Folate in Pregnancy

by Maxine
Posted July 23 2010 01:30pm
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Experts have found that mothers who have adequate levels of folic acid in their bodies may be less likely to give birth to children with neural tube defects (NTDs). As well, folate may also help in preventing a number of other health problems that can be experienced during pregnancy, including anemia, birth defects, and complications such as preeclampsia and spontaneous abortion. After the birth of a child, folate may also help a mother’s body get ready sooner for another pregnancy.

Although it occurs naturally in food, a typical woman of childbearing age gets just 0.2 mg of folic acid through diet alone. Because many pregnancies are unplanned and NTDs occur very early in a pregnancy—often before a woman knows she’s pregnant—experts recommend that all women of childbearing age take in between 0.4 mg and 1.0 mg of folic acid every day. And women who suffer from epilepsy and diabetes or who have a family history of NTDs should take in more, as much as 5.0mg daily. After giving birth, many women appear to suffer folate deficiency for as long as 6 months; these women, in particular, should think about supplementation. However, always consult your doctor before starting folate supplements. Folic acid levels that are too high can possibly lead to an increased risk of multiple births, neurological disorders, and breast cancer.

With a little preventative action, such as storing food in the fridge in tightly covered containers and cooking in small amounts of water for as little time as possible, folic acid can be preserved in the foods we eat. 

Excellent sources of folate include: 

Cooked fava, kidney, roman, soy and white beans, lima beans, chickpeas and lentils, spinach, asparagus, orange juice, canned pineapple juice, peanuts, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, romaine lettuce, enriched pasta and bagels made with enriched flour.

Good sources of folate include: 

Cooked corn, sprouted mung beans, broccoli, green peas, brussel sprouts, beets, oranges, melons, avocado, eggs, walnuts, cashews and English muffins made with enriched flour.

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Coping - How do I relax?

by Maxine
Posted July 23 2010 11:10am
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Here is an extended exercise designed to relax you from head to toe. Follow these steps:


  1. Put on quiet relaxing music (optional).
  2. Lie on the floor (or bed). Make sure you are comfortable.
  3. Pay attention to your breath for a few minutes. Close your eyes.
  4. Think of your feet. Scrunch your toes and hold (count to 5). Let go gently and circle your feet to relax your ankles.
  5. Tighten your calves, push your heels down into the floor and pull your toes up. Hold (count to 5) and then let go gently.
  6. Tighten your thighs and bottom. Hold counting to 5 and then let go gently.
    Feel your legs getting heavy and let them sink into the floor.
  7. Tighten your tummy muscles, and squeeze your bottom together. Hold (count to 5) and let go slowly.
  8. Breathe into your tummy (pretend that you can) Put your hand on your tummy and feel it go up and down with your breath.
  9. Notice any tension in your back. Breathe into that area until you feel it relax. Let the floor support your back.
  10. Notice any tension in your chest. Again breathe into your chest until you feel it relax.
  11. Tighten your hands into fists, hold (count to 5), and then let go slowly.
  12. Lift your shoulders up to your ears. Hold (count to 5) and then let go slowly letting your shoulders sink into the floor.
  13. Move your head from side to side to release any tension in your neck. Imagine that your neck is made of rubber. Feel how heavy your head is getting and let it sink into the floor.
  14. Tighten the muscles in your face by scrunching up your face. Hold counting to 5 and then let go slowly.
  15. Open your mouth wide (like a yawn) and stick your tongue out. Hold counting to 5 and then let go.
  16. Check your body starting with your head, moving down through your arms, chest and tummy and bottom, into your legs, and into your feet. Notice any tension left. Breathe into any area that still feels tense until you feel it relax.
  17. Let your body feel heavy and let it sink into the floor.
  18. Try to let your mind go blank. Think of yards and yards of flowing black velvet. Allow thoughts to come and go. Breathe slowly and deeply.
  19. When you feel like it, slowly open your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  20. Don't get up until you feel like it. Enjoy!


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Choosing a Care Provider

by Maxine
Posted July 21 2011 03:15pm
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Your choice of caregiver will affect how happy you are with your care, as well as your risk of having procedures such as cesarean surgery or episiotomy. The choice can also affect your health and that of your baby — for better or worse. This handout features some tips on the best way to approach this key decision.


Download the Choosing a Care Provider handout (PDF)


This information was provided with permission by:

Mother's Advocate

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Communication Strategies: I Statements

by Guest
Posted August 1 2010 11:15am
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During an argument, sentences that begin with "you" tend to be taken as a personal attack.

When you're upset with your partner, it's all too easy to go into attack mode. You start with an accusing "you never" or "you don't" statement and it's all downhill from there. When you attack your partner, there are generally three reactions:

1.    Your partner attacks back.
2.    Your partner defends themselves.
3.    Your partner retreats.

Each of these reactions either leaves the issue unresolved or increases tension, anger and stress levels.

What's the Difference?

During an argument, sentences that begin with "you" tend to be taken as a personal attack. They accuse, pointing a finger, often putting the recipient on guard. Unfortunately, those "you" statements seem to flow out of us when tempers are flaring.

Sentences that start with "I" tend to sound like you are making the statement about your own feelings, rather than blaming or accusing the other person. The truth is, it is much easier to reach a peaceful agreement when you avoid going into a discussion with an attacking, defending or retreating stance.


“You can’t even make an effort to call me when you are going to be late.”

“I worry when I don’t know where you are and then start thinking something happened to you.”

"You can’t even make an effort to call me when you are going to be late."

"I worry when I don't know where you are. I start thinking that something happened to you."

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