Monday, October 10, 2011

What is Anaemia?

There are several different types of anaemia and each one has a different cause. The most common type of anaemia is iron deficiency anaemia. The other types of anaemia is usually due to a deficiency in B12 or folic acid (yes its not only for mothers to be) 

Iron deficiency anaemia occurs when there is a reduced number of red blood cells because the body does not have enough iron to produce them. Haemoglobin transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. If there is a lack of iron in the blood, the organs and tissues will not get as much oxygen as they usually do.  Iron is found in meat, dried fruit and some vegetables.  

If you are have enough iron in your diet but it still isn't being utilised by your body, it could be due to gastrointestinal bleeding (This can occur by to taking too many Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Stomach ulcers etc) Menstruation, pregnancy, colitis, chrone's disease etc  

Symptoms  - Fatigue, decreased energy, weakness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, palpitations (feeling of the heart racing or beating irregularly), looking pale, feeling irritable for no reason, memory lapses.

Things to eat to help anaemia are:- 

Calf’s liver – Iron, Vit B12, Folic Acid
Brewer’s Yeast - Iron, Vit B12, Folic Acid
Green Leafy Veggies - Iron, Vit B12, Folic Acid
Lean Beef, Venison, dried apricots, raisins, dried fruit, Almonds, mangoes, shellfish.

No matter how difficult it is the things to avoid for anaemia are:- 

Coffee, Tea, Egg yolk, Foods high in Phytates (brazil nuts + wheat bran) antacids, overuse of calcium and other drugs like painkillers (ibuprofen in particular). Most importantly smoking inhibits absorption of vitamins and mineral

Lamberts for professionals can provide you with a single supplement or multivitamin to suit your needs, depending on your age, sex, health, activity levels, general health boost.  So if you are 3 year old or over 45, they have the right supplement for you.  Please contact me to obtain the best supplements for your needs.

Colic help

Baby/Mum Reflexology is a wonderful holistic therapy to experience together.  As I have said in previous articles, Reflexology aims to balance your body’s systems and by enabling a sense of wellbeing, your body automatically starts the healing process.  Along with this reflexology and baby massage brings about feelings closeness between baby and mum that you can take home with you and show other members of your family to experience too. 
Are you having issues with colic? How can reflexology help your little pudding?  By softly working on the relevant reflexes, your baby can overcome the pain of colic/baby wind.

How to know if your baby has colic

Firstly your baby will be crying all the time.  They may also be raising their legs up to their chests, clenching their fists.  Also your baby may also have slightly blue colouring around their lips.  This is normal colic
Some researchers claim that babies who have colic may, for a few weeks while their gut is maturing, be sensitive to certain substances that are found in breast, or formula, milk, such as lactose (a natural sugar), or molecules that are found in cows’ milk.

The only real piece of hard evidence that is currently available about the possible cause of, or risk factors for, colic, relates to smoking.  Research has shown that children, who grow up in a smoky household, where one or both parents smoke, have twice the amount of respiratory and lung disorders, and in some cases they even have to be hospitalised. 

When to seek immediate medical advice

A number of signs and symptoms may suggest that your baby is more seriously ill. It is recommended that you contact your GP immediately if your baby has a weak, high-pitched, continuous cry (the crying that is associated with colic is usually strong, with a normal sounding pitch; seems floppy when you pick them up; takes less than a third of their usual amount of fluids, passes much less urine than usual, vomits green fluid, or passes blood in their faeces (stools); has a high temperature of 38C or above (newborn) 39C (6 months+); has a bulging fontanelle (the soft spot at the top of a baby’s head); has a fit (seizure); turns blue, blotchy or very pale; has a stiff neck; has breathing problems, such as breathing fast, or grunting while breathing, or they seem to be working harder than usual to breathe (for example, sucking in under the ribcage); has a spotty, purple-red rash anywhere on their body (this could be sign of meningitis)

If your baby develops any of these signs and symptoms, contact you GP straight away or, if this is not possible, call NHS Direct 

The Birth

Nesting instinct complete? Now you’re feeling fed up, listless, claustrophobic but excited, tired and heavy and have you had enough? You only want to meet this little soul that has been growing rapidly in your uterus for the past 40 weeks….Good…That is the first sign that your body is receiving hormones to start the labour process and your mind has realised this and is preparing yet again for more changes.  You may even feel emotional, detached or even focused. 

You have planned every detail preparing for the birth of your little darling.  Unfortunately no matter how much preparation and thought you have put into your ideal birth, it very rarely happens the way you intend. 
The things people don’t tell you about should be kept that way. The less you know the better.  It is also easier to deal with changes if you open your mind and look forward to the outcome.  Yes life after the birth.   
For my first child, I planned a natural drug free birth.  She was 3 weeks late and this was overlooked by the hospital/doctors.  I went in on the early hours of Friday after going to bed and popping something onto the bed that looked like egg white.

