why you should consume your placenta

The top reasons why and how you should eat your placenta

Those of you who know me are asking how whether you should eat your placenta or not hasn’t been covered already.

Those of you who don’t know me:

why you should consume your placenta

 

Placentas are cool. Like, seriously freakin’ cool. This neato organ develops and grows with a baby in utero. It acts as a nutrient deliverer, toxin remover, immune building lifeline for the developing fetus. Plus, it’s edible.

It’s literally all that and a bag of placenta chips (if you choose to go down that route, of course).

Okay, I’ve now made two inferences to consuming this amazing body part. You’re probably wondering WTF?!

Fair enough, but let me explain.

Health benefits if you choose to eat your placenta:

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increased breastmilk supply

-decreased potential of postpartum depression

-assists in healing from birth

-increase in energy

-iron supply

This is a highly debated subject amongst Western and Chinese cultures. Traditional Chinese medicine has been practicing placenta consumption for hundreds of years and believes it has many benefits. Most Western medicine practitioners, however, tend to be more skeptical and don’t promote it often. Most of the information surrounding the efficacy of if you should eat your placenta is anecdotal in Western society.

I suggest you do your research, but keep an open mind. There isn’t hard, scientific fact surrounding the benefits if you eat your placenta so you have to make your own conclusion on the matter. My opinion is that it worked for me, and I would suggest it for most women who have just given birth!

Personally, I’ve done it after three births. I experienced most of the noted benefits, although I did experience post-partum depression with my third and fourth babies (keep in mind that I’ve also struggled with anxiety and depression for many years-so post-partum depression was probably inevitable to some degree).

My experiences were amazing and I have no regrets except one: Finding out about the possibility of placenta truffles after I decided our fourth would be our last baby!

Ways to consume your placenta:

-smoothie

-chocolates

-encapsulation

-tincture

-added to a meal (maybe don’t disclose to anyone who’s eating at your house that you’ve done this before)

 

I opted for encapsulation each time. The placenta gets sliced, dehydrated, and ground up. Then, the powder gets put into capsules. You can definitely do this yourself, but I arranged with a doula while I was pregnant to have her do all the hard work. I figured I’d done enough hard work and didn’t need to add any more pressure on myself. Before my placenta was taken to my lovely doula I snagged a small piece of raw placenta to add to a smoothie while I waited for my capsules. I added enough delicious berries and yogurt to not taste a single bit of that placenta.

**Note: Nobody wants a sip of your placenta smoothie. Don’t offer.

When she brought back my 2 month supply of pills I was thrilled! I took them faithfully every day and was happy with the results.

 

Have you experienced placenta consumption? Tell me how you did it!

 

what do contractions feel like social media

What do contractions feel like?

If you want to know what contractions feel like I highly suggest asking a man what it feels like to be kicked in the testicles. Apparently it’s quite similar but is a million times worse*, so you can get an idea of the pain that you’re about to experience based on their experience.

*Based on a survey of all men ever.

I’m kidding….about the comparison part. Can you tell I’m a little bitter about the “getting kicked in the testicles is as painful as childbirth” debate? Ugh.

I digress. Back to what contractions feel like.

There are a lot of variables that will dictate how your contractions will feel. We’ll go over them in this post so that you can get a sense of what you can expect to feel throughout the stages of your labor.

What do contractions feel like?

It's normal and understandable to want to know what contractions feel like. These factors will contribute to what contractions feel like for you.

What stage of labor are you in?

In the beginning stages of your labor, you may feel tightening in your stomach. In fact, you might be like “am I about to have a baby, or am I going to have diarrhea….?”. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where you’re like “oh, no, definitely having a baby” because a) the pain will become stronger and more consistently spaced out, and b) you probably won’t have diarrhea.

As you progress in your labor you’ll notice that your contractions are different:

Prelabor– There is no real measure for this. The length and intensity range greatly.

Stage 1 (Latent phase)- These contractions are usually short (between 30 seconds to 1 minute) and are spaced anywhere from 5-20 minutes apart. At this point, things like music or a card game might easily distract you from the discomfort.

Active phase- This is when you begin to see some consistency. These contractions will become stronger, will last about a minute, and are spaced relatively evenly apart.

Transition- This is when you might begin to say curse words that you never even thought possible. Your contractions will last anywhere from 1-1.5 minutes and occur around every two minutes. This is when things become intense and you have very little time for rest.

Stage 2 (pushing)– Your contractions become less of the focus here. Your baby is moving down your birth canal and you now have significant pressure in your pelvis. You will feel contractions around every 3 minutes, and they will be intense. However, the “ring of fire” will become your new fixation.

Stage 3 (placenta delivery)– The contractions will be over, however, you may feel some strong cramping as you begin to deliver your placenta and receive your complimentary fundal massage.

Stage 4 (Recovery)– This is one of those things that no one tells you about; the after cramps.

Fuck.

You may not experience them much with your first, but by the time you get to your third and fourth kid you’ll think you’re in labor again.

Are you on pain medications?

There are options for pain relief when it comes to your labor.

