As a parent, the struggle to protect our children and yet also let them be free to be who they are is a delicate balance. We want to teach, inspire and empower. But at the same time we don't want them to be sad, hurt or disappointed.
We are so proud of our son this week because he made the hockey team!! He made the team he wanted to make and will be playing with many of his friends this coming season. But what is most important is that he tried hard to earn the spot on the team. He believed in himself (even when we doubted and tried to protect) and never gave into the fear that he might not make it. He was determined and gave it 100% every time he went out. So whether he made the team or didn't, we would have been proud. But the lesson is about more than just his determination and hard work. It's about believing in yourself and the power that has over how we act. When you never give in to the "what if's" and always stay focused on achieving your goals, you will be successful!!
Have a listen as I tell you my son's story of SUCCESS in the video below.
Are you working toward something? Can I help? I have been working with people to help them grow their own meaningful career in health care for more than 8 years now!! At Soul Treatments Wellness we offer Reflexology Training across Canada, but also a Grow your Business online course. Our supportive, comfortable learning environment is what sets us apart from others and I would love the chance to tell you more. Contact me today if you would like to chat about your dreams and how to make them become a reality.
I remember the day like it was yesterday! The day I saw the fork in my road of life ahead of me (I know, it sounds so cliche, but it's true!!)
I had been working as a Reflexologist for a few years on the side of my full time job. Building a regular base and devoting as much time as I could to becoming a face in the community (around being the mom to a busy pre-schooler). A few years previous when I had returned to my full time job after maternity leave, I had made plans with my employer to gradually transition to part time over a few years. Working part time would allow me to take the next step in my business to continue growing it, while not leaving us in a scary position financially. I was already working 4 days a week and was ready to make the transition to the promised 3 days a week because my son was going to be heading to JK that September. However, my employer had different plans. They no longer felt they could keep their promise to me moving to a 3 day per week schedule.
I was crushed :(
I am happy to announce that Darcel Woytowich has completed all the requirements necessary to gain the title of Provincial Representative in Saskatchewan and begin teaching our Reflexology training program on her own!
It has been quite the journey for Darcel! From learning the modality, getting married, dealing with injury within her family and having a baby to now being an instructor! Throughout her training experience Darcel has blown away the personal obstacles that could have set her back. She would view a situation, accept that she could not change many situations but she could change her attitude regarding it and ultimately discover a way around those potential obstacles. This is a true measure of success and determination and makes me so proud to have her on our team inspiring others.
Please join me in sending a huge warm welcome to Darcel!
The most important job I will ever perform in my lifetime is the one I didn't apply for. But it's the one I work the hardest at and value the most. It is the one I want to be remembered for, but only by my son because other people's opinions of my choices are of no value to me.
Can anyone relate to the picture above? The memory of "who I was before I became a mom" moments?
I used to be an "on-time" person.
I used to have a wardrobe of "business-casual" attire.
I used to have time to read a romance novel.
I used to feel accomplished at the end of the work day.
I used to come home after that work day to a fairly tidy house.
I used to spend my weekends sleeping in and hanging out with friends.
I am occasionally (ok, usually) late.
I wear yoga pants and leggings about 90% of the time.
I have time to help my son learn to read.
I rarely feel like I have accomplished anything at the end of the day, and wake up each day knowing I will learn yet another new thing.
I have a very "lived in" looking house....all...the...time.
I spend my weekends in an arena or on a field hanging out with people who have become friends through our child's activities.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Because I know that the years I have been putting into this most important job of my life will be the most successful ever. This isn't a debate about working mom vs stay at home mom. I know some outstanding working moms and I marvel at their abilities every day. Plus, in reality I am a working stay at home mom. My business allows me to have flexible hours that allow me to make my top priority my son. The pay is less, but the rewards are greater! But for me, being a mom is my work for now.
