Page 1

P

to

BA BY

• B U

M BA BY

M

M

P

guide

• B U

TO

TO

B A BY •

P

BU

M

P

to

BA BY • BU

bumptoBABY GUIDE EXPANDED EDITION


Well, hello there! Nice to meet you!

Congratulations, by the way, on bringing new life into the world. It's a wonderful thing you've done. It's also quite wonderful that you've taken the time to access this expanded edition of our Bump to Baby Guide. Originally published as an insert in the Spring 2017 issue of EcoParent magazine, we've added more recent content from the 'Ask the Naturopathic Doula' column found in every single issue of EcoParent magazine. We hope you find it useful as you begin this fantastic journey you've started! There's so much more we'd like to share with you. Just click the banners on the following page to stay informed and inspired, the EcoParent way! Healthily yours,

The EcoParent Team.

C


C

find us on Facebook follow us on instagram receive our e-newsletter subscribe to our MAGAZINE snuggle up with our WEBSITE


to BA BY •

TO P

B

M P

B

P

U

U

M

BU

M

P

to

B A BY

TO

P

prenatal nutrients

M

BA BY

BA BY

TO

guide

you need to know!

BU

by dr jennifer keller, nd

Photo: © Conejota | Dreamstime.com

M

ost women are in agreement that when it comes to pregnancy, the most important thing is to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Engaging in preconception and prenatal health care is the best way to ensure a smooth and optimal journey. A healthy pregnancy starts before conception. With the basics of a well balanced, whole-food based diet and exercise regime in place (always start with the basics!), our next step is to ensure you have adequate levels of the top nutrients researched to be important for the health of both mom and growing baby. Read on to see what I recommend for my patients to ensure fantastic health through pregnancy and beyond!

FOLATE Folate (folic acid, Vitamin B9) is a vitamin important for DNA synthesis and the growth and protection of cells in our body. We have an increased need for folate when our cells are growing and dividing rapidly, as is the case before pregnancy. It is, therefore, important to ensure adequate folate levels before conception. Many physicians and naturopathic doctors will advocate for all women of childbearing age to take a vitamin B complex in cases of unplanned pregnancy. Adequate folate levels are important for supporting the neural development of the baby. It is known to prevent spina bifida, neural tube defects and other birth abnormalities (cleft lip and palate, limb defects, etc.). The best food sources of folate include dark leafy green vegetables, whole grains and citrus fruits. An easy way to remember that folate is present in dark leafy greens is to think of foliage, from which the term folate is derived. Supplementation of folate is recommended during the preconception and pregnancy period. A good pre-natal vitamin should have the minimum daily requirement of 400 mcg. Be mindful of the form found in your prenatal. Most pre-natal supplements will list folic acid. Folic acid has to undergo a few chemical and enzymatic reactions before it becomes absorbable and usable by the body.

Current medical research is finding that almost 40% of the population has a genetic enzyme defect that prevents the necessary enzymatic conversion of folic acid into its active form. For this reason, it is advisable to look for folate in the form of methyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF, or methyl-folate), the active form of folate immediately usable by the body, to avoid any deficiencies.

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS (EPA & DHA) Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in both the development of a healthy baby and in the health of the mother. Omega 3 fatty acids (FAs) are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids found mainly in cold water fish. They are commonly called Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) because they are essential to our health and development. These cannot be made by the body, and therefore must be obtained through our diet or supplementation. The most important omega-3 FAs are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA is known to be important for our heart, immune system, and management of inflammation. DHA is known to be important for our brain, eyes and central nervous system. Adequate levels of EPA and DHA during conception and pregnancy are vital to the neurological development of the fetus, notably positive effects on neurological and visual development. Studies also show a reduced risk of allergies, asthma, and eczema. And the health benefits do not stop with baby! It also seems that women with higher intake of omega-3 FAs have a decreased risk of pre-term labour, preeclampsia and low birth weight. There is also a correlationbetween low omega-3 levels and postpartum depression. Health Canada has an excellent page detailing the health benefits of omega-3 FAs, as well as a chart of fish safe for consumption, outlining nutrient profiles, including the breakdown of EPA and DHA per fish. In pregnancy, you want to aim to get a minimum of 1 gram of EPA and 400 mg of DHA per day. This can be done through diet or a high quality fish oil supplement

Tip: Take fish oil supplements with food (in the middle of your meal) to avoid any fishy burps or aftertaste.

The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!


VITAMIN D Vitamin D, affectionately known as the sunshine vitamin, is another important nutrient for conception and pregnancy. It is estimated that approximately 50% of the Canadian population is deficient in Vitamin D. The reasons for this are many. For one, there are few foods that contain Vitamin D. There are also a variety of factors that influence our ability to make or absorb Vitamin D. In Canada, the northern latitude means we are exposed to very little sun in the winter months. Vitamin D requires a certain amount and level of sunlight on our skin for the body to produce it. When the skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, it naturally produces a usable form of Vitamin D. Considering we cover up much of our skin for the majority of the year, we are generally at risk of not producing sufficient Vitamin D. The best way to find out if you are deficient is to get a blood test with your MD. Deficiency or not, it is recommended that women who are conceiving and/or pregnant supplement with Vitamin D. Numerous studies have been conducted around the health benefits of Vitamin D supplementation compared to non-supplementation and inadequate levels in pregnancy. These studies have found that women who supplement with Vitamin D have a decreased risk of developing gestational diabetes, pregnancy related high-blood pressure, and preeclampsia. It has also been shown to decrease the risk of premature labour and delivery. Of note for the baby, we have also seen a reduction of risk in the development of type-1 diabetes, allergies, and asthma when Vitamin D is found in adequate levels in the mother. The amount of Vitamin D in most prenatal vitamins is often insufficient, requiring extra supplementation. When looking for a supplement, you want Vitamin D3 in a liquid form of medium chain fatty acids. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and therefore best absorbed in liquid oil form with food. The minimum requirement is heavily debated. Currently the minimum requirement is suggested at 400 IU per day. Most studies are done with a dose of 4000 IU per day. Consult with a naturopathic doctor or functional medicine doctor to discuss what levels would be most appropriate for you.

iron, so additional supplementation is not typically necessary. To prevent the need for further supplementation, you can focus on including iron rich foods in your diet. Dark leafy greens, liver, red meat and blackstrap molasses are some examples of foods that are high in iron.

Tip: Consume iron rich foods with foods high in vitamin C to increase absorption.

PROBIOTICS Probiotics and our gut flora are the health rage these days, and for good reason. Research is exploding with how vital these live microorganisms are to our health, on multiple levels. The right balance and strains of beneficial bacteria promote a healthy digestive tract, strengthen the immune system, prevent and help manage atopic conditions, and help combat illness. Benefits in conception and pregnancy are no exception. Probiotics are often used to treat a variety of digestive complaints that can plague pregnant women, including constipation, diarrhea, heartburn and indigestion. Preventatively, exposure to good probiotics in mom and baby help to stimulate the growth of the immune system and prevent the development of allergies. Mom's can kick-start this early exposure by supplementing with probiotic rich foods and supplements in pregnancy. This ensures a diverse microflora in the mother's gut, womb, and vaginal tract. One of the best and biggest "doses" of probiotics for baby is from their mother’s vaginal tract during a vaginal birth. Babies born via C-section have been tested and found to have a completely different colonization of bacteria compared to those born via vaginal birth. Some hospitals are adopting vaginal smears for babies born via C-section to introduce the mother’s vaginal flora to the baby and impart the many benefits known from that inoculation process. When babies are exposed early to a diverse colonization of their mother’s bacteria, we see a decrease in atopic conditions, such as eczema, allergies, and asthma, as well as a more robust immune system with fewer incidences of colds and sickness. During pregnancy, mothers who have a healthy gut flora also have decreased risk of being positive for Group-B-Strep.

IRON Iron is required for the production of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying molecule in red blood cells. Pregnancy increases our need for iron, due to the baby developing its own blood supply and consuming a large amount of the mother’s oxygen! A deficiency in iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia, causing a host of different symptoms, the most notable of which would be extreme fatigue. The good news is that checking your ferritin levels (the protein that stores iron in our bodies) is a routine procedure in all pre-natal visits. If you are found to be low in ferritin or anemic, your health care provider will advise you on the best supplemental forms. Most women find that certain forms of iron will cause cramping and constipation. To avoid this, ensure you choose iron in the form of iron glycinate (or bisglycinate). Beyond prevention of anemia, we also know that adequate iron is associated with decreased risk of premature birth and low birth weight. Iron deficiency is associated with poor placental development and increased risk of miscarriage. A good pre-natal supplement should contain a sufficient amount of

Probiotics are best obtained from high quality supplements and fermented foods. Including a diverse selection of fermented foods throughout your pregnancy will help create and maintain a vibrant gut-flora profile. Options for fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir (either milk or water for those who are intolerant to dairy), yogurt, and kombucha.

