Second Opinion February/March/April 2022

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Baby, Baby!




Photo by Andy Seliverstoff | 1

Our Ability to Balance & Move Affects Every Aspect of Our Daily Life.

Chiropractic Does a Body Good

Precious Companion Cremation Care Your pet is a unique part of your family. Your pet’s unconditional love brings joy, comfort & friendship to your home.

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Being pet parents, we can give you peace of mind that your pet is handled with loving care at our on site facility.

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MINDFULNESS PreciousSincerely, Companion Cremation Care

Rob and Betsey Talbot and staff


I X - S E family. SSION COURSE Your pet is a unique part AofSyour


Your pet’s unconditional love brings joy,with comfort & Ph.D. Ann Brand, friendship to your home. Being pet parents, we can Monday eveningswith beginning March 7 give you peace of mind that your pet is handled 7:00 - 9:00 PM loving care at our on site facility. $150 if you sign up by February 28 | $200 after February 28 Family Sincerely, To sign up for the course, contact Ann at Owned andTalbot Rob and Betsey and staff Operated or call


Rob (LFD/CCO) & Betsey Talbot, Owners

Rob (LFD/CCO) & Betsey Talbot, Owners

Located at The Family Owned & Operated EC 715-926-5001 or 608-685-3294 715-926-5001 or 608-685-3294 Center 3701 Hwy 12,

Eau Claire, WI

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CONTENTS Kids and K-9’s: Keep Them Safe!


Winter Dog Grooming: The Long-Short of It Things to Ask When Boarding Your Pet


Saying Goodbye to Your Pet: Pet Cremation In-Home Pet Care While You’re Out Grieving the Loss of a Pet Saying Yes


Starting Seeds Indoors



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Happy Earth Day!

Children’s Museum Receives IMLS Grant to Open Play Space in Chippewa and Menomonie


Lyme and Tick-Borne Illness - An Update


The Watershed Café: A Mindful Food Experience Being a Mindful Parent Ah, Spring!




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Stress and Pregnancy Doula Dedication

Consider Chiropractic as Part of Your Family’s Health Journey! Postpartum Depression and Infrared Sauna Therapy 4 Best Benefits of Baby Massage


Recovering from Bad Breastfeeding Advice Being a Mom





Cover photo by by photographer Andy Seliverstoff...

From hugely popular photographer Andy Seliverstoff of St. Petersburg, Russia, comes these utterly charming collections of just what the titles say -- little kids and the big dogs they love. Through the prism of Seliverstoff's magic lens, impossibly big dogs and some rare ones, telegraph the special relationships they have with the children in their lives. "In the end, I hope the photos convey this important message: Love for dogs and children makes people kinder," Seliverstoff says. See more from Andy Seliverstoff at

Arwen Rasmussen, 715.831.0325 Graphic Design: Brigit Olson | Editor: Becky Streeter


All articles are the sole property of the writers. Opinions expressed in Second Opinion are those of the writers or advertisers themselves, not the publication or its editors. Second Opinion is not liable for use of any artwork provided by advertisers. Please direct concerns to the advertisers. ©2006-2022 | 3

Kids and K-9’s: Keep Them Safe! B abies and puppies, kids and dogs – who doesn’t love them? Just the thought of babies and puppies together brings lovable cute pictures to mind. Facebook and Instagram are filled with images of kids and dogs interacting: babies laying on dogs, kids hugging dogs tightly, toddlers lifting the lip of a dog to look in its mouth, dogs and babies in costumes together, huge family photos with someone holding Fido – all normal, all adorable….right? They’re really cute, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind with human/animal interactions. Humans are humans and dogs are dogs. We are not the same; we are two distinct species. Our methods of communication, coping strategies and genetic development are vastly different. As humans we have a lot of choices: what we do, what we eat, where we go, what we wear, who we socialize with. Dogs, on the other hand, generally have very few choices. Owners control what and when dogs eat, when they go outside, where to potty, whom they hang-out with--basically everything! When children interact with a dog, sometimes the dog is forced to endure something they would not if given the choice. No one is saying to keep kids and dogs apart or to avoid those special photos, but your dog depends on you, his person, to keep him safe and comfortable. Below are some thoughts and ideas that can help keep kids, dogs, and everyone safe and happy. Humans love to hug and kiss those we love, dogs don’t. Many dogs learn to tolerate physical affection (hugs and kisses) from their people but are not so thrilled when forced to tolerate it from someone else. Don’t let young children grab dogs for hugs and kisses. You may think your dog is enjoying it, but I promise you, at best they are tolerating it. Dogs love their routines. When our gatherings disrupt their routine, they can become stressed and less tolerant of noise, big groups, a lot of additional petting. Do your best to keep your dog’s routine as close to normal as possible. Provide your dog with a safe, quiet spot to hang out if he needs it. Put a dog bed, toys, a longlasting chew into a bedroom and keep it off limits for visitors. Teach kids to “be a tree” when approached by a dog.

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By Dawn M. Olson

Many kids are unsure of dogs, maybe even fearful of dogs, if they learn to freeze (like a tree), dogs generally lose interest. On the other hand, if a child runs, screams, waves their arms, etc., they become very interesting to dogs and will often get chased or jumped on! Not a good experience for that child and the dog will likely get scolded for acting like a dog! Check your home for “growl/grumble” zones. These are spaces in your home where the dog may be forced into closeproximity to a child and the dog feels trapped. Some areas to be aware of are coffee tables in front of couches where the dog may be squeezed into a small space with a young child, dogs laying under a table to avoid a crowd and a toddler crawls under the table too, doorways where both child and dog are trying to pass at the same time, and under beds. Learn to speak dog! Dogs are always speaking, but we don’t always hear them because we are unaware. Dogs speak with their bodies: eyes, ears, tails, lips, posture. Little things we can easily overlook are often your dog’s cry for help: lip licks, yawns, big round eyes with lots of white showing, turning the head away, submissive low posture, ears held low or towards the back of the head, tail not moving or wagging low or stiff, and hair standing up over the shoulders and back. Once you master your dog’s body language you will be amazed how much they have been saying. Doggie Language: A Dog Lover’s Guide to Understanding Your Best Friend by Lili Chin is an excellent resource for you and for kids. For more information on keeping kids and dogs safe, checkout the Family Paws website . This website has many resources and links to help you keep everyone safe and happy. They can also help you locate a trainer in your area for more support. Give your dog choices and then respect their choice. If they are uncomfortable, give them the choice to bow-wow out of that photo! Dawn M. Olson; Certified Professional Dog Trainer; Certified Fear Free Trainer; Licensed Family Paws Educator emBARK



Depending on the dog’s breed and coat, frostbite can occur when temps drop below freezing (32 degrees). Wet and damp weather make dogs more vulnerable to frostbite. Paws, ears and tails are most susceptible to frostbite. Frostbite damage may take days to reveal clinical symptoms. If you suspect your pet has suffered frostbite, seek immediate veterinary intervention. Hypothermia may be another concern for a dog that is outside for an extended period. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for pooch.

Animal neglect is a misdemeanor in all 50 states!

Antifreeze is poisonous for cats and dogs! Clean up any garage spills right away. Keep your light coated dogs and older dogs warm with a jacket or sweater.

Keep your dog hydrated Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in winter as summer. Although many dogs eat snow, it’s not an adequate substitute for fresh water. If your dog spends time outdoors in your yard, make sure she has access to a water bowl, check it often & break ice that forms on top.

Talk to your vet about your dog’s need of extra calories for winter activity.

Rock salt and ice melt can cause cracking and burns on pads. Rinse and dry paws after winter walk. Don’t miss the toes. Dogs perspire through their paws.

Is it Too Cold?

