Doula support in Chicago Suburbs

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Reiki For Pregnancy

Reiki is a specific form of energy healing that works with the Universal Life Energy in us all. Different cultures throughout the world use different names to refer to this Universal Life Energy, but the theme is the same – there is a current that connects all living things, and that animates us. And when we seek connection with that current, there can be a great benefit to both the giver and receiver.

 

We offer Reiki to our pregnant clients for deep relaxation, to speed recovery, and reduce pain. We love working with each person to understand what they are looking for from a Reiki session, and how we can create an incredible experience.

 

Having Reiki during pregnancy is a unique way to find a connection to your inner voice and your unborn child. The work of centering, connecting to, and tuning into one’s energy is a natural holistic process that allows for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

 

While going through pregnancy, it is not uncommon to feel out of control of your body. Going through such a large life-changing experience can also dredge up past feelings that have not been settled or healed completely. Having Reiki during pregnancy is a chance to connect and recover, and could help regain a sense of control.

 

Here are a few ways Reiki may be beneficial for you during your pregnancy:

 

  • Strengthen the bond between you and your child.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety, and increase feelings of calm.
  • Unlock fears or blocked chakras
  • Reduce feelings of fatigue and nausea.
  • Help with insomnia
  • Body aches

 

You can experience Reiki with us as a way to honor your pregnancy or to focus on your postpartum healing. For those looking to use Reiki during pregnancy, plan to have a relaxing session between one an a half to two hours in length, with guided meditation, and a fear-releasing exercise, in addition to Reiki Healing Energy work.

 

 

Blessings, Rituals, and Ways to Honor Your Pregnancy Journey

Imagine walking into a pleasant and caring space where you are the focus of an afternoon. There is no one there who adds to your anxiety, and everyone who you hope to see when you are at your most vulnerable.

A gathering of positive influence, nurturing energies, and valued trust, embodied by the friends and loved ones you wish to be a part of your pregnancy and postpartum experience.
Often times when “Mother Blessings” or pregnancy rituals are mentioned, their magic and appeal are lost in translation of what happens at the gathering. Sometimes messages are written for support. Sometimes affirmations are shared openly in person, sometimes instructions are dispersed to center focus and energy at the news labor has begun or birth is imminent.
What happens at a gathering of this sort, at an Honor Circle, is we take time to recognize the grandeur that is taking place. Life is being created. A mother is being born alongside her child, and we walk closer and tighter with those people who have come to prove themselves available to see and share in the glory of these fleeting moments.
But creating these kinds of spaces can be overwhelming. What rituals to undertake? What reading would be just right? How to make people feel included, while always keeping the focus on the person the gathering is honoring?
Curating these spaces is one of the things we feel called to help provide. We have worked to study, acknowledge, and respect the cultural origins of many blessing ways, and in no way seek to appropriate spaces which are not meant for outsiders.
However, we do subscribe to the belief that all birth is powerful, all life is sacred, and a gathering of pure intent can be designed to honor each individual mother. We seek to honor you, the mother, and we hope to bond the ties you have with your most trusted support tighter for this time when you will be stretched and tested.
If you are interested in learning more about how an Honor Circle can be a part of your pregnancy celebration, we would love to help you plan and execute an event to your liking. Be it for a 1st, 2nd, 4th or 10th baby, we would love to foster the growth of your personal village and affirm you in this incredible rite of passage.

4 Common Pregnancy Complaints and Holistic Solutions

4 Common Pregnancy Complaints

and Holistic Solutions

We have put together some holistic solutions to some of the most common pregnancy concerns.

Nausea – For some, nausea never comes, and for others, it can last through the entire pregnancy. However, for most, nausea typically comes mid-way through the first trimester and continues until the beginning or middle of the 2nd trimester.

Holistic options to consider:
  • Ginger – be it tea, a ginger chew, or a cookie, consuming ginger has helped many with pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
  • Peppermint – Drinking peppermint tea, eating peppermint candy, or even smelling peppermint through a diffuser can be helpful. *Peppermint can adversely impact breastfeeding relationships once the baby is born, however, using during pregnancy is not typically harmful
  • Eating small but frequent meals with protein, like yogurt, nuts, or chocolate milk.
  • Acupuncture – Nausea is one reason of many that having a relationship with an acupuncturist through pregnancy can be helpful.
* Acupuncture: There are well-known pressure points on the body that have been used for centuries (sea sickness wrist bands come to mind). Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that works to help with physical, emotional, and mental ailments. Some reasons pregnant people choose to see an acupuncturist during pregnancy: swelling, headache, stress, breech position, digestion, anxiety

 

