Two Years Ago, Mother’s Day

It was almost two years ago (the weekend after Mother’s Day) that we lost our first pregnancy, just a few months after our elopement.  I was about 13 weeks into that pregnancy, though according to the very crass physician’s assistant at the emergency room, the baby probably hadn’t had a heartbeat for several weeks.  If you’d like to read the whole story, click here.  If you’d like to know what practical things I felt like I learned form the experience, click here to read that blog post

I had a pretty intense miscarriage, in that I labored for about 24 hours, the last half of which was contractions 2 minutes apart. I spent most of the time in the tub.  Having given birth to our Rainbow Baby (you can read Fiona’s birth story here), I would say that the first half of my labor was almost identical to my miscarriage, except for the larger belly and much more joyful atmosphere.  

But the other thing I have observed is that I really experienced a postpartum period after that miscarriage, a lot of things were similar to my experience the past few weeks.  (I’m not just passed six weeks postpartum). 

It’s important to honor all mamas experiences, to honor each pregnancy how you feel it needs to be honored.  It’s vitally important to honor the postpartum for each mama, and whatever length it may be for her: a few weeks or a year.  As a community of women, we need to meet the real needs of the mamas in our lives, before and after birth.  I know not many of you share your miscarriages openly with others, but let me encourage you to find at least one or two people to share with, so that you can be attended to postpartum.  And believe me when I say there is a postpartum period! 

One of the reasons I love starting work with mamas early in pregnancy or even before conception is that I could be available should they lose their child.  I can be a resource to them through a miscarriage and postpartum.  I always encourages mamas that hire me later in pregnancy as well to make sure we’re working together at least one month postpartum, because they will want to have that relationship continue, to feel they have an objective person to not only suggest herbs/food/remedies, but to hear their birth story for the 15th time (and how differently they feel about it each time), and to listen without judgement to their feelings of isolation, joy, loss, fear, and victory.  

My miscarriage postpartum involved what you would expect: bleeding, crying, grieving.  It also involved exhaustion, the need to be comforted by friends, my sister, my mom, and to eat comfort food.  To talk about the birth story, to express feelings of disappointment, despair, even guilt (for losing the baby).  

Did you tell people about your Angel Babies?  Did you get help postpartum?  Have you helped another mama through a miscarriage?  What was most comforting to you?

Want to find out more about Holistic Pregnancy and Birth Coaching? Click here. 

http://www.wholebeginnings.com/get-started-1.html

These are a few of my favorite things…..

Helloooo Mamas!  The last time I wrote was to share my birth story with you.  If you missed it, you can read it here.


Today I wanted to share with you just a few of my favorite postpartum things.  There are many.  

In fact, a lot of the work I do with mamas, both as a doula and as a Holistic Pregnancy and Birth Mentor is to help prepare for a joyful postpartum.  It’s a whole section of my program really!  Some mamas want to focus more on it than others, but everyone needs to pay attention to it.  It can be so easy to fall into the trap of preparing for birth – this enormous grand finale to pregnancy and rite of passage into motherhood – and neglect to prepare for postpartum.  Big mistake!  That’s like preparing for the wedding but not the marriage!  

This is by no means an in-depth list of things I think Mamas need most postpartum, and the truth is what every mama needs will vary, just as each birth will vary.  One of my main reasons for working with mamas is to help them discover what it is they need, as individuals, as women, and as mothers, so that they can prepare and also claim it for themselves.  It’s important to have someone to listen to each pain and desire of your heart to help you find what you need during postpartum.  Which can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year – depending on your definition, your birth experience, your health and your circumstances!  

Here were some of my favorites:

  • Wool backed nursing pads. They’re water proof, super comfortable, durable, and of course n

    ice to the planet (and your skin!).  I got mine from my favorite cloth shop here.

  • Valerian Root Tincture.  Tinctures can be expensive, so I made this myself.  It’s very easy!  It takes about 5 minutes of prep and 6 weeks of steeping time.  This herb, though not friendly to everyone, is an incredibly soothing tonic for me.  I find it calms my nerves in small doses and helps me sleep in large ones.  I have taken a dose before “bed” almost every night postpartum and several days I’ve taken it to soothe my nerves enough to nap with Fiona.  It is also useful in soothing muscle spasms and helping the heart function optimally. 
  • A good water bottle.  I needed this in labor and postpartum, so I could keep it constantly filled (or rather, my postpartum doula did!) while breastfeeding.  It doesn’t spill so I can keep it in my bed or in the co-sleeper next to our bed. 
  • A postpartum doula.

