EverlyWell Breast Milk DHA Test Review

I recently had the opportunity to check the levels of DHA in my breast milk from the comfort of my own home. I am sharing my experience using the EverlyWell Breast Milk DHA test kit. Technology is seriously amazing and I think it is great that there are health and wellness tests like this available.

This post was sponsored by EverlyWell through my partnership with Fit Approach. With that said, all opinions and test results are my own. #BeEverlyWell #WhyIBreastFeed

WHAT IS DHA?

You might be wondering why anyone would care to check the levels of DHA in their breast milk in the first place. DHA is an omega fatty acid that aids in the brain and nervous system development of children and is crucial in the first years of your child’s life. It is estimated that 75% of Americans are deficient in DHA. 

DHA is not only crucial for your baby but it is also important for you! DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid and is commonly referred to as omega-3. DHA along with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) promote a healthy immune response that are behind the relief of many chronic conditions but is too often inhibited by poor nutrition.

THE BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3S

  • Supports heart function
  • Promotes positive mood and well being
  • Maintains fluid and flexible eye cells and tissue
  • Promotes joint mobility and flexibility
  • Nourishes skin, hair, and nails
  • Protects against free radicals
  • Supports the immune system

Despite the great health benefits of omegas, individuals around the world suffer from omega–3 deficiency and one that is counted as the 8th leading cause of preventable death in the US, among dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors.1 Americans have the lowest intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids of any developed country.

RISKS OF CONSUMING TOO LITTLE OMEGA-3S

  • Inflammation (sometimes severe)
  • Higher risk for heart disease and high cholesterol
  • Digestive disorders
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Mental disorders like depression
  • Poor brain development
  • Cognitive decline

TAKING THE EVERLYWELL BREAST MILK DHA TEST

This test is simple and can be done at home! The results are emailed to you and you can share them with your doctor. The kit arrived in my mailbox within three days of ordering it online and the directions were very easy to follow.

The breast milk sample needed to be taken in the morning and before any supplementation of DHA was consumed. I am currently taking this Ultimate Omega from Nordic Natural daily and made sure to wait to take my supplements until after I collected the sample.

Sample collection was very easy and required only a drop or two of breast milk on the test paper. I was then able to package everything back inside the box that was shipped to me and easily applied the included shipping label on the package. Super easy.

Once it was mailed back I received an email that let me know my sample had been received and I could expect my results in 5 days.

THE RESULTS

5 days later I had an email waiting for me in my inbox letting me know that my results were ready. It really doesn’t get any easier.

The website is easy to navigate and the results were presented in a clear and concise way. I appreciated how I could track the entire status of my order from when it shipped to when my results were ready.

I learned that my DHA levels are above average and in the optimal range. This means that what I am doing I need to keep doing. In addition to supplementing with omega-3s here are 3 things I consume weekly with high amounts of DHA:

  • Chia Seeds: 2,457 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (61 percent DV)
  • Flaxseeds (ground): 1,597 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (39 percent DV)
  • Sardines: 1,363 milligrams in 1 can/3.75 ounces (34 percent DV)

I am thankful to have had the ability to breastfed all three of my babies. It was a pleasure to write this review and I am thankful for the opportunity. It is nice knowing that what I am feeding myself is also nourishing my six month old. Recommended Reading: My Breastfeeding Story (Caden), Pumping, Dumping, Freezing Breast Milk and Bottle Feeding, and Jesse’s Birth Story.

I am seriously amazed at how God made our bodies! Being able to breastfeed my babies has been such a gift. And just for fun here are some interesting facts about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding helps mama heal faster in the postpartum. The hormones released when you breastfeed make your uterus contract back to its pre-pregnancy size. Also, in case you were curious, the more babies you have had the stronger your uterus will contract during those first few days of breastfeeding your newborn. You’re probably a righty. The majority of moms (75%) produce more milk in their right breast, whether they are right or left handed.

EverlyWell is the exclusive provider of this test directly to consumers in the United States. Visit EverlyWell to get your own kit and use code: WOM15 for 15% off your order. (Code only good for Breast Milk DHA Kit)

PS…EverlyWell offers a wide range of home health tests ranging from food sensitivity, male and female hormone, metabolism, fertility, vitamin d, and more!

1Danaei G, et al. The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary, Lifestyle, and Metabolic Risk Factors. PLoS Med 2009;6(4)

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HeartFit for Duty

Last month I had the opportunity to become a new patient at HeartFit for Duty. HeartFit for Duty provides in-depth cardiac and metabolic wellness programs and offers advance medical testing for first responders.

Obviously, this stay at home mom is not a first responder but I am married to one, which qualified me to be able to benefit from the abundant medical testing and nutrition counseling that they offer.

I think we all know that when you and your husband are on board with making healthy changes together a positive outcome and the long term success greatly increases.

