T’was the week before Christmas and all through the house
Every creature was stirring since the early AM, (probably) even a mouse
On Sunday, I made gingerbread houses with my two toddlers.
Yes, I made them because what 3 year old and 18 month old have the fine motor skills to hot glue some graham crackers together?
More from our founder and CEO, Kara, on staying present in this season.
What is the Fourth Trimester? We all talk about the different stages of pregnancy in “trimester” terms. Generally the first 12 weeks after your baby is born is referred to as the Fourth Trimester. There is no real timeline in this time period. No “your baby is the size of a fruit” to look forward to. Everything is focused on your new baby and their development, smiles, coos, crawling—-but what about mom? Many times we get a little lost in the shuffle. This season of life is so busy, we lose sight of our own health and wellness. Between lack of sleep, returning to work, finding daycare, traveling to see family, feeding, snuggling, and changing diapers, there are not enough hours in the day!
Generally when you deliver the baby, you see your OBGYN/Midwife at the 6 week postpartum appointment, then possibly no further visits for a very long time. There are many studies that have been done regarding careful follow up for moms that are in this postpartum period and beyond. It is so important to have an established relationship with your primary care provider during this time period for many reasons. Whether it is late-onset postpartum depression/anxiety, tension headaches, sore throats, anemia, thyroid changes, constipation, weight gain or loss, your PCP can help!
Many of my patients have come in either for themselves or their baby’s well child visits, and we discover that there is a problem that needs worked on. It is great to be able to ask “is it normal?” questions to someone that you trust—and get some real and helpful answers. It is great to be able to ask if it is ok to take ______ supplement of medication when you are breastfeeding. It is wonderful to be able to get a referral to physical therapy when you need it. Not losing weight like you want to? We can help with safe weight loss and guidance on nutrition and exercise during this time period.
There are so many reasons to have an established relationship with your primary care provider. At IFM, we love caring for whole families: mom, dad, babies, siblings, and beyond! When we get to know you and your family, understanding the dynamic helps us be able to “customize” your care. We do not like putting people on algorithms or in boxes! We do things differently here and are so happy to include you and your family in our care!
Our recent addition of lactation services, provides yet another way for IFM to reach the needs of postpartum mothers in that fourth trimester. Check out our website for more information on group lactation classes or private consultations with Crystel Corbin, RN, IBCLC.
ARNP, Co-Founder of IFM
The season of giving is here. Many of us are wondering what to give our kids. Or if you are like me, what are we going to give them that they will actually play with and possibly learn something from? Well I have compiled a list of what I believe are the top 10 developmental toys perfect for infants and toddlers.
This list covers most bases when it comes to toys, but I would like to add that books make great gifts and encourage language development. Also my favorite gifts to give are experiences, for me creating long lasting memories with my loved ones is what the holidays are all about. So experiences that I can join them on are always my go to gift. Whatever you celebrate, and whatever you choose to give, I hope you have a very happy holiday season!
Please stay posted, as Sensory Classes will resume next month.
Stephanie, Pediatric Sensory Specialist
The amount of information out in the world today about health and wellness can be overwhelming for many of us. It’s tough to know who to trust with so many contradictory reports and opinions. We hear conflicting messages about what matters most for optimal health. Check any social media platform, we find many eager to sell the latest recipe, formula or action plan for success, happiness and health. However, amongst the noise, there are incredible people doing incredible work every single day to connect and share with the world all the most effective ways to live in alignment with one’s best self.
One of those incredible people is world renowned brain researcher at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi. I’ll spare you the entire list of his many accomplishments (you can use google), however a few of his accolades include: Co-director for the Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital, author of over 500 Research studies, one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and the person credited with discovering the first Alzheimer’s Gene. He’s also the staff Neuroscientist for the New England Patriots. This man is not your Tik Tok spiritual guru. The guy is world class.
I was recently listening to a wonderful lecture by Dr. Tanzi, and I’d like to share some takeaways from his presentation. A primary message of the talk was this: Reducing inflammation in the brain and body allows and promotes optimal health. Dr. Tanzi puts it bluntly, “Inflammation is the main killer.” More and more of us experience brain fog, memory impairment, decreased focus and feelings of being less mentally sharp every day. Many of these “symptoms”- dare I say signals- our bodies experience point directly to the complex world of inflammation. Pure and simple, inflammation is bad for our brains, yet many of us take little action to treat our brains with the LOVE and care they deserve.
Luckily for us, Dr. Tanzi has powerful suggestions (with plenty of scientific evidence) for anyone, at any age, to take action now to reduce inflammation in the brain and body. The complexity of the inflammatory process is far beyond the scope of this blog, but let’s just surrender to the idea that negative stress within our internal and external environments equals inflammation in humans. Prolonged inflammation equals all kinds of negative health effects on virtually every system of the body. If we can assume this to be true, we want to create a life that aligns with a state of low levels of systemic inflammation.
Many behaviors promote decreased levels of inflammation, but to continue borrowing from Dr. Tanzi’s work, he has come up with an acronym to help us remember the most powerful ways we can reduce inflammation in the brain, prevent disease, promote mental agility and become as mentally fit as possible. Think S.H.I.E.L.D when you start thinking about brain health. Sleep, Handle Stress, Interaction, Exercise, Learning New Things, Diet.
“The healthier your gut microbiome is, the healthier your brain is. That’s not woo-woo science anymore. There is hardcore evidence.”
“Plant-based fiber is the best thing you can do for your gut and that’s the best thing you can do for your brain.”
Powerful statements. I urge you to read them again, write them down and take action to support your brain and body in a more loving and authentically aligned way. In a world constantly trying to sell you the latest and greatest health product, can you find the wisdom in the simplicity of Dr. Tanzi’s S.H.I.E.L.D approach. Give it a shot. What’s one small step you can take today to inject fresh energy into each category/letter?
If you’re needing help getting your health on track, check out our website to schedule an appointment with an available family practice or mental health provider. https://www.integrativemediowa.com
Dr Justin Janss, DNP, ARNP, PMHNP-BC