10 Tips For Natural Birth

Hi there sweet momma to be (or papa because let’s face it, my man researched for me because I was too busy being all kinds of pregnancy extra.)
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I bet you’ve come across this because you are about to have a little human enter this world and you need some birth hacks that will save the day.

While I sincerely hope to put this all in a precious, bound, collection one day in the future, people are having babies now, so I thought I’d paraphrase for you.

There is a TON of books and articles and posts everywhere you look. You could go right now and spend your nest egg on books at the local book store that would coach you on everything from pregnancy fashion to how to puree a chicken nugget.

I’m going to focus on maximizing the impact and minimizing the time spent weeding out the details.

Here we go:

1. Relax. Your incredible body isn’t going to mistake how this whole thing works. Sure, there are factors that could arise because this is humanity and there is margin for things being funky, but on the whole, we’ve been birthing babies since the first one was born and while I cannot promise your birth will be like any of my five, I can promise you that you get to choose how you approach it. Calm moms have all the fun. Pregnancy ball and chill, sweet friend.

A tense body will get in the way of things loosening and softening and dropping. I like to use the term “press in”. We’ll get to that, but for now, relax.

2. Move. In the days leading up to your baby (and really the entire pregnancy), be active. As active as you feel like. Take walks, breathe fresh air, let the sun hit your skin, and just move. Salsa dance with your partner in the living room. Park at the back of the parking lot at the grocery store.
There’s a reason old wives tales say to vacuum and make whoopie. Moving loosens up your hips and pelvis.

The thing I didn’t know about movement until my 3rd child was that while it progresses labor very well, it also detracts from the mind focusing on discomfort. When you’re moving, you’re not laying on your back thinking about how you feel.

3. Eat and drink. Unless you are under restriction for good reason from your provider, eat and drink. Birth is a marathon and not a sprint. Your body and your baby still need water, protein, etc. It’s about to Hulk out and it needs fuel.

4. Relax your bottom jaw. We tend to tense up at the beginning of contractions. I know I did. But in my 5th delivery, my smart husband told me to just let my bottom jaw hang open. Game.Changer. pal. I was able to keep swaying or moving or just not panic. It worked far better than any other coping tip I’ve tried.

5. Get into the water. There is just something about a bathtub or a pool that is soothing, and the added bonus of taking your weight and baby’s off of your ever-expanding pelvis is unmatched. Try your bathtub or a birthing pool wherever you are laboring. You can maintain rhythmic movement in water and progress with much less intensity.

6. Shhhh. If you’re not in labor yet, let’s play a game. First, make a high pitched sound. Note how your entire body tenses up? Now, make low sound from your gut. See how that relaxes your body and especially your abdomen? Low and slow wins the race.

7. Stay off of your back. Laying on your back forces your baby to work against gravity. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

8. Just say no to IV fluids unless something is wrong. Fluids will make you and your baby swell a bit. Do I need to explain that one further? Nah.

9. When you “literally can’t even”, it’s probably go-time. There is a special word in the stages of labor called “Transition”. This is what happens when it’s time for baby to head on out. It also coincides with some crazy thoughts. For most women it’s definitely work laboring, but when your mind becomes irrational saying “you can’t do this. get drugs. you’re going to die. it’s too hard” that’s usually right about that time. Tell someone when you get crazy in your mind and see if it might be time to settle into delivery.
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10. Press in. The rhythms of labor are long lost on TV and movie deliveries. We all picture ourselves on our back screaming in pain while we push on a ten count. If you dint’ know this already, when your baby is ready, your body will push for you. It’s crazy, but it’s real. So as you approach this glorious unfolding, press in. It’s okay to feel it. It’s good to sway and move and trust your body if it tells you to squat, get on all fours, lay on your side, or sit on the potty. Relax that bottom jaw, breathe well, and press in. Because the truth is, in mere moments, you’re going to be holding a life you got to carry and the feeling of birthing that person is unlike anything else this world has to offer. You will never regret it and you’ll be love drunk about it forever.
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p.s. Contractions feel like period cramps. They start small and build. If you’ve ever had a strong period, you can do this birth thing. Trust me.

