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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Monday Mantra: Nourish Body + Baby

Posted on May 22, 2017 at 12:48 PM Comments comments ()
"I deserve to nourish my body and my baby with fresh, energizing food every day."

The one thing we can all do for our growing sweet peas is make an effort to eat well. As we come into the summer season, there is the opportunity to purchase from local farmers at community markets, and there are LOTS of sales at the stores.

If you need to watch the budget, check out your grocery store circulars that come in the mail. I also like the EWG Dirty Dozen list. You can see it online or download it as an "app" on the smart phone. I use it to make the most of our grocery money. Any produce that is on the "dirty dozen" list is a known high-pesticide crop.  Food on that list is produce that we will purchase in the organic section. Anything else on our list we buy from the conventional produce area in the grocery store or farmer's market.

We also offer our students the Brewer Pregnancy Plan as a guideline for daily nutrition. It is a conscientious focus on high protein and whole food so that multi-vitamins become the gap filler and not the only source of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy.  You can read more about the Brewer eating plane HERE and HERE.

What's one small thing you can do this week to make better food choices while you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding?






Just Tell Me

Posted on February 28, 2017 at 9:39 AM Comments comments ()


I was reminded again yesterday how prevalent the stigma still is around the struggle after a baby is born: baby blues, postpartum depression, onset of anxiety in the postpartum period...

The transition into motherhood is hard.  The first child is pretty shocking, even if you have a good support system. Nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming emotion and experience of holding a helpless newborn, the blood that is dripping out of you for the next few weeks, and then learning to breastfeed on top of all that.  It is doable, and people have been doing it for generations, so you know in your head it's possible...but your body is screaming WTF just happened here.

On top of all this, is the pressure from society to pretend that nothing happened. Bounce out of bed with full make-up, pose for some pictures, host everyone who wants to come meet the baby, and fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes by the time the six-week check up comes around or you are a slug who just can't get it together.

As you add Sweet Peas to your family, there is still an adjustment period. The love happens - you will have enough.  The adjustment for me was learning how to manage the time and the house with 2+ children.  A wise woman once told me, "Lower your expectations every time and you will do great."  Another wise woman reminded me, "They are not all two at the same time."  More on those topics another day...back to the topic at hand.

An older woman asked me why I write about postpartum so much...her generation just got on with it. She asked me why this was such "a thing" for women of this day and age.

My answer is I DON'T KNOW. Is it the food we are eating that doesn't support the hormonal shift as well as it used to? Is it that we know now that drinking and smoking are not the best stress relievers for mothers of newborns?Is it the pressure of  social media to "fakebook" and we are speaking up to say, "not today"? Is is the age of the internet that allows us to gather information and know that we are not alone? 

I have no idea.  My point today is, it is okay to ask for help if you need it.  Maybe you don't need help.  Maybe you had a satisfactory birth experience and your support network is amazing and enlightened and you are doing great.  Yeah!! Bonus points for you. (and I don't believe you)

There are also GOLD STARS waiting for you if you are able to say two of the hardest words, HELP ME.  I just read an affirmation today that really sparked me along with running into some friends who reminded me just how important postpartum care is to families who are struggling:

"It is healthy for me to say what I need and accept help".

When your childbirth educator, doula, midwife or anyone else in your life you cares about you calls you and asks how you are doing, for your own sake, tell us the truth!! 

We expect to hear, "I'm fine!" "Things are great!" "All good!"

What we are listening for are the in-betweens: the pauses, the crack in your voice, the tiredness as you speak.  We have been there - we know it is hard - we know it's an adjustment, and we want to help you. We will try to find a way to see you if we are concerned. So just make it easier for us to help you - tell us without shame, because we have been there, too.

Please tell the people who ask you and want to be there for you what you need.  We will show up and we will support you in any way we can as you make the transition from maiden to mother.  It is okay - you are still a great mom.

Q&A with SPB: DIY Padsicles

Posted on January 17, 2017 at 6:27 AM Comments comments ()
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale

Here is PART II of our VLOGS with guest doula, Michelle Ludwig from Modern Mama Doula Services.
 
Last week, she showed us her TOP 5 picks for postpartum.  Today she is going to share her DIY tutorial for you to make soothing postpartum “padsicles” right at home during pregnancy so that they are ready for you when you are home holding your sweet pea!



