Let’s Talk About Sex

When you or your partner is pregnant, chances are good that your sex life is about to change. It could get more exciting, have a lull, involve some permanent or temporary changes, or make for some hilarious stories you both privately laugh about for years to come.

In no particular order, we’re going to talk about some of the common things that come to mind that relate to sex during pregnancy. If details regarding the nitty-gritty of nookie during pregnancy aren’t your jam, look away!

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Postpartum Mood Disorders

Our B.I.R.T.H series stands for Bringing In Resources To Help. We touch on common things you wonder about during pregnancy, labor, your time with a new baby, and your parenting adventure. 

Postpartum Challenges:

Symptoms and Encouragement

Each type of postpartum challenge has mental, physical, and emotional roots and stressors.

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This Week In Blogs: Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting

This week in blogs is a Friday series dedicated to providing you with current and relevant material relating to all things pregnancy, birth, your time postpartum, recovery, and overall family care. 

 

Northwest Suburban Doula  wrote a post this week entitled My Baby Hates The Carseat.  In this blog, there’s tips and tricks on what you can do if your baby hates their carseat. My favorite part of this blog is when it talks about what baby wants to do now while you’re trying to get out the door. That’s one of the realities of parenting. It’s such a cool age when they can tell you that they’re hungry, what they want to eat, and that they have to go to the bathroom. I’ve been to the point where I’m listening to the most horrid nursery rhymes over and over again in the car. I found that I personally love Rockabye Baby! music because who doesn’t love classic rock and a calm baby? If I’ve listening to Metallica on repeat anyway, why not have the baby version?!

Don’t Forget Her is a blog written by Metro Detroit Doula Services. Oh goodness. This one brings out my feelies. It’s so important to remember that the focus postpartum is more than just a focus on the baby. It drove me crazy postpartum when everyone referred to me as, “Mama”. I wanted people to call me by my name, and I would have been passionately enthusiastic about coffee of any kind that didn’t involve me fetching it.

Placenta Encapsulation

Our B.I.R.T.H series stands for Bringing In Resources To Help. We touch on common things you wonder about during pregnancy, labor, your time with a new baby, and your parenting adventure. 

 

Girl, Where Have You Been? 

 

I ran away from home and Houston this week to take a ProDoula Postpartum Placenta Specialist training close to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was an incredible adventure and training that involved getting lost the first night until 1 am, trying to find a new hotel after I discovered the first hotel I booked was a piece of work.  But, that’s a story for another time.

 

Is Placenta Encapsulation A Scam? Not In This Case.

 

Even I once wondered if placenta encapsulation was just a scam that doulas and other birth workers were using to separate new families from their hard earned cash. I’ve had dozens of inquiries from families in Houston who were seeking placenta encapsulation services but just wasn’t sure how I felt about offering the service.

 

I recently started learning more about the information that is available supporting the consumption of one’s own placenta after birth. A few months ago, I found an amazing professional placenta encapsulation professional to join the Houston Central Doulas’ team, officially making us a full-service doula agency. Still, at that time I did not think that I would ever be interested in providing the service of placenta encapsulation, personally.

Why Didn’t You Want To Encapsulate Placentas?

 

Here in Houston, TX, we see a lot of  DIY placenta encapsulation workshops and fly by night programs offering to train doulas who want to add placenta encapsulation to their service menu. There doesn’t seem to be any real accountability or research happening, and for me, when you’re dealing with possible bacteria and blood borne pathogens, that’s a bit scary. Terrifying, actually.

I’ve always had a lot of awe and respect for placentas. For years, the closest I ever got to a placenta was seeing it in a basin after a birth. I think they are normal and amazing. It’s some really top-notch cool science that a placenta will sustain a pregnancy and provide nutrients, oxygen, and serve as a recycling center between the mother and the baby. I’ve even considered placenta capsules might be worthwhile and amazing in their own way. But I personally thought there was some gross process that happens between a raw placenta and encapsulation. Not to mention, unsafe practices.

I’ve seen what I consider “horror stories” about placentas getting mixed up (*gags*), placentas left out in cars for hours, or “things” (such as herbs, or random hair from the encapsulator) being inside the capsules.

No matter the potential income, I did not want to promote an unsafe practice that could potentially hurt or gross out the families I work with. That’s not the reputation I want. Plus, you know how when you make that Thanksgiving turkey the first time and you make gravy using the gizzards, once that turkey is on the table you want nothing to do with it? Yeah, I thought placenta encapsulation would be like that.

