Breathe Light

Take a Light Breath – Through Your Nose

While we know and explore a variety of pregnancy classes using breathing to manage the intensity of labor, the underlying physiology is rarely explained. What they have in common is the use of breathing as a centering tool for focus and staying present, magic by itself. But there is more to breathing.

We all breathe; we wouldn’t be alive otherwise. It’s one of the most basic human  functions. When a baby is born, we all wait for the first cry, the first exhale, the first autonomous act. There is a short transition time when the umbilical cord is still pulsing and the baby is still receiving maternal oxygen supply and nutrients as a backup system to guarantee a gentle arrival on land, being airborne. Then the cord is cut and the baby is on her/his own to breathe. A reflexive instinctual act governed by the low brain, calibrated and fine tuned to life’s demands and circumstances if things go well.

“We assume that the body reflexively knows how much air it needs at all times, but unfortunately this is not the case. Over the centuries we have altered our environment so dramatically that many of us have forgotten our innate way of breathing. The process of breathing has been warped by chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, overheated homes, and lack of fitness. All of these contributes to poor breathing habits.“ (Patrick McKeown: The Oxygen Advantage)

So what do you do? How can we find our way to functional breathing? Breathe through your nose! All day, all night, through heavy exercise—always. Nose breathing naturally warms, humidifies and filters the air we breathe. It increases nitric-oxide six to eighteenfold in our sinuses keeping viruses and bacteria in check and preparing our lungs to open up deeply for optimal oxygen exchange, allowing up to 18% more oxygenation (James Nestor: Breath)

Breathe less!

Well that sounds counter-intuitve. Patrick McKeown explains: “The crucial point to remember is that hemoglobin releases oxygen when in the presence of carbon dioxide. When we over-breathe, too much carbon dioxide is washed from the lungs, blood, tissues, and cells. This condition is called hypocapnia, causing the hemoglobin to hold on to oxygen, resulting in reduced oxygen release and therefore reduced oxygen delivery to tissues and organs. With less oxygen delivered to the muscles, they cannot work as effectively. As counterintuitive as it may seem, the urge to take bigger, deeper breaths when we hit the wall during exercise does not provide the muscles with more oxygen but effectively reduces oxygenation even further.”

Pregnancy brings on special circumstances for almost everything, including breathing. The increased blood volume with a constant steady expansion up to 60% by week 30 of gestation often brings on congested airways. The baby’s growth pushes the uterus into the abdominal cavity with increased pressure on the diaphragm and lungs. Additionally increased progesterone ensures that the uterus has enough dilated blood vessels to nourish the baby, while also being a respiratory stimulant, quickening breathing. Both oxygen consumption and CO2 production increase 20-30% by the third trimester necessitating increased breathing rate, so a degree of hyperventilation is normal in pregnancy.

However, a woman may already have a degree of hyperventilation/hypocapnia prepregnancy as a consequence of, for example, habitual mouth breathing or snoring, chronic anxiety, or asthma. In this case a further increase in breathing volume and rate, a normal change of pregnancy, can quickly have adverse side effects for mom and baby alike.

Breath LightSo the secret is breathe through  your nose: slow, gentle, soft and tender. It will soothe your mind,  taking you immediately out of a fight-flight response. Now imagine you  are humming, giving you focus while at the same time increasing nitric-oxide six to fifteenfold which will increase your capacity of ‘deep breathing’. But deep in the sense slow and gentle breaths for optimal oxygen exchange in the lower lobes of your lungs by preserving enough carbon dioxide for optimized oxygenation including the smooth muscles of the uterus.

Simple gentle slow breathing: in through your nose, out through your nose — magic!

