s5 e16: Pregnancy Updates and Q&A

health during pregnancy & common questions

Pregnancy Updates and Q&A

In this episode, I am sharing details about the first half of my second pregnancy, comparing it to my previous, sharing what I’m doing differently, and answering your common pregnancy questions. I also did a bonus episode for my Patreon members answering their questions on pregnancy. You can find this on patreon.com/hormonehealingrd

As always, this episode is for informational purposes only. Please talk with your provider before making any nutrition or lifestyle changes.

This episode covers:

  • What I did for my health before trying to conceive again
  • How this pregnancy compares to my first
  • Timing HTMAs before conceiving, during pregnancy, and postpartum
  • Answering common questions such as what I’m doing differently, my thoughts on placenta encapsulation, and how to help with morning sickness

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Free Resources:

Free Healthy Period Starter Guide
Mineral Imbalance Quiz
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Feminine Periodical (monthly newsletter)


Nervous system episode

Pregnancy episode 1

Pregnancy episode 2

Digestion episode 

Mineral rich pudding

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Amanda Montalvo [00:00:01]:

Welcome to the are you menstrual? Podcast, where we dive deep into all things women’s health to support you on your healing journey. I’m Amanda Montalbo functional and integrative dietitian, also known as the hormone healing Rd. If you enjoyed this podcast and you want to keep learning, check out the podcast Patreon, where I share a bonus episode with additional downloadable resources. Each week you can go to patreon.com forward, slash one Healing Rd or check out the link in the show notes. All right, we have our pregnancy episode. I was going to do a case study and then I was like, I mean, I’m pretty pregnant so I could do it on myself. And last time I was pregnant with my first daughter, I did three episodes on the pregnancy. I think I did one in the beginning partway through.

Amanda Montalvo [00:00:54]:

I did like three full episodes on it, or at least two that I’ll link in the show Notes. But I did at least a couple of episodes. I went into great detail with labs. There’s a lot of similarities, for sure, but there’s definitely a lot of differences with my approach to pregnancy. This time. I mean, I’m not a first time mom. This time I actually know a little bit, so that helps a lot. But I’m going to link those episodes.

Amanda Montalvo [00:01:18]:

I’ll refer to them a few times. And so if you have not listened and you want to listen, you can definitely go for it. So I’ll kind of compare to my previous pregnancy. I’ll give some updates because I did an Instagram post. I got so many questions from all of you. I’ll talk about what I’m doing differently and then I have some common pregnancy questions. A lot of people posted questions on that reel. I did like the most casual pregnancy announcement ever because I was like, I didn’t feel like thinking of anything cute or clever to do.

Amanda Montalvo [00:01:51]:

Taking care of a toddler by myself right now while my husband was a point. I’m like, yeah, I’m just going to do a video that says, hey, I’m pregnant. And I am doing a bonus episode where I’m answering pretty detailed questions from my Patreon members. I have a bunch submitted so far. I’m sure they’ll submit some more, but just some specific things around like iodine supplementation stuff during pregnancy, which I’ll talk a little bit about here because I am using it again. Preeclampsia conceiving, over 35 copper levels, vitamin A and what’s safe, things like that. And prenatals, which is always a common question. I have a bonus episode on Patreon on that, but I’ll go over a bunch of stuff, mineral, imbalances that I commonly see and then a few people that are currently pregnant that want some tips for symptoms that they’re experiencing.

Amanda Montalvo [00:02:41]:

So you can get all of my patreon content on Patreon.com hormonehealingrd. Remember, this episode is for informational purposes only. Please talk with your provider before you make any nutrition supplement, lifestyle changes. All right, so little quick rundown of pregnancy details. This is my second pregnancy. I conceived when my daughter was 13 months old, and a lot of people were very concerned that I conceived so soon again. And I’m like, I mean, she’s not like, six months that she’s over one, but I understand in this holistic functional nutrition space, there’s a lot of talk around pregnancy spacing or child spacing, and I did get a question on that, so I’ll go into that more. But this is something where this is why information is helpful online, and it’s so helpful to learn from people.

Amanda Montalvo [00:03:38]:

Child spacing is definitely we see that a lot in different cultures, but ultimately you have to decide what’s right for you. And there’s a lot of decisions and nuances that I think go into this, at least for our family. They definitely did. I felt very ready, honestly. Once I was a year postpartum, my daughter turned one, and then it was mother’s Day soon after that, and my husband and I were talking, and he really wants to have more kids. I really want to have more kids. We love being parents. Eliana is so fun, and this age is so fun.

Amanda Montalvo [00:04:18]:

She’s, like, just over 17 months at the time. I’m recording this. It’s like a blast. So we felt really ready, and I think that’s an important thing to consider. Like, are you ready stress wise, time wise, schedule wise, to have another child? And a big thing that came up for us. My husband is active duty military. He’s in the air force, and the part of the military he works for is very busy. He is often gone a lot, sadly.

Amanda Montalvo [00:04:50]:

So we do have some heads up on his deployment schedule, though. Like, his longer deployments we typically know pretty far in advance. And so we knew that he was going to be deploying in August of this year and then coming back around end of December, beginning of January. And when we decided in end of May ish, we were like, okay, we feel like we’re ready to stop avoiding, because if you listen to my previous episodes on pregnancy, it took us a year to conceive our first daughter. And I think I was just way too stressed. He was also very stressed. We just had a lot going on with where we were living and so many transitions in life, and I was working a lot, trying to build up my business and also put systems in my business so that I’m like, I was, like, 31, 32 at the time. And I’m like, I really want to have kids soon, but that’s not even, like, an option right now with how my business is run.

Amanda Montalvo [00:05:54]:

And so there was a lot of things going on, and plus, it’s just really stressful being a military spouse. It really is. His life is stressful. His health is greatly compromised when he’s deployed, unfortunately. And yeah, when we finally conceived, it was amazing, but it took us a year and I was like, man, this is what I do for a living. This sucks, this doesn’t feel right. But stress, that was like my beginnings of being like, I really have to address this stress. I can’t hide from it anymore.

Amanda Montalvo [00:06:26]:

It’s affecting my life and what I want to achieve and growing a family. And so that was like a big wake up call. I thought that it was going to take us longer to conceive our second daughter, to be completely know. We’re you know, it took us a year to conceive Eliana. We both were open and ready. We felt ready. I felt ready physically, which was really important to me. I took postpartum very slowly.

Amanda Montalvo [00:06:51]:

I have helped a lot of women through the postpartum season. I’ve had so many friends and family members go through pregnancy and postpartum. So I guess that was like a really beneficial thing for me, like, being older and having my first pregnancy. I was, like, 32 when I was pregnant and had my daughter. And I just had a lot more experience in that way and a lot of more people to lean on for advice that I felt like I was going to get sound advice from, because some advice you get, you’re just like, okay, I’m just going to nod and say thank you. But I knew I was like, I’m not going to rush into anything postpartum, especially because I’m definitely consider myself an athlete. I’ve been athlete my whole life and I knew that I was going to want to get back to that, but I’m like, I’m just going to give my body so much grace and time to recover. And for me, I think that made a really big difference.

Amanda Montalvo [00:07:42]:

I did not focus on weight loss, and I’ll definitely talk about this again, but a lot of people are like, well, were your minerals replenished? How were your hormones? It was only a year postpartum. Are you still breastfeeding? I’m like, yes, I’m still breastfeeding. My daughter and I did testing leading up, and that’s the other thing that I was like, me and my husband felt like we were ready. His deployment schedule was coming up and we’re like, okay, so if you’re gone August to January, then you’re home for a year. And I was like, that would be great because he was gone. He deployed when my daughter was two and a half months. Then that was rough for everyone involved. And so it was one of those things where, like, timing wise, with his deployment schedule, it made sense.

