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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

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Postpartum Wellness Series: Nutrition

Posted on November 16, 2017 at 10:23 AM Comments comments (61)
Postpartum Wellness Series – Nutrition
 
Welcome to our Postpartum Wellness Series.  Each week we will look at one area you can influence to help the days and weeks after you bring your baby home be just a little bit smoother. 
 
These early days with your sweet pea are the most precious – they will never be this small again. It is a good and worthy endeavor to make these first memories as well as they can be made for your family. My goal with this 8-week series is to offer some practical tips that you can employ without any extra purchases outside of your normal postpartum needs. Hopefully all that these tips will require is a little attention and a slight shift in perspective. It is my intention that you can find at least one small thing each week that will improve your postpartum experience.
 

 
Postpartum nutrition is just as important as prenatal nutrition. We encourage our students to continue following “The Brewer Diet”. This “diet” was designed by Dr. Tom Brewer to teach his patients to eat healthy, whole food long before it was the “it” thing to do.  You can find a link to The Brewer Diet website HERE
 
The holistic approach to postpartum invites the woman and her family to treat this time as a recovery period from pregnancy and childbirth.  The following five ideas will help you treat your body gently and ease back into the non-pregnant state.
 
Avoid Sugars and Caffeine
Take heart, mamas...not forever...just “for now”!  I am raising my hand over here – I do enjoy the occasional caramel and mocha coffee. 
 
The issue with sugars and caffeine in the immediate postpartum is the way they affect normal body functioning.  Sugar can contribute to mood swings at a time when you are already adjusting to a new normal after pregnancy. Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that keeps you awake, the opposite of what needs to happen in the immediate postpartum.  Your body does a lot of work to repair itself while you are sleeping, so find a non-caffeinated beverage to enjoy for at least six weeks after your sweet pea arrives. THIS article outlines some of the amazing things that happen within your body when you are not awake.
 
Avoiding sugars and caffeine keeps you on a fair playing field as you adjust to life with a newborn. And if it makes it easier, circle a date six weeks out from the birth-day on the calendar when you can go get your favorite sugary and caffeine-rich treat!!  
 
Eat Real Food
Circling back to The Brewer Diet…the foundation of postpartum nutrition is a diet rich in protein, fluids, fruits and vegetables. You can also continue taking your prenatal vitamin. Believe it or not, if you are going to breastfeed, you need 500+ calories a day than you needed when you were pregnant.
 
Protein: for cell growth and repair…all the organs that have been squished in the last months of pregnancy, the uterus that has to heal, the vagina and/or cesarean birth scar that have to heal from their part in the birth journey…all these body parts need protein so that your cells can do their work to rebuild all that has been bruised and stretched through the course of pregnancy and birth.
 
Fluids: it never ceases to amaze me that the human body is about 60% water! So keep that water bottle handy and refill it often. In addition, breastmilk is a live fluid that is created out of your bloodstream for your sweet pea. Breastmilk is 88% water (https://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/baby-water/), so this is another reason why you may feel thirsty all the time if you are not paying attention to your water intake. Ample hydration is one of the ways to ensure you are making enough milk for your sweet pea – give your body what it needs to make that breastmilk.

Fruits and Vegetables: these are the most bioavailable vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants designed by Mother Nature just for you. Not everyone can afford to eat all organic all the time, so we offer the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" lists from the Environmental Working Group as a resource. It may help you decide how to spend your grocery budget - spend a little more to eat organic and save where you can buying conventional growth foods. They now have easy smart phone apps that you can download and access as you shop.
 
Keep One-handed Snacks Handy
However you feed your baby – hands are going to be occupied. In the early days, both hands. As you get more comfortable, you will find yourself becoming an expert at one-handed eating (and finding things on menus that can be eaten with one hand!).
 
My postpartum shopping list included of apples, carrots, celery, crackers, nut butter, hummus, and hard cheese (sharp cheddar is my favorite!).
 
