Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Top 3 Remedy Products

 Over the past 18 months or so, I have discovered that there are 3 products that I use so much, they rarely get put away. Now don't get my wrong, I love all of my essential oils, Lemongrass Spa products, lotions, etc., but these 3 things can cure/heal/treat so many things, that they're usually my first go-to! Can you guess what they are?

Okay, I'll just tell you. They are Coconut Oil,  Aloe Vera, and Apple Cider Vinegar. How do you feel about these products?!? Have you used them before? How did you use them?

You can type any of these into Pinterest and get about a bazillion ways to use them, but I'll tell you a few ways that I use them or that others have told me about. Here it goes...

Coconut Oil:
I didn't realize the importance of this gem until I had a baby. I thought it could only be used for cooking, but boy was I WRONG. I have a container of coconut oil in each bathroom, the baby's bedroom, and the kitchen. Can't have enough! Here's how it can be used (according to me)...

Cooking at high temperatures
To make yummy cookies
Almost any baking!
Coffee flavoring
Face moisturizer
Body moisturizer (THE BEST)
Face wash (mixed with baking soda...haven't tried it yet)
Makeup remover
Hair mask
Nipple cream (for breastfeeding)
Lip balm
Masage Oil
Eczema treatment (especially for baby skin)
Diaper rash cream
Cradle cap treatment
Baby wipes
Oil pulling
Carrier oil (example: used with Thieves oil on bottom of feet, or with Eucalyptus on chest)

Aloe Vera: 
 My mom has always had Aloe Vera around (the plant, gel, and liquid), especially with 5 kids who were always burned, sick, or itchy. Here are the ways that we have used it...

Sooths burns
Cools rashes that itch
Softens skin to help it heal
Calms upset tummy
Can help morning sickness
Diaper rash treatment
Baby wipes
Scar treatment
Stretch marks (I need to try this one, and the one above!)

 Apple Cider Vinegar: 
 This one might be my favorite... maybe. It's so versatile! Almost every time something happens or someone has a ailment, I think "Can ACV heal that?". And many times, it can! When applied topically, it can have a little sting to it, but it goes away quickly. When ingested, it has a pretty yucky taste, so many people dilute it or mix it with juice or something. I prefer to pinch my nose and throw it back to get it done quicker! But whatever works for you...

Marinade
Salad Dressing
Meat tenderizer
Drink for daily wellness
Upset tummy
Sore throat
Cough
Heartburn (especially during pregnancy)
Acid reflux
Arthritis remedy
Hair conditioner
Yeast infection treatment
BV treatment
Hemorrhoids treatment
Detox drink
Rashes

 Now, I could probably go into how these all work and why, but that would make this blog post way too long. I'll let you do that research on your own, just know that these are the ways that I have experienced or witnessed these three products being used effectively. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions about how to use them for a specific treatment!


Cheers to Wellness!

Monday, April 7, 2014

AZ Breastfed Babies - Amey Clark IBCLC

Let me start by telling you how my relationship with Amey Clark began. It was February of 2012 and I was 8 weeks pregnant. My husband and I were visiting a birth center in Phoenix and were welcomed by Amey and Dianne (you can also read about Dianne in  The Importance of Having a Doula  and about the Birth Journey Workshop she offers). They showed us around the office, the birthing home, and answered all of our questions. They seemed just as excited about our baby as we were! Maybe it was the fact that she was one of the first "birth people" I had come into contact with, but we instantly felt drawn to her.

Daniel and I saw Amey regularly throughout our pregnancy during checkups and classes that she taught. We knew she only was on-call for births during certain times, so we started praying that she would be on-call when baby decided it was time for us! We liked her so much, that Daniel joked that we only wanted HER to deliver the baby! Through a series of long and crazy events, Amey was able to labor with me for a few days, but did not transfer to the hospital to see me birth.

