Female Friday

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June 23, 2017
female friday, toronto naturopath, pregnancy naturopath, naturopath for pregnancy, fertility naturopath, naturopath toronto

I’m thankful for today’s rain because I planted some herbs and vegetables in my garden yesterday! Otherwise, it’s days like today where fuzzy socks, a cup of tea and a good book are absolute musts. I have a lot of thoughts this week – so maybe grab that tea before you dig in!

IVFML | If you haven’t listened to this podcast yet, and are having fertility issues – download this 5-episode podcast. Yes it’s heartbreaking to listen to this couple’s infertility journey, but I valued it because they go through the entire process (ICSI and IVF) and have experts on to talk about a wide array of topics and answer questions that many couples have. Moreover, it was interesting to learn how much it costs to have a baby. Couples who aren’t able to conceive naturally have to pay a lot of money (at once!) for just basic testing – which always isn’t guaranteed! Because they live in the US, we get an idea of what it costs there. In Canada and it’s different provinces and territories, the costs differ. 

6 Exercises for Building Strength in Pregnancy | Before you grab your resistance band – pause! A lot of these lists circulate throughout the blogosphere listing all that you can do during pregnancy. Fundamentally, we all want to be strong, be fit, be active, etc. But it pays to be critical about the information that you come upon (yes, min included). 

Read this: Dougan emphasized the importance of women doing these exercises frequently, regardless of whether they are pregnant. “Especially the kegel,” Dougan said. “That’s the number-one exercise that all women should be doing anyway.”

Kegels are great. But they’re not going to help everyone. When I was completely my level 1 pelvic floor certification for male and female urinary incontinence, my kegels were assessed. TMI aside, I have a hypertonic pelvic floor. Translation? My pelvic floor muscles are really tight. So if I were to do a kegel while pregnant, it’s going to further tighten an already-tight muscle. How will that help me? It won’t. Ideally I would need to relax the muscles first, before learning how to connect to my pelvic floor to ensure I can properly do a kegel. 

So instead of doing that number one exercise right away, book a pelvic floor assessment first to see the condition of your pelvic floor – especially if you’re pregnant. 

Other things: Before you consider doing ab-work (like v-sits and bird-dogs) talk to your pelvic floor PT to see how that will affect your core and pelvic floor. 

Activated Charcoal may disrupt your hormonal birth control | The summer’s trendiest ingredient may actually absorb some of the drugs that you take – including birth control! Something to be cautious about before taking that Instagram photo of your black ice cream cone. It seems like this effect is limited to oral consumption – so that activated charcoal deodorant that I just bought, should be fine. 

Are your hormones where they should be? | #1 is one of the best tell-tale signs that everything is not rainbows and sunshine inside your body. Fixing hormones takes some time, but is certainly worth it especially if you’re looking to become pregnant in the neat future!

Achieving sexual satisfaction | Take a look at this in-depth article to learn more about the science of sex and that factors that go into achieving an orgasm!

Understanding Growth Charts

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June 14, 2017
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During your child’s (many) check-ups during the first year after birth, it’s quite normal that your Naturopathic Doctor or Pediatrician will be filling out growth charts. Growth charts help to assess growth, nutritional status and well-being of your child. Understanding growth charts can be quite easy as they record weight, length, and head circumference. While there are 2 types of growth charts that doctors can use (WHO and CDC), WHO growth charts are the standard.

WHO created growth charts based on information from many children around the world who were primarily breastfed for at least 4 months. Measurements (of length and weight) were taken at many intervals to establish optimal growth patterns. CDC charts on the other hand, did not implement weight measurements when creating their chart especially between the 0-3 month range. Moreover, CDC charts took measurements from both breast and formula fed infants.

Breastfed infants grow more at the 2-3 month range and less rapid between 3-12 months (when compared to formula fed). In the 3-12 month interval, formula-fed infants grow more. This presents as an issue when a doctor is using a CDC chart to weight because at 5 months a formula fed child would be obtaining all his nutrients from mom, but not putting as much weight on when compared to a 5 month formula-fed baby. This may lead the doctor to want the mom (of the breast-fed baby) to begin solids or supplement with formula, so her baby can gain weight.