As a business owner and as a doula, my personal opinions really don’t matter. I don’t get to decide any of your options. My take on placenta encapsulation in this blog is of a personal nature. A story of how I went from, “Um, what the world?” to “This makes sense now. I can help you do this.”

 

Um, Scientific Evidence Would Be Nice.

 

When I trained to do all the cool stuff I do, I had personal experiences that helped me learn what aspects of birth and the time postpartum feel like. I didn’t know about placenta encapsulation in 2009 when my son was born. So I had nothing to go off. Just a thought of, “Knowing what I know now, I think I’d like to have my placenta encapsulated.

One of the issues for me is that I like science. I like evidence. To date, there is no sound evidence that placenta encapsulation makes a difference. The second that a scientific expert requests money to pay for a study about placenta consumption, I am donating all the money I can find to the cause. I like the deets. I want to know what’s going on. What’s in placenta capsules? Is it hormones? Is it iron? Is there anything in placenta capsules like medications you took months ago? Waste products? Gross stuff? Is it safe? Does it make a difference?

 

My Opinion Is Only An Opinion.

 

My personal view is that there’s nothing in your own placenta that is going to hurt you. I feel that anything that is in your placenta has already been processed by your body. There’s nothing foreign about it, in my opinion. But I don’t want to take your money and give you capsules that do nada for you. Because you can have nada for free.

 

What About Placenta Encapsulation for Postpartum Depression?

 

People everywhere tout the benefits of placenta encapsulation for postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a serious issue for me because I had it hardcore. I don’t want people to believe in “magic” if “magic” isn’t going to cut it for them. I’ve heard anecdotal stories about how capsules are the greatest things ever, and I am thrilled for those families. But I’ve also heard a few stories about capsules that did nothing obvious, or even that they didn’t help.

During my training, I learned why placenta capsules don’t always help with postpartum depression. The trainer talked about depression as a mental factor, and of encapsulation being more of a body balancing.

I Decided to Finally Encapsulate Because Safety and Professionalism Are My Jam

I’m the type of person that I try not to make quick decisions. I like to think things through. Especially when it comes to decisions I make over my own body, my own organs, and my own family. I like to research. I like knowing who the “best” at something is. I google, “Best doctor Houston” and so on. It took me two years to get to a training that I knew was the “best” because to me “best” means safe, knowledgeable, honest, and professional. My summary opinion of my training was, I trust this. I trust the method I was taught. I trust the organization. I trust their equipment and supplies. I trust the process. I trust the amazing-ness of the placenta. I trust your opinion on whether placenta encapsulation is right for you or not.

I love that the training states that we can only encapsulate in a client’s home. It’s so much safer to have in home encapsulation because of blood borne pathogens, and the guarantee that you have your own placenta and that you know it’s fresh. Plus, you have the opportunity to watch the process, ask questions, and use the opportunity to have a postpartum expert present to chat and you can ask all the questions that relate to other postpartum aspects while the specialist is there. That’s me, I’m the expert.

I think an expert is important so that you know your placenta was encapsulated with the highest standards, you know that there’s nothing added or weird in your placenta (your placenta is perfect just the way it is), everything is sanitized, you know that I’m not going to encapsulate your placenta in yours or my spaghetti pot because I have a kit that was put together by the leading expert in the country and that I’m going to be completely upfront and honest with you. I have nothing to gain by touting magical hypothesis. There’s no scientific evidence to back placenta encapsulation. If placenta encapsulation feels right to you, then you know that you’re going to have a professional in your home to do it right and the opportunity to have continuity of care with other postpartum services (such as postpartum family support, breastfeeding help, belly binding) from one company.

I’d love to talk with you about placenta encapsulation. You can call the office at +1-214-607-2166 or e-mail moriah@houstoncentraldoulas.com. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about placenta encapsulation.

The Shittiest (Literally) Mom Experiences Ever

I’m going to get real with all of you for a second. Not real enough to pick a seriously mortifying image for this blog post, but real enough that you might get a visual going in your mind. A sympathetic grossed out visual.

Disclaimer: If baby poop grosses you out, look away! Save yourself! 

If you’re going to be a parent soon, or you are a parent currently, you have poop stories. If you don’t have them yet, you will. Epic poop stories. Blow outs of unforgettable proportions and bags of things sitting in landfills that you really couldn’t save.

