Category: parenting

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Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable: Consider Some Pros and Cons

One of the things that may surprise you after having been a parent for some time is the amount of energy and thought parents put into their child’s poop. A conversation about the frequency and consistency of your child’s bowel movements sometimes starts before birth. It continues until you are confident that wiping, flushing, and washing are all happening consistently.

Meconium, or your baby’s first stool, is a thick black substance that acts as a sort of plug to your baby’s digestive system, and if dispelled while in utero, is a sign your baby may be in distress. Next are counting and tracking. How many bowel movements is your baby having a day, becomes a question that indicates your baby’s system is working well, or is off, or, can be a part of troubleshooting slow weight gain. 

The next way parents occupy their time with baby poop is with encouragement! Seeing how hard your baby has to work, or not, sometimes elicits a, “Wow! Great job!” or a sympathetic, “I know it’s hard; you can do it.” Meanwhile, your baby is displaying a spectacular grimace and grunts through his or her process. 

Besides tracking the consistency and color in their first weeks of life, another popular poop conversation is the sheer force and explosions that can happen. Poop-splosions and exploding diapers that cannot contain the mess mean parents are sometimes elbow-deep in their kid’s poop. 

But what about the diaper? Your baby is so precious that choosing what to put on their sensitive buns makes sense. If you are at the point of considering or re-considering your baby’s diaper, here are some practical pros and cons to consider.

 

Cloth Diaper

Pros: 

  • Produces less landfill waste
  • Modern cloth diapers come in a wide variety and often work exactly like disposable diapers with tabs and snaps
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Can be a cost-effective way to diaper your child, costing a few hundred dollars for the span of your child’s use instead of thousands. 
  • They can be charming, with patterns and colors!
  • Depending on where you live, hiring a diaper service may be an option if you are not interested in washing the diapers yourself. 
  • Can be helpful for potty training, as the baby can feel when he or she is wet

Cons: 

  • Time requirements: You’ll need a system and schedule for making sure you don’t run out of diapers! Washing and Drying often take multiple hours, or more, to process
  • Unless washing often, the diaper pail can create a severe funk
  • You usually can’t wash your diapers in public wash facilities or communal wash spaces, like apartment buildings or Laundromats. 
  • Traveling can still happen, but there is some extra planning necessary. 
  • A family member may not understand your choice, and there may be conversations about parenting choices and style being none of their business. 
  • Daycare centers often don’t allow cloth diaper use.

 

Disposable Diaper

Pros: 

  • readily available. If you run out of diapers, you have options at almost every drug store, grocery store, and big box store, not to mention same-day delivery from Amazon
  • You can manage the diaper funk smell by taking out the trash
  • You can add them to your registry, and have a stockpile to offset the cost
  • They are easy. On, off, change, done. 

Cons: 

  • Cost. On average, your baby will use 8-12 diapers a day for 2.5-3 years, or roughly $70-$80 per month. 
  • Cost on the environment: Disposable diapers take roughly200-300 years to decompose in landfills, and introduce pathogens into the environment during that time. 
  • Skin sensitivity. Disposable diapers have many chemicals that could make your baby’s skin irritable.
  • Can delay potty training, as the materials in diapers surround the wetness, and babies don’t often feel when they are wet. 

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.