Growth Indicators

Length/height for age: reflects growth of length, which can be helpful when determining if a child is stunted due to prolonged malnutrition or chronic illness. While children can be tall for their age, it’s usually not an issue.

Weight for age: reflects body weight, to determine if a child is underweight. It it not used to assess if a child is overweight or obese. A body mass index (BMI) is calculated to determine if an individual is overweight or obese, usually over the age of 2.

Weight for length/height: reflects body weight in proportion to height, this determines if a child is wasting away due to food shortage or illness. However, it can be an indicator for the risk of becoming overweight or obese.

Head Circumference: indirectly reflects brain size and growth, and can help indicate brain health status. Keep in mind that most brain growth occurs before 2 years old.


Growth charts assess the above indicators using one of two measurements: percentiles or z-scores. These numbers are used to determine where your child ‘ranks’ compared to others in his or her age range. Percentiles are commonly used by doctors as they are easier for everyone to understand. A percentile refers to where your child is compared to others (who’s data was used to determine the reference range). Anything below the 2nd and above the 98th are considered abnormal.

Once your child’s information has been plotted, you will be able to determine at which percentile they are at. At each visit, the measurements are compared to the previous set to assess growth pattern and if there is a need for further assessment.

Where your child is exactly on the percentile scale is less important than the range. Generally, they should be in the same range during each visit.  If they happen to drop 2 percentiles (ie. from 75 to 25, this would be a cause for concern). 

For children who were born prematurely (ie. 36 weeks and younger at gestation), their weight, length and head circumference is corrected for.  Weight, for example, is corrected for until 24 months, length for 40 months, and head circumference until 18 months.  

Things to keep in mind


  • Newborns may lose 10% of their weight in the first few days of life (especially if breast fed)
  • Weight at 6 months should be double its birth weight
  • Weight at 12 months should triple its birth weight
  • Weight at 24 months should quadruple birth weight
  • Weight from 2 years old to puberty will be a steady increase


  • Newborn length may not change much in the first few weeks, they may measure longer though as they become more stretched out
  • By 3 years old, height should be measured with the child standing
  • Height should increase by 30% by 5 months
  • Height should increase by 50% by 1 year
  • Height should be double by 5 years old


Female Friday

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June 2, 2017
female friday, naturopathic doctor toronto, toronto naturopath

I’ve been well on my way to boosting my yang and healing my thyroid and adrenals this week – between meditating everyday to sneaking in a quick HIIT workout before lunch. Taking care of ourselves shouldn’t be a lot of work, but we often think it is. I’ve been reading The Four Agreements this week (a book that has been on my shelf over a year – can you say tsundoku), and Don Miguel Ruiz says “We trust what we believe, and our beliefs set us up for suffering.” If we believe we can’t get better, if we believe that the work is too hard, then how will we achieve our goals? How will we feel the way that we’ve always wanted to? 

I believe that I will get better. I believe that feeling my greatest will allow me to live my greatest potential and help others. 

What do you believe?

What you need to read this Friday

What causes male infertility | A gentle reminder that sometimes it’s not you, it’s him. 

Tea & Epigenetic Changes | The results show that there are epigenetic changes in women consuming tea, but not in men. Interestingly, many of these epigenetic changes were found in genes involved in cancer and estrogen metabolism.” What this study doesn’t tell us is the type of change made – positive or negative. That said, I steep tea for it’s health benefits and will continue to do so!

5 Ways Men Shape Their Children’s Health | Spoiler: Women don’t alone determine their child’s health – a man’s lifestyle affects his child’s health. 

(Note: Epigenetics is everywhere this week!!! And if you don’t know what epigenetics is – the science of how genes are modified by environment and lifestyle, and how those modifications can be passed to new generations

Does your egg count drop postpartum? | You are born with all the eggs you could possibly ever have. That number is in the millions. But by birth you have about 1 million follicles, by puberty you have about 300k, and it continues to drop as you get older. If you are worried about your egg count (for fertility purposes), you can have a test done to determine your ovarian reserve. This test is usually done when a couple is infertile

Endometriosis & it’s effects on …men’s sex lives
There are so many other things that should be looked at regarding endometriosis before we look at how it impacts sex for men: a less invasive way to diagnose, understanding the ways it impacts the everyday life of people who have it, proper pain management, raising awareness so women aren’t accused of lying, a cure.”