Optimistically, scared in the same breath we got our pre-packed bags and off to the hospital.  It was going to be quick, with a birthing pool and a ball.  I got into the pool (I hated it so much I cried for an hour) by the next morning I was in so much pain I succumbed and had an epidural (Second change) and spend the entire day being induced.  I could feel my baby’s head but my body decided to keep her inside.  I decided to calm myself and go with it, erase all preconceived ideas/ideals etc.  Sunday morning came and they told me I was to have a c-section because I couldn’t dilate enough for her to come out and she was starting to stress. 

I relaxed myself and what was to be – was to be… That was the best thing I could have done.  Without a mapped event, my experience and all the undesirable bits became the way it was.  I looked at it as being perfect (even though I knew it wasn’t) When I was taken to my “room” a dinner lady brought me the last sandwich – prawn and mayo…perfect.  Having a laidback attitude made the nurses, midwives and other hospital staff want to help me more and looking back it was perfect. 

Our second baby was appointed a c-section birth as she was going to be bigger than our first nunnu.  It was surreal holding a small 2 year old, knowing that in a few hours we would be holding the little girl growing in my tummy.  Again I refused to have the perfect picture.  I had a laid back attitude and tried to enjoy every part of it.  In my mind I thought having a baby is not an illness, it’s a wonderful life event and every part, no matter how painful, scary, unsightly etc, must be embraced and looked at as perfect.  Again the hospital staff couldn’t do enough.
I knew something was unusual within myself the next morning when my hubby was slightly late because he was looking after our moms making sure they had what they needed until he returned. 
My emotions were unlike anything I had ever experienced.  I felt abandoned and desperate.  I couldn’t more because of the catheter and the painful fresh cut.  I was angry, I was tearful and inconsolable…… Thank God for the Midwife/nurse who embraced my cause and convinced me that I was going to cope and who told me to try and to adjust my emotions and pay all my attention to my new baby, until he arrived.  My new baby cried so, so much and when she wasn’t crying she was eating.  I never realised that what I was experiencing was my hormones being totally unbalanced throwing my body into a state of unbalance and turmoil.  I also never realised that without being balanced this raging hormones would continue to wreak havoc until balanced.  Yes ladies, that is the “baby blues”.  It’s are definitely not for sissies/cowards. 
Please if you feel different to your normal self, if you feel you feel unusually emotional or can’t look forward to your new baby, or if you have thoughts that are unlike yourself, please its so important for you to go to your doctor and get those hormones balanced.  If medication is not an option try something like reflexology or acupuncture to help yourself. 

Reflexology works to balance all of your systems.  Your qualified reflexologist will know exactly which reflexes will settle your hormones, relax your mind, balance your systems and create a platform for your body to heal itself.  If you live in West Yorkshire near Leeds, Wakefield, Dewsbury, Morley and surrounding areas, please contact me.  Visit my website..

Common Problems in Pregnancy

Congratulations - your body is preparing or has started to "grow" a baby.  What an amazing time.  So much to work towards and many life changes to go though.  Everyday we are faced with challenges that the baby can put on our bodies. Your body uses all your "fuel" to make things work properly.     

In the 40 weeks so much can happen to our bodies as we progress into parenthood.  Things like Backache and pelvic joint pain, Constipation, Cramp, Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), Faintness, Feeling hot in pregnancy, Headaches, High blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, Incontinence (wetting or soiling yourself), Indigestion and heartburn, Itching, Leaking nipples, Nausea and morning sickness, Nose bleeds, Passing water often, Piles (haemorrhoids), Severe itching and obstetric cholestasis, Skin and hair changes, Sleeplessness, Slow-growing babies, Stretch marks, Swollen ankles, feet and fingers, Teeth and gums, Vaginal discharge, Vaginal bleeding, Varicose veins  

That is why its important to take supplements to make sure your body is getting the right kinds of vitamins and mineral. Strong start MVM is for before, during and after pregnancy.  It provides over 20 nutrients including the recommended folic acid doses. (Folic acid is the most important building block in foetal cell formation and growth of the nervous system.)  Soluble and insoluble fibre is also essential.  

Soluble fibre ensures that you feel full for longer and insoluble fibre is essential for the control of the PH levels in the intestines.  This stops wind and cramps.   

Reflexology can help during all parts of pregnancy preconception, conception, pregnancy, labour.  It may also help ease all the above conditions as it improves circulation, nerve stimulation and balances all systems so that your body can heal itself.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What to eat during pregnancy

Everyone tries to dictate what we should be doing/eating etc.  It can become quite a whirlwind of confusing information.  

I believe that your body will tell you what it needs or which vitamins and minerals are missing, this is achieved through cravings.  Strange non food cravings can be a sign of a Magnesium, Iron and Zink deficiency (sometimes you can see white spots or ridges on your finger nails).  NEVER take unprescribed iron supplements without your Doctors approval. 
Folic acid is important because it works with Vit B12 that is critical to cell division and DNA synthesis. It is essential for the development of the nervous system of a foetus (difficiencies have been linked to birth defects) 

Without Follic acid deficiency can cause poor growth, diarrhoea, anaemia, gingivitis, and abnormal smears in women.  
Follic acid can be found in may foods like kidney beans, and various other beans.  Asparagus, lentils, walnuts, spinach, kale, various greens, peanuts, broccoli, Barley, Split Peas, Whole wheat cereals, Brussel sprouts, Almonds, Oatmeal, Cabbage, Dried Figs, Avocado, Green beans, corn, coconuts, mushrooms, Pecans, Dates, Blackberries, oranges.  

