The importance of postpartum care

Last week I was able to attend a postpartum doula training with a group of lovely ladies! What is a postpartum doula, you may be wondering? Well, first, let me tell you about the postpartum period and how other cultures around the world treat this precious time.

Postpartum is the time after a baby is born up to about 6 weeks. This crucial time when a mother and their new baby, or babies, learn more about each other and both rest and heal as much as possible. Now in our society the postpartum mom is typically left to fend on their own doing daily activities that they had to do before baby arrived and on top of that learn how to take care of this new little person, while trying to heal from the birth process. Women in many different cultures and countries are known to care for moms starting the day baby is born up to 21-40 days. This time allows the mom to bond with the baby and gives her the time to heal and get the nursing relationship down (if mom plan is to breastfeed) before anything else. Plus, these women that come into her home (usually mothers, aunts, grandmothers) make healing foods and take care of the housework so the new mama doesn’t have to deal with this stress like our Western culture does. How amazing does that sound?!

I previously took a labor doula training (about 8 or 9 years ago) because I am super passionate about helping new mothers or those who have had a baby(s) already. Unfortunately, I am not able to be on call, I am very particular on a day shift job and struggle with being on call and/or missing out on family events. I have been wanting to take a postpartum doula training for quite a while now (probably 7 years or so) but all trainings were never near the area I live so when I found out, only a week before, that a training was coming to town, I was so excited!

I talked with my husband and with his support (Gosh I love him for so many things and his support for me has always been up there) I signed up. Unfortunately, I misread the dates and after I signed up I noticed that we had a family day planned to catch a free train ride on one of the days of the training. I wasn’t able to cancel my training because I was the reason the training could happen. We needed at least 4 trainees and I was number 4. So I cried a little (lovely mama hormones and like I said above, I don’t like missing family events) and then I went to the training. Yes, I’m a little bummed I missed out on family day still, but I had such an amazing time learning about how I will be able to support the postpartum moms in the area I live in. Postpartum support is so necessary and I know I will be an asset to the mothers and families that I will be serving! Not sure if postpartum support is needed? Look at the huge benefits!

Benefits of a postpartum doula/support:

  1. Increased bonding between mom and baby
  2. Decreased risk of postpartum mood disorders
  3. Increased confidence in parenting choices for both mom and spouse/partner
  4. Increased success rate and longevity of breastfeeding
  5. Increased ability for resting/healing

I remember shortly after I gave birth to my first baby, I started doing too much around the house and neglected sleep and I still regret it. For this, I am changing my tune this time around and I plan on resting more and getting help from those around me!

Are you pregnant and needing postpartum help? I’d love to discuss this with you!

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Resources:
http://www.ravishly.com/2015/08/18/postpartum-practices-worldwide-how-world-takes-care-moms-and-babies

http://www.parenting.com/blogs/show-and-tell/desiree-parentingcom/postpartum-traditions-around-world

http://www.uppitysciencechick.com/how_other_cultures.pdf

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Happy Anniversary to me (plus, vegan sausage recipe)

Last week, I celebrated my 8th wedding anniversary to my wonderful husband. It’s incredible to think I’ve been married for almost a decade! It sure isn’t all sunshine and rainbows but all and all, he is my cheese to my macaroni and I couldn’t imagine my life with some other person by my side. He loves me for who I am with all my baggage and flaws and he supports me whenever I have a new idea about nutrition or parenting or anything, really. I couldn’t have been more blessed when it comes to my spouse!

Typically, we rotate taking on the responsibility of planning the annual events for our anniversary. This year was my turn. I struggled to decide what to do. I really wanted to go into the hills for a romantic getaway, either the family cabin or a bed and breakfast, but being at the end of my pregnancy I decided we probably should keep it in town and on a low budget since I have no paid time off after the baby is born and am still planning on taking 12 weeks off work.

I Googled some ideas on the internet and looked on Pinterest, but nothing in particular stood out. So day of, I came up with some ideas and here is rough idea of what our lovely 24 hours looked like.