    I cannot stress enough how important this was for me.  If you have a mother/sister/friend that you have a very close relationship with and can move in with you for several weeks, maybe you don’t need this.  But even with those relationships sometimes it can be nice to have someone you’re paying to help you.  You need ALOT postpartum, especially if birth was particularly difficult, or you had a surgical birth, and it can feel like you’re a burden on those around you.  Hiring a postpartum doula (to: hold baby and let you nap/shower, feed you, feed your spouse, vacuum, do laundry, clean bathroom/kitchen, help breastfeed, give you a hug, tell you how awesome you are, listen to your birth story over and over again, make sure you have clean sheets etc etc etc) that is not related to you can be a huge relief. Find one here.  (This was ours.)

  • Sitz bath herbs.  I sell these in my shop.  They can be incredibly healing for cesarean scars and perineal tears, and also for your mood.  We brought Fiona into mine for her first bath a week after she was born.  Find mine here. 
  • Arnica.  Get the oil (I sell it as Yoni Oil in my shop) and/or the homeopathic remedy.  Taking it orally can help with muscle aches/bruising/trauma.  Using the oil externally helps with the same thing.  I used some arnica/st. john’s wort oil on my achey muscles (which were all of them!) and also on my yoni once I stopped using raw honey on my tear. 
  • Raw Honey.  You’ll love it to sweeten your mother’s milk or happy womb tea, and it feels amazing on a perineal tear.  Not to mention the amazing healing powers it has on a wound like that!
  • Belly Binding: I just used my Moby baby wrap around my waist, but boy did it make a difference.  Helped to reduce that sort of wobbly, open feeling in my belly.  It felt incredibly comforting and it also has the benefits of helping the uterus and organs return to their proper place!
  • Magnesium.  This may be my favorite postpartum tool.  Drinking magnesium (I bought the “Calm” powdered magnesium citrate drink) has several benefits: it helps keep your magnesium at a good level (something many of us are deficient in), it helps to calm you/soothe your nerves, and best of all… it helps you poop!  Forget those harsh stool softeners!  Pooping after birth is scary, everyone will tell you that! I drank extra magnesium and kombucha which not only helped to soothe my nerves after the adrenalin rush of birth and the first 48 hours, but it also helped soften everything in my intestines so that pooping postpartum for me, even with a small tear, was really no big deal at all.  I highly recommend it!!
I have so many more, but so little space (bone broth, a stocked freezer, green smoothies, placenta pills, kombucha or water kefir, a resident diaper changer, funny movies/tv shows, good swaddle blankets, ice packs, cabbage leaves, a co sleeper or some version of one, Brest friend nursing pillow, lanolin or nipple butter, coconut water, dark chocolate, happy womb tea, beer…)
 
I’d love to hear some of your favorites!  What helped you postpartum??

Other things I’ve written about postpartum:
Six Tips for The Postpartum Mama : Modern Alternative Mama Guest Post


Want to find out more about Holistic Pregnancy and Birth Coaching? Click here. 

http://www.wholebeginnings.com/get-started-1.html



Everyone has advice for fussy babies. Could this be the real cause of colic?

I picked up a copy of “The Happiest Baby on the Block” at a thrift store the other day.  I actually hadn’t read it, though talked with many parents who had found it beneficial.  I like that it emphasizes carrying, cuddling and not leaving baby to “cry-it-out”, especially before 6 months old.  I do wish it focused a little bit more on the individual child, and the individual parent-child relationship.  

causes of colic

Reading through this sparked my curiosity about the term “colic”.  The mayo clinic defines colic in the following way:

 Colic is often defined as crying more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than three weeks in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. What is most important for the diagnosis is sustained crying in an otherwise healthy baby for a regular period of the day lasting for several weeks.”

