HowtoFindDoula

How to Find a Doula

You’ve already decided that hiring a doula to attend your birth is the right decision for you and your partner. You already know all the amazing things that doulas can do for you during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum after reading my previous article  and you’re blown away by the research supporting the use of doulas. There are many ways to find a doula….here are a few ways to get started!

Word of mouth

Consult with your friends and family in the area. Did they have a good experience with a doula? Ask your chiropractor, massage therapist, yoga teacher, childbirth educator, physical therapist, etc. Asking people whose opinion you value and trust may help narrow the field to a handful of doulas that you may like to interview and get to know on a more personal level.

Doula Groups

Doula associations, agencies, and collectives are groups of doulas in a community. These groups meet on a regular basis for continuing education, support, and networking. These doula groups often have a website with their members listed with links to their profiles or personal websites.To learn more about the different ways doulas work, check out this concise article on the topic. Here in central Iowa, the Central Iowa Doula Association, Iowa Doula Agency, and Mid-Iowa Doulas are some great options!

Websites and Doula Match pages

Most doulas and doula groups have websites, social media pages, and/or a Doula Match profile. By viewing their online content, you should get a feel for a particular doula and the services they offer. Some doulas offer services at additional cost including placenta encapsulation, photography, childbirth education classes, breastfeeding and/or postpartum support, and fitness classes. Doula fees range in price, often by several hundred dollars based on their experience and services. Look for testimonials from past clients, or ask for references. If having a doula who is certified through a professional organization is important to you, you should be able to find that information on their website or profile. Doulas of North America (DONA), Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), and Birthworks International are some of the more widely known certifying organizations.

Start early in your pregnancy and schedule interviews

Doula schedules often fill up quickly, so don’t wait! You may be able to view a doula’s schedule on their website or Doula Match profile; otherwise, email or call to check availability for your estimated due date. Plan to interview at least two to three doulas and bring your birth partner! Doulas usually offer an interview or consultation at no cost or obligation. These interviews last about one hour and are often held in a coffee shop or other public place.

The interview

One of the most important aspects of the doula interview is to see if you and your partner feel comfortable and relaxed with the doula, and if you feel a personal connection. You may decide to ask questions about:

  • the doula’s background, training, and experience with birth
  • why they became a doula and what they enjoy about doula work
  • what services the doula provides, including number, length, and topic of visits
  • the doula’s fees and payment schedules
  • if the doula has a back-up, what circumstances will one be used, and if you can meet the back-up
  • the types of comfort techniques the doula typically provides
  • experience with certain providers, birthing locations, or types of birth

Be prepared for questions from your doula! Doulas often want to know about the type of birth you envision, if you are taking childbirth education classes, and how you’d like your doula to support you and your partner. After you’ve interviewed the doulas you are interested in, think about it! Most doulas give you a few days or a week to consider your decision. Once you have chosen your doula, she will provide you with a contract to consider. This contract protects both of you by outlining fees and when they are due, back-up doula situations, expectations of both you and the doula, and more.

Now that you know how to get started, go out there and find the doula that is right for you! Because every mom deserves support, encouragement, respect, and peace on the day of her baby’s birth. You got this!

About the Author

Kelli Brus CD(DONA) is a mom of two wonderful girls and has been married to her husband since 2007. She lives in Urbandale and is currently taking a break from teaching with Des Moines Public Schools to take care of her little ones and focus on doula work. After her second birth experience, attended by a doula, she knew this was the type of work she wanted to do. She is certified through DONA International (Doulas of North America) and is part of the Central Iowa Doula Association (CIDA). Making sure all moms have support and respect during their birth experiences is so meaningful to Kelli and why she is so dedicated to doula work.

www.dsmdoula.com

dsmdoula@gmail.com

 

BirthDoula

What is a Birth Doula?

Do you want to be fully supported during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period? Do you want someone in the birthing room solely dedicated to providing you comfort and experienced information?

Do you want to have the best possible birth experience? A doula may be right for you!!