For Every Kid’s Mom

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Childhood can be interesting and parenthood can be hard.
So much character concentrated into one tiny body.
Like your favorite soda, or my ginger berry kombucha…

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She’s not even 3 and climbs any and everything.

Shake it too much or let it sit for too long and things are likely to get a bit wild.

But someday… Someday that body will grow and the compression will ease. The character will be refined and ready to do what it was created to do.

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The child who never stops talking will be an excellent communicator and someone who makes others comfortable by carrying the conversation when needed. They will convey important messages with their abundance of words.

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The one bouncing off of the walls will have energy to take on tasks most would run from and come out with some to spare.

The sensitive one? Compassion. Empathy. The ability to hear others even if they aren’t saying much.

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As a mom, what I can do now is encourage them to channel that intensity of highly concentrated character into productive areas for their growth, fun, and personal successes.

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Then, when God calls them to the plate, they can let it out with full force.

We don’t need to “fix” or children to fit “normal”. We need to make space for them to take up space and help them to focus their energy for good.

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And hey, don’t be too hard on yourself. They mom on ET had an alien living in her home for a week and never even noticed.

It’s okay to really like your kids. It’s okay to just enjoy watching them grow and it’s okay to encourage them to keep going even when they feel awkward, wrong, out of place, in the way, etc.

We are all on the learning curve!

DIY – #dadlife – Birth

Hi there!

If you’ve been here long, you’ll notice that we focus a lot on all things “natural”.

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a couple about to deliver their first child and the topic of the Dad’s role in the birth came up.
I thought it would be fun to interview my babies daddy and shed some light on stepping into your role during birth. Kind of a “the things nobody told us and we learned the long way” type of thing.
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Me: If you could tell a first time “Dad to be” some bullet points for being a champion “natural” dad and stepping into his role in his family, what would you tell him?

Brad:
1. “The most important thing is to listen.” To understand. Not just to hear. And not just to your wife. Listen when the doctors, midwives, and nurses when they talk. Carefully, and ask questions. You’re not listening to comply, but to understand so that you can help your wife understand and make informed decisions for your family. Ask all of your questions and test the answers. Look it up. Listen to other dads and parents. Listen to people who have done what you and your wife want to do in terms of the plan she has for her birth, body, baby, etc.  “Sometimes you are the first and only line of defense for your wife and child.” You are there to support here. Everyone else is there to do a job.

2. “Learn about the protocols for birth at the place you plan to deliver.” Do they “room in”? Do they take the baby to the nursery? Do they require interventions like monitors, medications, etc.? “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to go against the “norm”. Your wife is an individual and so is your baby. Your story will look different from the couple next door and that’s awesome, not bad. When my wife asked me about circumcision, for instance, I knew I had learned that it wasn’t my first choice. Looking back, I wish I had brought her research and informed evidence because I should have known that that particular body part wasn’t her area of expertise. We both wish we hadn’t chosen that for our sons. I looked at it like this were her choice and that wasn’t being true to myself and my knowledge, and it it certainly didn’t help her.
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3.“You are her “birth liaison. Speak for her.” Birth can be intense and losing focus doesn’t help your wife or the baby. We’ve had both kinds. Ones were I sat back because I didn’t know any better and ones where I was basically fielding all of the things while we watched my wife do her thing. The second kind is the way to go. “Know your birth plan. When someone has a question, they can ask you and you can communicate with your wife. You’ll let the asker know when you do. The goal is to be a wall that protects her ability to focus. A focused woman is a productive woman.”  This goes back to knowing the hospital protocols. When the baby is born in a hospital setting, everything happens fast. The baby is born and its “cut the cord, wipe them off, bath, etc.”, If that’s not your birth plan, you don’t want to get caught up and say the wrong thing or allow something unnecessary just because it’s the way the hospital does it.

4. “Step up.” Your wife is going to push a human out of her body. She’s going to be exhausted. Be prepared to forget what sleep is for a while. Know how to change a diaper and watch a clock. Your wife will want to baby to nurse, but if she’s got to sleep or eat or shower, you’re the man for the job. You can hold the baby and provide that comfort and you’re going to need it. This is your kid’s first time meeting you. Might as well make it a big occasion and spend some quality time holding.