My mother says that I was colicky, both my sister and I, in fact.  And that the pain of that cry, coupled with the pain of the “spinal headache” she was left with after her epidural was nearly unbearable.  I can only imagine! Though I have no “scientific” proof of this, I have often suspected that my potentially unnecessary cesarean delivery, surgery at 6 weeks, and almost exclusive formula feeding (first dairy based and then soy based) had a lot to do with health problems I suffered during childhood. (Childhood asthma, allergies, and incorrectly diagnosed IBS).  

While reading this popular book I decided to explore and see if there is any current research that supported my theory. Here’s what I discovered:

Turns out that colicky babies are more likely to:
– be premies
– be born via cesarean
– have less than 10 hours of cuddling a day

Here’s why I think the first two are actually symptoms of the same problem: healthy gut flora! Scientists are finally realizing that the human body is most bacteria (called the microbiome”).  Everything from weight issues to disease are found to be connected to the amount of healthy bacteria in our bodies- something that has been previously ignored for a large part in the medical community, since antibiotics were hailed as the solution for every ache, bruise or sniffle. 

Turns out my theory actually has been examined.  2009 study found that babies with colic have more intestinal inflammation and the colic was resolved with probiotic treatment! 

So what do the first two things correlated with colic have to do with gut flora? 

1. Premature babies are more often born via cesarean or to a sick mama (more likely to have had antibiotics during pregnancy or labor).  They is also a newer theory that premature babies have been born to a mama who had an imbalance of healthy bacteria and transferred the bacteria to the fetus, stimulating labor to begin prematurely. Read about it here.

2. It is unclear whether bacteria are acquired during pregnancy or through the birth canal.  There seems to be some evidence for both theories, perhaps we acquire our bacteria both ways.  Either way, studies show that cesarean babies have lower amounts of healthy gut flora.  In fact, it is shown to disrupt their intestinal flora for 6 months after birth!  

So what to do for a colicky baby? (These are just some ideas, by no means a substitute for personal advice for your specific baby)

1. Get a good infant probiotic.  If you did have a cesarean in particular, or received antibiotics during labor for GBS or other infection, baby is at a much higher risk for not only colic, but thrush, and generally lower immunity.  (When we wipe out the harmful bacteria we also wipe out the good!) Replacing with a high quality infant probiotic will help!

2. Breastfeed.  Breastmilk has naturally occurring pro and pre-biotics.   These help your baby not only acquire immunity but a strong digestive system.  Breastfed babies have lower rates of allergies and illness. If you are breastfeeding, eat lots of home fermented foods!  These foods have incredibly high amounts of naturally occurring probiotics: Kombucha (homemade or store bought, as long as it’s labeled “raw”), homemade sauerkraut (store bought has been heat treated killing all bacteria), plain yogurt or kefir.  Check out the book The Art of Fermentation, or Nourishing Traditions for ways to get started. 

3. Get the book “The Happiest Baby on the Block“. Learn about “the 5s” for soothing baby.  Especially during the first 6 months of life avoid the “cry it out method” that has been shown to impair neurological development because of the incredible increase in stress  hormones in the baby’s body.  (I know there are a million theories about how to best get a baby to sleep well and often, and I’m not saying 100% of the time anything works for 100% of kids, I’m just saying, avoiding this method as a habit.  Being as consistent in your quick response to babies at this age as possible has positive effects on their stress level and therefore development.  I’m not talking about getting your two year old out of time out because they’re crying- that’s a discipline situation – newborns and infants cannot and should not be disciplined.) 

4. Spend lots of time cuddling, swaddling and baby wearing. This study (St James-Roberts I, Alvarez M, Csipke E, et al. 2006. Infant crying and sleeping in London, Copenhagen and when parents adopt a proximal form of care. Pediatrics 117:e1146-55 ) was cited in an article about colic stating that babies with less than 10 hours of cuddling a day were more prone to colic.  However, I’ve been unable to find this actual study. Anecdotal evidence supports that babies in baby carriers or arms of a caregiver most of the day tend to have less colic (perhaps because the care giver is more likely to be aware of baby’s needs more quickly due to proximity.) 

Give yourself a break! Parenting is hard, babies are all different, and there is no black and white, easy answer to any of it.  It’s all a relationship between each individual child and their individual care givers.  But hopefully this has enlightened you a bit and maybe added some tools to your toolbox.  Happy mothering!

