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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Top 10 PostPartum Tips

Posted on May 22, 2015 at 7:12 PM Comments comments (0)
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®.

Winterize Your Body

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 8:27 AM Comments comments (0)
The Winter months are upon us in the Northern Hemisphere...and not every pregnant or breastfeeding mama wants to get a flu shot.  Whether or not the flu shot is for you, here are some practical immunity-boosting tips from our favorite chiropractor that don't involve shots, sprays or otherwise:
 
It is that time of year...getting ready for winter. We prepare the pool for winter, the car, the furnace, even our grass changes. We prepare the cabin and the toilets up north for winter. Doesn't it make sense to prepare our bodies for winter?
 
As the weather switches from warm to cold, nature goes through a preparation for the change. At this same time our bodies also have to go through a physiological change. Through the summer our bodies did not have to spend much energy on making or storing body heat. Now, it has to spend more energy on the making of body heat to keep all the systems at the correct temperature.
 
It's important to understand that our bodies are a "closed system" in terms of energy. What this means is that our body only has so much energy available internally to do all of the functions of the body. If the body needs more energy in one area it has to take that energy from another area. For example, when you get sick you often feel tired. This is because the body moves energy to the immune system, and away from other less important functions which are then shut down or minimized. Eat a large meal and watch your energy level drop...as the body takes energy to digest the meal, the available energy for other functions drops.
 
So it is this time of year for our bodies. As the hypothalamus in the brain changes the body's physiology for body heat maintenance, other areas have less energy available to do their jobs. This is one of the reasons behind the cold and flu season. When the immune system has less energy available you are more vulnerable to virus and bacteria. It's not that there are more virus and bacteria necessarily, because they are around us all the time. It's when the body is unable to fight the germs that we manifest as sick. This is truly the main factor for illness. It's why when three people are exposed to the same virus, bacteria, etc., one gets sicker than a dog, one is a bit sick and one has no apparent symptoms. The internal environment of the body to fight has a major factor to whether your exposure to a pathogen turns into an illness.
 
So, what do you do? (For those of you with children, this also applies to them as well!)



 
The most important factor is maximizing your body's internal forces. There are many ways to do this. Here are four:
 
1.     Slow life down. We keep the same hectic rate in life, non-stop. When you are at full potential the body will try to adapt to the pace. But throw another stressor into the mix and watch the body get down and possibly sick. At this time of year, if you don't have to - DON'T. Another shopping trip? NO. Another late night when you don't have to - DON'T. Spend some family time away from the TV. Read a relaxing book. Listen to some relaxing music. Take a walk.
 
2.     Watch the foods you eat. With less fruits and vegetables available in the winter it is very important to make good choices. Your food is the raw power for all functions. Put high quality food in for high quality performance. Do you have to eat on the run? Try the salad instead of the burger (with vinaigrette, not the blue cheese). Drink water instead of soda or coffee. Put down the candy bar and have an apple instead. Processed foods as well as sugars are hard on the body. Eat less of them. It is that simple. We should eat 7-14 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. If you can't (or won't), I suggest JuicePlus every day. (Order at DoctorRoss.JuicePlus.com or in the office).
 
3.     Take some vitamins. Extra vitamin C daily is great. A few thousand milligrams a day as an adult is fine. If you get loose bowels back off a bit. (It is water soluble so any extra will go out with the urine.) If you are sick, Echinacea helps to boost the immune system. There is a great liquid for kids with the brand name "Herbs for Kids". Read the label for amounts. "Kyolic" brand garlic is great. It is often called nature's penicillin. Double your JuicePlus if getting sick. Also, take the much overlooked essential fatty acid supplement, Omega 3 fatty acids (The good fats). Vitamin D3 is also important in the winter (we have D-Dots at the office). Investigate other immune system boosters.
 
4.    SLEEP. Most Americans are sleep deprived. We are too busy to slow down and sleep. Sleep is the time that the body recuperates and repairs from the damages of the day. If we don't slow down and sleep we never let the body get caught up. Is it any wonder we keep getting sicker instead of healthier? Run a humidifier at night to increase moisture and help keep mucous membranes moist.
 
