Huggaloops Snuggle Sling + Give Away

Introducing the Huggaloops Snuggle Baby Sling. Invented by Canadian mom, Stacey Vukovics, Hugaloops is a totally unique design which uses three interlocking loops to hold baby close. Weight is distributed evenly, it is fully adjustible and made wth a double layer of 2-way stretch fabric, with double-stitched safety seams. Amazingly, there are even more reasons to love this product. In addition to being confortable and stylish, the Huggaloops baby sling has eliminated buckles or tying like with most other slings. You just slip on the loops and it is ready for baby!

We have been really excited about Hugaloops here at naturalmommy, so we met up with Stacey who agreed to do a give away with naturalmommy readers! We also just had to talk to her about her love of baby wearing and balancing business with motherhood. See below for our interview with her.

To win your Huggaloops Snuggle Sling, just like naturalmommy on facebook [here], and send us a message letting us know that you want one! We will pick a random winner and Stacey will send it out directly from Huggaloops headquarters. You can also nominate a mommy in your life that would love this product and if she wins, Stacey will send it to her for you! To make this give away even better Stacey would love for the winner to pick their own colour. She will contact the winner directly before she sends it out to let them decide the colour that best suits them. If you nominate a friend and she wins, you can pick the colour for her so it is still a surprise! Continue reading

5 Things You Can Do At Home To Heal Yourself After Birth

Submitted to naturalmommy by Nicola Hogg, psychotherapist and mommy who has made it her life’s work to empower other moms. Nicola specializes in working with mothers antenatally and postnatally. She lives and works in Ireland. Her web-site can be found [here].

 

I remember how hard it can be to even contemplate leaving the house in the early days of having a newborn baby!

So here are some things you can do to gently heal yourself without going for counselling in the early days following a traumatic or difficult birth experience.

1. Feel: Remember it is OK to feel overwhelmed/sad/disappointed/confused about the birth. Most often our difficulties with feelings are about our battle with them. Try to go with them….if you feel sad, allow the tears without holding back. Trust that they will end eventually….as long as you express them. If you feel angry, find a safe way to express it…hitting a ball with a racket off the side of the house, ripping up pages of a phone book, any other inventive ways you can think of to get your anger out. Continue reading

Sunscreen for Your Little Ones

By Breanna Rothe from sustainablemommy.ca, Photo: Tricia Hong

“A consumer advocacy group has a warning for parents who think they‘re protecting  their family with sunscreen: You may be getting burned. The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based nonprofit, has released an investigation of nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreens that says four out of five don‘t adequately protect consumers and may contain harmful chemicals.” (Mercola)

With so many different sunscreens on the Market it is hard to decide which one is  right for your little ones. Beyond deciding on the brand and SPF, there are some other important factors to consider, such as the fact that many new studies such as the one mentioned above, have concluded that most of the ingredients in popular drugstore brands of sunscreen, contain chemicals that can be very harmful to your health, potentially cancer causing, and therefore not something you want to put on a baby or young child. Two main ingredients to avoid when purchasing a sunscreen for your family is anything containing Oxybenzone and Retinyl Palmitate. Continue reading

The Best Birth Aid Recipe

The Best Labor Aid recipe. By midwife and childbirth educator Elizabeth MacKay, creator of the Peaceful Birth On-line Course found [here].

You will want to eat and drink light, healthy foods during labor. If you eat and drink during labor, then you don’t need an IV. Labor is work, calories are needed for your body to work effectively, and in order to have the energy you need to give birth.

Starving yourself and becoming dehydrated during childbirth can lead to complications. If you have to get an IV, It will keep you from moving freely during labor, but it is movement that helps you give birth faster and easier. The use of IVs can cause other complications, such as fluid overload and hyperglycemia for both mother and baby. And you can find yourself in the “cascade of interventions”, where one intervention leads to more interventions.