I know that I could head back into the corporate world again in a heartbeat. I know that because I have tested it when I have had moments of weakness, thinking I must be the worst mom ever because I seem to be "failing" at every corner. My outstanding work performance in the past still speaks volumes today and since I didn't burn bridges, past employers still ask about me and wonder if I'm job searching. And one day maybe I will be. Although the job of mom never expires, I know that as the years go by he will need me less and less. But my point is that right now, despite feeling like a failure more often than I feel like a success, when I look at the big picture, I can see that our choice for me to be a work from home mom has been a success. And these next few years are actually the most important ones where he will be faced with many difficult decisions. I want to be the person he turns to when making those decisions. I want to be the larger influence on those decisions vs his peers.
In this world where the role of Mom is undervalued, I know that people wonder why I haven't decided to return to the "normal" working world. Financially it would be the smart move. Let me assure you that its not because I like sitting at home coming up with creative ways to help my son learn his times tables or to write more neatly. It's not because I love spending my winter evenings in cold arenas. It IS because the years are short. I am halfway through the most important job of my life. I'm in the home stretch, but the most challenging time. The "normal" working world will always be there. My son might not be. So be patient with me as I continue to work hard, even if it's not in a job that you find valuable. Because to me and my family, it is the one that counts the most.
I will continue to wear my Mom attire proudly. It might mean I am late more than on-time. It might mean I only dress up occasionally. It might mean I am too tired for regular girls nights (I prefer girls lunches or evenings so I can still get some sleep!). It might mean I can't afford the latest fashions.
But it means we are all happy and healthy, so anything I have "given up" is worth it due to all I have gained!
As an alternative health care practitioner, I would love to tell you that my family ~never~ gets sick. I would love even more to tell you that I have a secret to how you can ~never~ get sick.
But the truth is, we all get sick sometimes. Even if we do everything "right", we still might sometimes come down with something.
The positive note of this blog that I can share with you is this: my family ~rarely~ gets sick!!!! Despite me being an alternative health care practitioner and being surrounded by people who are feeling unwell often! And it is the secrets of how we have managed to make that happen that I am going to share.
How my family remains healthy more often and recovers from illness faster
1. Rest is essential, especially when you feel like you need it most.
Ignoring the fact that your body needs rest is how most people become susceptible to common illnesses. When we rest, we allow our body to restore and repair. Although we all have obligations we cannot back out of (believe me, we are a busy family too!), there is no reason to stay up until your "normal" time just because that is your routine. If you are tired, go to sleep. If you can say no to an obligation, do so. And along this note, don't overbook yourself all the time so that you are unable to take advantage of down time when it's available to you. If you are able to take advantage of a break from work to just rest, do so. When your body is communicating that it is tired, listen and do what you can to give it the rest it needs.
2. Stay hydrated.
When you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, your body is able to eliminate waste and toxins efficiently. Therefore there isn't a back up of these causing you to stay sick longer.
3. Put lemon in your water.
While you are hydrating, lemon is a great flavor additive to your water. It helps to boost your immunity because it is high in vitamin C and due to the pectin fibre, it supports your digestive system to help flush toxins from your body. Here is a great article discussing 16 great health benefits of lemon water (click Here).
For many years I have been a natural cleanser. You can clean your home safely and naturally with common ingredients without impacting your endocrine system with fancy anti-bacterial commercial products. I clean with vinegar, lemon, baking soda and include some essential oils now (see next point) and these work well to keep our home free of most viruses.
5. Essential oils
Essential oils have been getting a back rap lately because they are being over-used by people not educating themselves on the possible dangers of irresponsibly using them. That doesn't mean that the essential oils themselves are bad, but the user must understand essential oils, while natural, are very powerful and should be used with care. I have done the work and research to educate myself. My favorite oil when it comes to helping clean my home is tea tree oil (anti-viral, anti-bacterial). For periodic diffusing (not ongoing, just in bursts) eucalyptus (helps with congestion and is also a disinfectant) or cinnamon (helps clear bacteria in the air and is anti-viral). I do not recommend taking essential oils internally. Although I know there is research stating otherwise. This is just my personal practice with their use.
Come on, you knew it was going to be in here :) One of the best benefits of reflexology is how it helps break up and clear out toxins from the body. It also works to restore the body to balance which can help boost immunity. So when a family member is feeling a bit under the weather, one of my first go-to's is a treatment. I usually use coconut oil and an essential oil blend to help boost immunity.