Take a few precautions and get proactive and you will be amazed that you don't have to be a victim of the "cold and flu season". Let's stay healthy together and make a healthier community and a healthier world!
 
About the Author:  Dr. Kevin Ross is a Tempe chiropractor with a family and pediatric wellness practice. He has completed over 160 hours of pediatric chiropractic continuing education, and is trained in the KST Technique. Any questions on natural health and additional ways to build the internal power of the body can be answered at (480) 730-7950.

What do you do to boost immunity during the winter months? 
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 

 
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®.


 


Meet the Doula: Sue

Posted on June 30, 2013 at 10:41 PM Comments comments (1)

Sue Marquis, PCD(DONA) is new to the area, having just moved from Michigan to Arizona in the last month.  Welcome to the heat, Sue!!  Thank you to our friends at Modern Mommy for helping us make the connection!

When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
 I had probably heard the word previously but did not know what it was until my son told me that my first grandchild would be delivered at a birthing center with the assistance of a doula.

How did you decide that becoming a postpartum doula was part of your journey?
After my granddaughter was born, my son and daughter-in-law told me about postpartum doulas and what their role is. I absolutely loved the idea of becoming one, and I knew that it would be something that I could do well at - and be passionate about!

How long have you been a postpartum doula?
I have been certified since October 2012 and started working with families in January 2013. Regarding training, I completed the Professional Education in Breastfeeding training in September of 2012 and the Doulas of North America (DONA) Postpartum Doula Workshop in October 2012. My certification through DONA International is official as of today!

What do you enjoy the most about being a postpartum doula?
I love working with, and helping the families.  Just as each family dynamic is different, there are countless ways a postpartum doula can help a family.  A doula needs to be able to determine the needs of each family and help each one in the best way for them.  I find tailoring my approach to their specific needs to be very rewarding, and families are so grateful for the support and help.   Some of the areas a postpartum doula can help with are breastfeeding support and consultation, diapering, cooking, laundry, and family life adjustments to the new baby.    

What is your philosophy when you go into a family’s living space?
I try to get some background ahead of time so that I have an idea of what the family needs will be. My philosophy is to be non-judgmental and respect their right to parent in their own way. I make sure to respect their privacy and make confidentiality a priority.
 
How do you work with the new parents?
Since this can be a very stressful time in their lives as well as an exciting one, I try to be supportive, nurturing, warm and confident so they know they can trust me to be in their home and help them with their precious newborn.

What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
I used to run a daycare, so my postpartum doula experiences have not seemed very tough in comparison! Nonetheless, one situation that sticks out in my memory was when a father questioned me about how a postpartum doula was different than a nanny. I think the reason he asked was because the couple had just had a set of twins, and all the mom wanted me to do was take care of the babies so she could sleep. To him, it seemed I was simply babysitting. I explained to him that what I do is much more than taking care of infants; I told him that a Postpartum Doula offers education, companionship and in-home support for families with infants. Basically, taking care of the babies was helping to take care of the mom. He seemed to understand better after my explanation.

What keeps you working as a postpartum doula?
I love the feeling that comes with helping and supporting others. I find that parents are, for the most part, very appreciative for the help they are receiving. And I love babies!

What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter or longer-term agreement?
I charge a fee of $18.00 an hour. That fee covers assistance with newborn care, family adjustment, nursing support and help with light household needs.  The number of visits and hours is up to the individual family. If it is a longer term agreement, I am certainly open to offering a lower hourly rate or a package deal.

Do you offer any other services to your clients?
I know some doulas have specialties in other areas, and I appreciate that. However, since being a postpartum doula is somewhat new for me, I am not yet offering any other services. That may change in the future. 

Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
I love to spend time with my family, especially my granddaughter, who turns 1 this month. I have been a hospice volunteer. I also like to bowl, and I enjoy watching most sports.