These are my stories.

When my son was born, he was pretty independent. He hated the bassinet in my room. The only place he would actually sleep was in his crib in his room. For his feedings, I did a combination of feeding on demand and feeding him on a schedule. He was underweight much of his early life, so if he didn’t feed at least every three hours, I’d wake him.

Encounter #1: I try to keep my ex out of my stories. But since they are poop stories, it seems oddly fitting. So one Saturday morning when we were still together, we’re laying in bed trying to get some magic going. A good trick, but that’s beside the point. We have the baby monitor in our room. Alex is a few months old. He had an amazingly soft corkscrew curl fro going on. We were crazy OCD about not putting things like toys and pillows in his crib. So we’re laying there and we hear him cooing, laughing, and playing with something. Kinda like he’s banging against the rails in his crib. He sounds happy, we know there’s nothing in his crib, so we carry on. He sounds happy in a weird escalating sense. My ex goes, “What the heck is going on in there? It sounds like he’s building a pyramid.” We go in there and he has pooped tiny little piles everywhere. Almost like rabbit poop. They are in his hair, all around him, in between the railings, in the carpet under the crib. Everywhere. My child’s first real toy was his own crap. Getting it out of his hair was special.

Encounter #2: My ex left for work before 8am, and Alex wasn’t usually awake for the morning until 8am. So I’m home alone, and realize it’s getting later and Alex hasn’t made a peep. I go to wake him. I get to his crib and he’s making some weird motions with his mouth like he’s eating something. And he’s making a crinkled up face. I do the mom panic and go to remove whatever it is with my finger while wondering what the heck he could possibly have. I put my finger in his mouth to do the great reveal and I encounter something soft that reminds me of peanut butter. Then I smell something foul and realize it’s my finger. I freaked out. The most gentle way to continue to remove it was with my bare hands. Then I tried to rinse out his mouth with milk. While thinking, I don’t want this nipple back. I don’t. I don’t. I went to Google to find out if he was going to die. Yes, really. I called my ex at work with my emergency. My boy survived and went on to poop some more.

Sometimes when I tell this story, people are horrified that my kid ate poop. Imagine how horrified I was. People think,That would never happen to me. I’m a better parent than that. It takes two seconds. Raise your hand if you’ve wiped poo off your kid’s face. Yeah, hey there friend, I see you lurking. Good news: Poop smear/eating/hair conditioner  hasn’t killed anyone…that I know of.

Encounter #3: My ex and I took the baby to Arkansas for Thanksgiving one year to see the ex’s dad. We traveled with a play pen. Ya know, like you do. It was cold that time of year so Alex was put down for a nap in a sleeper with buttons all down the front and legs. It didn’t snap at the diaper area, just down the front and legs. He starts crying. I go to pick him up and I just can’t.even. I start calling for help. The ex comes in, takes one look, and actually runs down the hall screaming, “We need backup! Help us!” Somehow, he had a blowout that soaked up and through the sleeper, all into his hair again, and all over the play pen. Where do you even start with things like that? Goodbye, outfit. You were cute while you lasted.

Encounter #4: Stomach bugs. Do I even need to go there? Nothing like a kid freaking out and panicking because they have goop coming out both ends. They aren’t sure which end to aim where. May your strong stomach be with you when they aim the front end at the toilet and the back end just exists in space. I have seen blood, gore, vomit, and all kinds of poop. It’s part of my job description. But there’s one instance that comes to mind where I thought some tub, toilet, or trash can needed to become available because I was gonna lose breakfast. Also, helping your pukey poopy kids while being sick yourself is a version of hell I completely sympathize with because I’ve so been there.

 

I don’t expect you to share your crappy stories on the internet, but I just wanted to let you know I’ve been there and I feel you.

Week In Blogs: Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

This week in blogs is a Friday series dedicated to providing you with current and relevant material relating to all things pregnancy, birth, your time postpartum, recovery, and overall family care. 

Lacey Morgan of A Better Birth posted this fantastic blog He’s Not Mr. Mom! He’s Their Dad! this week. Her husband stays at home with their children. She talks about the stigma associated with being a stay at home dad and the things people propagate to make dads sound absolutely clueless when it comes to caring for their own children. There’s tons of moms groups, but what about dads groups? I’ll be totally honest, I occasionally refer to my husband as “Mr. Mom” when he has my house and kid handled while I’m away, but only because he refers to himself as that with pride. Don’t underestimate the power of dad. I wish with all my heart my husband can finally retire and be what he calls a “house husband”. His cooking his phenomenal, his cleaning has the utmost attention to detail, and he treats our son like he’s his birth son.