5. “Don’t ask her to put the baby down because of something you want her to do.” Just like this is your time to step into your role, by design, the baby needs to be on your wife. They need her body to regulate their body temperature, breathing, and simply touching her skin fires off so much brain development. “When the baby cries, pick him/her up.” That’s teaching your child the very fundamental truth that you’ll be there for them.

6. “Become a great encourager.” Your job once your wife is pregnant and for the rest of your life is to encourage her. She’s designed to do it all, but she will need you there to constantly reinforce that because her drive to be the best mother is also the source of her greatest self doubt. If you tell her how amazed you are by her, and you’ll be blown away at what she’s made of and her strength, you’ll unleash a confidence in her that will get your whole family through. You’ve gotta walk in your role so you can help her walk in hers.

Somewhere over the generations, we’ve lost sight of passing down the good stuff. The information we need most. We wind up feeling like we don’t have everything we need to walk out who we already are. People have been having babies since the beginning of humanity. You can definitely “DIY” the dad life. It’s okay to surprise yourself.

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our littles

 

Hacks That Work : Thieves Dish Soap

How many times Pinterest pins do you have for a “hack”? You know, a way to make a product work in a different way, last longer, save you money?

I’m guilty.

But as I was lost in the scroll a yesterday, I saw a “hack” using a very toxic product as bug repellent for children. This product is full of synthetic chemicals, synthetic dyes, and fake fragrance. Knowing what I know about how bad those things are for my kids (because a mother with a child like mine learns to read labels pretty quickly), and knowing that I am the gatekeeper of my home, I want to share hacks here that actually work for you, your kids, their bodies, and your budget.

Believe me when I tell you that you are worth it! Learning a new thing! Your kids are worth it. Their overall success in their personal health WILL be based on what YOU do as their parent. They will buy the brands you buy. They will take care of themselves the way that you take care of them.

No pressure. Am I right?

Now, none of this is to “mom shame”. I used to buy the household items for .23 cents with 3 coupons double stacked.  I quit working when I was 5 months pregnant with our first child 11 years ago. I understand making it all work in the parameters of the pay check.

And, I’ve also been standing there in the grocery store looking at 5 different “clean” brands that wanted to charge me an arm and a leg and my wedding rings only to find out that their ingredients weren’t much different than the big toxic brands.

Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to a product from Young Living’s Thieves line. Thieves Dish Soap is a plant based, essential oil infused, liquid dish soap. It is highly concentrated, effective, and safe for our homes. Yours and mine, friend.

In this vlog, I’m going to show you how to hack this product to:
– make it last 3 times as long,
– make it bubble so that you get all of the clean kitchen sink visuals
(because plant based products are so awesome they can clean without bubbles! Bubbles in typical products are from a synthetic agent in order to present that look of “clean” we are taught to want on every Ad for cleaning since the history of ever!)
-and make a truly wonderful product work for your budget.

What do you think? Simple enough? Budget friendly for a product that actually benefits your health while you use it?

Wanting to get your hands on this as fast as possible? I can help you with that: HERE and as an added bonus, when you grab you thieves products, you’ll also have access to a wonderful community of people just like you who are working on their wellness one cabinet of chemicals at a time!

Six Common Questions about Essential Oils

As I was shopping yesterday in a local health food store, I saw two women looking over the three different brands of “essential oils” offered.
I wanted to walk right up to them and tell them the truth about those bottles and all we’ve learned in the last four years about oils, our bodies, government regulations, wellness, and more. The oils offered are directly behind the front desk and I didn’t feel it would go over well if I began to sell something to someone in another person’s retail space. I wish I could have caught them in the parking lot.

While it may seem impossible, I find that there are still so many people who have nobody they trust trying to educate them and help them with natural wellness. With so many people trying to sell anything these days, how can we know what is right for us individually? How will we know what to do?

There have been a lot of these types of questions over the last four years, and naturally, some more than others.

