Category Archives: What’s New

Honoring The 4th Trimester

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Pregnancy is such a beautiful and sacred time! Our bodies grow bigger with each moon as we shift from maiden to mothers and wait excitedly for the arrival of our sweet baby. There is lots of preparation in anticipation of THE DAY your little one will be born but nothing truly prepares us for what is to come. Labor & birth are a fascinating journey that will transform you in ways you might have never imagined, but what comes after the birth is something not many mothers think about or prepare for. Yes, many books touch briefly on the postpartum period and most parenting classes teach you newborn care and breastfeeding basics but the truth is that once your baby is born, most of the attention shifts to THE BABY and as a culture, we tend to neglect the huge change the mother is going through in the postpartum period and we tend to create unrealistic expectations of what this time should look like.

The fourth trimester refers to those first three months of your baby’s life. Those first months where you are not only getting to know this new little person but also getting to know yourself as a mother and adjusting to your new life. Your body is healing from birth, your breasts are producing milk, and your mind is focused on what your baby needs and can easily neglect or ignore what YOU might need during this transition. Early postpartum can be a very emotional and difficult time, our bodies are literally going through some significant hormonal changes that can make us feel all sort of emotions that we might not even understand; in addition to very little sleep which can make anyone feel like a crazy person. As we nourish our babies with our precious milk, we also experience the physical demand of breastfeeding and may feel ran down especially if not well nourished or have any essential vitamin and mineral deficiencies which is very common in postpartum moms. But what I am trying to tell you is that despite all these new challenges and barriers you are likely to experience, this time can also be a very magical time if you implement some simple yet important guidelines for your well being.

Writing your Birth Story

Not necessarily to share with the world but for your own processing. The sooner you get this done, the fresher and richer the details will be! You may want to talk about it with family or close friends who will listen. Expressing your impressions of this profound experience and your transformation is a very important step to your postpartum healing.

Getting Enough Rest

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Have you heard of the term Babymoon? It’s basically a honeymoon but with your baby! No exotic destination needed for Babymooning, you’ll spend your days laying on your bed or lounging on the couch, nursing and cuddling your baby while reading a book, watching all those shows you been wanting to watch and sleeping. It might be hard to lay all day if you are an active person or if you are used to be out and about but honoring this rest and recovery period for at least the first 3-4 weeks after birthing will help your transition be much gentler and will provide the perfect environment for peaceful bonding. It will also help you stay focused on healing and establishing breastfeeding . Try to not even leave the house during this period and of course limit visitors so you are not feeling like you have to entertain anyone. A basic rule is, if you are not comfortable being topless in front of them, don’t let them in your cocoon while Babymooning! As you begin to gently venture out into the world again and receive more visitors, make sure you take at least one nap with your baby a day. “Sleep when your baby sleeps” is some of the best advice a new mother can receive! By implementing this resting routine, you are going to feel good even if you are waking up several times at night because you’ll feel well rested and therefore sane, happier and better equipped to care for your baby!

Nourishing your Body

Eating nutritious foods and drinking plenty of fluids during the postpartum period is as important as it was when you were pregnant. Planning for your postpartum nourishment before you give birth is a very wise idea. Ask your family or close friends to set up Meal Train so once your baby is born, you can focus on bonding & recovering and not worrying about what’s for dinner. You and your partner can also stock up on favorite foods, easy healthy snacks and pre-homemade meals that you can store in the freezer. After birthing, warm soups and broths are the best nourishment a new mama can receive. Think about what you put in your body and choose foods that are easy for you to digest. Aim to have at least three main meals and healthy snacks in between every day. Herbal teas such as Red Raspberry leaf, Hibiscus, and Alfalfa (amongst others) can promote healing and balance.

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Getting Help

This part sounds easier than it actually is. Most of us have a hard time asking for help, especially as we step into our new role of caregivers and feel the need to have everything under control. But I’m here to tell you that this attitude will not be at all helpful and to remind you that “It takes a village to raise a child”. So don’t hesitate to ask for help when you are feeling overwhelmed, tired or just need a break. After all, you are just human and EVERYONE reaches a breaking point. Talk to your partner about how you are feeling emotionally and physically and listen to your body! You can ask for help before you reach your breaking point and therefore be better company for anyone around you, including your baby. If you don’t have family or close friends around, hire a Postpartum Doula!

Pampering Yourself

This might mean different things to each of us but the key is to do what feels good to you and finding what brings you joy and doing it as often as possible. As we become mothers and focus ALL of our attention on our babies, it gets harder and harder to make time for ourselves. But taking care of ourselves is as important as taking care of our baby! Remember those lovely demos flight attendants usually do before the airplane takes off? They say, in case of an emergency to ALWAYS put your oxygen mask on first before your child’s! This applies to motherhood as well! Because when we don’t take care of ourselves and we reach that point of exhaustion and burn out, it gets harder to take care of others and we are not the best caregivers. So find what fills your oxygen tank so you have plenty of energy and love to share with those around you!

