What is birth like for them? How long do they have with their babies before they’re separated? Why do some birth in shackles? And is it possible for incarcerated mothers to breastfeed?
To answer these questions we spoke with Marianne Bullock, co-founder of The Prison Birth Project, a non profit organization providing support, education, advocacy, and activism training to women at the intersection of the criminal justice system and motherhood.
In this month’s podcast interview we speak with naturopathic physician Dr. Laila Tomsovic about preconception cleansing. We ask when to do it, whether cleansing is safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding, which foods are especially cleansing, and about the role of exercise and stress reduction in a cleanse. You may also be interested in our interview with Dr. Tomsovic on nutrition for fertility.
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
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
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
What are hemorrhoids, and why are we more likely to get them during pregnancy?
Hemorrhoids are a result of increased blood flow in pregnancy, particularly to those below your uterus. These veins can become dilated and swollen, and itch, burn, and bleed.
How can you prevent hemorrhoids in pregnancy?
The key to preventing hemorrhoids is avoiding constipation, which puts extra pressure on your rectum during bowel movements. To prevent or reduce constipation, you can:
If you have hemorrhoids, what can you do to treat them?
Image credit: Wikimedia CommonsPin It
But stretch marks can sometimes be prevented or minimized with some simple, natural measures.
How do stretch marks start and progress? It’s no surprise that stretch marks in pregnancy are a result of the rapid stretching of the skin on your belly, breasts, and related areas. They often start as red, pink, purple, brown, reddish brown, or dark brown, depending on your skin tone. Later they often turn to a white or silver color, sometimes with deep indentations. There is some evidence that the likelihood of having them is hereditary. So if your mom had them, you may be more likely to have them, too. Factors such as being a younger age at pregnancy, having a bigger baby or larger weight gain, and higher body mass index are associated with higher risk of having stretch marks.
Once stretch marks have reached the silver or white color, often with deep indentations, it’s harder to treat them. But at earlier stages, and before they’ve appeared at all, there are some simple and natural steps you can take to prevent or minimize them.
Start early. As we noted, treating skin before stretch marks appear, or while they’re in the early stages, will increase the chances of minimizing them. The greatest risk for stretch marks is in the third trimester when your belly is stretching the most, so start with these recommendations early in your pregnancy.
Moisturize. Keeping skin moisturized makes it more elastic and more able to stretch without damage. Moisturize several times a day with a product rich in oils your skin can absorb. Water based products will sit on top of your skin, but oil based products like our Pregnant Belly Salve and Pregnant Belly Oil will hydrate your skin and keep it pliable.
Hydrate. Keeping yourself well hydrated on the inside is not only good for your baby, it may help your skin stay less dry and more elastic. Choose filtered water over juices, which spike your blood sugar and are missing the fiber of whole fruit. And avoid caffeinated beverages because they contribute to dehydration.
Eat for healthy skin. Consider these tips for a diet rich in skin-supporting vitamins and fats, including Vitamin A, C, E, and omega 3 fatty acids, as well as collagen. Note that supplementation with Vitamin A can cause birth defects, so aim to get your vitamins from whole foods and a prenatal vitamin.
Exercise for healthy weight gain. Above we mentioned that higher weight gain and having a higher birth weight baby are associated with stretch marks. Not all of our pregnancy weight gain is within our control, but an exercise program approved by your health care provider may help you keep your weight gain in a healthy range, decreasing the risk of stretch marks. If you have gestational diabetes, and so are at risk of having a higher birth weight baby, working with your providers to control your blood sugar is an effective way to control your baby’s birth weight and prevent stretch marks, too.
Control itching with soothing herbs. Stretch marks are often itchy, and scratching them can cause further damage to your skin. So choose a moisturizer which contains herbs which soothe irritated skin. Our and Pregnant Belly Salve and Pregnant Belly Oil contain herbs such as chamomile and calendula which naturally soothe itchy skin.
Stick to safe ingredients. As with all body care products you use during pregnancy, be sure that the ingredients in the moisturizer you use are free of harmful chemicals. Our Pregnant Belly Oil and Pregnant Belly Salve both have “zero” ratings (the safest) on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.
There are laser treatments for stretch marks which you can investigate, and other topical treatments using chemical ingredients. But for natural prevention and minimizing of stretch marks, we recommend these simple steps.Pin It
In this podcast interview we explore the link between nutrition and fertility with naturopathic physician Dr. Laila Tomsovic. We discuss how to use your diet to maximize fertility – and even your partners – and answer some of your submitted questions.
And check out this page on Dr. Tomsovic’s website which is devoted to fertility and diet.
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