Common discomforts in pregnancy, and how to soothe them.

Being pregnant can be the most wonderful time of a womans' life. She is growing another tiny human and all is blissful. She is glowing, radiant and gorgeous. Unfortunately, most every mom will be presented with some rather annoying, at best, and uncomfortable, at most, ailments during pregnancy. Here is a short list of common discomforts you might face in your own pregnancy, complete with some ways to soothe them. 

1. Swelling- Minor swelling is common for most mothers. If you find yourself pregnant during the dog days of summer, you might get an extra special helping of swelling. For most women, increasing fluids and electrolytes, resting with your feet up, taking an epsom salt bath and movement will help with any minor swelling. If you notice swelling in your face, call your care provider. This, coupled with high blood pressure and other symptoms, can be a sign of preeclampsia, a very serious condition to affect pregnant women. 

2. Backaches- As your belly grows with life, the strain to your lower back also increases. One of the best ways to remedy this is regular chiropractic care. I have been a long time patient and fan of the Dr.'s Duncan at Revolution Chiropractic, in NW Oklahoma City. Adam Duncan is Webster Certified and can greatly help ease your aching back. Rachel Duncan has a gentle approach and is great at providing lactation support to moms after baby is here.

Another way to help a backache is regular prenatal yoga. Karen Prior of Mamaste Yoga is a wealth of knowledge. Her classes are held around the Oklahoma City Metro area. She has a wonderful "Breathing for Labor" class, as well. If you're lucky enough to get a spot in that class, jump on it! You will learn how to stay strong and healthy throughout your pregnancy to head off any back pain that might normally accompany a new mom. 

3. Heartburn- This one can be tricky. Heartburn can be cause by many different things. Too much or too little stomach acid. Eating too much, to quickly, or lying down too soon after eating, etc. Papaya Enzymes were a favorite remedy of mine during my last 2 pregnancies, as were milkshakes. I found drinking room temperature water with a slice of lemon water to be the most effective, though. Drinking a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother, such as Bragg's) can help neutralize stomach acid well. Eating small, non acidic portions helps ease your digestion. 

4. Insomnia- Insomnia is nature's clever way of preparing you for parenthood. Waking every 2 hours to go to the bathroom has it's advantages, as well. For insomnia, start slow and work your way up on the potency factor of these remedies. A warm bath, perhaps with some lavender bath salts, epsom salts or chamomile added to the water is soothing and relaxing. A cup of chamomile to passionflower tea is a wonderful way to unwind in the evenings, perhaps with a nice boring book! Lavender essential oil diffused in your room will give you something meditative to breathe in for relaxing on those nights that the bath and tea aren't cutting it. When all else fails, counting sheep is a good standby! 

In conclusion, I hope you've found some of the suggestions helpful and insightful. Please, share your favorite pregnancy ailment remedy in the comments section! As always, feel free to contact me HERE for more information about my services. 



Holistic Care for Birth Workers

For centuries, women have passed their childbearing wisdom down from grandmother to mother to daughter. Today, we are lucky to have a plethora of (mis) information via the internet and from each and every woman who has given birth within a 50 mile radius around us. Women are usually eager to share their birth experiences. Sadly, most of them are enveloped in fear, degradation and regret. My drive for becoming a birth worker was to prove to women that you could have an empowering, fulfilling, even painless, birth. I have easily incorporated holistic ways into my client's information because that is the lifestyle I lead. It just seems natural to include it. 




Dandelions from my middle son, age 2. Loving nature comes naturally to him. 

Dandelions from my middle son, age 2. Loving nature comes naturally to him. 

As a doula, I have learned many things about Holistic Care as it pertains to pregnancy, birth and postpartum. It is not always teas and tinctures and sage and prayers. Sometimes, it's simply doing nothing. Taking in the "whole" situation and filling in the gaps to complete that circle of support.

I have also learned (through trial and error) how Holistic Care should look for the doula herself. When we are on our last legs, we are of no use to a mother who has been in labor for 48 hours straight. She needs you most in those final moments. Be present for her. Here are a few points that have shaped me along this journey:

1. Prepare for the unexpected- All of the affirmations in the world will not help you if you have not prepared for the unexpected. I have faced several such events over the last year and they have knocked the wind out of me, literally and figuratively. 

2. Listen to your intuition- Always. We are so connected to our intuition but often dismiss it because we feel silly, or don't want to hurt someone. Your intuition is your checkpoint. Always, always trust it. 

3. Sometimes, do nothing- This one is difficult. We are programed to help, to assist, to encourage. But sometimes, nothing is exactly what is needed. 

4. Never underestimate your energy and how it shapes a birth experience- One of my favorite sayings is "Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space." I find this really is poignant when attending a birth. My goal is to always bring pure, positive energy into a birth. And when the unexpected happens, I maintain that. 

5. Self care is important- As a birth worker, we are often running on protein bars and day old hospital coffee. This does no one any good. Be prepared with healthy snacks, a refillable water bottle, comfort measure for a quick nap, a toothbrush for those long births. Take the time to take care of you, so that you may take care of others.  

Always learning, I might look back on this list in 5 months and decide it is not longer valid. For now, it is. As I learn and grow, I hope to change as well. To fully immerse myself into this birth community and to watch it rise with love and hope. There are big changes on the horizon and I am elated to move into the next chapter of this calling.