To keep your body in optimum condition for growing a baby, strive to eat a rainbow throughout your daily menu.  Many colourful fruit and veggies carry a multitude of various vitamins.  It's also important to avoid processed foods, vitamins and minerals that could have been in the food is stripped away and replaced with a huge amount of salt, which helps preserve the food but creates so much damage.  Also eat a helping of Beef, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, lamb, along with some diary products.  

For example 
Blueberries contain anti oxidents called flavonoids, Vit C, Fibre, Manganese, vit E and riboflavin  - this means that they can assist with motor skills and concentration, vision, constipation and urinary tract infections.  (Cranberries fall in the same category) 

Apples (mostly the skin) contain Vit C, Pectin, Fibres, potassium etc - this means that apples can reduce the risk of heart desease, cancer, asthma, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol.

Avocados contain monounsaturated fatty acids, potassium, Vitamins E, B, Fiber - this means that Avo's can assist to lower cholesterol.

Bananas contain potassium, Vit B6, Vit C, Fiber, Riboflavin, Magnesium, biotin and carbs.  This means that bananas are good for heart function and fluid balance, hypertension and stroke.

Grapes are similar to other berries.  The stronger the colour the higher the concentration of flavonoids.

If you want to know more about the contents of other fruit and veg, please let me know so that I can post.  

I have some useful websites listed below that hold excellent information to start you on your journey to a healthy freedom.  


With Pregnancy ALWAYS choose an experienced reflexologist who has been trained to a high level (Min of Anatomy & Physiotherapy level 3 First aid level 2) and who belongs to recognised associations and committees that ensures that you are protected by a standard code of ethics and standards.  CNHC is the UK regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners.  Under their regulatory umbrella, they have various associations like the AOR (association of Reflexologists) that they approve of.  

Hobby Reflexologists - those who have done long distance short course without having completed Anatomy and Physiology level 3 and hold a current first aid course should be avoided.  


It is estimated that 20-25% of pregnancies end with the loss of the baby through miscarriage for no apparent reason. It can be difficult to accept that there is no certainty as to why the miscarriage happened and learning to cope with grief and the feeling of loss can be difficult in itself . You do not have to be strong or feel guilty about your loss, and it is okay to cry, scream or yell to express what you feel. Many emotions will come and go as times goes on– as you and your partner comes to terms with your loss. 

There is no right or wrong way of feeling or dealing with the grief of losing a baby and everyone copes in their own way. Over time your grief will change however, the effect of losing a baby will never leave you and you will never forget your baby.

Face your feelings. Grief often happens in stages moving between denial, anger, guilt, depression and acceptance.  Understanding that there are many facets when experiencing grief will help you make sense of what feels like a roller coaster ride of emotions. Don’t rush your grief.

Other people may offer well-meaning advice to help you, but you must follow your instincts and your own sense of timing to get to a point of feeling that you can comfortably deal with your grief.

Understand that women and men deal with miscarriage differently. At times it
is normal for both you and your partner to retreat and deal with grief in your own way. Try to use this time to talk opening about how you are both feeling. Don’t expect your partner to feel the same way as you do but allow yourself to be honest with your partner about how you feel.

Looking after yourself: Coping strategies

Remember you are not alone in your grief and getting support from either close friends or family or counselling services can help you make sense of the emotions and the pain you will be feeling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or a sympathetic listener.

Grief impacts on the body and can cause signs such as sleeplessness, anxiety, a change in eating habits and stomach/intestine upsets. It is important to look after your physical health.

Relaxation and sleep are really important to help boost your emotional health. Every day take time for yourself with meditation, a walk, having a bath, listening to music- anything that helps you relax. Yoga, massage, reflexology can also help decrease anxiety, tension and stress.

Physical activity: this can often help release some tension associated with grief and give you a chance to be occupied with an activity that gives you a break from your feelings of grief.

Memorial: you might like to write a letter to your baby, plant a tree, or put together a album of memories.

How can reflexology benefit women who have experienced a miscarriage?
Reflexology, as a natural therapy, can balance and harmonise the body/mind so that a woman can attain health and wellbeing. 

Research has shown that reflexology can assist the body by reducing tension, anxiety and stress thereby inducing a relaxed state.

How many sessions are recommended after a miscarriage? It varies with each
individual and short weekly reflexology session would be excellent especially in the first few weeks. 

Reflexology can assist your body in relaxation and it assists the scarring on the uterus from the miscarriage to heal faster as it promotes circulation and healing.  After balancing your system and regulating the yo-yo hormones, reflexology can bring your body into a state for harmony and balance, ready for your next step.