Muscle soreness/cramps– Your body is working hard, and you are probably feeling it. Not only overall fatigue is normal in the first trimester, but muscle soreness and cramping are not uncommon.
Holistic options to consider:
  • Regular stretching in the morning and evening, such as yoga
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking deep breaths throughout the day to help expel any build up of lactic acid
  • Increase potassium consumption such as bananas, sweet potatoes, or spinach
  • Begin receiving regular prenatal massage
  • Get plenty of rest

 

Constipation – A common pregnancy complaint is constipation. Changes in hormone levels and slowed digestion, coupled with added pressure on your pelvic floor means you may be experiencing constipation.
Holistic options to consider:
  • Diet rich in fiber
  • Staying hydrated
  • Chiropractic care for alignment support
  • Regular exercises, such as pregnancy yoga or walking
  • Toilet Stool
  • Finding ways to reduce stress

 

Incontinence and Frequent Urination – It can be frustrating while pregnant because it is possible to experience incontinence AND constipation – they are not mutually exclusive. Incontinence is the lack of control over urination. The changes to organ placement, and the pressure being placed on the pelvic floor makes urinary incontinence a common pregnancy complaint.
While frequent urination may not be entirely relieved until your baby is delivered, there are some things to consider, for both it and incontinence.
Holistic options to consider:
  • Establishing a relationship with a physical therapist with training in pelvic floor health
  • Consider Yoga courses with a focus on pelvic floor
  • Breathing and full relaxation when using the restroom to allow for your bladder to be emptied entirely
  • Schedule and take frequent bathroom breaks
We love to work with our birth doula clients to help them relieve whatever symptoms they have in pregnancy.   Please comment what has worked for you during your pregnancy!  Connect with us on Instagram and Facebook

Self Love This Valentine’s Day

Self Love this Valentine’s Day

While many people are thinking about passion with Valentine’s day arriving soon, perhaps a little compassion will be extended as well. And not generally speaking – but love and compassion for working towards a healthier you.

Looking inward and having a vulnerable personal conversation about what you want, what you need, and how you wish to walk through the world is a gutsy gift to yourself this Valentine’s day. The questions get asked over and over, and how often do we stop and find a real answer to, “What do you want?”

What do you want to give in relationships?

How do you want to be treated?

What impact will you have?

However, before all of that. Before looking outward, the brave first step is to love your whole self and practice radical acceptance. All of your parts – those you are proud of and those you hide because of embarrassment or shame – all of those parts together make up the body, mind, and spirit of the unique you: a person who is deserving of the best and is capable of individual thoughts and feelings and change.

Connecting with ourselves is more than self care practices like an herbal bath or a pedicure (which are important too!). It’s taking an in-depth look into what helps us feel whole, and the things we each need to belong genuinely. For many, there is a need to heal wounds that get inflicted as we assimilate into a culture or society.

Take time for yourself to explore what needs attention.   One way to do this is to tune into Stephi Wagner as she describes the “mother wound” and helps people understand that there is an innate need for healing. More so, that we are all born into a pattern of being a person who is ready to re-connect, but that our parents, and ourselves as parents, are often not supported socially enough to then give to our babies and children.

Ways we might experience the mother wound, from Stephi Wagner:
  • Feeling like we are “not enough”
  • Feeling like we are “too much”
  • Being tone policed by others for our authentic feelings
  • Feeling shame about our authentic feelings
  • Struggling to make and maintain boundaries
  • Shame storms: “I AM a bad mistake” (shame) rather than “I made a bad mistake” (guilt)
  • Feeling responsible for other people’s feelings
  • Accepting poor treatment from other people
  • Self-sabotaging by backing away on the brink of a success
  • Attenuation: trying to stay small in body, mind, impact,
Does anything stand out in this list? A significant first step could be writing about your reactions to these points and exploring where your memories and feelings take you. If conversations come from your writing, find ways to be gentle with yourself as you involve others in your healing process. Also, if necessary, consider the professional guidance of a therapist.
Learning to love ourselves and make changes necessary to reflect the support we need is part of the process of self-healing.
So this Valentine’s Day, while giving love, and showing gratitude to others in our communities with treats and decorations is a beautiful tradition, consider your deeper needs, and investing time is something that could have a lasting positive impact on you.

Do you have any thoughts you would like to share about your healing journey?  Please post below and join us on our Facebook Page.

 

Surviving Winter Pregnancy

Surviving Winter Pregnancy

Being pregnant during winter months brings unique challenges to the forefront, and we’re not talking about trying to find a jacket that fits comfortably around your torso. No, winter months are simply a lot of work for pregnant people, on top of other difficulties that can come from pregnancy.

If you are pregnant this winter, we hope it is an experience filled with cozy fires and relaxation in your home, and not red-noses and shuffling down the sidewalk on the lookout for icy patches.