A certified birth doula is a trained and experienced professional who is hired to assist with birth. A doula meets with her client and birth partner two to three times during pregnancy to learn their personalities, hopes and fears, and past experiences with birth. Birth plans, basic childbirth education, community resources, interventions, comfort techniques, and newborn care may be discussed during these prenatal meetings. A doula comes to the birthing woman during labor, remains until the baby is born, and stays an hour or two afterwards. Examples of the types of support a doula may provide during labor include, but are not limited to:

  • Massage and touch
  • Encouragement of mobility, motion, and vocalizations
  • Counterpressure on low back and hips
  • Position suggestions for labor and pushing
  • Assistance with breathing, relaxation, and tension release
  • Heat and/or cold to ease discomforts
  • Encouragement to use water, including shower and/or tub
  • Verbal praise and feedback
  • Reframe thoughts, fears, and feelings during labor, if needed
  • Continuous presence with main role of supporting mom
  • Assistance with decisions during labor
  • Encourage partner to take bathroom and meal breaks, and rest if possible
  • Leave the medical tasks (i.e., blood pressure, heart tones, etc) to the nurses, doctors, and midwives

Doulas support women and their partners regardless of the type of birth they are planning, whether that be in a home, hospital, or birth center, if they plan to use pain medication or not, and if they decide to bottle feed or breastfeed. In other words, doulas support you in the type of birth YOU want!  

After the baby is born, doulas visit within the first week or two to assist with basic breastfeeding concerns, discuss the mother and couple’s adaptation to a new baby, and discuss their thoughts about the birth experience. For more continuous support during the postpartum period, consider hiring a postpartum doula.

As the birth of your baby is one of the most memorable experiences of your life, consider hiring a doula to assist you with your birth! “A woman, as long as she lives, will remember how she was made to feel at her birth.” ~Anna Verwaal

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will discuss how to find a doula!

About the Author

Kelli Brus CD(DONA) is a mom of two wonderful girls and has been married to her husband since 2007. She lives in Urbandale and is currently taking a break from teaching with Des Moines Public Schools to take care of her little ones and focus on doula work. After her second birth experience, attended by a doula, she knew this was the type of work she wanted to do. She is certified through DONA International (Doulas of North America) and is part of the Central Iowa Doula Association (CIDA). Making sure all moms have support and respect during their birth experiences is so meaningful to Kelli and why she is so dedicated to doula work.

www.dsmdoula.com

dsmdoula@gmail.com

515-210-0066

 

 

UpSpringBaby

Postpartum Care with UpSpring Baby

Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with MommyCon + UpSpring Baby, but all thoughts are my very own.

 

After having a baby every woman needs a little support. Carrying a baby for nine months changes you emotionally and physically. UpSpring Baby understands that new mamas body’s need a little support. They have designed a new Post Pregnancy Belly Wrap.

This new Bamboo Charcoal belly wrap will shrink your post-baby belly faster than any other belly wraps you may see on the market. This specific belly wrap includes bamboo charcoal fiber technology and a triple-point compression to help you shrink your uterus and make you slimmer.

The fact that this belly wrap shrinks your belly fast is great, but one common thing I hear from postpartum mom’s is how uncomfortable their stomachs feel after giving birth. Think about it. You have spent 9 months (or more) carrying around a baby and then all of a sudden one day you are not. Your body takes time to change and bounce back to the way it was. Wearing a belly wrap regularly is a great way to feel a bit more confident and supported. It also provides great support after a c-section and supports your lower back.

Get the Bamboo Charcoal belly wrap added to your baby registry!

Check out UpSpring Baby’s 100% Pure Virgin Coconut Oil too! A great option for you and baby to help soothe, protect and helps with healing.

UpSpring Baby offers a ton of products for breastfeeding, prenatal, postnatal, and baby care. Make sure you add them as a trusted source for you and your family.

 

Motherhood

What No One Tells You About Motherhood

You won’t find the answers in this article about how to sleep train your baby or potty train your toddler.  I’m writing about those hidden lessons that you learn as you become a mother that no one warned you about.  And I promise you that I don’t have all the answers!  Let me share:

It’s so easy to lose yourself.

