plastic substitutes are unavailable, follow this rhyme to help you remember which plastics are safer: 4, 5, & 2 – all the rest are bad for you!
  4. Avoid Smoking And Secondhand Smoke: Yes, this is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. Women who were exposed to secondhand smoke had higher BPA concentrations than those who weren’t.

Dear Nanny

October 20, 2014

dear nanny

Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

Sometimes you actually do get to pick your family. Jessica reflects on one of the most meaningful relationships in her life.

Dear Nanny,

I met you just a few days before my baby came. I’d never interviewed a nanny before, and I had no idea what to ask you. I read every article, and printed three pages of questions I’d found on the internet. But I didn’t ask a single one. Instead, I rubbed my belly and tried to imagine the baby that would soon be on the outside — what life would look like in a week, in three weeks, and in three months when it was time for me to go back to work. It just looked murky and abstract.

I interviewed two other nannies, mostly because I thought I was supposed to. And I couldn’t picture leaving my baby with any of you. But I knew I was going back to work, and although I didn’t know much about motherhood, I had heard that leaving a three-month baby home alone wasn’t an option. So I trusted the moms whose children you had already raised, and I hired you.

A week before I was due back at the office, you arrived at my door. I handed over detailed notes about everything the universe had so far revealed about my baby. I showed you how bouncing on the exercise ball calmed her, and how she’d only finish the bottle if you tilted it just so. I lectured you on her likes and dislikes, I quizzed you on her daily routine, and I made you swear up and down and back and forth that you would do everything JUST like I did it. Because after all, I was the expert. Then I cried when I left for work, just 12 weeks after my baby was born.

Those first few weeks, and even months, were incredibly difficult. Each day, I second-guessed my decision to go back to work. I wondered if I’d made a huge mistake, if I was outsourcing motherhood to you. You were a relative stranger, and you were raising my baby! Would she grow up feeling abandoned by me? Or unloved? Would she forever blame me for leaving her in someone else’s care for the better part of her days?

But as the weeks and months wore on, I watched her melt into your warm embrace each morning. I heard the sweet giggles you shared while I got ready for work, and witnessed the knowing glances you exchanged at the end of the day. It turned out that hiring a nanny didn’t mean she was losing me. It meant she was gaining you.

Thank you for letting me have the milestones — I know she first rolled over under your watchful eyes. But you didn’t tell me, and you shared my excitement on that Monday morning when I regaled you with stories of baby’s incredible feats.

Thank you for letting me take the credit — while I’m at work all day, you patiently teach all those “please” and “thank-you”s that impress all the mommies at the playground.

Thank you for letting me keep my role — she’s never once acted confused about who her mama is, a fear that anyone with a nanny knows well.

You’ve quietly become the glue that holds us all together. You remind us to buy milk, you surprise us with a home-cooked dinner on those extra-long days, and every so often, you trade in your warm bed for my pull-out couch, so mommy and daddy can have a much-needed date night. Thank you.

When I was home again on maternity leave with #2, we became a caregiving team. And this time, instead of imparting my alleged baby wisdom upon you, I asked for yours. I willingly handed her over when I couldn’t get her to stop crying, and begged for your advice when something — anything! — seemed wrong. Never once did I tell you how to take care of her. You already knew. You knew it all along.

You suddenly got sick this past summer, and I was distraught. You, who I once couldn’t imagine in my life, now I couldn’t imagine life without. Suddenly, it was my turn — our turn — to take care of you. And as we nursed you back to health, we realized that aren’t just our nanny, you are our family.

On your birthday this year, we threw you a surprise party. We invited the children who called you their nanny, the families who you watched over for so many years. All the girls (yes, they were all girls) used familiar sayings (your sayings) and told warm stories about your life before you walked into ours.

And they were all so amazing, those generations of girls…the kind of girls I hope my girls grow up to be. The kind of girls I know they will be. Because you’re raising them, dear nanny. You’re raising us all.

This article is by Jessica Pallay courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

Things We’ve Read: Week of October 13th

October 19, 2014

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Endocrine-disrupting Chemicals Alter Thyroid Hormone Activity During Pregnancy (Science Times): A new study shows that endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with the thyroid hormone in infants’ brain development.

DWI: My Parenting Philosophy (HuffPost): A mother of five gives insight on her choice parenting method: Deal With It.

