Houseplants that Make us Healthy

The air indoors, especially in the winter months can get a nasty build up of a wide variety of particles and gasses just from our daily lives. The American Lung Association voiced great concern that as a nation we have low-quality air and this air quality can be connected with allergy problems and asthma.

One of the easiest ways to clean the air in your home or office is to add a few potted plants which scrub out pollutants naturally. (This is why our office has some wonderful living friends) The plants absorb the Carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, benzene and release a pure oxygen in return.

If you don’t have a green thumb don’t worry, B.C. Wolverton Ph.D and author of the book, “How to Grow Fresh Air” states that the easiest plants to grow are also the best purifiers. Here is a short list to help you start purifying your air.

Snake plants or Mother-in-law’s tongue
Peace lily
English ivy
Gerbera Daisy
Spider plant
Areca palm
Money Plant

So how many plants do you need to purify your house? Here is a rule of thumb tested by NASA, 1 house plant to every 100 feet of your home. But some research done by Kamal Meattle says you only need 3 plants; 1 in the living room, 1 in the bedroom and 1 in the kitchen.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Pain and Dysfunction

25 Mar 2015 Medical

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Pain and Dysfunction

85-90% of people will experience a TMJ-related symptom in their lifetime according to one study. Women tend to be affected more severely than men.

What is the TMJ?

The TMJ is the joint that allows you to open, close, and move your mouth from side to side. There is a small disc inside the joint for cushion that allows smooth movement. It involves a complex set of muscles which surround it, namely the temporalis, masseter, and pterygoids felt inside the mouth. Its proximity to the neck and ear make those two areas common sites for referred pain from the TMJ.

What are some complaints related to TMJ Dysfunction?

Ear Pain
Face pain on one side
TMJ pain with opening and closing the mouth
Joint sounds
Difficulty chewing
Ringing in the ear
Neck stiffness
Sinus congestion

What are some causes of TMJ Dysfunction?

Direct trauma to the joint
Significant dental issues

What are some signs of TMJ Dysfunction?

Local pain
Clicking or popping in the joint
Inability to open the mouth fully
Fatigue with chewing
Jaw locking
Grinding sounds with opening and closing the mouth

How is TMJ pain/dysfunction treated?

All the surrounding muscles will be evaluated and released with soft tissue therapy
A safe and gentle adjustment will be done with the Activator tool on the side of restriction
The neck will be evaluated and treated in a similar manner to relieve the stress it may put on the TMJ
If dental involvement is significant, we would refer to a dentist who specializes in TMJ problems
Souza, Thomas. Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor: Protocols and Algorithms. Jones & Bartlett Learning; 4th edition (2009).

By: Dr. Eugenie Giasson-Gomez

Gluten Free Chocolate Ginger Cookie

Gluten Free Chocolate Ginger Cookie

(makes 2 dozen)


  • 1/2 – 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or 1/4″ chocolate chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter or Earth Balance
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent overcooking the cookie bottoms.  Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flours, xanthan gum, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa powder.
  3. With an electric mixer in a separate bowl; beat together butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes.  Add brown sugar; beat until combined.  Add molasses; beat until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water.  Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture.  Beat in baking soda mixture, then add the remaining half of flour mixture.  Mix in chocolate.  Turn dough out onto a large piece of waxed paper.  Pat or roll dough out to about 1 inch thick; wrap dough with waxed paper.  Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  5. Pour granulated sugar into bowl.  Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, dip in granulated sugar.  Place balls on parchment lined baking sheets, sugared side up.  Bake until the top surface cracks slightly, about 10-12 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

What is a neurotransmitter?

What is a neurotransmitter?

It is a chemical messenger from the nervous to nerve tissue as well as to the organs and glands of the body. They regulate many emotional processes; cognition as well as response to movement, pain, energy and stress.  It occurs primarily in the central nervous system which communicates from the brain to the rest of the body. They are released from the neurons and travel across a small space called a gap junction that occurs between nerves and the cells on organs, glands and muscles. Inadequate amounts of neurotransmitters will create an altered pain response and other imbalances.

