Experience Truth in Wellness

7 Things All Wellness-Minded New Mothers Need to Know

Mommy & Son

Mommy & Son

Today I’m going to share 7 things I have learned about that I think all wellness-minded new mothers ought to know. Particularly, as a new mom, these are super important if you want to do things the most well way (and are skeptical of the “conventional” way).

So, let’s get started!

Here are the 7 things all wellness-minded new mothers need to know (in no particular order):

(1) Lactation consulting is like gold.  Thankfully, my insurance covered unlimited lactation consultations at zero cost to me. I took advantage from that from the start in the hospital and have continued to lean on my consultant for advice all throughout the first 4 months since my baby’s birth. This video shows our lactation consultant and a little more about why it was helpful to us. My lactation consultant also has a great Facebook page, Elite Lactation Consulting, here.

Jennifer Jordan, Lactation Consultant

Lactation Consulting at El Camino Los Gatos with Jennifer Jordan

Baby PC in the Hospital Lactation Video

(2) Check before you vaccinate to see whether your child has genetic predisposition that might lend him or herself to major health problems from vaccinating. If your child has issues and could have a bad reaction, you can find a medical doctor to write you a medical exemption. We have seen and heard of stories where children’s personalities literally changed after getting vaccinated. Please check before you vaccinate. Many children have no problems with vaccines, but some do. Isn’t it worth just checking? (I took a photo of the HUGE list of vaccinations the doctor’s office has along with their intended schedule for them and have included below so you can see what they want for your kiddo.)

Vaccination Schedule

(3) Get a doula. My husband told me that was one of the best recommendations I had made for our family. My sister had had one and that’s how I learned about what at doula does and why I knew I wanted one whenever I had a kid. Having a doula was the BEST investment, especially for a first baby. My husband and I really had little to no idea what to really expect when the delivery came around. I also had wanted a midwife and home delivery for the past many years, but once I learned about doulas and had found an OB locally that I loved and was very natural-minded, I felt having a doula with a great OB was ok and released my need for a midwife for that birth. Having my doula was my compromise. She was AMAZING. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Bec McAucliffe. She helped prepare both me AND my husband for what to expect, training us on things and pointing us in the right direction to prepare.

Picture of Bec McAuliffe, my doula, with a baby

She encouraged us to take a child birthing class (which I don’t know whether we would have done without her telling us about such!) When we got totally overwhelmed in the birthing class, realizing how much we DIDN’T know and wondering how in the world we were going to remember all the proper things to do in the delivery process, we remember with confidence that we had a doula. 😉 We didn’t have to remember! She would be there all the way.

We realized we didn’t need some of the other baby / mom classes out there, either, because we had a doula to show / teach us. She literally stayed with me from right after I checked in at the hospital until I got moved to the recovery room. She stayed up all night AWAKE watching me while I slept in and out with an epidural and my husband slept on the couch. Her being there allowed my husband to sleep.

(4) Miracle Swaddle is the best infant baby swaddle out there. At least it was for me and for one of my best friend (who now has 4 kids and she said that out of all the swaddles this was the only one they could not get out of!) When the baby got inconsolably fussy and other swaddles were ineffective, this one worked!

Miracle Swaddle

Miracle Swaddle

(5) Do massage and/or chiropractic for your baby if you had back labor. I had back labor during my 20 hour labor (it kicked in 7 hours into my labor, which is why I ended up with the unplanned epidural). If you have never had back labor, let me explain that it is the worst pain I have ever experienced. I was screaming and physically shaking, while also about to cry and throw up at the same time. That’s when I gave up trying to manage my labor pains and demanded drugs.

Well, if you have back labor (which is when the baby gets turned funky – and it can be his/her back scraping your back bone – ouch!) then you probably need a chiropractic adjustment afterward (I did).  And, your baby needs one too! My baby was pinching while breastfeeding, and the lactation consultant quickly identified the reason: he was too tight in the hips and needed craniosacral work. So, a baby-friendly chiropractor, Dr. Marilyn Moss, came in to the hospital to do a chiropractic adjustment and craniosacral on the baby, and the pictures below are of him smiling after her work. First smile he ever gave us was immediately after her work in the hospital. He was much calmer and happier. My understanding now is that if a mom has back labor in delivery, she should definitely get her baby some chiropractic / massage work after delivery. My son needed it in his hips and neck. I’m so glad we did that for him.

Baby Smiling After Chiropractic & Massage

Baby Smiling After Chiropractic & Massage (Day #2 of his life)

Baby after his second chiropractic adjustment (a few weeks later…smiling again!)

(6) Co-Sleeping. I had never heard of co-sleeping before my [first] baby came on board. I started hearing it about from some sources I trusted, from certain people who had also done co-sleeping themselves: a chiropractor, a lactation consultant, a doula, and a massage therapist. Suddenly I was surrounded by reputable individuals who had all done co-sleeping!

What is co-sleeping, you may ask? It’s just what it sounds like-it’s sleeping WITH your baby. You can do it by safely cradling then in your arm alongside you or by using a co-sleeper, like the SwaddleMe By-Your-Side “Moses basket” type you place in between you and your partner on the bed, or like anArm’s Reach co-sleeper crib that attaches to the side of the bed. (Please note: sofa and recliner co-sleeping are never safe, and whenever co-sleeping it is critical to keep loose covers or sheets away from the baby’s face to ensure they can breathe.)

Swaddle Me By-Your-Side sleeper

If you are considering co-sleeping, be sure to watch the video by Dr. James McKenna at University of Notre Dame. He explains why and how to do it, and comments that all other countries but the United States do it. Also, I learned that the reason we don’t do it here has to do with the fact that the aristocracy started the trend of putting their little ones in a separate room. No doubt that was one other way they could “show” their social standing: they had a separate room for baby.

Reaching into the co-sleeper

By the way, co-sleeping can also be done by just having the baby bed in the same room as you, the parents. My husband and I have tried a variety of co-sleeping methods to find which works best for us. We’ve done the separate standing crib in the same room (photo below).

Co-sleeping: separate crib in the same room

We’ve also put the Swaddle Me sleeper in our bed, cradling baby in arm with me in the bed, and now I even recently got an Arm’s Reach co-sleeper to try!

Swaddle Me on our ottoman – one nice thing about this tiny bed is you can put it almost anywhere!

(7) Herb Lore – This is a great resource for herbs that will help pregnant and postpartum moms. I have used a variety of there items. I learned of this through a pregnancy-minded chiropractor. The sitz bath blend is a nice one that came recommended, and I used after delivery. They also have a tummy tincture I took when trying to help my little reduce his gas. Additionally, when I got a clogged milk duct (OUCH!) – these can quickly turn into mastitis – not only did I get physical therapy to work it out with ultrasound and massage at a place called PhysioFit in Los Altos, but I also got the poke root herb from Herb Lore. While the PT place got the duct unclogged, I still had a big hard marble-sized lump in my breast. After using the poke root a few times over the course of a few weeks, the hard bump disappeared! I even had it confirmed today at the mammogram place that it was gone…it wasn’t just my imagination that it was resolved. Oh, happy day! My chiropractor also told me that poke root is good for the whole family for taking any time you start to feel like you are fighting something / might be coming down with something.

My Herb Lore Herbs

So, that’s it! Those are the top 7 things I want to leave you with today!

What do you think are the top things all wellness-minded new mommas need to know?

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