"When You Give a Midwife a Bedtime" - Rachel Flores, LM, CPM
When a Midwife decides it's late and she should go to sleep, she gets ready for bed. 🛌
But then she see's the pen and pad of paper on the nightstand. 🖊📒
She decides she'll write out her calendar while it's running fresh through her mind, ya know, because it's bedtime. 📆
She thinks this important because she's committed to a workout routine for the next 5 weeks (and beyond). 🏋🏻♀️
This IS important because she's trying to heal her adrenals. Being a Midwife = Adrenal Fatigue 😴
Hey! You know what? Having extreme fatigue and difficulty falling asleep are signs of Adrenal Fatigue. 👀
So if you give a Midwife a pen and paper, she will write out her routine for the next 5 weeks.
Then she'll realize that she should put this in the calendar on her phone, so she picks up her phone. 📱
When you give a Midwife her phone, she has to input each day, one by one, well because there needs to some "mixing it up" in her workout routines so that her muscles don't "get used to it."
When she puts in her workouts one by one, she realizes that there are so many notifications set for each event and thinks, "Gosh, there must be an easier and faster way to do this. Laptop!!", she exclaims. 💻
When you give a Midwife her laptop she makes quick changes to her calendar and she's happy with herself. 🤗
Then she thinks, "Well if I add in my workout schedule, to keep myself committed, then I really should also be putting in my teaching commitments as well. 🍎
When you give a Midwife a laptop after she's decided to go to sleep, (for the second time), but then decides she NEEDS to get her class dates on the calendar first, she spends another hour checking group calendars because she teaches in a shared space.
She clicks back and fourth writing down dates. Realizing that plans have changed and that she should reach out to another instructor to trade. "Butt I can't reech out now. I'm delleariously tired and I prabubly won't make any cents.", is most likely what the email to her compadre would have read. Because you know, when you're super tired, you don't catch all the autocorrect mistakes your phone makes. (Did you catch what I did there? Hilarious, I know.) 😆😳
An hour and a half into her quick jot down of a workout routine, she thinks, "Well if I've got all the dates in my calendar, then I should really update my website."
When you give a Midwife a laptop, she does a whole bunch of work that doesn't necessarily need to be done before she goes to sleep. But...Adrenal Fatigue. And, if she doesn't do it now, the thought of it will just keep her awake anyway. 🙄
She updates her website and also realizes she needs to update her registration page also because, "What if some other sleepless Mombie is perusing the Internet at 2:45am and needs to enroll in my class but can't because the dates are on the website but not on the registration!?" THE INSANITY I TELL YA!! 👩🏻💻
When you give a Midwife a bedtime, she stays up 2.75 more hours making schedules and playing with dates. When she is finally satisfied with the work she'd done, she published her website and closed her computer just after noting the time on the clock. 3AM, Good Night Moon 🌚 or Good Morning Almost Sunrise...whatever...I'm tired...but I'll see you bright and early Mr. Sun 🌞, because, you know...cortisol, Adrenal fatigue...insomnia. 🙅🏻🤦🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️
Written Jan 28th, 2017
Hello Everyone!! I'm putting together a new series of blogs that will highlight the items I carry in my Birth Kit!
Did you know that Homebirth Midwives carry all the same equipment that you would find in a standard Labor & Delivery Room?
We also carry other things you wouldn't find in a hospital, like:
And other Labor Support items like:
Earlier this week, my friend Lara Wiseman, a local HypnoBirthing Practitioner, and I did a presentation on how our personal care products can affect our Fertility, Pregnancy and Postpartum. I discussed the importance of Detoxing Before Pregnancy and Lara focused on the chemicals we should avoid during pregnancy.
A study by the EWG found over 232 industrial chemicals and pollutants within the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies. They found toxins including mercury, insulators, lubricants, bleach, flame retardants, traces of teflon and other non-stick products, scotchguard, DDT, wood preservatives, varnishes and more.
What Does This Mean?
It means, that everything mom is ingesting, inhaling and lathering on her body is being absorbed into her system. Her developing baby is part of that system and is therefore exposed to all the same things.
Why Is This Important?
Because the chemicals mentioned above, as well as many ingredients found in personal care products that we use everyday, cause dangerous chemical exposures. Chemical exposures in the womb or during infancy can be dramatically more harmful than exposures later in life and amplifies the baby’s risk for a number of reasons…..
#1 - Because of baby’s rapid development and incomplete defense system they are more easily affected
#2 - A developing child's chemical exposures are greater, pound-for-pound, than those of adults
#3 - An immature, porous blood-brain barrier allows greater chemical exposures to the developing brain
#4 - Children have lower levels of some chemical-binding proteins, allowing greater amounts of a chemical to reach "target organs"
#5 - A baby's organs and systems are rapidly developing and thus are often more vulnerable to damage from chemical exposure.