Snowballs or iceballs between your dog’s paws can be painful and make it difficult to walk. Keeping the paw fur trimmed will help prevent this, as well as a good pair of dog booties. At emBARK, we like

If you think your dog may be too cold, try feeling his ears. If they feel cold to the touch, then your dog may be too cold. The same applies to his body; if it feels cold rather than warm, then he’ll likely feel too cold.

Keep Feet Trimmed For coated breeds, the hair can grow between the toes and pads of the dog’s feet. When the snow is wet and packy, it will stick to this hair. This can be quite uncomfortable for your dog when he is trying to run around and play. You will see him laying down and trying to get the snow out from between his toes.


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Winter Dog Grooming: The Long-Short of It By Melissa Kullman


t goes without saying that winter is a rough season to endure for everyone, dogs included. This snowy, cold winter climate poses a number of challenges as we try to care for our furry friends' skin and coats through these long months. One common problem for all dogs (and cats too) is dry itchy skin. Dogs and cats get dry skin during the months that we have to heat our homes, just like we do! Adding healthy oils, like fish oil, to your pet’s diet can give them the boost their skin and coat needs. Whether you bathe your pup at home or take him to a professional groomer, make sure chemical-free shampoos are used. Extra chemicals can further dry the skin and coat, making the situation worse. After bathing, use a chemicalfree conditioner to rehydrate and soothe, or ask your groomer to add a conditioning treatment to your pet's grooming visit. The most frequently asked question by concerned pet owners is, “What should we be doing with his hair in the winter? Leave it long so he stays warm?” It's a great question! And a delicate line to walk: If you leave it too long Long hair picks up snow each time a dog goes out. All the snow collecting on long hair not only causes the hair

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to become wet, which chills the dog, but the wetness and towel-drying will cause the hair to become tangled and matted. Those mats form not at the ends of hair, but tight to the skin. When those mats become wet with snow, they can take hours to fully dry. Imagine spending the whole winter in a slightly damp t-shirt and socks! Those damp mats can create the perfect conditions for bacterial and fungal skin infections. Mats also pull tight on the skin, and can restrict blood flow, causing hematomas. Once those stubborn mats have formed, groomers have one humane choice: shaving under those tight mats and leaving a short haircut (which isn’t ideal). If you cut it too short A short haircut leaves a dog's skin and delicate body parts (like tails, toes, nose and ears) regularly exposed to dangerous temperatures and leave your pet at risk for frostbite. According to the National Weather Service, at -18 degree wind-chill, it only takes 30 minutes to get frostbite. With the amount of time our best fur friends spend outside taking potty breaks and on walks, having enough (but not too much) hair is so important for providing protection. The key to helping your dog survive the winter and early spring months is regular grooming. While most dog breeds require grooming every 6-8 weeks in the summer and fall, winter and spring conditions require more frequent visits to the groomer. Plan on bringing your dog to a groomer every 4-6 weeks for a bath and conditioning, thorough brush out, and a light trim. Regular visits will make it possible for your groomer to maintain your pup’s coat so he can comfortably get through these rough Wisconsin winters.

Things to Ask When Boarding Your Pet By Stavroula McCormick, Owner of Ruff Life Pet Hotel

7. Does your pet like to cuddle or would he rather play fetch? 8. Does your pet need special items from home? Slow feeder, a favorite toy, or a blanket that smells like home? Once you have thought about the needs of your fur baby, check out the options that you have in your area. Make sure that the facility has everything your pet needs to have a comfortable, and fun, vacation while you are away. Just like children, pets can get stressed and have anxiety when they are not with their family, so choosing the best fit for them is important.


ou have booked your flight, hotel, and vacation rental car—but what about your furry family members? Someone will have to look after them while you are relaxing in the sun. Fido and Kitty are very important members of your family, and you don’t want just anyone watching them. Deciding WHO should care for them can be a challenge.

Make sure to ask lots of questions when talking to boarding facilities—be Fido’s voice. Have them explain what a day in the life of a pet would be like. Even stop in for a tour, unannounced. If they will not let you take a tour, chances are they are not the right fit for your pet or you.

There are several questions to consider when choosing caregivers for your fur babies while you are away: 1. How old is your pet? Several boarding facilities will not take puppies if they are not spayed or neutered. 2. What vaccinations does your pet have? Many places do recommend and even require rabies, distemper, and bordetella to be up-to-date in order to stay. Though it may be a pain to have to have them all current, it is a GOOD THING. This is for your pet’s safety! The last thing you would want is to come home from vacation to a sick pet. 3. Do they need medications daily? 4. Do they have special dietary needs that require refrigeration? 5. Do they require frequent potty breaks throughout the day due to age—either very young or in the “golden years” of life? 6. Does your pet like other pets? Many facilities mix the pets for socialization throughout the day. Is your Fido one that does not like other dogs and will try to start a fight? Or is your Kitty one that is anxious and scared of other cats? | 7

Saying Goodbye to Your Pet: Pet Cremation By Matt Thompson, Chippewa Valley Cremation Services & Celebration of Life Center


ets can make such a profound impact on our lives that when a pet passes away, it can feel similar to losing a family member. This can be a difficult time for the family, and closure can be hard to find. Pet cremation is a very tangible option for saying goodbye and a great way to honor pets after they have passed. When a pet is put to sleep at a veterinarian office, the owner is then asked what they plan to do with their deceased pet. Some will chose to take the pet home for burial (perhaps in the back yard or another acceptable place). Others will chose a cremation option, which many vet clinics offer. Pet crematoriums are designed specifically for pets, and the process is handled in the same manner as human cremation. The animal's body is placed in a combustible container and is burned in a special furnace designed to produce very high temperatures. The process reduces the body to bones and gases, then the fragments are further reduced to ashes. The remains are transferred to a sealed container or urn. Some vet clinics in the Chippewa Valley have an on-site pet crematory, however the majority of clinics outsource pet cremation to what is known as a commercial agricultural incinerator. These companies typically come to the vet clinic once per week and make numerous stops at various clinics picking up many cats, dogs, etc. to take back to their facility and cremate. Ultimately the deceased pet cremains return to the local pet clinic for the pet’s owner to claim.

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Another option for cremation in the Chippewa Valley also exists through one local funeral. Chippewa Valley Cremation Services & Celebration of Life Center in Altoona can help personalize the cremation process. Funeral Director and owner, Matt Thompson, states, “We are here because you love your pet, and you want to take care of them now that they have passed on. Our mission is to assist you in having your beloved pet cremated in the most dignified, timely and affordable manner possible.” Every pet is assigned a numerical ID tag that stays with them for the entire cremation process to ensure the proper remains are returned to the correct family. Thompson says, “This is just one more step we take to help ease your comfort during this time. We are a funeral home and we are family-focused, and pets are a part of your family.” The Center has a private facility dedicated to people bringing deceased pets into their care. Cremation is typically completed within one week. Dispersal of the pet’s ashes can be handled in different ways. Some people chose to keep them for sentimental purposes, while others organize a burial service in a pet cemetery. Many families scatter or bury the ashes in a special place in their yard or in a park that was significant to the pet. As the ashes are basic natural elements, they are not harmful to the environment. Cremation has been used for thousands of years to dispose of loved ones. It is environmentally friendly and can help your family process their loss. Why not celebrate the life of your pet and remember them by creating a plan for their passing. By cremating their remains and receiving them, your family can choose how commemorate the life of your pet.