Tip: If supplementing with probiotics, take it with food to ensure best absorption and colonization.

The benefits of taking the time to master a healthy regime throughout your pregnancy are numerous! Not only will you prevent many pregnancy related complications, you will feel more energetic, clear of mind and ready to start this exciting new journey. Aiming to get the right amounts of these nutrients through diet also starts wonderfully healthy habits you can maintain for the rest of your life. If and when supplementation becomes necessary, please consult with a qualified health care provider to ensure you are taking the correct amounts and forms. •

The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!


M

P

A to B BY •

B M

U

U

P P

to

B A BY

TO

BA BY

M

P

by dr. leslie solomonian, nd & stephanie fairborn

BU

M

guide

BA BY

BU

THE NATUROPATHIC DOULA

TO

Ask

B

Health & Beauty

H

aving a newborn is a very exciting time for parents. However, infant illnesses such as coughs, colds, and diarrhea can create

© Can Stock Photo / gajdamak

worry. As a parent or caregiver, you want to feel confident in how Top pregnancy ailments you are handling these situations, ultimately making sure your child & how to treat them naturally is comfortable and safe. Here are some strategies for appropriately navigating common illnesses and tools to help your child feel better

sooner. by dr. rachel schwartzman nd, doula

Understanding FEVERS

P

One of the most common symptoms of infant illnesses is fever. While

While the fever itself should not cause worry, a higher fever may be an indicator of a more serious cause of illness. Most common childhood illnesses are viral. They cause low fevers and are generally benign and self-limiting, although they certainly can cause distress (think ear infections and croup). A bacterial infection may be more dangerous; a higher fever may indicate the need for medical care, particularly if there are other concerning symptoms (see below). There is no need to suppress a fever! When acetaminophen and ibuprofen are used to reduce fever and alleviate discomfort, the entire immune response is suppressed, potentially prolonging the illness. By allowing the body to do its work – marked by the fever running its course – you may be helping to promote recovery. There are many ways to help an ill child feel more comfortable without using a fever suppressing medication. Read on!

understandably worrisome for parents, fevers are one of the many regnancy can feel magical. Finding out you're pregnant, ways the body protects itself against viruses and bacteria. Fevers an environment that is toxic to infectious organisms, and are watching your belly grow, and feeling your create baby move all associated with a boost in white blood cell count (the “soldiers” of make for an exciting time. But then, as the weeks the goimmune by, system), the less increased heart rate (helpful to circulate those soldiers), and the fatigue and lethargy that prompt your child to rest When to WORRY glamourous symptoms of pregnancy begin, and youandmay recover.suddenly A fever is a sign that the body is doing exactly what it needs to do. Fevers due to infection do not typically get high enough So if fever alone shouldn’t cause worry, what should? Assessing start to wonder, why am I doing this? Thankfully, there are many to cause neurological damage. Some children will be susceptible to your child overall is more important than the number on the febrile seizures (a seizure caused by a rapid increase in body heat) thermometer (although an infant under three months of age with a natural remedies for pregnancy ailments. however incidence is low and even these have not been shown to fever should seek immediate medical care). Heartburn Heartburn affects a lot of moms-to-be. Progesterone, the cause damage. hormone that relaxes muscles in pregnancy, also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus. Plus, as the uterus grows, Morning Sickness This is often one of the first signs of pregnancy, it pushes up on the stomach, forcing acid into the esophagus. The beginning at about week six, and can be accompanied with good news is that as the baby drops towards the end of pregnancy the vomiting. Sadly, morning sickness isn't just limited to the morning; symptoms get better, and after the baby is born, symptoms resolve. in fact, it can happen at any time of day. The goodCONCERN news is that it usually only lasts until the end of the twelfth week, leaving you • Skin, lips and tongue are pink and complexion • Less than 3 months of age feeling amazing for the 2nd trimester. What you• Pale can do: plump • Doesn’t respond normally; takes a • Pale, blue or grey complexion » Eat small meals throughout the day and avoid eating right • Responds to you normally while to wake up; lethargic • Not responding; does not wake or • Stays awake or is able to easily • Increased breath rate stay awake What you can do: before bed.• Increased heart rate waken • Weak, high-pitched or continuous cry normally • Mouth is dry FEVER • Grunting or sounds of distress » Keep your blood sugar levels balanced by eating every 2-3 •• Cries » Avoid greasy foods that irritate the stomach. Mouth and eyes are moist and • Not nursing/eating/drinking well • Struggling for breath plump hours. » Eat papaya or pineapple after meals. They are both digestive • Fever for over 5 days • Decrease in urination • Less active than usual • Signs of swelling or pain • Bulging or sunken fontanelle » Have protein with each meal (e.g. chicken, fish, beans, nuts/ aids with naturally occurring digestive enzymes. • Skin rash • Neck stiffness seeds, eggs). » Before dinner have one teaspoon• Neurological of applechanges cider vinegar in a or seizures » Make your own ginger tea. Grate a half inch piece of fresh ginger glass of warm water. This is a wonderful digestive aid, pregnant into a mug. Top with boiling water. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. or not. The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide! Strain the ginger out of the mug. Add fresh lemon or honey. » After a meal enjoy a cup of fennel tea. It can soothe the irritation » Try the ‘Seabands’. These bands rest on an acupressure point of the digestive system. called PC6 in Chinese medicine and have been shown to relieve nausea. » Consider supplementation with vitamin B6 (speak to a licensed Muscle Cramps Muscle cramps, leg spasms, or Charlie horses are health care practitioner to find the right dose for you). another common concern in pregnancy. They typically happen at night, which can be quite frustrating. They can be due to lack of circulation or a mineral deficiency (e.g. calcium/magnesium). Constipation This commonly happens to pregnant women, even to those women who usually have regular bowel movements. Hormonal What you can do: changes, pressure on the bowels from the womb, and possibly the » Stretch your legs before bed. It gets the circulation moving and iron in your prenatal supplement can all be contributing factors. I prevents any lactic acid build-up. don’t recommend straining, as this can cause hemorrhoids (another » Enjoy a massage. This is a great way to increase circulation to ailment you want to avoid!). Laxatives are not allowed in pregnancy your legs. as they irritate the uterus, possibly causing mild contractions. » Take a calcium/magnesium supplement. Not only does this supplement reduce spasms, but it supports bone health for both What you can do: you and the baby. » Increase dietary fibre. Think: ground flax seeds, whole grains, » Try a cup of nettle leaf tea. An all-time favourite herb of mine, beans, beets, berries, and carrots. this tea is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and » Try oatmeal for breakfast. Not only is it high in fibre, it's rich in nourishes the body wonderfully. Consider drinking a cup daily. silica, which maintains the elasticity of our veins (decreasing your chances of getting hemorrhoids!). As always, I recommend you speak with a health care professional » Increase your water intake. Aim for at least two litres per day. before starting something new. Pregnancy is an amazing time, and » Move every day. Walking briskly for 30 minutes can help to the connection between mom and baby is a bond that begins in the stimulate the bowels. early stages of pregnancy and will continue for many years to come. » Take a probiotic daily. Increasing the friendly bacteria in your Let’s keep it a healthy one, so, as a mom-to-be, you can enjoy all it gut is a great way to improve your digestive health. has to offer. •

Infant Illness Risk Guide

32 EcoParent

| The spring is sprung, the grass is riz... The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!

Spring 2018


Health Health&&Beauty Beauty

Ask

THE NATUROPATHIC DOULA

The trials and tribulations of labour by dr. rachel schwartzman nd, doula © Can Stock Photo Inc. / [halfpoint]

D

iscovering you’re pregnant is such an exciting time. As your belly grows, you will likely start to think about your upcoming labour and how to prepare for it, devising birth plans, talking with other parents about their experiences, and discussing options with birth professionals. Being educated about possible issues that could arise and how to navigate them can result in improved birth outcomes. Here are a few common concerns.

YOU’RE GROUP STREP B POSITIVE At 36 weeks of pregnancy you will be tested for bacteria called Streptococcus B. The bacteria naturally live in the vaginal canal, but if there is more than a certain level, it will trigger a positive result. The recommendation then is to be intravenously fed antibiotics during labour once your water has broken because, though the risks are low, Strep B can cause meningitis. However, the exposure to high dose antibiotics has a negative impact on the microbiome, and can create an increase in yeast. To combat this, take probiotics (50 billion CFU) daily after the antibiotics to help avoid conditions like thrush and vaginal yeast infections, and to keep mama and baby’s gut healthy!