Breakfast: My husband made some gluten-free, vegan cinnamon rolls for the family, which turned out more like doughnuts, but we really liked them.
9ish: He drove our little one to his parents for the night, while I got some groceries for the week.
10ish: Met back up with my hubby and gave him my gift, which was 6 pieces of paper. On each, I wrote out two choices he had to pick from to decide what our day would look like. Example: Going Frolfing or Geocaching
11ish: We walked downtown and he found a geocache and then he decided he’d rather wander downtown and window shop. We ended up buying a birthday present for my little one who will turn 4 soon… CRAZY how time flies!
12ish: We ate a peaceful lunch at a Mexican spot and met a friendly crow who was very interested in our food.
1ish: We played video games for a little bit and then watched a movie on our couch.
5ish: One game of Phase 10… I won by the way…
6ish: My husband started dinner for us
7ish: Ate a delicious dinner of homemade sweet potato fries and veggie burgers with a fresh garden salad
8ish: We ran over on dinner, so instead of following the plan of going to improve, we watched Nick Offerman’s Standup on Netflix… hilarious!
10ish: Went to bed
I woke up early the next morning and made some awesome vegan sausage and whipped up some pancakes for breakfast!
Around 10, my mother in law met us at a park to take some family pictures and then some play time in the park for our little one.

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It was such a great time being able to focus on my husband and me. We don’t get this often, but when we do it is cherished and very appreciated. It’s so important to make alone time with your spouse, especially when you have kids. Just having an uninterrupted conversation was nice, but we were able to reconnect again, which is so important. So here’s to the beginning of another beautiful year with my love!

 

Move, baby, move! Recipe for Mouthwatering Vegan Lassagna

When I was pregnant with my first baby, my midwife made me make sure baby’s head was down by 30 weeks. With the help of Spinning babies, she moved into position by 28 weeks. This time around little ones head was down during this same time and then, like babies do, he moved into an uncomfortable transverse position (head to my right with the butt on the left) at 33 weeks! My new midwife didn’t seem concerned but had me start the spinning babies exercises and recommended chiropractic adjustments (has success rate of 82%) to help baby move down. Lucky for me, I have an amazing chiropractor, Dr. Sheila Schielke! After a few weeks of spinning babies, YL peppermint essential oil on the top of my belly, and two adjustments baby has moved down! Not only am I excited that he is in a great position for birth, since amniotic fluid tends to decrease in production leaving less room for a big movement, but I am a lot more comfortable!!

If baby didn’t move down soon there were some other options that have great success, which I was about to do and would highly prefer over a version. A version is a procedure done in an OB clinic and a baby is moved into position outside of the belly, but has an only 58% success rate. I’ve heard they are very painful and sometimes don’t work. However, there are some more gentle ways of turning baby, like I mentioned above along with acupuncture (81% success rate), daily activities recommended by spinning babies, massage (therapeutic or maya), homeopathy, moxibustion, and hypnosis.

The great thing about these techniques, is that you can continue to do them to ensure that baby stays in the optimal position for birth, without fear of baby flipping back to breech. It’s recommended to do so to make a more comfortable birth for both you and baby. I have been keeping up with walking and will restart the forward inversion exercise and keep on top of my chiropractic adjustments.

My family went crazy for this Vegan Lasagna I made a week back. Hope you enjoy!

 

Don’t give in when it comes to your baby or your body

In my community, it is difficult to find a pediatrician that is on the same page with my parenting philosophies and beliefs, so getting pregnant again, I knew I would need to start looking for someone who would be open to the decisions that I believe are best for my family.

When my toddler was a newborn, we took her to a facility that I had heard was relatively open so we gave it a shot. We only went a few times before we decided to stop taking her there. Every time we went in the physician tried to guilt trip us into doing something we weren’t comfortable with. I don’t know about how many of you are parents, but I feel like I get enough guilt about other parenting aspects, I don’t need to hear false information from someone who obviously hasn’t done the research on both spectrums of what they preach.

My midwife, urged me to find a new pediatrician before I reached 36 weeks into my pregnancy and gave me a few recommendations. Both are out of town between 40-50 miles away, but if they are going to support me and my family as best as possible with our beliefs in mind, then I will go the distance!

I met with a doctor on Monday and right out of the gate… LOVE her! She is on board with all of the big decisions and also very caring and honest! Not only am excited that my newborn will be in safe hands, I can confidently start taking my daughter to her, as well.

Being that I work at a hospital, I know how important it is to do your own research and to not be bullied into something that you don’t feel comfortable with about your own body or those you love. It’s sooo important to be your own advocate, or one for a loved one, especially in a medical setting. Never okay something you haven’t done the research on, on both sides before making a decision. You’re the one who will have to take care of the baby if something goes wrong in either decision that you make so make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Have you ever had a hard time with a doctor and not giving you choices?

Here is a link to provide you with questions to ask a potential pediatrician for your family.