Monday, December 28, 2015

Baby position and when it matters

At week 34 of my pregnancy, my baby was not in the correct position. Most doctor’s won’t begin to care about your babies position until that time.  Just because a baby isn’t head down doesn’t mean that it is in the breech position.  Most babies are in a transverse position or a diagonal position and not truly breech.
The 1st major treatment for mal-position or breech which is done by a mid-wife or OB/GYN is called an external version and it is done at 36 weeks.  The 2nd option is called  the Webster Technique which is done in our office.  You can read more information about Webster at this link

The Webster Technique uses manual therapy to release the muscle of the pelvis, low back, sacrum and round ligaments, which allows the baby to move freely in the uterus into the correct position.  The 3rd technique is acupuncture, which stimulates the body to relax and allow a baby to move freely, and we use this when we need more help with baby movement or if a patient isn’t comfortable with chiropractic care, but doing it together can be the most powerful.

It was upsetting to learn that our next baby girl was transverse which meant that even though I was receiving chiropractic care, was exercising, stretching and doing acupuncture I was still dealing with a mal-positioned baby. I felt like that I was doing everything right, but still dealt with these issues.

In medicine, nothing always works, and I the doctor became the patient and went to In-Health clinic to get treated for my mal-positioned baby.  I received acupuncture and chiropractic care on back-to-back days and the baby moved late in the night of the second day of treatment.  So baby Ho number 2 is doing well and was confirmed head down with an ultrasound about 1 week later and it was also noticed that she has Dr. Ho’s voluptuous lips which is exciting.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Helping ace your Fasting Blood Sugar Testing

Blood sugar testing is usually done before your 24th-week check up. It is a screening for gestational diabetes.  You are at all like me who hates the thought of having to stick herself constantly or you have previous pregnancy history with gestational diabetes, you may want to preventatively take Chromium. It is a mineral micro-nutrient that binds with insulin and helps manage the glucose molecules that we take into our bodies.

The first step to acing your fasting Blood Sugar testing is : About 1 month before my blood test, I started taking chromium daily at breakfast and lunch to help my blood sugar levels.  The other reason I took it was I was craving lots of fruit specifically nectarines and peaches. While they are a healthier sugar than corn syrup, they still have an effect on your blood sugar levels causing me to worry that I may not be managing my blood sugar levels very well.

The next big thing for acing your blood sugar levels is to make sure that you are balancing all your meals with a protein component.  That means if you eat that piece of fruit you are craving, then you also must eat a small handful of nuts and so forth.

You must also never forget to exercise regularly.  This means 30 minutes a day where you keep your heart rate up and make sure that your metabolism is working at a rate that will metabolize whatever food you are eating.

The last tip for acing your fasting Blood Sugar testing happens on the day of the blood draw.  Make sure and have a high protein meal before your blood draw. Make sure to not have a lot of sugar or eat pasta 24 hours prior to the blood test.  Once the lab has you drink the syrup, excuse yourself to the restroom and walk in the parking lot for the 45 minutes till they draw your blood.  This whole process from drinking the syrup till the draw is usually 1 hour with them needing you to be back about 10 minutes before you are due to get your blood draw.  This works very well and simulates more like real life as we are never sedimentary - especially for us second time mom’s with toddlers.

For me, I make some of my Zara playtime my 30 minutes a day exercise and after I took my test, I found that I was 40 points higher than my first pregnancy due to my sugar cravings of eating lots of fruit.  But that means that I have continued to exercise regularly and also am still on chromium to make sure that I don’t have high sugar levels that would harm the baby.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Facial’s that are safe and helpful during Pregnancy

The worst products to use during pregnancy are benzyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinols.  If acne or red-blotchy spots are what are plaguing you during your pregnancy, here are a few products you can use at home:  Sulphur-based topical products, glycolic acid or alpha-hydroxy acids and some at-home microdermabrasion treatments, as well as a lot of the natural based facial oils and products. Just make sure and test these against our list safe herbs during pregnancy.