Diaphragmatic Breathing

All breathing involves the diaphragm. It defines, separates, and connects the thoracic  and the abdominal cavities. The heart is resting on the dome of the diaphragm, gently  bounced and rocked with each breath while underneath the viscera – the stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and the upper portions of the intestines – is cradled under the diaphragmatic tent. Each unhindered, unrestricted breath, approximately 20.000 times a day, gives all organs a gentle massage. Air comes in, the diaphragm gentle extends down and out and bounces back with each exhale, a rhythmic gentle movement. More a horizontal expansion of the rib cage than a vertical motion. If you allow just that, you will automatically look for length in your torso, alignment of your neck and head. Your  posture can restrict or invite your breath.

Here is a way to experiment: close your mouth, role your tongue gently over the bony pallet, way back to the soft tissue, lengthen your tongue upwards, breathe, – feel your rib cage expanding, your breathing slowing….. an invitation to diaphragmatic breathing.

Nadi Shodhana – Alternate Nostril Breathing

Melissa Eisler

Nadi Shodhana, is a classic pranayama technique improving lung function, lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and sympathetic stress. You can use it to quiet your mind before beginning a meditation practice or go to a job interview. It is particularly helpful to ease racing thoughts if you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or having trouble falling asleep.

  • Take a comfortable and tall seat, making sure your spine is straight and your heart is open. Relax your left palm comfortably into your lap.
  • With your right hand, bring your pointer finger and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows, lightly using them as an anchor.
  • Close your right nostril with your thumb, and inhale through the left nostril very slowly.
  • At the top of the breath, pause briefly holding both nostrils closed, then lift just the thumb to exhale through the right nostril.
  • At the natural conclusion of the exhale, hold both nostrils closed for a moment, then inhale through the right nostril.

Continue alternating breaths through the nostrils for five to ten cycles.

Nose Songs

Additionally, you can experiment with humming through your exhales. It will naturally add a layer of focus and calm while increasing nitric-oxide, a powerhouse molecule that widens capillaries, increases oxygenation, and relaxes the smooth muscles. Humming increases the release of nitric oxide in the nasal passages up to 15-fold.

  • Breath normally through the nose and hum, any song or sound.
  • Practice for at least five minutes a day, more if possible.

VIDEO—Robin Rothenberg

Breath – Move – Eat – Sleep – Repeat

Pranayama Mantra

I receive the inhale
I release the exhale
I pause in between breaths
I lovingly accept the inhale
I gently let go of the exhale
I pause to enjoy the moment between breaths
I quietly receive the in breath
I quietly release the out breath
I pause in the stillness between breaths
The inhale comes
The exhale goes
The pause happens
I receive the inhale
I release the exhale
I pause to rest
Space moves within
Space moves without
I rest in the infinite space
I receive the element of space
I release the element of space
I rest in the infinite space
within and without

Summer Cushman

“Your breath should be light, even, and flowing, like a thin stream of water running through the sand. Your breath should be very quiet, so quiet that a person sitting next to you cannot hear it. Your breathing should flow gracefully, like a river, like a water-snake crossing the water, not like a chain for rugged mountains or the gallop of a horse. To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds.”

Thich Nhat Hanh (2008): The Miracle of Mindfulness

“To bring air down into the depths of the lungs, it is not actually necessary to take a big breath, as even the quietest of breaths will activate the diaphragm. When you are practicing abdominal nasal breathing, you should not be able to see or hear your breath during rest.”

Patrick McKeown: The Oxygen Advantage


Patrick McKeown (2015): The Oxygen Advantage

Robin L. Rothenberg (2020):  Restoring Prana

James Nestor (2020):  Breath. The New Science of a Lost Art.

Tess Graham: Snoring in Pregnancy: Risks,  Reasons and Remedies

Sleep Is Foundational

FUNDAMENTALS: Breath – Move – Eat – Sleep – Repeat.

Sleep is the pre-eminent force in the healthy trinity: sleep—eat—move. It’s the single most effective thing we can do to reset our health every day, pregnant or not. Research shows we need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily to function optimally. If we are sleep deprived, our immune system is compromised, our mood is negatively impacted, and in pregnancy we are at risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and preterm birth. On the contrary a good night’s sleep, including a nap here and there can be the secret to well-being.