YOU’VE GONE OVER YOUR DUE DATE More often than not your birth team will seriously consider induction as you near ten days post due date, and it will be a foregone conclusion by 42 weeks of pregnancy. Ideally, labour starts on its own with your body producing large amounts of oxytocin, the hormone needed for an efficient labour. With an induction, however, your body is given synthetic oxytocin – sometimes referred to by the brand name, Pitocin – to help labour progress, which presents some risks. An induced labour might not progress as well, or as gradually, as it is established by an external intervention instead of the body’s natural mechanisms. Further, synthetic oxytocin can cause a baby’s heart rate to descend to a dangerous level, in which case the result is often a c-section.

YOUR WATER NEEDS TO BE BROKEN MANUALLY Typically, waters break on their own, the baby slides into the canal, prostaglandins in the amniotic fluid are released, and labour intensifies.

28 EcoParent

|

However, with a slow-to-start or slow-to-progress labour, having the waters broken can be a great way to get things moving. With an active labour pattern you can likely hold off a bit longer, as having the bag broken will really intensify the labour. If you do decide to have it done, be ready!

YOUR BABY IS BEING CONTINUOUSLY MONITORED Generally during labour, the baby is monitored intermittently, and every so often your nurse or midwife will listen to your baby for about a minute. Continuous monitoring, on the other hand, means the monitoring belt is left on the entire time, impeding your freedom of movement. This can happen with an induction, if labour becomes medicated, or if it is discovered that the baby is stressed (e.g. the heart rate is fluctuating). The upside of continuous monitoring is that problems are detected early; the downside is you are more likely to find issues when you start searching for them, leading to further interventions.

YOU’RE EXPERIENCING FAILURE TO PROGRESS This term is given to women when their cervix isn’t making the changes it needs to have a successful vaginal birth. Simply put, the cervix isn’t opening to the full 10 centimetres! This happens for any number of reasons, such as baby’s position or medical induction, and it may mean that your labour ends in a c-section. Remember: the goal of labour is a healthy baby and mama, so whether born vaginally or skyward (!), failure to progress doesn’t mean you’ve failed at anything!

YOU’RE TOTALLY FREAKED OUT Labour can be scary! We need our bodies to produce oxytocin to have labour progress, but fear inhibits its production and can result in an inefficient or stalled labour. Feeling safe and secure produces large amounts of oxytocin, triggering active labour patterns which are desirable for a favourable birth experience! Research shows that being educated and having a supportive birth team increases positive birth outcomes, no matter the obstacles we might encounter. Interview health professionals, consider hiring a doula, and openly discuss your fears and possible complications, so you can be fully supported when the big day happens! •

Fall 2018

fall into family The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!


u

Health & Beauty

Ask

THE NATUROPATHIC DOULA

TIPS FOR A GENTLE INDUCTION

M

P

A to B BY •

B

M

U

U P

B

by dr. rachel sachwartzman nd, doula

BU

M

P

to

B A BY

TO

P

M

BA BY

BA BY

TO

guide

by dr. leslie solomonian, nd & stephanie fairborn

BU

H

aving a newborn is a very exciting time for parents. However, infant illnesses such as coughs, colds, and diarrhea can create worry. As a parent or caregiver, you want to feel confident in how you are handling these situations, ultimately making sure your child is comfortable and safe. Here are some strategies for appropriately navigating common illnesses and tools to help your child feel better sooner.

While the fever itself should not cause worry, a higher fever may be an indicator of a more serious cause of illness. Most common childhood illnesses are viral. They cause low fevers and are generally benign and self-limiting, although they certainly can cause distress (think ear infections and croup). A bacterial infection may be more dangerous; a higher fever may indicate the need for medical care, particularly if there are other concerning symptoms (see below).

There is no need to suppress a fever! When acetaminophen and © Can Stock Photo Inc. / [halfpoint] ibuprofen are used to reduce fever and alleviate discomfort, the entire immune response is suppressed, potentially prolonging the One of the most common symptoms of infant illnesses is fever. While illness. By allowing the body to do its work – marked by the fever very pregnant hasarea one check-up. She is past her due date Early toterm: 37 recovery. weeks to 38 weeks + 6 weeks understandably worrisome forwoman parents, fevers of the many running its course – you may be helping promote ways theand body her protects itself against viruses and bacteria. Fevers ways There many ways to help an ill child feel more comfortable medical team wants to discuss of are encouraging create an environment that is toxic to infectious organisms, and are without using a fever suppressing medication. Read on! birth, with but athe hesitant about associated boostmother-to-be in white blood cell is count (the “soldiers” of medical interventions, thespecifically immune system), heart rate (helpful to circulate those anincreased induction. Full term: 39 0/7 weeks of gestation to 40 6/7 soldiers), and the fatigue and lethargy that prompt your child to rest and recover. A fever is a sign that the body is doing exactly what it So if fever alone shouldn’t needs to do. Fevers due is to infection do not typicallyas get a high enough This situation quite common, few pregnancies go past their cause worry, what should? Assessing your child overall is more important than the number on the to cause neurological damage. Some children will be susceptible to expected due dates. Approximately 2.9% of pregnancies go postLate term: 41 0/7 weeks of gestation to 41 6/7 thermometer (although an infant under three months of age with a febrile seizures (a seizure caused by a rapid increase in body heat) 1 feverto should seek immediate however even these have not to term.incidence Sinceis itlowisand the objective of been theshown medical team reduce the medical care). cause damage. 2

A

Understanding FEVERS

When to WORRY

risk of complications for both the fetus and mother , the goal is to have the baby arrive before 42 weeks, which translates into a normal delivery window of anywhere between 37 weeks and 41+6 weeks of gestation.

Post term: 42 0/7 weeks and beyond

Infant Illness Risk Guide

As a naturopathic doula, my goal is for labour to occur spontaneously and for women to avoid medical inductions, as interventions come with risks: specifically, an increased use of 3 • Skin, lips and tongue are pink and Pale complexion forceps, vacuums, and c-sections. But •don’t fret! There are safe plump • Doesn’t respond normally; takes a and gentle induction tricks that can encourage delivery • Responds to you normally while tothe wakenatural up; lethargic • Stays awake or is able to easily with your • Increased breath rate process. (As always, please consult medical team before waken • Increased heart rate using any of these suggestions.) • Cries normally

CONCERN

Review your due date

Did your original due date get bumped to a few days earlier in a because your baby measured big? We know • Pale, blue or grey complexion that early dating ultrasounds (those performed before eight weeks) • Not responding; does not wake or stay awake determine the due date with great accuracy5 but beyond that, the • Weak, high-pitched or continuous cry accuracy declines. If you know your due date based on your cycles • Mouth is dry FEVER • Grunting or sounds of distress • Mouth and eyes are moist and • Not nursing/eating/drinking well • Strugglingand/or for breathconception dates, or you had an early dating ultrasound, I plump • Fever for overthe 5 days in urination Before we get• Less there, helps concepts of • Decrease would encourage you to rely on that original date. Moving a due activeitthan usual to better understand Signs of swelling or pain sunken fontanelle term and post-term (overdue). The term •of a pregnancy is divided • Bulging ordate to earlier increases the risk of being deemed overdue when • Skin rash • Neck stiffness into four categories defined by gestation length:4 you might not actually be so. You want to give your body the time • Neurological changes or seizures it needs to go into labour on its own. • Less thanlate-stage 3 months of age ultrasound

The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!

34 EcoParent

|

you are great

The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!

Summer 2018


u

Get moving One of the best things you can do in the late stages of pregnancy is move! Try walking an hour daily. I know with swollen feet, tight hips, and the extra weight you’re carrying, it may make that feat seem very unappealing, but even breaking up that hour into 15-minute sessions will help! As your due date gets closer, try deep squats (you can rest a block under your bum if that helps), pelvic rocking (standing in a wide legged stance and rocking your hips from side to side), and relaxing in child’s pose (sitting on your heels with toes pointed behind you while resting face-down toward the floor). All of these movements will apply pressure to the cervix and help engage your baby.

Boost those oxytocin levels! The hormone oxytocin is responsible for getting labour going, and ensuring the rhythmic nature of contractions during labour. This is our “love” hormone. We produce this hormone in our brains and it’s excreted when we feel safe, loved, and happy. When you snuggle on the couch with your partner, or enjoy intimate moments together, your body is producing loads of oxytocin. Towards the end of pregnancy, when you want to get labour going, pump up those internal oxytocin levels! Try watching a funny movie, spending time with friends, relaxing in a warm bath, and having sex. The goal is to fill your cup with joy and indulge in all things positive.

work effectively! This tea is commonly enjoyed in the third trimester and as the due date approaches the amount enjoyed can usually c be increased.