In the beginning you get so wrapped up in that little one and making sure you are doing what’s best for them.  Suddenly you find yourself with three inch roots, eating lunch over the sink and your workout consist of running up the stairs when they wake up crying.  These little people become our lives but here’s the secret…. YOU are also living yours.  Your life doesn’t have to stop just because you have kids.  There is a way that you can co-exist peacefully, somewhere in the middle.

You must find support.

When my oldest kids were very little, we didn’t have family close.  And it was very, very hard.  While my husband and I relied on each other as a team through that period, I also had an “adoptive grandmother.”  When I was at the end of my rope with my two oldest, who were 18 months apart and getting out of the house very little, I reached out to an older lady in my church to ask if she knew of anyone who would be willing to watch kids a few hours at a time during the day in case I needed to get out.  And she offered herself.  Having her, even if it was only a few hours one day a week helped me immensely.  Not only for errand running purposes but also for some sanity.  I often joke that older ladies who retire need not get a part-time job, they can make great money being “grandmas for hire.”  My point isn’t that you simply need a babysitter, but you need people who you can rely on to help you, especially when there’s no family.  This lady was often my emergency contact for school, after my husband and I, simply because I didn’t know who else to put!  Find a friend, a neighbor, a church member, someone who can help you when there’s no one else.

Learn to trust yourself.

Everyone has advice for you- your doctor, your mother, your friend and even the lady in the checkout line.  And there’s never been a more stressful time to be a mother because there’s seven different articles that conflict on whether or not the “science” supports your decisions or not.  

Because OMG what if you are wrong in how you are raising them and they don’t get a good job or end up living in your basement until they’re 30.  If you let them eat that Oreo they will probably have Type 2 diabetes by age 20 and if they quit the soccer team at age eight their sports career will be over.

You have to learn to trust your gut.  You know your kids and your family.  The heck with the rest of them.

It’s all a balancing act.  

At first it’s diapers and nap schedules and feedings which leads to pickup/drop offs from school and play dates.  And before long it’s soccer practice and sleepovers and then they’re driving.  IT HAPPENS THAT FAST.  It seems like just when you feel good about parenting, your marriage suffers.  Or your career.  Something.  Everything is not going to go fantastically all at the same time.  As a mother, you have to pour your energy into so many different areas that you can’t possibly cover them well simultaneously.  You have to just do your best to balance it all.  Sometimes that means cereal for supper, not making it to the baseball game or hearing them cry when you leave for a date night.

Enjoy every stage.

This is a big one.  No one tells you to stop waiting until you no longer have a baby or a toddler to do this or that.  Or you are convinced that when they stop teething or they sleep through the night life will get better.  Or after they start school, they’ll be such a fun age.  THE FUN IS NOW.  Even when they are total nightmares, you must find something to enjoy about the NOW.  Even when they’re teenagers and they can’t stand you, enjoy the NOW.  Because you cannot wait until ____ to be happy.  And it truly goes so fast.  

No one is doing it perfectly.

I don’t care if you’re Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker, no one is doing this perfectly.  No one knows the “right” answers.  Hopefully we’re all just doing our “best.” Generally we all love our children and want them to grow up to be self-sufficient members of society.  Don’t worry about the days you take your kids to school in your jammies or when they all get lice or they fail art class.  Life isn’t perfect and neither is your family’s.

The hardest part is letting go.

Insert big sobs- you spend so much time doing x,y, z that suddenly your babies are all grown up.  And they don’t even need you anymore!  Now after all the sacrificing you’ve done, they’ll be gone!  It’s such a terrible, awful part of motherhood that no one tells you.  But it’s what we’ve been working for all these years.  And the love you’ve dumped every day into their buckets will dumped into their spouses buckets and their kids’ buckets and your grandkids’ buckets.  The love you gave them freely will be passed from one generation to the next.  And that’s beyond amazing.  I truly believe Mother Teresa said it best, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

You’ve got this mama.  Take these truths and know that we’re all there at some point. I wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Author Holly Jirovsky 

Holly Jirovsky blogs at Style from the Sticks, a blog for real moms just like you.  Before becoming a mother, she worked in advertising as a writer and also in the publishing industry.  Now she is a work-from-home mom who lives with her husband, four children and dog in rural Iowa.

Style from the Sticks is a combination blog of fashion, home decor and lifestyle/parenting.  You can follow her on Facebook here.

