5 Ways to Bring Your Photos to Life

Guest post by Niki Jones

If I asked you to guess how many photos are on your phone, what would you say? 500? 1,000? More?

If I asked you how many of those photos have lived anywhere other than your phone or social media, what would you say? A few? Maybe 10?

There’s a major disconnect there!

It’s so, so important to print your photos. Get them off your phone. Let them live among you! No one is hanging tablets on the wall, no one is pinning iPhones to refrigerators.

Over the years I’ve found some fun and EASY ways to get my photos off my phone and into my home and office. Here are five fun ways I like to give my photos life beyond my phone.

Artifact Uprising 

Artifact Uprising offers a mix of photo products, but my favorite is their square prints. They come in three sizes, you can include a border or not, and crop your photos or not. They are printed on thick paper and I think that’s my favorite part. They have an iOS app for easy ordering, too, and my prints always come super fast.

 

Chatbooks

Chatbooks offers prints and a mix of photobook options. One of the coolest photobooks they offer is an “ongoing” book, which prints photos from your camera roll, Instagram, or Facebook. Each book has 60 photos, and you can edit it before printing in case there’s a photo on your social media you don’t want to save. If you have kids, check out the mini option. They are SO CUTE. The prices for these books are super affordable, too. They have an app for iOS and Google Play!

Photobox Magnets 

These photo magnets are a lot of fun. They come in sets of 9, and you can pick photos right from your phone’s camera roll. These ship from the UK so it takes a little time to get to you, but they’re worth the wait.

Polaroid Magnets

These magnets are a fun alternative. They’re a little bigger and you can add a fun word or two at the bottom. I don’t believe Pinhole Press has an app, or at least not that I’ve seen at the time of writing this, so there is that to consider!

Annual Photobooks

I have to admit that I have not yet ordered this product, but I love the idea of making an annual book, especially now that we have a baby! I think this would be a really fun way to capture the highlights of a year. This particular product is also from Pinhole Press, so again, this would have to be created on a computer.

Niki Jones is a family and newborn photographer serving sweet families in Baltimore, MD. To see her work, visit www.nikijonesphoto.com or visit her on Facebook.

Building Your Birth Team: Part 2

Today, on the blog, we will continue the discussion about building your optimal birth team for support both before and after birth. Being fully informed and having the necessary resources during pregnancy (and beyond) could make all the difference in the beginning stages of parenthood. The previous Building your Birth Team post highlighted the importance of choosing your care provider, childbirth educator, doula and placenta encapsulation specialist. Below you will find several other supports that optimize your overall journey.

Chiropractic Care: There are many hormonal and physical changes you’ll experience during your pregnancy. Some of these will have an impact on your posture and comfort. As your baby becomes heavier, your center of gravity shifts, and your posture will adjust (sometimes for the worse). Also, this may create added pressure and misalignment in the pelvis. A misaligned pelvis may pose complications during delivery. When the pelvis is out of alignment, it can make it hard for your baby to move into the best position to be born, which is rear-facing and head down. In some cases, this could affect a person’s ability to have a natural , low intervention birth. A balanced pelvis also means your baby has a lower chance of moving into a breech or posterior position. When your baby is not in an optimal birthing position, it can lead to a longer, more complicated delivery. Evidence points to improved outcomes in labor and delivery for people who’ve received chiropractic care from a Webster Certified Chiropractor during their pregnancy. Chiropractic care can help balance the pelvis, allowing baby the room need to get in the most optimal position possible, while also allowing for a comfortable pregnancy. In fact, chiropractic care may even help reduce the length of time you’re in labor. Locate a Webster Certified Chiropractor, one who specializes in pregnancy and pediatric care, today!

Acupuncture: Many people sing the praises of acupuncture during pregnancy to ease some common discomforts such as back and pelvic pain, nausea, heartburn, swelling, and constipation. So how does it work exactly? Researchers have found that acupuncture points correspond to deep-seated nerves, so that when the needles are placed, the nerves are activated and the energy flow will regain balance. This, in turn, triggers the release of several brain chemicals, including endorphins, which block pain signals and help to relieve a number of pregnancy symptoms.

Clinical Psychologist: This support person cannot be encouraged enough. This particular birth team member will allow you to prepare for the birth as well as process and heal post birth as you enter into parenthood. Benefits of a mental health therapist encompass well being, which ultimately affect baby and partner's well being. Becoming a new parent has the possibility of bringing in unexpected stress and anxiety. Having a safe space to process this can make all the difference.

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist: This particular support involves biofeedback and exercises to encourage relaxation and strengthening of the muscles of the lower pelvis which have the tendency to weaken in pregnancy and through postpartum. A physical therapist measures muscle tone and the strength of muscle contractions, which give you the information you need to proceed with tailored exercises. After practicing at home, you can see the improvement at your next visit. When necessary, the therapist may use a massage-like technique called myofascial release to help stretch and release the connective tissue between the skin and the muscles and bones in your pelvic region.

Pelvic floor PT postpartum may: strengthen your pelvic floor, re-training your abdominal function, help libido levels or painful intercourse, and treat incontinence.