What are the symptoms of neurotransmitter imbalance?

  • Mood disorders: depression and anxiety, mood imbalance
  • Adrenal Dysfunction: fatigue and insomnia
  • Loss of Mental Focus:  ADD, ADHD, cognitive function and mental fog
  • Addiction and Dependency
  • Hormonal Imbalances: Estrogen Imbalance, Androgen dysfunction
  • Loss of Appetite Control: obesity and insulin resistance

* Symptoms often worsen with the addition of bioactive substances like: caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and prescription medications.

What are the different types of neurotransmitters?
The body is like a finely tuned machine that has a system of checks and balances which occur when functioning properly. The neurotransmitters  also balance each other out by using both inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters that regulate our system and are classified by their effect on the post-synaptic neuron or the neuron that is receiving the signal.

  • Excitatory neurotransmitters cause the depolarization of the cell and thus a signal is sent from the neuron.
  • Inhibitory neurotransmitters cause a hyper-polarization of the cell and thus prevents the neuron from sending any form of signal.

How do I know that my neurotransmitters are out of balance?

A urinary HLPC Mass Spec Technology test is done using one of two laboratories based on a patients specific need.  They usually test the following 6 main neurotransmitters as they are most significant in the symptomatic conditions:

  1. Serotonin
  2. GABA
  3. Dopamine
  4. Norepinephrine
  5. Epinephrine
  6. Glutamate

What are the functions of the different neurotransmitters?

  1. Serotonin – is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is responsible for the regulation of sleep, appetite and aggression.  Common imbalances of serotonin will lead to mood disorders, anxiety and depression .  It is also commonly altered by pharmaceutical agents, stress,  stimulate medications  and caffeine.
    • Out of Balance = depression, anxiety, insomnia, carbohydrate cravings, PMS, difficulty with pain control and sleep disturbances.
  2. GABA (gama-aminobutyric acid) –  is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that resides mostly in the Central Nervous System (CNS) and is responsible for calming most of the excitatory neurotransmitters. Low levels may suggest adrenal dysregulation and high levels of stress where as high levels of GABA suggest an excitatory overload on the system in an individual and create sluggishness. Alcohol mimics the sedating GABA like effect on the body.
    • Out of Balance = GABA low – impulse control or a hyper-reactiveness in response to stimulus – even seizures.  GABA high – sluggish energy, feeling of sedation, and mental fogginess.
  3. Dopamine – is both an inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitter and is associated with the pleasure/reward pathway, memory and motor response in the body.
    • Out of Balance =  Dopamine low – will often cause issues of decreased motor control (conditions such as Parkinson’s and others), addictive behavior, impulse control, (ADHD and ADD) loss of satisfaction and cravings.  These individuals will self medicate by overeating, drinking caffeine, taking ADD and ADHD medications, drugs, smoking in an attempt to raise their dopamine levels.  Continual stimulation of Dopamine by caffeine and medication will cause depletion over time.  Dopamine high – will result in hyper-activity, anxiety (conditions such as schizophrenia  and other disorders), mood swings, psychosis and attention disorders.
  4. Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) –  is an excitatory neurotransmitter  produced in the CNS and in the adrenal medulla as a stress hormone.It’s associated with actions including attention, focus, inflammation regulation and regulating heart rate.  Also it is associated with arousal and stimulating  the sympathetic nervous system which is the fight or flight reaction.
    • Out of Balance = Norepinephrine high –  will cause anxiety, stress, elevated blood pressure and hyperactivity.  Norepinephrine low – lack of energy, memory loss, lack of focus and decreased motivation.
  5. Epinephrine (adrenaline) – is an excitatory neurotransmitter produced from norepinephrine in the CNS and the adrenal medulla; its conversion is stimulated by cortisol.  Associated with muscle contraction, heart rate and glycogen break down, blood pressure and the stress response.
    • Out of Balance = Epinephrine high – hyperactivity, ADHD, sleep issues and low adrenal function.  Epinephrine low – fatigue, depression, low cortisol, chronic stress and low recovery from illness.
  6. Glutamate – is an excitatory neurotransmitter and the most abundant in the  neurotransmitter in the nervous system.  It is involved in the higher areas of the brain including learning, memory and most cognitive functions.
    • Out of Balance = Glutamate high – panic attacks, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, OCD and depression.  Glutamate low – agitation, memory loss, sleep issues and low levels of energy.

