We’re very happy to share a podcast interview on trauma from childbirth, with Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, health psychologist and trauma expert.
Dr. Kendall-Tackett is health psychologist, and Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics. She is president-elect of the Trauma Division of the American Psychological Association, and the incoming editor-in-chief of the Journal of Psychological Trauma. She has authored more than 300 articles and 24 books on maternal depression, trauma, family violence and breastfeeding, including Depression in New Mothers and Breastfeeding Made Simple.
Dr. Kendall-Tackett discussed what trauma looks like, what experiences tend to cause trauma, partners and trauma, strategies for healing from trauma, ideas for preparing for a subsequent birth, and post-traumatic growth. She also discusses the relationship between trauma and breastfeeding, and answers your questions submitted on Facebook.
We’ve got a salve for that!
Motherlove’s line of protective and soothing herbal salves provides natural and effective relief to get you through many skin problems:
Motherlove’s Pregnant Belly Salve is an all natural way to prevent and soothe stretch marks. Certified organic herbs added to a scar-healing base of shea butter do wonders to prevent, soothe, and minimize stretch marks. You can use our Pregnant Belly Salve on dry heels, elbows, your c-section scar, even chapped lips. The stars of this salve are marshmallow, which softens skin and soothes skin irritations; rosehips, which helps prevent scarring and hydrates the skin; calendula, an an all purpose skin healing herb; and chamomile, an anti-inflammatory herb which softens skin.
Motherlove’s Green Salve is all-purpose, multi-tasking soother and healer. This organic, all natural salve is the perfect remedy for rashes, and chapped or irritated skin, including eczema. In winter it’s great for dry, chapped skin; in summer it’s great for taking the itch out of bug bites, bee stings, and poison ivy. Green Salve contains extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, plantain herb, comfrey herb, marshmallow root, and calendula flower. Plantain herb is known as “nature’s band aid” because it is excellent for healing wounds and drawing out toxins. Comfrey herb is nicknamed “knitbone,” as it quickly heals wounds and prevents scarring. Marshmallow and calendula soothe, heal, and soften skin.
Motherlove’s Nipple Cream is made with all certified organic ingredients which heal and soothe sore, cracked nursing nipples. Motherlove’s Nipple Cream contains extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root, calendula. All ingredients are safe for ingestion, so it does not need to be washed off prior to nursing. Have leftover Nipple Cream? Here are 13 more ways to use our Nipple Cream including using it on chapped lips, dry elbows, and even to tame frizzy hair!
Motherlove’s Diaper Rash & Thrush is an all-natural salve made with certified organic ingredients for persistent, inflamed diaper rash. It contains healing herbs oregon grape root to clear up skin conditions, yarrow to soothe rashes, myrrh to fight bacteria and yeast overgrowth, and calendula to soothe skin. If you’ve been treating diaper rash unsuccessfully with other products, your baby may have a yeast infection which requires a product with antifungal properties. Our Diaper Rash & Thrush salve is diaper safe and compatible with all diapers including cloth. This salve can also be used on nursing nipples, and does not need to be washed off nipples prior to nursing.
Motherlove’s Tattoo Care is a certified organic salve which provides optimal moisturizing and healing properties for a new tattoo, yet retains a consistency that is comfortable to apply while tattooing or to a fresh tattoo. Unlike petroleum-based products, Motherlove Tattoo Care allows the skin to breathe, and allows ink to fully penetrate the skin. Made with calendula flowers and marshmallow root, infused in extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, and shea butter, it keeps pores from getting clogged and promotes a quicker healing time.
Motherlove’s Rhoid Balm is a certified organic balm which provides immediate relief for inflamed tissues. It contains a soothing combination of herbs including witch hazel, recommended by moms and doctors alike to reduce swelling, slow bleeding, and ease the discomfort of hemorrhoids
Dry air from heating systems, winter winds, and even tissues can make our skin dry and irritated. Here are some herbs to keep your skin stay healthy:
Calendula is an all purpose skin healer used to stop bleeding, wash wounds, heal cuts, abscesses, rashes, boils, chapped skin, and eczema. It’s an ingredient in many Motherlove products, including our Nipple Cream and Green Salve.
Rosehips (the seedpod of the rose flower) are known to hydrate the skin and are wonderful to use for a face wash, steams and herbal baths. Rosehip oil also helps prevent scarring. The hips are very high in Vitamin C. Rosehips are an ingredient in many of our products, including our Pregnant Belly Oil and Salve.
Chamomile is an herb you may know in the form of a tea, but it’s also an anti-inflammatory herb which is also used on sores, rashes, scaly skin, sunburn, and windburn, to soften skin and to reduce wrinkles. You’ll find chamomile in many of our products, including our Pregnant Belly Oil and Salve.
