5 Wonders of the Placenta

placenta facts

Let’s discuss some amazing placenta facts about this mysterious, yet mighty organ.

1. The placenta is the only transient organ. This organ comes and goes after its purpose
has been fulfilled. It brings oxygen, blood and nutrients to the growing fetus inside the
mother’s body. Once the baby has been born, so too will the placenta expel itself.

2. The placenta is one organ yet acts as three. WHAT?! Well, this umbrella-shaped organ
acts as baby’s lungs by carrying oxygen from the mother. It acts as the kidney by filtering
out waste product. It also acts as baby’s immune and gastrointestinal system by
delivering nutrients and antibodies. The placenta allows the fetus to grow a healthy size
before it is born.

3. Mother’s immunity is transferred to the fetus through the placenta. This immunity can
last for six months after baby has been born.

4. In some cultures, the placenta has spiritual significance. In Hawaii, the placenta is
considered part of the baby itself. In Nepal, it is considered a friend to the baby. And in
Malaysia, it is considered an elder sibling.

5. Scientists are able to study the placenta to learn more about cancer. Because pregnancy
progresses in a similar way to a tumor, the placenta is an excellent source for analyzing.
Unlike an organ transplant, the placenta is able to develop in the body without being
attacked by the immune system. By studying this unique organ, researchers can learn
more about how tumors have the ability to grow without intervention from the immune
system.

The 4-1-1 on Breastfeeding with Katy Linda, IBCLC

baltimore breastfeeding

We’ve got the fabulous and incredibly knowledgeable Katy Linda on the blog today asking her all things breastfeeding. With her wealth of knowledge, this is sure to be a treat for all. She is an IBCLC and a mom of 4 amazing kids. She’s the founder of The Breastfeeding Den and has three students working to assist her. The Breastfeeding Den provides personalized 1:1 support in your own home. Katy truly believes that seeing you in your comfortable space will provide the most tailored and supportive care for your individual needs. Katy and her team stay focused on the big picture of breastfeeding and help families work through unique circumstances to create a goal that works well for all.

*What is one piece of advice you would give soon-to-be new moms about their breastfeeding journey?

This is such a hard question, one piece of advice isn’t much! But, I always tell families that many generations ago, lactation consultants didn’t exist because our families were closer together physically, and we had better support systems. If there is one thing a family needs, it’s a quality support system. Find your team who will lift you up and encourage you and embrace that. Support will get you through the hard days of parenting.

*What are effective ways to build milk supply?

The best way to increase supply is to demand more. The more frequently the breasts are emptied the more milk the majority of parents will make. For many families this is through direct breastfeeding. For families whose babies are not efficient at emptying the breast, pumping with a quality (typically hospital grade) pump will likely be necessary.

There are many herbs and foods that may help with milk supply, however which herbs and foods will work for each family is very individual. Having a full health history is an important piece of recommending these galactagogues to families.

*What are ways to reduce milk supply?

There are many reasons families might feel that they should work to decrease supply. My first question would always be WHY. I want to see the parent and baby and be sure that they aren’t misreading signs from their baby. True oversupply is very rare.

If they have to wean quickly for medical reasons, we will want to look at the underlying concerns and make a plan tailor-made to their situation.

For those who are trying to wean because it’s the right time for their family, removing the feeding that the baby is least attached to, and getting into a new normal, and then removing another.

*Can pumping more than needed become a problem?

Absolutely. Pumping more than you need could increase difficulties if the milk supply becomes too much. Some babies struggle with too much milk. Sometimes the pumping parent can experience challenges such as plugged ducts or even mastitis if there is too much milk that isn’t moving through the breasts.

*What pump do you recommend? Why?

There is no right pump for every person, if you will be separated from your baby for extended periods of time, or your baby has health complications, you may need a hospital grade (typically rental) pump, if you are going to be working full time away from your baby, you’ll want a double electric pump, and if you just need to pump occasionally you may be fine with a hand pump. Which brand and features you need are variant upon circumstances. Feel free to reach out, I’m happy to help with pump selection.

*Should foremilk/ hindmilk be a consideration when nursing?

In most circumstances, no. Your baby is smart, and they will typically let you know what they need. We actually just posted this blog on this topic.

*Is timing breastfeeding sessions necessary?