But don’t drink sports drinks or energy drinks as they can actually make things more difficult for you in labor.

The Ingredients used in these drinks can affect you and your baby’s heart rate and blood pressure. As these drinks contain very high levels of caffeine. Some brands have as much as 8x the amount of caffeine as 1 cup of coffee. Continue reading

Babies & Kids with Eczema; no fun for anyone!

By: Jessica Carfagnini, ND, tbaynaturopathic.ca

Have you ever parented an itchy, unhappy child with an angry red rash? Perhaps your child had the rash with little bumps weeping fluid, or maybe she had the dry rash that cracked when she scratched it?  Eczema is an increasingly common health issue among babies and children and can be an endless source of frustration. What is eczema anyway? There are two main types.  Contact Dermatitis is an allergic reaction to laundry soap or another irritant in the environment.  This type of eczema can be usually be “cured” by removing the irritant. The other type of eczema, atopic dermatitis, is an itchy red rash that may be inherited from one or both parents. Allergies and asthma are linked to eczema so you may see any of these conditions occurring in members of the same family. Eczema, asthma and allergies are genetically linked and are all the result of a malfunctioning immune system. For this reason, they are sometimes considered autoimmune conditions. Continue reading

Birthing Centers in Ontario Canada

New to Ontario, but not new to Quebec or Manitoba, is the opening of two birth centers – run by midwives and acting as a pilot project, which if successful will likely change how women give birth in Ontario.

“On Tuesday, Ontario women moved a step closer to having that third option when Premier Dalton McGuinty announced plans to launch the province’s first two birth centers.” (Toronto Star)

A birth center is a place where women can give birth with a midwife, aimed at expectant mothers who want to give birth naturally within a community setting. Many women do not want to be in a hospital, but are also not comfortable giving birth at home. A birthing center would offer another option for them to consider. Continue reading

Cesarean Birth

Support and love from friends and family is important in every birth, regardless of the experience. Before giving birth, make sure you have support put in place. When confronted with a cesarean birth, be aware that you and your baby may need lots of extra love and support. Healing from a cesarean or any other procedure, such as an episiotomy can pose some additional challenges.

“A big drawback of cesarean sections is separation from your baby immediately after birth…once back at home, you will find it more painful to move around for a while, making caring for a new baby harder. It can take longer to bond with you baby, but be patient – it will happen…Cesarean babies are often premature, are more vulnerable to respiratory distress, and may be affected by what prompted the operation…A baby with physical problems needs extra attention, and you may need help to cope with sleeping or feeding.” (Meredith 18)

After a general anesthetic, drowsiness or lethargy can occur for you and your baby. Drugs that are absorbed through the blood stream may interfere with oxytocin (a hormone that is important for nursing and bonding), although exact side-effects of drugs is not clear. That said, breastfeeding may also pose some challenges after a cesarean. Some women notice that it takes longer for their milk to come in. It can also be more difficult to get into a comfortable position. Regardless of a cesarean, there is always the potential for challenges involved with breastfeeding, but it is well worth the effort to keep trying if breastfeeding is something you desire to do. Many Midwives have observed that given the right support, knowledge and patience, the vast majority of women are able to breastfeed. We suggest you view our page about breastfeeding [here] and ask for support, if you need some extra help getting the swing of things.

What is alarming is the rate at which women are getting c-sections. Web-sites like thestir are reporting that rates are said to go up to as much as 50% in the USA [and Canada’s rates are not much less than that]. Check out their article [here].

Growing Up Wild with Kelly Engel

Kelly Engel is a busy mom, to say the least! She is the owner, creator and mom behind Growing Up Wild, an eco-friendly baby clothing company. Kelly is truly a marvel since in addition to being a mommy, running her amazing business, she also makes pottery and worked as an elementary school teacher. We had to talk to Kelly about her biz and being a mom. We just loved what she had to say, so we are sharing it with you!

Growing Up Wild can be found [here].