 
What you need:
-Witch Hazel ~ we both really like the Humphrey’s brand – available in regular or organic)
-Maxi-pads ~ if you can find them, get some chemical-free and bleach-free; usually available online
-Cookie Sheet
-Freezer Storage Bags
 
How to:
1) Open up all the pads and leave them on the wrapper so that they don’t stick to each other later
 
2) Lay them all out on your cookie sheet
 
3) Spray the witch hazel on to the pads until they are wet BUT not dripping
 
4) Put the whole cookie tray into the freezer for about two hours
 
5) Once the witch hazel has frozen, take them back out of the freezer and fold them back up for storage.  Place them in a freezer storage bag and back into the freezer while you wait for your Sweet Pea to make their appearance.
 
6) Use them during the postpartum period on top of the large postpartum pads you will receive in your birth kit or from the hospital.
 
They will be a little chilly at first, but after the initial freeze they will feel great on your bottom.
 
I did ask Michelle what her experience was with other “add-ons”. Some info out on the internet suggests using lavender essential oil or aloe vera gel along with the witch hazel on the pads when you are preparing them.
 
As Michelle so wisely answered, less is more. Witch hazel is an extremely effective healing agent, and it would be a bummer to find out that you are allergic to lavender or aloe vera when you are trying to heal from birth, learning to breastfeed and figuring out your mothering.
 
The witch hazel and pads are part of Michelle’s especially prepared Bump Boxes.  Along with the items for padsicles, you will also receive some hand crafted postpartum essentials that she makes herself.  You can order Michelle’s specially made with love package from her HERE
 
Would you like to interview Michelle as a doula? Please read her meet the doula feature HERE
 
Contact Michelle:
WEB http://www.modernmamadoula.com/
CELL OR TEXT 7204098977


Disclaimer: 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleThe material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale

Q&A with SPB: Postpartum Care Kit

Posted on January 9, 2017 at 10:00 PM Comments comments ()

I am so excited to feature Michelle Ludwig on the blog today!  She is a birth doula and placenta encapsulation specialist in the phoenix metro area.   In today’s vlog, Michelle is sharing some ideas for postpartum self-care to help make the early days of healing and breastfeeding a little smoother – every tip helps!  


 

  

 Here is a recap for you:   

1+2) Witch hazel and some chlorine-free, bleach-free pads. You can use these to make “padsicles”, a cold compress that can be placed on top of the giant postpartum pads you will get from the hospital, or your birth kit if you are birthing at a birth center or at home.  Stay tuned when we do our diy share next week :)

3) Red raspberry leaf tea – red raspberry is used as a uterine tonic and has long been known to promote good uterine function.  It will help the uterus continue to contract as it heals and returns to it’s pre-pregnancy size.   
 
4) Herbal soak – this is a special blend of herbs to promote healing. You can steep these and use them in the peri-bottle to rinse after using the restroom. Another option is to use them in the a sitz-bath container or the bathtub. As Michelle mentions in the VLOG, these herbal baths are an internet sensation now – many mamas are using them as a setting for their pregnancy or postpartum photo shoots.   

5) Nipple cream – Michelle mixes up her own brand of wonderful using ingredients that are safe for baby. You can apply and feed without having to wipe of your breast first. A good nipple cream is an incredible relief to sore or chapped nipples as you and your baby have your postpartum learning curve. Even if you have breastfed before, there is a learning curve with each baby. And if you haven’t been nursing through the pregnancy, your nipples will have to acclimate to being used again. Even with a nursling through pregnancy, they typically don’t feed with the same frequency as a newborn, so a little soothing is a welcome relief.   

You can order Michelle’s specially made with love package whether or not you are her client. Please check HERE for more details.   

Would you like to interview Michelle as a doula? Please read her meet the doula feature HERE  

Contact Michelle: 
WEB  http://www.modernmamadoula.com/
CELL OR TEXT 7204098977 
EMAIL [email protected]    

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale

Meet the Doula: Ashley Anders

Posted on October 7, 2016 at 10:36 AM Comments comments ()

Welcome to this month's installment of "Meet the Doula".  This month I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of the Valley's postpartum doulas, Ashley Anders.  I had the pleasure of meeting Ashley at an ICAN meeting last year, and I am happy to say we have kept in touch.  She is honored to serve her families, and as such, Ashley is dedicated to furthering her own education so that she can better serve her clients. I hope you enjoy our feature with our October 2016 doula: Ashley! 