Here are some ideas: 

  • Take a long shower
  • Get a postpartum massage
  • Take a relaxing herbal bath
  • Schedule some alone time
  • Get a pedicure or a haircut
  • Put on some make up

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    Toning your Body

    It’s important to allow your body to rest and heal in the first 6 weeks after birth. As you gradually regain your strength, and when you feel ready, you can slowly begin toning your body internally and externally. DO NOT strain or push yourself to get back to your pre-pregnancy body too quickly! If you do, you risk injury. Remember that it took you 10 months or so to gradually gain weight during pregnancy and allow yourself TIME to gradually lose the pounds returning to your pre-pregnancy size. You can include your baby as you move and stretch your body in ways that feel good and help you regain your strength. Once again, find what works best for you. Take a daily walk, begin an exercise program, attend a Mommy & Baby Yoga class, or put on some music and dance with your baby!  It can be simple or more demanding depending on your ability and preference but regardless, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY as you become more active again. Remember to always warm up before vigorous activity, cool down before you stop and breathe as you tone your body.

 

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Merry EVERYTHING!

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Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa Blessings, Happy two weeks off from school!!!

Whatever it is that your family celebrates, we wish you a joyful Winter break and a wonderFULL NEW YEAR!

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The three BEST gifts under our tree!

 

A BIG Announcement!

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Hey there! A LOT has happened over here since the last post and I have been a very busy mama! But I wanted to take a moment to announce the birth of the newest member of our family, Antonio! Yes, HE IS HERE! and he is a BOY! I am now the proud mama of three adorable and very handsome boys. If you had read my previous post about trying to conceive a girl, you now know that none of that worked and that the mystery of life had other plans for us. I am by no means sad or disappointed, I am very happy that he was finally born after waiting for 42 weeks and 1 day, and that he is healthy and BEAUTIFUL! Really, he is so adorable and such a peaceful baby, I couldn’t ask for more! Welcome Earthside sweet cheeks!

Antonio announcement

 

 

37 weeks … Surrendering

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I have to admit I have abandoned my blog a bit this pregnancy but I want to give all of you a quick update of what’s been going on. We’ve been busy getting ready to welcome our little one, nesting, and sewing lots of Bengkung Belly Binds! I can barely believe I’m already 37 weeks and that soon we’ll be holding and meeting our sweet baby! It’s so exciting! 

Preparing for the arrival of our baby has been different than past pregnancies. This time I feel very relaxed and focused on what needs to be done. This week we are taking everything out of our bedroom and deep cleaning the carpet! On Friday, I’ll be honored with a Blessingway and then my calendar seems wide open for when little baby decides to show up.  We as a family have envisioned March 7th to be the day our baby will be born. We all agreed that it would be nice to have the baby be born on a Friday after the kids come back from school. They would come home to find me in labor, around dinner time we meet our baby, and then everyone goes to bed and we have the whole weekend together to enjoy the newest member of our family. Doesn’t sound like a great plan?! We’ll see if this little one is on board with our vision! I am surrendering to the possibilities!

As part of our preparation for birthing, this past weekend my husband and I went on a pre baby getaway. We left the kids with my parents and drove two and a half hours away to Venice Beach, FL were we enjoyed 3 days of sleeping in, swimming in a heated pool, drumming and dancing on the beach at sunset, finding shark’s teeth, and eating lots of seafood! We even got to see a dolphin very close to shore on our last day there. It was amazing! I think all couples deserve a time away by themselves (whether they already have kids or not) to reconnect with each other and just have some vacation time before the arrival of a new baby. We came back refreshed and more mentally prepared for what lies ahead of us in the next month or so.

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Swimming in Venice Beach, FL

Other things I’ve done this time around to honor my journey are:  A Belly Castwhich will become a belly bowl that we’ll use as the Salt Bowl at my Blessingway later this week. Pregnancy Photography, with two of my very talented photographer friends! Miriphoto and Fresca Foto. Belly Henna, done by another talented friend of mine from World Henna. Pregnancy massages by various healing hands (including my wonderful husband and children). And Chiropractic adjustments which have REALLY helped me with the lower back discomfort created by carrying around 40 extra pounds. Check out Beyond Chiropractic who is having their grand opening event tomorrow with lots of good fun!

Mother NaturAle

Taking in all the goodness by Miriphoto

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Feeling beautiful and full of life by Fresca Foto

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Flowering Earth by World Henna

I am really looking forward to the next couple of weeks where we will continue to build our warm sweet nest as we wait for our baby to be born. In the meantime, I will make the effort to keep posting and then of course the big announcement will follow! Stay tuned!

Love & light!

Sacred Pregnancy Classes!

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Most women find themselves wishing for something MORE as they experience pregnancy. More understanding, more community, more being heard, more ritual, more food, more dance, more honoring! Sacred Pregnancy classes are that “MORE”, it redefines the journey of pregnancy, taking it deeper into the emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects of not only growing a new life, but finding a sisterhood to share it with . Mother NaturAle is proud to co-facilitate, along with Ellen Dostie from E. Rose Services, the first series of Sacred Pregnancy classes in Orlando, “Pregnancy Journey”. This series is an 8 week journey for expecting mamas to explore their paths through art, expression, laughter, honoring and celebration with the intention to empower each other and witness each others process during this powerFULL time of their journeys into motherhood. Classes are starting on Monday Oct 28th at Shine On Yoga! To find more information about what the classes are, pricing, and registration; please visit our Sacred Pregnancy page. There’s a special discount for those mamas who register first!