How are neurotransmitters tested?

Neurotransmitters are done by a urine sample taken in the morning  after the first void of the bladder then waiting 1 hour without drinking anything to create a concentrated urine sample.  The sample must reach the lab within 7 days so the sample doesn’t degrade.  We have a lab that will not accept samples older than 7 days to assure the quality of the neurotransmitters in the sample.

How do we balance neurotransmitters?

This is a complex process that occurs when you add in things like enzymes and cofactors to allow either the stimulation of inhibition of the neurotransmitters or reduction of excitatory neurotransmitters so that all things in your body are brought into balance.  We balance the neurotransmitters through herbal and botanicals as well as lifestyle modifications.  These modifications include stress reduction, exercise and things like hormone balancing.

Safely Grilled Baby Back Ribs


2 whole racks of beef baby back ribs, membrane removed
Your favorite dry rub, or you can mix together this fantastic one:
8 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. salt

1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder


Place each rack of ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil shiny side down. Rub the ribs generously with your dry rub mix.  Wrap the ribs tightly in the foil and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Place the foil- wrapped ribs on a baking sheet and cook for 2 1/2 hours. Carefully unwrap the ribs and ready your BBQ grill. Place your ribs on the grill using safe grilling techniques—indirect cooking, drip pan and low cooking temperature—and slather with your favorite BBQ sauce. Grill until the sauce begins to bubble and turns just a shade or two darker.



Stretching Success with a Towel, Rolling Pin and Tennis Ball

16 Apr 2014 Complementary


Travelling to your summer vacation destination typically requires sitting in a car or plane for at least a few hours leaving you tin-man stiff and achy. Your body prefers to move, bend and flex which isn’t always easy in the sky or on the road.  And travel isn’t the only culprit. Sitting at a desk all day can lead to that same achiness, usually between the shoulder blades, the low back and the sides of the thighs.  We all know that it’s important to get up and walk around while on a plane, stop at rest stops for a walk while driving and get away from your desk at regular intervals, but a few simple tools can make stretching breaks far more effective. For added relief at home, work, or on the road, grab a towel, a tennis ball and a rolling pin and make these simple stretches part of your everyday routine.


The Towel Stretch

Keep your shoulder blades down when performing this stretch and make sure to work both sides of your body.  Walk your fingers toward each other to deepen the stretch and give relief to hunched shoulders and neck. This stretch can be done with a towel or sweater, or simply clasp both hands behind your back and lean forward lifting your hands away from your back. This is also a great stretch for kid-carrying moms.




The L Stretch

Using the car or a chair, flex forward at the hips without rounding your back to elongate the space between each vertebrae.  Don’t be afraid to stick your butt out and walk your legs further and further away from the car or chair.  This will open up the spine and spaces between the discs.  For a more advanced version of the stretch bend forward toward your toes with your arms reaching in front of you. This will create a more intense stretch on hamstrings and calves





Ball Pain Release

Stuck in the car or plane? Many people develop sciatic, leg or low back pain when they can’t stand or stretch.  An easy-to-pack tennis ball and these simple stretches can provide immediate relief.



a. Place the tennis ball between the seat and the small of your low back pressing back toward the seat of the car or plane. Roll it around the low back muscles in a circular pattern stopping at the sorest spots and adding a bit of extra pressure. This releases the tight parts of the muscle called triggers that cause pain and aching.



b. Sit on the tennis ball using varying amounts of pressure to release the tight muscles of the gluts. Focus on the lateral portion of the gluts and roll in an up and down motion while balancing on your other cheek.  If you feel a tingling sensation down your leg you may be applying too much pressure directly over the sciatic nerve. This won’t cause any damage or injury but you will want to reduce the amount of pressure you are placing on the ball.


c. Place the tennis ball between your palm and your thigh muscle and roll the ball in a circular motion around the muscle. Vary your pressure and when you find a sore spot hold the ball there and make smaller circles over this area. If it’s comfortable, you can lean forward placing more of your weight on the ball, which will increase the pressure. Too much pressure can cause bruising so be careful!