Companies Offering Coverage To Female Employees Wanting To Freeze Their Eggs (CBS New York): Many women are choosing to start families later in life and some companies are supporting that effort in a big way.

Whole Foods Launches Revolutionary Program To Rate Health And Environmental Impact Of Produce (Environmental Working Group): Whole Foods is raising the bar in grocery retail by upping the standards of quality and environmental impact of their produce.

Cancer Causing Ingredients – What You Need To Know (Feel Good Style): A break down of seven of the most dangerous ingredients commonly found in cosmetics which are putting you at serious health risk.

Pregnancy Is Not An Invitation To Comment On My Body (HuffPost): Be sensitive about comments to any pregnant woman!

Babies Beware: Your Parents Don’t Know How To Use A Car Seat (Yahoo): According to a study, more than 9 out of 10 parents unknowingly use car seats incorrectly on the first trip home from the hospital.

Preeclampsia, Gestational Diabetes and Excess Weight Gain – 3 Pregnancy Problems To Take Seriously

October 17, 2014

3 Pregnancy Problems To Take Seriously

It’s inevitable that every pregnant woman will, at one point or another, get nervous about her health or the health of her baby. Common fears can range from some that appear simple (why does my baby always have the hiccups?) to others that could require a call to your OB-GYN (my morning sickness is terrible. Is the baby getting enough to eat?). Most of the time, doctors will assuage most fears, allowing you to breathe a sigh of relief. However, there are some situations which should be taken very seriously. These include:

Preeclampsia

What it is: A disorder that occurs during pregnancy and the post-partum period and affects both mother and baby. Symptoms include swelling and sudden weight gain, as well as vision changes and headaches. Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine, and can have serious, and sometimes fatal complications for both mother and baby since blood flow through the placenta is reduced. This affects organs such as the kidney, liver and brain. Preeclampsia affects about 5% of pregnant women, and is more common if a woman has experienced the condition in a previous pregnancy. As far as who is affected still remains a bit of a mystery, and as of now scientists don’t have an answer as to why some women are afflicted while others are not.

How it’s Treated: Unfortunately, delivery of your baby is the only cure for preeclampsia. This can be difficult if you are diagnosed with the condition too early in your pregnancy to deliver. If you have any symptoms of preeclampsia, contact your doctor right away.

Gestational Diabetes

What it is: High glucose (sugar) levels in your pregnancy, despite not having been diabetic beforehand. Most women do not have symptoms of Gestational Diabetes, so the condition is usually discovered during a routine glucose challenge test. If your blood sugar level is high, you return for a second test to determine if you have Gestational Diabetes. The condition, which affects 4% of pregnancies, is more likely to develop in those who are overweight prior to pregnancy, are Hispanic, Black, Native American or Asian in ethnicity, and have previously given birth to a baby that weighs over nine pounds.

How it’s treated: You’ll likely need to monitor your own blood sugar, and possibly take insulin. Gestational Diabetes can result in babies with a higher birth weight and predisposition to diabetes, so a management plan is essential.

Excess Weight Gain

What it is: Although many pregnant women give in to the temptation of an occasional order of French fries or a cookie, unchecked cravings can lead to excess weight gain. Doctors recommend gaining between 25-35 lbs. with pregnancy, but only he or she can determine if you’re experiencing excessive weight gain. This condition can lead to a larger-than-normal baby and challenging delivery, as well as difficulty shedding the pounds post-birth.

How it’s treated: A doctor can help you work out a diet and exercise regimen that includes cutting calories that “don’t count” (such as those fore-mentioned fries and cookies) and focusing on the ones that will help you get and stay healthy. A doctor can also help you find a fitness program that will help you look and feel better.

If you have concerns about these or any other pregnancy condition, consult your doctor immediately.

Diaper Bag Essentials – What Every Mom Needs To Carry

October 15, 2014

 Diaper Bag Essentials

A tote, satchel or clutch may be your handbag of choice now, but once your baby arrives those fashionable beauties will be tossed aside in favor of the mini van of handbags – the diaper bag. If packed correctly, your diaper bag will rival Mary Poppins’ carpetbag, due to its contents ability to fill an empty belly, soothe a fussy baby to sleep, and treat ailments of any size.