How to optimize your sleep? Build a SLEEP SANCTUARY

  • Make sure your room is dark – blackout curtains and eye-pillows are great.
  • Keep your room on the cooler side, somewhere between 60 and 68 degrees. Our bodies can keep us warm a lot easier than they can keep us cool.
  • Quiet the room, ear plugs and for some a white noise machines can help.
  • Have a firm mattress and pillows for support (e.g. a long pregnancy body pillow)

Develop a strong PM RITUAL with

  • a digital sunset and a clear ‘shut down complete routine’ to wind down. Marking our boundary when to go from work to rest mode has a strong impact on the quality of our recovery. Consider leaving electronics outside your bedroom.
  • Avoid all blue lights at least one to two hours before bed, and avoid screens as it will interfere with your melatonin production.

The IPad Effect — 50% suppression of melatonin

  • In general, it’s an advantage to have your last food intake more than 2 hours before you go to bed. If nausea is an issue (especially in the 1st trimester) you might need a little snack handy.
  • Take an Epsom salt bath to relax (will help to empty your bladder fully), CALM magnesium powder will sooth restless legs, ease leg cramps, help constipation and over- all will relax your body.
  • Keep a journal to review the day: What went well? What am I grateful for? What needs work?
  • Ideally give sleeping on your left side your preference for optimal blood flow and to support optimal fetal positioning for the birth. Lying on your back may compromise the placental blood flow as the weight of your uterus presses on the vena cava, the major vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart. Lying on your right side will tax your liver.

So, change sides and make lying on your left side a priority. For alignment a pillow between your knees AND ANKLE will take off pressure of your pelvic.

What else is supporting your sleep?

Exercise — ideally in the morning, will have a positive impact on your sleep. It will increase your blood flow which you will experience as a mood booster, lasting up to 12 hours. Vigorous exercise late in the day can raise your body temperature and is more invigorating than toning down and calming, so rather go for a gentle stretch before bedtime.

Bodywork like massage, acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments can overall help your well-being, general alignment and ease pregnancy discomforts; all of it will have a positive impact on your sleep.

Meditation in the morning will set a centered and grounding tone for the day and supports a good night’s sleep! Yoga Nidra is an amazing practice for deep relaxation and could set you up for a restful, deep quality sleep – for instructions check here:

Have a caffeine curfew. Caffeine has a half-life of around 5-8 hours. Breath through your nose!

Pregnancy specific issues which can interfere with sleep

“The tenfold increased progesterone levels simulate the respirator center, increases the basal body temperature, increases the amount of sodium excreted by the kidneys, relaxes smooth muscle, and decreases gastrointestinal motility as well as the muscle tone of the bladder and ureters.” (Anne Frye (1998): Holistic Midwifery, Vol 1, p 190). Who would not feel extra fatigued? Howeve sleeping might be challenging.

In pregnancy it is common to experience a frequent urge to urinate especially in the third trimester with the extra pressure of the baby on your bladder. You could start with extra hydration in the morning and slow down your fluid intake before bedtime.

The hormone relaxin and the increased blood volume often bring on a stuffy nose making breathing through your nose a challenge. Mouth breathing will trigger snoring and in extreme cases sleep apnea, which puts you at risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and preterm birth. It is a huge issue. Nose strips can help to support to open your airways, so can a neti pot. For instructions check here

So what is the magic about NOSE BREATHING?

Your nose warms, filters, humidifies and conditions air in ways your mouth simply can’t. When you breathe through your mouth, you tend to “over-breathe” via short, shallow, fast breaths that disrupt the oxygen to carbon dioxide levels in your body. Although it might sound weird, it’s the carbon dioxide that actually gets the oxygen out of your red blood cells and into your tissues and organs and you need to slow down your breathing (via your nose!) to get the CO2 right and, as a result, the O2 where you want it (The Oxygen Advantage, Patrick McKeown). So optimal breathing is slow and gentle. Imagine a feather under your nose you want to keep still – breath gently, mellow, tender, softly.

