10 Health Hacks for Mamas

PicMonkey Collage March 2016

Since pregnancy, which roughly lined up with turning 30, it seems that the AGE part of the phrase “as we age” has applied more and more pervasively in life. Until a couple of years back, I’ve been able to plausibly deny that I am part of the “WE” in that phrase.  “AS”, a measurement of time progressing, of COURSE never happened to me, since I am perpetually 19 years old.

But my doctor, and my friend Marilyn, and an eerie number of other folks have, lately, regularly diagnosed me with: “as we age” syndrome.

There’s been much difficulty dropping weight, feeling full after eating, being “regular” (sorry, I hate to bring this up but let’s face it, it’s a factor in our health!), and warding off long strings of common viruses and bacterial infections. Combine that with hormone imbalances, conditioning issues, and soar muscles and joints before, during, and especially following pregnancy, and you have a swirling mass of various ways to feel gross 90% of the time. Add in that I procrastinate going to the doctor and we have a 2 month health insurance gap since my husband switched employers, and we now have a veritable health hurricane!

As you may have figured out by now, I am needy in the health arena. Not to complain. My issues are more akin to annoyances than the serious difficulties that many of us face. However, I want to share some simple, mostly home-based remedies that have seen us through some tough times in the health arena. In the interest of time, I’m only going to post the photos I have, along with the remedy and what I/we use it for.

Pro-biotics and raw leafy greens for regularity. I started with an anti-inflamitory diet, some fancy probiotics recommended by the GAPs Diet, and kifir water grains. I ended up getting a sample of align probiotics, and now I just buy whatever brand off the shelf that has more than the lacto- strains.


Eating 50% of your protein at breakfast and not eating between meals: for weight loss, controlling cravings, sleep health. My friend told me all about this yesterday. I’ve been on it for a day and a half and it’s easy. It’s not so much a diet – regulating what we eat – as a way of eating and letting the body do what it’s supposed to do with food and fat and all things hormone. Or so I’m told. I still need to read the book, but it’s working well so far!

Outlast Fabric blanket for peaceful sleep.  You can read about the technology here. I found it before Christmas at OverStock.com. My doctor recommended it because with the issues I was having, it seems that sleep is going to be key to getting healthy. Also, I learned that many women sleep fitfully due to temperature spikes at night. I realized that I was semi-consciously waking and trying to get our covers into the right configuration every night. This blanket wicks away the heat and then re-introduces it when you need it again.

Elderberry syrup for immune health. I had a sinus infection and this, combined with lots of rest and a Neti Pot, took care of it. Here’s an article on the substance: http://wellnessmama.com/1888/elderberry-syrup/.


Neti Pot for head colds/sinus pain/allergies. Be sure to buy distilled water or boil your water for 5 minutes before use. Otherwise, you could introduce more harmful bacteria than you are flushing.

The Nose Double-Blow for head colds. I read in the Neti Pot instructions to not plug one nostril at a time while blowing the nose. Single nostril blowing increases pressure and possibly fluids into the ears. It was life changing to begin blowing my nose full on. Try it!WP_20160318_12_50_27_Pro

Magnesium Citrate for pre-term labor, general muscle relaxation, and regularity. Whenever I stop taking this, I have trouble with #2 in the lady’s room and notice muscle and joint pain. I have an irritable uterus and pre-term labor (both pregnancies but especially the first), and contractions were much better under control when I took Magnesium Citrate. Magnesium supplements are sold in many forms. I find the citrate form is best, and I’ve only found it in this form at Walgreens.


This stretch for calf muscle spasms. I know many of us deal with calf pain in pregnancy. I also had it post-partem. It’s almost as painful as labor! The single thing I found that most alleviated the pain was the above stretch. See the full video here. I’ve used Dr. Cathy’s videos many times. They are the best for joint health, for me. Particularly, I find them easiest on the knees.

Extreme amounts of protein during pregnancy to reduce nausua, headaches, and energy crashes. Did you know that Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwiches come 6 inches high? I didn’t until I was having sever flu-like symptoms while pregnant. All I could think about was meat, and Arby’s was the closest place to get it. I didn’t even drive all the way home before pulling over so scarf it down! Whatever it did specifically I don’t know, but it worked to bring my body to some sort of homeostasis, for sure. After that experience, I began piling the lunch meat on a low carb tortilla for lunch every day, and popping it in the toaster oven until it steamed really well.

Doctors of Osteopathy for delivering babies and doing adjustments. I have a couple small curves in my upper back that aren’t normal, and occasionally struggle with lower back and hip pain. I love my doctor of osteopathy because when my back gets to a point where the pain is really affecting life too much, I go to him once, he does an adjustment, and I have a happy, healthy back for many months. My husband has similar issues, but goes to a chiropractor multiple times in a row. Who has time for that? (Other than him?!) And the great thing about these docs is that they are just like MDs except for some specifics in their training. They also may tend to be more supportive of drug-free labors since they are specially trained in body mechanics.

There you have it! I’m still on this journey, as I suspect are many of you. Let me know in the comments the secrets you’ve found to become more healthy!


Mary Clare


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