A few common complaints about being a winter pregnancy have to do with the weather and soreness and muscle pain. The cold weather can make anyone’s muscles tense! If you have hunched shoulders, back and hip pain, or tight calf or shin pain from taking shorter steps in the cold, take a big deep breath…

…and take a bath.

I know, I know! They say to avoid baths with super hot temperatures. We are not advocating for you to raise your body temperature so significantly that you are sweating while bathing. What we are saying, is that in the winter, finding a way to be completely surrounded by a warmth that promotes a certain distance from the world is hard to find. Being in the water is one way to have some of that distance.

For sore muscles, we suggest adding Epsom salts to your water. And don’t be shy. Add a full cup or two. Let the stresses from the day slowly ease out and enjoy some time to be fully in your mind and your body.

If you are concerned about dry winter skin being exacerbated by the bath, add a small amount of body oil to your water. When you are ready to leave the water, take a minute before grabbing a towel, to rub in the thin layer of bath oil into your skin to help keep dryness at bay.

After getting warm and relaxed, take a few moments to really stretch. If possible and desired, have your partner give a gentle massage on the places you feel most sore. Here is a great guided video.

Another common complaint during a winter pregnancy is treating sickness or keeping it at bay. Many over the counter medicines are not recommended during pregnancy, as well as many other medications.

So what can you do to keep a cold at bay?

Bone Broth – Essentially long-simmered stock to allow as much of the bone collagen to seep into the fluid of the broth. Some choose to roast the bones in the oven before starting their Bone Broth to help with flavor and for a deep brown color. It is not the same as any stock you find in the store, and it is recommended by home remedy purists to make your own or have it come from a loving friend, especially if your friend is a kitchen witch.  It is  great for your hair, nails, and skin, but also promotes strong gut health.

Elderberry syrup – With vitamins A, B, and C stimulating the immune system, and the berries seem to be able to “disarm the enzyme virus’s use to penetrate healthy cells.” It can be hand-made, but is also readily available as a syrup or gummy. Cote has some delicious syrup in stock in her Our Healing Roots Etsy store.  This syrup been help to stave off sickness in our families for many cold and flu seasons!

Wash your hands with soap. Often. Bacteria and viruses have extended living time on surfaces and can be easily transferred through touch and the air. Some viruses live longer in the cold weather, and that paired with the closer contact of us all staying inside more often in colder months can increase the likelihood of spread illness.

If you are interested in learning more about a medication you would like to take or are currently taking, MotherToBaby has an extensive fact sheet database you can search.

If you are looking for herbal remedies, there is still reason to do your research. Luckily we have a trained herbalist here on staff, Cote Garceau, who is skilled in discussing the purpose and methods for using natural medicine that can support you. You can find Cote’s herbal work here or you can search locally to find an herbalist near you. Here are is a great blog on the use of herbs during pregnancy by the amazing Aviva Romm.

surviving winter pregnancy

elderberry syrup, homemade, local, immune booster

Kane County Happenings

Winter Break Family Fun In The Western Suburbs

The days between Christmas and going back to school can be hard to navigate! Maybe you just need a little break, or a fun activity to break up the day. Or perhaps you want to start a new family tradition! Whatever your reason there are great options in Kane County and Chicago’s Western Suburbs! With just a short drive, you have the following events and locations at your fingertips!

We hope you enjoy the last days of 2018 and find a peaceful and harmonious beginning to the new year!

St Charles

St. Charles, IL
Family Fun Fest Pheasant Run Dec 28-30
Fun for the whole family with indoor activities for all ages.    

Geneva

Geneva, IL
Ice Skating Rink at Geneva Commons
Shoe rental available Open until January 13th    

Mooseheart, IL
Holiday Lights at Mooseheart
One of Chicagolands’s largest displays running 5:00PM-9:00PM nightly through Monday, December 31st.
$10 per car    

Naperville

Naperville, IL
Family Fun New Years Eve
Dupage Children’s Museum
This annual year-end celebration, now in its 17th year, has become a holiday tradition for families and is an important fundraiser for the Museum.  

Warrenville

Warrenville, IL
Star Wars Fun and Games
Ages 3 and up Dec 28th, noon to 3 pm at Stream Tutoring
You can drop your child at this event or participate together!