So here it goes:
1. Breathe through your nose. All day, including nights. Every day.
2. Into your belly, slowly filling your lower lungs, moving your diaphragm down with a mellow, quiet deep breath.
3. And exhale slightly longer than you inhaled. It will calm your nervous system and support detoxification and elimination from the gentle massage of your mellow breath.

1 + 2 + 3 = Magic. Will help you to sleep soundly. First go to if you can’t fall asleep.


We know anecdotally that dreams in pregnancy have a tendency to be more vivid as if the veil to the unconscious is lifted more easily. It might be connected that we spend more time in light REM sleep and it’s easier to remember our dreams. They can be drastic showing us that we are working hard to process and prepare for the big transition.

They often accent what information is especially needed, what needs extra attention. To keep a dream journal can be insightful to see what topics are emerging, how themes are shifting.

Sleep is the symbol of rebirth. In creation myths, souls go to sleep while a transformation of some duration takes place, for in sleep, we are re-created, renewed… In sleep we are remade. We are reassembled from the inside out, fresh and new as innocents.

Woman Who Run with the Wolves,
Clarissa Pinkola Estes (1992, p 151)


“Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night
demolishes your immune system, more than doubling
your risk of cancer”.

Mathhew Walker (2018): Why We Sleep


“Getting more sleep now that you are pregnant is important. Your emotions will be steadier, your digestion easier, and you will be less susceptible to infections, constipation, headache, and morning sickness. Lack of sleep
can lead to depression, irritability, and weepiness”.

Aviva Romm (2003) The Natural Pregnancy Book, p 198


Holistic Midwifery, Anne Frye (1998)

The Natural Pregnancy Book, Aviva Romm (2003)

The Mama Natural Week –By-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth,
Genevieve Howland (2017)

Why we Sleep, Matthew Walker (2017)

Sleep Smarter, Shawn Stevenson (2014)

The Oxygen Advantage, Patrick McKeown (2015)

The Golden Hour

A Baby’s 9 Instinctive Steps after Birth

The first hour after birth is a developmentally distinct time for the baby and the mother with well documented short and long term physical and psychological effects. It is one of the most significant transitions we make in life from an environment in water, weightless, cushioned – to an airborne environment with gravity as a major force.

Imagine the difference in experience this transition has when skin to skin on mom’s tummy feeling her warmth, breathing, heartbeat and voice or being handled under a hospital warmer.

Birth in Motion: DoulaIf we allow this first skin to skin contact we can observe nine newborn stages with specific actions happening in a specific order; they are innate and instinctive for the baby. This first skin-to-skin contact should happen immediately, without a delay for any routine procedures. If the mother has had  analgesia/anesthesia during labor, it may take more time with skin to skin for the baby to complete the stages and begin suckling – the reflexes may be dampened, but they are still there!

All these initial reflexes stay intact for the first 28 days! So this initial skin to skin contact can/should be repeated often.

Stage 1: The Birth Cry
This distinctive cry occurs immediately after birth as the baby’s lungs expand.

Stage 2: Relaxation
During the relaxation stage the newborn exhibits no mouth movements and the hands are relaxed while lying on mom’s tummy with a warm blanket. It’s the first time taking in gravity.

Stage 3: Awakening / approx. 3 minutes after birth.
The baby starts with small thrusts of movement in the head and shoulders and may open his/her eyes;

Stage 4: Activity / approx. 8 minutes after birth
The small movements grow – the rooting reflex becomes more obvious with increased mouthing and sucking movements; during this activity stage the newborn could:
  • Keep his/her eyes open
  • Look at his/her mother and look at the breast
  • Salivate to the point of dampening the mother’s skin
  • Root by moving his/her mouth from side to side over the skin by rubbing the cheek against the mother’s chests
  • Move his/her hand to his/her mouth
  • Move his/her hand to mother’s breast and back to his/her mouth
  • Protrude the tongue
  • Massage the breast with one or both hands
  • Exhibit big rooting – includes shifting part of the baby’s torso from the mother’s chest
Stage 5: Rest
At any point the baby may rest between any of the activities above