#6 - Systems that detoxify and exrete industrial chemicals are not fully developed
#7 The longer future life span of a child compared to an adult allows more time for adverse effects to arise.
The Role of Toxins in Utero
This is enough to make any new mom run for the door, right? Well, the good new is we don't have to be perfect, nor can we be.
"There is no one way to be a perfect mom,
but there are a million ways to be a great one."
We live in a world surrounded by environmental toxins. We are exposed to more toxins in 3 months time, than our grandparents were exposed to in their LIFETIMES!! So many so, that we cannot avoid them. While we can't rid our bodies of all toxins we have come in contact with, we CAN make huge improvements in our lifestyles, and our bodies will accept these changes immediately.
"Do the best you can until you now better;
then when you know better do better." - Maya Angelou
Two of the most used chemicals in skincare products are Parabens and Phthalates. Good Morning America did a piece called, "What's Really in Your Makeup" in which one of their anchors tested the toxicity impact cosmetics. For 3 days, she swapped her cleaner cosmetics for products containing parabens and phthalates, and had blood samples collected. Then for 5 days, she used "cleaner, low-chemical'' products and had her blood sampled again.
When she was using the products with parabens/phthalates, her toxicity levels were off the chart at a level of 386, which was a 10-fold increase! When she stopped using the heavily chemical products, here toxicity levels dropped to 6, almost untraceable.
Therefore, there is A LOT that you CAN do for yourself and for your baby starting today! We are going to provide you with a list of easy, actionable steps, so your take away from this post will leave you feeling confident in your journey to a healthier pregnancy!
What Can You Do to Have a Safer Pregnancy for Mom, Baby & Beyond?
Control What You Can Control
Download EWG Healthy Living App/SkinDeep
Where to Start?
AVOID THESE INGREDIENTS & CHEMICALS
Isn't it funny how the second we are pregnant, we are supposed to avoid certain ingredients - why not just avoid these always? Pregnant or not, you should just avoid these all together!!
#1 Fragrance - An engineered scent that may contain hundreds of stock chemical ingredients including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulations are protected under federal law's classification of trade secrets, and therefore can legally remain undisclosed.
Say NO to the word "fragrance" and NO to "perfume". If you must wear perfume, put it on your clothes, NEVER on your skin. Or better yet, make your own body spray using essential oils!
#2 Endocrine Disruptors - Chemicals that are endocrine disruptors are, in my opinion, the most important chemicals to avoid, period! Pregnant or not. If it's hard to pronounce, you probably should avoid them, things like Parabens, Phthalates, Bisphenol A (BPA). Your Endocrine System secretes hormones into your circulatory system and communicates with your organs. Therefore, chemicals that disrupt your endocrine system, impedes proficient functioning of these hormone mechanisms in your body.
#3 Oxybenzone - A sunscreen agent and ultraviolet light absorber linked to irritation, sensitization, allergies, and possible hormone disruption. Also commonly found in moisturizer too. BEWARE of sneaky marketing, like "paraben and phthalate free" it CAN STILL contain Oxybenzone!
Choose a NON-NANO ZINC, BROAD SPECTRUM or Mineral Sunscreen.
#4 Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) - Found in Teflon & Non-Stick cookware. There is a great article in EWG and options for finding safer alternatives. We continue to recommend cast iron, stainless steel and ceramic cookware.
#5 Retinoids - Retin-A (in acne and anti-aging products). There is a proven link between the use of retinoids and an increased risk of birth defects for developing babies.
#6 Formaldehyde - Used to preserve dead animals. Also used as a preservative in cosmetics, skincare & styling products and baby care items. Its a known carcinogen linked to asthma, neurotoxicity and developmental toxicity. Found in: Shampoo, body wash, bubble bath, hair care, nail polish and eyelash glue.
#7 Toluene - Most mainstream nail polishes contain toluene, a suspected carcinogen, along with phthalates and formaldehyde. Together, they are known as the "toxic trio," and they form a potent combination of toxins that you want to avoid at all times, especially during pregnancy. If you can't handle the look of your nails in the buff, look for nail polishes that are toluene-, formaldehyde- and phthalate-free.
#8 Hydroquinone - A skin-lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation. Found in: skin-lightening creams.
#9 Ammonia - Found in many hair dye formulas. While the verdict is still out on whether or not hair dye is safe to use during pregnancy, it is important to note that many formulas contain chemicals like ammonia, which can irritate the skin and lungs. Ask your stylist for ammonia-free hair dyes.
(I actually just had one of my Midwifery clients tell me after her birth, that she had highlights put in her hair during pregnancy and her hair immediately started falling out, before she even left the chair!!. She and her hair dresser could smell burnt hair and had never seen anything like that.
- Rachel, Midwife)
#10 Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) - Ingredient found in many self-tanning sprays which are inhaled during application.