Full Term Tisane This beverage is to be consumed in a full term pregnancy (past 37 weeks). It encourages mild contractions, calms the nervous system, and provides mama and baby with nourishing minerals. Enjoy.

1 part red raspberry leaf 1 part nettle 1/2

part oatstraw

1/2

part lemon balm

Steep in hot water for 8-10 minutes.

Give acupuncture a go!

Test out some homeopathics and herbals

*

The most commonly used herbs are blue cohosh (Caulophylum)* and black cohosh (Cimicifuga)*. They are not to be used in early pregnancy, but only after 37 weeks, as they stimulate uterine contractions. *Please seek medical advice before using these remedies.

Drink some tea! Brewed as a tea, red raspberry leaf is one of the most widely used and safest pregnancy herbs.7 It contains fragrine, a compound that tones the uterus. Red raspberry leaf is also rich in minerals, making it a nourishing drink for both mama and baby. This herb prepares the muscles for labour and delivery and ensures labour contractions

Summer 2018

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / [HeikeRau]

Acupuncture treatments started by 37 weeks have been shown to help initiate the onset of labour, prepare the uterus and cervix, reduce contraction pain, shorten the average labour time, reduce recovery time, and significantly decrease the need for medical interventions.6 Acupuncture also reduces rising stress levels, and relaxes the nervous system, which helps women go into labour on their own.

Get some R&R! Sometimes after trying seemingly everything, you become frustrated, feeling like your baby will never come! But as with all things, it will happen when it happens. So try to relax, enjoy the sleep while you can get it, and know that in a very short time, life as you know it will change forever in the best way possible! •

For references visit: www.ecoparent.ca/extras/SUM18

The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!

you are amazing

|

EcoParent

35


A to B BY •

B

M P

B

P

U

U

M

BU

M

P

to

B A BY

TO

M

P

BA BY

BA BY

TO

guide

ascade

BU

The

C labour Of

Understanding labour Interventions & how to prepare for an all-natural birth

by dr rachel schwartzman nd

Photo: © Jbrown777 | Dreamstime.com

P

regnancy can be such a wonderful time. Whether it took some work to get pregnant or it happened quickly, the excitement of welcoming a new baby is felt by all. For pregnant women and their partners there is a lot of focus on the labour process. Couples want the best birth experience with positive birth outcomes. For this to happen, I believe couples need to be educated on the interventions they may encounter to enable and empower them to make the best choices. In this article I will discuss some common interventions that arise in labour and the possible cascade of interventions that can result.

Cervical Expectations Early in the process, I like to educate my birth doula clients about the different stages the cervix has to go through to allow a baby to pass through the birth canal. The cervix has to go from posterior to anterior, from super thick to thin (effacement), and from closed to open (dilation). These stages happen over the course of a pregnancy, especially as the due date approaches. My hope is that women can go through labour un-medicated, but as we know this is not always the case. To keep medical intervention to a minimum I recommend women get to about 5cm dilated before seeking pain management. The longest part of labour is getting to about 5 cm; this is when most of the work happens, but it is also the “easier” part of labour. For a first delivery it can take many hours for the cervix to thin and dilate. Going from 6-10 cm is a very intense part of labour, but also the shortest part, and this is when the cervix can melt away in no time. With good labour support, if women get to this active labour stage, a drug-free labour is often possible.

Understanding the interventions Another idea I discuss in pre-natal sessions is the concept of a “cascade of interventions”. In some cases one intervention leads to another, which can lead to another, and so on. Some common interventions include prostaglandin gel, amniotomy, Pitocin and an epidural. Prostaglandin gel is used to induce labour when the cervix is still quite thick, not sufficiently effaced and still needs some help thinning out. The gel is often applied to a woman’s cervix and she is sent home. After several hours mild cramps will signal the start of the labour process. An Amniotomy is when the bag of waters is broken either to induce labour or when labour is not progressing well on its own. It can really pick up a slow-to-start labour, but also brings with it big contractions, so women need to be prepared for big surges. Pitocin is a drug made to mimic a female’s natural oxytocin production. It produces strong contractions and can help the cervix dilate. It is used to induce labour or to support a labour that is not progressing well. It will squeeze the baby more intensely than the body’s natural oxytocin and not all babies like it. If the baby’s heart rate dips, a C-section can result. An Epidural is used for pain management. It is a spinal injection administered by an anesthesiologist. It works at reducing pain sensations but can require the labouring woman to remain on her back for the rest of labour. It can also slow down contractions, requiring the administration of Pitocin.

The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!


Cascading Interventions Epidural Let’s take the example of pain management with an epidural. With an early epidural, women are on their backs for the majority of labour, thus not utilizing gravity. In the early stages of labour it can be very useful for women to be changing body positions frequently, swiveling their hips, and squatting down into those contractions (why a birth ball can be so helpful!). All these movements help bring the baby down into the birth canal and help the cervix dilate. An early epidural means no gravity. Without gravity, it’s hard for the baby’s head to sit nicely on that cervix, which helps bring on contractions. With weak or infrequent contractions, Pitocin is administered to pick up the pace. Now the cascade has begun. Oxytocin is a natural hormone a labouring woman’s body makes, but it makes it differently than the synthetic form. The natural flow of Oxytocin comes in waves of intensity and duration, ideally dilating the cervix. Pitocin is administered by a machine, pumping it at a set interval which is increased every 30 minutes. It squeezes the baby intensely, which babies don’t always like. The baby’s heart rate dips, monitors start to beep, and we may be off to the operating room.

Post-date delivery It is quite common for women to deliver after their due dates. The general rule with obstetricians is for the induction process to happen by 10 days post due date. The research shows that at 14 days after the due date the placenta can start to degrade, not functioning as well for the baby. If the ultrasounds are normal, midwives will often allow women a few extra days, up to 14 days post due date. So, let’s imagine a woman 10 days past her due date. The recommendation is an induction. When a woman is induced, her body does not make oxytocin naturally – it needs to be administered. A prostaglandin gel may be applied to the cervix first to help soften it and then an IV drip of Pitocin will be given. Pitocin will be increased at steady intervals, ideally dilating the cervix. Sometimes no matter how much Pitocin you give, the cervix will not dilate. Other times the baby does not tolerate the contractions caused by the medication and it has to be stopped. In these situations a c-section will result. Pitocin often results in tough labours. While I have seen some women deliver their babies with Pitocin and not have an epidural, in my experience as a birth doula this is not common practice. These women tend to have unusually fast first labours or have had a previous baby, which often results in a faster labour. Women can typically only tolerate Pitocin for so long before they want pain relief. Now you have a medicated induction, with Pitocin and an epidural. With each intervention your risk of a c-section statistically increases. One intervention leads to another and so we have another cascade of interventions.

Most women I deal with as a doula don’t want C-sections. They spend 9 months building a team that will support their desire for a vaginal birth. They hope for a “natural” birth, may contemplate an epidural, but want to avoid a C-section. Some women can have early interventions and have the vaginal delivery they hope for. For others the “progress” stalls and the baby is delivered via a C-section. The concept of holding off with interventions sounds good in theory, Spring 2017

in the absence of pain, but during the process things change and support is needed. Trying to stay calm, focusing on breath, using water, and having labour support are all things that can help labour to progress naturally. I don’t know why one woman can labour naturally to full dilation, and another needs surgery. But what I do know is that both stories end the same: women becoming mothers, holding their babies skin to skin, gazing into each other’s eyes for the first time. •

Natural Ways to Prepare the Body for Labour

As a naturopathic doctor I typically discuss with pregnant women some natural ways to prepare the body for labour. The goal is for the body to go into labour on its own, avoiding an induction. The other goal is for the body in labour to produce good contractions, avoiding medical interventions. I am sharing with you here some of my recommendations to help with this:

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: From the 3rd trimester

you can begin by drinking 1 cup of steeped tea daily. This herb is one of the best known and most widely used uterine tonics. The leaf contains an alkaloid called fragine, which tonifies and strengthens the uterine muscles and pelvic region. This plant is also extremely nourishing, rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C & E, calcium, iron and potassium. By tonifying the uterine muscles, the contracting uterus works more effectively, aiding in a quicker and more efficient labour.

Walking: I am a big fan of getting women to walk when pregnant. The goal is an hour per day, which can be divided into smaller segments, especially towards the end of pregnancy when the body can be sore. One of the best things you can do in your pregnancy is to keep active. Walking is a great way to help the baby get engaged and apply some pressure on the cervix, helping it to soften and dilate. Drop & Squat!: Squatting increases pressure on the

cervix, helping it to thin and dilate. Periodically, throughout the day, just drop down and squat. It’s a great way to prepare the body for labour to happen on its own.