So yes, even my family gets sick! My son had the flu for 19 hours (the 2am, "Mom, I feel great, can I play?" wasn't fun), my husband had a "man-cold" for a few days and when we went away I also had cold symptoms for a few days. While not fun, none of it was severe. After hearing from so many others about how their family was sick for days on end, I was prompted to write this and share our tips for recovering quick from family illnesses.
I know there are many natural tips out there that other families use. Share with me what your family does to increase immunity and recover faster when illness does happen. I can't wait to hear!
I remember it well. My estimated due date was December 18. The pressure that builds when you have a late December birth looming. The seduction of induction (my care provider and I started discussing it when I was 6 months along). The stress of not wanting to still be pregnant in the NEXT year. The fear of birthing when hospital staff might have their thoughts on holiday parties and family gatherings. Actually, who am I kidding. The stress of US missing holiday parties and family gatherings! I had always said I didn't want to have a baby in December and yet there I was 9 months pregnant in the busiest month of the year.
I am here today to share some of what go me through the pressure to birth way back in 2006, to help you prepare your body for birth (control what you can, release everything else) and to trust that it will all work out.
Many moms to be come to me in this month hoping that Reflexology can induce their labour. It can't. And please don't let anyone tell you that it - or any other technique - can. Natural means to "induce" labour are only designed to help your body prepare for labour. They are wonderful and *should* be used, but don't kid yourself that they *will* induce. Even medical means to induce labour are not as effective if your body and baby are not ready, thus leading to difficult and possibly surgical births. But this doesn't mean that all hope is lost!
Birth is an extensive process. And to be the most positive experience possible we should be using the 9 months of pregnancy to train for it. Just like you wouldn't wake up the morning of a marathon and decide to run in it without preparing first, you shouldn't wake up in the last weeks of pregnancy and decide that now is the time for you to prepare for your birth. Natural methods of preparing your body for birth - including Reflexology (by a trained professional) - should be done throughout pregnancy and regularly/consistently in the 3rd trimester. This is the training process. Working with your body to gently prepare it for the big day. You can read more about the many ways to naturally prepare for birth in my other blog post by clicking here.
So back in 2006 I spent my final month of pregnancy doing just that. Mentally preparing for the holiday time by getting holiday tasks like shopping and wrapping out of the way so I wouldn't be stressed during the birth and postpartum that I forgot something. This meant I was always on the move. Walking around shopping, sitting upright. Baking, cooking. Anything to keep my body working and preparing.
Warming up on those cold December days by drinking my red raspberry tea to strengthen my uterus. Booking my appointments for Reflexology well in advance because it shouldn't be an after thought of something to do (more about the benefits of reflexology in a minute). But also other appointments like my hair or nails. Not making promises we couldn't keep. This was HUGE. We didn't know when our baby was born so why commit to attending dinners or parties? If we could be there, bonus. If we couldn't, I think we have the best excuse possible for why we aren't! Don't spend each day watching the calendar or clock. Your baby will be born on the day it is to be born. Whatever day that is, don't worry about it. Trust that your baby and your body knows what is best. You can control how you prepare for that birthing day. You cannot control what day it will be unless you decide to induce medically. So let it go. Believe me it will be good training for later in parenting life when you will want to "not sweat the small stuff".
As much as you might worry that you are the cause of care providers "missing out", trust me they signed up for this. They know that they might be working on specific holidays and are totally fine with it. And if you have done your preparations ahead of time, hopefully you will have a positive, short birthing experience and make their day even brighter :)
So if I'm spending this blog helping you understand why you shouldn't stress about the day your baby is born, why the emphasis on Reflexology?
The benefits of Reflexology are huge, but especially for the pregnant woman in her final weeks of pregnancy. I don't just shout from the roof-tops about Maternity Reflexology for those birthing in late December, I shout about them ALL THE TIME.
Have a look at my top 3 reason why you should be using Reflexology to help you prepare for birth - anytime of the year!
