Breastfeeding · Community · Health · Nutrition · Pregnancy

Fire and smoke

California fires, Butte County fire, Camp Fire, bay area, smoke

California is burning again. Not all of California, thankfully, but it feels like when one part is on fire everyone is affected in some way. My heart hurts for those fellow Californians who lost their homes, animals, friends … who have lost so much. I cannot imagine what it would be to be in that situation.

Where I live we don’t have the fires but we have the smoke. We’re breathing the ashes of people’s homes, cars, yards, the forest, people’s lives. The smoke settles in my throat and makes me feel so anxious. It’s not only me, I can see it in everyone’s eyes and we hustle from home to car to school or store, still trying to get things done. I think about the people whose work or life situation puts them outside in the smoke for hours. I think about my clients whose bodies are working hard to grow their babies and need every bit of oxygen they can get. I think about the babies and their tiny lungs that have to work that much harder. This will keep pushing us forward to help prevent these fires, right? “Only you can prevent forest fires,” said all those posters of Smoky the bear. I hope we can make this come true.

Ok more practical, what can we do to help ourselves feel physically better? I’ve made a short list of ideas from other smart practitioners –

  • Nasal Passages: the Neti pot is amazing for anytime your nose and throat are having a hard time. Add a little salt to sooth your passages and do the Neti at least daily.
  • Steam is your friend: breath deep in the shower and let that steam give your nose and throat some extra moisture!
  • Drink So Much Water! You may not feel thirsty but the air is so dry and it’s hard to stay as hydrated as we need. Plus the water will help your kidneys and liver keep flushing out the toxins. Drinking Throat Coat tea or peppermint tea with honey will also help your throat.
  • Wear the masks when you go outside. The N95 rated masks are the ones to look for – check with your city if local hardware stores have run out. These masks have two straps and a filter. Kids need masks too but the adult ones won’t form a good enough seal for kids so they need their own size, which are difficult to find right now.
  • If you can swing it, invest in a good air filter that filters particles at least to 0.25microns. If you can’t get an air filter right now try to hang out in places with filtered air like the public libraries.
  • Move your body while indoors. Keep your circulation going to help your liver filter toxins out. It’s tempting to sit on the couch and binge watch a show but keep moving in between episodes.
  • Eat foods that will support your lungs and liver like anything in the broccoli family (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, collards, etc), garlic and onions, herbs like rosemary, thyme, turmeric, and colorful veggies like purple carrots, red/yellow/orange bell peppers and purple and orange sweet potatoes.
  • Help your body out by staying away from fried or grilled foods, sugar and alcohol, and processed foods.

All of these things are good for you anyway and safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding so there are no bad choices here.

Please take care of yourselves out there! Any if anyone can send the rain that would be so very amazing.

California fires, Butte County fire, Camp Fire, bay area, smoke