Need more help with this?  Feeling overwhelmed?  Schedule your Blissful Mama Breakthrough Session now by clicking here.

How long is postpartum?

Sometimes I think planning for a baby to arrive is a lot like planning a wedding.   The anticipation of the event can seem unbearable, somehow the focus seems to be less on the woman and more on what everyone expects, and a ridiculous sum of money is spent on things we end up never using or remembering. My friend confided that she spent so much time worrying about the wedding she forgot to plan for the marriage.  That has stayed with me in my doula and coaching practice.  I try to encourage mamas to remember that while the birth is incredibly important, and definitely more meaningful than “just having a healthy baby at the end”, the postpartum is equally, if not more deserving of your attentions. postpartum recovery

I read an article in the Daily Mail (UK news) about a study done in the UK on the postpartum recovery of mothers.  Dr Julie Wray, of Salford University, interviewed women two to three weeks, three months and six to seven months after they had given birth to gain a unique insight into postnatal recovery.”

“She concluded that it takes a year to recover from childbirth. Her study also revealed significant dissatisfaction amongst new mothers with postnatal services.”

 A friend of mine, who has had two children, (one C section, one VBAC), was asked by a male co-worker, in all honesty and with genuine concern, why his wife was just “sitting on the couch all the time” after having their baby.  This was two weeks postpartum.  My friend gently explained that she’s not only recovering from a few hours of hard labor work, but almost a year of pregnancy, not to mention an adjustment to caring for a newborn and the emotional transition of becoming a mother. 

Why do we put so little emphasis on the postpartum?  Why have we decided that at a mother with a 6 week old baby should be ready to go back to work, healed and happy?  Is it healthy?

“Dr Wray’s study found that hospital wards can have a negative impact on women’s ability to recoup and celebrate the birth of their child because of the constant stream of visitors and the unfamiliar rules and regulations.”

Sadly, neglecting the true healing process postpartum can have more than just a mild effect.  Just last week I got news through the grapevine about an acquaintance from middle and high school.  She committed suicide, postpartum depression, with a ten week old baby left behind.  Can you imagine the heartbreak she must have been feeling?  Did she feel pressure to be “herself” again?  Was she feeling like a failure?  Did she put on a good front for those around her? I don’t know her history or her circumstances, but I do know that postpartum depression is all too common in the U.S.
 
My intuition tells me that the low rates of breastfeeding past three months, the high rates of postpartum depression, the high cesarean rates, and being the only wealthy nation without mandated maternity leave are all interrelated.  
 
In Ireland you receive 26 weeks maternity leave, with an optional additional 16 weeks unpaid.  In the UK you receive 26 weeks with additional 26 unpaid, with additional help in the form of a maternity grant and maternity allowance.  In Canada, there’s special maternity benefits, even for self employed mothers.  I believe it’s also a 26 week paid maternity leave with the optional 26 additional unpaid. 
 
Feeling a little denied?  Me too.  
 
In some traditional cultures the woman returning from birth is given Warrior status, and honored and revered.  The tradition of a ‘mother roasting’ has started to gain some more popularity in the past few years as women in the US realize that our current state of postpartum care is unacceptable.  This includes various things, stemming from the common practice in many cultures to keep mama warm and bare breasted next to baby for 40 days postpartum (indeed, 6 weeks!  perhaps this is where our idea of the 6 week limit came from?). Have you heard of a cuarantena?  Read about it here.
postpartum reocvery holistic pregnancy and birth blissful mama
 
 
If I had my way, every mama would be assigned a therapist and postpartum doula the day of her birth experience.  The doula visits for 6 weeks.  The therapist is in contact for at least 6 months- depending on how much or how little mama needs her.  Coupled with postpartum prevention by identifying risk factors, and creating sacred birthing environments where the process is undisturbed. 
 

Some things you can do to plan for postpartum?