Amanda Montalvo [00:08:30]:

I felt physically ready. I did some thyroid blood work. My thyroid looked so good. And it’s one of those things I’ve really struggled with since I got off the pill, literally, maybe even before then. I just never had my thyroid tested when I was that young. But since I was like 20 years old, so very long time, and it did improve a ton before I conceived my first daughter. But this time I didn’t have super high expectations. I was like, I’m doing a lot postpartum.

Amanda Montalvo [00:09:02]:

I’m trying to run a business, trying to support other women in their health and their healing, trying to be a good mom and also enjoy my time with my daughter, not get so caught up in being busy and rushing around. I hate rushing. I hate rushing, and that’s something that I’m very mindful about with our daughter. So just like, all those things, it was all coming together, and I was like, wow, my thyroid looks really good, my hair test looks good. I did a lot of gut work, which I’ll talk about when I talk about more of the comparison, like postpartum. And that made a huge difference in my overall health. I felt healthier going into this pregnancy than I did my first one. And I think because it’s my second pregnancy, people assume that that’s not the case, but it can be.

Amanda Montalvo [00:09:54]:

Yes, I have the knowledge, right? I have the background, I have access to testing and all that stuff. Not everyone has that. But I will say we have so many clients that go on to have multiple pregnancies, and they’re like, oh, my second pregnancy, my third pregnancy is so much better. One, I think you learn a lot of things in between, right? But then also, it’s like taking care of yourself, it really does pay off. So that was pretty much the reasoning behind us being like, okay, we’re ready, and then we just happened to get pregnant the first month that we did not avoid, which was really shocking and very exciting all at the same time. We were just like, Wait, what? This was the first time I ovulated. And we conceived right away just because it hadn’t happened the last time when we got pregnant with our first daughter. So very exciting.

Amanda Montalvo [00:10:49]:

Also, I just kind of thought, we probably won’t conceive before he deploys, but hopefully we conceive when he gets back. But honestly, based on his schedule and stuff, I’m happy because now when he gets home, we’ll have a whole year, and I’m due in March, so we’ll get like ten months before he has to leave again. Well, for a long deployment, he’ll probably be gone for short trips in between, but we can handle those. So, yeah, that’s kind of like my why how we even got here with this whole conception thing. I didn’t really share with the world that we were trying to conceiving in because I don’t think you guys really care or need to know that. But yeah, a lot of people were surprised, and I’m like, it’s okay. I also got my cycle back five months postpartum, which was, like, shocking, and I was not ready for it at all because I was breastfeeding. We bed share.

Amanda Montalvo [00:11:43]:

I mean, I spend literally every second with my daughter except for when she’s napping and sometimes sleeping at night. So it was one of those things where I was like, man, I was really hoping to get a little more time without having a cycle. But now, looking ahead to the future, of course, I had seven cycles where I ovulated and that’s a lot of time to build up good hormone production. So that’s the other thing. It wasn’t like I didn’t have a cycle postpartum and I just had my first one back and we conceived. I had been cycling for it was like my eigth cycle that I got pregnant postpartum. Okay, so some of the comparisons I did so much work, I would say like mentally, emotionally, physically when I had my daughter, like the postpartum people focus so much on pregnancy. Not that it’s not important, it obviously is, but I’ll tell you what, postpartum is a whole other thing.

Amanda Montalvo [00:12:43]:

And so that was something where, again, I feel healthier now than I was before. Yes. Is it a lot like taking care of my daughter and trying to work and doing the nap time hustle and all that stuff? Absolutely. But there’s no other way that works for me to do it. We tried to have childcare, we tried to do a nanny and I just couldn’t do it. It just did not like I didn’t like it. Eliana didn’t like it was hard, but it was one of those things you kind of feel like you need to do it because you’re like, I need to work more. But I’m like, honestly, we will figure it out.

Amanda Montalvo [00:13:23]:

Because ultimately, deep down, I knew in my gut that it was wrong for us. And I know not everyone has that ability to make that decision, but I just couldn’t do it. I just could not do it. And I don’t know the other way to describe it. And I was like, we’ll just figure it out. And I mean, when my husband’s not deployed, we have a whole schedule that allows me to work a lot more. So it’s a lot easier when he’s home and it works for us. But that was a really stressful part of my postpartum period.

Amanda Montalvo [00:13:55]:

And I felt like once we figured that out, it reduced a ton of my stress and I could really enjoy things. So figuring that out was huge for me because stress is very important. Like, yes, I worked on my gut health, I supported my body. I didn’t really do anything different like food wise. I just ate the same way I always eat. I’m always mindful of hydrating properly with minerals. The biggest thing was looking at my gut health because in my pregnancy with my daughter Eliana, I had a bunch of gut things pop up. And it’s funny because I did a stool test before I conceived her and there wasn’t much on it.

Amanda Montalvo [00:14:36]:

My immune system didn’t look great. I didn’t have GI symptoms, but you don’t have to have digestive symptoms in order to have gut issues, right? My Acne flared first trimester, and I was like, oh, come on, this is not fun. And then it got better, and then I started to get eczema in the corners of my eyes. And I have pictures and everything in post online. I had eczema on the corner of my eyes, which is like a huge sign of liver stress and like, phenomenal. So I had to start addressing that. And there’s only so much you can do during there’s a lot you can do during pregnancy, gut wise. And that’s what I started to do.

Amanda Montalvo [00:15:14]:

But it was like, I knew that I would get a lot more progress with that postpartum because think about it, you’re pregnant, you have higher hormone levels, your body’s doing so much work to add more work with certain supplements for your gut. It can be helpful. But I just didn’t want to tax my liver more and more and more, so I just kind of did like the bare minimum to get the Eczema to go away. It did end up resolving in my third trimester, thank goodness. It was so very painful, but I knew I was like, I need to work on my gut health postpartum because my gut health, of course, it still affects Eliana’s gut health. And now she has a bout of Eczema that we are currently it’s very minor, but I don’t want it to get too crazy because I have so many friends and clients who the Eczema can get really bad really quick, especially in kids, and it’s very life altering, especially for them, for the parents, for everyone. And I knew I did a stool test on her when she was a baby. Oh, my gosh, I forget the name of it, but I knew that there was a little bit of imbalance in her gut, and we did some probiotics when she was little, which were so hard to get her to take because she wouldn’t take a bottle.

Amanda Montalvo [00:16:34]:

She only nursed, so we didn’t get them in every single day. But it’s like she did definitely get some, and then as she got older, they were so much easier to give to her in food and stuff. But I wanted to work on my gut health so I could make sure that that’s still going to affect her gut health and then of course, this baby’s gut health. And so I did a stool test postpartum, and also I did not do any of this work until my daughter was like eight months old because I wasn’t ready. And the way that I feel about testing is that you should not do lab testing if you don’t have the capacity to make change based on the results. And it’s okay if you don’t. That means that right now, testing is not the thing that’s going to help you for the first eight months I was one in the beginning. I was just enjoying her.

Amanda Montalvo [00:17:26]:

I couldn’t have cared about anything else. And I knew my husband was leaving soon, so we just spent all of our time together. And then when he was gone, I definitely wasn’t going to do any testing. I think I did do a hair test at one point. I think my mom cut my hair. I either did it while he was gone or right when he got back, but that was like the only thing I did. And then I waited till I was like eight months postpartum, did a GI Map stool test, and that is what I won. My immune system improved from my test before my first pregnancy, so I was like and then I did still have some imbalances.

Amanda Montalvo [00:18:04]:

Absolutely. I had a pathogen present. I didn’t have any parasites, but I didn’t have enough good bacteria and my digestion didn’t look great. So I did basic supplements. I did lots of liver support. And I know that this is very controversial while breastfeeding, but you just got to do what works for you. Your liver is still working while you’re breastfeeding. So I don’t know.

Amanda Montalvo [00:18:27]:

You can just do lower doses of everything. Obviously talk to your practitioner because not every supplement is safe for breastfeeding or pregnancy, but very few are, unfortunately. But you can time nursing like 2 hours away from when you take supplements or do castor oil packs because I did that kind of stuff. I use Sauna a little bit, but I would always do it right after I put her down for a nap. That’s when I’d be like, okay, this is what I’m going to take my supplements or do any sort of therapy where Castro packs or Sauna where I wouldn’t necessarily want her to nurse right away. So that’s how I timed it. And it wasn’t always perfect, but she’s okay. And her gut health, it was interesting because she had some cradle cap going on in the beginning and she had some baby acne.

