Preparing for Change

Excerpt From the: Peaceful Birth Workbook by Elizabeth MacKay.

Everyone knows that becoming a parent means that our lifestyle will entirely change, but many mothers and fathers to be don’t realize that they can take steps to prepare for this new life. We’re not talking about stocking up on diapers and taking mat-leave—we’re talking about preparing both mentally and emotionally for a new phase in life.

Preparing for change can also prevent postpartum depression, which has been shown to be caused by a feeling of being overwhelmed by the birth, not having enough help and a sense of isolation. Continue reading

CAPPA Canada Pre-Conference 1 Day Workshop – October 25, 2012

Introducing CAPPA Canada Pre-Conference 1 Day Workshop on October 25, 2012 in Ottawa Ontario, presented by Postpartum Support international (PSI) titled Perinatal Mood Disorders: Components of Care. Speaker Birdie Gunyon Meyer, is an RN with a Master’s Degree in Psychology/Counseling.  She is the Coordinator of the Perinatal Mood Disorders Program at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the immediate Past-President of Postpartum Support International and Chairperson of the President’s Advisory Council. Birdie specializes in the recognition and treatment of pregnancy and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. 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

World Breastfeeding Week 2012

Today begins World Breastfeeding Week 2012. WBW is celebrated every year from August 1st-7th in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. Canada also has a National Breastfeeding Week in October.

The first World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) campaign had the theme: “Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative” which began 20 years ago by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding. As seen on the WBW website, found [here], they are currently looking to the future to see what more can be done to support women to feed and care for of their children.

The most well-known support network for breastfeeding women is La Leche League. They are an international nonprofit organization that promotes breastfeeding and connects mothers in order to offer mother-to-mother support. La Leche is global and available in most countries. If you would like nursing support, try talking to your local La Leche League or midwifery office.

The WBW 2012 Objectives are:

  1. To recall what has happened in the past 20 years on infant and young child feeding (IYCF).
  2. To celebrate successes and achievements nationally, regionally and globally and showcase national work at global level.
  3. To assess the status of implementation of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (GS).
  4. To call for action to bridge the remaining gaps in policy and programmes on breastfeeding and IYCF.
  5. To draw public attention on the state of policy and programmes on breastfeeding and IYC

What is the Global Strategy?

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) jointly developed and launched the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (GS) in 2002 reaffirming the four Innocenti targets set in 1995, and setting additional targets. The GS has identified a clear need for optimal infant feeding practices in reducing malnutrition as well as poverty. It is based on a human rights approach and calls for the development of comprehensive national policies on infant and young child feeding. It provides guidance on how to protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for first six months, and continued breastfeeding for two years or beyond together with adequate, appropriate and indigenous complementary feeding starting from the age of six months.”

What to be a part of this imitative? You can make a pledge to them [here] and you can also spread the word!

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

Give Away & Interview with Worts + Cunning Apothecary

WORTS + CUNNING APOTHECARY is a purveyor of quality, handmade herbal products as well as natural products for moms. The Apothecary is currently in Mesa, Arizona and run by owner, founder, and herbologist Alexis J. Chapman.

Alexis chose the name for her apothecary by blending two words: Wort, meaning plant and Cunning meaning artfulness. In other words her focus is on working with plants in new artful ways, while retaining the ancient art of creating herbal remedies for health and healing.

We were so excited when Alexis agreed to offer a give away for our readers! She has chosen her Organic Bundle of Joy Postpartum Kit (featured in picture) which includes Herbal Sitz Bath, Sweet Nectar Milk Tea Blend, Blue Skies Postpartum Courage Blend, Labor & Postpartum Belly Balm and her Sassy Mama Tea Blend.

How does this give-away work? You must nominate a special pregnant woman in your life by sending us an e-mail or facebook message letting us know who you are nominating and why. It is as simple as telling us what you think is special about her and why you want her to win this special postpartum gift-set. We will be selecting our winner on Mother’s Day.

Want to win yourself? Get a friend or family member to nominate you! Once we announce our winner, Alexis will send out this amazing gift direct from Worts + Cunning Apothecary!

We also had the chance to chat with Alexis about her work and love of plants. Please read our amazing interview with her below.

Natural Mommy (NM): Alexis, how did you get started working with plants/herbs and what do you love about it?

Alexis: My story with plants begins with a koala – a real koala that I had the opportunity to hold and have my picture taken with when I was about 5 years old. For the next few years I knew that I was more than just a little girl, I was, in fact, a koala and set about exploring the world as I thought a koala would. I rode my tricycle around the city and in parks, picking leaves off trees and bushes and eating them. I figured out pretty quickly which plants tasted good, others that were not so palatable, and my parents (bless them) realized that they could not stop my koala-ness but began to educate me about poisonous and non-poisonous plants. We would move to a new place and my mom would take me around the yard, showing me what I could and could not eat. So it began, my lifelong journey with plants from koala girl to herbologist (though there is still a bit of koala left in me). Continue reading

Natural Remedies for Labour, Birth & Postpartum

By Jessica Carfagnini, ND of Thunder Bay Naturopathic Clinic

Botanical tincture
This is a botanical tincture that can be taken 6 weeks prior to delivery. Mother’s cordial
Caulophyllum, Mitchella repens, Chamaelerium luteum, Vibernum opulus (equal parts of individual botanical tincture, can be compounded – see Resources below). Dosage: 1 tsp 3 times/day, take in warm water. Continue until onset of delivery/labour. This tincture helps prepare the uterus for delivery, and also increases the effectiveness of contractions.

If you are past 36 weeks (i.e., 9 months), taking evening primrose oil 500 mg capsules up to 2-4 times a day with food can help initiate labour by increasing prostaglandins in your body.

Walking and light exercise can also encourage the baby to orient her/himself in mom’s pelvis. Continue reading

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

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].

Cough Relief from Bananas?

Ayurvedic Natural Health Remedy: Cough Relief from Bananas. If anything, this recipe is soothing and easy to eat. The nutrients from the bananas offers much needed energy and vitamins. This is excellent for kids who need something soothing when they are under the weather.

“A quick and easy way to sooth persistent coughs with one fruit and two ingredients from your kitchen cupboard.”