  • Realize you will not feel like yourself after 6 weeks.  
  • Plan to spend the first year adjusting to: no longer being pregnant, figuring out how to feed your growing child, constantly changing sleep habits, new and ever-evolving roles as parents and couples, and integrating this new person into your life. 
  • Hire a postpartum doula
  • Encapsulate your placenta. 
  • Take off as much time from work as you possibly can. 
  • Only invite visitors that will come help (cook, clean, do laundry) for the first few weeks. 
  • Ask for help!  
  • Research what kind of foods help postpartum and make lists for people who want to bring food over. 
  • Have sitz baths and warm massage oils ready for use. 
  • Hire a birth doula, use a midwife, and birth in the place that makes you feel safest and most cared for. 
  • Take hypnobirthing or other natural childbirth classes, even if you think you might use meds, just to get a sense of what your body can do- it will help you feel more empowered and less likely to describe your birth as ‘traumatic’ postpartum.
  • If you have risk factors for PPD, make sure you have help already in place. 

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the options, decisions and pressure during pregnancy, birth and postpartum?  Get the help you need- click here to schedule your Blissful Mama Breakthrough Session.

 
 

Three Selfish Things that are Good for Your Baby

Have you felt a little selfish for feeling like you need extra nurturing during this pregnancy? Have you felt like the focus is mostly on measurements and baby’s well being while you’re just a vessel? Don’t worry! I give your permission to nurture and nourish yourself. What your baby most needs – both now and after birth, is a healthy, happy, well cared for mama. Nurturing and nourishing yourself during pregnancy is actually exactly what you need to do to prepare for a healthy and blissful birth and postpartum for you and baby. pregnancy nourishment


Here are three ideas to help nurture and nourish yourself during pregnancy:


1.) Eat consciously. There’s a fantastic book called “Nourishing Wisdom” by Marc David. In it he talks about his journey of breaking down how to understand your relationship with food. Releasing the mindset that there is a perfect diet out there (and perfect body) unchangeable (and somehow immune to all sickness and death) is the first step. Instead, become more aware of how your body’s needs change according to several factors: seasons of weather (fall, spring) the seasons of life (high stress times, times of celebration), lifestyle (how often and where you work, how you exercise) and environment (where you live and who you spend time with!). Be sensitive to changes in yourself and find ways to nourish yourself as these other factors change.


2.) Breath. Even five minutes a day of intentional breathing practice (pranayama as we call it in yoga) can deepen your level of body awareness and your ability to use your breath to calm your mind and ease pain.


3.) Go outside. Did you know there is an entire science called “earthing” where the earth’s electrical energy transfers to the body when we come in contact with it (walking barefoot on the beach or gardening for example.)  The body is mostly water and minerals. It is a good conductor of electricity (electrons). The free electrons on the surface of the Earth are easily transferred to the human body as long as there is direct contact.  Not to mention the fresh air and the vitamin D from the sunshine (lots of research suggests pregnant women in North America suffer drastic vitamin D deficiencies!)  


Having trouble nourishing and nurturing yourself during this pregnancy?  Feeling overwhelmed?  Download your {complementary} Empowered Mama Guided Meditation Here!

The One Thing You Can Control About Birth…

What’s the one thing you can control about birth?
Wait for it…..drum roll….
Your Postpartum Plan!

If you haven’t thought much about what happens after baby is born, you’re not alone!  Many moms focus so much on preparing for birth (and you should!) they don’t think much about what happens postpartum.

But you should!  I wrote a guest post for Modern Alternative Mama about six things you should know about postpartum (that you probably don’t know!!).  Check out that post here.  I recommend hiring postpartum doula and creating a calendar.
 
If you have had surgery, you will need a lot of rest and healing time.  But even if you delivered vaginally you will need a lot of care.  More than you think!  Mamas who have had an unmedicated birth might feel that “birth high” for quite awhile after birth, and breastfeeding might be going beautifully! But often times a week or two in, things change.  Hormones can drop quickly, baby goes through a growth spurt and suddenly breastfeeding isn’t as successful as it was…  
 
Rest assured, regardless of how much your baby sleeps, how much milk you produce, or how perfect your birth is, you will need help.  Why not plan ahead of time? I am a big fan of the POSTPARTUM CALENDAR. It’s easy to make and makes your life much easier. 
Try using Google Docs to make a spreadsheet or Google Calendar.  You can create a specific calender just for postpartum.  Like this:
postpartum plan

 
You can choose a color for your calendar if you already use Google Calendar, so that it’s separate from your other calendars. 
 Then you can share the calendar with friends and family you would like to help or visit you after baby is here.
 