Amanda Montalvo [00:19:17]:

And I know a lot of those things can definitely be considered normal, but it was like they were kind of lingering for a while. And once I started because I did a lot of liver support before I did the gut test, I started to notice her stuff clearing up and I was like, okay, this makes me feel better. But it’s like you can address this stuff while breastfeeding. It is very nuanced. You have to do what works for you. And honestly, I can’t give advice unless I’m working one on one with someone. So I know I’m going to get questions, but it really depends. But like, milk thistle is safe during pregnancy.

Amanda Montalvo [00:19:51]:

I’m pregnant right now and I’m taking milk thistle and I definitely plan to continue it postpartum if I feel like I need it. But again, I did so much gut work before this pregnancy that I do feel like that’s going to set me up to not need those types of things postpartum it was just that when you’re pregnant, your immune system shifts and a lot of things become uncovered, like my eczema and gut imbalances. So that’s like how I chose to address it. Postpartum I did some very low dose things of certain herbals to help with the overgrowth. I really supported my digestion, which was key. I did that with digestive bitters. I did the chamomile ones because they’re safe while you’re breastfeeding or pregnant from urban moonshine. Sometimes I just did apple cider vinegar.

Amanda Montalvo [00:20:36]:

If I ran out or I didn’t have them easily on hand, I do well with either of those. So I kind of like interchange them. And at the time postpartum, I wanted more blood sugar support. So I tended to do the apple cider vinegar more because that can help with stabilizing blood sugar levels because when you’re not sleeping as much, you definitely can notice your blood sugar being a bit all over the place. So doing all that gut worth made a big difference. This time I felt really good. My first trimester, I had like two weeks from weeks like seven to nine, where I was pretty nauseous, but that was it. And I was like, thank God.

Amanda Montalvo [00:21:14]:

So I think that that played a huge role in that. Because if you have histamine issues, nausea can be huge, especially if you have like, hyperemesis. I think a lot of that is related to histamine mast cell issues. I’m going to do a whole podcast episode with someone that I really like how she explains all this stuff on that. So I will definitely talk about that in the future. That was like a huge request. And I’m like, it’s probably your gut, histamine mast cell issues, which a lot of people have. Unfortunately.

Amanda Montalvo [00:21:46]:

I also utilized a lot of iodine during my first pregnancy because I was still trying to support my thyroid and I was still deficient going in. And this time I’m using a lot less. I just didn’t feel like I needed as much. I’ve been taking I took it throughout through pregnancy, all through postpartum since your requirements go up while you’re breastfeeding. And then I was closely monitoring my hair test, my thyroid labs. I actually did not redo my iodine urine test because I was like, I just don’t think that’s going to change my decision. Because if my hair tests and my thyroid labs look good, I’m not going to worry about I still am taking iodine. I’m just taking a lower dose.

Amanda Montalvo [00:22:23]:

And if I feel like I need more, if I do any testing that shows me I need more, I would increase it. But lower dose is working well for me right now. And again, I feel really good. My labs looked really good. So I’m like, I’m not going to mess with it, right? Not going to create a problem that’s not there. Like, I said I didn’t focus on weight loss after pregnancy. And I think this is an important thing to mention because a lot of people are asking about how you replenish. Are you fully nourished.

Amanda Montalvo [00:22:50]:

Again, how do you know you are ready? Your body physically was ready, but postpartum, I really focused on eating enough food, number one, because I wanted to be mindful to support my milk supply and stress. Right. I didn’t sleep terribly postpartum, but in the beginning, it’s like you don’t know what you’re doing. We had a lot of issues with nursing and tongue and lip ties and a lot of stress there that I’m really hoping to avoid this time because it’s like, I have the experience now, but it was very stressful in the beginning, so it was like, not great sleep. I was just so worried about her, and I just didn’t know what I was doing. And there are so many decisions to make, and you’re like, man, I got to block out all the noise and figure out what’s right for us. And that was hard. But I think that that was a huge learning kind of moment for me, and it really changed my perspective on a lot of different things.

Amanda Montalvo [00:23:45]:

So I’m grateful for it now, but I really focused on replenishing, eating enough, getting enough protein, so important. I just feel like I don’t know if everyone I tend to see this in a lot of the clients we work with, not everyone, but it’s like, protein I can easily slack on. So it’s one of those where I really have to focus on it and be like, no, I definitely need more protein. So for me, it’s a really easy focus and it’s not anything that makes me feel, like, obsessive or stressed out. So focusing on getting enough protein and just honestly getting as strong as I could. I did not do any type of exercise until I think I was, like, around five weeks. I felt, like, ready to start slowly moving again. And I was not lifting any weights or anything like that.

Amanda Montalvo [00:24:31]:

I just mean, like, moving my body more. We were going for walks before then, but that was it and doing, like, breath work, but I was like, okay. I feel like I’m slowly starting to get ready to move my body. And then I just really did not overdo it because I was like, I don’t feel like it. And I’m at the point in my life where I know how to listen to my body and I’m so grateful for then. And it’s funny because I did a podcast episode with Lindsay from Birth Fit on postpartum, and I wasn’t nine months yet, I don’t think. But she was talking about how at nine months, a huge shift happens. She sees it happen for so many women where they finally feel like they can lift heavy again and they really start to feel strong and more like themselves.

Amanda Montalvo [00:25:20]:

And I’m not kidding you, right at nine months, that’s how I felt. And it makes sense to me because it’s like you grew a baby for nine months, and now they’ve been out of you for nine months. So it just makes sense that your body has had that significant amount of time to recover. Now. I wasn’t, like, fully recovered at nine months, but I could really start lifting heavy, going a little bit harder with my workouts, and I didn’t feel like it was taxing on me because before it was like, listen, I have all these other things going on. I was still trying to figure out how to work and be a mom and be happy and not be too stressed and enjoy my life with my husband. It was a lot. So I was like, honest.

Amanda Montalvo [00:25:59]:

I know a lot of women focus on weight loss postpartum and I’m just like, how do you even have time to worry about that? I was just trying to get the hang of things, basically. And so right around that nine month mark, I was like, okay, I feel like we’re really starting to get the hang of things around here, and I can go a little bit harder. Again, I was not focused on weight loss because to me, that tells me nothing about my health, right? So that’s right around the time I was doing stool testing and started a gut protocol, for me, that was so much more important because it was something I knew I needed to address before we conceived our second child and just being really strong. I got super strong right before I had ileana, and I’m so grateful for it because it’s hard to work out during pregnancy. It really is. It’s something that definitely makes me feel the best. Like, I’m still very active now, but it gets harder and harder. It’s hard first trimester, right? I mean, it’s just hard to have the then because for me, it’s hard to just keep up with eating enough first trimester, but then second trimester, it’s usually easy.

Amanda Montalvo [00:27:06]:

And then when you start to get really big, right around that between 30 and 34 weeks, my belly got so huge, and I’m like, man, this is hard. And doing hard things before you get pregnant can be very helpful for your mindset towards doing those things that you know are going to make you feel good that are very hard while you’re pregnant. So that is something that I’m very grateful for and that I wanted to do again. I wanted to get as strong as I could before we conceived this daughter. We’re having another girl. And then I definitely had some stressful seasons. Postpartum like I mentioned, my husband was deployed for a while. We had a bunch of short deployments where he was gone, like, last minute and stuff.

Amanda Montalvo [00:27:48]:

It’s hard, right? Because it’s like we’re trying to work things out with our schedule so that I. Can work. And it was just very stressful, but not like the whole time. But we had a few times where he had up and left and he was gone for like three weeks. And I was like, man, I have got to get it together because this is going to happen again. And I was like, I want to feel good because it affects how my daughter feels. It affects how our whole house feels, even our dogs, oddly enough. So that’s really when I was like I had to relearn how to take care of myself as a mom, basically, and learn how to do it when my husband wasn’t home, which is very difficult.

