What if I don’t want to take “the pill?”

SONY DSC

I say birth control, you say… Pill? IUD? Implant? Condom?

Nope, none of those… I’m talking diaphragms! Popular from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, the diaphragm is the most underappreciated and underprescribed of all the birth control methods. It is a flexible, round silicone device that creates a seal against the vaginal walls. After applying a teaspoon of spermicide it is inserted vaginally (similarly to a menstrual cup) and acts as a barrier method against sperm. It is a quick, simple, effective and safe method of preventing unwanted pregnancies.
I began my search for a drug-free method of birth control halfway through my pregnancy, and found that the resources are just not there. It took me about 6 months to discover diaphragms, find a safe spermicide (there is only ONE on the market), and track down a facility where I could get fitted. My hope is that my experience can make finding birth control a simpler task for the rest of you!

Why do I love diaphragms so much?
-Neither you or your partner will feel it. Once it’s in, you’ll never know it’s there.
-You can insert it hours or minutes before sexual activity. It’s just as quick as putting on a male condom.
-Its effectiveness is nearly the same as a male condom. With typical use, you can expect a 16% chance of pregnancy in a year. With perfect use, you can expect as low as a 2% chance of pregnancy.
-Diaphragms are reusable and each one lasts 2-10 years.
-The new health care law requires that your insurance cover 100% of the cost.
-Uninsured? It only costs $60-$80 every 2 years. Birth control pills average $20 per month, which comes to $480 every 2 years.
-Most are latex-free, so those with a latex allergy can use it safely.
-It’s drug free. This was the winner for me. Side effects of your typical birth control pill? Liver disease, breast cancer, hypertension, gallbladder disease, decreased glucose tolerance, headache, stroke, breathing irregularities, depression, moodiness, weight gain, irregular uterine bleeding, headaches, nausea, nutrient depletions. Side effects of diaphragm? Pretty much nada. But the following are some potential downsides.

Drawbacks?
-They are available by prescription only.
-Does not protect against STDs. Use a diaphragm only if you are in a committed, monogamous relationship.
-If you don’t plan ahead, you may have to pause sexual activity for a minute or two to insert.
-Some women may find the fitting and self-insertion an uncomfortable experience. You must be comfortable with your sexual organs to use this device properly.
-Similarly to tampons, if it is left in for extended periods of time it can lead to toxic shock syndrome.
-Risk of infection if the device or your hands are not clean. Always wash your hands!
-Only 16% effective with typical use.

So that 16% chance of failure is a bit scary to me. So to offset that, my husband and I chose to also employ the “pulling out method.” Used on its own, this method has a 27% failure rate per year. When combined with TYPICAL diaphragm use, your chances of getting pregnant fall to 11.7% per year. When both contraceptive methods are used PERFECTLY, however, your chances of pregnancy drop to near 0%. With proper education and practice, this combination can be near fool-proof.
*Do not use a male condom along with a diaphragm- the two can rub together and cause breakage.

Now the spermicide. I didn’t like that all the spermicides on the market contained nonoxynol-9, a surfactant that can cause vaginal lesions. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like putting chemicals in ANY part of my body. So after much digging, I discovered the all-natural spermicide Contragel Green. Read more about it on their website: http://buycontragel.com/

I’m hoping that by spreading awareness of this method of contraception, more women consider it as a safe way to take control of their fertility. I believe it’s not common because it’s never mentioned as an option by doctors. It’s not brought up as an option because doctors are not trained on it or given resources on it. Doctors are not trained on it or given resources because it is not profitable for the drug companies. (Remember the $60-$80 vs the $480??) So it’s up to you to be your own advocate and ask about diaphragms. If you don’t know your choices, you don’t have a choice.

Happy diaphragming, ladies! 

Warmly,

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutrition/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here!

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

10 Best Pregnancy Foods at the Farmers Market

A healthy pregnancy is only a farmer’s market away. Consider this your personal “farmacy!” Not only are they super healthy for you and baby, but you get the added benefit of the food being fresher, locally grown, and you can meet your farmer/forager.

SONY DSC

1. Beets
No vegetable works harder at keeping your baby healthy than beets. The pigment that gives beets their rich color, betacyanin, is excellent at protecting DNA and preventing birth defects. Beets stimulate the liver to remove toxins, which protects your little one and helps to prevent toxin-induced nausea, fatigue, and headaches. Its high potassium content helps keep your blood pressure healthy and minimize swelling. The mineral content of beets promotes teeth & bone health in both mother & baby, while the iron helps to build up the blood and prevent anemia.

2. Mint
Mint can be a life saver in pregnancy, as it relieves nausea, upset stomach, constipation, heartburn, and indigestion. It has a calming effect, so try mint tea for any anxiety or stress. It selectively targets bad bacteria, so it can prevent any harmful bacteria from harming you or your baby, while helping your good bacteria to flourish.

3. Raspberries
Loaded with antioxidants, raspberries help protect both of you from the damaging effects of free radicals. One phytochemical, fragine, is believed to help strengthen the uterus and prepare it for labor. Because raspberries enhance circulation, they will help deliver oxygen & nutrients more effectively. This may also help with that occasional numb arm or leg, and with varicose veins or hemorrhoids. Their high fiber content is important for keeping you regular.

BONUS: Use the raspberry leaves!
Raspberry leaf tea is one of the most popular traditional herbs for the third trimester of pregnancy. Because it strengthens the uterine & pelvic muscles, it can help your contractions to be more effective and to shorten the second stage of labor. Post-partum, this tea helps the uterus shrink back to its normal size and encourages breast milk production.