When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
I first heard the word doula years ago when I was talking with a friend about supporting women in childbirth.
 
How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
Since I was little I wanted to be a Labor and Delivery nurse, I loved supporting women and their families through one of the most intimate times of their life, and watching them bring new lives into this world, but quickly realized I didn't like the idea of having to leave my patients to go to another patient, or leaving a shift before a baby was born after being there her entire labor, or having to do all of the clinical things.  That is when I started researching to see if there was this dream job out there of giving non-judgmental support to women and their families before, during and after childbirth, and I came across birth and postpartum doula!
 
Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
I am both a birth and postpartum doula, breastfeeding counselor and newborn care specialist.  Focusing most of my time currently postpartum, breastfeeding and newborn care.
 
How long have you been a doula?
I have been a doula just about 3 years. I am trained with Childbirth International for birth, breastfeeding. I have also received postpartum training, and trained with Newborn Care Solutions for my newborn care specialist certification.  I have supported single moms, moms on bed rest, families that have a scheduled cesarean birth, unplanned cesarean birth, teens, high risk, expected stillbirth, prematurity, twins and triplets.
 
What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
For birth, I love that I am invited into the lives of families expecting a baby.  I love that I can build confidence in women and their partners.  Help them feel safe, protected and informed about the birth experience and provide non judgmental support throughout their journey into parenthood.
 
For postpartum, I find that we often focus so much time on pregnancy, and childbirth and forget that there is in fact a 4th trimester.  I enjoy helping everyone in the family transition into having a new baby at home, if its baby #1 or baby #3.  An extra set of hands to help siblings adjust, help mom get a shower or a nap in, breastfeeding/bottle feeding assistance, meal prep, and helping with all of the "is this normal" questions I often get.  Newborn care, infant brain development, feeding, bathing, sleep conditioning, etc., are all things I love to give information on to help clients make the best decisions for their family! 
 
How do you work with and involve the Coach?
I make sure that we are working as a team. My job is never to take the place of a partner or coach.  I like to show and guide the partners on things that they can do throughout labor to assist in the comfort of the laboring mom, but also make them feel comfortable enough that they can take a break, take a quick nap or grab something to eat and she will be supported and never be left alone. 
 
What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
I would have to say that supporting a family through an expected stillbirth was the toughest.  She still had to give birth just like any other laboring mother, but unfortunately had to say goodbye shortly after her baby was born.  It was hard!  I cried alongside with them, made sure that they had everything they needed and was just there for them.  The hospital was wonderful and provided the family with photos and a box to remember him with.  I joined them on the annual walk for infant loss and continue to keep in touch with them.  They were blessed with their rainbow baby a year ago and I was honored to be by their side through the birth of their second son.
 
What keeps you working as a doula?
My family and my clients!  I have the best :).  Hearing that I have found my calling, and that it is obvious that I love my job and what I do, is so great to hear.  I couldn't do this if I didn't have the continued support from my husband.  From day one he has supported me, and pushed me to fulfill my dreams and I cant thank him enough!
 
What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
My birth fee includes 2 prenatal appointments where we will discuss birth plan options, discuss postpartum care/plans and go over early labor comfort measures.  Your labor and birth, and up to 2 hours after, to get you settled into your postpartum room, get you your first meal and make sure that baby has had his/her first feeding.  I will also schedule a time within the first week to come and do a postpartum visit to talk through your birth and make sure that feeding is going well and to answer any additional questions you may have. Since birth is unpredictable there is not a different charge if your labor were to go long or if you were to have a shorter labor. 
 
Postpartum/Newborn care fees are hourly and I do daytime and overnight care.  Each contract can be fit to each client and their needs.
 
Do you offer any other services to your clients?
I offer breastfeeding support, it is included in my doula packages, but I offer it separate if needed. 
  
Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
When I'm not doula-ing I'm sleeping! haha!  I'm also spending time with my husband and 2 kiddos: our daughter Tyler (11) and our son Bennett (4), plus our 2 dogs Maddie and Oddie. We enjoy riding bikes; mornings at the park, watching our daughter ride her horse, and just spending quality time together with family and friends.

