Just Say No... To Your Visitors?

Friday, April 27, 2018

Boston, MA, USA

Just Say No... Even To Your Visitors

[This is also an episode of Friday Free Talk on The Tranquility Tribe Podcast on iTunes. Listen here.]

For some, this may sounds like an insane idea and for others they are sitting there nodding their heads like "yup, this is my jam." If you couldn't imagine having your baby and not having visitors.. I hear you, I respect that, too. This is an exciting time and sharing it with friends and family is so important to some people. Equally, though, some people feel more comfortable adjusting to life with a newborn before they allow visitors to come in. For me, I don't have a preference because it isn't my baby. I know what I want for my own children, but what does that matter for this conversation? 

I'm going to dive into the benefits of waiting to have visitors. Obviously, these are general benefits that we see on average. There will always be outliers and unpredictable cases that no one could have seen coming. Here's all you need to know about The Golden Hour(s), your new baby's immune system, and what to do about all those visitors, dive on in! 

When: The Golden Hour 

The Golden Hour refers specifically to the first 60 minutes of your child's life on the outside. However, some people and some cultures choose to honor this in different ways and in varying lengths of quiet or alone time. There are several benefit to having this time be undisturbed and strictly reserved for bonding with your baby, settling into your new role as a parent, space to process the birth (or at least that it's over), and to relish in the fact that your baby is here. 

The way your baby is treated in this first hour of their life is believed to have an impact on their transition to life after birth. If nothing else, consider it a way of being gentle and sweet with this tender, tiny human that is so delicate.

How: My Midwife/hospital said no visitors

You can always blame you care providers for being the reason that visitors aren't allowed or maybe "only immediate relatives" are allowed to visit. The first few days with a newborn can be challenging. You are exhausted. You are playing a brand new role with minimal, if any, on the job training. It is a learning curve for you, your baby, and your partner (if applicable). Making sure that you control what you can in the environment will allow you to avoid feeling overwhelmed. This may be controlling the number of visitors or who is allowed to visit. Be prepared that you may face some push back as people get very excited to get newborn snuggles. Stand your ground if it is something that is important to you. That person will eventually get to hold your baby and all will be well (and almost always you are forgiven for withholding baby cuddles).

Why: The Benefits

Just for one second, imagine being squeezed through a very small cavity and out you pop into this bright, cold, and loud environment where you have multiple new hands touching your body. These people are helping you adjust to life on the outside. Assuming that you are healthy and don't need any immediate attention, and then BOOM!, out of nowhere someone is causing stabbing pains in your legs and the bottom of your feet by giving you your vaccinations and drawing your blood. Ouch! What a welcome to this new life, right? Consider requesting delayed newborn procedures. Delaying these procedures, or declining all together if that's what you choose, can help your baby adjust to life for an hour or longer before being introduced to the sensation of pain for the first time ever.

Another benefit to requesting an undisturbed first hour is allowing your baby this time of undisturbed skin-to-skin will support healthy breastfeeding. Babies are born with the ability to crawl, did you know that? A baby who is just born can do something called "The Breast Crawl" and it is fascinating to watch. I have seen several babies do it. You can watch it for yourself here (It takes a minute, not a process you want to rush). It never gets old and parents + nurses are just as in awe of this tiny human knowing exactly what to do to survive. This is a great time to learn about your baby's latch, your colostrum, when to expect your milk to come in, and proper/safe breastfeeding position and tips.

Your body and your child's body will work together; your bodies need one another. Your child's body on your chest will continue to produce hormones and chemicals that will help with pain relief. These hormones are essential to childbirth and you can benefit greatly from encouraging them to flow more! These hormones can also help your placenta release and it helps trigger the process for your milk to begin producing. Your body will also adjust its' to temperature to match exactly what your baby needs. Your baby's body doesn't have the ability to regulate as efficiently as your body as they don't have the same amount of insulating fat. If your baby is chilly, you will warm up. If your baby is warm, your body will adjust to accommodate that!

All of these things combined create a wonderful, supportive environment for healthy mother-child attachment. Keeping this time immediately following birth a sacred, calm, and quiet time can help keep your baby in a relaxed state. This undisturbed time period provides a great opportunity to have skin-to-skin contact with your baby. Skin-to-skin can help boost your child's immunity by exposing them to germs that are on your body and breasts. Babies come from a nearly sterile environment in the womb to a germ-filled world. During the birthing process, your baby will be exposed to your gut and vaginal bacteria and other "initiating bacteria" that will help naturally inoculate your chid for life on the outside. Skin-to-skin will only boost this process!