If you would like to contact Sue to arrange an interview, here is her information:
313-574-2080 Cell

313-586-8313 Alternate number
480-625-4816 Alternate local number

Website: lighthousedoula.com

Emails: [email protected] or [email protected]

Would you find the services of a postpartum doula to be beneficial?
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonPlease leave us a comment - it won't show up right away, however it will be moderated and posted.  
*I think* that the amount of traffic you so generously generate has led to a lot of spam posting.  In an effort to keep the spam to a minimum, I am taking the time to moderate comments now.

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®. 


An Inside Look: Blue Russ Holistic Health Coaching

Posted on June 2, 2013 at 12:22 AM Comments comments (1)

I am pleased to introduce you to Blue Russ today.  She is a certified Holistic Health Coach, trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied over 100 dietary theories and a wide range of coaching techniques. She is your calm, gentle guide, supporting you to achieve your goals with confidence and grace. No counting calories or grams of nutrients. No judgment. No food is off limits. No deprivation. She believes that we have all the wisdom and healing power we need. The best healers are the ones that enable us to reawaken it. She is ready to guide you to reawaken your power.

Blue is also a homebirth mother of two with a passion for health and life. She's been told it is contagious.

Learn more and sign up for tips and recipes at www.blueruss.com. You can also follow her on Facebook at Blue Russ Health Coaching and Twitter  @BlueRussHealth


How did you get started in the field of nutrition?
I've been fascinated by food since I was first allowed to cook as a child. The endless flavor combinations! As a teenager, I was without dairy for a year when my family lived in Africa. When we returned, I went straight for a glass of milk and immediately my stomach cramped up. I had considered this sensation normal as a child and it was then I made the connection between food and health. I went on to experiment with different foods and learn more about the connection between what I ate and how I felt. When I was pregnant the first time, I learned even more, reading every book on pregnancy health I could get my hands on. Equally strong passions for me are health and social justice. It is a clear calling for me to be a healer and my aspirations are to change the world one mother at a time.

What is your favorite part of what you do?
I have so many favorite parts! The spark in a client's eye as they articulate exactly what their next step is, the one they are ready for, the one that will change everything. The relief in a mother's voice when her children or husband actually enjoy their green veggies. Helping women connect with each other, sparking lively, life-changing conversation. The learning and growing I experience with every single session and class. I could go on and on…

How does a family participate in your services?
My specialty is moms: Fertility, pregnancy, motherhood and grandmotherhood. I have also worked with couples, which is wonderful, but I primarily work with moms. Moms tend to be the leaders of the family and over time everyone follows their healthy example.

My philosophy is that guilt, blame, shame, calorie counting and strict dieting all lead to needless suffering. It is through understanding and honoring ourselves that we make quality choices. I see my role as facilitating and strengthening the connection a mother has with her inner wisdom.

In practical terms, I offer one-on-one health coaching, cooking classes, workshops and online programs. All are designed to help moms reach a higher level of health and joy in their lives. The transformations I witness are beyond belief - I've supported women through ending their sugar addiction, taking control of their children's health, losing weight, changing careers, finally finding true love and much more.

My favorite is working with women one-on-one in my 6-month program. This gives her the chance to take it step by step, avoid overwhelm and we have time to explore all areas of her life. I consider primary foods to be what's going on her life, not what she eats. Primary foods include relationships, physical activity, career and spirituality. If these areas of life are not simultaneously addressed, even the most perfect diet will do nothing to improve her health.

How can you help a family when they are expecting?
I love working with pregnant women! They are motivated to be healthy and their choices truly do effect the next generation. When she feels her best, and her primary foods are in order, baby gets the best start. I offer a variety of programs from a one week whole foods cleanse that is safe for pregnancy and nursing to a 6 week group program to a 6 month one-on-one program.

Do you offer any classes for postpartum health?
Yes! In addition to my other program options, I have a new offering just for the postpartum period! I call it "Eat Well for Two" and it involves a day of food prep, recipes, pantry make-over and health strategy session, all in the comfort of the new mother’s home.