In the early days it can be helpful to make sure feedings are lasting at least 5 minutes, and to make sure they aren’t lasting 45+minutes on a regular basis. If there are concerns around your baby’s feedings it can be helpful to keep track of things until all is going well. Most babies need to eat 8 – 12 times a day, and typically feedings last 10 – 30 minutes. A few feedings outside of the normal range is reasonable, if every feeding is lasting a long time, it would be wise to seek the support of an IBCLC to assess the situation.

*For new moms, what is the greatest mental/emotional challenge to overcome when it comes to breastfeeding?

Everyone has different challenges. For many moms, one of the big challenges of breastfeeding is the fact that most human breasts don’t contain ounce markers, and many families find it challenging to trust that their baby is getting enough to eat. Story after story talks about those who struggled to make enough milk, and it can induce a lot of fear into new parents who just want to ensure that their baby is doing well. Rest assured, the vast majority of women make enough milk for their baby. A baby who is well fed will be content after feedings, pooping regularly, and growing as expected. If your baby is doing all of those things, you are just fine.

*For new moms, what is the greatest physical challenge to overcome when it comes to breastfeeding?

For many new parents, being needed as much as babies need their parents can be challenging. Babies are pretty helpless creatures and they depend on their adults for everything that they need. They also need to eat frequently to stay alive, which means new parents aren’t getting big chunks of sleep. Being needed 24/7, and not getting the sleep you are used to can be exhausting. But, parenting is also an amazing experience, so it is all worth it in the end!

Spring into Baltimore!

The long awaited winter has come to an end and Baltimore is gleaming in all its
beauty. This spring, make sure you take part in all that Charm City (and the
surrounding area) has to offer. Below you will find several outdoor, kid-friendly
events that are bound to entertain the entire family.

April 26 & 27: Charm City Bluegrass Festival

Charm City Bluegrass Festival, winner of the 2016 International Bluegrass
Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award for Event of the Year and 2018
Best Festival by Baltimore Magazine, invites music lovers and foodies to
gather in Druid Hill Park on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 for the
seventh annual celebration of bluegrass, folk and Americana with three
stages, 20 bands and two days of family-friendly festivities including local
food, a limited release beer from Union Brewery, artists, a kids activity area
featuring animals from Irvine Nature Center, spontaneous jam sessions and
more.

General Admission varies but kids under 10 are FREE! Parking is free with
cost of admission.

April 27-30: Day with Thomas the Train at B&O Railroad Museum

Day Out With Thomas is a fun-filled event that provides children of all ages
the opportunity to climb aboard and take a ride with Thomas as well as
participate in Thomas & Friends™ themed activities. The tour, now in its 24th
year, will make 37 stops across the U.S. and Canada, and is expected to
welcome nearly one million passengers in 2019. For two back-to-back
weekends at the B&O Railroad Museum little engineers and their families are
invited to take a 25-minute train ride with their favorite engine, Thomas the
Tank Engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a
day of Thomas & Friends fun with crafts, photo ops, and more.
Tickets are $22-$26 for ages 2 & up. Parking is free and available on site.

April 27: Dia Del Nino/ Kid’s Day

Back for its ninth year on Pagoda Hill (Patterson Park), Día del Niño is a free
day of fun celebrating our community youth! Get excited for the many
activities, including piñatas, Folkloric dance performances, face painting,
sports and games, paper rockets, arts and crafts, giveaways, nature activities
and much more. Most activities are geared towards children 2 – 12 years old.
Bringing over 2,000 people to the park, all activities, performances, and food
are free and nothing is bought or sold during the event so that families can
enjoy all it has to offer without having to think about price! Rain date: April
28th.

May 8: Bug’s Life Playgroup

We’re going BUGGY! Join (cool) progeny for a Cool Tot Time that’s all about
bugs at Brown Memorial Preschool. Dress to be outside as we search for
bugs, enjoy a story, make a bug craft, and have a snack. Tot times are
designed for children ages 1-5 and their caregiver. Babies under 12 months
of age are free!

May 11: Annual African American Book Fair

Enjoy a fun-filled day focused on kids’ literature about African Americans and
people of other ethnicities. Enjoy author readings, illustration workshops,
live performances, and art activities. Purchase hard-to-find titles in Book
Village. 7th year. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland

May 19: Baltimore Birth Festival

Join vendors, care providers, local businesses, birth workers, and more for a
day of family fun and information on pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting
supports available in the Baltimore area. The event includes face painting,
food trucks, Kona Ice, a kid-friendly DJ, and over $4,000 in giveaways. Event
is held at Patterson Park and is free for the community.