Amanda Montalvo [00:28:36]:

But now it feels easy because he’s been gone for like two and a half months, I think. And now I’m in the swing of things. And this is like our fourth appointment with a kid. So it’s not like brand new, but it’s challenging. And it’s interesting because when I did a podcast sharing my birth story with Caitlin oh my gosh, what is her podcast? It’s happy home birth podcast. And I was like, honestly, yes, I had a great home birth. But it was extremely painful and difficult. It just was.

Amanda Montalvo [00:29:10]:

And she was know, a lot of times I think we have the birth that we need to. And I do think that I needed to have that really challenging, mentally and physically, just so challenging because it was going to be a hard first year of postpartum. And it wasn’t all hard. I don’t want to make it sound terrible. I’ve had a great time. I love being a mom. My daughter’s hilarious and we have a lot of fun. I’m definitely tired sometimes.

Amanda Montalvo [00:29:37]:

But overall, obviously we felt ready to have another. So it couldn’t be that bad, right? But yeah, those were just that stressful season in postpartum. Like being mindful of that and I was not overdoing workouts, then I would definitely sleep more. I’d make sure I was eating enough, going back to those basics. And it can feel so like, that’s it. But it’s like that was it. That’s what I had to focus on, doing the little things to take care of myself and finding routines with my daughter so that I was not hyper stressed and frazzled all the time and then just being incredibly intentional and mindful with my work schedule and how I get things done. I asked for help, but it’s like I don’t have family nearby.

Amanda Montalvo [00:30:22]:

And again, we tried the nanny. It made me way more stressed and miserable, to be honest. Sorry for listening to this, but I just can’t do it. It’s not right for us. I just die when I’m not with my daughter, even when I want to be alone, which I feel like only a mom would understand. So figuring that out was like a big thing. So that’s all the things that I did differently this time, that really forced me into, how can you make it work when things are really hard and feel impossible and still take care of yourself? And it was a challenging year, but it was one where again, I felt healthier. Then I was like, in May, like, I’m ready to have another baby.

Amanda Montalvo [00:31:06]:

I cannot believe I’m saying those things, but I really do. And then when we conceived and we went through that first trimester over the summer, highly do not recommend. Oh my like, because we live in North Carolina and normally I’m in Florida now because my husband’s gone, but basically the same thing, right? Just so when you’re I was just so much more sensitive to the heat in the first I my first trimester last time was in the fall. It was great, but I did not have as much nausea. Just a couple of weeks, which was amazing. My energy was good, I just had to eat a lot, which happened last time. But it was interesting because I was thinking back and I’m like, man, I had to eat frequently, even like halfway through my 1st, 2nd trimester last time. Which is kind of a long time because typically after the first trimester, you see a shift where you don’t need to constantly eat.

Amanda Montalvo [00:32:01]:

But I think I had reflux that was showing up as nausea. I had a lot of the eczema. I had a lot of the Histamine type symptoms in my last pregnancy because of some gut imbalances in gut stress, which then puts stress on your liver and then can show up in your skin. And eczema, like my skin had so I had to eat frequently this time. Once I hit eleven weeks, I was back to normal with my food. Which was so nice because I like just eating big dense meals and just having a few of those couple of snacks and then I want a true snack and I want another meal, so that’s like when I feel the best. So it was really nice being able to go back to that much sooner. This time.

Amanda Montalvo [00:32:46]:

And again, I think it was some reflux, like histamine symptoms that I was experiencing last time. I would say I’ve been outside a lot more this time. Being pregnant with a toddler is very different, right? And it’s so funny when I talk to friends that have multiple children, they’re like, how are you feeling? Are you okay? Is it like SOS type of situation? Are you all good? Because obviously I don’t sit down. I sit down for meals. Otherwise me and Eliana are always outside doing stuff or she’s helping me clean, do things around the house. We’re always going and unless we’re reading she loves to read. We read a lot of books. She’s just like me.

Amanda Montalvo [00:33:30]:

It’s so funny. But we’re moving and grooving a lot. I get like over 13,000 steps every day, even on the days I don’t work out. So I’m like, okay, very active this pregnancy? Definitely I would say more active than my last one and then just getting more light exposure last time. Think about it, I was probably working like 50 hours a week trying to prep for a maternity leave. I hired another nutritionist and then had to train her. It was a lot. There was so many things I was trying to prepare for and get ready for and shift in my business so that I could be a mom and be able to be home with my daughter.

Amanda Montalvo [00:34:12]:

Because it’s like I knew that childcare wasn’t going to work for us when I was pregnant. So I was know, viciously trying to figure everything out. But yeah, I think the light exposure this time makes a big difference. I’m very mindful of that, especially know one of the things I think about for Eliana is I just want her to have a really good circadian rhythm because I want her to sleep good, because I want to sleep good because I need so much sleep because I’m pregnant. I want her to nap well. Sleep is so important for her growth. It’s also so important for my sanity and because I work while she sleeps. So she’s had a really good circadian rhythm even since she was like a newborn because we always took her outside a ton.

Amanda Montalvo [00:34:57]:

And so that’s something that we still do. Like we eat breakfast outside in the morning, we go for a morning walk, lots of morning light. And that’s been something that I’m like. I really think that helped my thyroid because thyroid hormone production is very much so based on your circadian rhythm. It fluctuates throughout the day. So I think that has had a huge impact on my thyroid this past year and even going into this pregnancy because I’m going to check it again. I checked the first trimester, I’ll check it again, probably end of second, maybe going into my third. And then I’ll probably do one more test before I have her.

Amanda Montalvo [00:35:38]:

And I wasn’t doing that because I was working so much last pregnancy and I think it has made a huge difference. But the gut work, the light exposure, working on my day to day schedule so that I’m not constantly rushing around like a crazy person because it’s like Eliana doesn’t do well when she’s rushed. Neither do I. Does anyone? So I think that has really I just I’m in a hard season. I’m not going to say I’m not right now because my husband’s deployed, but we’re figuring it out and it’s definitely not impossible. And I have a positive outlook with it, which is not easy to do. Usually I run out of positivity at some point during a deployment, but two and a half months in and I’m like, I feel like pretty good about this. I have compiled all of my favorite and I think best to get started with mineral resources in one place and that is my Minerals 101 guide.

Amanda Montalvo [00:36:38]:

This is a free guide that I will share my screen for those that are watching the video version of this podcast and go through with you quickly now. So I basically wanted a place where if someone’s new to my podcast, my Instagram, and you’re like, wow, she mentions minerals a lot. And I can go off on tangents and talk about how they’re so important for different things. I wanted a place where you could just download this quick guide and get right into, okay, what are minerals? How do they affect our hormones? How do they get depleted in the first place? How can we test them? And then I have additional learning and resources depending on the topics that you want to get into. But I think this is definitely the best way to get started with all my content that I share, especially if you’re brand new here and you’re like, I don’t even know where to get started with minerals. Start here and I promise you won’t be confused and you’ll know, what are the next steps to take. And if you have specific health concerns, you’ll see at the very end of the guide here, I go through, okay, so if you want to take our mineral quiz, if you have thyroid health concerns, if you have period concerns, if you just want to hear from me on a regular basis, here’s my newsletter. So I tried to put everything in one place.

Amanda Montalvo [00:37:48]:

I also have mineral Deep Dive podcast episodes that I link to if you want to get into specific minerals as well. But I highly recommend downloading the guide. I put a lot of work into it and I think it’s a perfect place to get started so you can go to the link in the show notes, the Minerals 101 guide and get started now. I think a lot of it’s just like I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot as a person, and I’ve worked on my health and my stress and my nervous system health and how I can. Because when you have a kid, you imprint that on them and you’re like, I want so much for you to be healthy and happy. And I think that was a really good motivator for me, to be honest. So it’s made a big difference and how you live matters. I know I talk about this all the time, but I was too much behind a computer.