Theatre Arts for Kids
Ages 6 and up at Stream Tutoring Jan 3rd, 9am-12
Full events page for Stream Tutoring https://www.facebook.com/pg/StreamTutoring/events/…

Aurora, IL
Family New Year’s Eve Bash
December 31, 11am-1pm
Vaughan Athletic Center  

Wheaton

Wheaton, IL
Cosley Zoo
Zoo Lights
Through December 30th Lights come on at 3pm, closes at 9pm

Elgin, IL
Lil’ Kickers open house
Jan 5th, 9am-12, games, and activities for age 18 months to 8 years.
Free

Elgin Public Museum
Story Hour
Jan 5th, 11am-Noon Free

Western Suburbs, Lisle

Lisle, IL
Tree lights at Morton Arboretum
Until Jan 1st, 430-9:30pm

Darien, IL
Mighty MidKid Family Gaming – For kids grades 1-6 and their family.
Wii Mario Kart, Playstation games and family favorites or try a new board game. Snacks will be served. No registration needed.
Dec 28th, 2-4:30pm
Free

Other locations to explore
Story Times at your local library
The Lego Discovery Center in Schaumburg
Chicago Botanic Garden in Winter
Carol Stream Ice Rink

What is a Holistic Doula, and other FAQs


What is a Holistic Doula, and Other FAQs

Holistic Family Doulas is a team of committed professionals who view birth as a sacred space that will be remembered for the rest of your life. We believe fully in our role as a birth keeper, where we witness your choices enacted into unique experiences that have never come before, and will never be repeated. We honor each journey and hold space, share wisdom, and offer support with knowledge, experience, and intuition. Here are some common questions about doula support.

Q: What is a holistic doula?
A: Holistic doula care addresses the mind, body, and spirit through a variety of tools and products picked up from holistic doula training certifications and intuitive healing practices.

Q: What types of tools and practices do you use in your holistic doula care?
A: We use meditation, exercises, positions, organic products, reiki, and intuition to help you understand your beliefs about birth, increase awareness of your body’s energy, and explore your fears as part of preparing for birth and parenting.

Q: How are doulas and midwives different?
A: Your midwife or doctor is the person who is responsible for medical decisions while attending to your prenatal care and labor. They care and appreciate the process of birth, but they are not present as connected support to you and your birth like a doula.

When you hire a doula, you are opting to bring a person into your space who is aware of you at all times in labor and birth. Your doula is with you, for you, and supporting you when you are learning, processing, choosing, working, and rejoicing your birth. Also, in situations where there is a disappointment, unmet goals, and delicate outcomes, your doula is still there, aware of the vast emotional landscape, offering options, a calm respite, and solidarity through your experiences.

Q: Does a doula replace the father or partner at the birth?
A: Absolutely not. As a holistic doula team, we understand the vital work your relationship has undergone to reach this point. We hope to celebrate with all the people you want in attendance at your birth, support them as they participate in your delivery as they are able, and suggest ways to bring you and your partner together in the adrenaline-rich stunned-wonder that can freeze even the most prepared couple.

Q: Will a doula be helpful if I’m planning to have an epidural?
A: An epidural is a tool that can offer pain relief in labor. However, labor is not merely about pain management. Having a doula for your birth allows for support through decisions in early labor, help to unpack your comfort and questions with possible interventions, and give you physical and emotional care once you have had your epidural placed.

Working through labor with an epidural still requires nuance and care. A doula encourages your pelvis to remain dynamic when you are not able to leave a bed and helps you stay connected to your experience.

Q: When should I hire a doula?
A: With Holistic Family Doulas, we recommend you look into doula care and make your decisions between 26-32 weeks, if not before!  The earlier the better as we are full of knowledge about providers, and have a ton of referrals when you need something else like a recommended massage therapist or chiropractor.   We like to allow time for two prenatal meetings and to build a relationship. However, we have been able to accommodate clients after 32 weeks gestation-up until the birth! Your choice to hire a doula reflects your style and preference, and we respect that your timeline is individual.

Preparing for Life after Birth

Holistic Family Doulas is thrilled to host this popular postpartum workshop with our friends at My Mindful Birth in their new beautiful space. Join us for a fun evening while empowering yourself to navigate the often forgotten fourth trimester. Surrounded by other pregnant or new moms, you will gain knowledge and tips and create your own products to ease your transition into motherhood.
Workshop includes:
– Education about benefits and uses of herbs that can be used during pregnancy and postpartum
– How to create a healthy self care practice during postpartum. This includes tips for sleep, feeding yourself and baby, dealing with visitors, recognizing postpartum depression, etc.
– Creating your own herbal blend that can be used as a healing bath after birth. (Retail $20)
– Create and take home your own soothing witch hazel and aloe pads (Retail $15)
– Belly binding demonstration. Belly Binding provides increased physical support and helps in the recovery process.

Purchase Tickets: https://lifeafterbirthworkshopnaperville.eventbrite.com

Price: $45

Minumin of 5 people registered to run event.

Review from a past participant:
“I took a class with Lara and Cote on preparing for postpartum. I was very happy for the experience! I loved that the class was hands on and individualized to our group. I even got some goodies to take home. This class really helped me think about the postpartum period and what my needs might be. The ladies are very professional but down to earth and easy to relate to. I felt very comfortable talking about childbirth. I would recommend any of their services.”
– Angel H.