Selecting the right diaper bag is important, so keep the following in mind when registering or shopping for your go-to bag:

  • It must have enough space to hold all essential items
  • It should be compartmentalized so that feeding supplies can be kept separate from medicines and skincare products
  • It should require no more than a simple wipe down to clean and
  • It should be made of flexible material so that it can be tossed, tucked or thrown into the smallest of spaces. A few of our favorite diaper bag brands are Diaper Dude, Skip Hop and Lock & Key Leathers.

Diaper bag essentials may vary if you’re a soon-to-be mom of multiples, or if baby will join a big brother and/or sister upon arrival; however, the following staples are the same for every parent:

  • Diapers: If using cloth diapers, be sure to pack a wet bag or plastic bag to store used diapers
  • Baby wipes: For bums, hands, faces and everything else that needs a good cleaning
  • Diaper cream/ointment
  • Tissues
  • Nursing shawl/blanket for breastfed babies
  • Infant formula and bottles for formula fed babies
  • Burp cloth
  • Bottle (or cup) of water
  • Hat: A wide brim hat for spring/summer and a fitted cap for fall/winter
  • Sunglasses
  • Nine Naturals Natural SPF 32 Sunscreen:Sunscreen should be used all year round on the whole family. Natural Suncreen SPF 32 is safe for mom, baby & the whole family.
  • Pacifiers
  • Teething toys: Not needed right away, but come in handy for entertaining
  • Small books and toys
  • Blanket: To cover your baby if (s)he falls asleep (can also be used during breastfeeding to eliminate the need for a nursing shawl)
  • Nine Naturals Repairing Body Balm: Great for adding moisture to chapped lips and skin
  • Snack: Pack a KIND bar or Mamma Chia pouch in case you don’t get a chance to eat a full meal when out and about
  • Extra set of clothes for baby

Your diaper bag is only helpful to you if you keep it stocked with the necessities. So, at the end of every day, replace the amount of used diapers with the same number of fresh ones, swap out a dirty outfit with a clean one, and wash any toys/pacifiers/teethers that were dropped and/or placed on grimy surfaces.

Short and Sweet

October 13, 2014

chocolate recipes from Sweet Brooklyn Truffle Co.

Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

Indulge with these 3 decadent chocolate recipes from Sweet Brooklyn Truffle Co. founder Lisa Rapaport.

So you want to make chocolates to give somebody you love a little treat for Valentine’s Day? Or you need a quick fix just because it’s Tuesday? Even if you’re feeling too pregnant to be on your feet in a hot kitchen, or too tired from feeding a new baby round the clock, don’t let that stop you from indulging!

Here are three recipes so simple your kid could help make them, and so delicious you won’t want to share. Stash these recipes away for later… I promise your bump will one day walk and talk. Once they do, they can absolutely join the fun with these easy recipes that are all about mixing, scooping and licking the bowl!

A word about chocolate: I like Guittard chocolate chips, but another brand is fine as long as it’s made with cocoa butter. Each of these recipes starts with tempered chocolate, which is heated and then cooled to create shiny, crisp confections. You can do it in the microwave, or on the stove.

Here’s how:

TEMPERING CHOCOLATE:

What you’ll need:
1.5 cups chocolate chips (dark, milk or white)
1 rubber spatula
1 oven/microwave safe glass bowl
1 small sauce pan (for stove top option)

Place 1 cup of chocolate in glass bowl, set remaining half cup aside
MICROWAVE: heat on low heat for 30 seconds, stir, repeat until totally melted. OR STOVE: put 1 inch water in small sauce pan on low heat, fit glass bowl with chocolate on top of pan to make a double boiler, stir constantly until totally melted
Remove melted chocolate from microwave or stove, set glass bowl on top of dish towel on counter. Gradually add in remaining half cup of chocolate, stirring until it totally melts.

WARNING: Whatever you do, don’t get the chocolate wet. On the stove top, make sure your double boiler has the glass bowl completely cover the pot so no water escapes over the sides. And whether you temper on the stove or in the microwave, it’s really important to place the bowl on a dish towel when you’re done. This absorbs any moisture on the outside of the bowl and keeps water from getting in there while you mix the rest of the chocolate in.

Now, you’re ready to add ingredients! Each of the recipes are one-bowl wonders. You’ll need parchment paper, a cutting board, a sharp knife and the same spoons you use to eat cereal. For the last recipe, you’ll also need an immersion blender or food processor. Each recipe makes two to three dozen pieces, depending on how large you make each piece.