My Initial Appointment 

Josh and I both saw Megan McCarthy for our appointments. We went on separate days and each of our visits lasted an hour. We went fasted and had our blood drawn, vitals taken, and were then shown to a room where we took a glucose test.

After drinking that lovely liquid sugar, Megan came and went over my medical history and what my goals were moving forward. Because of the history with the autoimmune disorder she added another blood test to my labs, looking for gene mutations. More on this later.

From there I met with the nutritionist and was given a list of what I should and shouldn’t be eating as wells as an exact breakdown of my daily macros. Daily I am now consuming around 1860 calories and eating 15% (70g) carbohydrates, 50% (103g) fat, and 35% (163g) protein. I so appreciated all the information I received that first appointment and before I left I had my blood drawn one last time to retest my glucose level.

The Follow Up Appointment 

Josh and I had our follow up appointment two weeks ago and we went together. This was one month after our initial appointment. Several of the labs are done at Boston Heart and it takes a few weeks to get the results back.

Our follow up appointment lasted an hour (and we had all three kids with us too) and it was so informative! The kids were seriously amazing while we sat in the office with Megan, and Josh and I were so proud of how well they behaved.

She went over every single lab that was done on each of us! I won’t bore you with all the details but here are a few highlights.

  • Cholesterol. Both of us have things we need to address in this category. Josh and I both need to increase our Omega 3 (EPA + DHA = Total Omega) to at least 2,000mg/day. I am taking Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega and Josh is taking SFH Fish Oil.
  • My vitamin D was super low so I am supplementing with 5,000 IU/day. I am using NOW D-3 5,000 IU.
  • I also learned that I have a MTHFR gene mutation. I will now be taking a folate supplement for the rest of my life. This mutation causes inflammation in the body and doesn’t allow for the absorption of folate and other B vitamins. I am taking Pure Encapsulations to supplement this.
  • My liver showed inflammation as well and my body is not properly processing sugar. This means ditching the cookies, bread, and other sugar loaded snacks and foods to try and lower my blood glucose levels and also my elevated AST (liver function).

Nutrition and Lifestyle Changes

I have significantly changed up what I have been eating. Here is an example of what I was eating before and what I am now currently eating.

Breakfast

  • Before: Rice Cereal (I love this for breakfast!)
  • Currently: 2 Scoops of Unflavored Promix Protein Powder, 1/2 Avocado, 1 Tablespoon Almond Butter, 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, 3-5 drops of liquid Stevia, and Almond Milk blended together.

Lunch

  • Before: Whatever the kids were eating.
  • Currently: Some sort of salad with 4 ounces of chicken. Lately this has been romaine, tortilla strips, avocado, chicken, and assorted veggies.

Dinner

  • Before: Some combination of veggies, brown rice, and chicken.
  • Currently: Lots of vegetables and 4 ounces chicken or a lettuce bun burger with a side of bone broth.

Snacks

  • Before: Anything and everything. Dried mangos, bananas, apples, fruit snacks, chips, cookies, toast. Mainly anything that has high amounts of carbs.
  • Currently: Vega Protein and Greens Shake, Almonds, and drinking lots and lots of water.

I have been exercising more consistently the past several weeks and just recently actually started looking forward to my own workouts again. If you ever feel unmotivated to workout I am right there with you.

Parenting in this season of my life is exhausting and I mean that in the best way possible. After Jesse was born I knew it would take me a few months to figure out our new routine as family so I put zero pressure on myself in regards to exercise. The last five months have been great and I am so glad that I allowed myself time to recover from pregnancy and to adjust to life as a family of five.

Josh and I will go back in 90 days for more labs and to reassess if what we are doing is making a difference for our overall health. I am very grateful to have been able to participate in this with Josh. Thank you HeartFit for Duty for allowing spouses to tag along in your preventive health care program!

If you are local and a first responder I highly recommend looking into this program! And if you or your spouse works for Mesa Fire and Medical Department call and make an appointment. Josh and I had no out of pocket cost and it is a great resource for you and your family!
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Total Body Functional Workout

I think I am finally, hopefully, starting to get back to a somewhat normal exercise schedule. It was so hard for me to get started again after having Jesse. But just like anything else, sometimes you just need to be disciplined and make it happen.

I so enjoyed all the time I spent letting my body rest after having a new baby and I knew it was time to get back to my workouts. Now that I am three weeks in to exercising consistently I am actually looking forward to my workouts again.

I am focusing right now on rebuilding my strength and concentrating on reconnecting muscles (specifically in my core and pelvic floor) back together after having a baby.

This is a workout I put together that takes under an hour to complete. Each movement should be done slowly and with intention and not rushed.

Equipment Needed: Bands (found HERE and HERE)

Exercises:

Let me know if you try this out and what you think! This workout is challenging and some of the moves may surprise you in the level of difficulty. Have fun and get sweaty!

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