Adding these members to your birth team care for the entire person. Physical, mental, and emotional supports are vital in attaining the wellness you deserve.

Baltimore Clinical Herbalist Specializes in Women's Health

Today on the blog, we have an interview with Melanie St. Ours, an author and Baltimore clinical herbalist who specializes in women’s health and mental health.

How did your clinical herbalist passion ignite?

Even though I'd had a lifelong interest in natural healing, I didn't have the courage to turn to herbs until I ran head-first into the limitations of our current healthcare system. It was 2008, and by day I was working as a massage therapist at a busy physical therapy clinic in downtown DC where I was the go-to person for clients with chronic illnesses, trauma histories, and other complex cases. Even with weekly treatments, I could see that they needed more options and that pharmaceuticals often didn't work for their needs. Meanwhile, I was getting sicker and sicker with Ulcerative Colitis --- and was shut out of the system because my "pre-existing condition" made it possible for health insurance companies to deny me access to a policy in those days before The Affordable Car Act had passed.

Seeing the ways that the system can fail people --- both those with access and those without --- made me passionate about becoming an herbalist so that I could teach people how to care for themselves with the medicines the Earth herself provides. I think of herbal medicine as a powerful complement to the medical system. The combination of both approaches is incredibly powerful, and we all deserve access to the best of both worlds.

How has this professional journey helped you in pregnancy?

More than anything, my herbal knowledge allowed me to enter into pregnancy in great health. I'm convinced that being well-nourished and well-supported was a big part of what made it possible for me to conceive right away at age 35 and to have a pregnancy that's been pretty comfortable and uneventful. I'm at 34 weeks today and still feeling good!

What has been the most helpful natural remedies for you while facing typical pregnancy ailments? Inflammation? Constipation? Decreased energy levels? Leg cramping? (Feel free to add any others)

It was a shock when I started experiencing constipation since I'm a vegan and am fantastically regular outside of pregnancy, but my favorite flax seed stool softener has been a huge help! (And I plan to drink this during labor and early postpartum to help make that first BM after birth as easy as possible.) If you want to try it, here's the recipe:

Flaxseed Stool Softener
(from The Simple Guide to Natural Health by Melanie St. Ours)

Ingredients:

1 heaping TBSP whole flax seeds
8oz room temperature (or cold) water

Directions:

1. Combine flax seeds and water in a cup or jar. Stir until all of the seeds are wet.

2. Let the cup or jar sit undisturbed at room temperature or in the fridge for 6-12 hours.

3. After steeping it complete, strain the seeds from the water. (You'll notice that the flax water is thickened and gel-like, especially toward the bottom of the glass/jar. This is what you want!) Drink the water/gel. You can use the soaked flax seeds in a smoothie or on food, or simply discard/compost them.

4. To prevent constipation, drink 1 serving per day. To reverse constipation, drink at least 2 servings per day -- one in the morning and one in the evening. You can increase to up to 4 doses per day if needed, and/or use this remedy in combination with Magnesium to enhance results.

I hope this will help you get some relief in the near future! If you try it for 2-3 days and don't notice much change, I'd add some liquid Magnesium (or Natural Calm dissolved in water) to the equation until you're feeling better.

I understand you have written a book that compiles your professional journey as a clinical herbalist. What inspired you to write the book? What is your hope for the book after publishing?

Well, the book isn't really about my journey as much as it's a guide to help others who are starting out on their own. 🙂 It's called The Simple Guide to Natural Health and is designed to make it easy for beginners to get the most out of all kinds of natural remedies including essential oils, natural body care recipes, healing foods (these are some of my favorite recipes in the whole book!), and homemade herbal tea blends, tinctures, and treats. We've already sold over 10,000 copies and I've spotted the book "in the wild" at Whole Foods, so really my biggest hope at this point is just that it reaches people and helps them to start experiencing how amazing herbs are in their own lives. This medicine really does belong to all of us, and I hope that my work somehow makes it a little bit easier for people to get started.

 

7 Tips To Prepare For A Natural Birth

Did you know that 85% of pregnant women are able to have a safe natural childbirth experience? But, only about 2% of American women give birth without any interventions. What is the disconnect? Certainly choice plays a role. Some women aren’t necessarily interested in unmedicated childbirth. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control National Vital Statistics Report, over 60% of women use an epidural for pain relief in labor. Also our culture and institutions impact a mother’s ability to birth naturally. Since one in three women welcome their babies via surgery, desiring a natural childbirth can feel somewhat unattainable. Know that if you are considering natural childbirth, it is so crucial to properly prepare yourself. With commitment and support, you can have an awesome, unmedicated birth experience! Follow these 7 tips, and you will be on target to have the best natural birth!