There are some, such as nitrous oxide, that will dull the pain a bit, or there’s an epidural that will take the pain away almost entirely.

These are measures that you’ll need to look into before you go into labor so that you’re educated on your options. You don’t have to necessarily say “yay” or “nay” to any one before you go into labor as you typically are able to go with the flow. However, there is a time frame for some things, such as an epidural.

If you’re finding that the contractions feel like they’re becoming unbearable make sure that you talk to your healthcare provider so that you can work together to find pain relief measures that work for you.

What other pain reliefs are you utilizing?

Many folks find ways other than pain medications to reduce the pain that they feel from their contractions.

Things such as breathing, birth affirmations, birthing balls, and hypnobirthing, and more can help with pain management.

How high is your pain tolerance?

Let’s face it. Some of us have a lower pain tolerance than others.

Some folks can walk on a broken leg while others break down at a scratch.

If you’re someone with a low pain tolerance you may find that your contractions feel like they’re harder to cope with than someone who has a higher pain tolerance.

Now you’ve read this and you’re like “this lady didn’t answer my damn question.”

The things is that when it comes to what your contractions will feel like it’s really hard to say for each individual. There will be times in your labor where your contractions will feel like labor isn’t so bad after all, and there will be times where you’re going to wonder if you can keep going (you can).

If you’re trying to figure out an exact measurement of pain I cannot give it to you, but I can say that your contractions will hurt. Fortunately, we live in an age of loads of research on natural pain relief as well as a variety of pain relief medications. Spend some time during your pregnancy to figure out how you will cope with your contractions in a way that works for you!

Have you been in labor before? How would you describe what contractions feel like?

How to tie a stretchy baby wrap

How to tie a stretchy baby wrap

When it comes to things you CANNOT live without after you’ve had a baby, a stretchy baby wrap is high on my list.

It gives you an opportunity to give your baby the closeness that they so desire during the fourth trimester while giving you free hands to do whatever it is that you need to do.

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    You can wear a stretchy baby wrap overtop of your shirt or put it on shirtless and put your nearly naked (only diapered) baby inside to maximize skin to skin. You can read all about why I recommend baby wearing your newborn in this post.

    Of all the things that you need for your newborn a stretchy baby wrap is high on the list. Here's how to use one!

    While a stretchy baby wrap is a fantastically wonderful tool in the world of motherhood it does takes some getting used to. It’s essentially a really long piece of stretchy fabric that you wrap around your body and then put your baby into. It’ll seem difficult at first, but I promise you that it will get easier the more times you use it!

    I recommend the Solly Baby stretchy wrap. There are loads of colours and patterns to choose from and they’re sustainably sourced and made in the USA! You can use my affiliate link here to get yours!

    How to tie a stretchy baby wrap

    Find the middle of your wrap. You can do this by grabbing the two ends and then finding the other end.
    There is often an indicator in the middle of the wrap, such as a logo or tag. You can use this as a guide. Place the middle about 3” above your belly button.
    Bring the pieces behind your back and cross it over.
    Being careful not to twist the material, bring the pieces over your shoulders to the front.
    Gather the pieces in front of you.
    Put them UNDERNEATH the front pieces that goes over your belly.
    Grab the pieces so that they’re apart from one another.
    Cross those pieces.
    Bring them behind you and cross.
    Bring to the front and tie. You’ve tied your wrap! Now, it’s time to put your baby in.
    Put your baby on your shoulder.
    Put one of their legs under the piece that’s coming over top of your shoulder.
    Fan out the material so that it covers the top of your baby.
    Do the same thing on the other side.
    Fan out the material on both sides.
    Bring the front flap part that was over your belly (that you put the shoulder pieces underneath of) over top of your baby.
    Make sure your baby’s head is turned so they can breathe. (Check out T.I.C.K.S. below)
    There you have it! That’s how you tie a stretchy baby wrap!

    You can also check out this video on how to do it here.

    Remember T.I.C.K.S. once you have your baby in the carrier:

    TIGHT-Is the carrier snug enough to keep your baby secure?

    IN VIEW-Can you see your baby’s face?

    CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS-Can you lean down and kiss your baby’s head?

    KEEP CHIN OFF CHEST– Make sure that your baby’s air passage isn’t restricted by keeping a two fingers width between their chin and chest

    SUPPORTED-Your baby’s back should be supported and uncurled. Try pressing gently into their back and make sure that their position doesn’t get closer to you or uncurl once you release.

    when you're overdue

    Things not to do when you’re overdue

    When you’re given a due date it’s hard to deal when that date comes and goes and suddenly you’re overdue.

    The average typical gestation is 40 weeks. Of course, this is an average but it’s funny how hopeful we become when we’re immensely uncomfortable and supposed to get relief on a certain day.

    Let me tell you, once you’ve reached your due date you reach a whole new level of “get this kid out of me”.

    If you’re like me you’ve had 1, or 2, 3, or 4 babies AFTER your due date, so reading on, please do understand that I’m VERY empathetic to your situation!

    Things NOT to do while waiting for your overdue baby:

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    Forget that your “due date” is actually an “estimated due date”.

