Once you have a baby, your beauty routine pretty much flies out the window. Who has time for all of the exfoliating, toning, washing, applying of makeup, plucking, moisturizing, etc. that women are "supposed" to do? As a mom of two busy (busy, busy) children, I have had to tailor my morning and evening routines immensely. In doing my research and trying to use more natural products, I have actually found a wonderful, easy, routine that creates glowing, healthy skin in all weather conditions.
You want to know the secret don't you?
Yes, this wonderful oil has been used to centuries (even millennia) for skin care. At first I was wary of using an oil on my skin, wouldn't that make it an oily mess?
To the contrary, I found that it has made my skin remarkably soft, smooth, and acne free. I have better skin now than I ever did in high school or college. SO if you want to try out a simple all-natural (only one ingredient) wash and moisturizer, read on!
FACIAL WASH: Combine one tsp of coconut oil with a small pinch of baking soda. Rub this gently all over your DRY face. Make sure to rub over your closed eyes, as this is a wonderful makeup remover! After a minute or two of massaging, rinse with water that is as hot as you can stand. Rinse you face about three or four times, then gently pat dry (do not rub). You skin will appear and feel slightly oily for a few minutes as your skin absorbs the coconut oil. No worries, once it is absorbed you will maintain a beautiful sheen and your skin will look and feel very healthy! I do this wash both in the morning and afternoon. If the baking soda feels like too much, just save it for once a day washing and use just plain coconut oil. If you are allergic to coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil can be substituted!
MOISTURIZER: I do wash my face once every few days with Dr. Bronner's Castille Peppermint Soap. Afterwards, I use coconut oil as a moisturizer. This can also be a great moisturizer for your skin all over your body. It can be used as a carrier oil for any essential oils that you would like to use as well!
MAKEUP REMOVER: Use coconut oil to gently remove makeup. Use the same instructions as with the facial wash, but omit the baking soda.
I hope this helps you to green your routine and make it super simple. By nourishing your skin with a simple but effective beauty routine, you will set yourself up for a lifetime of beautiful skin!
Belly binding is a traditional postpartum practice in many societies of the world and involves wrapping a binding around your abdomen and wearing it for a certain duration of time (usually hours per day) depending on your needs. Bengkung Belly Binding is specifically found in Malaysia and Japan and it can be used both in pregnancy and postpartum.
Benefits of Belly Binding
How does it work?
In order to bind a woman’s belly, the practitioner will need a long strip of cloth, usually an unbleached muslin, although it can be dyed to create a truly beautiful binding. The muslin is wrapped around the belly in a specific pattern, with the woman helping out by holding onto the loose end. The pattern forms a series of knots along the front of the belly in a vertical line.
The binding should be tight enough that it feels snug but loose enough that the woman is able to breathe. When binding a pregnant belly, the practitioner should be able to put a finger or two in between the binding and the woman’s belly. In both cases, the binding is worn over a soft tank top or shirt in order to protect delicate abdominal skin. Women who have had C-sections can also receive a belly binding, although it may be a smart idea to wait until a few weeks postpartum so the incision has time to heal.
Who can bind my belly?
I am trained in Belly Binding and there are other practitioners available in our area as well. Most offer packages with additional visits to perform another binding. Some women like to have a spouse or support person with them to learn how to bind so that they can wear it more often, even everyday in the first weeks postpartum. Visit my Web site for more details and to book your belly binding visit!
Cloth Diapers are a great way to save your family money and help decrease waste on our planet. I personally have used both cloth and disposables and find that cloth is really my favorite choice! They are much easier to use than most people think, and there is an over abundance of information online for parents looking to use cloth. Below, I have some general information that will be helpful to any parent thinking about cloth diapering.
Types of Cloth Diapers
Dirty Diaper Pails - because even the cutest of cloth diapers is still a diaper!