While it may seem like a struggle to find these products, it is even harder to find aestheticians that use safe products so that you can pamper yourself or help out your hormonal, acne-prone, pregnant face.  I did find a wonderful aesthetician who does use safe products and even makes her own skin care products.

During certain holidays she even has a seasonal facial, like during October her wonderful pumpkin facial which you can now see a picture of me getting below.  I did this for my acne and just some swelling in my skin.  For a safe pregnancy facial check out: and ask for Michelle.

So here is the picture:  not glamorous during the process, but I did look better afterward.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pregnancy Cravings

More than just for fun, sometimes cravings are actually your body crying out for nutrients you are lacking, according to Dr. Andrei Rebarber M.D.   Most craving fall into the following categories - sweet, salty, spicy or occasionally, sour.  Only 10% of women actually crave fruits and veggies, which means your doctor may show concern over some of your cravings.  The worst part of the cravings is that you may actually fill up on unhealthy foods and snacks and leave little or no room for nutritious foods.  Weight is also a factor, since the average desired weight gain is 25-35 lbs. Too much unhealthy or fatty food can cause abnormal weight gain, which can create health problems for mom and baby.  Too much weight gain can also lead a mom into gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, which can be damaging to babies and even mom.  Rarely, some women find themselves with abnormal cravings, like dirt or cement.  Indulging those cravings can cause neurologic damage and even a drop in IQ. Be sure to cover your cravings during your doctor/practitioner visits, so that they can help you find some alternative ways to satisfy them. 
During my pregnancy with Zara the following are cravings I had:  Peaches in February, which are not easy to find, but Dr. Ho did!  Whiskey Chicken Burger from Red Robin’s and Licorice and cucumber salad. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Activities you can do while pregnant

Running: we recommend only running until you are 25 weeks
Rock climbing  (not bouldering): you must wear a pregnancy specific harness called the Mountain Mama see link for ordering:
Swimming: this is a good option during your entire pregnancy. Even if you just float or do water walking, it will help with swelling.
Yoga: select a prenatal yoga class if you are less experienced, but more experienced yogi’s can stay in regular classes since they are aware of body position practices.
Spin class: only if you have been biking prior to pregnancy . For some women who have anterior pelvic pain, this is not a good choice for them.
Pilates:  Try the Reformer Classes instead of the mat or floor classes
Hiking:  Set your own pace and make sure your breathing rhythm is even and not breathless (remember you are breathing for you and baby).
Body Sculpting classes: these classes prepare your body for labor and all the endurance of that event and pushing, but it may not be advised to start too late in pregnancy as you may have to much relaxation in your body.

With Zara, I ran 5 miles till I was 25 weeks along, then swiftly walked and also did yoga and power sculpting.  With my current baby, I am running 2-3 miles,  3 times a week and I do rock climbing and at home squats, step-ups and calf raises and lunges.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review of Pregnancy Apps

My View of Pregnancy Phone Applications:

1. What to Expect App:
*Love About it:  The video’s and the healthy tips are great.
*Least Favorite:  This is an application that costs to update to the full version and it can be overwhelming that they do a running check list of all the things you can possibly do.

2. Sprout:
*Love About it:  The graphics are great and it was rated by Time magazine as the best pregnancy application.  I believe that this is due to the fetal development pictures and I did love this.
*Least Favorite:  Cost is expensive but it does seem to have better graphics.

3. WebMD Pregnancy:
*Love about it:  It was super geeked out with things mom can track from appointments, to work-outs and what they need to get ready on a weekly basis.
*Least Favorite:  The information provided was lacking and it was also a little heavy in pushing medical procedures that may not be necessary for mom’s depending on their age and condition.

4. Pregnancy +:
*Loved about it:  It had nice pictures and easy to use icon’s.
*Least Favorite:  It had limited and kind of boring information for mom’s to be overall and I felt like a new mom needs a little more excitement as she is excited about her new child’s birth.

5. My Pregnancy:
*Loved about it:  It was in the form of a check-list and I am a busy mom that likes check-lists and organization.
*Least Favorite:  The layout was not done by week but day by dad and I found it visually very busy and a little confusing.  Also for me a little too much parenting advice and it all centered around buying things for your baby.