In-Home Pet Care While You’re Out By Becky Streeter


ou love going on vacation, but hate sending your pet to a boarding facility. They give you those sad puppy dog eyes or completely ignore you when you try to say goodbye. Not to mention the added cost of boarding while you are already spending who knows how much on your trip… And your pet is now out of their comfort zone, potentially stressed out, until you come to pick them up. Headaches all around. In-home pet care could be the answer. Crystal A. Louden, owner and operator of Tri-Paw’d Pet Care, provides a number of services to keep your pet stress-free while you are out. Louden will come to your house, play or stay with your pet, and keep up the normal daily routine. The benefits of in-home pet care are numerous. “Pets are able to stay safe and comfortable in their own home,” Louden states. “It smells like them, it is already set up for their safety, and it gives the best chances to maintain their routines. They can be cozy and comfy in their normal spots. It reduces stress by avoiding car rides (which are stressful for many pets). They also do not have to stay in a kennel environment--no other pets to see/hear/smell.” In-home care can be especially beneficial for older pets. Many senior animals dislike the crazy, loud, busy commotion of most boarding facilities. Louden says, “With in-home care, they are able to rest where they're most comfortable, take potty breaks on a routine schedule, and receive any medications they may be on as prescribed.” Many pets are content to stay home and just need a few visits each day for playtime, feeding, potty breaks and snuggles. However, not all pets do well being left alone,

so Tri-Paw’d Pet Care offers overnight care to stay with them. This in-home care also provides a convenience for the owners. No transportation needed, no packing of gear, no worries! Owners also get a sense of security in knowing that their home is not completely empty while they are away. In addition to pet sitting, Tri-Paw’d Pet Care offers variety of other routine services. In-home nail care and gland express services are great for senior or anxious/reactive pets. They also provide a pet taxi service to bring pets to and from daycare, vet visits, grooming and boarding. “We know not one style of care will fit for all pets,” says Louden, “so it's important to talk about what the owner and the pets need to help find the best fit for everyone. Our goal is comfort and stress-free, so it's good to find the right match.” Nervous about entrusting your amazing (or crazy) pet with someone else? Don’t be. Louden is a veterinary technician and professional pet caregiver with over 12 years of experience. She has worked with several local clinics and shelters/rescues, is constantly working to continue education and training, and has received many awards for her efforts and services. “I have had the honor of learning with many incredible organizations in several states to continue learning new and humane care practices,” says Louden. “We focus on providing a positive and enriched life for all the pets in our care.” To learn more about Tri-Paw’d Pet Care, visit their social media pages and Instagram @tripawdpetcare, or send an email to And keep checking for the opening of her website: | 9

pamper your pets! 1


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0 1 | Y IT T O P A W S G R A N O L A B IT E S Your pup deserves the very best! The first & only organic treats brand that’s 100% human grade, no sugar added, high in fiber, rich in superfoods, low calorie, and made with 6 simple ingredients or less.

02 | G O LD PAW D U LU T H D O U B LE F LEEC E Dual layers of their unbelievably soft, stretchy fleece team up to create an unbelievably comfortable and warm coat for your dog. Their fleece has added spandex, recycled content that is eco-friendly, and it's machine washable!

03 | NO M NO M PET FO O D Real food. Real ingredients. Made by real nutritionists. Whenever possible, their food is sustainably-sourced and they work hard to ensure zero food waste in their facilities.

0 4 | D R . H A R V E Y 'S C A N I N E H E A LT H - M I R A C L E D O G F O O D Holistic blend of 6 organic grains and 9 dehydrated vegetables. Just add meat and Dr. Harvey's Health & Shine Omega-3 Fish Oil for a complete meal. Ready in minutes. All-natural formula with no dyes, chemicals or preservatives.

05 | H U R T TA E X T R E M E W A R M E R E CO Keep your dog warm in demanding conditions. A fluorocarbon-free Rudolf ECO water-repellent treatment is used to weatherproof the coat. Designed to offer protection to your dog's key muscle groups, and the waterproof surface material is soft and comfortable.

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We know that it is difficult to say goodbye to a good friend. Our mission is to assist you in having your beloved pet cremated in the most dignified and affordable manner possible. We are the only funeral home in the Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls area here to assist you with the cremation of your beloved pet.

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Grieving the Loss of a Pet


t’s always difficult to lose a pet. Our furry friends are often integral members of our families, and the grieving process in the wake of a pet’s death may reflect that notion. Second Opinion interviewed Betsy Talbot of Talbot Funeral Homes about pet grief and loss, and the services their small family business provides. What tips would you give to a grieving pet parent? My advice to a grieving pet parent would be to cherish every moment that you had with your companion because they cherished every moment with you. What have you learned about pet loss through your work? I have learned so much about pet loss since we opened up Precious Companion Cremation Care. The amount of love that our pets give to us is as large as the hole in our hearts when they are called from us. Pet parents find peace as we allow

By Katy Hackworthy

them to spend time in private at our funeral home. The grief that is expressed at times surpasses that of the loss of a human loved one. Handling a pet parent's precious companion deserves dignity and respect. What types of urns or memorials do you offer for grieving families? As part of our cremation services, we provide a decorative paw print tin urn. Many times, a pet parent will want an urn that captures the essence of their pet. We offer selections that are as unique as one can imagine and made out of many different types of metals, wood or even biodegradable urns. The most selected urn, however, would be either the oak or cherry wood photo urns that we have engraved and personalized. This urn allows one to change photos of their pet, which I think adds tangibility to the loss and triggers happy thoughts as they browse treasured photos. Betsy emphasizes that “pet parents are pet owners, but not all pet owners are pet parents.” As pet parents themselves, the Talbots understand the hurt and the grief is real and it’s their “mission to treat every pet as if we were their pet parents.” Visit Talbot Family Funeral Homes for all your pet cremation needs.


Eat a Healthy Diet Reach for healthy options like fruits and vegetables instead of salty or sugary treats.

Sue Peck, PhD, GNP-BC, APNP, FAAO, APT, CHTP/I Integrative Nurse Practitioner

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Get Active Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days per week.

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Saying Yes by Sandi Anderson


ebruary is here and many have entered month two of the 2022 resolutions: clearing out “stuff,” new goals for prosperity or career, new love, wellness, spiritual understanding. The last several years created the need and time to become aware of the thoughts and feelings we have been holding deep within. Believe that some of these thoughts are ready to bloom. Other thoughts we planted may need more light to grow well. Additionally, you may realize some feelings and beliefs are no longer needed in your life. To have a new better life, one must choose it…say “yes!” Saying “yes” usually holds positive feelings and connotations of acceptance and affirmation. Not everyone has learned to be aware of the best use of this magical word that can transform one’s life. Learning how to hear, see and say “yes” wisely and more often can be a life-changer.

hand--be willing and ready for those that come your way anytime. Thoughts ready to bloom can’t when we don’t let them go. Don’t shy away from seeking out more and making new ones where you can. Say yes to challenges: Challenges teach you about your ultimate expression of strength. It is a great way to prep for the future situations in your life. Challenges are always on one’s life path, learning how to accept and deal with them is the difference between winning or not. Some seed thoughts need more time and light before blooming. Our challenges give the gift of knowing our true potential. Through them we find out we are capable, and we also discover how to grow our talents.

Alternatively, when we say “no” often, it can limit us, shutting down the doors to new opportunities for growth. Remember, our thoughts and desires are known by the Divine. The Divine delivers in many ways. A famous saying: “’Yes’ can reshape your life for good, and inspire others to do the same.”

Say yes to your intuition: This means trust your “gut instincts.” Intuition is your inclination toward a particular idea, object, event or outcome. It is the inner guide that helps you make quicker and better decisions for your best interest. Intuition does not need a huge amount of reasoning. Know that intuition gives us a “no“ differently than the “no” we give towards new growth possibilities based on lack of motivation or efficiency. Trust your intuition, it may warn you when saying “yes” may take you places you are not meant to be.

Learning the how’s of saying yes

Say yes.

