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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Postpartum Wellness Series: SLEEP

Posted on November 5, 2017 at 9:17 PM Comments comments (75)
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: Wonder Woman SuperPower

Posted on August 14, 2017 at 1:27 PM Comments comments (58)
Today's #MondayMantra is a fun affirmation that there is something quite wonderful and unique about making milk for your Sweet Pea.  

If you have chosen to breastfeed and you are making milk...own it!! You are a true Wonder Woman.

In Their Own Words: Amy

Posted on August 9, 2017 at 8:27 PM Comments comments (129)
Amy & Ollie 2016

I never thought I'd be breastfeeding my toddler. I certainly never thought I would be doing so while pregnant! Here I am, 30 weeks pregnant, writing this while my toddler who just nursed down for a nap, is sleeping.

When Ollie was a baby he nursed on demand; now he nurses before nap time, if we're together, and at bedtime, if mommy is home. Ollie's first Birthday came and went, and we were still nursing. When I got pregnant, Ollie was about 18-months, we contemplated weaning. My nipples were sensitive and, as much as I don't like to admit, I felt frustrated sometimes, when he nursed. We could tell Ollie was not ready. Deep down, I didn't really feel ready either. So we decided to try to cut back the nursing sessions. Over the course of a few weeks, I eliminated some of our typical nursing times. For example, we used to come home after work/daycare and sit together, cuddle, nurse and talk about our day. This was a difficult one for me to give up, because I LOVED this time with him. So we found something else that we both loved. We bought a porch swing and instead, we'd get a quick snack and go out front on the porch swing. The weather was just right, thank goodness, and he loved being outside. We'd listen to and talk about the sounds, play with rocks, and have our snack. This quickly became a special treasured time, as well.

It hasn't all been easy. We've had our share of challenges. Just like any family, we had to find what works for us. Right now, this works for us.

With the summer ending, I'll be going back to the classroom to teach, and Ollie will go off to our wonderful in-home-daycare provider. The days when we're not together, Ollie nurses at bedtime only. I don't know what the future holds for our breastfeeding relationship, and I'm not worried about it.  I'll forever be grateful for this special time I've had with Ollie, the support of my loving husband (despite the uncertainties and naysayers), and for the breastfeeding community.

Amy's Story about breastfeeding Ollie as a newborn HERE

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog post 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®.
 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, 

Monday Mantra: Nourish Body + Baby

Posted on May 22, 2017 at 12:48 PM Comments comments (53)
"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?






Monday Mantra: Centered + Peaceful

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (120)
Meditation: Moxie Midwifery

This has grounded me so well lately. It's a great validation that I really have all I need to handle life's ups and downs...because as sure as the tides rise and fall, just as the waves crest and break...so moves the rhythm of life.

It has been a great comfort to remember that I do not have to do it alone. Part of the "all I need" are the friends, allies, and resources that can be called in to help when it all gets to be too much.  I can call a friend for a heart-to-heart talk, I can call a family member to come help when I can't make it to all the places I need to go, there are tremendous resources available to us online. Maybe a group in which to ask a question, a reliable webpage to use as the beginning of some research, or a phone call to a trusted care provider...the "all I need" is there if I am willing to admit I don't have all the answers and I don't need to do it all by myself.

What are some of your favorite resources?

Monday Mantra: Joy+Happiness

Posted on May 10, 2017 at 1:09 PM Comments comments (54)

Quote: Jennifer Hoperich, Moxie Midwifery

There is the elusive, "I will be happy when" or "I will be fulfilled when" that is inherent in much of the positive-thinking, goal-oriented, resolution-focused thinking that is pervasive in our culture.

What about now?? 

One of the reasons I love this affirmation is that it invites me to be happy and joyful NOW. It is also inviting me to think outside of myself and do for other.  By finding joy and happiness in the service of others, I have the opportunity to have joy and happiness every moment. 

When one is pregnant, that "other" is the sweet pea growing inside. When your sweet pea is earthside, it's even easier to place them as the other in our lives. And as they get older, they join us in that act as they think of their own ways to serve and bring joy and happiness to those outside of themselves. It's quite the amazing circle of perpetual joy and happiness...jump on this merry-go-round, and let's enjoy the ride!!

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.

Feeding Sweet Peas Home-Grown Goodness

Posted on February 2, 2017 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (30)
Thank you to Jenny Silverstone, from Mama Loves Best, for writing our guest post in support of breastfeeding, one of our favorite topics here at SPB.

Feeding our Babies Home-Grown Goodness

Motherhood isn’t always easy. You often have to make choices that aren’t always simple or popular. You sometimes have to dig deep to get the information you need to make the crucial decisions that will affect your baby for the rest of his or her life.

Every choice you make for your baby counts, whether it’s the birthing method, the products you use, or the food choices you make for your child. 

When it comes to nutrition for your baby, breasts are best. It’s not just rhetoric -- science backs up what many mothers have long suspected. Our breasts are here for a reason, and that reason is to give our babies the nutrition they need to get a great, healthy start in life. As moms, we are fully equipped to give our babies everything they need, if only we learn to trust ourselves and know that we’ll find our way on this incredible journey.

At MomLovesBest, we are committed to helping moms find the information they need to make the best choices for their kids and their families. Our new infographic, The 111 Benefits of Breastfeeding, gives everyone compelling reasons to consider breastfeeding their babies

This infographic details the health benefits for both babies and mothers, and what breastfeeding can do for society as a whole. After all, we’re all on this crazy ride called motherhood together -- by working together to educate, grow and learn, we can help the newest generation of mothers and their babies live healthier, happier lives. 

While motherhood can be a lot of responsibility, you’ll find that it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all -- you’ll treasure every moment, even the difficult ones. That first smile, laugh or kiss from your baby is worth any effort you go through!


Read the full article to learn more about each benefit at


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 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: DIY Padsicles

Posted on January 17, 2017 at 6:27 AM Comments comments (120)
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

Keeping Sweet Pea Healthy 2.0

Posted on November 30, 2016 at 9:48 AM Comments comments (0)
We had a harrowing week in the PICU when Night Owl was only three-months old. We make every effort to educate our students, especially those with Sweet Peas born in the winter months, about how to avoid their own hospital stay.  




See the blog post with all the details on Keeping Sweet Pea Healthy  HERE

RSV protection website HERE

Handwashing Guidelines from the CDC HERE

Get your own Healthy Little Ones Sign HERE












 
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog and 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 related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Mesa, 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

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