Love what you read?? Would you like to contact Ashley?
Read more about Ashley and schedule a visit via DoulaMatch
Phone: 480-457-9151

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Sweet Pea Births offers Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson





Inside Look: Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™

Posted on September 8, 2016 at 9:52 PM Comments comments ()
 Puma and I got to see the Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™ vendor table when we visited a Club MomMe event in California last year.  At the time, we didn’t get to connect with the rep since the table was unattended the couple of times we stopped by.  We get this, though!! I have been a solo rep at events before and I know how hard it is to be at your booth 100% of the time.
 
Imagine my delight when we got to meet the founder of Amorini at our local Arizona La Leche League conference in August!! D’Ana Marcin is an absolutely lovely person with an equally lovely product to help breastfeeding mothers…read all about her product and what inspires her in today’s “Inside Look”.
 
Tell me about Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™.
Amorini is a set of two "soothers" made of Silver 925 and designed to help prevent, protect and heal sore, cracked and bleeding nipples for breastfeeding mothers. 
 
Who would benefit from using Amorini? 
All expecting and new mothers that intend to breastfeed and/or pump breastmilk. 
 
Although Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™ are most often used to protect and promote healing of sore nipples, they are also an effective preventative measure. 
 
When would mothers want to use Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers? About how long can they expect to use them?
 Ideally mothers would start using the Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™ before the birth of their child as a preventative measure and they will continue using them for as long as the pain persists. 
 
Mothers whose child/children have difficulty latching or have a shallow latch are more prone to severe nipple pain and cracks. It is highly recommended the use of Amorini as the family is working with a Certified Lactation Consultant to correct the latch. 
 
Mothers whose child has been (or not!) diagnosed with tongue-tie are also susceptible to severe nipple pain. We recommend the use of Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™ while working with a specialist to treat the tongue-tie. 
 
Amorini are typically used for the first 3 to 4 weeks of breastfeeding or until any underlying issues have been corrected. Some babies may try and gently bite the nipple when they start teething or when teeth start cutting through the gums. That can irritate the nipple and provoke another wave of painful breast-feeding session for the mother. Amorini can help in these cases as well. 
 
What makes Amorini unique?
Amorini harnesses the antibacterial and healing properties of Silver to help prevent, protect and promote healing for sore, cracked and bleeding nipples in a natural and safe way. 
 
Silver Nipple Soothers are the most popular product for nipple care in Italy and have been proven to be highly effective among new mothers. Amorini is the only American brand of Silver Nipple protectors, founded by an Italian mother who has recently relocated to California. They are designed and crafted in Italy and are made of medical grade Silver. 
 
What motivated you to start Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™?
In September 2013 I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. I had taken breastfeeding classes and I was gifted a tube of lanolin cream at my baby shower. I thought I had everything I needed to be able to breastfeed. Baby girl started breast-feeding like a champion less than an hour after birth but before I knew it my nipples became raw and the pain was almost unbearable. The latch seemed normal according to my lactation consultant and there was plenty of colostrum for my baby to suckle on, but the pain was only getting worse. 
I am very sensitive in the nipple area and that seemed to be the only explanation for my pain. 
 
Three days later, my longtime friend and NICU nurse from Italy sent me these "miraculous silver nipple cups" and they were everything she had told me they would be! Within 24 hours I started feeling significant relief and by the third day of using them I was almost pain free and all the cracks were healed. 
 
I wanted to gift them to all my pregnant friends but I wasn't able to find them in the United States. For months my family mailed me countless Silver Nipple protectors sets so I could share with all my friends. 
Until one day I decided I needed to bring these to the US and make them available to all mothers and expecting mothers! And so it all began! :) 
 
Is there anything else our readers should know about Amorini?
Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™ are Nickel free therefore are considered hypoallergenic.  
 
Please refer to our Q&A page on our website or contact Amorini with any questions or concerns.  
 
http://www.amoriniusa.com/faq
 
What inspires you?
My beautiful, joyful, fearless daughter is my biggest inspiration! 
Helping mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals is my purpose and my motivation.
 