Hit the arrow button to the right of the calendar name to get this drop down menu:

It will ask you to share with specific people like this:
Just enter in the email addresses  you’d like to include…
 
You can even select how much information each person sees…
(Close up photo of that drop down menu:)
And that’s it! Voila! Everyone can edit the calendar all on their own and make sure you’re taken care of!
Still feeling overwhelmed? Need help writing a more detailed postpartum plan (maybe one with herbs, stocked cabinets, foods that help healing go faster, and yoga poses for restoration?) No worries!  Schedule your Blissful Mama Breakthrough Session with me now, by clicking here.

The Most Important Thing on Your Baby Registry (That You Probably Don’t Have!)

I know you may think, especially as a first time mom, that if you don’t have 652 blankets, 1.5million diapers and 27 different kinds of pacifiers when baby is born you just won’t survive.  But, let me share a little secret with you- you will!

Most likely you will fill your registry with 5 pages of baby gear that Amazon or Babys’R’Us made you feel was necessary to your parenting.  You may have a conversation that goes something like this: “What??  We don’t have a miniature sized nursery thermometer and wipe warmer yet?  We must buy it ourselves or else the baby won’t make it!”

But let me assure you, that life will go on and your little one will survive.  Besides people will most likely buy you things off your registry that they like, not what you really need. (Am I right??)

So, though I am no expert in this area, I would recommend that you register for a few essentials (think survival: diapers, washcloths, sleeping devices, carseat. ) For heavens sake don’t register for onesies.  You will have onesies.  Onesies to last you eternity.

May I also suggest that you register for two things you may not have thought of?

Doula. 
Postpartum care. 

These two things are so essential to your birth and health (spiritual, emotionally, and physically) that I think they should be first on your list!

Ok, ok, I know.  I’m biased (I’m a doula who sells postpartum products).  But having said that, I still think it’s really important.  Doulas can sometimes be an expense a family desperately wants but cannot afford since insurance stubbornly won’t cover it (despite the statistics that say doula-attended births cost insurance companies much less).  Adding it to your registry might be the perfect way to get what you most need for your birth and your baby!

Don’t forget the postpartum!  Most moms are so excited to meet their baby and so focused on birth they forget to plan for the postpartum period.  Sleep deprivation will not  be your only challenge. If you’ve had surgery you will need a lot of assistance for your lengthy healing time.  Breastfeeding challenges, dealing with your mother’s opinion, healing from a tear, rebuilding energy… there is so much that occurs for mothers right after birth that doesn’t get paid attention to. 

Make sure you register for things that will help you immediately after birth- not just for baby.  Have you thought about making a calender as a google doc and sharing it with friends and family?  This way they can sign up for slots to bring meals and what kind of meal,  so you don’t have 47 people visit you the day after the birth, each with a lasagna. 

Make sure to include sitz baths or herbs to help heal your perineum.  Nipple butter to soothe dry nipples and a lactation tea to help feed baby.  Maybe you even register for a postpartum doula as well!!

For a step by step on how to make a baby calendar, come back next week 🙂

Here’s how to add you doula to your registry. 

There are TWO WAYS to do this that I’m currently aware of.  Both of them involve a universal registry (meaning you can add things from other websites, not just one store).  You can either create one on Amazon or create a unique registry on a site like like Merci Registry .   

Merci is a great website that allows you to create cool “blocks” of things you want, including a donation box. This is perfect for adding a doula or other fund to your registry.  It links with a Paypal account and people can send money directly there!  With Amazon, you will need to have your doula add a paypal button to her site OR have people mail checks directly to you. 
This is what a sample registry with Merci would look like.  You just add more blocks as you need- as many as you want!


This is a sample block.. This couple is registering for a new mattress. 




You can also add your doula fees to an Amazon Registry or other universal registry.  You can ask your doula to create a paypal button on her website (very easy to do) so people can donate directly or add it to your amazon registry by just linking her website.  This will mean you will receive checks as your donations towards your doula fees.  You can add any website to your registry by using the universal button available on the Amazon website.  Here’s how:

First, Install the Universal Wishlist button.
Go to Amazon.com, create a registry and on that site there is an option to “Add a Universal Button”.  It will bring you to this page:


I have a MacBook so I use Safari, and chose the “Install in Safari” option. 