Be thoughtful when selecting a birth location!
In most places throughout the United States, you have access to three different birth locations. Mothers can give birth in a hospital setting, at a freestanding birth center, or at home. There are benefits and risks to all of these locations. You also need to decide where you feel most comfortable having your baby. If you really want an unmedicated natural birth experience in a hospital setting, find out what the c-section rate is for the facility you are considering. Individual hospital c-section rates vary widely, even within the same community. If you are thinking about having your baby at a freestanding birth center, this study presents great evidence to support safe and satisfying birth outcomes for mom and baby in a center environment. The study explains that if you have a low-risk, healthy pregnancy, your chances of having a c-section (via hospital transfer) is only 6% at a birth center, versus a 25% chance of c-section if you birth at a hospital. Your risk of interventions and c-section are lowest if you are planning a home birth. In this significant study, which analyzed nearly 17,000 planned home births, nearly 96% of women delivered their babies vaginally, and only 4.5% required pitocin to start or augment their labor. Compare this to a 30% induction rate in a hospital setting for first-time, low-risk mothers. Where you decide to birth matters! Understand the risks and benefits of different birth locations, and choose wisely.

Select a midwife as your prenatal provider!
Just like birth location, the provider you choose to see during pregnancy, and to attend your birth, has huge implications in your ability to have a natural birth experience. If you are having a healthy, normal pregnancy absolutely choose a midwife over an OB/GYN. The midwifery model of care sees pregnancy as a normal life event, that almost always results in a healthy mother and child. Midwives view pregnancy and birth through a holistic lens, and support women with more individualized care and minimize technological interventions. They also will identify and refer expectant mothers to obstetrical care, when truly necessary. There are several types of midwives, including Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Professional Midwives, licensed midwives, and direct-entry midwives. The majority of pregnant women are able to access midwifery care in a hospital, birth center, and/or home environment. Research midwives in your area, find out if they attend births in your desired setting, and select a midwife that encourages your wishes for an unmedicated birth!

Take a comprehensive natural childbirth course!
Everyone knows that knowledge is power! Simply wishing for a natural birth will almost certainly not get you there. Educating yourself about birth will help build your knowledge, prepare you emotionally and mentally, and give you the necessary tools and techniques to navigate the modern birth landscape. Invest in a thoughtful, comprehensive childbirth education program that prepares both you and your partner for natural birth. Look for natural childbirth classes that covers staying low-risk in pregnancy, nutrition, exercise, relaxation techniques, choosing a care provider and birth location, anatomy and physiology of labor, birth-partner preparations, common policies and procedures, breastfeeding, newborn care, and possible complications, interventions, and alternatives. A great childbirth education course will really build your natural birthing confidence and abilities!

Take exceptional care of your body!
Preparing your body for birth is crucial. Having a healthy, nutrient rich diet and exercising regularly and appropriately, provides a strong foundation for natural birth. Caring for your body and baby with proper nutrition and exercise will help keep you low-risk, and may alleviate common pregnancy related ailments. Also consider chiropractic care during pregnancy. Find and visit a chiropractor certified in the Webster Technique. A chiropractor can help balance your pelvis and spine, so your baby can find the best position for birth. A review of studies found that women who received regular chiropractic adjustments throughout pregnancy had 39% shorter labors. Achieving optimal wellness with diet, exercise, and chiropractic will pay off big time!

Practice mindfulness!
Training your mind and heart for natural birth is just as important as preparing your body. A recent study suggests engaging in a mindfulness-based practice during pregnancy can help reduce anxiety and facilitate an easier and more satisfying birth experience. Mindfulness is simply a state of awareness, that arises from paying attention to the present moment. A prenatal mindfulness practice can be applied in a variety of ways. You may choose to facilitate your own quiet meditative practice, choose visualization exercises, engage in progressive relaxation, or even use a mindfulness app, specifically created for pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Whatever you choose, mindfulness is a practice, so set aside time once or twice per day, and focus on the moment, to help you achieve an amazing natural birth.

Find your tribe!
Connect to other pregnant and new mothers that are interested in natural birth. It is so bizarre, but culturally normal, for veteran moms to share pregnancy and birth horror stories with expectant mothers. Disregard this negativity, and find your natural birth tribe. You can, of course, find a community of like-minded natural mothers everywhere online. If available, search for and attend a birth group or mama’s circle in your area.

Hire a doula!
Regardless of the type of birth you want or ultimately have, you should hire a birth doula! A doula is a trained maternal support practitioner who provides emotional, physical, and educational assistance to a laboring mother and her birth partner. Doulas help families have a safe, memorable, and empowering birth experience. Evidence overwhelmingly supports having a doula present during labor. With continuous labor support, women are more likely to have a satisfying and positive birth experience, less likely to have surgical interventions, and require less medical pain management. Birthing women with doulas also have shorter labors and fewer birth-related complications for mom and baby.

Having a natural birth is biologically normal, and most often physically and emotionally ideal, for mom and baby. It can prove to be a positive experience for the entire family, as well. With the right preparation, support, and education, you can absolutely achieve the best natural birth.

The Nurturing Root loves to support families that desire an unmedicated birth. We offer an exceptional array of Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth courses and holistic newborn care classes to support you during this exciting time of transition. Additionally, we support Baltimore families with in-home placenta encapsulation and family-centered postpartum doula and infant care support. We are honored to serve your family. Please contact us for more information, today!

What Is A Postpartum Doula?