Remember that at the end of the day, no matter how your birth results, you are amazing. Rejoice in the power of the female body, your inner warrior and your new bundle of joy.

Greener Bumps & Babies

|

EcoParent

11


A to B BY •

B

M P

B

P

U

U

M

BU

M

P

to

B A BY

TO P

M

BA BY

BA BY

TO

guide

48

SURVIVING

the first

hours

with your baby by lesley everest

BU

Photo: © Hilllander | Dreamstime.com

W

hen we are pregnant, many things occupy our minds, from how we will get through birth, to what life at home with baby will be like, to how much larger our breasts can possibly get. What we often don’t think much about are the first 48 hours after baby’s arrival. Being prepared for this amazing and tumultuous time can help you ease into parenthood more smoothly.

realistic

Expectations

Let’s start with the first minutes after birth. Very often we’re told that as soon as the baby is born, violins will play, angels will sing, and we will fall madly in love with our bundle of joy. For most, this is the truth. But it’s not the case for everyone. With the best of intentions, brand spankin’ newborns are often placed directly onto new mothers with enthusiastic cries of, “Take your baby!” to initiate critical skin-to-skin bonding. For some women, this is one of their favourite memories of birth. For others, it is a shock. Some women need time and quiet to come back from such an intense journey. So having space to breathe themselves back into their bodies, letting them claim their babies in their own good time, can be important for optimal bonding. I have heard a lot of moms express feelings of shock and unreadiness for connected presence with their babies just seconds after birth. Some have even felt guilt, as if they were somehow lacking. Know this: you are an awesome mom whether it took two seconds, two minutes, or two hours to feel ready to meet your new little one. It is normal to need some time.

speaking of

Presence

It is also normal to feel worried about your new baby when she arrives. But instead of getting caught up in thinking worried thoughts immediately after the baby is born, such as, “What are the APGARs,” or “Am I bleeding? Did I tear?” try to kick back and relax. Whatever may be going on with you or baby, your care provider will inform you as things unfold. They will not withhold concerns from you. If the tone of the room seems calm, generally all is well, and you can just let your worries go. Oxytocin is the hormone which promotes bonding and contracts your uterus to prevent bleeding. It tends to flow better when your mind and body are relaxed. Since the advent of personal mobile devices and social media, I have noticed a lot more people reaching out in the precious moments following birth to notify the world of the new arrival instead of living it as fully as possible in real time. There will be plenty of time to share baby. You never get these moments back. Savour them. Live them to their fullest. Think about sharing the news with others AFTER you’ve had time to revel in those little fingers and toes, baby has had some quality time at the breast, and you’ve had a snack. Or, if instant sharing is important to you, delegate social media duties to a friend.

first

Feeding

Whether you gave birth vaginally or by Cesarean, at some point your baby will be interested and you will be ready (if this is your plan) to give breastfeeding a try. You may have taken breastfeeding classes in preparation. But here’s the thing: babies are so much squirmier than the dolls they had you hold in class. Your first few feeds will likely feel very awkward.

The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!


You may be tempted to sit up for greater ease of vision. Remember, though, that the part of you that just birthed a baby, either your bottom or your lower abdomen, will be tender. Sitting up can put pressure on these sore areas. I highly recommend the “biological nurturing” position, which has you lying comfortably back, with your baby lying between your breasts to either “crawl” to your breasts and latch himself, or curled in the crook of your arm (with a pillow supporting your arm) so he is already in the vicinity of your breast when he starts smacking his lips. If baby hasn’t latched on within the first 30 to 60 minutes, squeeze some drops of colostrum out of your breasts and rub it on his lips. His tummy is literally the size of a cherry pit, so he doesn’t need much. Keep trying as he shows interest, and trust that while it all seems very new and overwhelming, you’re both usually designed to do this. Ask a nurse, midwife, or doula to help if you want. Be patient with yourself and your baby. You are both learning how to do this! If you are experiencing problems or pain, contacting a breastfeeding support person as soon as possible is important.

bathroom

Use

After a vaginal birth, the idea of using the bathroom can be daunting. Take a squeeze bottle filled with warm water. Squirt yourself gently (aim for your urethra) while sitting on the toilet before you begin urinating. Continue squeezing warm water onto yourself while you pee, and after for cleaning. The warm water helps to dilute the urine so it doesn’t sting delicate tissue. In both Cesarean and vaginal birth, the idea of moving one’s bowels afterwards can be downright terrifying because of tenderness in your bottom or your belly. If you’re on narcotic pain medication, this can cause constipation, making matters feel even scarier. You will likely be offered a stool softener. Ensuring you eat foods that are warm, nourishing, hydrating, and high in good fats can keep everything moving smoothly. Drink lots of temperate to warm water. Don’t strain! If you’ve birthed surgically, keeping a pillow over your tummy and exerting a small amount of compression can be comforting.

sweet

Sleep

the second

Night

Babies are so cute, and often appear quite mellow in the first 24 hours of life, eating a minimum of eight times per day. But night two may be a different story! In a mad struggle to get his milk supply in, your little one may seem to only want to be at your breast, suck angrily, yell, fall asleep, then protest loudly when you try to put him down. Please know this is normal. It is not the cardinal sign that you’re starving your baby and that he needs supplementation. Warm skin and the familiar sound of a heartbeat (yours or your partner’s) will keep him calmer, helping him burn less calories. The closeness also produces milk producing hormones. You are not doing anything wrong because he is fussing.

mental

Health

Within a couple of days after birth, your hormone levels shift radically. You may feel hot flashes, sweat, and have to pee like crazy. For those who are sensitive, these hormonal shenanigans can cause some feelings of jitteriness. All good, as long as you feel well otherwise. If you feel emotionally strange or unwell, please don’t hesitate to let your care provider know. This is NOT your fault or a sign you’re not cut out for parenting. Perinatal anxiety and depression related concerns are the most common complications of childbirth, and nothing to feel ashamed about! The great news is these things are absolutely treatable. With help and support, you WILL be well.

and of course...

Enjoy!

Those first hours and days of being enraptured by the sweet little love are what bonding is all about. Whenever possible, be fed and be nurtured while you feed and nurture. Breathe. Feel. Take it slow. It’s a crazy ride. May you look back upon these first 48 hours, even if things don’t go as expected, with pride in yourself for all you have done to bring this child into the world. Even if it’s a bumpy ride, you have what it takes, and as things normalize, it will go more smoothly. You’ve got this! •

Keeping your baby skin to skin with you as much as possible and breastfeeding can help you to feel sleepy. With a partner or loved one gently keeping an eye on both of you, feel free to drift off deliciously if you can. A Sleep Belt can ensure you feel secure knowing your baby won’t slide off you if you both fall asleep. Quiet and TLC are what you deserve right now. Unless it makes you feel reassured and happy, keep visitors to a minimum.

Spring 2017

Photo: Sarah Tacoma Photography

Within the first couple of days, you may find it more difficult to sleep than you expect. Birth is a big deal, and the adrenaline coursing through your body may make you feel jangled. If you birth at a hospital, well-meaning but frequent interruptions can make it hard to settle and rest.

The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!Greener Bumps & Babies

|

EcoParent

13


Ask

THE NATUROPATHIC DOULA

Skyward & Onward:

Strategies for c-section healing

by dr. rachel schwartzman, nd, doula © Can Stock Photo Inc. / [DejaVuDesigns]

Y

ou’ve had a c-section. Whether it was planned or an emergency, this major abdominal surgery took a lot out of you—literally! Both body and mind need time to heal, and making sure to take care of yourself nutritionally, physically, and emotionally will shorten recovery time so you can focus on that beautiful new baby of yours!

Fish Oil

To reduce inflammation, take 2,000–3,000 mg of omega-3 fish oil daily for two weeks after surgery. Salmon, sardines, hemp hearts, flax seed oil and walnuts are rich sources. If fish oil is already part of your routine, stop taking it five days before a planned surgery, since it can promote blood thinning and increase bleeding during surgery.

Probiotics

NUTRITIONAL STRATEGIES From apples to zinc

Protein

Include a source of protein with each meal such as hummus, nut butters, hard-boiled eggs, lean meats and fish, beans and legumes, and dairy products. Protein helps tissue heal and levels your blood sugar to keep energy levels up and mood balanced.

Fibre

If you struggle with bowel movements, drink lots of water and focus on fibre-rich foods by increasing servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, adding ground flax seeds to your oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt, and stocking the house with whole grain breads and cereals.

Vitamins

Vitamins A and C and the mineral zinc all promote healing. These nutrients help repair skin and underlying tissue, keep the immune system strong, and decrease inflammation. Add foods like sweet potato, squash, and carrots, or dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach to the menu. Throw a handful of pumpkin seeds into your smoothie or salad, have a hearty chili with beans, lentils and/or ground beef for great sources of zinc.

