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Independent health store advice for starting a family

Looking for advice on natural wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Orela Kingston who is a kinesiologist and offers meditation classes as well as working in For Goodness Sake in Dunmanway in Co Cork

When planning a family, preparing your body is key. It takes three months for changed habits to show results in your body. So if you need to cut down on that sugar, caffeine or fast food, get ahead and give them up now. Getting your bloods done prior to conception is a great idea so you have a starting point to monitor changes throughout your pregnancy.

Getting from the decision to actually conceiving can take a little bit more time than people think. A year and a half of trying is not unusual. It’s easy to become frustrated and disheartened. This can put pressure on you both and be stressful, which is exactly what you want to try and avoid. Eggs and sperm like a nice and relaxed environment to perform at their best. If you do find yourself getting stressed you can try going for a relaxing body treatment. Reflexology, acupuncture, massage or kinesiology are all used successfully to promote fertility.

From making the decision to have a baby you should take folic acid as it is used in the development of the neural tubes in the brain and spinal cord. Folic acid is a B vitamin and water soluble. If you have digestive issues a supplement is probably the best way to get the required amount of folic acid as you need 600mg daily. Foods rich in folates include beans, green vegetables and organ meats such as liver.

Low iron can also be an issue during pregnancy. You use 50% more iron during pregnancy. Red meat, green vegetables and molasses have high iron. Look out for a food-based non-constipating supplement. Vitamin C aids absorption of iron – red peppers, sweet potatoes, oranges and mango are all good sources.

Vitamin D may be important for reducing the risks of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and low birth weight. It boosts immunity, cell division and bone formation. Allowing your skin to get a little pink (not red) before applying a natural sunscreen is the best way to get vitamin D. Or you can supplement with 2,000-3,000 iu in a spray or capsule.

Probiotics are great for helping your body to absorb nutrients. Some studies have shown a huge significance in relation to good bowel bacteria and good mood. A regular probiotic is fine and also fermented foods such as kombucha, kimchi and kefir are great sources.

Magnesium works on the connective tissue and muscle and skeletal tissue in the baby. It helps relieve cramps, insomnia and constipation due to its relaxing effect on the body. Apart from almonds and leafy green vegetables you can get it in a spray and apply to the skin directly. Shoulders and legs are great areas to soothe sore shoulders and relax restless legs.

Omega-3 is made up of DHA and EPA which are vital for the formation and function of the developing brain of the baby and help with ‘baby brain’. Baby’s brains grow 200% in the last trimester and 85% in their first year. An algae-based omega is my top choice for pure sources of omega-3.

A good quality pregnancy multivitamin will have much of what you need. I have written mostly for the ladies, but men are equally as important prior to conception. A good male multi vitamin with zinc is very important. Zinc is used in the formation of the tail of the sperm and is used at the point of conception when the sperm enters the egg.

The couples I see are usually eating the right foods and taking supplements, but are so stressed about getting pregnant that they are finding it difficult to even get in the mood. I also find that we have trouble convincing our bodies that now we want to get pregnant after spending years trying to avoid this happening. Take time to hold your tummy and breathe into the area, encouraging your body to relax and open to conceiving.

Who’s who and what’s what at For Goodness Sake, Dunmanway and Skibereen

“Our Dunmanway store opened eight years ago in the square,” says Helen O’Reilly, “and Skibereen opened two years ago on North Street. In both stores we have a good range of food and supplements, although the Skibereen store tends to lean more towards body care and supplements.

“Our Dunmanway store tends to look after a lot of locals – everyone from retirement age people to teenagers or mums and kids. We would know all of our customers. In Skibereen we get more tourists coming in, sometimes members of the local rowing and sailing clubs and therapists would send their clients to us as well.

“We stock a big selection of our pre-packed foods as well as gluten-free pastas, flours, local fermented apple cider vinegar, superfoods such as cacao nibs and powders and goji berries and our herbal teas are really popular. In our chilled sections we stock tofu, sauerkraut, vegan cheese and spreads, vegan ice-cream and frozen ready meals.

“We would have a big range of eco cleaning and offer refills in the Dunmanway store. Our bodycare ranges are extensive and all organic and sulfate free and our natural soaps are very popular.

“We stock all the major brands in supplements and try to offer tastings and talks too.”

Visit: For Goodness Sake, Market Square, Dunmanway and For Goodness Sake, North Street, Skibereen, Co Cork
PHONE: Skibereen 028 22511, Dunmanway 023 8855671
SPEAK TO: Helen O’Reilly, Marguerite Galvin and Deirdre McGrath in Skibereen and Helen, Marguerite, kinesiologist Orela Kingston, Emerald Green and Sarah Bament in Dunmanway.

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