Here is a quick list of snacks you can stock or have someone prepare for you with these seven ingredients:
  • Sliced apples spread with nut butter
  • Sliced apples stacked with sliced hard cheese
  • Sliced or “baby” carrots spread with hummus
  • Crackers with nut butter
  • Crackers with hummus
  • Crackers with sliced cheese
  • Celery spread with nut butter
  • Celery spread with hummus
 
I specifically avoided ranch dressing and soft cheeses. Some newborns are sensitive to the large milk protein found in cows’ milk.  The hard cheeses are easier to digest since the protein is broken-down differently in the preparation process. And some newborns will not tolerate any dairy…unfortunately, the only way to find out is through trial and error.
 
We also had lots of yogurt and flax seed, plus sandwich fixings in the refrigerator. Yogurt is an easy snack to sprinkle with ground flax seed for a protein and good-fat boost between feedings. Someone can also make-ahead sandwiches or tortilla wraps for the times you are ravenous and don’t have time to make a full meal.  My favorite sandwich was hummus and avocado with lettuce between two slices of whole grain bread. That combination worked equally well as a wrap. Yum!!
 
My last suggestion is to try out all the “Just A Handful” snack bags that can be purchased at Trader Joe’s. They have several different varieties that include dried fruits and nuts in a snack pouch. Not so great for the environment…so after postpartum you can buy the bigger bag and serve yourself. In the short term, please do the little things that make life easier and buy these handy packs!!
 
Funny side note: I always kept several snack size pouches in my diaper bag or my purse…our older kids always knew where to go to find snacks when we were out and about. They bemoaned the day when I was no longer breastfeeding around the clock and stopped stocking them, “You never have good snacks anymore!”
 
Probiotics and fish oils
We are learning about the benefits of probiotics and fish oil as more research is done into postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. Here is some information from THIS study from the University of Auckland:
 
Probiotics are live microorganisms that when consumed in adequate amounts provide health benefits to the host. They are typically found in some yoghurts and other fermented foods.
“Depression and anxiety in pregnancy and after birth affects 10-15 per cent of women, although many are not recognised or treated,” Professor Mitchell says.
“There is mounting evidence from animal studies that the microbiome-gut-brain axis - the biochemical signalling that takes place between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system - may be important for mental health.”
Taking probiotics may reduce postnatal depression
www.auckland.ac.nz
 
A small study that was presented in 2011 found that:
 
“Eating fatty fish or other foods rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy may help lower your risk of developing symptoms commonly seen in postpartum depression…”
WebMD, “Omega-3s May Cut Risk of Postpartum Depression”
https://goo.gl/jHCkdT
 
So while you are no longer pregnant in the postpartum period, the benefit of the omega-3s found in walnuts, flax seed, fatty fish, and fish oils can still be an advantage.
 
“Essential fatty acids including those found in fish may help some women who are at-risk for postpartum depression by bolstering the vesicles that carry mood chemicals such as serotonin in the brain,” 
WebMD, “Omega-3s May Cut Risk of Postpartum Depression”
https://goo.gl/xdHFU9
 
THIS article makes sense of the alphabet soup and may help you decide what you want to eat or how to supplement going forward.
 
Placenta encapsulation
I included placenta encapsulation in the nutrition portion of this series because however you may consume it, the placenta is being processed by the digestive tract. Observation of other mammals indicates that placenta consumption is common and “natural” in the animal kingdom. 

Anecdotal information from a placenta encapsulation website:

Your baby’s placenta...in capsule form, is believed to:
contain your own natural hormones
be perfectly made for you
balance your system
replenish depleted iron (my note: see UNLV study)
give you more energy
lessen bleeding postnatally
been shown to increase milk production
help you have a happier postpartum period
hasten return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state
Placenta Benefits Info/Articles
 
 
HERE and HERE are the two reports that have come out of UNLV regarding placentophagy.
 
HERE and HERE are some blog posts I have done on placenta encapsulation if you want to learn more about our experience and the different methods of preparing the placenta for consumption.
 
That Basket Again…
As I mentioned in the first post, the “breastfeeding basket” was a time and sanity saver in the postpartum period. I would keep some “just a handful” treats from Trader Joe’s in it at all times. 
 