 

LivingFreshBlanket

Receiving Blanket from Living Fresh: Postpartum Must-Have

Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with MommyCon and Living Fresh, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. #MyLivingFresh

 

As a postpartum doula I get a lot of questions about what I would recommend they have when their newborn arrives. There are so many great products and services on the market, it can be hard to determine what you may actually need when that sweet baby comes home. I always recommend a handful of things, including a good quality receiving blanket. Now, I do not recommend any receiving blanket, but I recommend Living Fresh’s Baby Receiving Blanket.

A receiving blanket is one item that is used from the day your baby is newborn through their toddler years and even longer. A receiving blanket becomes a comfort item for your child. It is the thing they are swaddled in as a newborn, lay across as they play on the floor, held while they are feeding, dragged around as they begin to walk, the item they take to daycare or Grandma’s house, and so on. Having a good quality receiving blanket, that is going to last, is a must!

Living Fresh Baby Receiving Blanket is just that. This super soft blanket is made from the purest of natural fibers. It is woven using botanical eucalyptus fibers. There are no toxins, chemicals, or dyes.

The receiving blanket measures 36 inches by 36 inches, which is the perfect size to swaddle. I regularly preach the 5 S’s from The Happiest Baby on the Block to my clients. The first and most important “S”? Swaddling. Another reason why a good quality receiving blanket is a must when you come home with your newborn. Looking to purchase a great baby shower gift? Purchase this receiving blanket + The Happiest Baby on the Block for them (include a free printable of the 5 S’s too!)

About Living Fresh 

You may be familiar and have used Living Fresh bedding yourself! If you have slept in a hotel recently, the bedding you have slept in is probably from Living Fresh. They pride themselves in providing soft and luxurious bedding. Due to the fibers from Eucalyptus trees, their sheets literally cool you as you sleep. Their bedding also becomes softer every time you wash.

They offer bedding, bath, sleepwear, and much more.

Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with their products.

PPExperience (1)

Postpartum: A Mother’s Story – Edition One

The postpartum period for every mother is a huge transition. Every woman deals with different emotions and struggles, but it is amazing how many other women are dealing with the very same things. I have created this series in hopes for us all to know that we are not alone. I have asked mothers to submit their stories, so other expecting, new, and struggling mom’s can feel some comfort in knowing they are not alone. Below is the very first edition to our series Postpartum: A Mother’s Story.

Are you interested in sharing your story? If you have questions or would like to share please feel free to e-mail me. These stories can be left anonymous if you wish.

Written by Amanda

 

My water broke the day before my due date and I labored 15 hours and gave birth the next day on my due date to my first baby. A beautiful 7 lbs 9 oz perfect little boy. I took birth classes and had my wonderful husband and mother there with me- I felt very supported and had a great experience. I was not prepared for how tired I would be after though. I was committed to breastfeeding and the around the clock feeding was very overwhelming to get used to. After returning home I experience two weeks of postpartum depression. I loved my baby so much-it was like everyone had told me- a love so fierce you can’t explain until you have your own kids. But I had this rising anxiety inside of me knowing that this little person depended on me for everything. I felt trapped and then I felt guilty that I felt that way. My mom and husband were great at keeping me even-keel and reassuring me that this was normal and my hormones, emotions and new life would all balance out. And that’s exactly what happened: after two weeks my hormones started to even out and I felt like I could enjoy my new little baby. I think a huge part of the overwhelming feelings I had were due to how unprepared I was to be sleep deprived. I’m not sure if you can prepare yourself for that. Up every 2-3 hours nursing at night, and then it takes time for baby to fall back asleep too. My husband had paternity leave, but I don’t know how moms do it without someone there around the clock like I had. It’s funny though how you so well adapt and just get used to the new routine of motherhood. Your mommy instincts kick in and you figure out how to make it work. And not only just make it work, but love making it work. Being a mother is the most sacrificial thing there is to do, and yet the most rewarding.

My baby is now 9 months old and I can’t believe the time has gone by so quickly. I hope to have a few more kids someday. Becoming a mother feels like stepping into the thing I was meant to do.