Say yes to opportunities: You have wants, desires and needs. The best “yes” you need to learn is to say yes to opportunities. This also includes those closest at

Sandi Anderson of Healing Intentions - Spiritual Advisor, Reiki Master/Teacher Licensed Unity Teacher, Photographer

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WAYS TO MAKE EVERY DAY EARTH DAY Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. Here are 10 ways to make every day Earth Day.

01 10 Plant a Tree You don’t need to wait until Arbor Day to plant. Not only do trees produce oxygen, but they’re also a shelter for animals.



Go Outside More Stepping outside occasionally can help you appreciate nature in its all glory.

Make Your Own Cleaning Products Most cleaning products have harmful chemicals. Use vinegar & orange peels for a non-toxic cleaner.


Get Reusable Bags Cut out the plastic and take reusable bags with you when you go shopping to cut down on waste.

Recycle Take the time to sort your trash. Mother Earth will thank you.

Buy Organic Food and Products When you buy organic you’re contributing to a positive approach toward agriculture without harmful pesticides.

Use Glass Bottles Over Plastic Using glass bottles instead of plastic yields a purer taste and a reduction in plastic recycling.

Start Gardening You can grow a produce section in your backyard, and it’ll add more oxygen to the atmosphere.


Start Composting Don’t throw away your organic trash. You can turn it into fertile soil that can help feed plant life.

Stop Eating Meat Cutting meat out of your diet and solely eating plants would reduce food-related emissions by 70%.


06 These little steps are extremely beneficial to the environment, and they’re also a good way of saying thanks to the Earth! Via: Source:

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Starting Seeds Indoors By the Horticulture Department, Eau Claire County UW Cooperative Extension


o you want to get ahead of the growing season? Do you want to plant vegetables that need a longer growing season? Do you want to grow a plant that you can’t find in the stores? A solution to these challenges is to start your own seeds indoors. Many plants do better if started indoors, because it gives them a jump start on the growing season. This is especially the case in northern Wisconsin where the growing season is shorter and some seeds have a difficult time germinating in the early season. Tomatoes and peppers are a great example of plants that need a longer growing season than northern Wisconsin can provide.

l Containers

Any type of container can be used to start seeds as long as it is sterilized before planting and has drainage holes at the bottom. To sterilize pots, soak the containers in a 10 percent bleach mixture and thoroughly rinse. Single celled pots are sold in stores and generally only a seed or two are planted in one cell. Mass-sowing seeds are done in flats that do not have dividers, and they require transplanting after the seedling is bigger.

l Soil

Use a seed starting mix or other soil-less indoor plant mixture. These types of soils have been sterilized and contain smaller particles so the embryos have an easier time pushing through. In addition, they are light weight and drain well. If you want to create your own mixture, use a pasteurized mixture of equal amounts of soil, sand, vermiculite or perlite, and peat moss.

l Planting

Moisten the soil before you add it to the containers. It shouldn’t be soggy. The general rule for planting depth is four times the thickness of the seed. Also, check the seed packet for recommendations. Some seeds are very small and hard to see. In those cases, mixing the seed in sterile sand can help you see where you are spreading the seed.

Very small seeds are simply sprinkled over the top of the soil. To cover seeds, use vermiculite or a layer of screened potting mix you are already using over the seeds. Leave about a ¼ of an inch from the top of the container to allow enough room for the vermiculite.

l Germination

Cover the planted seeds with plastic leaving an inch to an inch and a half gap. The plastic helps to keep the soil from drying out and traps some heat. A heating source underneath the seeds will speed up germination. Place them in a window with moderate light but not in direct sunlight. The temperatures should be 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.

l Watering

Keep the soil moist, but be careful not to overwater. Using a spray bottle works great for tiny seeds because a strong stream of water may move the seeds around too much. Even a stream being poured from a glass of water can be too strong. Watch for the growth of mold, which generally looks like white fuzz on the soil surface. When the first seedlings appear, take off the plastic. This is also the time they need stronger light, so they require a south facing window or artificial lights. My plants are lopsided! My plants are spindly! This can be prevented by turning the container as the seedlings grow and by giving enough light. Fluorescent lights are another source of lighting. They need sixteen to eighteen hours of light each day. One warm-white, 40-watt bulb and one cool-white, 40-watt bulb used together are adequate for seed starting and seedling growth. You can also use fluorescent lights or grow lights. Gradually acquaint the seedlings to outside by first starting with an hour and working up. The seedlings are not use to fluctuating temperatures, wind, and the sun, and this gradual introduction prepares the plant for new conditions.

These are general indoor seed germinating rules. By reading the seed package you will likely find more detailed information on seed depth, germination time, and any other specialized requirements. | 15

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Children’s Museum Receives IMLS Grant to Open Play Space in Chippewa and Menomonie By Michael McHorney, Children’s Museum of Eau Claire


ig news for little learners around the Chippewa Valley! Following the success of their temporary activities in Eau Claire, Play Space, the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire is excited to announce two new locations coming in February 2022 in Chippewa Falls and Menomonie. This is made possible in thanks to receiving a $50,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

to IMLS for awarding this grant, a first in our history,” said Michael McHorney, CEO. “We, along with IMLS, recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for children who are in their early childhood years, especially those in rural communities.” The spaces will also boast daily STEAM related programming and the option to rent the space for private rentals such as birthday parties. General admission will be $5.00 for all guests ages one and up. Annual memberships are available starting at $99 and afford entry to all Play Spaces. To ensure that admission is not a barrier to entry for families in the region, the museum is continuing to offer its reducedprice membership program titled Play for All.

Play Space Chippewa will be located in downtown Chippewa Falls at 312 North Bridge Street. Play Space Menomonie will be located in the 503 Broadway building in downtown Menomonie. Children and their grownups will have a space that features open-ended and loose-parts play in three exhibit galleries. “Our organization is grateful


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Lyme and Tick-Borne Illness - An Update by Susan Peck PhD, GNP-BC, APNP, FAAO, APT, CHTP/I, Nurse Practitioner


yme and tick-borne illness season is just around the corner. Some with chronic Lyme have already begun to experience flares of their symptoms. It’s a global health issue with concentration in multiple areas of the world. The CDC estimates there are more than 300,000 cases of Lyme in US annually, and the upper Midwest is highly endemic for disease. Know Your Bugs - Knowing the type of tick bite helps determine what infection might be present. Many types of ticks live in this area including the black-legged, brown dog, American dog, and deer, and most of them have more than one infection. The length of time the tick is attached contributes to the degree of transmission. The longer attached (the more engorged the tick) the more likely the person/animal is infected. Minutes to hours is enough in most cases. The infection likes to hide out in areas of old injury, scar tissue, or even in a leaky gut or dental issues. It travels through skin/connective tissue and spread to joints, the nervous system, and the heart.