Amanda Montalvo [00:38:39]:

I was stressed trying to figure everything out and get stuff done. You can’t negate that, right? I’m sure people are going to be like, are you sure? Really? You feel healthier now? But I really do. And I think a lot of it’s just that balance and everything and not overdoing any one thing. And we have our one on one clients fill out this life actualization form where you measure the different. I’m sure you guys have seen it. It’s like circles and you put in how satisfied you are with different aspects of your health in your life, like mental, physical, emotional, relationships, functionally? Do you feel like your body functions well? The systems in your body function well. And so many times, people that are very ill and really struggling with their health, they’re not checking off things like self care, how they’re taking care of themselves, their relationships. Are you happy with your work life? All these different areas that are not just our health.

Amanda Montalvo [00:39:47]:

We can’t just focus on our health. And it’s not that I didn’t focus on my health, but it was just that I was so much more focused on it from a different angle. I was like, how am I going to work on my day to day stress versus looking at a hair test where I’m like, okay, well, clearly I’m stressed, so I’m going to take a bunch of supplements. It’s like, no, I know why I’m stressed, because I’m a new mom, and I’m trying to figure all this stuff out. How am I going to take action every single day and try to make that a little bit better every day? And, I mean, honestly, it took us, like, a year to figure it. Um, and even still, it’s constantly changing because she’s constantly changing. And then, you know, now I’m pregnant, so that changed a lot of things, too. So it’s always evolving, but I think having that flexibility and it always makes me go back to the nervous system stuff.

Amanda Montalvo [00:40:34]:

And if you have not listened to the Nervous System episode with Irene Lyon, do yourself a favor and go, listen, it’s so good, or just go check her out. I mean, she has really been truly monumental in my nervous system, work and growth myself. So that’s why I always recommend her, and I just love her perspective on it because a lot of it goes back to when we were kids and babies, and I feel like that’s where you have to begin with that work. And that’s why I think when you have a kid, you’re like, oh, my gosh, all this stuff is in your face. And you’re like, wow, I can’t hide from this. Like, I have to address it. So I can’t say that was a huge part of it and something I’m continuing to work on in this pregnancy, because I was definitely stressed with Eliana, and I feel bad that I imprinted her with those hormones, but I’m doing the best I can now to support her and reregulate that. But obviously, the more you know, the better you can do.

Amanda Montalvo [00:41:29]:

So with this baby, I’m really trying to be mindful of that, and it’s been, I think, just so good for my health in this pregnancy, honestly, a lot of people ask me about timing, hair test, and I think labs in general, honestly, during pregnancy, but definitely hair test, because it looks at the last three months. So ideally, I would say before you conceive, if you could do one, that’d be great because then that gives you more insight into what supplements do I absolutely need and not need during this pregnancy. What foods should I absolutely try to prioritize and ones that maybe aren’t as big of a deal for me during this pregnancy. That’s how I look at it. If you see your potassium is really low, don’t get upset because you have low potassium and then you’re worried about your baby’s potassium, look at what can I do right now and potassium you really want to get from food. How can I start getting more potassium rich foods in my diet? Like, what am I going to be swapping out? Adding in minimizing? What’s that going to look like? So I think the hair test can be so helpful for that. And then I like to do a check in right around the halfway mark ish. I did mine a little earlier this time because I was doing one for my daughter, so I was like, I might as well just send mine in.

Amanda Montalvo [00:42:40]:

So I think I was like 16 weeks last time I did it, like, right around 20 weeks, which is where I’m at right now. But a month is not a big deal. It’s really what are you going to do with the information, right? First, for a lot of people, I think it’s a wake up call. Again, like, how you’re living. You’re really stressed. Are you stressed about is it a mindset thing? I mean, so many people have dealt with pregnancy loss, and I just don’t necessarily think that’s something that gets easier even the further along you get in your pregnancy. I’ve had so many clients where they’re like, I’m still scared, I can’t help it. And it’s like, okay, so what are we going to do to help when you get those moments when you’re scared? What’s going to be the coping tool that you’re going to use to support yourself and bring yourself back down? And that’s obviously going to be different for everyone.

Amanda Montalvo [00:43:26]:

Or like any big stressor I think of people that I’ve had that are in a job that they hate. And I know I talked about this with Aaron on one of the episodes. Some people got mad online. I’m like, okay, but that’s a huge stressor. You’re there all like, 40 hours plus a week, right? So that’s really difficult. How are you going to support your body in that? What’s the action that you’re going to take? But sometimes we don’t feel good during pregnancy. Maybe you have hypermesis, but you’re super sick your whole pregnancy. Maybe you’re super fatigued.

Amanda Montalvo [00:43:59]:

Maybe you developed an autoimmune condition or you had one going in and it’s like your symptoms are really bad right now, which can happen because the hormone fluctuations. Sometimes doing a hair test isn’t helpful because you’re not going to take action off of it. And if you think those test results are going to stress you out more, then I would say don’t do it, but before halfway. And then I think right before you go, right before your due date, ish that’s when I would recommend doing the hair test? Because it’s going to change what you’re doing, right? If you take it halfway through, then you know, okay, this improved. This did not. I see a lot of tests improve in pregnancy, which is really cool. And it’s like, okay, now I’m going to work on this. Some people do it because maybe their iron is out of balance and they want to take a look at things like copper to see what’s going on there and work on correcting that.

Amanda Montalvo [00:44:54]:

So that could be a tool that you’re using, but you really want to be able to take action on it. And then right before you go into that postpartum season, it’s helpful for, again, supplements, right? Not a ton will change for most people, I would say, because you want to continue replenishing postpartum. So for me, not a ton changed. I was like, okay, so a lot of my minerals improved. I went from a fast forward. I was like halfway through pregnancy, I was like a fast four, which is not good. But again, I was very stressed. And then right before I had my daughter, I was a fast one and my minerals improved.

Amanda Montalvo [00:45:31]:

And I was like, thank God. But it helped me prioritize different supplements and certain foods. I was like, okay, I still really need to work on calcium postpartum, so how am I going to work on getting that into my postpartum? Food prep or just like meals that I’m going to rotate, stuff like that. And then as far as postpartum, when you’re in it, again, you want to be able to take action. So for most people, I say wait at least four months. If you are having an especially hard time postpartum, and you’re just like, I don’t even want to look at a test right now. Don’t do it. Don’t feel like you have to do it because you should.

Amanda Montalvo [00:46:11]:

You want to do the test when you’re going to be able to do something with the information. So if you don’t have the capacity for that, that’s okay, just don’t do it. It’s okay. I guarantee you the capacity will come and then you’ll do the test and you’ll feel good about it and you’ll be ready to take action. But those are like the three times that I like to do it. And then four plus months postpartum, kind of depending on the person. If you feel like you need it, if you feel really good and you’re like, I want to wait till I’m closer to a year, I think that makes sense too. But that’s kind of like how I like to time the hair test throughout pregnancy.

Amanda Montalvo [00:46:45]:

Okay, I’m going to go through some common questions. It’s going to be a long episode. Sorry, guys. Okay, how soon to get pregnant after giving birth in terms of mother being depleted, of minerals, vitamins, et cetera? I kind of answered this in the beginning when I talked about our decision on getting pregnant, and I just think it so many things. I don’t see how someone could be ready sooner than a year postpartum. But I don’t know you, so I think you want to be cycling again for sure. Sometimes you don’t get to choose. Sometimes you conceive and you’re like, okay, I’m pregnant.

Amanda Montalvo [00:47:23]:

But if you are trying to plan, I would say you want to have at least a few cycles where you’re ovulating, ideally, so that’s something to look out for. When you’re postpartum and your cycle has not returned yet, then I would say that’s a sign that your body is probably not ready to conceive. Doing testing can be really helpful because I think putting a specific timeline on it, waiting two to three years, it’s like, okay, that might be appropriate for some people, but that might not be appropriate for others. I was definitely not depleted when I got pregnant again, but I also like, I have access to healthy foods. I eat enough food always. I was working on my stress, which burns up and uses more nutrients, right? So that makes a big difference. Like, are you super duper stressed? Are you eating enough? Are you over exercising? How’s your gut health? Are you digesting and absorbing your food? Well, so many things are going to impact that. So I think you can definitely like Lauren from innate fertility.