Written by Kristina Grier 

 

My name is Kristina.  I had my first child (and only child so far) October 2, 2015.  Her name is Olive, and is 17 months!

I went in on October 1 around 8 p.m. to be induced.  I was already having contractions every 2 minutes on my own, but was still placed on pitocin & eventually got an epidural around midnight.  I was able to sleep all night and started pushing at 6 a.m., had her at 0728!  I didn’t have any tearing and did not need any stitches so thought it was going to be such a painless recovery.  I was extremely swollen and sore from having such a strong epidural that I pushed for such a long time and didn’t really know what I was doing and was not pushing correctly from not being able to feel anything.  I can remember those days in the hospital after she was born and bleeding quite heavily every time I stood out of bed or the chair from nursing her.  I had to sit on a doughnut pillow for about a week from how sore I was.  I made sure to ask for extra mesh underwear, the huge pads, and extra cans of that dermaplast and tucks pads to take home which I still used for 1-2 weeks postpartum to help with the pain.

My milk came in a day or two after we got home from the hospital.  It was the worse than labor.  I honestly can remember just sitting on the living room floor bawling because I was reading all these random Facebook posts about how I should not pump at all for the first few weeks so my milk gets regulated and to just keep putting the baby on my breast.  Olive had a lip and tongue tie that made nursing the most painful thing as well.  My nipples looked like fried hamburger and bled for the first several weeks.  I hated showering because when I would step out they had such awful nerve shooting pain.  I went to lactation consultants who encouraged me to take her to a pediatric dentist to correct the lip tie.  The pediatric dentist told me her lip tie wasn’t that bad but she could do her tongue tie.  She told me it was elective and might or might not help the breastfeeding pain I was experiencing from her.  I declined the procedure because even though I wanted to breastfeed so bad, it wasn’t worth putting her through that if she did not need it.

For the first 2-3 months, I exclusively breastfed Olive and had tears over 50% of the time when she would latch on.  I can remember bawling so many times that I wanted to quit and formula wasn’t all that bad (which it definitely is not), but I kept going.  She is 17 months and still nurses.  She is allergic to all dairy so it is a good thing I have be able to nurse this long and have a deep freeze completely full for those daycare days.

I really thought my maternity leave was going to be all fun, get dressed cute, and go out with her to show her off.  We spent 90% of maternity leave in sweats, non-showered, and cuddles.  What I would do to go back to those days.  Actually…what I would do to go back to October 1 at 8 p.m. …. honestly, best 24 hours of a high in my entire life.  The moment of her being held above me and her firmly placed onto my bare chest is something I cannot get out of my mind and heart. Ever.  I can almost feel that exact moment still today & have a feeling I always will.

HappiestBaby

The Happiest Baby on the Block Review + Free Printable!

There are several great books that I recommend reading when you are expecting. It is hard to read them all though! One book that is at the top of my list is The Happiest Baby on the Block. When I was expecting my oldest, I was given this book as a baby shower gift. At the time, I thought “oh great, another book I need to read”. Let me tell you, if you decide to read just ONE book focused on calming and caring for your newborn, The Happiest Baby on the Block is the book to read.

First off, YOU will know what is best for your baby. YOU have created that special bond and are the only one that has already created a 9-month relationship with your newborn. But, caring for a newborn is hard and even when you know what is best, sometimes you need reassurance and support. You and your significant other may be exhausted and your hormones are going haywire! (By the way, a postpartum doula may also be a great option!) 🙂

There are no such books, classes, or workshops that will tell you how to parent. I like to think of all these options as resources for you to gain knowledge of why your newborn may be acting the way they are and tools you can place in your back pocket and pull-out when needed.

When I first read The Happiest Baby on the Block, within the first ten pages I had an epiphany! The Fourth Trimester. What?! Why was this the first time I had heard of this? The Fourth Trimester is becoming more known and talked about, but not all parents’ still understand this period of time.

The Fourth Trimester is described beautifully in The Happiest Baby on the Block. So, what is it? In short, our babies are born super early compared to other species of newborns. They are born early, so they can fit through our birth canal. When your infant is born, they cannot walk and speak (this is a duh!), but think about giraffes who are born and quickly are able to stand up and walk around. Our newborns rely on us to provide their basic needs, and the only way they can communicate discomfort and/or concern is through crying. I highly recommend reading chapter 1 of The Happiest Baby on the Block, which will explain this much better and YOU will have your “aha” moment.