**These are only a few of the many events held this spring in the Baltimore area. For
more events, visit www.baltimoreschild.com.**

Real Talk: Screen Time Struggles

Let’s real talk. I’m a mom of two under three. It’s the dead of winter. I live in a
two bedroom Baltimore City row home. I have no yard. Not telling you this to
commiserate with me, although I’ll take any pity you sling my way. But simply
saying the screen time struggle is real. Every. Single. Day.

Sesame Street is boss in our house. But I try really hard to keep it at an hour a
day for my two-nager (see AAP recommendations below). When that hour is spent,
the creativity unravels. I’m here to share a few ideas I have up my sleeve to spark
some creativity and limit screen time use.

1. I bought a simple shoe organizer that hangs over the door (via
Amazon) that I keep all of our craft/ sensory play in. Because it brings
me JOY. #Kondo. In these compartments are things like play dough,
water beads, markers, glue, paint, kid safe scissors, paper, pom poms,
pipe cleaners, beads, wiki sticks, etc. We have a letter of the week and
focus on sorting and color/ shape identification mostly these days.

2. Also, busytoddler on Instagram is a wonderful resource with fantastic
ideas. The creator is a big proponent of sensory bins so there’s a
plethora of different bins to create that are easy and affordable.

3. I allow my daughter to help a lot in the kitchen. We prep lunch and
dinner together. She enjoys simple tasks such as shaking the
cinnamon on the sweet potatoes and tearing off the cilantro leaves for
the pizza topping (who likes that job anyway?). Word to the wise: This
will slow down the process quite a bit… so don’t expect that 15 minute
dinner Rachel Ray promised if your toddler is meddling in it. BUT… on
the bright side… I notice that she is much more willing to try
something new (think radish and mushrooms) when I am allowing
her to help.

4. Storyville. This is probably not new information but this place is such
a delight on a rainy, snowy day. Both locations (one in Rosedale, MD
and Woodlawn, MD) are bound to brighten any toddler’s mood.
Seeking to create an early literacy environment, this interactive real-
world play will have all of you wanting to return.

5. Check out Nature Centers near you. These are great outings in the
winter because it gets everyone exploring a little outside. Fresh air
and also interacting with nature. Even in the winter, things are
happening outdoors and its fun to get out there and learn about them
together.

AAP Recommendations:

• For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-
chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media
should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them
understand what they’e seeing.
• For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality
programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they
are seeing and apply it to the world around them.

5 Amazing Benefits of Placenta Tincture

Did you know that the healing properties of the placenta can be stretched even longer than the postpartum period? Tinctures are potent substances extracted from steeping some of the fresh or powdered placenta. This powerful solution can be used in any time trauma, emotional distress, through sleep deprivation; transitions back to work, or even as far out as menopause.

Other benefits of the tincture may include:

  • Balancing out and reducing chronic symptoms of PMS.
  • Easing anxiety and emotional distress post baby.
  • Because the tincture contains hormones, it can help relieve stress in times of difficulty for the entire family.
  • Please see a Homeopath or Naturopath doctor before using with baby or child for suggested dosage.
  • Tincture may even be used to decrease insomnia and sleep deprivation.

Tincture stores indefinitely so it may be used into menopause to reduce hot flashes and balance hormone fluctuations.

The suggested dosage may added to coffee, tea, water or juice two to three times a day during times of need. Because of its potency, it is not a remedy suited for ongoing daily use beyond times of need.

Placenta Print Art

placenta prints

The placenta is an amazing organ that gave your baby life for the 9 or so months that s/he lived inside of your body. Most often this organ is discarded as medical waste with a total disregard for it’s important work. Instead of tossing it, how can you honor the birth of your baby and maximize the use of the “tree of life?” Placenta art may be one of the last things that pop into your head, but there are a number of reasons why to consider having your baby’s placenta printed:

  • These unique works of art commemorate one of life’s most treasured moments.
  • It restores the ancient tradition of honoring and having gratitude toward the placenta’s purpose. For hundreds of years, some cultures have buried the placenta as a way to honor the life and connect the baby back to the earth.
  • It is a lasting depiction of the conduit between mother and baby and holds a memory of the pregnancy.
  • It can serve the purpose of nursery décor and also be a fantastic conversation piece.
  • It is a relatively easy and inexpensive add-on service to encapsulation or as a stand alone service.

These prints can be displayed on a wall or kept with baby’s other precious mementos. Whatever you choose to do with your prints, know that it is a lasting way to celebrate the birth of your baby.

Contact us to discuss whether placenta prints are right for you!

 

 

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