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Symptoms - Tick bites are usually painless but can itch. The bullseye rash, or erythema migrans (EM), is actually only present in 30% of the cases. Fever, sore throat, swollen glands and roving joint pain in large and small joints can also occur. Diagnosis - Standard Lyme blood testing is not well developed and negative results are highly likely. If tested too early, the body hasn’t mounted an antibody response yet and everything appears fine. And these bugs can play smart tricks on us to prevent our immune system from reacting to them, which can cause the negative test results. However, new laws in the country of France and in the states of Maryland and Virginia state that if a patient has symptoms of Lyme but the tests are negative, it is illegal to tell patient they do NOT have Lyme. Lab tests available can confirm the presence of Lyme, but they cannot rule out the diagnosis. Treatment - Treatment using antibiotics and herbals will vary per stage. If there is a known bite but no symptoms, a 21-day treatment is recommended. When symptoms of Lyme are present, treatment extends for 4-6 weeks plus 30 days after symptoms resolve to prevent chronic infection. Full guidelines are available, free to all, from the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) at: https:// In patients left untreated, 13% develop neurologic complications, 60% have intermittent arthritis, and 34% have long-term health problems including heart disease. Delay of diagnosis increases costs to the individual, the health care system, and insurance companies. Many people report quality of life problems for three months prior to diagnosis. For those who were diagnosed at least six month after symptoms began, 61.7% still have quality of life problems more than two years out. Besides antibiotics, herbals have been researched and shown to decrease multi-drug resistance. Herbals are synergistic with antibiotics, helping prevent antibiotic side effects, clear biofilms, and increase treatment success. Get Tested - Tissue banks are available for providers and patients to submit biopsy tissue, surgically obtained tissue or at autopsy, for future research. Patient history is required to go with the tissue. Check out the Lyme Disease Biobank website for more details: https://www. | 19

The Watershed Café: A Mindful Food Experience By Summer Kelly – The Watershed Café

ocated in the heart of the beautiful St. Croix River Valley, you will find The Watershed Café – a rustic, locally and sustainably-sourced restaurant perched above the St. Croix River in Osceola, Wisconsin. As a neighborhood cornerstone, The Watershed Café is a vibrant hub of local activity. Since the restaurant’s start in 2014, owners Rita and Steve Rasmuson have been on a mission to make wholesome comfort food accessible to all people. For Rita, that means using simple and fresh ingredients. “We are a whole food restaurant,” she says, “which means we bring in beautiful food and simply create dishes for everyone to enjoy.” The down-to-earth nature of The Watershed Café is rooted in the local, slowfood food movement. “Because of processed, packaged fast-foods, we as a society have become so far removed from the abundance of good food our Earth provides. By creating intentional, made-from-scratch dishes and building relationships with local small-scale farms, we are closer to the people growing our food and more deeply connected to the land,” Rita emphasized. Inspired by garden produce, seasonal ingredients and local flavor, Rita cultivates partnerships with small farmers and sustainable sources to bring fresh-grown

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food directly to the table. “It’s important for each of us to be mindful of where our food comes from. We are fortunate to be surrounded by hard-working people who are passionate about farming and land stewardship,” Rita shared. “Supporting our local farmers improves the lives of everyone around us. It builds our local economy, provides support for small families, neighbors, friends, and community members in our rural areas, and allows each of us to eat fresh, clean, healthy food.” Rita upholds those standards with a mindful, whole foods mentality. The Watershed Café works closely with farms within 10 miles of the restaurant to source much of its fresh produce, dairy products, meats, and cheeses. Other products are sourced from within a 100-mile radius whenever possible. Striving to support small, familyowned-and-operated businesses with shared values is key. The Watershed Café is proud to partner with Peterson Craftsman Meats, Common Harvest Farm, Morning Sun Farms, Blackbrook Farm, Crystal Ball Farms, Cosmic Wheel Creamery, Sister Crave Bakery, Skinny Jake’s Fat Honey, Peace Lutheran Pure Maple Syrup, Duluth Coffee Company, and Zenith Tea Works. These wonderful, sustainable sources provide the homegrown ingredients that are the flavors of The Watershed Café!

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Being a Mindful Parent by Ann Brand, Ph.D


Photo by Renee Barth Photogrphy

he moment you say, “We’re having a baby,” you are bombarded with advice on how to parent your child from well-meaning friends, family, child development experts, and the broader culture (much of it through social media). Some of it is useful, some of it is not. Often you just end up feeling overwhelmed in the face of all the options.

2. Mindfulness helps us be less reactive. Parenting is emotional work. As a parent, we can experience the full range of emotion in the course of a day, sometimes within a single hour. Joy, frustration, love, worry, contentment--all the feels. Emotion can come on suddenly and sometimes leads us to react in ways that don’t align with our parenting approach.

As parents, we are always looking for that one “right way” to solve a parenting conundrum; that perfect technique that will help us raise healthy, happy children. Rarely do we turn inward and look at how we are supporting our capacity to be healthy, happy parents. Cultivating a personal mindfulness practice is one parenting tool that can support all other things we do as parents.

Mindfulness practices helps us notice our emotions and get some space around them so we can see them, feel them, and then choose how we want to respond. We may still be angry or frustrated, but we are not driven by these emotions. This helps us respond to our children in more skillful and kind ways, even when we are enforcing a rule or reprimanding an unwanted behavior.

Below are three mindfulness practice tips that can support us in being more present, responsive, and compassionate parents.

3. Mindfulness helps us be more compassionate. As we gain self-awareness from mindfulness practice, we become more aware of our children’s experience too, allowing us to respond with more kindness and compassion.

1. Mindfulness helps us be more attentive. Consistent use of mindfulness tools helps increase our capacity to notice when we get distracted. We can see where our focus lies and shift our attention to what matters most to us. Paying attention is critical to parenting. Clearly seeing our child’s needs and wants helps us choose how to respond in the most supportive, skillful way. Too often we are distracted by daily demands, impairing our ability to be responsive in the moment. Mindfulness practice also helps us be better listeners. How many times have we noticed we are not paying attention when our child is speaking? Listening with our full attention is a wonderful gift to give our children. Feeling seen and heard fills us with warmth and love. Mindfulness practice trains us to notice when we are not listening so we can choose to re-engage and support the relationship.

We also need self-compassion as parents. Parenting is tough! Sometimes we make mistakes. Instead of getting hung up on these mistakes, we can practice showing compassion to ourselves. This allows us to kindly look at where we maybe didn’t react in the best possible way and how we can do things more in line with our parenting values in the future. Take some time to cultivate your own capacity to be present with compassion by using mindfulness practice. Try five minutes of mindful breathing each day, or check out a parenting book like Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Ann Brand, Ph.D is an instructor at UW-Stout and a mindfulness meditation teacher. For more information about mindfulness, see Ann’s website | 21

Ah, Spring! February is the month of Valentines. March is the month of…well, basketball tournament, snowstorms, and the first day of spring! In April, Christians celebrate the reason for their faith, and Earth Day is recognized. Many are celebrating a pregnancy during this time following some months of cold weather snuggling. Others are celebrating new arrivals. What’s not to love this time of year with the babies, pastels and sprouting bulbs? The hope of new life can serve to lift one’s spirits and lighten one’s step. Spring is also a good time evaluate your health. Consider infra-red thermal imaging as part of your spring health tune-up. Thermography is a no-contact, non-invasive,

painless, and radiation-free screening that provides men and women with a picture of their current physiology. Popular thermographic screenings include fullbody scans, immune system screening and breast screenings. Breast thermography is especially beneficial for adult men and women. With breast screenings in particular, a baseline needs to be established, therefore, a second breast screening is conducted three months after the first screening to observe any changes in physiology. Annual screenings are appropriate going forward, as long as the results appear stable. Early detection of physiological changes can result in earlier treatment and better outcomes. It is important to remember that thermography does not replace mammography, they identify different things. Neither provide the “full picture.” Mammography identifies measurable structures such as fibrous tissue, calcifications, and tumors. Thermography visualizes vascular activity, inflammation, lymphatic activity, hormonal dysfunction, and other “functional” abnormalities. Thermography is completely harmless, but there are times when it will not provide beneficial information. For example, because of hormonal changes during pregnancy and lactation, women should wait three months after giving birth and breastfeeding before being screened. Any other screening can be conducted during this time, such as the thyroid or full body, just not the breast. If the patient has any breast health concerns, such as lumps, she needs to see her physician for further evaluation. Ah, spring. I look forward to seeing my favorite daffodils bloom through their caps of snow. I look forward to supporting your spring tune-up as well. Bring this article with you to a screening in February, March or April and receive $25 off the regular screening price. Thermography, or Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI), is a non-invasive, radiation free method of viewing the body.