(NM): What is it like for you to balance being a mom and a business owner? What are some of the challenges that you face and how do you balance your time?

(Kelly): Being a mom is the most rewarding experience that has happened to me. I am enjoying every minute (even the new found temper tantrums) of my 19-month old Jonathan’s life. Running my own business out of my home has allowed me to be there for life’s simpler moments. I try to work solely during his naps or after he is in bed at night. During peak times I fill in the gaps when my husband is home with my son in the evenings or on weekends. So far we are able to make it work but I would be lying if I said that it was easy. I am not very good at carving any time out for myself and this has led to a few tears when I go beyond my max. Fortunately my husband has learned to see this coming and insists that I take a bath, a hike or sit for a quiet cup of coffee before that happens.

What are some of the benefits to buying items directly from those who make it?

I love supporting the homemade movement whenever possible. In particular I seek out fellow work at home moms or dads when I can. I have found that buying directly from the person that creates an item has an entirely different feeling. I am not just supporting a factory oversees. I am directly putting food on a family table, sending a child to dance class, paying for doctors bills or helping someone to purchase their first home. Many of these purchases have led to rewarding friendships. In my experience the items have all been extremely high quality and you can feel the love and attention to detail put into each piece. Continue reading

Need A Good Night Sleep?

We are very excited to introduce to you (if you have not met her already) Elizabeth Pantley. Her two books, The No-Cry Sleep Solutions for toddlers and preschoolers and her first book for babies (featured in image) are truly revolutionary. Pantley offers a much needed view on helping your child to sleep.

We all know that parents need their sleep to function. However, most sleep books and advice call for methods that simply do not work for compassionate parents who are not willing to let their child “cry-it-out” in a dark room by themselves until they learn how to “self-sooth”. The problem with that method is that we really don’t know if children have learned to self-sooth or if they have just learned that we as parents will not come to them. In other words, what we Interpret as self-soothing may actually be them giving up and internalizing abandonment.

One of the best parts of her book for toddlers is giving moms the empowerment to stop nursing their toddlers all night, while still co-sleeping if they want to.

If you are still not sleeping after reading Pantley’s books, you can also try hiring a Sleep Doula.

Tracy Ruiz, a Sleep Doula helps parents and kids get good night sleeps. She illustrates that a healthy happy household means that everyone gets sleep, when that isn’t happening, it might be time to call in a Sleep Doula.

We disagree with Tracy’s choice of baby care. At naturalmommy, we encourage more natural baby care like Sacred Lotus, Burt’s Bees or another local-hand-made variety that is chemical free and much more gentle on baby’s delicate skin.

Clip below is Ruiz interviewed on CTV Edmonton. Thanks for some good tips Tracy!

NorthernMom Cloth Diapers

NorthernMom is a hand-made cloth diaper company located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada.

Owned and operated by Samantha Levesque, mother of four (with one on the way!) whose passion is to manufacture custom one-size cloth diapers and share them with other parents. Samantha also enjoys making baby gifts, such as receiving blankets, knits and crochet baby hats.

NorthernMom produces easy to use cloth diapers. There are two rows of snaps ensuring a more customized fit in both the belly and leg, adjustable snaps on the rise and a cross over snap for smaller babies.

We also love NorthernMom’s re-usable baby wipes which come in a variety of fabrics such as: bamboo fleece, bamboo velour, and cotton velour. We got a chance to chat with Samantha about her biz. Check out her interview below. You can also find her on-line shop on etsy.

(NM): People often have a real aversion to using cloth diapers. How easy is it really and what would you say to people who think it is not for them?

(Samantha): My husband was one of those people. He was really apprehensive about starting, mostly because of the ‘ick’ factor. But within a few days he was right in there changing the kids with no problems. The best advice is to just try it out. You’ll find it is very similar to using disposables. These are not your Mother’s (and Grandmother’s) style of cloth diapers! Continue reading