IT Band Roll

Grab a rolling pin from your kitchen and take it with you on a road trip. Unfortunately a rolling pin won’t make it through airport security!  While sitting in a car or chair shift your weight to one butt cheek so the IT band is easily accessible. Roll the rolling pin back and forth from just below the hip to just above the knee. Because of the large surface area, bruising is unlikely.


These simple tricks can make for a much happier travel experience! If you have trouble spots other than the ones above, we would be happy to have you come in and we can go over a detailed list of stretches specially designed for your body.

Avoiding the Dangers of Summer BBQ!


Summer is in full swing and there is nothing more all-American than a good outdoor barbeque! But before you fire up those coals you should be aware that recent research by the National Institute of Health has discovered two cancer-causing byproducts associated with barbecuing red meat, poultry, lamb, pork, and fish. The first is a carcinogen called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). HCAs are formed when meat is overcooked or char-grilled. The second carcinogen associated with barbecuing is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are formed when fat drips onto the coals or a hot surface and are transferred to the food via the smoke. They can also form directly on the food when it is charred.

But don’t throw out that BBQ grill! Instead, follow these simple safety tips so you and your family can enjoy a healthy barbequed dinner.

  • On a charcoal grill, push the coals to the sides and place a drip pan in the empty area under your food to prevent flame-ups. Make sure to cook at a lower temperature and with the lid closed. The coals shouldn’t be flaming. Cook when they are glowing and have a layer of gray ash on the top.
  • On a gas grill, use only the outer burners. Cook food in the center above a drip pan with the lid closed using the lowest temperature possible.
  • Cut down on the amount of meat you cook and instead choose more fruits and vegetables like peaches, nectarines, portabella mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, corn, and bell peppers. When you do cook meat, make sure to trim the fat to reduce the chance of flame-ups.
  • Use the lowest temperature to cook your food thoroughly. Keep your grill rack as high as possible to keep the food further from the heat source. Use a meat thermometer you won’t have food on the grill any longer than necessary.
  • Flip food frequently to avoid charring. Use a spatula instead of stabbing it with a fork which will allow fat to drip onto the coal.
  • Use a drip pan and keep water in a spray bottle to quickly put out flame-ups.
  • Marinating food has been shown to reduce the formation of cancer-causing substances. The ingredients (especially vinegar) in marinades can actually protect the meat and reduce the chances of carcinogenic compounds forming.
  • When you are done cooking, clean any oil or grease off your grill by turning up the heat to high and closing the lid for about 10 minutes. Then use a grill brush to clean the grates.


Still concerned? The best way to deal with these warnings is moderation. Use safe grilling techniques and limit your barbequed dinners to two or three times a week.

Adrenal Glands and Stress Disease and Fatigue

What are the Adrenal glands?

These are triangular shaped glands that sit superior to or on top of the kidneys like a hat around the 11th and 12th thoracic vertebrae.  These are known as the endocrine glands and are actually two different glands in one. The cortex and the medulla are encapsulated inside each other.  They secrete hormones such as mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, cortisol and androgens.

What is the major function of the Adrenal gland?


  • Release Adrenaline (epinephrine) – fight or flight response function, increase blood pressure and insulin resistance
  • Release Noradrenaline norepinephrine) – Vigilant concentration, increases contraction of the heart


  • Glucocorticoids, hydrocortisone (cortisol) – Weakness, fatigue, anorexia nausea, trouble sleeping
  • Testosterone, Androgens – Weakness, fatigue, lack of sex drive
  • Mineralcorticoids, aldosterone – Hypertension

What happens when this gland is dysfunctional?

