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Supporting mothers in establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship is one of our most important roles as doulas.  

When we talk about the first hours after birth we often tell expectant mothers to trust the baby, they know exactly what to do and the less we mess with the process, the better it goes.





The following YouTube videos show how the slow, gradual process occurs.  We all just need to be patient and let nature take its course.  You and your baby are amazing magical creatures.  If anyone tells you otherwise, come back and watch these.  

The first is a quick highlight reel video by Entrust.  
The second video is from Raising Children Network and has interviews with two mothers.
This third video posted by Jennifer Pitkin is the whole process.  This mom and baby have had immediate skin-to-skin and it seems there has been no interference.  Oh the suspense!!
 
 
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I admit, the Royal Family fascinates me!  According to Life & Style Weekly, Kate is expecting baby #3 with Prince William.  If it's true, congratulations to the growing family!

Like many of us regular non-royal moms, Kate has had rough pregnancies dealing with hyperemesis and bed-rest.  I was sick through the entire duration of pregnancy #2.  It was horrible.

However, Kate is a future Queen.  She is provided unending support by nannies, midwives, Ladies Maids and chefs...(ahhhh Downton Abbey season 6 starts soon in the US!)   

While I may be Queen of my Castle here in Morganville NJ, the staffing is sadly inadequate. If this was a Vlog, I would pan the camera.  You would see, my maid sucks and the chef did not show up again today.

So how can we get the royal treatment for our pregnancy and early days after the baby arrives?  Here are my 3 quick suggestions:

1.  Plan ahead for time to rest.  Kate has planners and schedulers whose sole purpose is to plan her day.  I have my datebook.  It's sad we have to plan to rest, but we do, so learn to use the crock-pot, follow-our Menu Monday Blog and sign-up any older kids you have for some activity that takes them out of your space for an hour or two.  We all benefit from some child-free time and they benefit from some mommy-free time.

2.  Surround yourself with people who are positive support.  A good friend who just agrees because she know it's what you need to hear, and then gently nudges you in the better direction.  ie:  Me:  I am going to eat this entire box of Ghirardelli chocolates and follow them with a bottle of wine! Friend: Sounds AWESOME!  How about I take you for a milkshake and a pedi instead?

3.  Plan for "after birth support".  If you can afford a nanny, hire one.  If not, this is the time to put some cash aside for a postpartum doula.  Kate has them, we should all have them.  A Postpartum Doula comes to you and does all the things that Kate's staff does for her. She helps mom with self-care, she helps care for baby, she helps you spend time with older siblings, she makes sure you are eating and showering, she listens to you and makes sure you are healthy in body and mind!  She gets it.

Most importantly she treats you like a queen.  

Not in the creepy "smoking in the alley complaining about uppity nonsense" way.  In the "I will listen and support you without judgement" way.  It's time we all got treated like Kate.  
It takes a special kind of person with a great deal of patience and compassion and training to support a new mother.  And we have plenty of them!

Call us now at 732-754-9551 to see how we can treat you like a Royal.






 
 
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Bone Broth

We have received a few requests for a Bone Broth Recipe as we head into the winter season.  This is a more labor intensive recipe, as you need to skim the broth over the course of cooking.  This is a great recipe to prepare before your little one makes their debut! You can add it to your freezer meal stash.


It's also a great energy boost during labor, when your appetite is low.

Broths and stocks have been used in Europe and Asia for centuries and they are essential in gourmet kitchens. I often have a cup of warm broth as a snack, and it is great to keep in the freezer for those "under-the-weather" days.  You can use broth as a substitute for water when cooking rice or quinoa, or use it to make a quick homemade gravy

Additionally, the soaking of the bones in an acidic water draws out the calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals, making them more readily absorbed by our body. It is more budget-friendly than buying glucosamine-chondroitin and mineral supplements at your local Vitamin store. 



Prep: 5-15 minutes 
(See Cook times below)


Ingredients
  • 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Water

Optional additions***
  • 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic for last 30 minutes of cook time
  • Salt/Pepper/Herbs for flavor

You will need a large stock pot (or crock pot) to cook the broth and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.

If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350.

The first step in preparing is to gather high quality bones. Many butchers will sell bones; mine saves me “chicken backs” which is just the frame after he has removed the breasts, wings, and drumsticks. 

***I also keep a large zip lock bag in my freezer and put all the bones in it when I roast a chicken at home. This usually works out to 2-3 full chicken carcasses. If possible I’ll also add 2 chicken feet per gallon of water, this is only if you can find them and can tolerate them in the pot (optional!). 