How do you coach a family through first foods and starting solids?
There are a variety of ways to introduce solids into a baby’s diet. Each family is different and I work with their unique situation to discover what is best. In general, breastfeeding for as long as possible and introducing foods at about 6 months is best. Most babies experiment with food long before they are ready to eat it. I say let them at it! I see my role as assisting parents in listening to their intuition and baby’s cues in order to confidently introduce foods. I offer information and recommendations but ultimately it has to feel right within the family!

How can we get our family to eat healthy greens that we know we are supposed to eat - the variety and the scope can be so intimidating!
So glad you asked about greens! I am passionately in love with greens. This was not always the case, but experimenting with recipes to find the ones I enjoy has been the key. I love to spread the green joy. In fact, I offer an entire week of recipes and support through my online program, “A Week of Greens.” I worked with a mom who used to choke down spinach because she knew it was good for her. Now she actually looks forward to delicious salads and cooked greens every day! The next Week of Greens will be offered in November.

Is there anything else our families should know about your services, and the classes you offer?
I am passionate about helping moms live a vibrant life. Being a mother may be the most challenging job in the world, but it is also the most enjoyable when mom is at her best - not to mention the ripple effect into the next generation and the planet! It's not about guilt, it's about power. We have the power to make the world better than we found it!

I encourage all moms to go to my website, check me out and sign up for my e-newsletter to get tips, recipes and event invitations.
Right now I am offering a free menu planner to all new subscribers, available immediately when you sign up!

When a mom feels ready to take steps to improve her life, I am ready to support her with a free health strategy session that can be done by phone, Skype or in person at my Phoenix and Chandler offices.

Do you have on-line options for clients who are not able to join a class in person?
I offer four different programs online throughout the year. The next one starts on June 10 and is called “Vegan for a Week.” Having a menu plan, recipes, shopping list and group support will go a long way to increase participants’ vegetable intake. I’m not 100% vegan myself nor am I interested in pushing any single diet, but I do think that there are several dietary theories that are worth exploring, including the vegan diet.

I also offer webinars from time to time. The best way to be up to date on my online offerings is to sign up for my newsletter at

Thank you for taking the time to give us an Inside Look, Blue.  I really enjoyed learning more about how a health coach works.  I just had my first session and it was transformational!  Anyone can take advantage of a complimentary session with Blue by contacting her to set a date for your personal health strategy session.

Phone:  480.273.6140
               
Have you ever considered a health coach? What would you get help with?
 Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
*I think* that the amount of traffic you so generously generate has led to a lot of spam posting.  In an effort to keep the spam to a minimum, I am taking the time to moderate comments now.
 
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®.


Mama Time

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 2:16 PM Comments comments (0)
     The baby you have always dreamed of is here!  They are precious, tiny, and completely dependent on you!  You cherish the opportunity to nourish them, teach them, and wait for the day when they begin to interact with you by smiling at you, making and keeping eye contact, your first shared laugh together…all of these moments are priceless.

     Then something occurs to us - "when" is a matter of time.  They are here with you forever.  You will never go back to your life before baby.  Your time is not going to be “yours” again for a pretty long time.

     How we come to terms with this reality is completely up to us.  Whether we stay home with them or work outside of the home, we will find a strange dichotomy of wanting to be with our children and sometimes wanting to be away from them, too.  Add to that a partner who also needs time and attention to keep your relationship as healthy as possible.  What to do?

     Having worked both in and out of the home, I found that I was at my best as a wife and mother when I took care of myself.  Here are some questions that I asked myself to make sure I was on track so that I could take care of others (and it's about time for another self-assesment!).  Along with checking in with myself every so often, I use Lotus Wei Flower Essences and indulge in Wei of Chocolate flower-essence infused chocolates to tide me over until my next opportunity to re-charge my own battery.