One can experience hypo function of the adrenal gland itself and hyper function of specific hormones of the adrenal gland. Adrenal insufficiency is less serious but can cause major lifestyle dysfunction.

Hypo Function

  • Addison’s Disease – a failure of the adrenal cortex which can be caused by external triggers, infection, trauma, toxic chemical exposure and psychological stress (considered autoimmune)
    • Symptoms:  hyperpigmentation (mouth, areolae, perineum), weight loss, depression, postural hypotension causing vertigo and Azotemia (kidney failure and urea)
      • Test:  Serum cortisol, 24 hour free cortisol and ACTH stimulation test, standard electrolytes may be imbalanced potassium and depressed sodium
      • Adrenal Insufficiency Syndrome – caused in Western culture due to psychological stress and poor nutrition which depletes adrenal reserve
        • Symptoms:  Excessive fatigue, PMS, irritability, salt craving, confusion, poor memory, weakness, palpitations, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea
          • Tests:  Saliva or Urinary Cortisol usually done in 4 saliva tests or a 24-hour urine sample.  Also Test Testosterone, DHEA-S, Glucose, Serum Na, Serum K, BUN high normal or elevated

Hyper function

  • Cushing’s Disease – Excessive adrenocortical hormone production.  Adrenocortical production increases when a stressor occurs and then cortisol is released usually, cortisol is released until the stressor goes away, but in Cushings disease release of hormone is excessive and constant.  Some suffer from a low level of Cushing’s called hypercortisolism.  It is thus triggered by stress.
    • Symptoms in full blown cases:  Redistribution of the fat on the face and truncal (chest area) area (moon faces), hypertension, osteoporosis, weak connective tissue, insulin resistance, decreased immunity, mood disorders, poor wound healing, virilism (secondary male characteristics) in women.
      • Tests:  24-hour cortisol test, EKG, Elevated Na levels, K levels, Eosinophil levels low
      • Primary Aldosteronism (Conn’s Syndrome) – Excessive aldosterone is produced by the adrenal gland.  Most commonly caused by stress and seen in the majority of hypertensive patients.  Can occur secondarily to renal artery stenosis and thus a build up of a product called rennin or a begin tumor called an adenoma.
        • Symptoms:  Hypertension, women in 30-50 years old, heart palpations, weakness, muscle cramping, headaches, parasthesia, polydipsia and polyuria
          • Tests:  Potassium serum testing, blood pressure measurement, ECG, Serum aldosterone, urinary aldosterone, CT Abdominal, plasma renin levels
          • Pheochromocytoma – Tumor of the adrenal medulla that secretes high levels of norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine.  It is relatively rare.
            • Symptoms:  Headaches, diaphoresis, palpitation and hypertension
              • Tests:  Urinary measurement of Neuropinephrine and Epinephrine, CT scan Abdomen

How would I determine if I have Adrenal Insufficiency?

Adrenal insufficiency is a common diagnosis heavily related to everyday function and is especially prevalent in individuals with Thyroid conditions.  It is often under diagnosed since it is generally not recognized in conventional medicine.

Testing is done either through serum blood or saliva. Saliva testing is preferable because you can do it easily at home taking four separate samples throughout the day allowing you to see a daily rhythm. This is important as this gives us clinical knowledge to see if, and at what point in time, your cortisol level needs support or supplementation.

Sample of what a normal healthy cortisol level should look like.









What is the treatment for Adrenal Insufficiency?

The treatment is usually some lifestyle modifications coupled with a group of herbs called adaptogens.  A doctor will determine what types of adaptogens are needed based on your lab results and symptoms.  Lifestyle modifications include diet, sleep habits and stress reduction techniques.

What happens if I don’t treat Adrenal issues?