Marshmallow softens skin and soothes skin irritations. And it’s good for winter colds, too. The tea is soothing to mucus membranes, swollen glands, and irritations of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urinary tract. You’ll find it in our Nipple Cream and Green Salve.
Water. Okay, it’s not an herb, but we include it as a reminder that staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to keep your skin happy. Running a humidifier may also mitigate the effects of dry air.
And however you choose to soothe your skin the winter, be sure to use avoid products which contain chemicals that may irritate your skin further.Pin It
Up to 62% of women may experience carpal tunnel symptoms during pregnancy. Typical symptoms include numbness and tingling in the fingers, burning wrist pain, and loss of grip strength and dexterity. Pain is usually worse at night. Sometimes these pains extend up the arm and even to the shoulder.
While carpal tunnel syndrome is usually associated with people who do repetitive hand movements, it’s common in pregnancy because the increased fluid load of pregnancy puts extra pressure on the median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel formed by the wrist bones.
For most pregnant women, this pain goes away within a few months of giving birth, as the fluid load decreases. For a smaller number of some women, the pain begins during breastfeeding perhaps due to repetitive hand positions.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, discuss them with your health care provider. In pregnancy, she may recommend modifying your activity, wearing splints, diuretics, and if necessary, steroid injections. There are also natural therapies which may help with carpal tunnel pain, but you should always check with your health care provider before trying them.
During breastfeeding, using side-lying or laid-back breastfeeding positions may also reduce discomfort. Nursing in positions which keep the baby upright with minimal use of your hands – such as nursing a sling or other carrier – may also reduce discomfort.
* This post is intended as educational only, and not as medical advice. Please seek advice from your health care provider for care.Pin It
As many as 18% of all women experience trauma related to childbirth, one third of whom experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Yet despite its widespread nature, the experience of birth-related trauma can be an isolating one, as mothers are encouraged to focus on their babies and quickly “get over” their birth experience. Trauma can affect a mother – and a partner’s – ability to connect with their baby, carry out normal activities, and can also impair breastfeeding.
Fortunately there are some good resources available to mothers who are experiencing birth-related trauma, which we are happy to share below. But first, some common questions about birth-related trauma.
Do you have PTSD related to your birth? Here are some common characteristic features, according to the Birth Trauma Association:
What are some common triggers for birth-related PTSD? Again, according to the Birth Trauma Association:
What are some resources for help for mothers and partners experiencing birth-related PTSD?
Connect with other moms. Connecting with other moms helps you see that you’re not alone. There are a number of online communities for mothers experiencing birth-related trauma, including Solace for Mothers, Birth Trauma Association’s Facebook page, and Baby Center.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is considered by trauma experts, including the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense and the American Psychological Association, to be a front line treatment for PTSD. EMDR involves thinking about the traumatic experience while experiencing a stimulus engaging both sides of your perception. This might mean moving your eyes back and forth, listening to a tapping sound in alternating ears, or feeling a tapping on alternating knees. EMDR typically reduces symptoms after just a few sessions. To find a certified EMDR professional, see the EMDR Institute or the EMDR International Association.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy which addresses beliefs caused by trauma and helps to counter conditioned-fear responses related to the traumatic experience. To find a CBT therapist, search the websites of the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapist’s or the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
Medications. You may want to discuss medication options with your healthcare provider. A summary of medication options is provided here.
Care for partners. Partners can experience trauma related to childbirth as well. Encourage partners to seek help if they are experiencing trauma.
Is it okay if your child just takes short cat naps during the day?
Can you make an “early bird” sleep longer in the morning?
As parents we’re often desperate for help with infant sleep. But sleep continues to be an important issue throughout childhood, and it certainly is for toddler and preschool-age kids.
That’s why we’re grateful that Elizabeth Pantley, well known author of The No Cry Sleep Solution and The No Cry Nap Solution has also written The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers. And it’s why we’re very excited to share this podcast interview with her!
In this interview, Tanya speaks with Elizabeth about both nap time and nighttime sleep. And Elizabeth also answers some questions posted for her on our Facebook page by you!Pin It
What are the advantages of a liquid extract over a dried herbal supplement or tea?
Motherlove liquid extracts are made with only the highest quality certified organic herbs – picked and processed at peak potency. A liquid extract maintains this quality over time and has a high rate of absorbability. Dried powdered herbs can lose potency over time, making them less effective and requiring higher dosage amounts.
What is the difference between Motherlove alcohol based extracts and the alcohol-free extracts?