Stage 6: Crawling / approx. 35 minutes after birth
The baby has a stepping reflex which enables him/her to move – crawl, slide or sometimes leap – towards the breast

Stage 7: Familiarization / approx. 45 min. after birth, lasting about 20 minutes
The baby may touch mother’s breast and mouth and his/her own hand, smell his/her hand, lick the mother’s breast, look at the mother, make soliciting sounds to get the mother’s attention, mouth the nipple, lick the nipple, move his/her hand from his/her mouth to the mother’s breast, protrude the tongue, and may also look at the other people in the room, (all this is raising the oxytocin levels in mom!);

Stage 8: Suckling / approx 1 hour after birth
Now the newborn takes the nipple, self attaches and suckles.

Stage 9: Sleep
The baby and often the mother too fall in a restful sleep for 1 to 2 hours.

Information based on Health Education Associates and the research of Ann-Marie Widstrom, Sweden

Optimize Your Pregnancy – and Life With Nutrition!

Here are my 3 Pregnancy Food Rules, worth following beyond pregnancy:

  1. Be well HYDRATED – that means about ½ your body weight in ounces of liquid per day;
  2. Eat REAL FOOD – nutrient dense, local, seasonal food preferred without a label as you would find at farmer’s markets or grow in your garden;
  3. Watch for QUALITY – purchase organic produce if you have the option, otherwise I suggest to consult the dirty dozen (dirty=most contaminated & should buy organic vs. clean=least contaminated produce) as an orientation, and if you are a meat and or seafood eater the quality matters even more: industrialized milk products & meat has uncontrolled amounts of antibiotics and hormones; the same is true for farm raised fish.

Food isn’t just nourishing our bodies. Who hasn’t experienced the joy of sharing a meal?  Eating the right things alone is not enough. Mindful eating, aware chewing, and appreciating your company (even if it is just yourself!) are instrumental to your health.

We rarely talk in depth about pregnancy nutrition. We take it for granted that we are nourished well enough to grow a baby. Only when problems like infertility, gestational diabetes or preeclampsia – to name some classic ailments – arise, do we consider having a closer look at nutrition. And even when we do this, it is generally more for short term troubleshooting than for a permanent upgrade to our diets.

Commonly, we are confronted with easy advice like “don’t eat deli meat, unpasteurized cheeses, sushi, or to avoid alcohol and smoking.” Furthermore, we are told to avoid large fish because of the concern of mercury contamination. But in general, other toxins we find in all processed foods, such as food coloring, preservatives or taste enhancers are not addressed.

What that generalized advice doesn’t tell us is the danger of sugar overloads, unhealthy fats, heavily treated produce, or industrialized meats with an unpredictable amount of antibiotics and hormones – all goes by often undetected.  The lack of nutrients is compensated with prenatal vitamins as a quick fix. In general, we walk away confused from the controversial information without understanding the bigger picture and without clear guiding principles on what to eat.

Is there something simple and straightforward we could use as a guidance? I came across Michael Pollen’s ‘Food Rules’ (2009), a compact and witty guide book, that is simple and easy to read. It boils down years of nutritional research into 7 words:


  • EAT FOOD (not food like substances!).
  • MOSTLY PLANT (increase your vegetable and fruit intake dramatically, hold off from industrialized meats).
  • NOT TOO MUCH (even in pregnancy moderation is good advice; the common saying ‘eat for two’, often translated into ‘eat whatever’, doesn’t automatically make you well nourished).

From this pointed summery Pollen develops 64 Food Rules designed as a comprehensive guide to eat real food in moderation and, by doing so, substantially getting off the Western diet.