Since they are largely caused by autoimmune and stress response, people who are left untreated can face the following problems:

  • Hypertension
  • Thyroid issues start or become worse
  • Sleep issues
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Increased cancer risk

Our clinic prides ourselves on helping manage your health. It is our passion and it should be your goal.  You can fill out the hormone checklist on our website and email it to for scoring to see what risk factors you may have.  We do cortisol and hormone testing in office and even offer 10-minute free phone consults to determine if we are a right fit for you.

Oil: How to Cook with and use it Properly



The word “oil” often brings negative connotations associated with fats that are in foods.  However, we need to recognize that there are both good and bad oils and good and bad fats.  A good oil or fat may start out healthy but may become unhealthy when we use it or cook it the wrong way.  Our general instincts may be to avoid fats. But when armed with a little knowledge you can choose healthy oils and fats and use them to maximize health benefits.  Remember: If the oil goes beyond its smoke point it will loose the health benefits so pay close attention to temperatures! 

Oil Smoke point and Suggested Use Flavor Health Benefits
Avocado Oil 520° High Heat sautéing, dressing and dip Green color and delicate avocado taste Lower blood pressure and boosts absorption of antioxidants
Rice-Bran Oil 490° High Heat pan frying and sautéing Mild flavor lets food flavor stand-out Lowers Cholesterol and potential anticancer agent
Grape seed Oil 425° good for baking and high-heat sautéing Very neutral High in Vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids
Macadamia-Nut Oil 450° Medium heat

Stir frying and vinaigrettes

Subtle macadamia nut taste best with Asian dishes More oleic acid than olive oil ( fatty acid)
Sesame Oil 350° Medium heat good for baking and marinades Sweet nutty taste Keeps cholesterol and blood sugar low
Coconut Oil 325° Medium heat baking and sautéing Distinct coconut flavor Lauric acid good for cholesterol levels also antiviral and antibacterial
Walnut Oil 320° Medium heat good for drizzling over cooked vegetables Savory with slight walnut flavor. Rich in Melatonin a sleep regulating hormone
Roasted Pumpkin-Seed Oil 250° Low heat works for salad dressing Smoky and earthy Heart healthy fatty acid, and eases symptoms of prostate enlargement
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 300° but varies with company Distinct Olive oil flavor Immune boosting, antibacterial and anti-fungal

Pregnancy Health and Preparation Check List

First Trimester:


Week 1-7:  Baby’s heart and face as well as the placenta are taking shape and forming.


Symptoms: Fatigue, breast tenderness and perhaps morning sickness.


To do:

  1. Eat well
  2. Take Prenatal Vitamins
  3. Schedule first pregnancy check-up with an OB/GYN or Midwife
  4. Schedule first Chiropractic visit to prevent major back pain during pregnancy
  5. Be excited at the new change


Week 8-13:  Baby doubles in size and begins building bones and cartilage.


Symptoms: Morning sickness, constipation and perhaps some insomnia.


To do:


  1. Eat fiber to combat constipation
  2. Take B6 vitamin liquid and/or Sepia to combat morning sickness (you will want a doctor’s recommendation on what kind)
  3. Blood work with your Doctor
  4. Second Chiropractic visit to prevent major back pain during your pregnancy.



Second Trimester:


Week 14-19:  Baby starts sucking and you may begin to feel some movement or kicks.


Symptoms:  Weight gain, dental issues, baby movement, low back pain and leg cramping.


To do:


  1. Start taking a Calcium and Magnesium blend nightly to give baby enough to build strong bones and prevent leg cramps for mom (you will want a doctor’s recommendation on dosage)
  2. Yoga or Stretching for low back and butt muscles
  3. Chiropractic visit for low back and butt as they may be getting painful from the hormones in your body
  4. Start using belly cream to prevent stretch marks
  5. To prevent gestational diabetes take a blood sugar support if you are having more sugar cravings


Week 20-27:  Baby starts to breath and facial features form.


Symptoms:  Linea Nigra may appear (dark line down center of the belly), belly button pops out, and swelling of feet and ankles may occur. You can’t deny you are pregnant!