Do you want to see something amazing? Watch D’Ana share her hobby and her business in this fun YouTube video!!
video: 

https://youtu.be/AdDT5v94xzM

 
For more reading on how silver can help treat sore nipples check out these links:
From Fact Based Health:
http://factbasedhealth.com/how-silver-helps-breastfeeding-mothers/
 
From California Healthy Living Magazine:
http://calidiet.com/how-to-treat-sore-nipples-for-breastfeeding-mothers/
 
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

 

Breastfeeding Your Newborn

Posted on August 25, 2016 at 9:57 AM Comments comments ()

Wardrobe provided by Modern Mommy Boutique

Breastfeeding is biologically designed to keep us wired to our newborns so that they stay warm, safe, and alive.

All those glossy, shiny pictures that show ethereal mothers and sleeping babies - they are nice. Realistic? Not so much.

The immediate postpartum period is hazy. We are coming out of the birth journey through labor land, our hormones are adjusting to being not pregnant, we are minus the placenta that has been a hormone factory since it formed in utero to support the pregnancy; oh, and we have a tiny little human to look at in wonder and keep alive every day.  Add in all the leaking from our eyes, our breasts, and our vagina...and the possibility that everyone wants to come over and see the baby so now you have the pressure of cleaning a house and being presentable yourself...it's a chaos and adjustment period like no other.

Like today's quote says, breastfeeding meets all of our newborn's needs: safety, security, and nourishment.  I have said this before and I will say it again...the only thing you *have* to do in the immediate postpartum is rest and get to know your baby.  Dim the lights, stay in bed, do lots of skin-to-skin with your newborn; get up only to use the restroom or shower.

Let everyone else take care of you: all meals in bed, and limit visitors to the ones that are comfortable seeing you naked and/or breastfeeding (and that you are comfortable if they see you naked and/or breastfeeding!). The only thing you need to do in the days after your baby is born is recover from the birth journey and feed your baby. I ask my students to at least consider a minimum "lying-in" period of 3-7 days. 

It is important for everyone to get sunshine. Along with lying in, we also did about 30-60 minutes outside during indirect sunlight hours to go for a walk and get some fresh air while keeping baby skin-to-skin.

Once you have gotten lots of sleep to recover from the birth journey and have breastfeeding established, start adding more to your routine. If you have older children, it is definitely okay to ask for help with them so at the very minimum mom and the new baby can bond and get organized with living, breathing, and breastfeeding together. This is a great time for the partner to step up and do bonding time with the older siblings so that they feel attended to and seen even though there is a new person in the house.  

You can also switch roles! We would have a nap time when Bruss would do skin-to-skin with the new baby while I stayed out of the bedroom. I would use that time to connect with the older sweet peas in the house. Maybe we would go outside together, read a book, play games, do a craft; something to let them know that they were still seen and loved by me although I had the new sweet pea to nourish, too.

In this age of information, it is easy to read too much and get overwhelmed with all the do's and don'ts that are available on the internet and on-line forums, including this post you are reading right now!!  My best advice: read your baby.  The baby books are general information.  YOU KNOW YOUR BABY BEST. Never, ever doubt your mother's intuition.

You know what your baby needs, your baby knows what (s)he needs, just do that. You cannot spoil a baby by holding them too much.  You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby, even if it was just 20 minutes since the last time they ate: you are giving them a LIVE fluid that is easily digested and used efficiently by the body...yes, they might *really* be hungry again.

The last idea I want to leave you with is the two magic words: FOR NOW.  This phase you and your baby (and the family) are going through is FOR NOW. It is not forever, it is not for a lifetime...it is FOR NOW. The baby is eating around the clock FOR NOW. The baby is not sleeping FOR NOW. You are feeding around the clock FOR NOW. You are cluster feeding FOR NOW. You are leaking everywhere FOR NOW.

The phases will pass and you will be onto the next FOR NOW before you realize it. By the time your sweet pea is 6 months old, you will have a good handle on this keeping them safe and alive thing that is also called parenting.  Ask for help when you need it from the people who will do what needs to be done without passing judgement on your choices for your family. Seek out and become involved in support groups (they are available online and IRL) that align with your parenting philosophy and breastfeeding goals.