6. Baby Bump Pregnancy Pro:
*Love About it: The baby image size and they give basic information about each week and what to expect.  They also give fun tips for dad.  This is my favorite for its simplicity and ability to not over suggest medical procedures.  I followed it for my first pregnancy and with the 2nd pregnancy I am still enjoying the application.
*Not my Favorite:  The emphasis on sharing with a larger community and some of the shopping features.  I think that you are bombarded enough with the urge to purchase un-necessary items.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Prepping for a new baby with Labs

When you are ready to have another baby, it is extra important to make sure that your body is not depleted of nutrients going into the pregnancy.  Being pregnant and depleted can lead to all sorts of problems for both mom and baby including an increase in morning sickness or a lack of nutrients to actually build a healthy baby and this can be the worst problem of all.

We recommend getting the following testing done in advance of trying to get pregnant.  Most tests are done with a blood draw, however different variations of this testing is done based on the patients needs.

Micronutrient testing – analysis for vitamin and minerals
MTHFR testing for Folate metabolism
Hormone Testing – Estrogen, Progesterone, FSH, LH, Prolactin, Testosterone (total and free), Thyroid Panel (TSH, T3, Free T3, T4 Free T4, Thyroid Anti-body)
Fatty Acid Balance Testing (Omega 3 DHA, EPA and Omega 6 ALA, GLA)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Multi-vitamins for Toddlers and Babies

The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t necessarily advise giving your child a multi-vitamin supplement unless your doctor recommends one.  However they also claim that giving your child a multi-vitamin that follows common RDA value practices won’t do any harm.  Two key pieces of advise when are as follows:

·      Multi-vitamin is not a substitute for real foods but can be a helpful adage.
·      Children with lots of food sensitivies or children on very strick diets ( some vegetarians, vegan families, paleo etc.) may need a multi-vitamin to supplement missing vitamin’s and minerals.
·      Optional:  Dr. Walker also advises mom’s of picky eaters to try doing multi-vitamins to supplement there children for both health and peace of mind.

Here is how to choose a vitamin for you:

·      Children under 4 years of age need to do a liquid multi-vitamin as the chewable can be a choking hazard.
·      Vegetarians need vitamins B12 and Vitamin D as they may not get this in their diet.

If calcium is a great concern choose green leaf veggies as the calcium in these foods is more bioavailable and digestible to the body than milk based calcium.

Dr. Walker Choose Dr. Advantage Liquid Children’s Multi-Vitamin for Zara and it has a nice citrus flavor to it. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How to get your Kids to like the Outdoors

Families do well with facing physical challenges. These challenges can be some of the best memories a kid will have when they grow up.  Camping and hiking are some of the least expensive and healthiest activities a family can do.

We love camping and hiking as a family but we think that if you are going to start camping and hiking,  you need some tips to make it fun for your kids as well:

Remember Basic Needs:  enough food, water and clothing and plan rest times.
Limit Inconveniences:  Plan ahead for weather and bring necessary gear for rain or sun so that the kids are comfortable during the hike.
Find the activity you like:  Don’t force yourself to do something you don’t like because the kids will know and they won't have fun either. If you like hiking, go hiking; don’t make yourself go camping or canoeing if it’s not your favorite activity.
Location:  Vary your destination and make sure to choose locations based on the weather and which ones are the most fun for everyone.
Add Joy:  Add elements into your trip that you enjoy, like a swim in a waterfall or a rock climb. Doing things you look forward to will add extra fun for the kids as well.
Moments of Wonder:  Nature and the outdoors can inspire our spiritual natures and kids will benefits from this long term.
Special Goals for Hiking:  Outdoor games and buying kids their own backpacks or outdoor gear can get them to buy-in on the hiking process and helps them to take ownership of events.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

BooK Fair

Hello Friends,

I have made no disguise of how much I like children's books.  We are going to have a book Fair and if you are local your invited.  If you aren't I want to tell you about this awesome educational company called Usborne.  We had received some hand me down books and I love this brand so now I am hosting a book fair.  You can buy online or find a local dealer.