What makes me feel happy? 
     The world of advertising and mainstream media wants us to believe we need things to make us happy.  You may have discovered that happiness brought by “things” is fleeting.  I believe that lasting happiness is self-driven: it is internal and it can be persistent if we can convince ourselves to find joy and gratitude on a regular basis.  In my experience, joy and gratitude are easier to bask in when we are feeding our souls – think back to the things that brought us joy as children before “reality” set in – can you do those things and involve your child?  Is it a good book? A conversation with a friend? Deep breathes of fresh air?  A form of exercise you enjoy?  A hobby we enjoyed before we had children?  What do we do that brings a smile to our face?
     When you can identify those things and then work them into your days often enough to make a difference, then we can start to make joy internal.  If you are counting on things or people to make you happy, it is going to be a pretty bumpy ride.  When you make your own happiness, it is more likely to be smooth sailing.

What do we do to “plug-in” and get more “juice” for the rest of the day-week-month-year?   
     The easiest way to gather energy as a new mama is to heed the advice to “sleep when the baby is sleeping”.  For some of us, that is harder than others.  I found that by putting a timeline (I will do this for this week) or area (keep this one room tidy), it was easier for me to let go and get the rest I needed in the postpartum period.  As the kiddos get older, I am claiming some time outside of my busy-ness attending meetings.  It can be as simple as making sure they are cared for so that I can take an uninterrupted shower complete with a full skin-care routine.  On the days when it can be arranged,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

In Their Own Words: Shara

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 3:02 PM Comments comments (2)
This post was written as part of Sweet Pea Birth’s "In Their Own Words" series. For more info on the ITOW or if you want to participate, contact Krystyna Bowman: krystyna{at} sweetpeabirths {dot} com. Today's post is about breastfeeding after a cesarean.  The breastfeeding ITOW series runs through the month of August.    

Shara Cohen-Sandhu is fun-loving, red-headed mama to two lovely girls and wife to one busy Coach.  She is an advocate of breastfeeding, co-sleeping and attachment parenting, and she is active in the Phoenix-area ICAN chapter.   

 There's something magical about looking into your baby's eyes for the first time while nursing.  Nursing my second little girl shortly after having her was amazing.  It came so naturally, like we had shared years of experience, but it was also so new and exciting.     

 Leila was my second baby and second cesarean section.  She was my second attempt at a natural labor; this time I thought I was so much more prepared.  The hurt of still not being able to bring my baby into the world the way I was made to was lingering.     

 However, nursing my little Leila was so very healing.  Looking into her big brown eyes helps to heal my disappointment even today because I know that regardless of how she came out of my body, her body is beautiful and healthy thanks to the breastmilk I provide for her.  Other than healing emotionally, the beauty of breastfeeding is that it helped to heal my body faster by shrinking the uterus naturally.   

 After having both babies via cesarean births, there were some things that I had to take into consideration while nursing.  Here are the lessons I learned with Jasmin, my first baby, that I was able to use again with Leila: 

POSITIONING:  I learned quickly that nursing while lying down was extremely beneficial since I had to let my body rest.  So I propped her up on a pillow parallel to me and had my head on the same pillow, so my top breast was at her level.  I curled my body around her, which prevented her from moving, and had a pillow between my legs and one behind me, which prevented me from rolling either way.  I would let the baby nurse for a long time on the one side, then I'd have my husband help me switch the pillow to the other side.     

 Not only did this allow my body to heal, it also encouraged our bonding and eventually led to co-sleeping, which I did not think I'd do prior to having kids.  I learned that it is the best way for everyone in our family to get rest and also helps the children learn how to sleep.     

BABY CARRIER: With my second, I didn't have much down time because my first needed my attention, too.  So I found a baby carrier that I could nurse in easily.  This allowed me to be able to still have the same interaction with my first, while having the same bonding with my second.  It also was a lot easier on my body because I didn’t have to carry the heavy and clunky car seat.     

SUPPORT GROUPS: With my first, nursing didn't come so easily.  I found a breastfeeding support group and it made the difference for us.  I was determined, yet I needed help and encouragement. At the weekly meeting I learned that I could share my accomplishments and struggles with other moms and learn from them as well; all while watching our babies grow, and become playmates.    

 I decided to attend the same support group with our second baby.  Today Leila is 5 months old.  Nursing couldn't be better.  We nurse on demand and she is happy and healthy, and so am I.   

