these next couple of items come from The Matter Company, they are a Canadian company and have awesome products for Mama and Babe.
1/. Belly Jelly- a pregnancy must have! Cost is $19 each.
I used this throughout my pregnancy with Oliver and oiled up the belly daily (not that this product prevents stretch marks by any means but keeping your skin well hydrated doesn't hurt the cause)
and have been using it throughout this pregnancy as well.
Love, love, love it!
2/. Mineral Soak = bathtime blisssss. Cost is $18/bag and is packed with essential oils & mineral salts
(leaving your skin feeling amazing not greasy).
3/. Herbal Sitz Bath. Cost $18/Tin.
This is really more like a 3rd Trimester/After delivery Favourite but I thought I would include it anyway!
My midwives gave me a huge bag of herbs to steep and freeze before I gave birth so that immediately after the delivery, Guy could prepare a herbal sitz bath for me. The herbal bath promotes healing and soothes your swollen ladies parts. I had 3 bags pre-made so the few days after delivery, Oliver and I would have glorious herbal baths together. It's great for the babes as well! I am sure you can easily find herbal sitz bath recipes online and make your own but for those looking for an already made item, this is a great one. Also makes a great gift for those preggos in your life.
4/. Jeggings. My wardrobe staple. It was really hard to start wearing real-waisted pants after Oliver was born. I love me some elastic waisted pants. So the abundance of jeggings on the market makes me a really happy lady. I scored a bunch of fabulous ones from Giant Tiger so I bought about 5 pairs (and now wish I had 10) They are so versatile and can easily be dressed up or down.
A Preganancy must have!
This ultra simple but super handy piece is a must have addition for the pregnancy wardrobe. I used mine throughout my pregnancy with Oliver and have been using a lot lately. Since I have still been able to wear my non maternity pants (jeggings), I use this to keep them in place and from falling down as much since a lot of my bottoms are low rise. It also helps smooth things out under slinky tops.
Worth every penny, love it! And don't be afraid to buy a couple of colours....
It's been awhile since I've posted about some of my latest obsessions.... so here it goes!
Yes, I jumped on the arbonne wagon after a few months of contemplation. I went to a friends party back in June and loved the products but I was on a wedding budget so I refrained. Although I did buy the skin conditioning oil and I had already bought their ABC sunscreen for Oliver before I went to the party. So about 2 months ago, I bit the bullet and ordered the full RE9 line as well as a few other products. After a bit of a breakout (although my skin tends to that with every new skincare product I try) not to mention pregnancy hormones, I think I'm finally on track! I definitely notice a huge difference in the under eye bag area... ie I don't look like a total raccoon anymore. My pores aren't as large and noticeable and my skin tone is evening out. I have also gotten rid of a tonne of blackheads. I should probably mention that I'm not a skincare addict or anything. I did the bare minimum before... wash my face in the morning (in the shower) and at night and I really only used moisturizer during the day (and I used Avon products). Now I use the full RE9 line in the morning and night. Wash, toner, eye cream, serum, moisturizer (one for day and one for night) and neck cream. I want to keep this neck looking youthful too! It's always the giveaway.... people take care of their face and neglect the neck, that skin gets wrinkly too y'all! I have about a million other Arbonne products on my wish list but they aren't cheap so I have to buy a bit at a time.
Here's a list of my other faves from Arbonne...
Revelage Brightening Hand cream (is so brillant and took years off of my old lady hands!)
Definitely worth the $$ I use it in the morning and at night
Makeup Primer makes your skin feel like butter
and I use way less foundation when I remember to put the primer on first.
3/. Chapman's Super Lolly Banana.....yum!
These little treats are Gluten free, peanut free and naturally flavoured. Coming in at 60 calories per lolly
(for those that care about calories) it's not going to put you over the top to have a sweet little something something. Oliver and I enjoy sharing one for an after dinner treat.
4/. Riding boots. I purchased these boots a couple of month ago from Old Navy (online) and was pleasantly surprised when I got them! They were $40/pair and I wasn't sure how they would look in person but they actually look a lot more expensive then they were. I bought a pair in cognac and in black and they are very comfortable; an excellent purchase!
I have severalissues with it! But first I would just like to say that it made me appreciate and love my midwives that much more (web hugs to my awesome midwives).
Ok so I'm not sure why the author chose to use stats and experts from the U.S and abroad when commenting on the safety of Canadian homebirths especially when these other countries do NOT have the same education level, training or regulations that Canadian midwives have. A little like comparing apples to oranges don't you think? Not to mention that none of these experts commenting of the safety or lack of there of have actually attended a homebirth in Canada.