1. Sleep. You wouldn't wake up the morning of a marathon not having slept properly the night before, so why would you want to go into birth with little sleep? One of the greatest benefits of Reflexology is that it helps you get a better quality of sleep. I can't make your baby stop pressing on your bladder making you wake to go pee every few hours (sorry, lol!!), but I can make the hours that you do sleep be quality hours. And the reflexology can perhaps help you to have a nap during the day to catch up on whatever you didn't get through the night.
2. Improved digestion. Have you ever looked at a picture of the anatomy of a pregnant woman? (see below). Those internal organs all get smushed together making it more difficult for them to function at their best. Reflexology, because it works with the body in a different way through the reflex points, can naturally help stimulate these organs to work better. And an empty bladder and empty intestine makes more room for baby to descent into the pelvis, placing more pressure on the cervix for dilation and effacement.
3. Decrease of stress and anxiety. Being at the end of your pregnancy and thinking about the upcoming birth amounts to enough stress, let alone having the end of your pregnancy be in December. Reflexology is known to have a great impact on decreasing the stress/tension that gets built up in the body. As much as I talk about the importance of movement in preparing your body for labour, it is also important to balance that with rest for your body. Stopping the hectic times by receiving a Reflexology treatment and allowing your mind and body a chance to rest is important. You will walk away having a more relaxed outlook on life. Your feet will be less swollen and tender as a result of carrying the extra pregnancy weight. And the good news is that those benefits will stay in your body for a few days! That's right, the effects will continue working after the treatment so one treatment helps you prepare your body naturally for a few days. Which could result in the birth of your baby because you are mentally and physically prepared.
Remember to always stay informed. Induction is not always the wrong solution. (I did end up being induced due to medical concerns with my son. After my Estimated Due Date. Under much guidance from medical care providers, myself, my partner and my close friends. An informed choice.) There are many reasons why we are at a great advantage in society today because it is an option. But birthing in December is not a great reason for induction. And inducing before you are full term if there are not other medical reasons for it is also not a great reason.
Trust your body, trust your baby. Control what you can, be surprised by the rest. Save medical interventions for when they are medically necessary. I am here to help you do all this!
About your author:
Tanya (formally Goreing but recently married so now Tanya Hill) is an alternative health practitioner, doula and educator. She is passionate about improving the health and wellness of families, especially surrounding pregnancy, birth and parenting. Practicing in Cambridge ON, she offers in home and in clinic treatments.
By Tanya Goreing RRPr, Doula, Educator
The benefits of a simple touch are felt the moment contact is made. It relaxes, lowers the blood pressure, slows the heart rate, boosts the immune system and eases anxiety. Close your eyes for a moment and remember what it is like to have someone stroke your hair or give you a genuine hug. Those simple gestures can calm, comfort and express caring instantly and make a person immediately feel better – either physically or emotionally. It is a form of communication that goes beyond what any words could.
For an infant who has been embraced within his mother’s womb for nine months, the power of touch is not only desired, but necessary for normal development.
As a parent, you have the power at your fingertips to help your child grow!
Learning forms of healthy touch with your infant is an extension of the healing power you already possess and will help you to feel confident that your motions and movements are beneficial to your infant. As you bond with your baby through daily massage and reflexology techniques, you will start to tap into your parenting instincts and respond more confidently to your baby’s cues (communication).
The ideal time to do infant massage or reflexology is when baby is in the quiet alert state. In the early days, weeks following birth this time period will be very short. But as your baby grows, this time period will also increase. Starting with small routines and doing them daily or even throughout the day will help you to bond with your baby over and over. It will create a positive state of balance for the body which will help establish a pattern of good health and well-being. This helps your baby to remain calm, feel loved and protected and relieve stress.
Your infant is not the only one to benefit from this experience! The sense of touch will be powerful to you as well. It will relieve your stress and anxiety, lower your blood pressure, regulate your heart rate and create an overall sense of relaxation. Since most of what we experience as a new parent is very overwhelming, seeing your infant respond positively to your touch can be very empowering. When working with an infant, especially one who is experiencing discomfort, being relaxed and at peace yourself is the best medicine you can provide. Remember this is a positive time for both you and your baby. There is no reason to feel rushed or pressured. Go slow and work within your baby’s limitations. Do not force movements but rather respond to your baby’s cues. If now is not a good time, there will be another chance to try later. Use your instincts and good judgment and rest assured that as long as you have positive intentions and use healthy touch, the simple fact that you are bonding with your baby will have powerful healing benefits! Have fun with it and enjoy your baby!