If you missed the sleep installment, here is “the basket”: Gather the most-used items that you need when you sit down to feed your baby so that you don’t have to get up and find them, or have someone bring them to you.  This is what I kept in my basket: water, one-hand snacks that do not need to be refrigerated (bars, nut packs, fruit leather, etc.), diapers, wipes, change of clothes for the baby, burp cloths, bottom cream and nipple cream. 

 
I hope that out of these 5+1 tips, there is at least one that you can embrace whole-heartedly.  I invite you to jot down or type yourself a note of one small thing you can do to make that tip happen for you this postpartum. Try to start one journal page or virtual note that you can add to as we progress through this 8-week series for a better postpartum experience.
 
Previous Installments:
Sleep
 
Coming up next week:
Exercise
 
And check back for the rest of the series:
Physical recovery
Social Support
Practical Support
Emotional Support
Medical Intervention
 
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 
References:
 
Probiotics and Postpartum Depression Study from The University of Auckland New Zealand
https://goo.gl/dYQKgo
 
Time Health: “Study: Fish Oil May Prevent Symptoms of Postpartum Depression”
http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/12/study-fish-oil-may-prevent-symptoms-of-postpartum-depression/
 
WebMD: “Omega-3s May Cut Risk of Postpartum Depression”
https://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20110412/omega-3s-may-cut-risk-of-postpartum-depression#1
 
Dietary omega-3 fatty acids aid in the modulation of inflammation and metabolic health
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4030645/
 
Placenta Benefits Info:
http://placentabenefits.info/articles/
 
Steamed, Dehydrated or Raw: Placentas May Help Moms’ Post-Partum Health
https://www.unlv.edu/news/article/steamed-dehydrated-or-raw-placentas-may-help-moms%E2%80%99-post-partum-health
 
UNLV Study Finds No Iron Benefit from Eating Placenta
https://www.unlv.edu/news/article/unlv-study-finds-no-iron-benefit-eating-placenta

 

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®.

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

Postpartum Wellness Series: SLEEP

Posted on November 5, 2017 at 9:17 PM Comments comments (47)
Postpartum Wellness Series
 
Welcome to our Postpartum Wellness Series.  Each week we will look at one area you can influence to help the days and weeks after you bring your baby home be just a little bit smoother. 
 
These early days with your sweet pea are the most precious – they will never be this small again. It is a good and worthy endeavor to make these first memories as well as they can be made for your family. My goal with this 8-week series is to offer some practical tips that you can employ without any extra purchases outside of your normal postpartum needs. Hopefully all that these tips will require is a little attention and a slight shift in perspective. It is my intention that you can find at least one small thing each week that will improve your postpartum experience.
 

 
Week 1: Sleep
 
The ever-elusive sleep.  The “good” baby that sleeps. What if we shift that focus? How about this:  Good healthy babies wake up several times throughout the day and night to ensure their big people know they are there.  Good healthy babies demand attention to ensure they stay alive when they are the most vulnerable.  Waking is protective and desirable, so if your baby is not sleeping, then they are a GOOD baby!!
 
The favorite resource we share with our students is a series by Psychology Today that share the evidence about infants and what “normal” is for infants.  HERE (https://goo.gl/kzl64G) is a summary in case you don’t want to click on the link:
 
“Infants whose primary source of energy is breastmilk will often wake frequently to nurse, something that is essential for the breastfeeding relationship to continue (Ball, 2009). However, regardless of feeding status, many infants wake regularly during the night (Weinraub, Bender, Friedman, Susman, Knoke, Bradley, et al., 2012).  Waking through the night is normal and biologically adaptive.  In fact, though it is often reported that sleep patterns consolidate in the second year, the pattern differs in breastfed children.  
 
Breastfeeding moms may wake more often, but report greater total sleep.  For example, in a study following breastfed children for 2 years, it was found that these children continued to wake frequently throughout the second year of life, a pattern more in line with cultures in which co-sleeping and full-term (aka “extended”) breastfeeding are more common (Elias, Nicolson, Bora, & Johnston, 1986). “

Normal, Human Infant Sleep: Feeding Method and Development, Psychology Today, Feb 2013
 
Speaking of breastfed babies, their sleep patterns differ from formula-fed babies. If your friends are formula-feeding, you will be having different sleep experiences.
 