PHYSICAL STRATEGIES Natural pain relievers and healing superheroes*

Arnica Montana Arnica, used internally or externally, speeds

IV antibiotics given during caesarean surgery means that replenishing good bacteria is important to help avoid side effects like urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and thrush. Probiotics promote a healthy microbiome which supports the digestive and immune system post-surgery.

EMOTIONAL STRATEGIES Talk, take care, breathe, share Surgery is draining and can leave patients feeling low. Feelings of disappointment or failure may plague some c-section patients, especially if it was unplanned, and the aftermath may be difficult. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, sadness, inability to cope, or just need someone to talk to, contact your healthcare provider right away. The best treatment is always the soonest treatment.

Talk things out. Suppressing negative emotions can be exhausting. Discussing your birth experience with those you trust can help you better process your birth story. Letting your partner, friends, and family members know how you are feeling helps them look out for signs of post-partum blues, and provide the love and support you need. Be gentle with yourself. Life is busy with your new baby. You need to rest and nourish your body so you can fully recover. Say yes to friends and family who want to babysit just so you can nap, have a bath, or catch up on a good book with a cup of tea.

up post-surgery recovery time and decreases inflammation and bruising. It can also help with shock and reduce bleeding time.

Get some fresh air daily. Simply sitting on the porch, or slowly

Staphysagria

strolling to the end of the block with a loved one pushing the stroller is a great way to lift your spirits.

Staphysagria works well in the pelvic region for pain relief post-section. It is indicated after abdominal surgery and is helpful when pain persists at the site of a surgical incision. It can be taken with Arnica.

Bach Rescue Remedy

This is a great remedy made from five flower essences that immediately calms the nervous system. Place a few drops directly into your mouth or dilute it in a little water. Rescue Remedy is safe in pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and with any medication.

Vitamin C

Document and share the journey. Keep a journal. Talk to friends. Invite your community in. Birth is an emotional, wonderful, and overwhelming time. It is made all the sweeter by noticing the little things and being surrounded by people who love you.

Invest in your emotional health. It’s good for you and the baby.•

*Always consult with a health care provider before taking any remedy.

Helps surgical wounds heal faster and decreases pain after surgery, improving outcome and reducing the need for medication. Stock your fridge with citrus fruits, strawberries, melons, papaya, and red peppers--all rich in vitamin C!

For references visit ecoparent.ca/extras/SPR19

Spring 2019

every moment matters The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!

|

EcoParent

25


For nine years, EcoParent has been Canada’s top print resource for

conscientious

parents

Health & Beauty

optimize your family’s HEALTH with advice from naturopaths & holistic nutritionists

Beating the bumps, bruises, a blechs,

naturally. Your primer for a well-stocked NATURAL FIRST-AID KIT

by dr. leslie solomonian, nd

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / gajdamak

22 EcoParent

|

Summer 2018

you are great

Home & Garden

Eco BAeSdI Sroom AN

O

Tips for creating a healthy space for your child by emma rohmann

DETOX your environment and create your healthiest home

© Can Stock Photo / Bialasiewicz

54 EcoParent

| The spring is sprung, the grass is riz...

Spring 2018

Feature

Childhood NOURISHING

nurture ATTACHMENT with advice from our parenting experts

Strategies for Simplicity Parenting by manda aufochs gillespie

"T

here is an undeclared war on childhood,” says Kim John Payne, psychologist, founder of the Simplicity Parenting movement, and author of Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. When Payne was in university, he worked and lived in a group home for gang-rescued and violent youth, and later worked with refugees from war zones. At a lecture given by one of the early researchers into trauma response (what would become known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)), the speaker described symptoms of combat veterans: controlling behaviours, over-active fight-or-flight response, difficulty with new things, obsessive patterns of behaviour, an inability to dress appropriately for the environment (e.g. when it was cold, they wore t-shirts), and an inability to properly taste food (thus seeking high stimulation foods that were extra-spicy or MSG-enhanced). “I was struck by how he was describing the kids in my group home.” Later, Payne established a practice where even more surprisingly, though his clientele consisted of mainstream children apparently living comfortable western lives, kids were appearing at his door looking much like PTSD victims. To his alarm he realized, “There was nothing ‘post’ about it in these kids; it was ongoing.” The constant layering of too much on top of too much became too difficult to process; a phenomenon Payne calls a cumulative stress reaction. “The highly stressed, fast-paced, too-much, too-sexy, too-young, has become the new normal. It forces kids into a stressed zone.”

“There is an undeclared war on childhood.”

C

20% off your subscription with code: BUMP2BABY

ERE CLICK H b e ri t o s u bsc

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / [oksix]

60 EcoParent

|

fall into family

Fall 2018


P

to

B A BY

BU M

BU

M

P BU

M

P

to

B A BY

TO

P

M

B A BY

BA BY

TO

guide

What the

fluff

BU

Cloth Diapering 101: Your Questions Answered!

by lindsay gallimore

Photo: © Kirsten Adamson | Dreamstime.com

Why choose cloth diapers? It should only take a little bit of math for me to convince you to choose cloth diapers. Let’s make a very modest estimate of six diapers per day, for a modest two and a half years. (My son was in diapers until three and a half, by the way!) That’s nearly 5500 diapers that will hit the landfill, unlikely to biodegrade much for at least half a millennium. You’re making a difference even if you only choose cloth diapers half the time! But I know there are a lot of naysayers around you, probably telling you that cloth diapers are gross and you’ll never stick with them. I had my share of funny looks when I told people four years ago that I was going the cloth route. I get it. Cloth seems like a lot of work. The lingo seems like an impossibleto-crack code. It seems like you’ll have to touch a lot of poop. It seems like it will be really expensive. But I promise you won’t regret it!

How much does it cost? You can equip yourself with everything you need to cloth diaper from newborn to potty-training for under $500.

How much work is it? You can count on about three extra loads of laundry each week. I wash my children’s clothes with our cloth diapers (after they’ve gone through a rinse cycle by themselves), so I don’t find it to be much more laundry.

How gross is it? If you’re not prepared to handle poop and pee, using disposables isn’t going to save you from parenthood! In some ways, I find using cloth to be less disgusting. Disposables smell terrible in the trashcan. (That’s why they make those products that indi-

vidually seal each dirty diaper in plastic!) Since you are flushing the poop from your cloth diapers down the toilet, the nursery doesn’t smell like dirty diapers, and even cloth diapers filled with urine don’t stink the same way disposable diapers do. There are many products out there to help take the ick-factor out of cloth, from diaper sprayers and splatter shields to biodegradable liners.

Does it actually save money? Yes! Even if you buy higher priced cloth diapers, you’ll still be spending less than if you purchase disposables for three years. When you think about cost, it’s also important to remember that you can use your cloth diapers on more than one child. I am using cloth diapers on my daughter that I also used on my son, and have resold some of our diapers that we don’t need. I don’t think I need to tell you that you can’t “hand down” a used disposable and you definitely can’t put it up on Craigslist. In terms of the cost of extra laundry, you’re looking at pennies per load.

damentally, a very simple contraption. No matter what fancy name it bears, a complete cloth diaper has a waterproof exterior and an absorbent inner. The way in which these two parts are combined leads you to the three most common styles of diapers. All-in-Ones (AIOs) have a waterproof outer and absorbent inner that are sewn together in ONE piece. All-in-Twos (AI2s) have a waterproof outer (called a cover) that is separate from the absorbent inner. You put them together before use, and often reuse the cover for a couple of diaper changes. Pocket diapers are waterproof covers that have an inner pocket, and into that pocket you slide your absorbent portion (called an insert). Cloth diaper trial kits are available both online and in-store from many retailers: for $100 or so, you can really get to know the different styles of diapers and decide what works for you. Shops typically then offer you credit towards purchasing your diapers at the end of your trial.

What do I need to get started? Is it complicated to wash them? No soaking required! You get as much of the solids into the toilet as possible, then store your diapers in a pail or wet bag until wash day. When you wash, you’ll run a quick, cold wash with detergent first. Then, add in some other laundry if you want and run a heavy, hot wash with enough detergent for a heavily soiled load. Diapers can be dried on low or hung to dry.

What’s with all this lingo? If you start researching cloth diapers online, it’s easy to get turned off by the sheer volume of choice and the superfluous abbreviations. What you need to keep clearly in your mind is that a cloth diaper is, fun-

The The Official Official EcoParent EcoParent Bump Bump to to Baby Baby Guide! Guide!

I recommend a bare minimum of 24 diapers. The more diapers you have, the less frequently each diaper is washed, so the longer each one will last. You will also want to buy a few wet bags, used to transport dirty diapers when you’re out and about, and a pail or large wet bag to store all your dirty diapers between washings.