To do:


  1. Anatomy Check Ultrasound – this is when you can find out the gender
  2. Chiropractic visit for low back adjustment but as the baby continues to grow, it gets painful from the hormones in your body
  3. Begin Acupuncture to help prepare body for labor
  4. Start a Labor Prep class:  (we like “Birthing from Within”)
  5. Register at a store or online for your baby shower- while you still feel mobile enough to wander the baby store
  6. Decide if you are using a doula
  7. Decide if you want to do placenta encapsulation and then hire a doula to do this


Third Trimester:


Week 28-35:  Baby’s brain is growing fast, starts sucking and breathing and testicles will drop if present.


Symptoms:  Aching back due to enlarging belly, frequent urination, and possible Braxton Hick’s contractions.


To do:

  1. Pack the hospital bag  (see list of recommended items)
  2. Finalize Birth Plan and discuss with midwife or OB/GYN
  3. Take hospital tour either in person or virtually
  4. Chiropractic visit to make sure baby is in the head down position
  5. Acupuncture to prepare for labor
  6. Start or finish the baby’s nursery


Week 36-41:  Some doctors say you are full term and baby can come anytime now.


Symptoms:  Aching back due to enlarging belly, frequent urination, possible Braxton Hick’s contractions and excitement to meet baby.


To do:


  1. Put car seat in the car
  2. Keep old towels or pads in the car in case your water breaks (doesn’t happen to all women)
  3. Acupuncture two times a week during weeks 39 and 40 to prepare for labor
  4. Chiropractic one time during weeks 38 and 39.  If you go to 40-41 you may want to come in again
  5. Start labor tincture and homeopathic regimen to support a smooth labor (you will want a doctor to help you with this)


Post Partum


Symptoms:  Back pain, perineal tearing, hemorrhoids, breast tenderness and nipple pain, fatigue and crying spells.


To do:


  1. Adrenal Support (talk to your doctor) for fatigue and crying spells
  2. Sitz bath herbs to heal perineal area
  3. Suppositories for hemorrhoids
  4. Pad-siciles ( soak several large pads in witch hazel or water and place in a bag in the freezer to help with tearing pain)
  5. Raspberry tea for uterine tonic
  6. Homeopathic remedies to help healing (talk to your doctor)
  7. Epsom Salt bath: 1 cup Epsom Salts in hot bath. Soak 15-20 minutes.  Helps speed healing and sooth tissues.
  8. Tea or Herbs if you need to increase milk production


Hospital Bag:




*Make sure the car seat is in the car about three weeks before your due date and make sure it is secure.


1.  2 receiving blankets – for me muslin is best since we’re having a July baby

2.  Cap – but probably won’t use due to heat

3.  2 pairs scratch prevention mittens

4.  2 pairs of little newborn socks

5.  Hand sanitizer for use after touching hospital items

6.  Baby wipes – cloth or wet depending on your preference

7.  Nail clippers, comb, and coconut oil for baby’s bottom (to prevent meconium from sticking) and a nasal aspirator

8.  Newborn diapers

9.  3 undershirts

10.  2-3 “Going home” outfits as you may change your mind on which one you like best!

11.  Pediatrician information




1.  Flip-flops

2.  At least 4 large size pads or Depends underwear

4.  Socks that are comfy

5.  Sports bra and nursing bra

6.  3 pairs underwear

7.  PJs that make nursing easy

8.  Going home outfit – maxi dress or large stretch pants to fit over pad, and loose at waist

9.  Snacks for you and dad – bars, honey sticks, fruit smashes, popsicles, juice

10.  Kleenex and sanitary wipes for hospital items

11.  Gum – helps some people focus during labor

12.  Phone numbers of your “must call” list:

a.  Parents

b.  Siblings

c.  Doula – who is doing placenta encapsulation

13.  Pen for paper work

14.  Hair tie / head band

15.  Travel size deodorant, body wash, shampoo, Chap Stick, toothbrush, hair comb, and make-up for pictures if you want

16.  Camera

17.  Cell phone and charger

18.  Laptop and charger for movies or while resting

19.  Nipple cream

20.  Change for the vending machine

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