 I also had the aid of my encapsulated placenta after my second cesarean.  I noticed it helped bring my milk in faster, helped with postpartum weepies, and the lochia (postpartum “menstruation”) stopped after only 3 weeks. 

Parting thoughts:  There are so many beneficial things about breastfeeding.  Regardless of what struggles a mom has, if there is a will there is a way.  I've learned through trial and error while having wonderful support.  I have to say there is nothing in the world as rewarding as giving my babies what they need: love, nourishment, and security in mom's arms.         

Find a list of breastfeeding support groups click here

Read more about placenta encapsulation here and here

Visit the ICAN-Phoenix Chapter website   

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

Posted on March 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleIt breaks my heart to hear desperation in a new mama’s voice, or to read that they are struggling with breastfeeding, or to know that they are not getting enough sleep.  It’s a harsh reality check after the first few hours of euphoria after the baby is born.
 
After a baby is born and the female body is flooded with endorphins, a mama who has had minimal interference with the natural process will be completely alert, awake and responsive to the needs of her newborn child.  Hopefully she gets some sleep after the endorphins wear off.  Next starts the babymoon and the parade of people – family and friends coming by to help the new family, well-wishers bringing gifts of food.  Mama is supported and loved and maybe she gets some sleep as others ease her burden.  Then life happens…and mama and baby are left to fend for themselves while everyone who was supporting the motherbaby gets on with their life:  Coach goes back to work, friends stop bringing food, or maybe after a visit the clean-up duties are left to the mama. 
 
The stress in this situation can be compounded by other dynamics.  When a mama has not had a natural-ish birth she wanted, or maybe she is healing from the physical and/or emotional experience of a cesarean birth, she might be stressed.  Maybe there are feeding issues due to the learning curve or a physical limitation to the nursing relationship.  Maybe there are siblings in the family who are also adjusting to the new family member.  Maybe there are pets acting out as they try to figure out the new family dynamic.  All these stressors start to affect a mama’s well-being.
 
As a mama starts to lose sleep and add stress, the concern I have is two-fold:  First of all, she may affect her milk supply.  The second concern is that she will experience more than just the baby blues as her body re-adjusts hormone levels after pregnancy.  Without adequate sleep, she could easily escalate to post-partum depression.  The condition has many symptoms; the one that concerns me the most is when women think about or actually do bodily harm to themselves and/or their children.
 
Sleep:  Find help after the babymoon is over.   Will your life-house-sibling parenting be perfect right after baby arrives?  No way, no how.  The important thing is to be aware that the situation is temporary.  If you allow yourself some breathing room, you can recover from birth and get back into your “normal” sooner than later.
 
Coach has to go back to work?  Beg, borrow or steal time when you can.  Be okay with letting things go around the house.  Pick one room to keep clean if that is important to you, maybe the one where you spend the most time.  The rest can wait until you have recovered from your birth.  Coach gets home from work – pass him the baby and go take a nap. 
 
Have other kiddos?  Set up a “meal train” and let other people help with feeding your family.  Let them know about your food restrictions.  Our friends introduced us to some new gluten-free foods after Angelika was born – it was awesome.
 
No support from family or friends?  Hire a postpartum doula to help care for baby or your housework so you can sleep.  Many of these women are willing to barter if needed – most of us in the birth business are more concerned about the mother/baby than we are about getting paid in money. 
 
Another obvious yet harder-to-do as we are more technology dependent, is to turn off the gadgets.  Put away your phone; turn off your computer.  The world revolved long before there was app for it.  If you are tired, don’t allow yourself the distraction.  It’s amazingly freeing to go a few “wireless” days.  Trust me when I tell you that you can always catch up later.  There is no one more important than you and baby in the first days of recovery, or if your baby blues are getting worse instead of better.
 
Birth experience:  There are many support groups to help a mama process her birth, as will as books and classes.  In the Phoenix area, birth mentor Alejandrina Vostreja has a class for moms/coaches who want to process their birth experience. You can talk to your doula or assistant coaches to put together any missing pieces you and your coach don’t remember or didn’t notice due to being in the moment.  You can attend a birth circle (click here and scroll down for AZ groups) to share your story in a non-judgmental and supportive setting.  If you had a cesarean, you can attend an ICAN meeting, another non-judgmental and supportive setting.
 