Amanda Montalvo [00:48:25]:

She has some great posts on child spacing. I don’t know if she has any podcasts on it, but she has the Innate Wisdom podcast that you could definitely check out to see if she has anything on that. But I know she recommends child spacing, but it’s like, you got to figure out what’s right for you and you definitely want to be healthy going into another pregnancy, and a lot of that’s going to come back to how do you feel, how are you sleeping? How is your libido, how is your energy, how do you recover from workouts? How’s your motivation to work out, how’s your mood, things like that? How’s your basal body temperature? Are you cold all the time or do you feel generally pretty good? I feel like a lot of people will know and I think of clients that are like, they are planning to conceive again, and a lot of times they’re like, yeah, I think I’m ready. And when I ask them why, it’s a lot of these things. I’ve had really good periods. I haven’t had any painful periods. And I’m not Super Symptomatic. I’m not hungry all the time.

Amanda Montalvo [00:49:30]:

I feel very satiated. I’m sleeping through the night on top of labs that they get back and they’re like, wow, things look really good. If you get labs back and you do look super depleted, then it would definitely make sense to wait. Or if you were like me and you’re like, I want to work on my gut health, then ideally you would do that between pregnancies, because it can be hard to do a lot during pregnancy. But I would say it definitely depends on the person your whole life. Right. Because I think it took me a while to get replenished and everything for my first pregnancy because I definitely was living in a stressed out state for a very long time. But then having those tools and having that good lifestyle foundation down for a while and then having that year postpartum made a big difference.

Amanda Montalvo [00:50:16]:

But not everyone’s in that spot. So you could see me conceiving 13 months postpartum and be like, oh, my gosh, that’s way too soon for me. I have friends that are like, their kids are three, and they’re like, I’m not ready to have another baby, but I know I want one in the future and that’s okay. So there’s so much that goes into it, and I think how stressed you are, your nutrition, how you feel day to day and how quick someone’s going to be replenished is going to depend on the person and all those circumstances and their health history and all that. But I’m sure I know Lauren has some good posts on Instagram about child spacing if you want to dig into that more. But honestly, I would test I would not guess, and I would test your levels. I would do hair testing. I’d do blood work to look at things like vitamin A and copper and iron and see are you in a good place, and then, of course, thinking it’s not just vitamins and minerals.

Amanda Montalvo [00:51:08]:

You also want to be in a good place mentally, emotionally, schedule wise, all that stuff, because that is going to affect your stress big time, and that will affect all those nutrients. Okay. Things I’m doing differently this time around. I went through it. I feel like the light exposure more focused on nervous system, a lot more focused on fun, which is easy with a toddler. Right. I think that makes things a lot easier. I would say less lab testing.

Amanda Montalvo [00:51:36]:

Last time I tested, I did a full monty. Looking at my full iron, I want to say at least twice, maybe three times. I think I did it first, second and third trimester. I did it before we conceived, and my iron looked good, and I was like, okay, thank God. And then I haven’t done it since. I’ve been testing hemoglobin, but it’s like I don’t have anyone to watch my daughter to go get blood work. So I’m using Paloma health. They have an at home thyroid test kit.

Amanda Montalvo [00:52:07]:

That’s what I used in the first trimester, and I’ll definitely utilize it again throughout pregnancy to monitor my thyroid. But I also will look at my body temperature, my energy, how I’m feeling, all those things. How am I recovering from workouts? Am I waking up feeling rested? Or am I still very fatigued? Those types of things. So I would say that’s a big thing. I’m not doing as much lab testing because it’s like, I can’t go. I mean, I don’t have anyone to watch her and I can’t bring her. That would be, I don’t think everywhere I’ve gone, even I got an anatomy scan, and I had my mom come down to Florida because I was like, they said I can’t bring her in the room. So I’m like, what do people do that have kids that have a spouse that’s not home? How do you go all your prenatal appointments? Just crazy.

Amanda Montalvo [00:52:55]:

But yeah, so lots less testing. But I’m also not concerned. Like, if I was concerned, I think I would find a way, but I’m just not because I did it all previously and I knew where I was at when I got pregnant, which I think is very helpful. I would say the supplements are similar, but not exactly the same. Like, I’m still doing beef liver. I am using a small amount of cod liver oil. I’m going to retest my hemoglobin. I may drop that, but there’s so many benefits to it in pregnancy.

Amanda Montalvo [00:53:26]:

Like, it’s going to give you lots of beneficial vitamin A, vitamin D, and then it’s also got DHA in it. So it’s one of those things where I may continue taking and I may not, depending on how my I’m going to test vitamin A, probably end of next time. My mom’s here in end of second trimester. And then magnesium, vitamin E, selenium and iodine, because I’m using a small amount of iodine, and I’m always taking selenium with it. And then magnesium is also a co factor for iodine. So those are important. I’m not taking vitamin C this time because I eat so many vitamin C rich foods. Like, we eat a lot of oranges being in Florida this time of year.

Amanda Montalvo [00:54:08]:

So that’s another important cofactor for iodine that I’m not supplementing with because I’m definitely getting up from food. And I would say the big difference, I’m not doing any immune support because my immune system looked really good. But I am doing milk thistle and Reishi milk thistle to support my liver. It’s also good for histamines. I haven’t been histamine, but I don’t want to be, and I want to make sure I avoid anything like that. And then reishi can be very helpful, calming for the nervous system. It’s good for a healthy stress response. It’s also good for histamines.

Amanda Montalvo [00:54:43]:

So those are like, the biggest differences. And then with exercise, I would definitely say my training is different. I did a program that was like four days a week, strength and conditioning last time. This time I’m doing my friend Adina’s programming. Adina Rubin. She’s been on the podcast before. I’ve had her. Inside patreon, she’s great and it’s three days a like it’s strength training primarily with kettlebells, which is so good when you have a toddler.

Amanda Montalvo [00:55:09]:

Can I just say, I feel like every toddler mom should have to just do kettlebell work or at least incorporate some because maneuvering that kettlebell around and having really good control over your pelvic floor and pressure and everything is pretty much the same as a toddler. So I think that’s been really helpful. And then a lot of pilates. Odly enough. I used to love pilates. I did all the time, but I just got away from it and it’s something where I just really enjoy it and it really helps me avoid having any back pain in there or anything and it’s really good for getting my core back into a good place postpartum. So it’s something that I’m like I’m going to do it all pregnancy just because it feels so good. So my training is definitely different and so much walking, I’m constantly walking around and we go for a lot of walks so I would definitely say I’m more active this time.

Amanda Montalvo [00:55:59]:

Those are, like, the big differences. And then nervous system stuff, slowing down, doing things for myself when I can. And just that first morning light for me is so important. And making sure we have our breakfast outside, we’re outside for a good couple of hours in the morning. And that makes a big difference in how I feel throughout the rest of the day, how we sleep, all that stuff. Okay, tips for first time moms. I would say if you’re pregnant with your first child, learn about the nervous system and learn how to regulate yourself. Because if you can do this now, obviously it’s going to change once you have a kid.

Amanda Montalvo [00:56:40]:

But if you can go into that postpartum state more regulated, I think that is just going to help you so much. I think because I was so stressed my last pregnancy and trying to figure everything in life out, I definitely immediately, as soon as I had her, I was like a different person. But there was a lot of stress in the beginning with the feeding and the ties and all that stuff and I just wish that I had had more tools during that time. So learn about the nervous system. Go check out Irene Lyon. She has an insane amount of free information. In the episode I did with her though, she has a field survival guide and that’s like where you should get started. She has so many free resources, it’s like where do I go first? And that is a great PDF that walks you through just getting to know your nervous system.