In today’s VLOG, I’ll go over the 6 most common questions I am asked.

To learn more about our community + Young Living, click HERE 

DIY – Lavender Linen Spray

One thing that I value is a home that is inviting to guests.
Everything from clean sheets and towels, to pleasant, relaxing aromas, and good food.

This Lavender Linen Spray is a favorite of mine.
(I’ve also made it with other essential oils when I want a more seasonal scent such as Christmas with cinnamon and orange etc.) I use it to refresh guest beds, rugs, carpet in my car, towels, curtains, and furniture.

Here is a short easy “how-to”:

RECIPE:
+ Glass Spray Bottle
+ Water
+ Witch Hazel
+Lavender Essential Oil

Don’t forget to let us know what you think of this simple recipe + subscribe to our YouTube channel & this Blog! You can also find us in Instagram @blissfully_oily

DIY – Essential Oil Vapor Rub

One of my favorite parts of learning about how my body works has been making non-toxic support tools for our family. This chest rub is a favorite of ours. Infused with pure essential oils that boast menthol for a wonderful cooling sensation that can really open us up so we can breathe deep.

We love to apply it on the bottoms of our feet before we put on our socks during the day or before bed. We also love to apply it to our chests and backs.

This rub is diluted due to the coconut oil and ready for our kids. I’m so thankful to have options to support them that I can use as often as needed that are side effect free.

What do you think of this recipe? Let us know in the comments.

click here for more on Essential Oils 

 

DIY “ONE” Spray

Today we are making a very simple Essential Oil infused spray that can be used for so many things.

RECIPE:
+ Glass Spray Bottle
+ Water
+ Peppermint Essential Oil

+Optional+
+Vodka (For spraying both internally + externally)
+Witch Hazel (For spraying externally only)

This is a perfect addition to the summer beach bag along with our DIY sunscreen recipe

Don’t forget to let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments!

DIY – Luxurious Floral Bath Salt

Bath Salts?

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During my 5th pregnancy, it seemed like my saving grace every day was a long soak in the tub. I’d use Epsom salts to assist my legs with restlessness.
I had RLS with pregnancies #3 and #4 along with what seemed to be a pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel. Thankfully both times it was gone along with the belly, but it was a hard challenge. The magnesium in the Epsom salt bath was so life-giving for my body and especially my tired muscles.
We also use bath salts almost nightly for our 4-year-old daughter who suffers from autoimmune issues including severe eczema, and my husband loves to soak after hard workouts at Crossfit.

When I came across this recipe last week, I knew I needed to make it for my girls and myself.

RECIPE:
+1/2C Epsom Salt
+1/4C Pink Himalayan Salt
+1/8C Baking Soda
+5-10 drops each:
Lavender Essential Oil
Rose Essential Oil
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

You can find the salt HERE
You can find the Essential Oils HERE

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this combination for your relaxing bath! Leave a comment and let me know! 

+++ Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and Youtube, and follow us on Instagram so you don’t miss a single bit of this DIY with essential oil goodness! +++

DIY – Essential Oil Foot Spray

Foot Spray
I don’t know about you, but we have five kids and that means a lot of feet.
And not just any feet…
Feet that love to forget the shoes, play in splash pads, jump on trampolines, jump into crocs, wear the same sweaty socks for way too long, etc.

I’ll never ever forget the year the oldest two both got athletes foot at the same time from a splash pad visit. * Insert all of the stressed-out mommy tears.
And then there is that one time that our five-year-old son came to us with a toenail issue so bad that two of his nails were seemingly grown into his skin. Poor little guy. It was winter. He loves socks. Who knew?

I’m a sucker for a good money-saving, useful DIY project and I don’t like feet so much that when I was younger my “friends” thought it was fun to chase me down and put their bare feet on me. Total gross me out!

That is why I love this foot spray! It’s easy, inexpensive, and empowering for my kids. They can spray their feet each morning and night. Done and done.

RECIPE:
+ Glass Spray Bottle
+ Witch Hazel
+ Purification Essential Oil
+ Oregano Essential Oil
+ Tea Tree Essential Oil

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Click Here