Serving Eau Claire and River Falls, IW and surrounding areas. 22 |

Stress and Pregnancy


e have all heard how stress can affect us: heart rate increases, adrenaline and cortisol are released which arouses the sympathetic nervous system and reduces the parasympathetic nervous system. Digestion slows, sweating begins, pulse and blood pressure rise. All of these changes ready us for the fight or flight, because we must be in danger, right? We also have all heard that the long-term impact of chronic stress is detrimental to our health. It’s related to glucose metabolism issues, heart attacks, cancer, mood disorders and other ills. Add to that a pregnancy. Pregnancy puts stress on the body. It increases the workload for all organ systems: elimination, circulation, digestion, respiratory. And during pregnancy, stress impacts you AND your baby. You already know that it is a lot of work to grow a human. Added stress can increase stress hormones and play a part in elevating blood sugar levels and disrupting glucose metabolism, affecting mood and well-being in general. The changes from stress can increase heart palpitations and put a strain on most bodily functions. Toss in a global pandemic and there is stress is beyond belief. Being sick with COVID-19 can increase the risk to pregnancy as well. Blood clots and pre-eclampsia rates have been shown to rise after a pregnancy COVID-19 infection. In addition, people in our country are not in agreement on how to respond to this new virus. We are

By Erin Kaspar-Frett, CPM, LM, MSM not united in how to behave, fighting with strangers, family and friends. How do we find the way through? Bear with me, there is still some hope. Stress is neither good nor bad. It simply is. What we do with the excess, how we balance the hormones created, determines whether the impact is helpful or harmful. Stress does have some benefits. It helps us focus, run faster, move quicker. In a stressful birth situation, as a midwife, I am very appreciative for my stress response when I need to act quickly or use my muscles. It literally saves lives at times. Stress reduction may not be possible for you currently. Children, full-time work, global pandemic, physical impact of pregnancy—you can’t change most of that. Rather than trying to reduce stress, I suggest stress resilience. Find the things that fill your cup. Retrain your focus toward the little things that bring you joy, and allow gratitude to permeate your being. That does not mean ignoring the needs of your neighbors and family and friends, to only put yourself first. There is a time and a place for someone else’s needs to come before yours, but not continuously. Stress resilience must be a daily practice. Stress hormones are balanced in several ways: moderate exercise, mindful breathing, prayer and meditation, adequate sleep, nutritious caloric intake, comfortable social time (not anxiety-producing social time), support and others. Create a daily routine with the small things that bring you joy: touching base with a trusted friend or partner, a good movie or book, a good cry, a bath or simply alone time. The things that bring you joy and meet your needs might change over time. It’s okay to slow down and respond to your changing needs, just as you would respond to your child’s changing needs. Sometimes it IS as simple as shifting your focus. Though it may be impossible during times of crisis or increased stress, try not to dwell on the things you need to do or have. Instead, focus on the things you ALREADY have in your life that bring joy to your heart, and you might find your cup a little fuller. | 23

Doula Dedication

By Rhonda Gearing, CD(DONA)


loved the time in my life when I was carrying our babies and anticipating each labor and birth. It was undeniably the most challenging chapter of my life, but also the most rewarding! I had empowering birth experiences with a great support team who listened, and I longed to continue to be involved in the world of pregnancy and birth. There was a purpose in my heart to be a voice for and provide guidance to other women. One day the role of a doula was mentioned...and I could not wait to get started! In 2003 I was invited to attend several births, and through word of mouth, my journey as a doula began. Early on I became a member of DONA International (formerly Doulas of North America) and followed the guidelines to become a certified birth doula. More recently, I have expanded my role to include postpartum doula support and placenta encapsulation. As a birth doula, I am generally contacted directly by the woman sometime during the course of her pregnancy. As her doula, I provide prenatal visits, during which time we talk about her pregnancy and discuss previous prenatal visits, any complications, and her feelings and needs as they pertain to this pregnancy. I also ask how she envisions her birth and what would make it a positive experience from her point of view. That sets the tone for how we will work together to achieve her goals. As we get closer to the due date, we talk about the natural stages of labor and birth along with what one might expect, for example, possible interventions, medication and natural remedies for pain relief, positions, and options along the way. I also offer assistance in creating a birth plan to express her preferences and desires, encouraging her to make decisions for her and her baby. In addition to our prenatal visits, I offer phone and email support during both the pregnancy and in the postpartum period. As she enters the active phase of labor, I join the expectant mother at whatever point she (or her partner) requests, whether at her home or the hospital. As a birth doula, my role is to provide physical, emotional and informational support to mothers and their partners during labor and birth. We weave together her partner’s care and attention and my knowledge and experience. I offer reassurance along with help and advice on comfort measures such

24 |

as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning with a focus on the Spinning Babies® techniques. I also assist families in gathering information about the course of their labors and their options in the moment. My role as the birth doula remains the same whether the mother is planning a hospital or home birth, including if the need arises where medical circumstances require hospital/traditional doctor care. I strive to keep the mother encouraged and empowered, reminding her that she is strong and able to maintain an active role in her care, nurturing her as she maneuvers through the journey of labor and birth (and beyond)! About a week after the birth of the baby, I make a home visit to talk about the birth experience and to answer any questions the new family may have, whether it pertains to the emotional or physical wellbeing of the new mother or the baby. As a postpartum doula, I provide support to the new family including newborn care, sibling adjustment, light housework (laundry, dishes, etc.) and meal preparation. I also offer evidence-based information on newborn feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth and other issues related to the postpartum period. The benefits of birth and postpartum doulas are numerous and include a reduction in interventions, improved postpartum mental health, and comfort and reassurance. According to a 2017 Cochrane Database Systematic Review, continuous support in labor “from a person who is present solely to provide support, is not a member of the woman’s own network, is experienced in providing labor support, and has at least a modest amount of training (such as a doula), appears beneficial.” For further information, visit Fun fact: My epidural rate is 23.5%; WI rate is 59% [1] My cesarean delivery rate is 16.4%; WI rate is 26.6% [2] 1. births/cesareans.htm; 2. do-you-know-the-epidural-rate-in-your-state/

Consider Chiropractic as Part of Your Family’s Health Journey!

By Dr. Emily Smith


ith 21 years in practice, chiropractic has been a part of my life for so long that it just seems normal to choose an adjustment as the go-to first step when symptoms arise. But it only takes one peek at any Facebook “asking for a recommendation” post to realize that not everyone is aware of how safe and effective chiropractic care can be during pregnancy and beyond.

Though it sounds simplistic, my job as a chiropractor is to realign the bones of the spine and remove the interference to the nervous system so that the body can function as it was meant to. Notice that the definition of chiropractic doesn’t mention anything about symptoms. It’s not about covering up or masking what the body is telling you, but rather getting to the root cause of the symptoms.

I didn’t grow up in a home where chiropractic care was the norm. My sister and I were sick all the time with recurrent ear and respiratory infections, and we took antibiotics on a consistent basis. We lived within driving distance of the original Mayo Clinic, where my mom worked her entire adult life. We were part of what I now see was “sick care,” a continual cycle of chasing down impending illnesses, rather than building the immune system and trusting the body to heal itself. We were not alone then, and this very well may be where you find yourself in this new year.

I’m not suggesting that you quit all of your medications and completely give up on western medicine. That is not my goal and it certainly shouldn’t be yours. Instead, take a look at what you DO have control over. What habits could you change that would help you to move your body more? What could you change in your diet that would give you more energy and decrease your reliance on caffeine to make it through the day? What patterns have you allowed yourself to get into that you know will not serve you in the next one, five or 10 years?

This concept of “your body is an amazing healer” may not be one that you’ve ever even considered. We are taught, through tricky marketing strategies, to treat every symptom with a medication, whether it be prescription or over the counter. We are taught that the “band aid” is what causes the healing, when it’s really the body that does the healing work! This concept is one I didn’t learn until I began my graduate studies to become a Doctor of Chiropractic.