Feeding Issues:  After being around the birth world for a few years, I would definitely recommend finding the help that is appropriate for the situation.  Peer-to-peer help, i.e., La Leche League, is good for a painful latch or general adjusting to motherhood.  A certified breastfeeding counselor (they have completed a course to help mothers) is the next step if peer counseling doesn’t answer your concerns.  If you have issues such as a baby who is losing weight or continued fussiness at the breast, then go straight to finding and making arrangements to meet with an IBCLC.  They have completed a rigorous training program and they are internationally certified to be the gold-standard – they are the real deal when it comes to calling themselves a Lactation Consultant.
 
Feeding issues can be heart-breaking if you are committed to breastfeeding.  It helps to keep the big picture in mind…this is a bump in the road.  Learning to breastfeed takes at least four to six weeks, especially if this is your first time breastfeeding, if your baby is  a preemie, or if your baby has “technical” issues like a tongue-tie  that need to be addressed, and baby essentially has to gain strength or re-learn how to suckle at the breast.
 
My friend Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC, taught me that the most important to-do is to feed the baby.  Pick the one thing that you are willing to do this time – and just deal with one feeding at a time.  As in labor, it’s hard to deal with the emotions and discomfort if you think about how long it’s going to go on… by addressing the feeding right now, and only the one right now, you can ease the stress that will affect your milk supply if it rises unchecked.
 
It is also important to remember that breastfeeding is much more than breastmilk.  By putting your baby to the breast, even if it’s just suckling, that’s a start.  You are bonding skin-to-skin, you are letting your baby “talk” to your body, it is giving your body the message to keep making milk because there is a human baby to feed.  It is your baby transferring it’s needs to your body so your body can make the quality of milk your baby needs for that time window (antibodies, vitamins, minerals, lactose*, protein, fat).   Hopefully your unique “formula” is already made and transferred into the storage containers you are using.
 
Siblings: Ask a babysitter to come play with the older children while you and baby nap.  Plan unique activities for them to do with the kiddos.  Another option is to bring out special toys that only come out when a new baby is born so that they look forward to the arrival of the new sibling.
 
You can also make a twist in the “family bed” concept. Have your child(ren) bring you books or toy sets to play with on the bed so that you can be comfortable, be skin-to-skin with baby and still pay attention to older siblings.  It’s great for baby to hear language, whether it’s reading aloud or playing with the other children.  It’s great for the other children to share time with baby and still get your attention.
 
If family is in town after baby arrives to help, be clear about who needs help and what you want done.  As much as they may want to hold the new baby, the baby is your responsibility.  Utilize their time to do special activities with the older siblings – they can hold the baby when you siblings are napping or in school.  It’s nice for the kiddos to have someone they feel is dedicated to them while mom takes care of baby.
 
Pets:  The best first job we ever provided a neighbor was after we had Ysabella.  Our dogs had been used to walking twice a day – and that just wasn’t possible as I was healing from my episiotomy.  We hired a neighborhood kiddo to come by after school to walk our dogs – they were happy and I healed.  After everything was better, I started walking them in the mornings again, and our neighbor kept up the afternoon walks.  I had time with baby, the dogs got their walks – life was good!  I can’t speak for cats – maybe someone else can do that in the comments.
 
We have also had students give away pets to a loving home before baby arrives.  Recently, some students found a home for their pets in their neighborhood.  They will still get to see their pets on occasion.  They also offered to pet-sit when their new owners go out of town.  It is one of the best solutions we have heard of through our time teaching Bradley Method® classes.
 
If you are going to change any rules, it’s a good idea to do that before baby comes, so that pets don’t necessarily associate a change they don’t like with the new family member.  Another great tool we used to acclimate our pets was the Preparing Fido CD.  I imagine it could work to acclimate a variety of animals to baby sounds – again, trying to ease the transition before baby arrives.
 