Interestingly, Michael Pollen’s contribution goes way beyond his detailed research, although that’s impressive and fascinating, he directs us to a bigger picture.

There is not one ideal diet fitting everybody, but a variety of options with the big exemption of the wide spread Western or Standard American Diet (SAD). It is a diet focusing on quantity and a lack of quality which manages to leave us both ‘overfed and undernourished’ with a host of negative health effects.

The newest Primal Health Research is pointing towards the undoubted influence of the fetal environment on our long-term health.

What we eat during pregnancy as well as throughout our lives may have the biggest impact on the health of our children.

Questions how to optimize your pregnancy? Don’t hesitate to email me for a free Health History consultation:

Pain-Fear-Tension Cycle

Understand & Transform

Pain, Fear, Tension cycleMost women ruminate about labor pain in childbirth; rarely it is not mentioned as one of the main challenges.

In general pain is associated with injuries or as a signal that something is wrong in our body needing attention to be healed. But labor pain is functional discomfort: strong  contractions/surges are
needed to dilate the cervix and pressure on internal organs and the rectum signal the descent of the baby. The attention labor needs is to find a safe birth place and the cure for all the challenge is the birth of your baby.

With safety comes relaxation and a feeling of trust. It comes along with deep rhythmic breathing and reduced pain sensations easing the birthing process. Fear comes with tension, rapid short breaths, increased adrenaline and pulse acceleration all coupled with a fight flight response or a freeze, a ‘playing dead’; in the birth process we often see it as a ‘stalled labor’.

Fear is the only instinct that has the power to immobilize (Liz Koch, 2012: The Psoas Book).

Grantley Dick-Read, the famous British Obstetrician and pioneer in childbirth education through the 1950’s and 1960’s claimed that if women were relaxed during labor they would experience little or no pain. He devised the pain-fear-tension cycle as a way of explaining how our emotional responses can increase the sensation and intensity of pain.

How to avoid or find your way out of this fear-tension-cycle is the great question.

I’m all listening – happy to explore with you options!


 – Your Inner Ecosystem

After watching the movie ‘Microbirth’ (2016) I became extremely interested in the microbiome and its effects on long term health. This has prompted me to look deeper. I’m amazed at how the smallest, oldest living organisms are still essential parts of our daily existence.

The Human Microbiome – YOUR unique Microbial Footprint

What exactly is a Microbiome?

Microbiome – Your Inner EcosystemThese earliest life-forms- bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi- live on and in our bodies and call us home. We depend on these trillions of microbes, which outnumber our genetic cells, for proper functioning. The unique interplay of genes and microbes determines most of our health, diseases, mood, fertility and longevity. While we as human beings have closely related genetic codes, our individual gut microbiomes are vastly different. It is this interplay between genes and microbes which builds diversity in gene expression. Much like a fingerprint, each person’s microbiome is unique.

Recent research shows that although some microbial exposure happens in utero, the main seeding (contact with microbes) happens during birth. In a vaginal delivery, the mother’s microbiota is handed down to the child through the exposure to vaginal, fecal, and skin microbes – which is considered highly beneficial. Feeding with breast milk not only nourishes the baby, but it is essential in growing their microbiome and immune system.

While the gut goes through its main maturing process in the first two years of life, it is still highly influenced by diet and environmental factors. Recent research developments confirmed there are also significant microbial shifts due to hormones and metabolic changes- like during pregnancy and with age.

So right from the get go we see the strong connection between internal and external environmental factors in the development of our internal ecosystem. That being said, our microbiome shifts even after each meal, so it matters what we are eating!

Although the research on the human microbiome is young (the term was coined in 2001), the increased interest has been  fueled by the uptick of ailments like leaky gut syndrome, autoimmune diseases, allergies, asthma, autism, and infertility: all pointing to a strong connection to problems in our gut.

While this research is new, we have a long-standing tradition as humans to take care of our gut health. For centuries, in all different cultures, we have been eating fermented foods- like pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, and olives as our source of pre and probiotics.