Gemini Birth Services is back in the spotlight this week with a blog entitled 5 Things I Know About Breastfeeding Twins. The blog was guest authored by Molly Staples. This post is just too good not to share. Breastfeeding twins can be a completely different ball game compared to feeding one baby. And we all know even breastfeeding one baby can be challenging enough. Here’s some tips on things that helped Molly feed her own twins. Just remember that a fed baby is the best kind of baby, and there’s tons of help around the corner should you desire some. Do a search for parenting groups of parents with multiples.

Finally, I’m sharing this video of Bad Mom Confessions from Kansas City Family Birth. Mallory and Sunny amuse the heck out of me in this video because it’s so real. I don’t have a van, but I do have to get motivated into cleaning out my Versa hatchback. I’m traveling this week for a business trip without my kid (gasp!) and don’t need to take any empty chick-fil-a bags with me.

All About Postpartum Hair Loss

Hair Loss in Women – Losing Hair After Having A Baby

Chances are good that if you’re reading this, you’ve been one of the women to suddenly notice heaps of hair clogging up your drains and obviously dwelling in your tub and making you crazy. Or you may have noticed that your hair feels thinner, or you can see more of your scalp than you are used to. Your hair may even be coming out in clumps.  I’ve seen plenty of pictures in mom groups of women that have used the hair in the drains to write words or question marks on the shower doors while wondering what the heck is happening.

Postpartum hair loss is one of those things that we’re often not informed about before it happens. When we begin to lose more hair postpartum, we even often forget that it’s postpartum hair loss and suddenly worry that we’re getting really, really sick or need to change out our hair products and maybe not curl or straighten our hair so much. If you’ve had a new baby in the past year, chances are favorable that this is simply postpartum hair loss.

No Worries. Postpartum Hair Loss Is Completely Normal. 

Postpartum hair loss usually ends by six months to one year postpartum. While you may miss your super luxurious pregnancy hair, you’ll be back to your usual prebaby mane by the time baby’s first birthday rolls around. Your shedding of hair won’t hurt you. If you’re worried about your drains, or wet hair makes you twitch, you can invest in a hair catcher or drain protector to catch the hair and dispose of it before you have time to gag.

What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss? 

Estrogen, one of the main hormones related to pregnancy, causes some of your hair to go into a  growing phase during pregnancy when it would normally shed. Hormones are responsible for everything, seriously. When your baby is born, your level of estrogen gradually tapers off until you are back at the level of estrogen that is natural for your body in a non-pregnant state. The leveling off of your levels of estrogen triggers your hair into a shedding phase again.

Week In Blogs: Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

This week in blogs is a Friday series dedicated to providing you with current and relevant material relating to all things pregnancy, birth, your time postpartum, recovery, and overall family care. 

 

Special Dilliveries has a guest post written by Gemini Birth Services entitled 5 Things I Know About Wrapping Babies.  There are so many ways to baby wear and so many benefits to being able to be hands free if you need/want to be. I chuckled at the part about it being a method to keep strangers from coughing on your baby during the winter months. I thought, Yes! That made me so twitchy!  We don’t get much of a winter down here in Houston, but I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking it would be nice to do a Target run in peace without someone touching my kid. I also love the part about not thinking you lost your child because you’ve gotten used to them riding on your back. I’m the same person that looks for the glasses I’m wearing like a headband. Their post is funny and relatable. Go check it out!

Surviving Bed Rest guest written by Changing Tides Doulas for Lancaster Doulas is a must read.  There are many cases of women who are advised to rest in bed in pregnancy for a myriad of reasons including the risk of pre-term birth, carrying multiples, and so on. There’s a misconception that being on bed rest is some sort of vacation and aren’t you so lucky? Yeah, no. Chances are good that even if you want to think of it as a vacation, you’re worrying in your mind about the cause for the bed rest and all the things you feel guilty about not accomplishing. Check out the post for ideas for awesome things you can do on bed rest that will keep you from causing permanent damage to yourself as you eye roll at the next person who suggests you’re having fun.