About the author:
Tanya Goreing is a trained Baby/Child Reflexologist and Infant Massage Instructor. Her clinical practice, Soul Treatments, is located in Cambridge ON and specializes in the optimal health of Women and Children. She regularly offers workshops to help new parents so they can learn about healthy touch and so much more! To schedule an appointment call 519-221-0155. To learn more about her services, visit her website at www.soultreatments.ca
By: Tanya Goreing RRPr, Doula, Educator, Infant Massage Instructor
I think I’ve mentioned before, my goal is to “change the world”. With that in mind, I quickly realized once becoming a mother that the best way to go about that goal was to start with our children, and making healthy lifestyle choices that will enable them to grow up healthier and happier. I could talk forever about the various lifestyle choices one could make in the best interests of their children, but today I’m going to focus on the benefits of alternative health!
I was pregnant when I started my journey to become a reflexologist. My main goal at that time was just to have my own business with flexible hours that would allow me the freedom to walk my child to school, and be there at the end of his school day to pick him up. It didn’t take long to realize that reflexology would play an even greater role in our life! 5 weeks postpartum my exclusively breastfed child was in horrible pain from digestive issues (gas and constipation). I felt helpless, vulnerable and panic stricken at my lack of knowledge to help my child. I did much of what any “normal”, sleep deprived new mama would do. I called the doctor’s office (where the secretary assured me that this was very normal, even for exclusively breastfed babies, and if I was bothered by it I could give him prune or pear juice), I called my friends (bring on the fennel tea!), I cried. 5 days in, after trying everything people suggested, the lightbulb went off and I decided to try reflexology. And I was rewarded with results – that were obtained safely, naturally and effectively. I could hardly contain myself and knew I had to teach other new moms how they could do this as well! The postpartum period is stressful enough. It was time to give new parents some extra tools to empower them.
At home, we implemented regular reflexology into our routines after that. Until of course the time came when he could get away from me!! That child never sat still for a minute once he figured out how to move. I was so disappointed that our bonding time over reflexology was going to come to an end. But, two years later, my heart melted when he handed me his feet one day and said “Mommy, rub my feet please?” Words of joy to a mama reflexologists ears!
Now, as a young boy, he understands the benefits of touch therapies very well. He has felt them, he has seen results, he hears me talk about them, he has learned that relief doesn’t come specifically from a medicine cabinet. He is so healthy that he actually tries to play sick sometimes because he sees that other kids are off school lots for illness! (We reward him with special days off school instead, health days of fun!!) For the times he does feel a bit “off”, like a tummy ache, his first request is for a tummy massage. If I happen to be under the weather or not having a great day, he will often massage my back or feet or head to try and help. To me, that means I am doing my job – not only as a parent, but as a health care practitioner! Spreading the benefits of touch therapies with the younger generations so they can grow up healthier. Healthy children are our future, and we can help build that future today!
Tanya Goreing is a trained Baby/Child Reflexologist and Infant Massage Instructor. Her clinical practice, Soul Treatments, is located in Cambridge ON and specializes in the optimal health of Women and Children. She regularly offers workshops to help new parents learn about healthy touch and so much more! To learn more, visit her website at www.soultreatments.ca
The Final Weeks!
Your Birth Journey is about to Begin
By Tanya Goreing RRPr, Doula, Educator
As a Maternity Reflexologist and Doula, I work with many women in their final weeks and days of pregnancy to help prepare naturally for the beginning of their birth journey. What I have found by working with these women is that there is a lot of misinformation out there that leads to women feeling fear, anxiety, and having mal-positioned babies. All of this causes longer labours, more interventions and mistrust of the mom’s instincts.