This is just a short list of possible fixes to help alleviate postpartum stress.  The most important thing to remember as you make and execute your postpartum plan is to take care of mom and baby first.  Everything else is secondary.
 
I will close by saying that encapsulating our placenta made the biggest difference in our postpartum experience for our last baby.  I did not experience postpartum depression this time; my milk supply was and remains awesome; it was our best postpartum ever.  Here is some basic information on it – I will be writing up more detail about our experience in a future post.  I encourage you to look into it and ask more questions to see if it might be right for you.
 
*A lactose-intolerant baby is not allergic to your milk.  The intolerance is for the dairy products made by a cow for their baby. Click here to read more about one mom’s journey through lactose-intolerance.
 
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®.
 
More on Postpartum Plans:

Links list:
Post partum depression
 
Birthin’ Again Mentor
 
International Cesarean Awareness Network

Tongue Tie
 
Preparing Fido
 
 

Some Homebirth Secrets Revealed

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 8:54 AM Comments comments (2)
We discovered many little “secrets” when we had our homebirth.  I have no idea why some of this information has not made it to the OB offices that are given credit as the source of knowledge for birth-related information in Western society.
 
I will share two of them today. 

Herbal Therapy for Perineum Healing
The first one is: there are herbs that aid with perineum healing. Click here to see the ones that came in our homebirth kit. 

I guess I should have known – there are herbs for everything.  I cannot believe that it wasn't until our fourth birth that we found out about them.  Especially since the homebirth was the least traumatic to the vaginal area since I didn’t push on my back! 
 
According to the package, the blend we used contained organically grown comfrey, calendula, witch hazel, uva ursi, shepard’s purse, and yarrow.  The herbs can be steeped to make a “tea” and used in the peri bottle - it is not a tea you drink, it's a topical application.  Another use is to add the "tea" to a sitz bath, or you can use the herbs to make a compress that is applied directly to the perineum. 
 
The healing in the vaginal area was so much faster.  Although the stretch is do-able and it is a stretch with a purpose, it is still a big stretch!  I had a little tear that we allowed to heal without stitches, and there were internal skid marks from baby’s nose.  Everything healed beautifully and felt better within days, as opposed to the week+ with births #2 and #3, and several months with our first birth when we had an episiotomy. 
 
After our experience of faster healing, I am even more incredulous that these are not available in the hospitals.  Especially since hospital births are the more likely source of vaginal trauma due to the higher rate of episiotomies and the extra pressure placed on the perineum when moms push in semi-supine position as opposed to the positions that work with gravity to move baby down and out. 
 
You can order these herbs and have them available to brew whether you have a hospital, birth center or home birth.  It was $12 very well spent!
 
Bradley® homebirth baby has her hearing screen out of hospitalHearing Screens are still an option.
The second secret is that you can still have your baby’s hearing checked even if you have a homebirth.  You can make an appointment at the hospital and pay upwards of $100 for the hearing screen.  The other option in the Phoenix area is to call Pam Qualls, a licensed midwife in Glendale, and have your baby’s screening done for $25. 
 
We got to take Angélika to a private office space, free of hospital smells, hospital germs and all the extra people that she did not need to be exposed to.  The hearing screen took all of a minute or two.  The drive from Chandler was well worth it to have the peace of mind that our daughter passed the screening test.
 
To visit Pam’s website, click here.

Another secret that has been gaining more mainstream attention is placenta encapsulation, also known as "happy pills".  I will write about it in a separate post since there is a lot more to share regarding the process and the benefits.  For now, I will say we had the happiest postpartum ever, and I encourage you to read up on it and decide what works for your family.  You can start with my interview with Wendy Diaz, PBi certified encapsulationist, and go from there (read more).
 
I will write soon for about our experience with placenta encapsulation.  In the meantime, I would encourage you to check out the herbs for the perineum and get them to your house one way or another.

What are some birth "secrets" you have learned?

To read more about other herbal therapies we used in as a result of our homebirth experience, click here.

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. 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®.