Washing Dirty Cloth Diapers - Some tips
Diaper Jungle www.diaperjungle.com
Cotton Babies www.cottonbabies.com
Kelly’s Closet www.kellyscloset.com
Breastfeeding is BEST! Your breasts are amazing and the best way to nourish your new baby. Below is some helpful information to get you started. This and other information can be found in some great breastfeeding resource books, such as the La Leche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.
Getting off to a great start: 3 classic tips
Breastfeeding holds and positions
Laid back breastfeeding or Biological breastfeeding: baby is placed on your chest with his head near your breast while you are in a semi-reclined position. Your whole body is supported by pillows, including your neck and head. The baby will instinctively find your nipple as you guide him towards that area. Good for: quick let down, tired mom, getting into a comfortable position that will aid in your own relaxation.
Find more info at biologicalnurturing.com
Football hold: Baby’s head is at your breast and his body is along the side of your body, somewhat like you are holding a football. Your hand supports his head while your opposite hand holds your breast in a U shape and presents the areola to the baby.
Good for: short frenulum, short tongue, receding chin, C-sections, premies.
Cross-Cradle: Baby lies across your abdomen, one arm holding his head in place and running down the length of his body. Your other hand presents your breast in a C shape.
Good for: newborns and premies.
Cradle Hold: Baby’s head rests in the crook of your arm and his body along your forearm. Your opposite hand presents the baby your breast in a C hold.
Good for: once baby has a good latch and you are an old pro!
Side-lying: Mother and baby lie facing each other. Baby’s head is on your bottom arm. Good for: more nighttime sleep (!), nap nursing, once baby has a good latch.
Find more information and great illustrations at http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html
Signs of adequate intake
Mothers and fathers alike are all worried about their breastfeeding babies when it comes to making sure he or she is getting enough milk. Ideally, you would have a scale available 24 hours a day, but for most of us this is not the case. Make sure you check output, which, according to many books and breastfeeding resources, is a great way to tell if baby is getting enough to eat. Look for at least 6 wet and 3-4 poopy diapers per day, depending on the age of the baby. Light yellow urine, a baby who is satisfied for 1.5-3 hours after a feeding, and breasts that are noticeably lighter after a feeding are also signs your baby is well nourished. Kelly Mom is a great Web site that can answer questions in regards to normal newborn breastfeeding activity.
If you are ever concerned, you can contact your pediatrician, an IBCLC, lactation consultant, or your local chapter of the La Leche League.
Your nutrition postpartum should reflect your habits from pregnancy. Your calorie intake may even rise if you are breastfeeding, so take care to eat when you are hungry and carry snacks and a water bottle with you, especially in these first months.
Some of you may hail from a culturally rich family that has specific foods to eat during the postpartum time. Many traditional cultures and tribal cultures eat warm, healing foods such as soups made with bone broth, teas, and plenty of easy to digest vegetables and meats. However, in our culture many of us are left to fend for ourselves. If you don't know what to eat postpartum to help your body heal, you can follow the easy guidelines below. Who know, maybe it will become a habit to eat healing, whole foods and your whole life will change as a result!
Cornerstones of Good Health
Keep it Simple
A Few Recipes to Help You!
I hope this helps you to plan for your pregnancy and postpartum! Are there any specific things you are doing to prepare your body or heal your body postpartum? Write to me in the comments below!
What is Colic?
Pain in the abdomen, usually caused by digestive discomforts. It can due to reflux, gas, food sensitivities, immature digestive and nervous systems, overstimulation, etc. Your baby is considered colicky if she cries for more than 3 hours a day on more than 3 days per week.
Remedies for Colic
A colicky baby can wear on a parent's nerves quickly. Do not shake your baby or leave your baby in a crib to cry. If you are feeling overwhelmed, get help from a friend, your partner, a relative, neighbor, or other trusted person. In the meantime, remember that your baby is very sensitive during this “fourth trimester” of life. Giving him the love he deserves will help him learn to trust in you. You are doing great, and many parents are going through the same thing at this very same time! Take care of yourself when you can so that you may have the energy to handle colic if and when it comes.