Amanda Montalvo [00:57:29]:

Starting to tune in. She talks about following your impulses on my episode I did with her, which is I’m going through her twelve week program now and it’s something that a lot of us don’t do, especially as moms, right? So if you can start to do those things now, I think that’s definitely the most helpful thing ever. Because if you’re regulated, you’re going to be less likely to be stressed and overwhelmed and questioning everything. Postpartum when you have your baby. So that’s what I would say. Thoughts on placenta encapsulation? So I think you could do encapsulation. I think you could freeze it in amza smoothies, you could cook it and eat your placenta. It’s so hard to find any research on this.

Amanda Montalvo [00:58:14]:

Not that we always need research, but we see it in some cultures where they consume it. A lot of animals eat their placenta postpartum. I just have seen such mixed things with it, with people that I know I saved mine, it’s still in my freezer. Actually. It’s probably too old now from my first pregnancy. But I didn’t end up eating it because I just was like, I don’t think I need it. I didn’t really feel depleted. I was like, I think I’m good.

Amanda Montalvo [00:58:45]:

And I’ve had a lot of friends, family members, clients, either they take it usually in the encapsulated form and they feel amazing and they’re like, yeah, it helped my breast milk supply, it helped my energy, or it goes the other way. And I’ve had a lot of people say I got anxiety, I started experiencing really bad mood swings, my supply dipped. So again, it’s like, how healthy is your placenta? Is there any possible bacterial overexposure? I mean, it’s really tricky. I have seen people do the best when they consume it like six to nine months postpartum which is really interesting versus right after. But I just didn’t feel called to consume it. So I was like, I’m not going to worry about it. I froze it and that was it. I didn’t feel like I needed know.

Amanda Montalvo [00:59:33]:

If I think it’s important to save it, I’ll probably bury it or do some activity with eliana with it or something. I definitely won’t just toss it. We’ll do something to commemorate and I’ll definitely save it this time around, for sure. And just in case I want to encapsulate it or put it in smoothies or something and consume it, but I’m not going to force it. There’s hormones, there’s nutrients, but depending on how healthy it is. I have no data to show this, but that’s what my mind comes to when I’ve seen people have such mixed experiences with it. So I think if you feel called to it, do it. I don’t think it’s something that you absolutely have to do, but I still think it’s cool to save it and do something with your placenta for sure.

Amanda Montalvo [01:00:22]:

Okay. Women who get pregnant that weren’t healthy to begin with in some examples, like having low minerals, chronic autoimmune issues. What can be done for this type of person? I would say start supporting your body now. It’s never too late. You’re pregnant now. Everything you do is going to make a difference, it’s going to support you and your baby. So even if your health wasn’t great to begin with, start working on things now. So I would say like adrenal cocktails, very basic, easy, start adding those in.

Amanda Montalvo [01:00:54]:

If someone had low minerals, I’d also want them to start adding trace minerals, concentrates drops to their water just to make sure. Every time they had water it was like truly hydrating them and they’re not just going to pee it all out. And then depending on what their minerals looked like, maybe just adding some sea salt to the water. I’d probably really focus on potassium rich foods. I mean, eating nutrient dense foods in general, like getting enough protein at your meals. There’s so many vitamins and minerals in protein foods, animal foods, right? So that’s really important. But plant foods are also really important. That’s primarily where we’re getting a lot of our potassium good healthy fibers, things that are really good for our gut bacteria.

Amanda Montalvo [01:01:34]:

So getting a mix of those, I don’t think it necessarily has to be different. But when I think of someone that has low minerals and chronic autoimmune issues, I’m like, what does your day to day look like? How stressed are you? How stressed have you been the last few years? That’s probably the first thing I would be addressing with someone, unless they were not eating enough because all those things are going to minimize your stress. So I would say listen to the first few episodes of this season where I talk about how to eat to support your hormones, I talk about cortisol digestion, all those things. Those are going to be really important. And of course, gut health is super important for autoimmune conditions. But if you are super duper stressed, it’s probably not going to help that much. It’s really hard to fix chronic gut issues if you have chronic stress because that stress and that fight or flight impacts our autonomic nervous system, which is absolutely going to impact our vagus nerve and our gut. So I would really focus on what does your day to day look like, how stressed are you? I’d go back, listen to those episodes.

Amanda Montalvo [01:02:39]:

I don’t think some immune support doesn’t hurt. Like immunoglobulins. Maybe that’s colostrum, maybe it’s something like that mega IgG 2000 supplement that I love so much. So many people have messaged me on Instagram saying that they started taking it and they can eat foods that they didn’t tolerate before and I’m like, yay. So it can be very helpful. It was very helpful for my eczema, my first pregnancy. But if you are super stressed, that’s what I think of what’s depleting minerals, probably some gut stuff going on. I would definitely support digestion, especially if you hear me say eat nutrient dense foods and you’re like, well, I don’t digest the protein rich foods.

Amanda Montalvo [01:03:18]:

Well then maybe you add some digestive bitters or apple cider vinegar in before your meals and see how you tolerate that slowing down at your meal times. But my kind of thinking is that this person probably needs to slow down in general, but based on the information I have, those are things I’d focus on. And they also ask, what do you do for a low iron if beef liver isn’t doing much? I got this question quite a few times, so I would opt for a higher iron whole food supplement. So that could be like spleen. Spleen is very high in iron, blood vitality from ancestral supplements. They also have spleen that’s also very rich in iron and it’s whole food, so it’s not going to cause imbalances, it’s not going to make you constipated, all that kind of stuff. So I would definitely consider something like that. But then also looking at if iron is still low, like beef liver has a lot of copper and some vitamin A, you might need more vitamin A.

Amanda Montalvo [01:04:13]:

It might not be a complete copper thing. So you might want to consider like cod liver oil or just upping those vitamin A rich foods. Or you might need to consider like it’s tricky because if this person has autoimmune issues, low minerals, and they also have low iron. I did a case study inside Patreon for iron deficiency and looking at it during pregnancy and the person I used, she had a history of chronic gut issues and so I didn’t want to do too much iron with her because she likely that was going to drive her gut issues further. So we really focused on blood vitality, cod liver oil and getting enough copper in her diet. But even copper shifts in pregnancy, so it could become less bioavailable if you’re deficient in vitamin A. So I would really look at the vitamin A piece, but then I’d also look at, are you making enough ceruleoplasmin? Maybe you need something like taurine. That can also really help with digestion.

Amanda Montalvo [01:05:15]:

So it’s good for bile. But those are like the big things I would look at without obviously knowing more about this person. And then food aversions to meat, even in the second trimester, tips support your digestion. Because I’ve seen so many women improve their ability to eat meat in pregnancy when they had more robust digestion. So relaxing at meals and I’ll put the digestion episode in here too. Obviously not all digestive bitters are safe during pregnancy, but the chamomile ones from urban moonshine are apple cider vinegar. Just one or two teaspoons before a meal. If you have really bad reflux, do less.

Amanda Montalvo [01:05:55]:

And I would dilute it in water and then find protein sources that you can tolerate. So when I think of clients, it’s like smoothies are huge, or just mixing some sort of whey protein powder or casein into something else. Like I have this protein mineral rich pudding that I got to make that again soon. I was like on a kick with it postpartum and I’m like is that what helps my minerals. I had that every night for like three months. I have a reel on Instagram with it. Let me put it in the notes. It has the recipe, so I’ll link that in the show notes.

Amanda Montalvo [01:06:33]:

But something like that, it’s like how can you get that if it’s a powder? It’s like you can add it to yogurt so that it has even more protein. You can put it in smoothies, you can make a pudding. However, it’s going to get you to consume it. And then what proteins do you tolerate? I think of a lot of clients, they do better when it’s mixed into something like a casserole or I remember my first trimester, it’s not like an aversion, it’s just like I couldn’t eat a lot of protein at any food at once. Everything is just like this teeny tiny meal. It was torture. But doing things like chicken salad, egg salad, that really helped me consume more for some reason. And I definitely see that with people that have an aversion to it.