These questions may not initially seem fitting to ask when talking about “chiropractic during pregnancy”, but realize that pregnancy is where we all started. At some point, these decisions were being made while we were in utero, without our input or control. As a mom of two, I’m not saying this to instill guilt for all of you moms out there! We do our best with the knowledge we have. My mom never took my sister and me to the chiropractor when we were kids. She just didn’t know the benefit it could have had on our health. She likely considered it normal to have sick kids, but what we consider “normal” can change!

Chiropractic education is intense: learning every detail about the anatomy and physiology of the body from the inside out. Chiropractic operates under the premise that there are Thots (thoughts), Traumas and Toxins that interfere with how the body functions, and removing these 3 T’s can allow the body to heal itself. As BJ Palmer, the developer of chiropractic, said over 100 years ago, “The power that made the body, HEALS THE BODY. It happens no other way.”

My kids have known a different version of health care. They have been adjusted since birth and we have made it a focus to have a healthy diet, and to date they haven’t needed antibiotics or prescriptions even once. This complete shift in my perspective about health didn’t happen overnight, but it has only taken one generation to change this paradigm. Though I was the first chiropractor in my family, I am now one of 10 and I’m encouraging my younger son to follow in my footsteps! These concepts may be completely foreign to you, as they once were for me. Chiropractic may not have been something you’ve ever considered as part of your family’s health journey, but I hope that you now will. Dr. Emily Smith, DC, DICCP is a Chiropractic Pediatric Specialist, but revels in seeing patients of all ages at her main office in Eau Claire and satellite office in Menomonie, WI. Contact Smith & Prissel Chiropractic and Massage at 715-833-3505 or www. to make chiropractic a part of your family's health journey! | 25

Postpartum Depression and Infrared Sauna Therapy By Becky Streeter


ringing a brand new baby home from the hospital should be an amazing, over-joyous time in a new mother’s life. But it’s not always that way. The “baby blues” are completely normal because new mothers are bombarded with hundreds of different emotions, hormones, and life changes in a very short time. If the baby blues don’t seem to be going away or are getting worse, it might be indicative of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression (PPD) should not be considered a weakness--it is simply a complication of giving birth. While the baby blues usually fade within a week or so, PPD symptoms are more intense, last longer, and can interfere with caring for your new baby or other life tasks. Untreated PPD can last for months. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of PPD include: -

Depressed mood or severe mood swings Excessive crying Difficultly bonding with your baby Withdrawing from family and friends Loss of appetite, or eating much more than usual Insomnia, or sleeping too much Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy Intense irritability and anger Fear that you’re not a good mother Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions Restlessness Severe anxiety and panic attacks Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Postpartum depression is often treated with counseling and medication, but infrared sauna therapy is another option that can be helpful. We caught up with

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Marilyn Nicanor, owner of Rays of Sol, who talked about her infrared sauna treatment: Q: How does the infrared sauna work? A: It uses infrared heat to gently make its way through human tissue to provide a list of benefits (relaxation, better sleep, clearer skin, detoxing, pain relief, lower blood pressure, and weight loss), as well as boost the immune system. Infrared light is actually what hospitals put on babies to keep them warm after they come out of the womb. Q: How does the infrared sauna benefit a woman with postpartum depression? A: The infrared sauna is a great way for mothers to get some relaxation and time for themselves. It helps detox any medicine that was used during delivery such as epidurals, and can help reduce joint pain from carrying baby. Most new mothers experience some swelling in their ankles or feet, and the sauna can help shed that water weight. It also boosts metabolism, helping new mamas lose pregnancy weight of up to 600 calories per session. Q: What does a typical treatment look like? A: It’s the same concept as the traditional sauna. The only difference is the infrared uses infrared heat, instead of steam or stones, to heat the body from within, whereas traditional saunas heat up the air around you. Our cedar wood sauna is located in a room and fits up to three people. A session usually last about 30 minutes, but we do offer 45 minutes sessions for people who like to sit in it longer. We also offer add-ons to enhance and personalize the sauna session experience: chromotherapy (light therapy), acoustic resonance relaxing music, and the LumiNIR wand which combines Red or Blue light with NIR infrared. To learn more about the infrared sauna and other services offered at Ray of Sol, visit their website at www.raysofsol.

4 Best Benefits of Baby Massage


ll parents want their babies to sleep better, cry less, and grow steadily. Some would say this is the formula for a happy, healthy family. Unfortunately, these things can be very elusive when it comes to infants. It’s common to hear parents talk about struggling with limited sleep, incessant crying spells, and tummy troubles. Infant massage is an age-old tradition practiced throughout the world, proven to reduce and sometimes resolve these frequent parenting woes. The top benefits of learning to massage your baby include stimulation, relaxation, relief, and bonding. STIMULATION A common concern for babies, especially preemies, is weight gain. Through regular massage, babies show improved weight gain because of growth hormone stimulation. The brain is stimulated also, aiding strong mental development. Other benefits are increased immune function and increased oxygen to all parts of the body. In addition to these, babies are very alert and responsive during the massage, which adds to your bonding experience. RELIEF Since all the organ systems are stimulated during a massage, it also helps digestion. Tummy trouble is a common source of crying and discomfort for babies. Those who receive regular massages are reportedly less fussy and show less stress behavior. Babies experiencing constipation or gas can find relief. This helps everyone involved—it reduces stress and creates a time for a special connection between you and your baby. Let’s face it, there are lots of ways to define relief. Less crying is certainly one of them.

by Angie Sutliff

space for you both to slow down, breathe deeply, and release tension. It’s easy to incorporate into the daily routine and takes only about 20 minutes. Whether you’re a working parent coming from work to baby care at the end of a long day, or an at-home parent who just needs a few minutes of downtime, massage is helpful. It also promotes deeper, better sleep cycles. BONDING Bonding between you and your baby is so important. Those first months set the stage for trust, security, and building relationships in the family. Baby massage provides for good eye contact, communication, and positive interactions. Babies are said to smile sooner and more frequently and develop strong attachments when regularly massaged. But babies aren’t the only ones to benefit from this. Taking that time to focus on your baby through massage is beneficial for you also, especially if baby blues are an issue. Getting a baby to sleep, grow, and relax are often among parents’ top concerns. Learning infant massage is an easy, effective way to manage these issues and bring peace to the home. It is an investment of time with your baby that has lifelong benefits. Angie Sutliff, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) doulaforyou@

RELAXATION Time to relax is something parents lack in those early months with the new baby. Massaging your baby provides the | 27

Recovering from Bad Breastfeeding Advice By Jennifer Hafele, M.Ed., IBCLC


ell-meaning people sometimes give terrible breastfeeding advice. This bad advice can come from a range of sources: your mother-in-law or grandmother, friends, social media posts, medical professionals such as physicians and nurses, and even lactation helpers. Bad advice can translate to frustration, physical pain, emotional trauma, and termination of the breastfeeding relationship. But there is HOPE, especially if you trust your instincts and act quickly. Here are a few examples of bad advice that my clients have received before coming to Mama Bear for help: Bad Advice #1: “Push the back of baby’s head on to the breast.” Little one was not latching successfully, so this client was told to force the baby onto the breast. The sad result was a 6-dayold baby who had developed a negative association and fear of being at the breast.