What are some practical tips to help you sleep when your baby is sleeping?

Here are some ideas for you to consider...
 
Set clear boundaries
Ideally, the MotherBaby should spend the first 1000 minutes together so that they can get to know each other and get breastfeeding established. Yes, really! Click HERE (http://ninobirth.org/nino-overview/) for the evidence.  Have you done the math yet? That’s 16 hours and 40 minutes.  What do we do in our culture? As soon as the baby is born, people feel like it’s time to come over and hold the baby.  Just say WAIT. It’s not NO forever, it’s just wait for now.

That continues to the time you have at home.  Visitors should be kept to a minimum. The more the mother is apart from her baby, the harder it is for both to get organized and do the work of adjusting to postpartum. If people come over, they come over with a purpose – to bring food or other supplies that you need, and then go home so that everyone with the new baby can rest and recover and find the new normal.
 
Wear a bathrobe
…Or go topless the first few days. The point is, you are recovering from birth.  This is not the time to learn how to entertain with a newborn.  If the people in your life haven’t gotten the hint when you asked nicely for them to wait to visit, then the bathrobe (or your bare chest) sends a clear visual message that you are all about resting right now.
 
Avoid caffeine
This is a no-brainer…if you want to sleep, avoid stimulants. So where are the hidden places you might be getting caffeine without realizing it?  Not all teas are caffeine-free – be sure to read the labels. HERE (https://goo.gl/mCki2N) are some other foods to consider: decaf coffee, chocolate, ice cream and yogurt that have coffee or chocolate in them, protein bars, non-soda colas, candy bars and so called “fancy water”.
 
Turn off the screens
Turn off your screens at least one hour before bed, and even two hours before you are planning to go to bed. Did you know that the light from the screens changes your brain chemistry and actually makes it harder to sleep?
 
“The consensus is that the blue light that LED screens give off can slow or halt the production of melatonin, the hormone that signals our brain that it's time for bed.”

CNET, March 2016
https://goo.gl/cZjCkR
 
Turn down the lights
Electricity is one of the worst things that happened to our sleep patterns. Change that by trying to mimic the light of sun rising and setting. Open your shades and curtains in the morning when the sun comes up, and start turning off lights around the house when the sun sets. This will help teach your baby their circadian rhythm.
 
Establish routines
The evidence shows that babies who are “sleep-trained” and babies whose parents do nothing in the sleep department are all sleeping the same way at six months.

The Wait-It-Out (WIO) Method
› WIO means not implementing any sleep training. At 6-month follow up, there were no significant differences in babies’ sleep improvement between CIO group and WIO group. (Durham University Parent-Infant Sleep Lab)
 
So instead of fretting over a baby who is or isn’t sleeping, think about what will work for your family in the long run.  What is something that you can do with this child, and with future children to let them know it’s time for bed? 

Common elements of a bedtime routine are things story time, a rhyme like Teddy Bear (https://goo.gl/EMh1uR), bath time, infant massage, bedtime songs. You can add in lavender at any point along the way…lavender soap for the bath, lavender massage oil or lotion after the bath, a lavender pillow or toy for bedtime, or lavender essential oil in a diffuser if you use one in your home.
 
Ask for help
Identify the people in your life who can respect your boundaries, and know how to make a good quick visit.  Some things that you might want to ask for help with in the immediate postpartum: housework, homemade meals, adult conversation when your partner goes back to work, someone to hold the baby so you can sleep for an hour, help with driving and/or running errands. Now with many grocery chains offering order pick-up, you can make your list, order and pay, and then arrange for someone to pick it up for you. 
 
If you have older children at home, maybe arrange for someone to run any errands with them so they get some special big kid attention, and maybe also someone who will keep them on their “regular” schedule so that their routine isn’t thrown off. Also think about people who can respect your space and your needs and who would be happy to visit and entertain the older children so that you and baby can get special bonding time and your older children get to feel like the center of attention. Or maybe switch roles – someone to come hold the baby so that you can be the one giving the big kids dedicated time and attention.
 