Where do I find more information? If you have a cloth diaper retailer local to you, check if they offer information sessions or trial kits. Consider joining online cloth diaper communities on Facebook, or search Pinterest and cloth diaper blogs for more specific help. •


P

to

B A BY

BU M

BU

M

P BU

M

P

to

B A BY

TO

P

M

B A BY

BA BY

TO

guide

Expectations by pam larouche and elisa costanza-reyes

Photo: © Vadimgozhda | Dreamstime.com

BU

A

h to sleep... perchance to dream! Being a new parent means hearing everyone’s tidbit of advice, whether asked for or not, especially when it comes to sleep. It can be overwhelming and confusing! So let's set the record straight with the top five sleep questions we regularly hear.

Can you really spoil a newborn? Absolutely not! You may have heard from your parents or others not to hold your newborn all of the time or they will get used to it. Or not to let them fall asleep on you because then you will never have a healthy sleeper. The truth is, your baby needs you and the first few months are really just about survival. Their only way of communicating is by crying, so it's our job as their care providers to listen attentively and respond to their needs: whatever that may look like. Newborns need the warmth of someone’s body. They need to be held close and they need soothing movement. It's important to remember that your little one has just come from the womb where there is constant noise, constant movement, and the sound of your heartbeat 24/7 as they are snuggled up within the walls of the uterus. Imagine the shock when they come out! All of sudden their environment is completely different. This is why recreating the sounds and feelings of being in the womb (warmth, rocking, hushing) is so comforting to your new baby.

How much, and how often, should they be sleeping Newborns need to sleep a lot. We’re talking 16+ hours in a 24 hour period, varying from baby to baby. It may vary from day to day, as things such as gas or irritability will inevitably get in their way. However, it's a good guideline to ensure that you are giving them the opportunity to be able to sleep by not keeping them awake for too long. A brand new baby should only really be awake for 45-60 minutes at a time. Some babies will naturally fall asleep within that time frame, while others need more help and encouragement falling asleep. As your baby grows, their happy awake times should also increase. Watch for signs of tiredness to prevent an overtired, cranky baby!

one just will not sleep regardless of how much you are helping. This is normal. You are not doing anything wrong.

Sleep expectations - what can you realistically expect? Sleep in the first 4 months is quite unpredictable. There may seem like there is no rhyme or reason to how they are sleeping...because there really isn’t! They may have wonderful long naps one day and short naps the next. The unpredictability may cause extra stress, but we can assure you that as they get older and with healthy sleep habits in place, their sleep will start to become a little more predictable (and pretty soon you’ll be predictably prying your teen out of bed to get to school!)

Sleep associations - why you do not need to worry about creating bad habits in your infant Newborns do not have the ability to self-soothe, therefore they will need your help and support, especially in those first few months. Having your little one sleep in arms, on you, in the carrier or in your bed is to be expected as they adjust to their new life ‘on the outside’. As they grow and their brain develops they become a little more ready for independent sleep. This is when you can start working on any less than desirable sleep associations that may have developed, if need be. As always, if what you are doing is working for your family, there is no need to change anything.

Should my baby be on a schedule? Predictable schedules are not something we generally see until closer to 6 months of age. In the first 4 months you will be focusing more on the amount of time your baby is awake in between sleep periods. This means that although you may know your 3 month old is going to be going back to sleep after roughly 75 minutes of awake time, the days will still be unpredictable with the timing of the naps. When you are working on more predictability, ensuring that your child is awake at relatively the same time every morning will get that ball rolling. •

Note: There will be times throughout the day or night that your little

Spring 2017

The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!Greener Bumps & Babies

|

EcoParent

17


A to B BY •

B

M P

B

P

U

U

M

by dr. leslie solomonian, nd & stephanie fairborn

BU

M

P

to

B A BY

TO

P

M

BA BY

BA BY

TO

guide

BU

H

aving a newborn is a very exciting time for parents. However, infant illnesses such as coughs, colds, and diarrhea can create worry. As a parent or caregiver, you want to feel confident in how you are handling these situations, ultimately making sure your child is comfortable and safe. Here are some strategies for appropriately navigating common illnesses and tools to help your child feel better sooner.

Understanding FEVERS One of the most common symptoms of infant illnesses is fever. While understandably worrisome for parents, fevers are one of the many ways the body protects itself against viruses and bacteria. Fevers create an environment that is toxic to infectious organisms, and are associated with a boost in white blood cell count (the “soldiers” of the immune system), increased heart rate (helpful to circulate those soldiers), and the fatigue and lethargy that prompt your child to rest and recover. A fever is a sign that the body is doing exactly what it needs to do. Fevers due to infection do not typically get high enough to cause neurological damage. Some children will be susceptible to febrile seizures (a seizure caused by a rapid increase in body heat) however incidence is low and even these have not been shown to cause damage.

While the fever itself should not cause worry, a higher fever may be an indicator of a more serious cause of illness. Most common childhood illnesses are viral. They cause low fevers and are generally benign and self-limiting, although they certainly can cause distress (think ear infections and croup). A bacterial infection may be more dangerous; a higher fever may indicate the need for medical care, particularly if there are other concerning symptoms (see below). There is no need to suppress a fever! When acetaminophen and ibuprofen are used to reduce fever and alleviate discomfort, the entire immune response is suppressed, potentially prolonging the illness. By allowing the body to do its work – marked by the fever running its course – you may be helping to promote recovery. There are many ways to help an ill child feel more comfortable without using a fever suppressing medication. Read on!

When to WORRY So if fever alone shouldn’t cause worry, what should? Assessing your child overall is more important than the number on the thermometer (although an infant under three months of age with a fever should seek immediate medical care).

Infant Illness Risk Guide CONCERN

• Skin, lips and tongue are pink and plump

FEVER

• Responds to you normally • Stays awake or is able to easily waken • Cries normally • Mouth and eyes are moist and plump • Less active than usual

• Pale complexion • Doesn’t respond normally; takes a while to wake up; lethargic • Increased breath rate • Increased heart rate • Mouth is dry • Not nursing/eating/drinking well

• Less than 3 months of age • Pale, blue or grey complexion • Not responding; does not wake or stay awake • Weak, high-pitched or continuous cry • Grunting or sounds of distress • Struggling for breath

• Fever for over 5 days • Signs of swelling or pain • Skin rash

• Decrease in urination • Bulging or sunken fontanelle • Neck stiffness • Neurological changes or seizures

The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!


So what do I do?

Barring signs of serious infection that requires medical attention, the goal is to help your child be as comfortable as possible while allowing her body to take care of the illness on its own. Here are some tools to help you appropriately treat common concerns:

TREATMENT

REASONS FOR USE

Baby should be dressed comfortably in lightweight, breathable clothing

TLC

Sick little ones are uncomfortable, cranky and need a lot of extra love. Cuddling, story-reading, and backtickling occupy them while their bodies rest. Make sure their clothes and bedding allow them to regulate their temperature well.

FLUIDS

Infants typically have a decrease in appetite when not feeling well, and lose more fluids when they have a fever or diarrhea, so it is important to ensure they are getting appropriate nutrition and hydration.

Continue to offer age-appropriate fluids - breast milk, water, homemade vegetable or bone broth, smoothies or soups. Herbal teas contribute therapeutic benefits too!

Helps promote circulation, allowing the white blood cells to target the cause of infection.

Put cold, wet socks on child’s feet. Cover with dry thermal (wool or fleece) socks or booties. Tuck them into bed. The socks will be warm and dry by morning.

Helps to clear a stuffy nose.

Salt water helps dilute mucus to make it easier to clear. Breastmilk does the same, and is rich in antibodies that help target the infection. Irrigation products designed for infants can be purchased at the pharmacy and/or a few drops of breastmilk can be dripped into the child’s nose. Diluted or not, mucus can be removed using a simple bulb syringe found in any pharmacy.

Helps to clear the nose and sinuses; may alleviate a cough.

Turn on shower to hottest setting; close door to create a steam filled room; bring infant into the room for approximately 10 minutes.

Teas made from plants such as Elderberry, Chamomile, Catnip, Lemon balm and Peppermint are antimicrobial, calming and support the immune system, and allow a fever to run its course in a healthy way.

Pour 1L boiling water over 3 heaping Tbsp of dry herb. Steep until cool enough to drink or touch. Add to bath water, soups, or give to child directly as a tea. Even infants can safely take these teas from a cup or using a dropper (dose of 1-2 eye droppers every few hours to children under 1, 1/4-1 cup every few hours to toddlers and older children).

The digestive tract is richly supplied with lymphatic tissue – a key part of the immune system. Castor oil is absorbed across an infant’s skin and promotes immune activity.