I love these books!  I want to share them with you too.  Use this link to order online OR come to 
In Health Clinic
Monday June 1, 2015

We will have light appetizers and drinks.
There will be books for sale at the event, and we can order online that evening.
The books will be delivered to In-Health Clinic within 10 days after June 1st.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dental Check-ups for Kids and Cavity Prevention Tips

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. Some children need more frequent dental visits because of an increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns or poor oral hygiene. Your pediatric dentist will let you know the best appointment schedule for your child.
How Can I help my child have Fewer Cavities?
1  Beware of napping with a juice bootle in the mouth, frequent snacking or too many sugary popsicles
2  Brush effectively twice a day
3  Floss once a day
4  Have sealants applied when appropriate
5  Seek regular dental check-ups
6 Discuss both Fluoride and non-Fluoride alternatives with your Child’s Dentist and make an informed choice.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Healthy Way to gain weight in Kid's and Babies

If this were an adult blog, typically we would be talking about how to lose weight.  Sometimes with children though,  they need to gain weight. One of the most common medical treatments is to supplement their diet with milk shakes or formula that has an oil supplementation.

A healthier way to gain weight is to stop the focus on calories and focus on healthy fats.  Meals that have a healthy dosage of fats can lead to slow and steady weight gain.   When selecting the fats to add in your  child’s foods,  make sure and select monounsaturated fats not the saturated kind.  Here are some suggestions:

1. Avocados – can be in guacamole and added to fruit smoothies.
2. Nuts - raw or roasted walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashew and pecan’s. – almonds can be a little hard to chew.
3. Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, chia and hemp which can also be in butter form.
4. Olives – can be as an olive oil or whole olives. You may need to rinse them to reduce the sodium content that is used in curing olives.
5.  Coconut oil – used in smoothies or oatmeal.

For infants, breast milk or formula can have coconut oil added to it. Also helpful, some herbs to help stimulate their appetite.  We have suggestions for herbs that be used - just ask!

This was not a problem for our family or Zara but it has been in so many cases that I wanted to write about these home food based remedies for other mom’s.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Will, Trust and Guardianship for your Baby

Before the birth of  our daughter, we never cared what would happen to our stuff if we died suddenly.  Now that we have Zara, we realize the importance of making a plan for their/our future.  A common time to think about will’s and trusts is during life events, marriage, baby or big promotions that come with a lot more money.  I can tell you that I don’t want my Zara to end up in foster care till the courts can decide which family member or friend will raise her to adulthood.  

We decided to do a will/trust after Zara was born.  The beautiful thing about the document is it can use broad language like “our children are the beneficiaries of our estate” which  means that right now Zara may be the only child we have but as soon as we get pregnant that other child is already provided for in our will without making a trip to the estate planner’s office.  Here is what you need to decide prior to setting up your Will and Trust.

  1. Who is going to be the guardian of your Children if both you and your partner were to die or become incapacitated?
  2. Who is going to be the executor of your estate (who controls the money)?
  3. Who is going to handle the advanced directive (who makes medical decisions for you)?

Start thinking about who you trust before you go meet the attorney.  Attorney’s typically have a worksheet to fill out prior to your first meeting which will help you make those decisions. We did this for Zara so that I knew my brother and sister-in-law will raise and take care of her using the money from her inheritance and even though I hope nothing ever happens it is nice to be prepared.

Here are 2 estate planning attorney’s I like and trust:

Law offices of Jason L. Pintar 408-983-0500  

Law offices of Diane Brown 408-376-275540

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Arts and Crafts for Toddlers

If you have a child that is 18-36 months and loves discovering and drawing, this is my favorite time to start them in the art world.  One of the many suggestions that is suggested is to get an art easel. They are fast and easy to clean up.  I have found that Zara likes to use the water color markers more than chalk as the colors are more dramatic.  Here are a list of fun kid’s art products other than drawing.