Now that we understand there is a forgotten Fourth Trimester, what do we do now? The Happiest Baby on the Block will walk you through the 5 S’s which will help turn on your newborns calming reflex.

  1. Swaddling
  2. Side/Stomach
  3. Shushing
  4. Swinging
  5. Sucking

Swaddling. There can be an art to swaddling and it does take practice! The Happiest Baby on the Block does a good job breaking down why swaddling is great and several different ways to swaddle.

 

Side/Stomach lying. This position is a “feel-good” position for your newborn. It sounds strange and you may be thinking “I thought they needed to be on their back”. When done safely, this is another step in calming your newborn.

Shushing. When your newborn is in your womb they constantly hear the “shhhh” sound. Whether it is white noise or you saying “shhh” this is another comfort to them and allows your newborn to calm down.

Swinging. Any rhythmic movement is very soothing. Even as adults swinging can be a great way to relax and calm us. Whether you place your newborn in an actual baby swing or if you create a rhythmic movement while carrying your baby around, this is another great way to calm your newborn.

Sucking. Sucking is usually the final step that seals the deal. Whether it is nursing (another great benefit to breastfeeding) or a pacifier, the sucking motion creates calm almost instantly. The Happiest Baby on the Block does a great job going into detail about all the different ways you can help your newborn create the sucking reflex and why it is so important.

The Cuddle Cure. The Happiest Baby on the Block explains that The Cuddle Cure is that special mix of 5 S’s that calm your baby. I wish there was an exact recipe for each baby, but there isn’t. One baby may like a thumb instead of a pacifier for sucking, and one baby may hate the swing while the next baby LOVES the swing. It may take some time to figure out the “just right” mix of S’s for your newborn, but when you do it will be amazing! 🙂

The Happiest Baby on the Block has some great, detailed information that every expecting parent should read. It’s understandable there is a lot on your plate preparing for your newborn and when your baby arrives, taking time to read is not a priority. I love to share with parents and families I am supporting, the 5 S’s in calming a newborn. Since I believe they are so important I have created a printable for YOU to print and post on your refrigerator or in your bedroom. Put it somewhere, so when you are struggling with calming your baby, you can glance at this printable and be reminded of the 5 S’s.

Download your FREE printable here!

Beautycounter

Skin Products: What Are We Putting On Our Body?

I remember before I became pregnant with my son, now five years old. I never really thought about the products I used on my body whether it was the facial cleanser , body wash, shampoo, body sprays, or lotion I used. When I became pregnant I quickly learned that not only everything I consumed impacted my growing baby, but what I put on my body did too!

It is extremely common for women to completely change how they view things and take a closer look at everything once they become pregnant and have children of their own. Once your child is born, it’s a whole other ball game. Some common questions include “is this safe for my baby?” “Is this safe to put on my body, when my child is nursing?” 

It is important that we do our research and live by example. Whether it be an example for our friends and family, or our growing children. Our children are watching us daily. If we are using products that are safe, our children will know no other way.

While at Shiftcon in December, I learned so much about an amazing company Beautycounter. I had just recently been introduced to it by my good friend Emily Boyd. I quickly learned that Beautycounter was much more then just a company selling beauty products, but this company is playing a huge part in the education and change of beauty products in the industry.

I invited Emily Boyd to chat with you and share exactly what Beautycounter is doing, how you can learn about what is safe and what is not safe to put on the largest organ of our body (yes, our skin!)

It was about two years ago when my close friend and boss got the devastating call that the lump in her breast was in fact cancer.

That moment was something I’ll never forget, but what was even more impactful to me was the response she had.

She decided that she was going to win the battle and make some powerful decisions to ensure she got healthy & stayed healthy. She was not going to be a victim and hide away in sadness. She was going to fight & I decided that I was going to journey on a similar path.

