Midwife Matters

Pregnancy preparations, women's health, and care options

Partners in Pregnancy

HealthPartners is now offering Partners in Pregnancy:  A great alternative to traditional prenatal care.

Beginning Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 9am to 11am, the midwives will begin group prenatal care.  The group will consist of 8-10 women with October 2014 due dates.   The classes provide individual health assessments,  group prenatal education and social support.  There is ample opportunity to ask questions with lots of time Pregnant_redspent with the midwife.  This is a unique chance to connect with other women who are pregnant and going through similar experiences.  Partners are also welcome and the sessions begin and end on time.

Click HERE to find out more about Partners in Pregnancy.

For more information or to sign up please contact:

Ruth Sheldrake at 651-293-8114 or email her at:


Leave a comment »

Trans Fat: The Big Fat Truth

We have all heard of trans fat and that we shouldn’t eat it.  But what exactly is trans fat and how do you know what food it is in?  I decided many years ago to eliminate trans fat from my diet.  But just tonight I ate something and then looked at the ingredients…and there it was, YUK!

For years I ate margarine because “they” said it was healthier that butter.  Then I found out that margarine is filled with trans fat.  Read this blog from the website A Dietician To Go, and find out more about trans fat and how to avoid it in your diet.

Trans Fat:  The Big Fat Truth

By:  Brittany Carpenter RDN/LD, BS

Happy eating!!


1 Comment »

Happy New Year 2014!

Yes, it is that time of year again when we look ahead to the year before us and consider some new resolutions that we want initiate.  You look back at last year and think…hmmmm, I should eat better, I need to exercise more and spend more time with my family and friends.  So, great my decision is made and I will do better at all those things.  But then you suddenly recall that you made those same promises to yourself last year, and come to think of it the year before too.  Then you conclude that you aren’t very good at this and just toss those thoughts aside.

BUT wait…maybe it’s because you didn’t have a plan.  You can not move forward without some kind of strategy to help you out.  First you need to set a goal, an achievable goal.  If you have a hard time changing your habits then set a very small goal that you know you can accomplish.  I have found for myself that I can only set one goal at a time.  I may also further break it down into smaller steps that make it seem easy to achieve.  That way when you look back over the year you will be amazed how far you have come.

This year my goal is eating better.  So what does that mean?  Everyone will have different objectives depending on what they eat now.  I have been working on my diet for some time, but there are still many areas that need work.

1.  Stay away from processed foods, eat only real food

2.  Eat more veggies (I eat 1-2 servings a day and the recommendation is 4-5 a day)

3.  Cut back on chocolate…I love dark chocolate and tell myself that it is an antioxidant and is good for me!  I have to limit the number of calories a day of chocolate to 200.

These are my three goals for the year.  I will take one at a time and work on it step by step.  It doesn’t seem like a lot, but looking back over the last few years I am astonished how much I have learned about nutrition and therefore changing my habits.

Women tend to take care of everyone but themselves.  This is the year to look inside and make a resolution and come up with an action plan of how you can become the woman you want to be.  Small tiny steps at first.  As you achieve one small goal after another your self esteem will rise and so will your self respect.  It is a great feeling when you take care of yourself!!

Start by making an appointment with your nurse-midwife to get going on improving your health.  Do you need a health maintenance appointment?  Do you have birth control that you can count on?  Are you up to date with your immunizations?  Need to talk about other health concerns?

Planning a pregnancy?  We are here to support you in your efforts to be healthier and to set goals for you in 2014!!

Karin Marshall, CNM

Leave a comment »

Constipation in Pregnancy

Constipation is a common occurrence in pregnancy, especially early on.  It is caused by changes in your hormones that slow down your digestive tract causing things to move at a slower pace. Nausea may have also changed your eating habits in early pregnancy and this can also play a role in constipation. Ultimately you feel bloated and can have abdominal pain as well as difficulty passing stool. Thankfully there are some easy things to try to remedy this.

1.  Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Sometimes a glass of warm water (flavor it with lemons) in the morning can help you to have a bowel movement.

2. Try to add fiber to your diet by eating fresh vegetables and fruit, beans and whole grains daily. You may also try fiber bars or fiber supplements but be sure to drink plenty of water with these.

3. Pick up some whole flax seeds or whole millet and sprinkle these onto your food. It is tasteless and adds bulk easily to your diet.

4. Get some exercise every day, this will often stimulate your bowels into action.

5. If constipation continues you may try a stool softener such as colace that helps moisten the stool for easier passage.

If you continue to have problems or have not had a bowel movement for more that 3 days you should talk to your provider for further assistance.


Leave a comment »

Diet and Nutrition 1001

I never thought I would be writing about nutrition.  I have lived most of my adult life eating what I want when I want.  I find dieting one of the most difficult things to do.  The minute I tell myself I am on a diet I want to eat non-stop.  I almost become obsessed with eating…it is all I can think about.  Therefore the word “diet” has been banned from my vocabulary.  Instead I convince myself that I am going to change my eating in small steps and I will not deny myself any particular food…especially chocolate!

I was never particularly interested in nutrition.  It seemed like a rather boring subject to tell you the truth.  I started slowing reading more about nutrients and health over the last few years.  What I have discovered is not only fascinating to me but has opened up a whole new world.  What is especially interesting is the fact that a large percent of disease can be resolved with proper nutrition.  Who knew!  I was never taught anything about nutrition in school.  Here is this subject that affects all of us in an enormous way but few of us are knowledgeable in!!

I have found a few very easy ways to eat more nutritious food.  These little steps will become big steps over time and the effect of these changes will be better health, more energy, less depression and a lower weight.  You have to think of the whole picture when looking at what you put in your mouth.  It isn’t just about weight, it is about your health and wellbeing all wrapped into one.

There is a system called NuVal that makes nutrition easy for you.  If you take the time to read labels (and I suggest you do as it is very eye opening) and you compare one brand of cracker to another, what should you focus on?  Salt content, calories, cholesterol, trans-fat?  How do you know which one is better?  Now you don’t have to because someone else has done it for you.  NuVal is a science based system that will tell you what the nutritional value of food is.  This system scores food based on 30+ favorable or unfavorable nutritional factors.  Each product is given a score from 1-100.  The higher the score the more nutritious the food.  This score is right on the shelf tag along with the price in many grocery stores.


If you are going to compare different crackers that you might be considering, NuVal makes it easy.  The one with the higher score is better for you.  This one small step can dramatically improve your nutrition.  Sometimes just finding out that a favorite product of yours has a score of 8 will help you make different choices.  When you start comparing NuVal scores you will be surprised at what you find.   Foods that you thought were good for you aren’t and vice versa.  I now rarely buy anything below a score of 50, a big change from my previous buying habits!

Here is one example of a trade-up NuVal has on their website:


Applesauce scores 4 vs. Apple scores 96 !!  That is a trade up worth making!!

See what trade-ups you can make with this week and share them with me.  We can all work together for better health for us and our children!!  Happy eating!

Click here to find out more information about NuVal and how it works, the science behind it, where to find it and expert answers.