The Use of Acupuncture During Pregnancy

By Jessica Carfagnini, ND of Thunder Bay Naturopathic Clinic

During pregnancy women are often looking for effective ways to treat a variety of conditions in a safe manner. Since a great number of drugs are not safe to use during pregnancy many women consider other healing modalities, such as acupuncture, to relieve common conditions. Although there are certain acupuncture points that are not safe during pregnancy, a trained Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) or Naturopathic Doctor (ND) has the skills and knowledge to needle safely and effectively.

Traditional Chinese medicine is the oldest and most widely used system of medicine in the world. It has been catching on in the Western world due to its effectiveness in successfully treating a wide variety of illnesses and imbalances.

Women who are pregnant may seek acupuncture for rashes, sinusitis, urinary tract infections and other common conditions. Sometimes it’s as simple as needling a few points to gain some relief. For example, itchy rashes are considered a sign of “heat” in the body that can be released by administering as few as 6 acupuncture needles to specific points on the arms, back, ears and legs. Many acupuncture treatments do not even require that the patient remove their clothing. Simply wearing loose comfortable clothing that can be rolled up to the elbows and knees can provide access to some very powerful points. Continue reading

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

Mod Mum – Organic Baby Sling

Lisa Kalberer is a mommy from Austin Texas. She started Mod Mum, a baby sling company for modern moms. Her product line has expanded to include maternity gowns, newborn pillow support and baby slings for dads.

“I have designed our baby slings for optimum comfort, while our designer fabrics help every mom to feel hip and chic as she carries her baby. I want all Moms to experience a convenient and comfortable way to have their baby close, yet still have the ability to get things done.”

We just love her organic baby slings, featured in image. Check out her etsy show found [here] for information on ordering her wonderful products.

Way to go Lisa!

Are you a mom who makes a natural product for other moms or for babies? Let us know about you!

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

State of World’s Midwifery Doc

Many women who want a midwife cannot have one yet, women die in child birth everyday from a lack of adequate care. The below video “highlights the importance of the role of the midwife in reducing maternal and infant mortality as well as the issues and challenges they face.”

Folic Acid

Folic acid is important for women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant. It boosts production of red blood cells, so is essential for fetal development. It also helps prevent neural-tube defects. Join Obstetrician/Gynecologist Siobhan Dolan as she takes us through a local farmer’s market in her community to inform us which foods are rich in folic acid.

“The good news is that folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects. But it only works if taken before getting pregnant and during the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before you even know you’re pregnant.” (March of Dimes Foundation)