Best wishes as you make your way in the world with your sweet pea - you've got this.  You are the parent that your baby needs.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Phoenix La Leche League: Live, Latch, Love
As part of the LLL area conference
August 26th, 5-7 PM
Embassy Suites Biltmore
 
La Leche League Conference
August 26-28, 2016
Embassy Suites Biltmore

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of Birthing From Within or The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of Birthing From Within, The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

3 BIG Postpartum Secrets Exposed

Posted on May 13, 2016 at 11:10 AM Comments comments ()
I wish someone had told me just how leaky postpartum was.  Now, I know we talk about this in the Bradley™ classes we teach because it was such a shock to me after the birth of our first Sweet Pea. 

Quite frankly, I don’t remember hearing about all the different ways things drip out of you after you birth your baby when we were Bradley™ students (and, twice!! Two teachers and no mention of this).  I wonder if you, like me, just think that postpartum is going to be sparkly and magical because the pregnancy is over and you are holding your baby.
 
Well, I'll admit, there is some magic - I don't want to be a complete Sour Susie.  Here is the Reality Check, though: along with the magical parts, postpartum is *really* drippy.  Think leaky faucets on steroids...

First of all, you are holding this beautiful, squishy baby that is too cute for words.  For me, every time I locked eyes with them, my heart melted. It made me cry every.single.time.  Add in the roller coaster of postpartum hormones and you might be crying at just about everything else, too.
 
You aren’t feeling in love with your baby?  That is okay.  You are still a good mom.  Keep reading. Especially the part at the end of this post.
 
Secondly, did anyone tell you that your breasts might look like shiny hard melons ready to pop? No, seriously…"hard, shiny, so taut you can bounce a quarter off of them" uncomfortable.  My husband could always tell when my milk came in.  Even if you are not going to breastfeed, you may want to have a strategy because the body will keep making milk until it gets the message that no one is emptying the breast.  Now, if you are going to breastfeed, rest assured that for most women, once the body figures out the supply and demand cycle, the engorgement goes away (check out THIS tip to help with engorgement).  While you will feel full-ish when your breasts produce milk between feedings, the bursting sensation eases off and you find a “new normal”, and probably some new nursing bras that are 1 to 2 sizes bigger than your pre-pregnancy size.
 
The third faucet that turns on and doesn’t turn off for a few weeks is the one connected to your uterus.  The joy you had about being excused from a monthly cycle for ten months comes raging back for typically 4-6 weeks postpartum.  I was so irritated that no one thought to mention this to me back when I was pregnant the first time.  Literally NO ONE told me that I was going to have a menstrual-like flow for six weeks.  Don’t you think that would be kind of important to mention to first time moms????
 
So here it is – laid out for you – the BIG secrets that should not *EVER* be secrets, because becoming a mother is a big enough adjustment to make without the leaky surprises.  Now, there are things you can do to mitigate all this leakage.  Here are some ideas for you in regards to those three secrets that I just busted open for you.  (For more of my postpartum tips, see the links listed at the end of the post)
 
Tears:
Get lots of rest.  Literally stay in bed for three days, skin-to-skin with your baby and let everyone else treat you like the Queen of Sheba.  If someone can’t handle seeing you (almost) naked, then they shouldn’t be coming over to visit.  After that, continue to sleep – our workbook says that you should take three 1-hour naps every day.  When you are rested, everything takes on a different meaning than when you are exhausted and sleep-deprived.  Keep taking naps until you are feeling more like “you” and less like this crazy person who showed up with the postpartum hormones.  You might also consider a postpartum doula to help with the basics so you can rest.
 
Breasts:
Get yourself some amazing nursing pads.  My favorites are the reusable pads that my friend Shannon makes (click HERE to see them).  You can also purchase some neat products from maternity and mommy stores.  HERE is my friend Talisha, owner of Modern Mommy Boutique, sharing some of the different products on the market that are designed to ease engorgement and pamper your hard-working breasts.
 
The Flow:
The best remedy I know of is to take your placenta pills.  WHAT? Did you just retch a little?  That’s okay – I did, too, the first time I heard someone talk about it.  Seriously, though, in my control group of four term pregnancies, the best recovery and the shortest lochia (fancy technical name for the bloody mess) was with Otter, because I had her placenta encapsulated.  I was done with the bleeding by four weeks postpartum, and the flow was significantly lower while it lasted.  A.Ma.Zing.  It was so nice not to feel like Carrie every time I moved.
 