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Bad Advice #2: “Breastfeeding hurts. Get used to it.” Unfortunately, this is a common one. Breastfeeding should NOT hurt! If it does, it’s an indicator that something is “off” somewhere. For example, a baby may have an oral restriction such as a tongue or lip tie preventing a proper latch. In this case, the baby should be assessed by a professional specifically trained in infant oral restrictions (many medical professionals are not). Bad Advice #3: “Your baby will never latch successfully. Just pump and bottle-feed.” After trying several different approaches, one mother was told it was essentially useless to keep trying. Frustrated, she almost believed the advice before a friend encouraged her to keep seeking help and gentle suggestions. Bad Advice #4: “Schedule your feeding sessions.” They will go on to say, “You have to let milk build up in your breasts before you feed,” or “Be sure baby isn’t manipulating you.”

In truth, scheduling feedings is detrimental to mom’s milk supply and baby’s growth. Responding to your baby’s cues is always the right answer, and it is impossible to “spoil” a newborn baby as their wants and needs are the same! Bad Advice #5+: “You should… (fill in the blank).” Sadly, this list could go on and on. However, the results of bad breastfeeding advice do not have to end in trauma and heartache. First and foremost, trust your instincts. New parents are amazing. You KNOW when something is not right with your baby or when something is not working. Follow those instincts! Secondly, if you don’t feel like you got what you need, seek out another source. I am pleased to say that each of the clients mentioned above were able to resolve their breastfeeding challenges with support from Mama Bear Lactation Care!

Enrollment begins February 1st for the 2022-23 school year Eau Claire 4 Tomorrow

What Is It? Eau Claire 4 Tomorrow is an early learning program offered to all four-year-olds in the Eau Claire Area School District. The EC4T program is free* to ECASD residents. * There is no charge for

EC4T, however fees may apply for families participating in extended services beyond the EC4T program day.

How Do I Register? If by September 1, 2022,

your child will be 4 years old, an EC4T application must be completed. Applications are available at, click Schools, Early Learning, Program Options, Eau Claire 4 Tomorrow, Online Application. Babes In Toyland Childcare Center 715-830-9432

Eau Claire Area School District-Head Start 715-852-3630

The Learning Tree Child Care Center 715-834-5439

Redeemer Early Learning Programs 715-835-9207

Chapel Heights Preschool 715-832-2333

Genesis Child Development Center 715-830-2275

Little Bloomers 715-839-1050

Regis Child Development Center 715-830-2274

The Kiddie Patch Early Learning Center 715-833-9464

Mayo CHS Child Development Center 715-838-3198

UW-Eau Claire Children’s Nature Academy 715-836-2178

KinderCare Learning Center 715-832-8099

Rachel’s Place Early Learning Center 715-832-1414 x2200

Western Dairyland EOC, Inc. Eau Claire Head Start Center 715-985-2391 x1253

Children’s House Montessori School, Inc. 715-835-7861 Color My World Childcare & Preschool Inc. 715-835-2060 Days Gone By Early Learning 715-835-1234

For information regarding EC4T, contact the Eau Claire Area School District Early Learning Office at 715-852-3608.

The key was they acted quickly on their excellent instincts. In a safe, comfortable environment, I help assess your situation and then offer expert counsel and gentle support to start over. So, trust your instincts and take heart—a fresh start is possible in most breastfeeding situations! Jennifer Hafele is active in the Chippewa Valley birth and postpartum care community. She provides professional lactation support through her private practice, Mama Bear Lactation Care. Offering a free support group is a cornerstone of her practice. She also loves co-teaching “Confident Birth & Beyond,” an independent childbirth and postpartum education series. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook or at

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day!


Mother Nature’s Food has lots of great reusable products! Reusable... • Sandwich & Snack Bags • Food Storage Items • Glass Bottles • Bags & Totes • BPA Free Bottles • Utensils

2434 London Road Eau Claire 715-834-2341 800-359-5034 Check out our website at | 29

Being a Mom by Melinda Gardner


y first baby arrived on April fools day - 10 days early. Of course, everyone thought we were playing a joke, but we weren’t! I’m not sure anyone is ever really “ready” to be a parent and we all know the jokes about how they hand you this tiny baby and let you leave the hospital with it! It’s incredibly exciting, overwhelming, and a little frightening right? I really enjoy talking with moms about their experiences—all kinds of moms, all ages of children. Because we all need someone with whom we can talk to about things, get ideas from, hear about someone else’s experience and wisdom, and listen to the crazy stories and the things we all get “wrong”!

Here are a few things I “know” about being a mother: 1. It will be hard. You won’t always know what to do. That’s okay. This too shall pass. 2. You don’t have to be perfect, because you won’t be! Be patient with your child, and with yourself. Breathe. 3. Try to enjoy this. Older moms always tell younger moms to enjoy this time because kids grow up so fast. That’s true. But it’s also hard to be the mama of tiny little kids who never stop moving and talking and demanding something from you! 4. What works for one of your kids won’t work for another one. They are individuals and one size doesn’t fit all! We have to learn how to play with, teach, discipline etc. them all in ways that work for that child. You’ll know what to do. 5. Write down the funny things your kid says right when it happens. You think you’ll never forget, but you will. I started journals when I was pregnant with my daughters and wrote the funny things they said in them as they grew. Just a date and a quote. It’s one of their favorite things to read - and we laugh so hard at how funny and cute they were. 6. Be careful with your words. I was in a store last week and heard a father tell his little girl, probably about 3 years old, that she was a liar. She had told him she was tired. There were so many things he could have said to diffuse that situation instead of belittling her. Our words matter so much. 7. Find the support you need. From your own mom or dad, great friends, other parents, your church, or a neighborhood group. Check out the Apple Pregnancy Care Center in Eau Claire. We have an amazing program that pregnant women, and moms and dads can come to for support, education and encouragement. You can learn about pregnancy, childbirth, and much more after your baby is here. You can receive maternity and baby clothing, diapers, formula, car seats, cribs, toys and so much more. Our program is here at no cost to you and we’ve been in Eau Claire for over 40 years. We’re here for you. Call us at 715834-5254 for more information or to make an appointment.

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SMITH & PRISSEL CHIROPRACTIC AND MASSAGE We specialize in making your pregnancy a journey of health.

Choose Wisely, Choose Wellness. Dr. Angela Prissel

Dr. Emily Smith

Chiropractor, FICPA

Chiropractor, Pediatric Specialist (DICCP)

829 West Clairemont Avenue | Across from Sacred Heart Hospital

715.833.3505 |

EARTH MOTHER MIDWIFE and BIRTH SERVICES Serving all family constitutions and all body shapes, sizes and gender identities

Midwives are caretakers of families and their babies and the guardians of normal birth.


• Well Person Care • Prenatal Care •Birth Services • Postpartum Services • Newborn Care Offices in Menomonie | 31

Compassion and understanding in your time of need

Our staff is here to guide and assist you with a high degree of respect and concern during your time of loss. We will provide the most fitting service for your individual needs, at the most affordable cost with the many options that we offer. Two options to serve you, at one convenient location:

Stokes, Prock & Mundt FUNERAL CHAPEL

Even the smallest touch can make a big difference in personalizing your funeral services. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to celebrating your loved one and honoring their life, accomplishments, and individuality.

715-832-3428 |

Cremation Society of Wisconsin We offer a full range of cremation options. We have our own on-site crematory and a full staff to assist you with whatever your needs may be.

715-834-6411 |

Do you need help paying for burial or cremation expenses for your loved one? Helpful Hearts Foundation was created by the staff of Cremation Society of Wisconsin and Stokes, Prock & Mundt Funeral Chapel, to help low-income families who have experienced the death of a loved one, to pay for funeral expenses. While the primary purpose is to help with the loss of a child, the application processs is open to anyone in financial need, for final expenses in Eau Claire and surrounding counties. We are reaching out to help our community, during their time of greatest need. For more information on the application process, or to make a monetary donation to this 501(c)3 non-profit organization, please visit

535 South Hillcrest Parkway - Altoona, WI We also service the entire state of Wisconsin.

Helpful Hearts Foundation | 32