Short answer; a postpartum doula is a cross between your mythical, awesomely helpful mother-in-law, and an expert baby whisperer! But seriously, a postpartum doula is a trained parenting, infant, and postnatal support professional. She provides education and assistance to families during the newborn period. This type of postpartum practitioner has a wealth of specialized experience and education, to help you adjust to parenthood. Think of a postpartum doula as your personalized parenting coach. Her goal is to help your family learn about normal newborn behavior, baby care techniques, infant sleep, postnatal recovery, breast and infant feeding techniques. There are really two avenues of support, a postpartum doula will provide. In the most traditional sense, a postpartum doula will help with a family-centered approach, or she can care for a growing family, by providing infant-focused care.

With a family-centered approach, a postpartum doula can guide, educate, and assist you through the parenting process. She may help you learn how to breastfeed with ease and confidence, answer questions you may have about feeding, diapering, bathing, grooming, and calming baby, and assist you with babywearing tips and techniques. Additionally, she may help you with meal planning and preparation, household organization, and give you access to trusted parenting and infant resources and referrals.  

A postpartum doula can also help your family with infant-focused care. Within this framework, your doula serves as a newborn specialist. She will be attentive to all of your baby’s needs, so you can properly rest and recover, after birth. Infant-focused care is particularly helpful to parents who are wanting assistance during the evening and overnight hours. Your postpartum doula will provide dedicated newborn care, so you can have the most restorative sleep, knowing a skilled professional is attending to all of your baby’s desires.

If you want personalized support, guidance, and resources to help you make the best decisions for your new family, consider hiring a postpartum doula! To learn more about how a postpartum doula provides practical support to families during the transition to parenthood, read this article.  Also check out The Relievery’s practitioner resource directory, or Doula Match, to find a postpartum professional in your area.

*This post was first published on THE RELIEVERY*

The Nurturing Root is honored to support and educate Northeast Ohio families. We provide Birth Boot Camp childbirth education, holistic newborn care classes, in-home placenta encapsulation services, and family-centered postpartum doula support. If you are looking to have a healthy pregnancy, amazing birth, and gentle postpartum recovery experience, contact us! We also welcome you to join our FREE Facebook community, Cleveland Holistic Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting. This is a great space for families and professionals interested in a variety of natural birth and parenting topics

Reflecting on Postpartum Anxiety: A Psychotherapist's Journey

Written by Emily Souder, LCSW-C, Nesting Space Therapy LLC

It’s 7:30 on a Monday morning. I’m snuggled up with my 2-year- old in jersey-knit sheets, his legs tucked next to my body, his hair smelling faintly of lavender from last night’s bath. Nearby, my newborn stretches and grunts, waking from a peaceful sleep. This moment is a gift, and yet my stomach has already started to tighten and acid has started creeping up in my throat. The clock has started.

During my waking moments I have often felt as if I’m racing against some invisible clock which can be heard only within my mind and body. I’m on high alert, waiting for the next time my baby wakes, anticipating the next tantrum, imagining the next time my children might have conflicting needs. There is a constant awareness of a countdown until the next mini “crisis”, accompanied by a never-ending script of what-ifs, while I’m scarfing down lunch or scrambling to load the washing machine.

Is the baby going to wake up soon? Do I have time to take a shower? What if she cries? What if my son feels rejected when I can’t play with him because the baby needs to eat?

On that Monday morning, I somehow pull one leg out from under the sheets, and then the other. I announce that we’re going downstairs for breakfast. And I feel terrified.

We’re barely down the stairs before the tears start. I feel like I’m trapped, like something terrible is going to happen, like I’m unable to handle whatever is about to come my way.

I go through the motions- getting breakfast for my son, feeding the dog- while trying to hold it together.

How do I do this? What do I do? What do I do??

Breathe.

***

After the birth of my first child, the daily anxiety I experienced and the panic I felt upon waking each day caught me off guard. Even after having a history of some generalized anxiety, I did not anticipate the hormonal shifts, lack of sleep, and other postpartum factors impacting me the way they did. Although I felt attached to my son, the anxiety impacted my enjoyment of our time together, and my ability to have confidence in being a mother. I was convinced that I would always feel that way- unable to enjoy my new baby, panicked and miserable.

This time, after the birth of my second child, I knew more of what to expect and when I noticed those familiar feelings of anxiety and panic returning, albeit with less intensity, I made sure to seek out a therapist and ask for help in other areas of my life as well. I was fortunate after the births of both children in that I had a great deal of support, as well as access to and knowledge of resources which would help point me toward wellness. I am incredibly grateful I was able to continue caring for my children despite my uncomfortable symptoms.

Though I am currently on maternity leave, I plan to return to work as a psychotherapist. My passion is working with pregnant women and new moms, and I have completed a certificate training in Maternal Mental Health. Last year, I started my own business, Nesting Space Therapy LLC, to offer in-home psychotherapy to pregnant women and new moms. May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, and I felt moved to be honest and say that I have been where so many women are and have been. I’m not really even out yet. Each day I am still continuing to heal. It’s not helpful to hide behind my profession and pretend I have it all together.