I work hard to re-educate women in these final weeks and help them to work with their body to prepare for a happy, positive birthing experience. I encourage each woman not to focus on *the* date, but on the subtle changes she sees her body. I empower her to understand that every “sign” of impending labour is another step in the right direction and each of those signs is an important step closer to the birthing time. Every step made before the birthing time is a step that doesn’t have to happen once labour begins. That equates to shorter labours and less interventions which = positive birthing experiences.
As much as I tell people to be patient and trust, we are a society of “doing”! And this is a good thing when it comes to birth because we need to be active participants in our own birthing experiences. We need to listen to our body, move as it requires us to move, stop when it needs rest and learn to trust our natural instincts. And the final weeks of our pregnancy is a time to DO. Why? Well think of birth like a marathon. If you were about to run a marathon, would you wake up the morning of the marathon and jump out of bed ready to do your best?Or would you train and practice in the months, weeks and days leading up to the big day? Likely you would want to prepare for the event physically and emotionally. Birth is the same. It is a physically taxing experience that is emotionally charged. You will be pushing your body and mind to their limits. Therefore, you should take time in the final weeks and days to prepare for the experience.
Below is a list of things that a woman can do in the final weeks or days leading to her birthing time. This list is not exclusive, nor is it to be in exchange of recommendations given by medical practitioners such as mid-wives and obstetricians. Every body, every baby and every situation is different. You may find that some of these suggestions are not practical for you, and you may add other thoughts that seem like the best for your situation. Use this list as a guide.
3rd Trimester Suggestions
Red Raspberry Leaf tea – this will help to strengthen the uterine muscles for more effective contractions when they to begin. Some women are not recommended to do this. Speak to your medical practitioner to ensure you are not an at risk candidate.
Prenatal Yoga Stretches – gently stretching your body, especially if you sit for long periods of time through the day, is a great way to help prepare your body for the physical demands required of it during your birthing time. Find a class in your area or search for a DVD or online resource that is specially designed for pregnancy. You can also check out the book: Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
Sitting on an exercise ball – push your couch or computer chair aside and bring on your birth ball!! Sitting on a ball will help you stay in an upright position which means baby is encouraged to be in an optimal birthing position. Each and every time you lay back, even on a semi-recline, your baby is able to turn into a posterior position (spine to your spine) and this will cause back pain, hip pain and back labour once your birthing time begins. To help ensure your couch doesn’t call to you, have the exercise ball in the same room as your tv or near your computer, wherever you spend your leisure time. Not only will gravity be on your side, but the ball will help you to keep your pelvis open and if you decide to do hip circles (which I highly recommend!), you will be releasing any tension held in your lower back and hip area. And the ball will be your friend in labour as well.
Stay active – unless there is a reason you are on bed rest, staying active through walking and stretching are still necessary (although strenuous cardiovascular activity may not be recommended for your situation. Check with your health practitioner to confirm) even though you may be feeling like the goodyear blimp. Women in history were active in the household activities throughout their pregnancy and this included chasing toddlers, gardening, cooking, hands and knees floor mopping, etc. and they had less medical interventions in birth. Remember that the next time you are tempted to go put your feet up.
Final weeks (36 – birth) suggestions
Continue doing all of the above and also add:
Dance – Let’s get this party started!! Remember the days at the high school dance or the clubs when you had no inhibitions and didn’t care who was watching you shake your booty? Get back there by putting on your favorite “get moving” tunes and have a dance party in your kitchen or living room (even the bedroom – see oxytocin below)! Dancing releases feel good endorphins that are necessary for birth. The movements are also great for keeping your hips loose and open, and encouraging baby to be in an ideal birthing position. If you are more into formal group sessions, check your local area for Dancing for Birth TM classes.
Hydrate – again thinking about the marathon, do the athletes do it without being fully hydrated? Nope! Your core body temperature is elevated during pregnancy which can lead to sweating, thereby a loss of essential bodily fluids. During the birthing time this is heightened even more! As well, increased fluids will help keep your bowels moving regularly and this is good for making sure baby has lots of room to move into a good birth position. So do yourself a favor and remember to drink lots of water. (If you don’t love the thought of drinking water, you can naturally flavor your water with fresh fruits). Other sources of fluids can be used as well.