Again, I have to recommend my friend Shannon – she also makes amazing postpartum pads.  You can see them HERE.  If you are going to be bleeding like crazy, then you might as well be as comfortable as possible.
 
Now, back to that item of,  “What if I am not feeling in love with my baby?”  Sometimes, things happen that have no bearing on you as a person or a mother.  It is a fact that some women will experience some degree of postpartum mood disorder.  It could be the blues that last for a couple of weeks, maybe you are experiencing depression, or maybe you are tumbling into postpartum psychosis.  You can answer THESE questions and talk to your care provider about the results.  Also at that page is a link to the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) – you can print, complete and take with you when you see your care provider.
 
Wherever you fall on the scale, help is out there and it is available.  Please do not hide in shame from your family and friends.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  YOU ARE STILL A GOOD PERSON.  You are a good person who is having an adjustment; still a good person nonetheless.  This having a baby and becoming a mother thing is an initiation…and we are just not prepared for it in our culture anymore.
 
Talk therapy is the least invasive and the least likely to affect your milk supply if you are breastfeeding.  Here are some resources if you are local to the Chandler, AZ area where we teach.  If you are not local, scroll down for some online resources and a link to support group listings in the USA and Canada.
 
Blossoming Moms Breastfeeding + Postpartum Support Group • Every Wednesday morning  • Time: 11:00 AM
Pregnant moms are welcome too!
Blossom Birth and Wellness Center
2928 N 16th Place, Phoenix, AZ 85016 
Facilitator: Michelle Hottya818-606-5687
 
Dignity Health Postpartum Adjustment Support Group Wednesdays • Time: 1:00 - 2:30 pm
For pregnant and new mothers who are experiencing depression and adjustment challenges, the number one complication of childbirth. Come learn coping mechanisms and how to ask for help in a safe and nonjudgmental environment.
Registration is not required. Childcare is provided during the group sessions for for babies and toddlers. You are welcome to bring your significant other or support person. Support group does not meet the week of July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s
Meeting Location:
Rome Towers: 1760 E Pecos Rd., Ste. 235, Gilbert, AZ 85295 

Postpartum Progress Group Therapy • Wednesdays • Time: 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Supporting moms from bump to breast & beyond. All meetings led by Dr. Cara English, MA, LAC, DBH. Group therapy may not be the best option for all moms. Dr. English will administer a brief phone assessment to determine if group therapy will be helpful for you, or if other types of treatment would be more beneficial.  The assessment will be scheduled prior to your first group. Cost: $30/session   Call (480) 442-8491 for more info.  AZ Breastfeeding Center, 4703 S. Lakeshore Dr, Tempe, 85282. 
 
Do you need support outside of the Phoenix, Arizona area?  

Check out these options, and remember, you do not have to suffer alone.  Reach out – I hope you will be overwhelmed by the compassion and acceptance of the women who have gone before you and are living testimonies to the fact that there is a “Climb Out Of The Darkness”.
 
Postpartum Progress – Online Support Forum
 
Postpartum Support – Resource list for USA and Canada
 
About ##PPD Chat on Twitter
 
BLOG
My Postpartum Voice


Is there something you discovered on your own about postpartum that you wish someone had told you?? What was that?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 

MORE ABOUT POSTPARTUM ON SPB:

Postpartum Ideas to manage sleep, feeding, feelings about your birth, siblings, and pets

Postpartum Strategies - adjusting to life with a newborn

Postpartum Doulas - what they do and how to hire one

Postpartum Kit - essentials for a more pleasant postpartum experience

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


Postpartum Kit

Posted on December 4, 2015 at 2:58 AM Comments comments ()

Bradley Method(R) classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, Payson
We said best wishes to another class...it's always hard to believe our group has been together for 12 weeks, and that the gatherings are over until reunion time.  

Here is a sneak peek into a part of our last class.  We share a visual of items our couples can consider keeping handy in the first few days after baby arrives:

Bradley Method(R) classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, PaysonSleep Mask:  Sleep is the third key to making milk.  It's hard to know which one of these three is the most important.  Suffice it to say that sleep and supply have a direct relationship, the more you sleep, the better you are able to establish a milk supply; and the less you sleep, you are less likely to have an adequate milk supply.  The good news is that most women can increase their milk supply by getting more sleep.