Secondly, choosing quotes from the clearly anti-homebirth group and then the freebirth fringe isn't really giving a true picture of what homebirth is all about. The article alerts us about the risks and dangers of homebirth and yet quickly brushes off the fact the “A healthy young woman, coming into this hospital now for delivery, has almost a 40 per cent chance of having some sort of intervention that is not desired.”. What outcomes does that have on the mother and baby? The article continues on about "Because of modern obstetrics. Modern obstetrics has lowered the neonatal mortality rate 90 per cent and the maternal mortality rate 99 per cent over the past 100 years.” which is wondrful and thank goodness advancements have been made in both maternal and neonatal care! But the article gives the impression that midwifery is still the same as it was in the 1800's, when in fact modern (Canadian) midwives balance the best of both worlds!
While I was miffed at their article on homebirths- they did redeemed themselves in my books with this article on McMaster University's first male midwife. "Men are attracted to obstetrics, so why not midwifery?"
I'm talking about Sea Buckthorn, (which I just learned about for the first time 2 days ago)
it's also known as Siberian Pineapple, Sea Berry, Sandthorn and Swallowthorn.
Guy's parents bought us 3 trees- 2 females and a male
(the female trees will berry in about 3 years). We are to plant the male in the middle and females on either side about 4-5 ft apart for optimal pollination and growth.
Sea Buckthorn is a relatively new crop to Canada and since it tolerates anywhere from plus 40 to minus 40 degrees centigrade it's well suited for our climate. It's native to north-western Europe through central Asia as well as northern China and has been used for centuries for its pharmaceutical properties.
"Anecdotal reports indicate sea buckthorn was used in ancient times to: Lower fever, reduce inflammation, counteract toxicity and abscesses, and clean the lungs. Treat colds and coughs.
Treat tumours and growths, especially of the stomach and the oesophagus"
These trees will berry from late July through to October and provide a tart citrus flavour packed with many essential nurtients! Including a high concentration of Vitamin C, carotenoids, fatty acids and phytochemicals providing antioxidant benefits to boot! Juice from sea buckthorn berries is a common drink in many parts of Asia and Europe. The juice is very high in protein, vitamins C and E, and organic acids. but not only are the berries nutritional, the leaves either fresh or dried, can be steeped to yield a nutritional tea.
There are medicinal benefits as well, using sea buckthorn oil for skin therapy including sun, heat, chemical and radiation burns, eczema and poorly healing wounds. Oil from the sea buckthorn fruit is rich in vitamin E, carotenoids, phytosterols and essential fatty acids, all of which have beneficial medicinal properties for the treatment of internal and topical maladies.
"Becoming educated about empowered birth choices and following your instincts for what you truly want can lead to a happier more fullfilling birth. To some this means home birth, birthing at a birth centre, hospital or even for some an educated choice of cesarean.
Your birth, your privacy and your baby's gentle beginnings can easily be railroaded by medical caregivers through unnecessary interventions. Educate yourself! And take charge of your birth, every decision counts! This journey can be one of the most amazing times of your life, if you claim it. It's the journey from being a woman to being a mother." source
Last night I mean in the wee hours this morning when I was wide awake, I started watching 16 and pregnant on MTV. Honestly I don't know why, that show infuriates me on so many levels but in my foggy state at 3:00am I couldn't turn it off. I'm not even going to comment on the age thing and how even though the show is trying to portray the "reality" of teen pregnancy it's actually glamourizing it by making these kids celebrities. Anyhoo, that's a post and half by itself. What was really annoying last night this morning was in more than a few episodes the girls were induced prior to their due dates, or put on pitocin immediately after being admitted to "jump start" labour. Never were they given the chance to progress naturally. No wonder an epidural is needed, they've just tricked your body from early labour, where your body is preparing itself for delivery. Your body can cope with the increase intensity of contractions when allowed to do so on your time Birth is not a race against the clock!
I feel such sadness when I see someone who's uneducated about birth and their options- fully relying on the professionals who are doing what's best for the "baby" but also what's best for their schedule. Using scare tatics about fetal distress after they just pumped you full of synthetic hormones to speed up labour. The domino effect of interventions that result and the over-use of "emergency" Cesareans are just unacceptable (to me). I don't want to heap all medical caregivers into the same pile, there are many out there who promote natural birth and respect your birth choices but you must educate yourself and make your wishes KNOWN! Always be your own advocate when it comes to your healthcare.
Of course there are complications that can arise, things can wrong and thankfully we live in a time with so many medical advancements. Life saving advancements for both mother and baby that without would have devasting results. But some where down the line, women have learned to not trust their bodies, not trust their abilities to birth naturally and to use these advancements as routine practices.
