What’s a Maternity Concierge?

I’ll never forget telling someone I was a “maternity concierge” and hearing them laugh at me and asking through chuckles, “Is that actually a lucrative business?” I felt defensive for two reasons- 1) They insulted my profession & lifestyle and 2) I don’t do this work for the money

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So, what is a maternity concierge anyway? A maternity concierge is someone you’ve hired to assist you with needs during and directly following a pregnancy. Back in the good ol’ days, we raised our babies as a village. The village elders, neighbors, and family would assist the expectant mother with everything from breastfeeding, swaddling, bathing, and preparing meals. If the baby was sick, they provided a break for the mother to rest.

Well, times have changed! We no longer live in villages and in fact most people don’t even know their neighbor’s names. Many of us live in different cities than our immediate family and we may live 20-45 minutes from our best friends and fellow moms. The parties come to an end, the baby is born, husband returns to work, family goes home and…mom thinks, “Ahhh! There’s so much to do and I have no idea what I’m doing!”

Mayday, mayday!! Enter the Maternity Concierge!

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Every concierge is different, but some services I provide clients include:

  • Overnight care/assistance
  • Sleep training/consultations
  • Staff creation (finding & scheduling your doula, midwife, nanny, lactation consultant)
  • Personal shopping, grocery shopping
  • Baby registry assistance and/or completion
  • Event planning
  • Nursery preparation & organization
  • Product & service provider research
  • Pediatrician interviews, booking appointments
  • Postpartum support
  • Newborn Care education

My services can be purchased a la carte or as a package. I offer a free consultation to assess your needs, meet with you and your spouse/partner to assess your style & goals, and we move forward from there. You are in charge! You get to sit back and relax! You no longer have to worry about preparing for this bambino! You will have a knowledgeable, well trained professional at your beck and call. A Maternity Concierge is no longer just for the “elite” anymore!

Let me be your village. 

Love Me Like You Do: A Prayer

On Valentine’s Day I woke up feeling super “wonky” (there’s no better word) and extremely tired. In fact, I’d been feeling abnormally tired for a few weeks, but I thought it was a result of my overly packed schedule. Turns out, I was pregnant. My first pregnancy ever…five days later, I got the phone call that I had an impending miscarriage and that the pregnancy would disappear within a week. 

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I can’t even begin to describe the grief that followed, and still follows. The night of that phone call I met some friends for a movie hoping the distraction would do me good. We saw 50 Shades of Grey and although the song on the soundtrack by Ellie Goulding is likely meant to be a love song, it held different meaning for me that night as the only thing I could think about was the baby in my body that was slowly, but surely, disappearing.

To the baby I lost, the baby I loved, and the baby I still dream of meeting, I sing…

You’re the light, you’re the night
You’re the color of my blood
You’re the cure, you’re the pain
You’re the only thing I wanna touch
Never knew that it could mean so much, so much

You’re the fear, I don’t care
Cause I’ve never been so high
Follow me through the dark
Let me take you past our satellites
You can see the world you brought to life, to life

To my Lord, who I’m often angry at and confused by, I sing this prayer…

So love me like you do, love me like you do
Love me like you do, love me like you do
Touch me like you do, touch me like you do
What are you waiting for?!

Knowing that I was losing the only thing that’s made me sublimely happy in three years I felt I was…

Fading in, fading out
On the edge of paradise
Every inch of your skin is a holy grail I’ve got to find
Only you can set my heart on fire, on fire

And to my Lord again…

Yeah, I’ll let you set the pace
Cause I’m not thinking straight
My head spinning around I can’t see clear no more
What are you waiting for?!

Love me like you do, love me like you do
Love me like you do, love me like you do
Touch me like you do, touch me like you do
What are you waiting for?!

The pain of losing a baby is unmatched by anything I’ve felt before, but I can’t be angry anymore…it’s too toxic. The only way I can find the strength to go on trying and the peace I need for my sanity is to view this pregnancy as a “rainbow” from God. The skies opened up and he said, “Hey you, don’t give up yet. I’m giving you a glimmer of how great things will be one day, but it’s not time yet. Hold on tight, babygirl. Your baby is still coming”

Lord, love me like you do. Touch me like you have touched others and make me a mama. 

First Touch

 

 

 

Source: http://www.directlyrics.com/ellie-goulding-love-me-like-you-do-lyrics.html

How Crunchy Are You, Mom?

You’ve heard me describe myself as a “faux-hippie”, right? Looking at me, you may not think I’m hippie at all; however, I’m actually pretty crunchy, especially when it comes to babies. I think there are levels to crunchy though, which poses the question,

“How are crunchy are you?”

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crunchy (adj.)- Adjective. Used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental or health reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc. (UrbanDictionary.com)

If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you know that I’m a toxin-Nazi and cautious about both my exposure, and the exposure of every baby and small child in the known universe. My store shopwholeheart.com only features organic and/or nontoxic items because I know that baby products are the runner up for the “Most Hazardous Award” next to household cleaners.

I know some people think I’m more of an extremist when it comes to avoiding toxins, but I encourage all moms and dads to choose products carefully and find a level of crunchy that works for you.