Warm a small amount of cold-pressed castor oil in your hands; gently massage baby’s tummy, moving your hands in a clockwise direction; leave the oil on when you dress him. Rub it into the chest as well if there is also a cough.

If there are no concerning symptoms, but the fever is higher than your comfort level, this can help bring the temperature down without suppressing the rest of the immune response.

Using lukewarm water use washcloth to slowly bathe child; adding strong herbal teas to the bath water can add therapeutic benefit!

MAGIC SOCKS

Nasal or breastmilk irrigation & bulb syringe

Steam Inhalation

Herbal teas

Castor oil belly rubs

Sponge bath

HOW TO USE

Note: Essential oils such as eucalyptus should not be used with infants as they can be toxic. Honey also is not recommended to be ingested by infants until approximately one year of age.

It is natural to feel concerned about your child getting sick. Knowing when to worry, and having some tricks up your sleeve, will enable you and your infant to sail through the most common childhood illnesses. • The Official EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide!


P

to B A BY •

B M

U

M

U

B

www.ecoparent.ca •

P P

to

B A BY

P

TO

BA BY

M

M

U

guide

B

BU

Publisher

A TO B BY •

Editor-in-Chief

Jen Smith Jennifer Keller, ND editorial@ecoparent.ca Sam Stedman sam@ecoparent.ca

Design & Layout

Kris Antonius, cityfolkcreative.ca

Advertising Sales

Sam Stedman advertising@ecoparent.ca

guide contributors

Lesley Everest Lesley Everest is a mother of four mother of four and active doula for almost a quarter of a century. She is the founder and head trainer of MotherWit Doula Training. As a seminary trained interspiritual minister and hospice volunteer, she also supports those at the end of life. Her mission is to provide insightful support for extraordinary transformation. Stephanie Fairborn is a fourth year medical student at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She completed her Hon. BA in Kinesiology at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is very excited about educating others about wellness and the mind body connection. Upon graduating this spring she looks forward to practicing in the Toronto area. Lindsay Gallimore is a teacher-turned-blogger living in Calgary with her husband and two young children. Passionate about helping families make the switch to reusable products, she is a cloth diaper advocate and ready to teach people that cloth is cool (and kind of addictive). Besides all things cloth diapers, her blog—Maman Loup's Den—also covers a wide variety of parenting topics with humour and candor. Pam Larouche and Elisa Costanza-Reyes are the founders of Restful Parenting — Holistic Infant and Child Sleep Consultants, offering classes and workshops across Ontario as well as private consultations across Canada. They are both early childhood educators and certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultants and have extensive experience in early childhood development. Between the two of them, they have 6 healthy, rambunctious children ranging in age from 4 months to 10 years. Dr. Rachel Schwartzman is a naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist and birth doula. She maintains a general family practice in Toronto where she has a special interest in women`s health, fertility, pregnancy and pediatrics. She's inspired daily by her 3 young children, and together they keep active outdoors and create healthy family meals in the kitchen. Jess Sherman is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps busy parents raise healthy kids. Jess offers Jess offers dietary support for symptoms and conditions common to infants, children and mothers including digestive disorders, food intolerance and allergy, picky eating, ADD/ ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, anxiety, eating disorders, eczema, fatigue and overwhelm, and postpartum adjustment struggles. Learn more at www.jesssherman.com. Dr. Leslie Solomonian, ND is Associate Professor at the  the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and maintains a private naturopathic practice in Toronto with a strong interest in pediatric wellness. Leslie sits on the board of the CNME and is a Director of the Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians.  Physicians. Leslie is currently writing a textbook on Naturopathic and Integrative Pediatrics.

©2019 ©2017 EcoParent Inc. All rights reserved. Guide cover photo ©Marchibas | Dreamstime.com. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including by photocopy, recording, or information storage and retrieval, without permission in writing from the publisher. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, EcoParent Inc., its staff, and its contributors cannot take responsibility for losses resulting from publishing errors, however caused. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, who accepts no liability of any nature arising out of, or in connection with, the contents of this publication.

GETTING a

Solid Start Your guide to starting solid foods & avoiding allergies by jessica sherman, rhn Photo: © Dusanzidar | Dreamstime.com

W

ondering if it’s time to start solids? There are a lot of conflicting messages flying around about when to start, and what to start with, in order to give your child the best health advantages. How can you figure out what’s right for your baby? Current Health Canada guidelines suggest starting solids no earlier than 4 months and no later than 7 months. Introducing potentially allergy-provoking foods earlier is also suggested to give them the best chance of avoiding allergy. However, your child is unique and only by tuning in to their needs can you determine how and when it’s best to start solids. Here are three questions to ask yourself as you get ready for the transition to solids.


Are Your Child’s Digestion And Motor Skills Ready? Current research suggests that the digestive system of most babies becomes mature enough to digest solids at some point between 4 and 8 months of age. With little scientific proof, this is our best guess based on what experts know about typical development and health outcomes.

BELLY BUG

BUILDERS When it’s time to start solids, here are 6 ways to build your baby’s belly bugs and support their gut-immune health:

Some signs to suggest your child’s digestive system is likely ready for solids are: • • • • •

They express interest in food and are ready and willing to chew They accept food without pushing it out with their tongue Their first few teeth are starting to poke through They can sit up unassisted Early skin conditions, constipation and reflux have cleared up

If your child had reflux, colic, skin conditions, or persistent constipation or diarrhea as an infant, it’s more likely that they will struggle to digest certain foods later on. Getting support to resolve these digestive-related issues first can make the transition to solids more seamless.

How Can You Meet Your Child’s Changing Nutritional Needs? Some studies suggest that while the nutritional quality of breastmilk is perfect for infants, by the time baby is about six months old it struggles to keep up with their expanding nutritional needs. This makes six months an appropriate time to start offering easy-todigest, nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables and healthy fats to complement the amazing health enhancing properties of breastmilk. Most health agencies now agree that a baby will get the most health benefits from being exclusively breastfed for six months, at which point complementary foods can be added. For parents who are using formula, I often suggest carefully starting solids a bit earlier because healthy whole foods expand your ability to nourish your baby’s immune system.

How Can You Support Your Child’s Immune System Development? Researchers learned recently that our body’s most densely populated area of immune cells is in our gut lining. Since one in two of us adults struggle with an immune-related health condition, this discovery spawned a huge interest in understanding how we can influence the immune system by focusing on the health of the gut. Currently, we know that poor mucosal integrity along with a lack of microbial diversity contribute to the development of immunerelated conditions like asthma, eczema, allergy, and autoimmune disease. Furthermore, it seems that the first two years of life represent a programming period for our gut ecosystem—a time where our microbes organize themselves and settle into a pattern that might persist throughout our lives. This theory has become known as “microbial programming”. Wild! These good bacteria need our love and attention right from the start.

• Start with fruits and vegetables like banana and pumpkin. Fruits and vegetables provide fibre that help those microbes grow healthy and colonize. • O ffer your baby fermented vegetables like fermented carrots and cucumbers to introduce more beneficial bacteria. You can give these to your baby to suck on after 7 months of age, once hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach stabilize. • Kefir, a fermented dairy product, can be introduced once your child is ready for dairy, around 7-9 months. This will provide even more beneficial bacteria and yeast. Keep in mind that fermented dairy is easier to digest than milk so it may be started earlier than whole milk, which may be better introduced around 12 months. • B roth made by simmering animal meat/bones offers an easy-to-digest form of protein, essential minerals, gelatin, and the amino acids glycine and glutamine. These nourish the digestive lining so that the bacteria have a healthy place to colonize. Broth can be offered as early as 5 months as it is very easy to digest. • A good quality probiotic supplement for babies can be helpful, particularly if birth was via cesarean, you are using formula, you used antibiotics during birth or you have a history of family immune, neurological or gastrointestinal related illness. Probiotics have been shown to be a safe and effective way to reduce the risk of allergy and asthma by up to 54%. • U se coconut oil. This healthy tropical oil contains fatty acids which help nourish the digestive lining, keep pathogenic microbes at bay and support immune cell functioning. Melt it and mix it into purees, soups and smoothies, and use it to sauté fun finger foods.

Our understanding of how and when we should transition our babies to solids is still evolving. What is clear is that early childhood nutrition plays an important role in the development of health and disease later in life. Consider the six ways outlined here to support digestive and immune function for a solid start!


LET's HANG OUT!

find us on Facebook follow us on instagram receive our e-newsletter subscribe to our MAGAZINE snuggle up with our WEBSITE

Profile for EcoParent magazine

EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide  

A primer on all things bump to baby, naturally.

EcoParent Bump to Baby Guide  

A primer on all things bump to baby, naturally.

Profile for ecoparent
Advertisement