Mamas (and partners), there are resources out there for you. Please use them! Don’t feel ashamed. A great place to start looking for resources and assistance is Postpartum Support International. I wish all of you wellness. I’m on the other side of the darkness, and I can tell you that it gets better.

Six Tips For Hiring A Placenta Encapsulation Specialist

Are you considering hiring a specialist to encapsulate your placenta?

Placenta encapsulation is an awesome process that transforms your baby’s placenta into capsules. You then take your ‘placenta pills’ as a postpartum supplement. Placenta encapsulation can improve your overall postpartum wellness experience, and may help: balance hormones, support lactation and enhance milk supply, replenish iron, minerals, and vitamins, mitigate postpartum bleeding, provide natural pain relief, ease ‘Baby Blues’, decrease severity of postpartum mood disorders, and boost energy. If you are wanting to know more about what hormones, minerals, and vitamins are in your placenta and why they can help facilitate postpartum healing, take a look here.

Once you have decided that encapsulation is right for you, the next step is to find a qualified placenta specialist. So you search Google for ‘Placenta Encapsulation Cleveland’, but what next? Here are six tips to help you hire the best placenta encapsulation specialist.

Find A Specialist That Is ‘Triple Trained’

Placenta services are an unregulated industry, but there are certain standards, trainings, and precautions your professional specialist should follow. You want to find a placenta encapsulation specialist that has:

Completed training and certification with a comprehensive, research-based placenta education program. Ask your prospective placenta encapsulator with whom they have trained. Check out their certifying agency’s website to learn about the curriculum and requirements. Is their organization listed with the Better Business Bureau? If yes, what is their rating? Does internet search results return positive feedback?

The Nurturing Root is proud to have trained with both Placenta Benefits (PBi) and the Association of Placenta Preparation Arts (APPA). Both PBi and APPA are very well-respected organizations providing extensive education and credentialing in placenta preparation. We recommend using either the PBi directory or APPA directory to find an encapsulator in you area.

A current food safety certification. A food safety certification ensures that your placenta encapsulation specialist has tested knowledge in food hazards, proper hygiene practices, cleaning and sanitizing processes, and time and temperature controls.

The Nurturing Root Ohio holds a current ServSafeⓇ Food Handler Certificate.

Completed an OSHA compliant Bloodborne Pathogens training. It is crucial that your placenta encapsulation specialist has demonstrated competency regarding the precautionary guidelines and decontamination practices for handling potentially infectious and biologically hazardous materials.

The Nurturing Root has completed the Biologix Solutions Bloodborne Pathogens Training for Doulas and Placenta Encapsulators.

Decide Which Preparation Method Is Right For You

There are two preparation styles for placenta encapsulation, the Raw Foods Inspired method and the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method.

Raw Foods Inspired Method  

This method is based largely on the principles surrounding the raw foods philosophy of eating. Raw foods principles teach that food is most nutritious if it is heated no higher than 118℉. Above this temperature certain enzymes will begin to degrade. For the Raw Foods preparation, your placenta is cleaned, sliced, then dehydrated at either 118℉ OR 160℉ overnight. The Association of Placenta Preparation Arts recommends drying the placenta at the higher temperature of 160℉ to ensure any possible bacteria are eliminated.  Then your placenta is ground into a fine powder and placed in capsules. With this placenta process, it is thought that the potency of hormones and nutrients will be best preserved and available for your body.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Method

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been incorporating placenta in powerful remedies for 1400 years. It is used to increase lactation and augment the ‘Qi’ or life energy, after birth. The many hormones and nutrients found in placenta can help you heal, and find optimal balance, during the postpartum transition period. With the TCM method your placenta is cleaned, lightly steamed with ginger and myrrh, sliced thin, and dehydrated overnight. Then your placenta is ground into a fine powder and placed into capsules. Steaming the placenta with ‘warming herbs’ is an integral part of this preparation method. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a mother’s postpartum body requires heat and warmth to replenish the energy that is lost during childbirth. Raw foods are generally seen as a cooling element. Therefore, consuming raw placenta not recommended for the tonifying elements needed to nourish the blood and restore energy and balance to the body.

The Nurturing Root offers the Traditional Chinese Medicine method of placenta encapsulation to our clients. We believe that this preparation, and the Chinese medicine philosophy, offers the greatest healing benefits to new mothers.

Know Where Your Specialist Performs Their Work

A placenta encapsulation specialist will prepare the placenta either in their workspace or in their client's home. With both workspaces, your ‘triple trained’ placenta encapsulation specialist should implement identical sanitizing protocol. Also with both methods, capsules will usually be processed and made available within 72 hours of birth.

Specialist’s Workspace

Your placenta encapsulation specialist will either personally pick-up or use a courier service to collect your placenta from the hospital or birth center and have it brought to their workspace. Their workspace can be a family kitchen, a dedicated encapsulation processing space in their home, or a dedicated space in another location (like their studio or a commercial-style kitchen.) Once your placenta capsules are ready, your specialist will most likely bring the capsules to you at home.