Reflexology – although reflexology by a trained professional can be safe and effective to help with many issues throughout pregnancy, as a certified maternity reflexologist I have seen first-hand the benefits of a series of treatments in those final weeks as you prepare for birth. Could you use a better quality of sleep in those final weeks to prepare for your birth marathon? How about hormone balance? All of this and so much more is available by receiving this amazing “foot massage”! I suggest finding a local reflexologist who has been trained to work with maternity clients, or who have experience working with this population.
Chiropractic – through pregnancy your body is rapidly changing. Similar to reflexology, chiropractic care all throughout pregnancy can be helpful for easing back and hip pain and restoring balance, but in the final weeks it will help to keep your hips and pelvis in proper alignment which helps your baby get into, and stay, in an optimal birthing position.
Staying upright and using gravity – anything you can do in the final weeks to stay off your back and maintaining an upright position is best! Do the dishes instead of letting the dishwasher do it, go for a walk, gentle lunges and squats. Even sleeping on a slight incline can be beneficial.
Perineal Massage and Kegels – these activities, when done properly, will help prepare and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. This in turns is a great help during the pushing phase of birth to help ensure there isn’t any tearing or you don’t require an episiotomy. Well prepared pelvic muscles will also help your body birth your baby with less effort on your part.
Final days suggestions
Oxytocin – also known as “the love hormone”, this is the hormone released from your pituitary gland that begins contractions. It is necessary for bonding with baby as well. To help it be in full flow and ready for contractions to begin, you can do activities such as cuddling with partner, watching a romantic movie or reading a romance novel, nipple stimulation, looking at pictures of your wedding day or other loving events.
Bathroom breaks – because you are still remembering to stay well-hydrated, you will want to make sure you take the time each hour to use the bathroom. Even if you feel like you don’t have to go, the motion will help your brain and body get into an “elimination” mode, keep bladder empty so baby has room to move and open your pelvis.
Laugh, Have Fun, Relax – again you want happy endorphins flowing and to keep your body loose and open. The best way to do that is to release fears and anxiety and embrace positive thoughts, positive moves and be joyful. Remove anything from your life in those final days that are causing you stress (even if that means well intentioned friends or family who are calling to say “have you had the baby yet”). Watch funny shows or movies, find the joy in each new day as it brings you closer to holding your new baby!
What other ways can you think of that will help you prepare both emotionally and physically for your birthing time? We would love to add your thoughts to our list!
Your author, Tanya, is a mom, health care practitioner, doula and educator. Her clinical practice Soul Treatments, which specializes in the health of women and children, is in Cambridge ON Canada.
See that sweet little guy? This week he was one of my clients as I specialize in maternity and infant/child reflexology.
I couldn't wait to come home and tell you all about him because "Mr Smiley" was a total picture perfect client. If I was to do a treatment on an infant who just let me do the treatment, it takes about 10 - 15 minutes. Usually, however, infant clients take double that. This is normal and totally understandable. I am a stranger, they might be hungry, the treatment can work really fast so we might need a diaper change, they have short attention spans, the ideal time to do the treatment is during active alert and we can't always be sure when that will be - the list goes on! Let's just say that I book an hour for an infant treatment, and even then know that I might have to go over.
So why does all this matter? Because the adorable little man I had the pleasure of treating this week is 10 months old so he is happy to sit during the treatment. He decided my in home treatment supply bag and some of it's contents were the most fascinating things of all time and he happily played with it while I did his treatment. 10 minutes, no fuss, no concerns, all smiles :)
That's a good way to start your work day!! Could it be that he's already comfortable with me having heard my voice in-utero as I worked on his mom to help her prepare for a happy birth? Could it be that him and mom attended my infant massage class and because she's practiced he's used to healthy touch? Maybe. My guess is that his mom is pretty awesome and he is a happy, content baby. Thank you Baby M and Mama K for being the great people you are!
Tanya Goreing is the proud mother of one boy and the owner of Soul Treatments. The natural health of woman and children is her passion!