Trust your body, educate your self, find a healthcare provider you can trust.
and promote Empowered Birth Awareness!
I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started this wee little blog!
A lot has changed and yet a lot has stayed the same.
I think I've found my groove here, I enjoy letting the cat out of the bag here.
It's therapeutic, it's fun and it's great to have something to look back on.
I like reading past posts, remembering how I was feeling at that time,
seeing pictures of my sweet babe hitting milestones and or just being adorbable (or not so adorable).
It's been a great place for family to come and get their Oliver fix whenever they want!
Basically I started the blog to capture our first year together as a new family, a new mama, papa and babe. I didn't capture my pregnancy well (at all really) other than a few photos here and there, which I am sad about now. I also didn't capture Oliver's birth which I am really sad about. But more on this in another post. So this blog was a way to document all the trials and triumphs we experienced together.
Today, we are still experiencing many firsts. Although things seem to be on a steadier pace. Oliver is still changing and growing (quickly) just not at warp speed any more. It still amazes me that he's ours.
Our DNA created him. And at night when I go in for a final check before bed and he's snoring and sleeping half on his tummy and half on his back in what looks to be a terribly uncomfortable position.
My heart wells up and skips a few beats. I grew him, I birthed him and I get to Mother him.
And it's pretty incredible.
I am looking forward to what's in store for us in the future but really enjoying where we are now.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my little blog,
I hope you continue to do so:)
So my video "Down There for Women" arrived last week!
The video is designed to help alleviate female ailments such as; menstrual cramps, pelvic floor disorder, Cesarean/Post Delivery, sexual dysfunction, incontinence and promote sacral health and hip health.
It consists of 5 reallysimple exercises that only take a few minutes to do.
1/. Calf stretch
2/. Double Calf Stretch
3/. Pelvic Listing
4/. Knee Squeeze
5/. Wall exercise
I won't explain how to do each exercise, you'll have to buy the video for that!
Click here for a video clip and here to purchase it from the Aligned and Well website.
*** I just read on their FB site that all videos will be available for download in about a month****
I was totally shocked by just how tight my calves actually were! And that my calves could and do effect my pelvis in so many ways, but after doing these exercises for a couple of days in a row the relationship is obvious. Many of us tend to tuck our pelvis in (which also leads to the dreaded mom butt!... flat, no cheeks mom butt!) which results in a hunching/aging posture and also weakens our pelvic floor.
Try standing up straight and tuck your pelvis in... you can't without rounding your back. So stand up straight and stick that butt out ladies (and gents)! Get your J-Lo on! Go for the juicy doubles... ok I think you get the idea. It's good for the pelvis, back and the whole body!
Next on my Aligned and Well agenda is the Smart Digestion... (aiding with ailments such as chronic constipation, acid reflux, IBS, heartburn, bloating and difficulty swallowing)
though I'll probably wait until it's available for download.
I have been totally addicted to Katy's blog since I discovered it a few weeks ago.
She had a baby a few month back and has all kinds of amazing tips on keeping your baby aligned and well, and great tips for a natural pregnancy and birth. Seriously I cannot get enough!
Check out her "You Don't Know Squat" Post, to get a step by step instruction of how to squat.
It's not the typical lunge/squats you're used to. I have been adding these to my daily routine as well.
Slowly trying to increase the amount of time I am able to squat for. These are great for overall health but very much so in pregnancy and preparing for delivery!
Please join me in the support of Ontario Midwives and the campaign for Birth Centres in Ontario!
It's no secret, I have lots of love and admiration for midwives (especially my beloved Stratford Midwives!) You can read more on my personal experience here and here. Supporting this campaign is a no brainer for me, but in case you are unfamiliar with midwives and what birth centres are all about....
"So far more than 6000 people across the province have taken action by sending an e-postcard in support of birth centres to their MPP. We need to continue to keep the pressure on so please encourage your friends and family to send an e-postcard today." http://www.ontariomidwives.ca/
Lobby Day is September 15th, please contact your MPP and candidates in your riding to stress the importance of this voting issue! More details here
Why are Birth Centres Important?
“Birth centres can give midwives the opportunity to work to their full scope of practice, give low-risk mothers better access to maternal and newborn care, and enhance health care by making services more readily available and closer to home.”
- Tom Closson, President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association
Midwifery-led birth centres are an innovative solution to improve care and cut costs.