Client's Home

After having your baby, you, a family member, or a friend will bring the placenta to your home.  Your placenta encapsulation specialist will then come to your house to process your placenta. The capsules will be left with you, or arrangements may be made to take them to your birthplace if you are not at home yet.

The Nurturing Root exclusively processes your (our client) placenta in your home. Your house is a special space with your family’s energy and unique microbiome, and we strongly believe that your placenta belongs in your residence. We also value the connection we make by processing your placenta in your house. We encourage you or family to observe the process, and welcome any discussion about the preparation method or questions you have regarding your placenta, birth experience, or the postpartum healing process.

Consider Hiring A Professional That Offers Complimentary Services

In addition to placenta capsules, look for a placenta encapsulation specialist that offers other placenta specialties, like: placenta art prints, tincture, or mother’s broth. You may also want to find a placenta encapsulation specialist that provides additional prenatal and postnatal services.

The Nurturing Root offers a variety of placenta remedies.  In addition, we also offer Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth education for couples, labor comfort measure workshops, birth and postpartum planning sessions, and family-centered postpartum doula care. We are quite active in the birth community, so we also have available a comprehensive list of community resources for expectant and new moms.

Hire A Well-Respected, Highly Reviewed, and Experienced Specialist

Using a placenta encapsulation specialist recommended by a trusted friend is a great option. But make sure to do your own research on any prospective encapsulator. Look through their website, check their social media accounts, and read or ask for testimonials. Schedule a call or meet with the placenta encapsulation specialist you are interested in hiring. Get an idea of who they are, how and why they chose to become a professional placenta encapsulator, and ask them how many placentas they have encapsulated.

The Nurturing Root has been providing placenta encapsulation services to families since 2011. We have helped nearly 600 mothers experience their best postpartum, with our placenta encapsulation services. We are honored to have overwhelmingly positive reviews and testimonials from our Baltimore families.

Have Your Questions Answered Before Booking Services

Your placenta encapsulation specialist should return your email, message, or call promptly and provide you with an overview of their services, fees, policies, and protocols. You should also see if your prospective specialist has a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page on their website. You want to feel confident about your specialist and her services before paying a deposit.

The Nurturing Root keeps an updated FAQs page on our website, so you can learn all about our placenta encapsulation services. We also respond to inquiries with thorough details about the placenta encapsulation process.

We want you to have a healthy pregnancy, empowering birth experience, and gentle postpartum recovery. If you are wanting to learn more about placenta encapsulation services and reside in Cleveland or greater Northeast Ohio please contact The Nurturing Root here!

This post, in part, was re-published on Parent.co

The Best Free Holiday Events in Baltimore

The Holiday Season is arguably the most hectic time of year. There are just too many obligatory work, school, and family gatherings to attend.  While planning parties, making gifts, and baking goodies can be festive, it is also exhausting. In order to maintain that high holiday spirit, it is helpful to connect with family and friends in a meaningful way throughout the season. Intentionally gathering together, in engaging activities, is a wonderful way to stay present and celebrate. Here are five, totally free and exceptionally merry, events happening in Baltimore this December. Take some time to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with those you hold dear!

Christmas Village in Baltimore

November 24 - December 24, 2016 @ 11am-7pm

West Shore Park, Inner Harbor

Explore a traditional German-style Christmas village with an appearance by the luminous Christkindl. She is the ‘færie gift-giving girl’ equivalent of our modern Santa. Peruse the market stalls for some holiday treats, including: gingerbread, waffles, mulled wine, and chocolates. There is also an array of handmade ornaments, gifts, and traditional crafts for purchase.

Fell’s Point Main Street Olde Tyme Christmas

Saturday, December 3, 2016 @ 9am - 8pm

Events centered near Broadway and Thames Streets

Enjoy an entire day of family fun at Olde Tyme Christmas Festival. Watch for St. Nick as he arrives by tugboat. Then enjoy breakfast with him at Barocina and Points South Latin Kitchen.  There will be a beverage garden and an eggnog contest.  At 5pm the tree-lighting ceremony will be held, followed by a lighted boat parade.

43rd Annual Mayor’s Christmas Parade

Sunday, December 4, 2016 Beginning @ 1pm

Commences at Poly/Western High School complex; ending at Chestnut Avenue @ 37th Street.

The Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade is a 2.5 mile celebration route in the Medfield and Hampden neighborhoods. This quintessentially Baltimore event features several marching bands, dance squads, Christmas floats, Santa himself, and even a steam calliope! After the parade is over, stop by The Womb Room, and celebrate their grand opening. The Womb Room is a gathering space for expectant parents and families, hosting a variety of childbirth education, yoga, and wellness classes and workshops.

Holidays At Hampton

Saturday, December 10, 2016 @ 10am-8pm and Sunday, December 11, 2016 10am-4pm

Hampton National Historic Site, 535 Hampton Lane, Towson

Take a Yuletide tour of this 18th-Century Georgian estate, farmhouse and servants’ quarters.  Experience the various Christmas traditions of Hampton, including: a candlelight open house,  African-American storytelling, period arts and crafts, and a live harpist performance.