It was sent to my downloads, I opened it and it put the Amazon button in my browser toolbar…. 


…Like this.


Then I went to my registry, that looks like this:

When you find a website you want to add to your wishlist, simply click the universal button on your browser..


…and it will give you a form like this to fill out:
And voila! You have your doula on your registry!







Post your questions below and I’d be happy to answer them.  Also post better ideas on how to put your doula on your registry if you’ve got them!  

Did you put your doula on your registry?









Keep Your Yoni Happy!

I am slowly working my way through Herbal Healing for Women.  This great book I found from a second hand book shop on 2nd street in Philly. Written by Rosemary Gladstar in 1993, this book is full of great information for women.  I feel healthy just reading it.  (Do you think I can absorb her good vibes through the ink and paper??) I use it as a reference and then read through a chapter and then go back.  I’m an underliner and notetaker, so it’s getting marked up, which is how a well loved book should be in my opinion. 

She follows the Wise Woman Tradition.   Although a little new-agey for me, this philosophy does really support women’s intuition and wisdom and that is something I am huge fan of, obviously.  

There’s a great recipe I came across today called “Yoni Powder“.  I make a great Yoni Bath and Yoni Oil, but this is something new!  It’s used as a medicinal talc to treat yeast infections.  I also learned that I can help to treat excess yeast in the body by drinking apple cider vinegar and raw honey in warm water- which I already drink on a daily basis, so that’s good news! (We call it “Maurer Hot Toddy” and use it to treat colds, allergies or flu.)

When I did a google search for “yoni powder” I came across an apothecary that makes a yoni powder based on this exact recipe. 

What I have also recently found out is that healthy vaginal bacteria is influential in preventing premature labor and premature rupture of membranes (P.R.O.M.)  This makes this information all the more valuable for my doula clients and women who are pregnant or plan to be!

I’m thinking of adding a recipe to my Etsy shop as well.  

But if you’d like to make your own, here’s the recipe!




Whisk everything together and store in a jar.  Apply like baby powder to the yoni once or twice a day while infected.  Keep your Yoni happy!

Thanks to:
Here’s a great place to buy herbs:

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

What do winter blues and preeclampsia have in common?

Most pregnant women in America know they need to be taking their prenatal vitamins, but many, way too many are unaware that they’re still missing out on a fundamental vitamin that will not only help their pregnancy but their immunity, their ability to heal postpartum. 

Since we are an indoor country- living and working indoors most of the time, experts suspect that on Average Americans are losing vitamin D. Vitamin D is not something your body produces on it’s on, unless it’s in the sun. (Skin exposure, without the sunscreen).  Yes, there is some vitamin D in foods, but not enough to sustain our lack of sun exposure.  

Why is it important in pregnancy?

It’s been linked to preeclampsia, risk of c section and other complications. It also effects baby’s bone development and over all immnuity. 

“U.S. researchers Drs. Hollis and Wagner also found that the “core morbidities of pregnancy” — diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia — were reduced by 30 percent in the women who took high-dose vitamin D, amounting to 4,000 IUs of vitamin D a day (ten times the RDA of 400 IU).”


I know you’ve been hearing for years about wearing your sunscreen, and I’m not suggesting you immediately run to the beach and get a burn. But you DO need vitamin D. Here’s what to do: 

1.) Get a vitamin D deficiency test.  Your doctor can provide this. 

2.) Get sun exposure.  This is a great article about how to get the best out of the sun. Your face is an area of very thin skin, so you’ll want to cover that up, but getting sunshine directly on bare arms and legs is perfect. 

3.) Skip the sunscreens, especially with weird products in them.  Protect areas from sun exposure using mostly clothing. Didn’t know that sunscreens contain cancer-causing parabens? Check out this info about which sunscreens to choose for the times you do want to cover up.

4.) In the winter months when there is obviously little sunshine (and what sunshine there is outside isn’t as strong), get quality vitamin D supplement.  Preferably liquid (easier to absorb by the body).  Like this one. The recommendation is generally about 4,000 IU/day.  (Refer back to Dr. Mercola’s article for more specifics on dosage. )

5.) There’s an app for it, of course.  Check this out.
 


Be well!! 










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