***You can also add some organic vegetables for flavor. These are optional but will add extra flavor and nutrition. Again, I have a large zip lock in my freezer where I save all my onion ends, onion skins, carrot tops, leafy parts of the celery, and any bits that would get tossed otherwise.  1 onion, 2 carrots, and 2 celery stalks can be used if you do not have a scrap bag in your freezer.

Instructions
Place the bones in a large stock pot (I use a 5 gallon pot). Pour (filtered) water to cover the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available. This can also be done in a crock pot.

***Rough chop and add the vegetables (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.

Bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until for the following cooking times: 

Beef broth/stock: 48 hours
Chicken or poultry broth/stock: 24-36 hours
Fish broth: 8 hours

During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the foam that floats to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. 

***During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.  


For more info on making broths, or the health benefits visit The Nourished Kitchen or 
Traditional Cooking School.

Todays recipe was submitted by the Fabulous WBC Doula Shea Coffey.  Shea can be reached at shannon@wisebirthchoices.com

 
 
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Placentas are a hot topic again, as Kim Kardashian announced she will consume her placenta from second baby, Saint North's birth.

While we know this idea isn't going to be for everyone, we have been getting calls asking for a smoothie recipe, so here goes. (Keep in mind you can make this recipe WITHOUT the placenta!)

If you have your placenta in your freezer, this is how you can use it!  This recipe is from Code Name Mama's Blog. Visit her blog for more smoothie recipes.

Vanilla Yogurt Smoothie

1 cup yogurt (greek or regular)
1 banana
3 frozen strawberries
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp flax seed meal (for Omega-3’s)
1 tbsp dry quinoa (whole or ground for protein)
Placenta
Dollop of honey (optional)


If you want to know more about the benefits of consuming your placenta as pills or tinctures, connect with us by calling 732-754-9551 or visiting our website NJPlacenta.com. You can also check out our digital information guide here.

 
 
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Kim Kardashian has just announced the birth of baby number 2, Saint West, and she will also consume her placenta, as she did with first baby, North West.  

In her app, Kim posts, "“I really didn't want the baby blues and thought I can't go wrong with taking a pill made of my own hormones--made by me, for me.  I started researching and read about so many moms who felt the same way and said the overall healing process was so much easier.  I had great results and felt so energized and didn't have any signs of depression!  I definitely had to do it again.  Every time I take a pill, I feel a surge of energy and feel really healthy and good.  I totally recommend it for anyone considering it!"

People eating their placentas is not new. It just isn't common practice in the US. For thousands of years, people around the world have consumed placenta as postpartum medicine. Placentophagy is the act of people eating the placenta after childbirth.

It's rise in popularity in the US has been heavily influenced by Hollywood celebrities who consumed their placentas. Below is a short list of celebrity moms who consumed their placentas.

Kourtney Kardashian - This mother of three has been very open about consuming her placentas. On January 10th 2015, Kourtney posted this picture of her encapsulated placenta on instagram and wrote, “Yummy…PLACENTA pills! No joke…I will be sad when my placenta pills run out. They are life changing! #benefits #lookitup." 

Alicia Silverstone - Encapsulated her placenta. "Someone gifted me my (dehydrated) placenta in the form of pills. And I have to tell you that I really loved it!  I got to the point that my husband said, 'Did you have your happy pills today?'  And I was really sad when they were gone. It really helped me."

Mayim Bialik - This Big Bang Theory actress and attachment parenting activist wrote a blog post called ‘You’re Not Gross’ that defended fellow Hollywood actresses Alicia Silverstone and January Jones’ decisions to encapsulate their placentas. In the blog post Mayim admitted she, too, had eaten her placenta in capsule form.  "It's good for mammals to eat the placenta and we evolved for that purpose," she wrote.

Tamera Mowry - Tamera Mowry tinctured her placenta after the birth of her son, Aiden. Liquified placenta, mixed with brandy, and administered through a dropper. Tamera, along with her twin sister, Tia, pulled a bizarre stunt for the season finale of the Tia & Tamera reality show. Tamera dropped some of her ‘placenta cocktail’ onto her sister Tias tongue. 'I was really, really surprised that it tasted pretty good mixed with a little bit of alcohol,' Tia wrote on her blog. 'It was definitely Tamera paying me back for making her taste my breast milk.'

Placentophagy has proven to be tremendously beneficial to our clients. While our clients are not as famous as the gals listed above, they mean the world to us!  The staff of Wise Birth Choices want you to have the best experience possible in birth & postpartum. We would love to speak with you to see if this amazing service is right for you.  Call us at 732-754-9551 or visit NJPlacenta.com to book your services.