Winter Solstice Ritual

December 21, 2016 @ 7pm-8pm

First Unitarian Church of Baltimore

Gather friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate this earth-honoring tradition!  The First Unitarian Church of Baltimore is a radically inclusive community, welcoming all to participate in the winter ritual of light. Give thanks while enjoying songs, poetry and seasonal blessings. There will be a festive reception to follow.

Holiday blessings to your family from The Nurturing Root!

Top 10 Baltimore Date Ideas For Pregnant Couples

Pregnancy is a transformative experience for parents-to-be. You may be wondering what life will be like with a new baby or how your relationship may change. Adding a child undoubtedly augments all aspects of life. Pregnancy serves as a really great exercise in being present. While you're waiting for baby, enjoy some together time and connect. Here are ten Baltimore date ideas, that honor the now!

  1. Spa Day Enjoy a couples massage. Mom can benefit from a restorative prenatal massage, while Dad enjoys relaxing bodywork. Try Jessie Bernstein at Satori Wellness Center in Towson, The Loft (formerly Missy Kibelbek) in Hampden, or The Healing Path, which has locations in Mt. Vernon, Fell’s Point, and Baltimore County.
  2. Linger at dinner  Sitting together, uninterrupted, for a meal is a rarity for many new parents.  While you are still growing baby, enjoy dinners outside the home. My top picks are Petit Louis with two locations; Roland Park and Columbia and The Wine Market in Locust Point.
  3. Fake a Vacation Staying at a local hotel for an evening or two is the more accessible little sister to a ‘babymoon’. Kimpton Hotel Monaco, near the Inner Harbor, has great boutique hotel amenities. It is in proximity to many downtown Baltimore sites and attractions.
  4. Take a Long Stroll Taking a walk, especially in late pregnancy, can ease discomforts and even facilitate labor. For a picturesque water view, visit Fort McHenry.  If you prefer the canopy of trees, head to Lake Roland.
  5. Brunch Never overrated; brunch is perfect for special occasions. Wit and Wisdom delivers a fantastic Sunday brunch, located at the Four Seasons Hotel in Harbor East.
  6. IKEA A trip to IKEA is a right of passage for parents-to-be. Take a quick trip to White Marsh, or try the Prince George’s County store for the best selection of minimalist nursery staples.
  7. Practice Yoga The Birth Well at Baltimore Yoga Village offers two enriching options: prenatal yoga classes and a yoga for birth workshop. Both programs will help you connect and feel empowered during pregnancy and birth. Baltimore Yoga Village has studios in Hampden and Mt. Washington.
  8. Visit a Museum There are several great museums in Baltimore. Visit Federal Hill and stop by The American Visionary Art Museum.  AVAM hosts an eclectic array of works by self-taught artists. The Baltimore Museum of Art, in Charles Village, houses the renowned Cone Collection and has an exceptionally well-edited contemporary collection.
  9. Watch a Movie Both the Charles and Senator Theatres are landmark locations in Baltimore, where you can view a variety of mainstream and independent films.
  10. Picnic Relax and have a romantic afternoon picnic. Cylburn Arboretum offers respite from city life with its charming gardens. Patterson Park features a vast open lawn earning its nickname, the ‘best backyard in Baltimore’.

If you are looking for resources or recommendations during pregnancy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Breast+Skin+Sling: An interview with Austin Rees

My guest on the blog today is Austin Rees. Austin is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and a Certified Babywearing Consultant through the Center for Babywearing Studies. She is the owner of Breast+Skin+Sling, and the co-founder of Sacred Milk. Austin prepares mothers prenatally with the foundations of breastfeeding, skin-to-skin, and babywearing. She facilitates personalized ceremonies to celebrate life’s transitions. Austin also provides one-on-one babywearing consultations in our community. (featured image credit: Kate’s Takes)

It is common today for parents to take a birthing class. Why should parents seek out a breastfeeding and babywearing class before the baby arrives?

An out of hospital birth class is essential to gaining the information on how to facilitate the process of birth and know your choices in birth. Skin-to-skin, and the breast crawl (infant independently moves to the breast to nurse) occurs immediately after birth. Understanding how to facilitate this instinctual experience before the birth is beneficial. I find mothers profit from the knowledge and foundations of how Milk works, the importance of skin-to-skin, along with an understanding of the normal newborn before the baby arrives. With this knowledge I have witnessed mothers step into motherhood trusting their bodies, their babies, and their Milk. I help mothers discover their innate instincts and wisdom so they enter their unique Milk relationship secure, confident, supported, and connected to their baby. Armed with the knowledge of how to initiate a good start is key to avoiding difficulties. I observed working with mothers postpartum that a majority of the issues they experienced could have been prevented if they had the proper information before the baby arrived. Babywearing can also start immediately, and knowing how to comfortably and confidently use a carrier can be a valuable tool.

Babywearing is commonly seen around the city. How would you react if you see someone wearing a baby improperly while at the store?