PEANUT PRETZEL CRUNCH

Ingredients:
1 batch tempered milk chocolate (instructions above)
5 ounces peanut butter pretzels (prefer salted but your call) diced
1 handful of salted roasted peanut halves

Mix diced peanut butter pretzels into tempered milk chocolate
Place parchment paper on the counter or table, use books to hold down the sides if it curls
Scoop small dollops on to the parchment, making circles about 1.5 inches across
Place one half peanut in center
Let cool 2 hours on counter, then stick in fridge if not eating right away

APRICOT GINGER SAND DOLLARS

Ingredients:
1 batch tempered milk chocolate (instructions above)
3/4 cup dried apricots, diced very small
3/4 cup crystalized ginger, diced very small
1/2 cup almond slivers (or slices)

Mix diced apricots and crystalized ginger into tempered milk chocolate
Scoop small dollops on to parchment, making circles about 1.5 inches in diameter
Place 3 to 5 almond slivers on top, fanned out from center of circle
Let cool 2 hours on counter, then store in fridge if not eating immediately

ALMOST ALMOND JOY

Ingredients:
1 batch tempered white chocolate (instructions above)
1 batch tempered semisweet chocolate (instructions above)
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup almond slivers (whole almonds fine)

Using immersion blender or food processor, pulse coconut flakes into fine powder, set aside
Using immersion blender or food processor, pulse almonds, set aside
Temper semisweet chocolate, mix in ground almonds, and scoop on to parchment to form circles about 1.5 inches in diameter. Let cool one hour
Temper white chocolate, mix in coconut, and scoop on top of the cooled semisweet chocolate circles
Let cool 2 hours, then store in fridge if not eating immediately

For more information about Sweet Brooklyn Truffle Co., contact: sweetbklyn11211@gmail.com

This article is by Lisa Rapaport courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

Things We’ve Read: Week of October 6th

October 12, 2014

thingsweveread_v9-e1410377703926

Baby Born To Woman Who Got Womb Transplant (HuffPost): One woman received a womb transplant from a close family friend and gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Cancer Treatments in Pregnancy Safe for Offspring, Small Studies Find (US News): Two small studies suggest that children whose mothers undergo cancer treatments during pregnancy are not at increased risk for mental development problems.

These Kids And Pets Hate Taking Baths, Try to Avoid Them By Being Adorable (HuffPost): Top tactics to get out of taking baths.

What Happens When You Find Out You’re Pregnant and Have Breast Cancer on the Same Day? (Healthline): One mom’s story of her pregnancy while undergoing treatments for breast cancer.

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Enterovirus D68 (HuffPost): Enterovirus includes a range of more than 100 viruses that often cause nothing worse than a cold.

Funniest Parenting Tweets (HuffPost): Hilarious quips by parents on Twitter.

Why Motherhood And Management Mesh (And 4 ‘Mom-Savvy’ Leadership Tips) (Forbes): How utilizing “mom management” methods can positively develop your employees.

10 Apps to Make Your Parenting Life Easier (Washington Post): Parenting assistance conveniently accessible on your smartphone.

Julian and Kelly McMahon on Parenting and Their App for Kids Encouraging Positive Visualization (HuffPost): Actor Julian McMahon and wife, Kelly, have written a children’s e-book and developed an adjoining app for positive visualization before bedtime.

Parenting On Different Pages (HuffPost): Advice on which steps to take in order to get on the same page with your partner in parenting.

Parenting: Pouring the foundations of learning (Herald Tribune): Prepping your child for their new learning and social adventure in preschool.

BPA Exposure During Pregnancy Linked To Lung Problems In Children (HuffPost): A study officially links interaction with BPA during pregnancy to lung dysfunction in children, such as wheezing.

12 Nutrition and Fitness Tips to Help You Sail Through Pregnancy (Yahoo Beauty): Tips on staying healthy for you and your baby while pregnant.