Bradley Method(R) classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, PaysonPeri-bottle:  These are used for rinsing the vaginal area in the first few weeks after a vaginal birth.  The area is stretched as you ease baby out, so you will be encouraged to rinse clean, instead of wiping, the vaginal area after using the restroom .




Bradley Method(R) classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, PaysonPerineal Herbs:  Why these are not used in the hospital setting, I may never know.  Using this brew in the peri-bottle to rinse the vaginal area after using the restroom was amazing.  It was soothing, and the healing was so much faster!  You can also use the solution made by steeping the herbs for  a sitz bath - read more here about what is in the herb packet.  You can purchase this packet at www.everythingbirth.com, or Earth Mama, Angel Baby sells a package with six ready-to-go compresses.


Bradley Method(R) classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, PaysonBradley Method(R) classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, PaysonSitz Bath:  You can use an inflatable tube to sit on in the bathtub, or you can use a basin that has a pouch for warm water and a delivery tube in the toilet. You can use warm salt water or your perineal herb brew for faster healing with either of these options.



Bradley Method(R) classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, PaysonPrenatal Vitamins Perineal Compresses - 3 different ways to make them Perineal Herbs Placenta PillsPerineal Compresses - 3 different options:  You can purchase a perineal compress, you can open the top end of a diaper and stuff the inside with ice (disposable filler absorbs most of the moisture so it doesn't leak), or you can fill hospital gloves or a condom with ice and tie them off.  All three can provide relief to a sore bottom area.



Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonWitch hazel & Cosmetic pads:  You can make your own hemorrhoid pads by using Witch Hazel and cosmetic pads.  You can make some ahead and put them in the refrigerator for a cool and relieving compress for the bottom area.  Another popular idea that incorporates witch hazel is to make "padsicles" - find a tutorial HERE.  I liked THESE pads by medline - soft and non-adhesive for the win.




Bradley Method(R) classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, PaysonComfortable Nursing Bra:  A common piece of advice mamas hear is to buy a nursing bra one size larger than their regular size to accomodate their nursing breast size.  I would add that it's important to purchase a soft-structured bra for sleeping and for those early days of engorgement. These do not offer much support if you wear a larger cup size, so they aren't necessarily for every day use.  I sure do love them for sleeping though - much more comfortable than the supported ones I use during the day.


Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonBradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonNursing Pads:  You can use the washable kind, or the disposable kind - what ever works best for you and your lifestyle.  The key is to make sure the nipple area stays dry so that you minimize any possibility of moisture that can then lead to an infection. 



Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonCabbage Leaves: To help with engorgement - these can be  very effective milk supply minimizers, so use only as long as you need them.







Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonPrenatal Vitamins:  Our OB, and subsequently our midwives, suggested that we finish our bottle of pre-natal vitamins.  The ingredients are beneficial after the birth, and they continure to promote a healthy mom, healthy baby recovery.





Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
 Placenta Pills:  As I mentioned in last Friday's post, this was definitely the answer and & the solution to any signs of PPD for us.  This is one of the areas where you get what you pay for; I encourage  you to research your options and find a trustworthy and experienced placenta encapsulation specialist.


Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonPrunes:  When we were in the hospital, there was a laxative in our going-home bag.  Having worked so hard to keep our children away from harmful substances, we tend to look for a natural remedy that accomplishes the same thing.  These are a natural way to get your bowels moving after labor.  If mom doesn't like to eat prunes, you can drink prune juice, or hide them in other foods and still get the laxative effects of the prune.


Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonLove & Support!! We tell our coaches never to underestimate their importance, even when they may feel like they are outside the initial mom/baby bond.  Coaches bringing water and snacks, coaches changing the baby, coaches holding the baby so that mom can shower and nap, learning how to use the breast pump/accessories and take over some of the sterilizing; basically, coaches can step in and take over any and all chores so that mom can recover, and go for little walks for fresh air and sunshine :)  

What did you find helpful in the postpartum period?  Anything you would add to the postpartum kit?

Disclaimer:  
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®. 

Top 10 PostPartum Tips

Posted on May 22, 2015 at 7:12 PM Comments comments ()
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer:  
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


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