I have some influential voices in my life who have educated me on the impacts of foods we consume, products we use to clean our homes, and the personal care products we put on our hair, our eyes, and our largest organ: our skin. However, I have learned that during her treatment, she hosted a Beautycounter social and because I love my friend, I gladly obliged (Wine? Yes, please!). What I learned that night radically changed my view of personal care products.

Here are the key takeaways from that evening that eventually led to me being a business owner & educator with Beautycounter.

  1. Many of the products we use on our skin are loaded with toxic chemicals that are disrupting hormones, messing with our overall endocrine system, potentially changing our DNA (what?!) and many other scary health issues. People often ask…

  2. How is that even possible and legal? We haven’t passed a major federal law since 1938 that regulates the cosmetic industry. This industry that’s worth $60 billion only bans 30 ingredients from your products. The European Union bans well over 1400. So, what the heck are we doing about it?!

  3. Beautycounter and its 30,000+ (and growing) educators are working with legislators and trying hard to make federal changes that protect you. We are also sharing our missiong to “get safer products into the hands of everyone” through socials, conversations, posts like this (thanks, Erin!) and social media.

  4. So how do you know what’s harmful? We know some ingredients for sure are linked to human health, but we have barely even scratched the surface with other ingredients. Here are some major offenders: parabens, pthalates, sulfates, triclosan, and retinol. We actually provide consumers with our amazing Never List full of ingredient names & how they might be impacting you right here.

  5. What should you do? Flip your bottles, my friends. The first and most important thing you can do is figure out what’s harmful & what’s not. The Environmental Working Group (the EWG) provides a great database where you can look up your product or the specific ingredients in your products. It’s not entirely comprehensive, but it’s a good start.

  6. Don’t think for even one second that just because something says “organic” or “green” or “natural” that it actually is. These words can be slapped on anything and everything. It’s false marketing and quite frankly, pretty unethical in my opinion. Do your research.

Let me remind you… your health is your greatest asset. If you’re healthy, you can invest in relationships, a career, hobbies, and working towards the life you want to have. I know this certainly isn’t black and white, but I feel like our society has been taught that the way we treat our sickness is reactively. Why not choose to be proactive?

There has recently been articles about lead in personal care products (this is also legal to put in your skin, but in your paint – what?!), the impact of chemicals in teenagers from personal care products, and how “all safe/natural” products like Wen are causing serious issues like hair loss.

This post is intended to educate and inform. As a Beautycounter educator and business owner, I love the opportunity to work with women on some safer options to purchase, however my ultimate goal is for you to feel like you can make an informed purchasing decision. Maybe that means organic coconut oil is your body lotion or you use essential oils as your fragrance.

If you want to support our movement for #BetterBeauty, check out our “Chanel meets Whole Foods” products; the packaging is absolutely stunning and you never have to worry about what is in it. 

If this resonates with you, there is always an opportunity to participate in this growing company (we are only 3.5 years old!) and make a difference while earning extra cash. It’s not for everyone, but it certainly is for some people. Beautycounter knows that the only way we can make a lasting impact is to have more voices, so they offer a generous compensation plan to help everyone move the needle.

Oh yeah, and the company was started by a woman in the United States (yes!).

If you want to continue the conversation, send me a message through this site. Onward & upward, Midwest Moms & Wives.

 

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Bellies, Babies & Beyond a Postpartum Support Group

A strong passion of mine is supporting and connecting families with resources, whether this be details about events and activities, product and service reviews or information about my personal experience on certain topics. I feel the more information we are given and the more opportunities that are available to us, we can make the best decisions for ourselves and families.

Since the beginning of my postpartum doula journey, I have envisioned a place where mothers can come together in a safe and open place to share their concerns, thoughts, laughter, tears and just feel loved.

Beginning in February 2017, I will be hosting Bellies, Babies & Beyond twice a month. This group will be just that. I will be there twice a month to chat with you, answer your questions, and give you additional resources if needed. Do you not have any concerns or not sure what you want to talk about? That is okay too! Just come and be with us! This is a great opportunity to get out of the house and be with other mothers in the same place as you. 

I will be holding Bellies, Babies & Beyond twice a month:

The 1st Thursday of the month; 9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. at the Iowa Doula Agency located at 120 5th Street, West Des Moines.