Finally, this is a chance for you to advocate for your birth rights! A study in The Journal of Perinatal Education puts it better than I ever could. "What mothers and babies need most after birth is each other, with unlimited opportunities for skin-to-skin care and breastfeeding. When health professionals respect, honor, and support the physiologic need that mothers and babies have for each other after birth, they also improve the short- and long-term health outcomes for mothers and babies. Preventing separation except for compelling medical indications is an essential safe and healthy birth practice and an ethical responsibility of health-care professionals."

It's OK to Say "No"

The bottom line here is that this is your baby, your body, and your postpartum time. You can say "open the flood gates of visitors," or you can say "no one until week 4," and anything other variation you please. The way your bring your child into this world and those few hours immediately following their birth will absolutely affect their well-being. If an undisturbed time feels right for you, then advocating before the baby gets here might save you a lot of heartache opposed to telling people once the baby is here. Of course, if this is a last minute decision and you've only decided this once the baby is here, that's okay, too. The ones who love you will understand. 

Don’t forget to join our private Facebook, The Tranquility Tribe Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe!

"Raising the Voices of the Village"

The Benefits of Milk Baths

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Become a Milk Bath Goddess 

[This is also an episode of Friday Free Talk on The Tranquility Tribe Podcast on iTunes. Listen here.]

Thanks for joining us for this week’s episode of the Tranquility Tribe Podcast, Villagers!  In this episode, Hehe talked to business owner and self-care guru, Carli Ambrose.  Whether you practice self-care regularly or are just starting to discover what self-care means to you, you will definitely want to hear about the methods of indulgence that Carli has to offer!

Although the idea of self-care has become a major trend recently, it is far more than just a buzzword.  Making sure to take time to check in and spend time with yourself on a regular basis, regardless of what that looks like for you, is an important part of a healthy lifestyle as well as a great way to relax and express yourself!  Self-care is especially useful during and after pregnancy, when setting aside time for yourself can help you learn about your changing body.  And the benefits extend to your new little one as well – your stress hormones can affect your baby’s health before and after birth, so giving yourself a way to relieve some of your everyday stress is a great way to help your tiny human stay healthy.

Who is Carli?

Carli Ambrose is the owner of Milk Bath Goddess, a business that focuses on providing beauty products with simple, clean ingredients.  Carli has been a hairdresser for 10 years, and throughout her time in the hairdressing industry she began to recognize the lack of regulation that was enabling companies to label their products as organic when in reality they still contained chemicals and other ingredients that suggested otherwise.  Inspired by a desire to understand the ingredients in the products she was using and to use products with as few ingredients as possible, Carli decided to do some research and start her own business. 

Why milk baths?

The popularity of salt baths and bath bombs has increased along with the rise of self-care; however, Carli was interested in pursuing what she felt was a more underrated product: milk baths.  As the name suggests, milk baths are soothing baths that contain milk, herbs and flowers, and essential oils.  The idea of milk baths has been around for centuries; it is said that even Cleopatra used to bath in milk, and for good reason, too!  Milk baths have a wide range of benefits, from relaxation to exfoliation to providing relief from dry or itchy skin.  The natural vitamins and minerals found in milk create a calming environment that is perfect for destressing and renewal. 

What is the best product for pre- and post-natal self-care?

As Carli points out, there is a lot of debate on whether or not to use essential oils when pregnant.  If you have never used essential oils before, Carli recommends talking with your doctor before introducing them into your self-care regimen.  And if you are familiar with using essential oils, you should stick to gentle, calming oils such as chamomile, lavender, and patchouli, and you should limit your exposure to 15-20 minutes.  Carli advises especially staying away from oils such as rosemary, clove, wormwood, and cinnamon bark, which are a little stronger and could stimulate contractions.

If you want to try Carli’s milk baths but are worried about the effects of essential oils on your pregnancy, you’re in luck!  All of the milk baths that Carli makes are customizable and can be made with the essential oils that you want or without essential oils at all.  And for those of you with dairy allergies, Carli also offers milk baths made with coconut milk!