Finger paint – Wonder paper has a version that uses alcohol to activate the colors so there is almost no mess to clean up.
Body tracing and coloring that makes a life size replica of the child. Zara loves this!
Marble painting – take a marble, dip it in paint, then drop it into a cardboard box that has a paper taped to the bottom and roll it around and the marble creates the art.
Paper Face bags are fun but you may have to do the glueing depending on your child's age.
Make cards for Grandparents  - use your child's previous drawings or paintings and cut them into shapes and have your child glue them on a card to send to the grandparents.  Zara did this for Valentines day
Cork Printing – take old wine bottle corks and press into paint then onto the paper to make different designs. Make sure to use non toxic paints.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Adjusting Infants and Children

As  a family practice chiropractor,  I often get asked when is the best time to have your child adjusted.  There are many appropriate milestones in a child’s life when they should be getting an adjustment and I follow this with my own daughter.  Here is a link on our website talking in more medical terms about a child’s adjustment schedule.

One of the most important times to get a child adjusted is postpartum about a month after birth; it can be earlier if breast-feeding or colicky issues are present.  The postpartum check-up is important since birth can be a very athletic event on both mom and baby and sometimes muscles and joints will get strained causing minor issues like constipation or reduced nerve function.  Since this is a period in a babies life where rapid growth takes place, you want your little one to be in optimal health.

The youngest baby I have adjusted in my practice was 4 hours old, and he slept through the entire procedure, in which I used only my fingers. And with gentle pressure and craniosacral therapy,  major adjustments can be made to a little ones nervous system to improve body function, neurologic response and overall health.

For my own daughter, I adjusted her immediately as she rested on my chest right after birth, even though I promised myself I wouldn’t; but in that moment holding her I just couldn’t help myself and my finger’s kind of naturally went to work.

Zara receives adjustments periodically, mostly after major falls and I check her monthly.  While most of us don’t have a chiropractor that live with them, we do recommend that you get your little one checked 2 times a year just like you would get your teeth cleaned.

Here is a picture of Zara and Dr. Walker playing on the chiropractic table.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Favorite Book List for Toddlers

Here is my favorite book list.  It is based on the several online lists with the most award winning names on it. The names with Asterisks (*) next to it I have purchased and already love.  The titles with a hashtag (#)are on my Amazon wish list for Zara. I hope your little one loves to read as much as mine does. Many of the books I purchase for Zara are in cardboard book form so Zara can read them un-supervised.
1.  Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type by Doreen Gronin *
2.  Alexander and the Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
3.  Are you My Mother by P.D. Eastman
4.  The story of Babar the little elephant by Jean De Brunhoff
5.  Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
6.  Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
7.  Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
8.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault #
9.  Corduroy by Don Freeman *
10.  Dear Zoo By Rod Campbell
11. Doctor De Soto by William Steig
12.  Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems #
13. Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough #
14.  Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi
15.  The Story of Ferdind by Munro Leaf
16.  The Frog and the Toad Treasury by Arnold Lobel
17.  The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein #
18.  The very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle *
19.  Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
20.  Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton #
21.  Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown #
22.  Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino #
23.  The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle *
24.  Giraffes Can't Dance By Gilse Andreas
25.  Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson #
26.  The Little Airplane by Lois Lenski #
27.  Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
28.  Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington
29.  The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
30.  Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Diaper Bag inside your Handbag, Stylish and Practical!

So who loves all the options out there for Diaper bags? Well I didn’t…  They were either fashionable but not really fashionable and not practical or they were functional and ugly.  I also wasn’t jazzed by the idea of paying several hundred dollars for a nice diaper bag when that money could be spent on a nice handbag that you wouldn’t mind carrying even after your kids’ grew up.

A patient of mine introduced me to the “Diaper Bag inside your Handbag” by Life in Play.  I tested it on a flight to Phoenix with my daughter. I placed the removable diaper bag into my Long Champ purse.  The results were amazing and I loved the organizer. It was not only better than my current diaper bag,  but it fit inside my stylish bag. It was nice to feel a little glamorous as a mom.  I have since tested it on a 5 hour flight which contained all of the baby essentials as well as toys and it still performed well.

Here is the website link:

Here is my bag and organizer.