The 3rd Saturday of the month; 9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. at Balance Chiropractic & Wellness located at 6611 University Avenue, Windsor Heights.

Feel free to come to both each month! This will be an open house style group. Feel free to come late and if you need to leave early, that is okay too! Registration in not required. Newborn babies to 12 month are welcome!

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me here!

Note: Bellies, Babies & Beyond is registered with Postpartum Support International.
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7 Ways to Create “Me” Time Postpartum

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links!

After having a child, it can be harder to create alone time, or what some like to call “me” time. During your postpartum period it can be even more crucial as you are adjusting to life with a newborn, or with more children. Your “me” time allows you to relax, re-set and refocus on you. When you are finished with your “me” time, you can return to your children and family refreshed and happier.

Creating “me” time can be as simple as 10 minutes to 1 hour a day or it could be a few hours one afternoon, once a week. Allowing yourself time to re-set is important for your health, just as exercising and eating healthy is. If you are a planner and have a family calendar, carve these days out in your schedule. If it’s on the schedule then you and your significant other will be prepared and it is more likely to happen.

Are you not sure what to do during your “me” time? Check out this great list I put together!

Take a Hot bath, Epsom Salts & Lavender Essential Oils. This is my favorite and the most simplest way to have some alone time. Grab your favorite book and some hot tea. Of course, if you are newly postpartum you may need to wait a few weeks until your doctor approves you to bathe. Epsom salts are a great way to relax your tense muscles from carrying and nursing your baby. Add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil to your bath. Lavender Essential Oil can help relieve nervous tension, enhance blood circulation and much more. Plus, it just smells amazing!

Spend an afternoon at a local coffee shop or book store. Grab your favorite book, a journal, or go look for a great book to read while taking your hot bath. Every new parent needs coffee right? Treat yourself and get a fancy, specialty drink and relax. Read your book or people watch. Both can be equally entertaining 🙂 Check out some great, local coffee shops here!

Spa Day! What woman doesn’t love a spa day? It doesn’t need to be an entire day, but you can go get a manicure and pedicure or an hour long massage. If someone is wanting to get you something postpartum, ask for a gift certificate! You just gave birth and are juggling life as a mom, you deserve some pampering. Do you live in Central Iowa? Check out some great spas in the area here.

Sign-up for a yoga class. Yoga is a great way to relax and to get your body moving. It does not have to be a sweaty workout, but it can be an opportunity for you to become re-centered. Yoga is a great time to meditate too! I know whenever I leave a yoga class, I am refreshed and ready for the world. If you live in the Des Moines area I highly recommend checking out The Family Tree Yoga. They offer several great classes and workshops for pregnancy, postpartum and more. They also offer massage too! 🙂 Check out Power Life Yoga, also! They offer several locations in the Des Moines area.

Take a walk. Fresh air is truly some of the best medicine. After being cooped up in the house all day with your newborn, getting outside and taking in the scenery can be a great way to unwind. The Des Moines area is truly blessed with tons of bike trails. One of my favorite places to walk and explore is the PappaJohn Sculpture Park located right by Central Library and Ritual Cafe. You can also walk along the Des Moines River on the Principal Riverwalk. Too chilly out? Check out Botanical Blues at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

Take a class. After becoming a parent, you easily can forget to do things you love to do! Find something you want to learn or something you have always loved, and take a class. Are you artistic? Paint some pottery or canvas at Glazed Expressions! There are several places to do canvas art in the area. You can also take a cooking class! The Des Moines Public Library offers an Adult Coloring Time weekly.

Get adjusted! This seems simple and actually does not take much time at all, but can easily be added to your afternoon break before you head to the coffee shop or book store. After giving birth, whether it be vaginally or via c-section, your pelvis and entire body experiences changes. Not only from child birth, but from nursing positions, carrying your newborn, and carrying that hefty car seat! Getting adjusted regulary by a chiropractor you trust and is experienced with prenatal and postnatal adjustment is highly recommended! Check out Dr. Jennifer Thompson at Balance Chiropractic & Wellness.

Photo Credits: PappaJohn Sculpture Park, Smokey Row Coffee Shop