#11 - Thioglycolic Acid - Used in hair removal creams. May be listed as "acetyl mercaptan, mercaptoacetate, mercaptoacetic acid and thiovanic acid". The EU limits the amount of Thioglycolic Acid that can be used in products to 5%, whereas products sold in the U.S. are allowed to contain as much as 15.2%
Each step will make a difference!! So START WALKING!!!
xo, Lara & Rachel
Let's Talk About Fertility...
In the past decade we’ve seen a continued escalation in health conditions affecting kids, from allergies (including food and environmental) to asthma, eczema, autoimmune diseases, and also a massive rise in the number of kids with autism. Many of these conditions can be traced back to environmental toxin exposure. For the last 30 years, evidence from environmental health studies have led to growing agreement amongst scientists that these toxins are playing a role in the incidences and prevalence of these and other health conditions in the US. These exposures also affect our fertility and genetics, long before birth due to toxic exposures in the womb, and we pass the impact down to our babies at conception. Placenta not a barrier, it’s a sieve.
For a long time, it was believed that the placenta was a barrier, protecting the baby from external toxins, but now, we understand that the placenta acts more like a sieve and our babies receive a constant streaming download of toxins via maternal-fetal transfer. A mother’s stores of fat-soluble toxins is released during pregnancy and can expose the baby to harm.
Now, none of this is meant to mom-shame or freak you out if you’re already pregnant. I'm here to provide you with some steps to improve whatever space you are in at this moment.
It can be difficult to plan ahead when nearly half of all pregnancies are a surprise! However, when you and your partner can plan ahead, it’s worth it to spend a few months, ideally, cleaning up your toxin exposure and levels before conception.
Detoxing Before Pregnancy
One of my favorite medical professionals, Dr. Aviva Romm, is a Family Practice Physician, Midwife and Herbalist who specializes in Women’s Integrative Health, and I like to follow her detox protocol in my Midwifery practice.
# 1 – Its important to mention that detoxing during pregnancy is NOT appropriate or safe. Ideally, women should not intentionally do a deep detox within 6 weeks of getting pregnant, or doing a heavy metals detox within 3-6mos before conception.
# 2 – Go Organic – Eliminate white sugar, processed food, unhealthy fats and make sure your diet is as organic as possible. Most pesticides and herbicides are water-soluble, and once you've eliminated them from your diet, the toxins can leave your body within a matter of days. Follow the EWG's recommendations for the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 – meat should always be organic. This goes for your skincare products as well. I get all my make-up and skincare products from Beautycounter. They have something called The Never List, it is their commitment to go leaps and bounds above what is legally required to provide safer and cleaner skincare products to everyone. This list is made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful ingredients that will NEVER be used in any of their products. (The US has only partially banned 30 harmful ingredients. Thirty? I mean...WHAT???) For comparison, the EU has banned over 1,400 harmful ingredients!!
# 3 – Support Your Body’s Natural Ability To Detox – make sure you are getting enough greens and water to support healthy daily bowel movements and fermented foods that support your liver in its job detoxing your body.
# 4 – Supplements and Clean Household Products - Take a prenatal vitamin that has methylfolate, Probiotic, Omega-3 Fatty Acid, and 2-5K IU of Vit D daily. Avoid toxic cosmetics, baby products, household cleaners & detergents (the Thieves Household Cleaner and Laundry Detergent from Young Living are my favorite. We literally use the cleaner for everything...windows, floor, counters, mirrors, bathtub, etc.), plastic containers and flame retardant chemicals. I'd even recommend getting rid of your microwave if you haven't already, and getting safer cookware like ceramic, cast iron or stainless steel.
# 5 - De-Stress!! Stress messes with your hormones and causes fertility problems. It messes with your blood sugar and insulin levels and causes pregnancy problems. And stress in pregnancy can lead to depression, anxiety, and obesity in our kids. In fact, it's estimated that at least 80% of all health problems are caused by stress. WOWZA! That’s a lot of mess from stress. So pick your healing tools, walking on the beach, journaling, yoga, meditation, whatever you need to do to give yourself a healthy dose of self-love EVERY DAY!!
These are all very easy steps you can take prior to conception and continue throughout pregnancy and postpartum. And since I'm being real with you gals, I really hope that y'all choose to make these forever Lifestyle changes!
Your partner can do all of these things too! Well, they don't have to take Prenatal Vitamins, ha, but they should be detoxing their bodies and environments too!
*If you wish to do a more in-depth detox, like a heavy metals detox that includes supportive supplements and bloodwork, you need to do so under the care of a medical professional. The information on this blog is meant for educational purposes only, is not meant for diagnosis, and should not be misconstrued as medical advice. Always consult with your health care provider.
If you missed my Newsletter introducing all my favorite oils for labor and birth, then you're in luck! Now, I want to share a few more details about how you can use essential oils during your birthing time!
Meet Rachel, the Author
I'm a Licensed Midwife and busy mom of two extremely active boys. I manage several different businesses, while also trying to maintain a household, my family and my sanity. Some days it works, some days it doesn't!