Pregnancy Mental Health Series: Mood Disorders During And After Pregnancy

October 9, 2014

Pregnancy Mood Disorders

While Postpartum Depression is the most common post pregnancy disorder, it is only one of six perinatal mood disorders (PMADs), each presenting with distinct symptoms that require unique attention and treatment. Pregnancy mood disorders can be categorized as:

 The BIG Five Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs)

  • Antepartum or Postpartum Depression
  • Antepartum or Postpartum Anxiety Disorder
  • Antepartum or Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Antepartum or Postpartum Psychosis

Please note, any woman can develop a PMAD, but having a personal or family history for the disorder prior to pregnancy, or having experienced symptoms in a prior pregnancy or postpartum period increases the chance of having an episode during or after pregnancy. Please remember that ALL of PMAD’s reviewed below are readily treatable with appropriate medical intervention and support.

Antepartum or Postpartum Anxiety Disorder

Pregnancy and the postpartum period are often times fraught with some degree of anxiety. Women are given constant reminders by friends, family, physicians and books of what they should or should not be doing. What happens when you eat something while pregnant only to realize that it was on the ‘forbidden’ foods list? What about if the baby has a funny looking rash?

Anxiety, that’s what happens. However, for most women, this anxiety can be tempered and controlled, and does not overwhelm their lives. Roughly 6% of pregnant women and 10% of women during the postpartum period will develop a clinically significant anxiety disorder such that the anxiety overpowers the ability to calm down.

Symptoms of antepartum or postpartum anxiety may include, but are not limited to:

  • Constant worry
  • Feeling of dread that something bad is looming
  • Racing thoughts
  • Sleep and appetite changes
  • Inability to relax and sit still
  • Physical symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, hot flashes and weakness

Antepartum or Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

3-5% of new moms will experience OCD either during or after pregnancy. OCD manifesting in pregnancy and postpartum can be especially scary, as women often feel they are ‘going crazy,’ or are ‘bad mothers’ by virtue of the repetitive, sometimes violent and always disturbing thoughts and images running through their minds. These are called ‘intrusive thoughts,’ given their consistent and upsetting nature. Intrusive thoughts primarily focus on harm coming to the fetus or baby.

Examples of intrusive thoughts:

  • What if I put the baby in the microwave?
  • What if I drop the baby?
  • What if I stab my belly or the baby
  • What if I put the baby in a pot of boiling water?

These thoughts are petrifying, but having intrusive thoughts means NOTHING about a woman’s excitement about pregnancy, her ability to mother or how much she loves her baby. Having intrusive thoughts is not a risk factor for harming a child.

Some women respond to the obsessions with compulsive behaviors that function to minimize the anxiety caused by the intrusive thoughts. Examples include hiding all the knives in the kitchen, or avoiding the kitchen all together. These actions can similarly overwhelm a woman’s life and impair her ability to function.

Postpartum Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

1-6% of new moms will exhibit some or all the symptoms of postpartum PTSD. A woman’s perception of her delivery, rather than medical facts surrounding the delivery, dictate the risk for development of PTSD.

Symptoms of Postpartum PTSD may include (but are not limited to):

  • Re-experiencing of the perceived trauma
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Avoidance of people, feelings, thoughts, and places that elicit memories of the event
  • Persistent anxiety

Postpartum Psychosis

0.1-0.2%% of women who deliver will experience a postpartum psychotic episode.  Postpartum psychosis typically presents within days of delivery, and is considered a variation of bipolar disorder. Women with a history of bipolar disorder, and/or a history of previous postpartum psychotic episodes are at the highest risk for development of postpartum psychosis.

Postpartum psychosis is a true medical emergency that requires swift intervention, often including psychiatric hospitalization for the mother’s and her infants’ safety. Women with postpartum psychosis have lost touch with reality, and in that state are at risk for killing their babies (infanticide) and/or suicide. There is a 5% chance of suicide and/or infanticides for women experiencing untreated postpartum psychosis because they are acting based on delusions that they believe to be real, but are inherently irrational.

Common signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis include, but are not limited to:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Decreased or complete lack of sleep for days without associated fatigue
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist)
  • Failure to appreciate what is real from what is not real
  • Mood swings
  • Communication difficulties
  • Paranoia and fear

These are not “bad” mothers or “awful” women, as they are often portrayed to be in the media; instead, these are ill women who require treatment. Given the profound seriousness of this diagnosis, anyone who may be experiencing such an episode must be evaluated by a professional immediately. Postpartum psychosis is the most dangerous illness experienced by women after pregnancy. If you feel a loved one is experiencing postpartum psychosis, please call 911.

Until next time, take care of yourself and be well.