Midwifery-led birth centres support normal birth
The healthiest birth for the majority of women is a normal birth. However, in Ontario today, nearly one in three women delivers her newborn by c-section. This is at an all-time high – almost double the rate of 15% recommended by the World Health Organization. The increased rate of c-sections has been indexed to poorer outcomes. Data from the U.S.indicates that providing more c-sections has not resulted in any improvements in perinatal mortality rates.
The rate of c-sections for women in midwifery care is half the provincial average. Midwives are skilled at supporting normal, physiological birth and use these skills to try to ensure the most normal birth possible for all women in their care. Midwifery clients are diverse in age, cultural background and ethnicity, socio-economic status and health status. Midwifery-led birth centres will optimize care for normal birth for all women in midwifery care.
Safe, community-based care
Safe, normal birth is increased and unnecessary interventions, such as c-sections, are reduced in birth centres, when compared to hospital. The safety of birth centres has been well established. Community-based care in birth centres enables women and newborns to reduce their exposure to hospital-based infections and to outbreaks of the flu. Birth centres provide a place to labour and birth that are set apart from institutions that care for people with infectious diseases. Birth centres can help to make midwifery more accessible and help women and their families realize their goal of a normal and healthy childbirth.
Midwives deliver cost-effective care
C-sections are costing the Ontario health care system over $100 million every year. Midwifery-led birth centres can help decrease these costs by reducing interventions and supporting normal birth. The birth centre model has been proven to work in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. Closer to home, in Quebec, there is a well-established system of midwifery-led birth centres and Manitoba is opening a birth centre in the summer of 2011.
While surfing the web last week, I stumbled across this blog post.
Say What? Kegels are not all they have been cracked up to be?
I had been slipping on my dedicated kegel exercises as of late and had just given myself a stern talking to the other day, when I came upon the above article. Snap.
It totally makes sense.
Here's some snippets... click here to read the whole shbang
Mama Sweat: First, a lot of women just assume it's childbirth that causes incontinence, but I've read that pregnancy itself puts a strain on the bladder (so a c-section won't necessarily save you) and that most women, as they get older--whether they've had children or not--will likely experience problems with incontinence. And even men aren't immune. All this suggests that a weak pelvic floor doesn't discriminate.
Katy Bowman: Nulliparous women (that's women who've never had a baby) and men are equally affected with PFD (pelvic floor disorder) so while child birth may accelerate PF weakening, it is not a primary cause of PFD. PFD is first caused by slack in the pelvic floor due to the fact that the sacrum is moving anterior, into the bowl of the pelvis. Because the PF muscles attach from the coccyx to the pubic bone, the closer these bony attachments get, the more slack in the PF (the PF becomes a hammock).
MS: So rather than a hammock, you'd rather your PF be more like a stretcher--more firm and able to hold up weight without buckling?
KB: I like to think of the PF like a trampoline--the material is supple, but taut...the perfect muscle length.
MS: And kegels. Everyone on my blog has heard me preach about kegels. I want to make sure all my readers are doing them right. Suggestions?
KB: A kegel attempts to strengthen the PF, but it really only continues to pull the sacrum inward promoting even more weakness, and more PF gripping. The muscles that balance out the anterior pull on the sacrum are the glutes. A lack of glutes (having no butt) is what makes this group so much more susceptible to PFD. Zero lumbar curvature (missing the little curve at the small of the back) is the most telling sign that the PF is beginning to weaken. Deep, regular squats (pictured in hunter-gathering mama) create the posterior pull on the sacrum. Peeing like this in the shower is a great daily practice, as is relaxing the PF muscles to make sure that you're not squeezing the bathroom muscle closers too tight. Just close them enough...An easier way to say this is: Weak glutes + too many Kegels = PFD.
Are you dying yet? So crazy, who knew that peeing in the shower (guilt free) could be this good for you!
Check out Katy Bowman's (she's a biomechanical scientist y'all!) blog and website for more info on the how to strengthen your ladies parts with her video Down There (I just ordered myself a copy!)
She has a bunch of other videos as well- ranging from "When You Hurt All Over" to " Smart Digestion" and "Below the belt for Men" just to name a few.
I'll let you know how it goes once I receive the video.
I received a magazine called Mothering when I purchased my first kind of cloth diaper,
that diaper didn't work for us but the magazine was awesome!
Geared to "inspiring natural families since 1976", it's full of birth stories, recipes and tips and tricks for parents. I just stumbled upon my one and only issue the other day
so I searched for it online and found their website
They have ceased printing and opted for web-based publication now.
So I just ordered a few back copies of the magazine because I still like to read printed material (every now again!)
I love reading about other women's experiences and especially reading about pregnancy, birth and postpartum practices around the world. Maybe because I'm a bit of a birth story junkie!