Initially, both products’ herbal components are extracted in alcohol and water. An alcohol/water blend is the preferred medium as it extracts the widest range of constituents from the herbs. The amount of alcohol in the finished extract is minimal and is not contraindicated in breastfeeding, but it does have a sharp taste.
In the alcohol-free products, the alcohol is slowly steamed away without removing the important herbal constituents. Glycerin, a syrup derived from coconuts, is then added to replace the alcohol. Motherlove offers alcohol-free choices in the More Milk Plus, More Milk Special Blend, More Milk Two, and Fenugreek products. All capsules are also alcohol-free.
Does the alcohol affect my baby?
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that a small amount of alcohol is compatible with breastfeeding, and that alcohol is out of breast milk within two hours after consumption. Our alcohol-based tinctures contain a very small amount of alcohol, about the equivalent of one glass of wine consumed over a 2- week timeframe. If there is a concern about alcohol content, Motherlove does have alcohol-free liquid extracts and vegetarian capsules available.
What is the difference between Motherlove’s liquid extracts and Motherlove’s capsules?
Initially the herbal components in all our formulas are extracted in grain alcohol and water, resulting in what is commonly known as a tincture. For our alcohol-free extracts the alcohol is then slowly removed without destroying the important herbal constituents. Glycerin, derived from coconuts, is added in place of the alcohol; acting as a natural preservative and giving the tincture a sweeter taste. To make our capsules, we again remove the alcohol and add coconut oil and soy lecithin as a natural preservative. This is then encapsulated in a vegetarian capsule. The liquid extracts and the capsules have the same herbal strength per dose. Liquid extracts are more quickly absorbed through the mucus membranes in the mouth than the capsules, which take about 1/2 hour to digest and enter the system. Many women prefer the capsules due to the strong taste of the liquid extracts.
Are Motherlove products gluten-free?
Yes, all Motherlove products are gluten-free.
Are there any known side effects from Motherlove products?
Commonly, fenugreek may cause increased perspiration, gas and/or loose stools, and the body may excrete a maple syrup-like smell when taking it alone. Both fenugreek and goat’s rue can lower blood sugar levels. Women who are insulin dependent or hypoglycemic may want to consult with a health care provider prior to use. As with any ingested food or product, if adverse effects appear in mother or baby, discontinue use.
Are allergic reactions to Motherlove herbal extracts possible?
Any ingested food has the potential for allergic reaction. Motherlove’s liquid extracts do not contain any dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten or soy. The vegetarian capsules do contain non-GMO soy lecithin. Fenugreek and goat’s rue are in the legume family, as are soy and peanuts. Those with allergies to plants in this family should use these products with caution. Discontinue use if side effects appear in mother or baby.
Can Motherlove products be used with other medications?
Our products can be taken along with many other medications. Please call us with any concerns. We keep books on file to research specific contraindications with the herbs we use in our products and other medications. Please consult a health care practitioner with contraindication concerns.Pin It
Herbs can be a huge help in maintaining the health of your skin during pregnancy, soothing and preventing stretch marks. But did you know that they can also help heal and minimize your cesarean scar?
Here are some herbs which can applied topically – once your incision has fully healed and your health care provider approves – to assist in the healing and minimizing of your c-section scar.* You may also want to listen to our podcast on caring for your c-section.
And when looking for products which contain these ingredients, be sure not to choose ones with body care ingredients to avoid.
Aloe vera is a classic skin healer, used for nearly thousands of years to soothe burns, moisturize, and condition skin.
Calendula, an herb we use in our Pregnant Belly Oil, Pregnant Belly Salve, Nipple Cream, Diaper Rash & Thrush, Rhoid Balm, is an an all-purpose skin healing herb used to stop bleeding, wash wounds, heal cuts, abscesses, rashes, boils, chapped skin, and eczema.
Sea buckthorn is an orange berry heralded for the its rare omega 7 fatty acids, high Vitamin C content, and its anti-inflammatory properties, all of which can condition the skin.
Jojoba seed oil was first used by Native Americans in order to heal and condition skin and hair. It’s also useful as a treatment for burns.
Gotu kola has been used for centuries to heal wounds and treat skin conditions.
St. John’s Wort is better known for its effects on mood, but it’s also a useful herb for skin healing and burn care.
* This information is provided for educational purposes only, and is not medical advice. Consult your health care provider before using this information, and never apply topical agents to your c-section scar before it has healed.
Image credit: Wikimedia CommonsPin It
What can you do in pregnancy to keep your baby in the anterior position? And can you change the position of the baby once labor has started?
Our podcast guest, Michelle L’Esperance answers these questions and more. Michelle is a certified professional midwife, doula and doula trainer, and runs workshops on creative movement for birth which help parents encourage optimal fetal positioning.Pin It
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