Amey praying over us while we labored at home.
At some point during my pregnancy, Amey became certified as a Lactation Consultant and began helping new moms nurse their babies comfortably, confidently and effectively. We had a few appointments postpartum with Amey where I was in tears, or the baby was in tears... actually, we were both usually in tears as we fought to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is HARD. In the beginning at least. It comes to some women so naturally and easily, but for the majority of us, we deal with fussy babies, fast letdowns, cracked nipples, engorgement, mastitis, and lip/tongue tied babies- just to name a few. Enter Amey Clark IBCLC. Although she is no longer working at the birth center where I first met her, she has continued her consulting on her own.

I am writing this post to tell you how important it is to see a lactation consultant if you are planning on breastfeeding. They are able to give you tips, tricks, show you research, latch the baby, go over how many diapers should be wet/dirty, and provide assurance about feeding your baby. A Lactation Consultant can offer support and give advice at any time it is needed, either with a phone call or a home visit. Again, breastfeeding can be hard, but a lactation consult can help to ease your worry and pain and ensure that you will be successful.

Amey is currently offering a Great Start Newborn Care and Breastfeeding Class and she is also available for consultations before and after you baby is born. She does in-home appointments, so you can be as comfortable and private as possible during those tender days with your newborn.

Visit www.azbreastfedbabies.com for more information on classes, consultations, and to contact Amey. 

Happy Breastfeeding!

Amey and her kids with little baby Piper!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stop Labeling My Baby

Colicky. High Needs. Normal. ADHD. 80th percentile. Advanced.

These are just a few of the terms that I have heard and come into contact with during my 18 months of parenthood. I am writing this post not-so-much for myself, but for all the mamas out there. After our baby girl was born, she was extremely fussy. Who knows why (maybe because she's a baby?). People kept telling me that she must have colic. Maybe. But here's what I decided very quickly- I didn't want to label my child with anything, especially if it was going to be used as an excuse. If I believed that she had colic (which technically cannot be diagnosed), then I would just slump back into acceptance, tell everyone who heard her cry that she had colic, and try to get through it. Instead, I thought "I will not label my baby. Does something hurt? What else can I try?". I believe that what we speak over ourselves and our children have the ability to become true.

High Needs children (although there is no true definition for them), are children that can usually only be soothed by their mother and constantly want to be held, fed, and they cry a lot. If I labeled my child, she would definitely have been a High Needs infant. But let me tell you, ALL babies are high needs, because they HAVE high needs. They are not able to change their own diapers, feed themselves, rub their tummies, or even know how to fall asleep! Those darn babies are SO NEEDY. And yes, there may be babies that have HighER Needs than others, but according to this Dr. Sears article, it is explained mainly as the baby's personality shining through. Heck, in that case, I am a HIGH NEEDS ADULT! I tend to needs lots of attention and affection from my husband, I want people to listen to me, and I cry a lot. Do you agree that I am High Needs?

Let me be straight here, I do not intend to offend anyone, I am just afraid that labeling our children leads us to make excuses, become lazy in parenting, and jump to conclusions too quickly. It makes me feel like we are becoming hypochondriacs! And why do we refer to our pregnancy, birth, child as "normal"? What is normal? Why do we compare percentiles? They really mean nothing. As I said earlier, I refuse to label my child just because she may be acting a certain way. And I feel really strongly that this spills over into our parenting style and the things that we say to our children. Think about it...

Brat. Bossy. Bad Girl. Spoiled. Needy. Slow Learner.

These are all negative words, and I think that if we refer to our children in these ways, they will start to believe it, and start (or continue) to act that way. No, instead I choose to tell my daughter "You are BEING impatient, can you be patient for Mommy? Thank you, you're a good girl". Just because they are acting a certain way does not mean they are that. It reminded me of this post I saw earlier on Facebook....

I am not fingernails. My baby is not "bad", she is acting bad, and it is my job to lead her to make the right decisions. If you have a child who is a slow learner and you constantly speak that over them, they could use the excuse to do less in school and not try as hard because "I am a slow learner". Do you get what I am trying to say here?

Please be mindful of the words that you say and the phrases that you use. Maybe you will also choose to not label your child. And let's all continue to work together in raising strong, confident, respectful adults.