4. Wild Leeks/Ramps
The high sulfur content of leeks are great for promoting a gentle detox. Leeks act as a nutrient delivery system, helping baby get all the nourishment it needs. The high amount of prebiotic fiber helps keep you regular while promoting your good bacteria, which is important for immunity and possibly preventing autism.
*If onions give you heartburn during pregnancy, substitute with leeks!

Leeks-Square

5. Green Beans
Green beans are the ultimate food for stabilizing blood sugar levels and keeping you at a healthy weight while expecting. They are a rich source of insoluble fiber, which removes toxins before they can hurt the baby, while promoting regularity and keeping your appetite in check.

6. Cucumber
Dehydrated? Try a cucumber with your water. It’s refreshing, hydrating, and helps reduce swelling & edema. It helps to keep your blood pressure healthy and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Cucumbers are high in silica, which provides support for your skin while it’s stretching. A cucumber a day just might keep those stretch marks away! The caffeic acid in this veggie is useful for preventing yeast infections during pregnancy.

7. Kale
This important superfood supplies silica, calcium, magnesium and iron, which are necessary for bones, collagen, elastin, connective tissue, and cartilage to form. Magnesium is especially important during pregnancy, as low magnesium can cause preeclampsia.
The high folate content helps prevent neural tube defects. Rich in vitamin E, kale can support elasticity of your skin. Vitamin E is considered to be important for helping your baby grow to full-term: premature babies often have low vitamin E levels. The vitamin C & various phytochemicals in kale also help promote healthy estrogen & progesterone levels, protect the baby from toxins, and promote eye health.
*Kale is on the dirty dozen list. Always buy organic to prevent consuming harmful pesticides.

8. Apples
Apples are one of the best food sources of bioflavonoids. These work to prevent miscarriage, keep blood vessels strong (prevent bruising & varicose veins), minimize stretch marks, keep you regular, and prevent weak uterine walls.
*Apples are on the dirty dozen list. Always buy organic or wild harvest to prevent consuming harmful pesticides.

SONY DSC

9. Butter
Butter supplies many components crucial to growth and healthy hormones during pregnancy. The sex hormones estrogen & progesterone can only be made from the right kinds of fats. The medium-chain triglycerides in butter are used as a dense source of energy, and are the building blocks of breast milk.
*Always buy butter from organically raised, grass-fed cows. The milk from grain & soy-fed cows are high in omega 6’s, which are pro-inflammatory, but low in omega 3’s, which are anti-inflammatory. Grass-fed & organic butter is rich in DHA, which is essential for baby’s brain to develop, and is naturally higher in vitamin D, necessary for immunity and for the skeletal system to develop.

10. Asparagus
Asparagus provides a wide variety of the nutrients that are in highest demand during pregnancy, including vitamin A, E, glutathione, quercetin, selenium, zinc, lutein, & beta carotene. The powerful antioxidants present are excellent in helping prevent DNA damage & birth defects. Asparagus also provides that same valuable prebiotic fiber that leeks contain.

Thanks for visiting!

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutrition/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here!

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

Top 10 reasons to eat raw walnuts

Have you ever had the opportunity to indulge in fresh, raw walnuts? Most of the nuts that we see in the grocery store are processed and heated; real nuts are a bit more rare and typically only found at health food stores. When raw, they supply valuable fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes that have powerful medicinal properties. Heat them or expose them to light or oxygen for long periods of time and those delicate nutrients are destroyed. I was also pleasantly surprised at the difference in flavor when I made the switch to unprocessed nuts- it’s well worth the extra shopping trip! Why walnuts in particular, you might ask? Not only are they one of the few nuts that have omega 3-fatty acids, they are THE highest in omega 3s of the entire nut world. The typical Amerian diet is severely lacking in this essential fat, so it’s an important one to consciously incorporate into your daily diet.

image

The following are my top 10 reasons to eat raw walnuts:

1. Walnuts are great for joints. They provide lubrication and cushioning.

2. Ever notice that a walnut looks like the two hemispheres of the brain? Well it just so happens they were made that way for good reason; they are excellent for cognitive function and memory support. Research also shows that walnuts can improve depression.

3. They are rich in polyunsaturated fats, which lower bad cholesterol while keeping good cholesterol intact. Walnuts also lower blood pressure. Between these two benefits, walnuts may reduce your risk of heart disease.

4. Walnuts are anti-inflammatory. This provides benefits to anyone with chronic pain, such as those suffering from arthritis or fibromialgia.

5. Research has shown that walnuts help prevent breast cancer and slow tumor growth.

6. Walnuts contain the highest levels of popyphenolic antioxidants of any edible nut, making it a fierce free-radical scavenger.

7. Walnuts help keep your skin and hair healthy and prevents dryness.

8. Men: super-charge your fertility. Two handfuls of walnuts per day have been shown to increase the motility, vitality, and morphology of sperm.

9. Eat walnuts, lose weight. The fat, protein, and fiber of walnuts contribute to a sense of satiety, reducing your urge to snack on junk food. The fats found in walnuts have been shown to assist the body in using fat stores as an energy source. And when you get the good fats in your diet, you’ll find that you are not craving bad fats quite as much, such as potato chips or fried foods.

10. The healing properties of walnuts are so powerful that the FDA is currently trying to get walnuts listed as a drug. I kid you not! I couldn’t make this up! Read more about these recent shenanigans here: FDA Says Walnuts are Drugs

image

Warmly,

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutrition/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here!

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221