To learn more about Carli, you can find her on Facebook at Milk Bath Goddess and on Instagram at @milkbathgoddess.  You can also go to Etsy to customize and purchase your own milk bath and check out the blogger’s special that she is offering to all TBH podcast listeners!  And for those of you who don’t like baths, Carli is releasing new facial and yoni steams soon, so be sure to stay tuned!

Carli's thoughts on how long to soak 

All you need is about 15 minutes in the tub to soak in the benefits but the idea is to take some time to relax unwind and reflect. Take deep breathes, clear your mind and visualize the toxins and stress leaving your body. If you live some place where it is warm I highly recommend cracking a window ( don’t open it all the way or the steam and scent will escape) and letting in the fresh air. Light some candles, dim the lights. And enjoy the relaxing, anti aging benefits of a facial routine for your entire body while soothing your muscles and your mind.

Don’t forget to join our private Facebook, The Tranquility Tribe Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe!

"Welcome to the Tranquility Tribe"

Written by our Guest Blogger, Kyra Shreeve. She is a Biochemistry, Health Policy, and Music student at Brandeis University. 

Becoming a Podcast Influencer

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Boston, MA, USA

Becoming a Podcast Influencer with Bryn Huntpalmer

[This is also an episode of Friday Free Talk on The Tranquility Tribe Podcast on iTunes. Listen here.]

Hey, Tranquility Tribe!  In this episode, Hehe talked to Bryn Hunt Palmer, an inspirational mom and business owner.  If you’re thinking about starting a business but aren’t sure how to do it, this is the episode for you – Bryn has some super helpful tips for growing your passion into a business while finding that illusive balance between your work and the rest of your life!

Bryn’s Background

Bryn Hunt Palmer is the host of The Birth Hour, a podcast dedicated to enabling parents and families to share, learn from, and connect through each other’s birth stories.  Bryn is also the mother of 6-year-old Adelaide and 4-year-old Darwin and lives in Austin, Texas, with her kids and her husband, Richard. 

Bryn got involved in the birth world during her first pregnancy.  Eager to learn about what to expect throughout her pregnancy and birth, she read and researched as much as she could.  After deciding to have a home birth, Bryn became even more immersed in the birth world as she met others who were also interested in the process of pregnancy and birth.  She especially enjoyed reading other people’s birth stories because they allowed her to learn about the countless birth options that are available and to get an idea of the joys and challenges that she could face. 

The Birth Hour

Inspired by her passion for birth stories, Bryn decided to create a platform for people to share their experiences.  For the first two years, Bryn worked a separate full-time job and dedicated her evenings and weekends to developing and sharing her podcast.  As her podcast grew, she decided to leave her job and focus on her business full time.  After finding out that many expectant parents were using her podcast as one of their main sources for childbirth education, she decided to team up with her partner and childbirth educator, Stephanie, to create an online childbirth education course in addition to the podcast.  Through this course, Bryn provides parents with an accessible way to learn about childbirth that fits in their schedules.  As Bryn explains, her main goal is to use her business to help people be informed about all of their options so that they can have the best birth possible, no matter how they choose to do it.

The Balancing Act

Bryn describes the biggest struggle that she has faced while starting and growing her business to be finding the balance between business owner and parent.  While she enjoys the flexible schedule and ability to spend more time with her kids that running her own business allows her to have, being a business owner is a unique challenge in that you don’t always have the option of “leaving work” at the end of the day.  Because running your own business can require a lot of headspace, Bryn emphasizes the importance of prioritizing and allowing yourself to step away from your work when necessary.  However, despite the challenges of being a business owner, Bryn shares that she is excited to have the opportunity to pursue her passion and to be able to show her kids that they don’t have to follow a specific path. 

To parents who are considering starting their own business, Bryn advises finding something that you are truly passionate about to avoid burning out.  Bryn also recommends starting your business off slowly and building it as you go rather than expecting it to be your sole source of income from the beginning; relying on your business while it is just starting to grow can create pressure and stress, which is not something that you want to associate with your passion project!  Finally, Bryn highlights the value of incorporating self-care into your daily routine, especially by advocating for yourself and knowing when to let go of control and accept help from others.  Use your resources and draw from the support of people around you.  It’s okay to be a little selfish sometimes!

If you would like to check out Bryn’s podcast and online childbirth education course, visit thebirthhour.com.  You can also find Bryn on Instagram at @thebirthhour and @brynhuntpalmer.  If you are interested in applying to share your birth story, you can submit your story on her website!

Don’t forget to join our private Facebook, The Tranquility Tribe Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe!

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