Amanda Montalvo [01:07:20]:

So it’s like that might sound terrible to you, that’s fine. I have a lot of my clients do really well with sandwiches when they have protein aversions. But they’re like, I can put deli meat on a sandwich and they’ll just heat it up, make it like a grilled sandwich and they love it and they can get a good amount on there. So that’s like a great way to mix it in. But I think like casseroles and then avoiding all or nothing. I’ve had so many clients that won’t have it because they can only eat a couple of bites. I’m like eat the couple bites right, it counts. And I find a lot of people can tolerate dairy better in pregnancy.

Amanda Montalvo [01:07:56]:

And so it’s like drink milk, mix the whey protein or casein into milk or whatever it is that’s going to get you to consume it, whichever forms work best for you. Those are all things that I would definitely try. Okay. Are there certain things I do in the first trimester that help with morning sickness? I eat my protein foods first. I do that always. But I am emphasizing that because I do think that makes a big difference for nausea because it helps keep my blood sugar more regulated. I also always end up eating like every two to 3 hours, usually closer to two, which is incredibly annoying, but it made a big difference. You can also try adding magnesium bicarbonate to your adrenal cocktails because a lot of nausea like I talked about, I think last pregnancy because I still had some nausea, but I just felt like I needed to eat very frequently into my second trimester.

Amanda Montalvo [01:08:52]:

And I think that was just reflux, honestly. And I think a lot of nausea in the first trimester is also very refluxy. Not always, but I think it can be. And so things like magnesium bicarbonate, it’s a bicarbonate or like baking soda, sodium bicarbonate. That bicarbonate can help neutralize some of that stomach acid. So you’d only want to do this on an empty stomach, but doing it in the morning, like first thing or before bed, especially if when you’re later in pregnancy when your belly is really big and you have a lot of progesterone, you can definitely get more reflux when you’re lying down. So I would say magnesium bicarbonate before bed could be really helpful. And then I just think of high histamines in general can really drive nausea.

Amanda Montalvo [01:09:40]:

I think that’s a huge part of it. Mineral deficiencies, nutrient deficiencies, absolutely. So like B vitamins, phosphorus can really drive morning sickness for some people. We’ve had clients that had low phosphorus and they use a supplement called phosphood from standard process and it’s been like night and day doesn’t work for everyone, but it really works for some people. And then like addressing nutrient deficiencies, it’s like you want to figure out where your nausea is coming from because it can come from different places. So is it histamine gut health related? Is it blood sugar related? Is it that you have reflux? Is it that you have some sort of nutrient deficiency? And when you can kind of narrow that down, I think it helps you take the right path. And then let me see. Quentin hypertonic is like a mineral water that I felt helped me so much in that first trimester with just like energy, feeling hydrated.

Amanda Montalvo [01:10:38]:

It’s one thing where I usually did it like first thing in the morning, I would take a little bit, but Quentin hypertonic because they have isotonic hypotonic. But the hypertonic was super helpful. It’s like microfiltrated seawater. And I did it first thing you want to do in an empty stomach. So I would do it first thing in the morning. I would take a swig and I would be like, bring me to life. So you could definitely try that again. That’s what worked for me.

Amanda Montalvo [01:11:03]:

It’s going to be different for everyone. Okay, so how tips for preparing for your second baby? Second pregnancy? After hashimoto’s hypothyroid diagnosis, it happened right after having the first baby. What to look for or consider? So I would say very common to have that because of the hormonal shifts during pregnancy and postpartum can definitely pop up. I would want to know how do your thyroid levels look, how are your antibody levels? You want to get a baseline of that. And then I would definitely consider looking at your gut health with a GI map because you want to address this one to feel good during your second pregnancy, but also to help get those antibody levels down if they are elevated and then stress. Like I mentioned before, for that other case, this is a major driver for autoimmune conditions especially. So you’d want to look at that for sure. And it would be your second pregnancy.

Amanda Montalvo [01:11:57]:

So what does your day to day with your current child and your spouse look like? If there’s a spouse in the picture, that’s just something I would definitely consider. Okay, so reflux. So the things that I think of is we want to know is it coming from low stomach acid? Because sometimes we’re entering pregnancy with not good stomach acid production and low stomach acid can cause reflux in pregnancy. A lot of reflux is driven by the hormonal increase in progesterone because that relaxes our esophageal sphincter and allows the stomach contents to go up into the esophagus. So I think it definitely can be hormone related. But it’s like if you already had low stomach acid to begin with, then that sphincter might already be a little bit lazy. So it’s not like staying closed. So that could be an issue.

Amanda Montalvo [01:12:51]:

You could try using digestive bitters or apple cider vinegar. I would say a very small amount that will make it worse for some people, but for others it will resolve it. So again, everyone’s going to be different. So is it from low stomach acid? Is it a histamine issue? Do you have a long history of digestion and gut issues? Maybe you don’t tolerate a lot of foods or you feel like you react to everything. Do you have skin issues, skin rashes, that sort of thing? Then I would say it could probably be a histamine thing. So you’d want to address gut imbalances, which you would want to do a stool test for that. But things you could do without testing, you could do some sort of mega IgG 2000 like that immunoglobulin supplement Colostrum. Milk thistle is really great for lowering histamines and it will support your liver.

Amanda Montalvo [01:13:35]:

And then Reishi is another good one that can help with histamines. And then otherwise say you try the bitters or the apple cider vinegar and you’re like, oh, it made it worse. Then you could try magnesium Bicarbonate or the baking soda, like I mentioned, for the nausea related to reflux. So you’d want only like an 8th of a teaspoon of baking soda and you’d want it first thing in the morning. Or you could just take a swig of magnesium Bicarbonate, it’s liquid. Or you could add that to your adrenal cocktail and just drink it between meals. And then I would experiment with supplements because I have seen so many women have bad reflux and then they come off their prenatal and they make their own version of it and they’re like, oh my gosh, I feel so much better. Or if you’re taking other supplements other than your prenatal too, you might want to consider stopping them experimenting with it, obviously talk with your doctor.

Amanda Montalvo [01:14:32]:

Vitamin C is a big one that can also flare reflux. So I would look at are you taking even a whole food vitamin C? And if you stop that, does it improve? I’ve also seen milk thistle make it worse for some people so that could be one you experiment with if you’re taking it, or drinking milk thistle, tea, something like that. And then again, it could be related to progesterone. So things like, can I lower more acidic foods in my diet? Obviously that’s not going to get to the root cause, but it could definitely help being mindful with grains, sweets and sugar and too much of those that’s typically going to exacerbate it for most people. And try limiting those foods before bed, before you’re going to be flying down and everything. But yeah, those would be the big things that I would look at. And again, it’s going to be a little different for everyone, like what you respond best to, but I think the experimentation is worth it. I will say a lot of people do well with adding magnesium, bicarbonate or baking soda to their adrenal cocktails.

Amanda Montalvo [01:15:30]:

They’re like, it’s gone. So it could be something as simple as that. But I would definitely experiment. Okay, I got everything. Hour, 15 minutes. Not too bad. I’m going to link all the resources I mentioned in the show notes, so definitely go check those out. And if you want to get even more Q and A time, you can go to Patreon.com Hormonehealingrd.

Amanda Montalvo [01:15:51]:

But I hope you enjoyed this episode. Definitely let me know what you thought about it. Tag me on Instagram. If you listen, shoot me a message, let me know your thoughts and I will see you in the next episode. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Are You Menstrual? Podcast. If you want to support my work, please leave a review and let me know how you like the episode. This lets me know what you guys want more of less of. I read every single one and I appreciate them more than you know.

Amanda Montalvo [01:16:18]:

If you want to keep learning, you can get access to the bonus episode and additional resources on Patreon.com Hormonehealingrd. I’d love to have you in there. Thanks again and I will see you in the next episode.

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

Master Your Minerals

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Hormone Healing RD