I am always excited to see another parent or caregiver wearing their baby while I am out. I usually try to make eye contact or say, “It’s great to see you wearing your baby.” If I notice someone wearing their baby and the straps are twisted, or it does not look to the carrier direction guidelines I may observe to see if they are interested in striking up a conversation. When I engage with someone who is wearing I ask how they feel. If they are happy and comfortable, I praise their excitement. If they say this is great, but xyz, I will share some babywearing tips that may help that situation.
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On your website it lists you offer facilitating ceremonies for families in the DC/MD/VA area. What are some reasons for someone to reach out to you to create a ceremony for themselves or someone else?

I enjoy designing personalized ceremonies to create a circle of support for someone. I have been facilitating Mother Blessings for pregnant or adopting women for 10 years. In place of a traditional baby shower, a Mother Blessing is a special ceremony designed to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate a woman’s journey into Motherhood. Family, friends, and mothers contact me to create a ceremony and provide a loving place where the honored mother can explore the challenges and joys that lie before her as she approaches childbirth or adoption, and mothering her first or multiple children.

I also facilitate Birth Story Ceremonies; a place where a mother can experience deep listening, and allow the power of sharing her story to heal, celebrate, grieve, release, process and acknowledge her experience, her journey. These are designed to make way for the mother to experience her birth story. We open our heart and commit our undivided attention to her. This allows her to fully express her experience, reflect upon it, and take the steps she needs to move forward. We step aside and create a safe space so she has complete control, and unconditional support.

A Weaning Ceremony is a time we can come together to honor a Mother’s Milk relationship. We make way for the mother to experience her Milk story by opening our heart and committing our undivided attention. This allows her to fully express her experience, reflect upon it, and take the steps she needs to move forward. We step aside and create a safe space so she has complete control, and unconditional support.

I also create customized ceremonies. Recently I designed one for a special woman who was about to undergo radiation for breast cancer. We designed activities that supported releasing fears, created personal power, and we weaved a web of support, pledging our assistance throughout her treatment and beyond.

Sacred Milk is a sister program under the Sacred Living Movement. Can you share what is the Sacred Living Movement, and more about your involvement with Sacred Milk and Sacred Pregnancy?
Sacred Milk Baltimore
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Photo credit: Kalimana Birth Films

The Sacred Living Movement acknowledges all aspects of our life’s journey need to be honored, and embraced with reverence and respect. The Sacred Living Movement was designed to bring back the age-old tradition of women sitting with one another during a time of transition, witnessing each other’s process and BEING there for one another. We have a local, active Sacred Living Movement Maryland group.

Sara Goff and I created Sacred Milk after attending a Sacred Pregnancy retreat. Sacred Milk is a movement inspiring women to trust their bodies, their baby’s and their Milk. Our mission is to nourish the wholeness of each mother’s journey and shift our culture to see Milk as a holistic practice, rather than simply a feeding choice. In the last century our culture has been saturated by marketing that has conditioned us to see breasts as sexual, and human milk as just a food source. The Journey to Milk program is focused on opening space for women to remember their innate wisdom and then surround themselves with a supportive community. Milk is instinctual, natural, normal, and necessary. That doesn’t mean it’s easy or filled with bliss. Milk is not something that can be fully learned from a book or taught on the internet. Milk cannot be told. Milk must be modeled, supported and nourished in community because it is a way of living not a way of feeding.

I recently co-hosted a Sacred Pregnancy + Sacred Milk 2-day mini retreat for pregnant mothers in our community. It was a gorgeous event full of women showing up and witnessing to each other. In September I will be facilitating a retreat to certify Sacred Pregnancy instructors in Nashville, TN. I am excited for more women to have the option to attend these classes or retreats prenatally.

Austin is such wonderful resource for mothers and families in our area and has such a beautiful way of bringing our community together. If you are looking for breastfeeding or babywearing education in the Baltimore or surrounding area, you can contact Austin here.

Postpartum Doulas Support Baltimore Families

 

Having a new baby can be a very challenging time for some mothers and their families.  Mom may be healing from surgery or a difficult birth.  Dad or partner may not be able to take any time off work, or maybe he travels a lot.  Some families don’t live in the same area as their extended family, so they may have minimal family support.  Perhaps they have other young children that need tending to while mom is healing.  Maybe they just need help stocking the empty fridge.

Many families are finding comfort and support through postpartum doulas.  While a birth doula supports families emotionally and physically during labor and delivery, a postpartum doula supports families after their baby arrives.  Postpartum doulas support Baltimore families in a variety of ways.  Their tasks may vary depending on the family’s needs, but ultimately the doula will help ease the family’s transition with baby, and help keep their home afloat while they recover from birth and bond with their growing family.

Postpartum doulas help families with light housekeeping, meal prep, sibling care, overnight support, errand running, and more.  Just imagine…

We can do all of that.  We can take care of you.

By offering non-judgmental support, families feel safe asking questions related to breastfeeding, baby care, and postpartum wellness.  Mothers and families feel secure knowing they can take the deserved time to rest and bond with baby while their doula keeps their home running smoothly.  Our postpartum doulas support Baltimore families with passion, compassion, and expertise.