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New Slings!

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Babies who are worn are happy babies they:

  • Cry less
  • Are more calm 
  • Sleep more peacefully
  • Nurse better
  • Develop better

Babywearing enhances parent-baby bonding, breastfeeding, reconnection with working parents and baby transitions from one caregiver to another. It also gives parents the ability to meet their baby’s needs while still getting things done!

Babies need physical contact just as they need food, air, warmth, and shelter. 

Mother NaturAle Slings are custom made to order with love.

Click here to check out our newest sling fabrics!

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Conscious Conception

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Neither of my two born children were planned, they were as I like to call them, gifts from God. My first son’s name is Mateo which actually means gift from God! However, I believe at some unconscious level the choice to conceive was made and therefore the experience proceeded. 

My boys are now ages 8 and 4 and for a while now I have been desiring to have a girl. I have been asking the universe for the opportunity to mother a daughter and I have been inviting her spirit to join our family. Earlier this year, my husband and I decided to go ahead and remove my IUD (Intrauterine device) as the first step towards conceiving another child. I knew it wasn’t going to take long to get pregnant and it didn’t! I had been very aware of my cycle for a few years by using the Natural Birth Control Method which involved tracking my temperature daily and paying closed attention to the consistency of my cervical fluid and the position of my cervix to anticipate ovulation. Something I suggest every woman learns about in order to get familiar with her own cycle and have more management over her birth control or pregnancy achievement. A book that explains this method very well is “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. 

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Since we really wanted to conceive a girl, I did some  research on the science behind gender selection and I came across the term swaying.  Swaying is basically a method based on 7 factors used to increase the odds of having a certain gender. The 7 factors are: pH, ions, minerals, diet, hormones, supplements, and timing. There are TONS of detailed information on what to do and what to avoid and honestly the idea of doing it all felt a bit extreme. I believe conceiving a child alone is a miracle of its own but I couldn’t ignore my desire to have a daughter. Knowing that swaying is not 100% guaranteed, I decided  to follow  what felt right and ignore the rest.  I read that the more time you prepare your body the higher the chances of achieving the results you want but our  process happened rather quickly! I took my IUD out in April and got pregnant in June! It was an interesting process and we won’t know how successful our attempts were until March 2014 when our baby arrives!

Diet, ph and timing were the factors that made more sense to me. I also chose to incorporate some of the information I learned on ions. According to my research, the optimal diet for TTC (trying to conceive) a girl is rich in Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium and Potassium. When it comes to pH for TTC a girl, the ideal is 4-4.5 for cervical fluid and 7-7.5 for semen. These ranges are considerable low than what they are naturally so we made some efforts on making both of our bodies more acidic which was quite a challenge since alkaline is what we normally aim for. This process involved checking the pH level of my cervical fluid almost daily and more than once a day when we were in window as well as taking certain supplements and eating particular foods that would make both of our bodies more acidic. The timing also made sense to me taking into consideration the theory that the female producing sperm (XX) is larger, swims slower, and lives longer while the male producing sperm (XY) is smaller, swims faster but is susceptible to harsh conditions such as acidity in the vaginal canal. This theory known as The Shettles Method, based on the work of Dr. Landrum Shettles, also suggests having sex 2-4 days before ovulation to conceive a girl, which we followed. I also read somewhere that if the man masturbates at least once a day preceding the 2-4 day window before ovulation, there are more XX sperm produced and therefore the chances of conceiving a girl increase. We tried that as well. Supposedly there are certain sexual positions and other methods that encourage the XX sperm to get to the egg instead of the XY sperm. It is also highly suggested that women don’t orgasm because this makes the vaginal canal and cervix more alkaline. That part was not possible for me to follow! As far as ions, I learned that they can affect the polarity of your egg and your pH. In TTC a girl, exposure to negative ions is what’s recommended. We chose to incorporated some negative ion elements such as salt rock lamps in our bedroom and stones such as amethyst, hematite, and rose quartz. We also conceived during a new moon in the summer season which also influence the negative ions and hopefully increased our chances of making a girl!

Knowing that we didn’t follow the ALL the swaying suggestions and only went with what made sense to us, leaves some room to the mystery that life is. It really excites me not to know the baby’s gender and waiting to be surprised at the birth. I also trust that life will provide me with the experience I need to have. So we’ll patiently wait to see if our attempts were successful or not. In the meantime, we’ll be thinking of some boys names just in case. Of course we already have a girl’s name picked! The reality is that I am pregnant and I couldn’t be happier about that. It’s been an amazing journey so far!

What do you think about all this? Have you tried any swaying methods? Did it work? Share your experience!