If you need more support, check out the resources page on my site or look into hiring a postpartum doula! Additionally, you can contact me directly.
Wearing your baby can be such a special memory. Babies just love to be snuggled up next to their mommas, dads, and other loving caregivers. If you are not a first time mother, you have the added advantage of keeping your hands can be free to help with other little ones.
Some parents choose to purchase a few different carriers so that they can wear their babies from newborn to toddler. I personally loved wearing my babies, and still do! My husband does to, and I think it makes him feel more involved in parenting, especially when he is away at work for most of the day. My own mother has even gotten in on the baby wearing love, proof that grandparents can reap the benefits as well!
Let's demystify the concept of baby wearing. There are so many benefits, so many types of carriers to choose from, and so many ways to go about it. Your approach will be unique to yours and your baby's needs. When you use baby wearing as a parenting tool, it can be an extremely effective way to strengthen your bond with your children!
Benefits for Baby (and Mom too!) from Babywearing International
Popularity is quickly on the rise so many carriers can be found in mainstream baby stores and specialty stores such as Target, Right Start, and secondhand stores. Online, there are many retailers including Etsy, Amazon, Diapers.com, and small online shops. Take care, with some carriers you may want to try it on before purchasing! A doula or postpartum doula can help you in your decision as well, as sometimes we have a variety of wraps to bring into your home and let you try on before making a final investment.
For more information
Our communities are made up of many different people. At the core and center of every community, however, sits the family unit. It doesn’t matter what background we come from or what job we go to each day, what church we attend or what sexual label we are given. Having our family to come home to makes all the difference. Home is where we learn what really matters. As a postpartum doula, I feel that I will have the honor of helping families through one of the biggest transitions any of us can make, into the role of parents (or parents of multiple children).
Our culture is getting much better in terms of supporting women through pregnancy. There are even magazines, special classes, special spa packages, and special clothing stores for mamas-to-be. I am so very happy that this trend is catching on. It does worry me, however, that our culture is one of the only ones in the world that doesn’t support the mother-baby relationship postpartum. Hospitals and doctors insist on separating newborns and mothers through small non-emergent procedures right after birth, working mothers only get a few precious weeks with their new little babies, and women are expected to do too much alone while they are still trying to heal themselves both physically and emotionally after a major life transition. Because of this, mother-baby bonding can’t happen (or doesn’t happen as easily), women aren’t able to breastfeed as long, and postpartum depression and anxiety are on the rise.
As a postpartum doula, I hope to change these statistics, one family at a time. I hope to be there for the mother (and father) and support her in this huge life transition so that she can heal and gain confidence in her parenting abilities. I can’t imagine what the outcomes would be if every woman received this kind of postpartum care. Can you? Postpartum depression would probably decrease because women would not feel so isolated and alone. They would also have the chance to talk about emotions or their birth story and heal in that way. Any questions they have about newborn care or breastfeeding could be answered without a worried call to the pediatrician. Physically, women would be much more well rested and therefore would heal faster, even after a C-section or stitches from a tear. And we all know that a happy mother means a happy partner and a happy baby.
If we take care of the mothers in our community, we have the chance to create long lasting effects. Happier mothers, children, and partners can mean a more well balanced and happy community. So, as a postpartum doula, I hope to make my community a better place to live by giving every parent-baby relationship the best start. From there, a baby can grow in a community of love and become an independent and well rounded adult. Families are the core of our community, and the parent-baby relationship is at the core of each and every family.
I have officially set up shop with a new Web site! I am so excited to start serving Evanston families. Everything is still getting tweaked but soon my site will contain more content and resources for expecting parents. Check back soon for some blog posts with great information about what it means to be a postpartum doula as well as what a postpartum doula can do to help YOUR family!
Hi, and thanks for stopping by! My name is Rose and I am a yoga teacher, postpartum doula and mother of three residing just north of Chicago. Be sure to check out my site and email me with any questions or insights. I would love to hear from you!