Hippocrates saying: ‘All disease starts in the gut’ has taken on a new depth.

Scientists have begun mapping out the diversity of our microflora in search of the core essential microbes. Although there is no conclusion, it seems that simply increasing the diversity of microbes is the most beneficial.

So how can we support the health of our microbiome?

EAT REAL FOOD – with lots of vegetables and low sugar fruits nourish the diversity of your microbiome. Leafy greens, radishes, onions, garlic, turmeric all support the growth of healthy bacteria. They are anti-inflammatory, meaning your bacteria doesn’t have to snack on your intestinal lining to be nourished.

ADD FERMENTED FOODS TO YOUR DIET –  fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi build a friendly environment for your microbiome.

AVOID PROCESSED FOODS AND SUGARS – they are absorbed quickly into your small intestines and starve your microbiome, while growing challenging bacteria like candida.

RELAX – Eat your food in a relaxed state of mind, chew well and slow down.

EXERCISE MORE –  Exercise increases circulation, making all the nutrients more accessible throughout your body.

BE IN NATURE – Cultivating house plants, working in the garden, or even petting your dog or cat will help to diversify your microbiome.

SAY NO TO HAND SANITIZERS – they kill everything, even the good bacteria.

DO NOT OVER MEDICATE – especially antibiotics- while they are life savers, they are often over prescribed with no consideration to the negative side-effects to your microbiome.

The more varied your diet, the more flexible your microbiome becomes.

How are you supporting your microbiome? Drop me a note – I love to hear from you!

More questions about how to  improve your health? Email me for a free Health History consultation:


Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Most of us know by now that hydration is key in improving almost every aspect of our health, but it’s not that easy to incorporate it into the daily routine of our busy lives.  I have put together a simple guideline to do just that.
5 Steps to stay well hydrated

HydrateDid you know the average adult is comprised of 50-65% water and we can survive only a few days without it?  Water is essential for cells to function properly, enables the biochemical breakdown of food, contributes to the transportation of nutrients, and helps to regulate body temperature. A sign of being well-hydrated is having a clear urine color, as opposed to dark yellow.

In pregnancy, water helps to build the placenta and the amniotic sac and counter-acts overheating.

1. Drink Enough Water
Being well hydrated helps to naturally detoxify our body and support our digestive system.

As a general rule, we should consume about ½ our body weight in ounces of water /day.

Climate, activity level and diet influence the demand of hydration. Dehydration can show up as headaches, fatigue, constipation, in pregnancy it can trigger preterm labor and have a negative effect on amniotic fluid levels.

2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with high quality electrolytes like magnesium, calcium potassium and sodium and are a great source of hydration.
Some of the most hydrating foods include:

Vegetables: Celery Cucumber Radishes Cauliflower Spinach Broccoli Bell Peppers Carrots Fruits: Pineapple Watermelon Tomatoes Kiwi Grapefruit Lemons/Limes Oranges Berries

3. Salt to Taste
In addition to the regular iodized salt you already consume, alternate with an all-natural sea salt — either Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt – to balance your water and potassium levels.

4. Exercise
Movement increases circulation and can improve your overall electrolyte levels by getting more nutrients into your cells. Obviously, strenuous movement will demand extra hydration. For pregnancy you want to make sure it is an appropriate exercise regimen for you. – check out Spinning Babies for help creating a personalized exercise routine for you.

5. Take an Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom Salt helps to balance your magnesium levels – supporting relaxation, natural detoxification, and hydration.
Quality of Water

Surprisingly, bottled water is not regulated or controlled like our tap water. Environmental Working Group (link) suggests that consumers get back to drinking filtered tap water. Not only does it cost far less than buying bottled water, it doesn’t create extra waste. Plastic bottles also leech toxins into the water, especially when exposed to heat (hello! Leaving water bottles in the trunk of your car…)

While there are some good mineral & spring waters it is important to do your research. Click here for a quick reference guide on the dos and don’ts of water safety.