Resources

If you or a loved one is experiencing a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, please speak to your healthcare provider and ask for referrals to specialists in your area for treatment.

  • Various modes of therapy and medications are available to treat all of the mood and anxiety disorders related to pregnancy and the postpartum period.
  • Support groups can be very helpful, as can reaching out to friends and family.
  • Postpartum Support International (PSI) provides local referrals, support, and information. You can access the website at Postpartum.net or use the PSI warm line: 1-800-944-4PPD(4773).
  • The National Suicide Hotline and website can be beneficial if you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of self-harm and/or of suicide: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) / www.suicidepreventionlifenet.org

Dr. Carly SnyderCarly Snyder, M.D. is a Psychiatrist in New York City with a focus and expertise in Reproductive Psychiatry. Dr. Snyder is the Clinical Course Director for the Reproductive and Perinatal Psychiatry Program at Beth Israel Medical Center. She holds faculty appointments in Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beth Israel Medical Center, and a teaching appointment at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Snyder serves on the Board of Directors for Postpartum Support International, and is a member of the Women’s Mental Health Consortium in NYC. Dr. Snyder also sees patients in her private practice located on the Upper East Side of New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from Emory University, attended NYU School of Medicine and completed residency at Beth Israel Medical Center, with additional sub-specialized elective training at Weill Cornell’s Payne Whitney Women’s Program.

Dr. Snyder treats women experiencing emotional and psychiatric challenges at any age. Her approach uses a combination of traditional psychiatric methods with integrative medicine-based treatments to optimize the whole body, mind and well-being. Dr. Snyder provides individualized treatment that focus on improving a woman’s physical and emotional health. In addition to more traditional psychiatric modalities, she has extensive experience treating patients with natural supplements, either alone or in combination with pharmacotherapy. For more information, visit Dr. Snyder’s website, blog and follow her Twitter.

A Nighttime Beauty Ritual for Moms-to-Be

October 8, 2014

A Nighttime Beauty Ritual for Moms-to-Be

It’s the end of another long day and you’ve been busy growing a brand new person—you’ve officially earned the right to be exhausted. But resist the urge to fall into bed without a proper nighttime beauty routine.

Devoting a little bit of time to a few extra steps and the right safe, all-natural products, will help ensure a better night’s sleep – which can be elusive during pregnancy. You’ll wake up looking and feeling gorgeous.

Enjoy A Calming Shower: A warm shower is a wonderful way to wash away daily stresses and relax your body for sleep. Your body temperature also drops upon entering a cooler bedroom after a warm shower –signaling your brain that it’s time to sleep. Nine Naturals Citrus + Mint Nourishing Pregnancy Shampoo and Conditioner are the perfect choice for keeping your hair healthy and shiny during pregnancy. Follow up with the Citrus + Geranium Soothing Pregnancy BodyWash to naturally nourish dry, itchy skin.

Follow With Facetime! (Hah, Not That Kind): If a glance in the mirror has you flashing back to the eighth-grade dance where you sported your very first pimple, you’re not alone! 1 in 2 women can develop acne during her pregnancy. Thus, it’s more important than ever to remove all traces of makeup before you hit the hay each night. Use a gentle all natural cleanser that’s oil-free, alcohol-free and non-abrasive. During the day, steer clear of touching your face or trying to squeeze or pop blemishes. If acne persists, find a dermatologist or esthetician who is familiar with prenatal skincare.

Lie Down & Moisturize: Hydration is particularly important during pregnancy! It helps minimize itchiness and maximizes your belly’s recovery from all that growing! Nine Naturals Vanilla + Geranium Belly Butter is a great way to show your belly some extra love. It’s formulated especially for pregnancy, with capuaçu butter to help regulate your skin’s health and shea butter to heal skin and restores its supple nature. Be sure to do this every night to replenish your skin’s moisture. Don’t forget to moisturize your feet as well, as cracked heels are a common pregnancy plight.

Hydrate From The Inside Out: Chance are, your ankles are pretty swollen, especially during your final trimester. Drinking plenty of water and keeping your body hydrated can help reduce some of the swelling. Keep a keep a glass of water on your nightstand (Hey, you’ll probably be getting up four times in the night to pee anyway).

Relax: It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. Power down your phone, tablet and computer. Take some deep breaths, meditate, or read a book to help you peacefully drift off to sleep.