We are in an era where many families are spread apart and a grandparent or aunt or uncle isn’t available to help with any of this list.  Consider asking your friends.  Or is there someone in your faith community who is also in their childbearing years who you can connect with? When you identify that person or two who you would be comfortable inviting into your postpartum space, ask to trade help. They would help you during your postpartum, and you will return the help when they welcome their next Sweet Pea.
 
Baskets for the win
This tip is especially helpful if you have a two-story house – we had an upstairs basket and a downstairs basket that we reloaded every morning before Coach Bruss went to work.  Gather the most-used items that you need when you sit down to feed your baby so that you don’t have to get up and find them, or have someone bring them to you.  This is what I kept in my basket: water, one-hand snacks that do not need to be refrigerated (bars, nut packs, fruit leather, etc.), diapers, wipes, change of clothes for the baby, burp cloths, bottom cream and nipple cream. 
 
 
I hope that out of these 8 tips, there is at least one that you can embrace whole-heartedly.  I invite you to jot down or type yourself a note of one small thing you can do to make that tip happen for you this postpartum. Try to start one journal page or virtual note that you can add to as we progress through this 8-week series for a better postpartum experience.
 
 
Coming up next week:
Nutrition
 
And check back for the rest of the series:
Exercise
Physical recovery
Social Support
Practical Support
Emotional Support
Medical Intervention
 
 
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®.

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

 

Monday Mantra: Nourish Body + Baby

Posted on May 22, 2017 at 12:48 PM Comments comments (37)
"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 (0)


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 (95)
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 (0)

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 (101)

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





Thoughts on Postpartum

Posted on September 23, 2016 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (42)
Oh how I love going to La Leche League meetings.  It is a wealth of information from the brain trust of trained leaders and experienced mothers.  As my own days as a breastfeeding mother are winding down, I am glad I still get to go to meetings in support of our students.

In the course of conversation, I realized that I wanted to write about postpartum again today.  I feel like "postpartum" needs a new name.

"Postpartum" alone describes the physical fact of a woman who is no longer pregnant.  What word describes the profound transformation and spiritual awakening that happens when one becomes a mother?

Some of us take the birth journey and come out on the other side empowered and deeply enriched by the experience.  Some of us take a birth journey and come out with more questions. There are birth journeys that may end with a sense of sorrow or loss.  

Add to the equation the overwhelming emotions that come with keeping a tiny human alive. The visceral experience of dripping out of every orifice: eyes, breasts, vagina..."postpartum" barely scratches the surface of the intensity of the experience as we transform from maidens to mothers.

Which brings me to my next point: it's time to shift the expectations we have of mothers during the post-birth initiation period.  I can't tell you how many times I have been to meetings in the last six years to hear mothers introduce themselves and say they left a under 3-month old baby at home.  And they come to meetings with questions about breastfeeding said infant.

Why are we as a society in a place where we are okay that mothers and babies are separated? Why aren't partners making it possible to keep this mother and baby together? Why are we afraid to bring our crying babies out in public?

NEWSFLASH: ALL BABIES CRY. Every time I see an older person give a crying baby a dirty look, I want to shake them and remind them that they, too, as crusty as they are now, started out in this life as a crying baby who simply wanted their basic needs met.  Instead of giving the mother a dirty look, why not offer to help? Can I get you some water?  May I offer you my seat?  Can I help you carry anything so that you can have your hands free to comfort your baby?

So I have to say I don't have many solutions in today's post.  It's really a cry for moving towards solutions as a society.  Let's honor the postpartum period for what it is: a huge transformation and paradigm shift for THREE people, the mother, the infant, AND the partner.  Keep mothers and babies together...for a minimum of three days of continuous skin-to-skin after they are settled at home,  And thirdly, let's get over ourselves and recognize that babies only have one language: crying. If we help new parents out by giving them permission to do one thing, learn about their baby and put the baby's needs first for this transition time, then maybe, just maybe, we will see more parents coming through this post-birth period with a little more confidence in themselves and their ability to keep their little people alive and well.

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, Payson

Inside Look: Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™

Posted on September 8, 2016 at 9:52 PM Comments comments (69)
 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 (21)

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®.


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