    I’m sorry to tell you, but there’s no real sure-fire way to know when your baby will come unless you have a scheduled cesarean.

    Jump on the trampoline.

    Seriously, you can barely waddle my way up the stairs. You’ll more than likely break something if you start jumping on the trampoline and it won’t likely be your water.

    Have sex, go for long walks, and eat spicy food.

    Ok, so none of those things are actually a bad idea unless you figure doing all 3 at the same time would be most effective. (*Avoid sex if your water has broken, you have vaginal bleeding, or you’ve been told by your healthcare professional to avoid it.)

    Tell anyone when your due date was.

    Of course, you're getting super excited to meet your baby, but there are a few things you shouldn't do when you're overdue!

    The sympathetic looks and “hang in there” comments won’t make the baby come any faster, and it’ll just get increasingly more annoying. You’ll also likely get daily phone calls from your family asking if the baby is born yet. My suggestion: Let them know that you have not had the baby yet and that you will certainly let them know…in your voicemail message.

    Beg, threaten, or bribe baby.

    Trust me, your baby doesn’t care if you’re willing to give it $100.

    Eat baby out of house and home.

    The 45 lbs of raspberries on the counter seems like an appropriate way to overcrowd baby. Nope. You’ll get a massive bellyache in your massive belly bump…and still no baby.

     

    Unfortunately, the only thing you can really do is…WAIT. Ahhh, I know. That’s not what you wanted to hear, but your baby will come when they’re ready.

    In the meantime, take advantage of the things you can do when you’re overdue:

    -Rest

    -Finish getting ready for baby

    -Make some freezer meals

    -Use your belly to get you to the front of the coffee line up

    -Enjoy those last few times of telling people you’re not pregnant when they ask when you’re due

     

    Did anything work for you to encourage your baby to come?

     

     

    baby poop stains

    How to get baby poop stains out of clothes

    Oh, baby poop. It’s smelly, it’s sticky, it’s squishy, and it’s seemingly impossible to get baby poop stains out of clothes.

    How do baby poop stains get in clothes, you ask?

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      Two words: Explosive diaper.

      Okay, so this is the more extreme way that baby poop stains can get onto clothes, but it’s definitely one of the more significant ones. You may also end up getting baby poop stains on their clothes as you change them, and they also might kick their tiny foot in there as you wish that you had 8 more arms to get everything done faster.

      How do you get baby poop stains out of clothes?

      The Modern Day side of me says to burn anything that has a stain on it. I also hate doing laundry and buy most things at thrift stores…because 4 kids who destroy everything I buy them…, so I’m generally not terribly motivated to go out of my way.

      However, the Hippie Mama side of me acknowledges that there are definitely some cute little outfits worth keeping so that you can either:

      a) Go through the baby stuff when they’re surly teenagers and go “awwww, remember when they were this little and sweet”

      or

      b) Go through their baby stuff when they’re surly teenagers and pretend that you’re a giant.

      Baby poop stains are a tough one to deal with. These are the best tried, tested, and true ways to get those baby poop stains out of everything!

      Either way, there are some things that you’re going to want to get baby poop stains out of, and here’s how you do it:

      -get to the stain right away. Try not to let it sit for long.

      -use dishsoap and a toothbrush (maybe your partner deserves a little payback for ducking out of this particular change? Just kidding. That would be mean and gross. Use an old one). Scrub the stain and then throw it in the washing machine.

      -Try a stain remover. Some of the best ones I’ve heard of are Dreft, Spray n’ Wash, Puracy, Norwex, Buncha Farmers, and Oxi Clean have been known to get stubborn stains out. Soak it in for a few hours and then wash in cold water.

      -Wet it and let it hang in the sun. Sunshine bleaches things.

      -Combine dish soap and water. Allow the garment to soak for a few hours then wash as normal.

      Do you have a way to get baby poop stains out of clothes that we could add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

      birth affirmations

      9 birth affirmations for your labor

      While so often we associate fear with something being wrong, during birth it’s quite the opposite. Pain is a sign that you’re getting closer to meeting your baby, and these birth affirmations for your labor can remind you of that.

      What are birth affirmations?

      Birth affirmations are sentences or words that keep you focused and empowered during your labor and delivery.

      Before your estimated due date, have a brainstorm of words that make you feel uplifted. Choose words that will remind you of the main goal of your labor: your baby, so that even when you’re having a hard time managing the pain you’ll be brought back to that focus as a reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing.

      Give this list to your birth support person/people and attach it to your birth plan. Your support team can say these aloud as you go through your labor.

      You can also make up some beautiful posters to hang in your birthing environment so that you always have some positive words to encourage you. I made a birth affirmations banner once for a friend who was pregnant and she was able to hang it. Try doing it on paper or using fabric felts to do it on some muslin. Either way, it’s beautiful. You can make them unique to you so that you get as much joy out of them as possible.

      Below are some examples of birth affirmations that you can use as inspiration, or download them, print them out, and add some of your own flair.

      Download your Birth Affirmations

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        What affirmations will you use? How will you use them?