 
 
Found this on social media today!  I could seriously watch him do this all day.  Thanks for the tip Dr. Bob....whoever you are.
And now we are seeing the follow-up videos.  From NJ 101.5 FM radio personality Jeff Deminski....OMG it works!
 
 
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Today I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the owner and staff of the Bra & Girdle Factory located at 1900 Hwy 70 in Lakewood.

I reached out to Bra & Girdle Factory for answers to the questions we hear from our birth & postpartum doula clients.  I compiled a list and headed to Lakewood for answers.

Upon arrival, I was escorted to the round table and the women shared their wisdom. 




I sat with Cheryl Teitelbaum, the owner of the Bra & Girdle Factory, and a few of her staff, Joan Diana, Lorraine Hammersten and Cathy Levey.  These women were a blast to talk with and swap boob and breastfeeding stories.  They all contributed to the Q&A. (Women in the photo from L to R:  Cheryl Teitelbaum, Joan Diana, Gala Sossa-Delgado and Joni Maione)

1.  At what point in pregnancy should women shop for maternity bras / nursing bras?

We suggest 3 different time frames because your body changes so much, so rapidly.

Initially you should come in to be sized and fitted when your bras start feeling tight or uncomfortable. This varies from woman to woman.  Some need a fitting when they make the switch to maternity clothes.  For most it will fall around month 4 of your pregnancy.

The second sizing and fitting should be as close to your due date as possible.  This is when you breast tissue starts getting ready to go to work and you be closer to your nursing size.

Third fitting should be during months 3-5 postpartum.  This is when you will lose some of the "baby-weight" and your breasts have settled in with your individual breastfeeding cycle.   

2.  Is there a formula for sizing a nursing bra? Is it based on my non-pregnant size?

The formula is coming in and getting sized and fitted.  You may be wearing the wrong size right now. (The women shared some chuckles over how deluded we are at selecting our own sizes, I was pegged immediately.  I will be heading in for a fitting ASAP) 

3.  Are there specific styles you suggest for plus sized nursing bras or larger breasted women?

Larger breasts need bras with less stretch and more structure.  Wider straps to take the strain off the shoulders.  We offer sizing up to size 56 N.  

4.  We hear underwire nursing bras are contraindicated in breastfeeding, potentially causing blocked ducts. Is this a result of poor fit?

This is often a painful result of poor fitting bras.  Not all women who get blocked ducts are wearing the wrong bra, but a good indicator is a repeat problem in the same area of your breast.  Wired or wireless, if your bra is too tight you will eventually have a problem. 

You can wear a wired bra, but it must be the right size and fit.  We carry wired and wireless nursing bras in the larger cup sizes.  NEVER SLEEP IN A WIRED BRA – whether you are nursing or not.  It is just bad for your boobs.

5.  What do you recommend women wear for nighttime nursing?

Sleep bras are great for night nursing because they hook in the front.  They are super comfortable and stretchy, so it’s easy to just pull the cup down to nurse without unhooking too. 

6.  What is the recommendation for laundering nursing bras?

Wash by hand and NEVER put them in the dryer.  We tell women to take them in the shower and just wash them while you’re in there.  Hang them to dry.  Your regular bath soap is fine and it's a couple more minutes of peace in the shower!  

7.  What is the price range of nursing bras at your location? What is the range of sizes available?

Regular prices range from $50-75, but we offer a 20% discount which brings them down to $40-60.

8.  What are the benefits of coming the Bra & Girdle Factory vs grabbing a bra at one of the big box stores?

The biggest benefit is our dedication to providing you with comfort and correct fit.  That means less pain, less stretch marks and less sagging later.  We have trained professionals who are here to help you.  Women who come here benefit from a larger selection and a larger variety of styles.  



We also want women to avoid the frumpy look they get from generic box store bras. Especially for women who are returning to work and pumping.  A good undergarment makes the outfit. A supportive nursing bra with the correct fit will help keep you looking stylish and professional, while still giving you access for pumping sessions.

I heard you can convert a regular bra into a nursing bra....is this true and what magic are you conjuring?

This is true, and it isn’t magic.  For a seamstress fee, we can convert any bra into a nursing bra.  If you have a brand/style you love, we will turn it into a nursing bra for you.  We can also size a bra up or down for you.


Thank you to the gals at the Bra & Girdle Factory for their time, dedication and support!  We hope you will stop in on your quest for the comfortable nursing bra.  Let us know how your visit goes!


This post was contributed by the Fabulous Doula Jill Dillner.  Jill can be contacted by email at jill@wisebirthchoices.com.