Cunchy Level 1:

  • Use disposable diapers, but choose organic, biodegradable options such as Honest Co.
  • Breastfeeds, bottle feeds, or uses formula…whatever works, right?
  • Buys their own baby food, but chooses organic companies
  • Airs out strollers, carseats and carriers to allow off-gassing to occur outside the home
  • Washes all clothing, blankets, and sheets in organic detergent prior to use
  • Buys organic dirty dozen, but otherwise eats and drinks whatever else they want

Crunchy Level 2:

  • Uses cloth diapers and organic wipes (uses a diaper delivery service or machine washes diapers), but uses ‘sposies as night or when traveling
  • Makes their own baby food with whatever is around the house
  • Breastfeeds when possibly, but uses formula on-the-go
  • Buys organic versions or baby gear, strollers, and carriers
  • Buys organic cotton clothing for the first few months and pre-washes things that are non-organic
  • Buys all organic produce, meats, and dairy
  • Uses BPA free bottles like the Mimijumi
  • Follows alternative vaccine schedule with pediatrician
  • Doesn’t use medications unless there’s a fever or diagnosis

Crunchy Level 3:

  • Uses cloth diapers, hand washes or hang dries diapers to save energy
  • Makes their own wipes solution and uses reusable rags/cloths for wipes
  • Only buys organic/nontoxic strollers, carriers, slings, etc.
  • Only buys organic/nontoxic clothing and still prewashes to cleanses products of toxin exposure during shipping
  • Breastfeeds exclusively for the first year
  • Wears a mask while pumping gas (recommended or preggo mamas)
  • Only shops at Trader Joes, Sprouts, or Whole Foods where all food must pass testing regarding toxins, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and mercury
  • Uses household items as toys for baby/toddler
  • Uses glass bottles like 5Phases
  • Wears baby everwhere using a babywearing shirt (Lalabu)
  • Makes their own household cleaners
  • Wears Belly Armor while pregnant and uses a Belly Blanket later
  • Follows alternative vaccine schedule with a naturepath doctor and takes baby regularly to an acupuncturist or chiropractor
  • Treats all ailments with essential oils

There’s no better or worse way to raise a baby, but the more you try to limit your baby’s exposure to toxins during the first few years of life, the better their overall healthy and happiness down the road. They have super-human metabolisms right now and are at a much higher risk when exposed to toxins because they can’t process them the way we can.

What do you do to reduce toxin exposure? How crunchy are you?

Must Have Baby Item: The Woombie

I’ll never forget the phone call I got from a fellow newborn care provider around 10:00 pm one night wondering if I had any Woombies on hand. Of course I have a Woombie, I ALWAYS have a Woombie. She drove all the way out to my home to pick one up, knowing the baby she was caring for wouldn’t likely sleep without it. 

The Woombie is MAGIC!

What the hell is a Woombie?

  • Sleep sack unlike any other
  • A womb simulator
  • Idiot proof swaddle blanket
  • Substitute for mom’s arms in the middle of the night

If you’re a new mom, or expecting, by now you’ve learned that the safest way for a baby to sleep is swaddle tight and on their back, right? Well, swaddling blankets can come loose, end up around the neck, or atop the face…HAZARD! In comes the “sleep sack”, but the problem with a sleep sack is that it doesn’t provide the tight feel or boundaries created by swaddling. Spastic newborns swaddle in their sleep and wake themselves up.

So, manufacturers created “swaddle sacks”; however, they’re still lacking because they’re:

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1. Too loose, ill fitting

2. Too tight causing hip dysplasia

3. Velcro

  • Velcro gets caught on things in the dryer
  • Velcro is loud in the middle of the night
  • Velcro doesn’t allow for easy diaper changes

This is why I HEART the Woombie! 

It was designed by an RN, Karen Barski, who knew what baby’s needed to sleep safely and soundly.

The Woombie has a patented peanut shape design so it fits snuggly in the right places.

The Woombie allows for range of motion at, and below, the hips.

The Woombie Air has a vented front that allows for air flow to prevent overheating.

The Woombie is made from nontoxic fabrics.

The Woombie has a double zipper to allow for easier diaper changes without unswaddling.

The Woombie comes in a variety of styles and prints AND you can get matching hats for your lil one!

Woombie also created the Cotton Indian Gown like the one shown here that is for a baby 16lbs-23lbs and allows for knotting at the feet to create boundaries.

The Cuddle Blanket and Old Fashioned Air Wrap Blankets are also favorite Woombie products. Check them all out here on shopwholeheart.com. The Woombie is the #1 perfect baby shower gift. In fact, I’d suggest you keep these on hand and bring one with you every time you meet a new baby!

Which print is your favorite?

Fertility Smoothie

After a year of trying to get pregnant with no success, you see a doctor. After two years, you see a fertility specialist. After three years, you’ve created an entourage of specialists AND you eat and drink things most people have never heard of. I give you…

The Fertilty Smoothie

Photo credit: WeareLivingalive.com

My “smoothie” of specialists currently includes an Ob/Gyn, a fertility specialist, an acupuncturist, a holistic healer, a naturopath pharmacist, an abdominal masseuse, my friends Ashley and Kristy, and Katy Perry (don’t judge, her jams are very motivational!).

I’m also talking about the smoothie I drink daily to boost my chances. Now, drinking this does not replace my docs or my meds, but it does optimize my chances by pumping full of nature’s goodness and creating healthy eggs ready to become babies.

Ingredients:

  • Maca Powder
  • Goji berries or berry powder
  • Berries (blue, black, or rasp)
  • Cherries (natural, not marachino)
  • Almond or coconut milk
  • Wheatgrass or chlorophyll tabs
  • Sugar free, organic protein powder
  • Royal jelly

Maca is known as the “wonder herb” for fertility. It is an endocrine system tonic, it increases energy, reduces stress, fights against disease, and encourages healthy hormonal balance.

Goji berries increase libido, which could be beneficial, but are mainly recommended for men with low or slow sperm count. I don’t add goji to mine but it is suggested.

Berries are antioxidants, which are powerful in boosting fertility, plus they’re naturally sweet, inexpensive, and can vary up the flavor of your soothie.

Cherries are also antioxidants, but they’re the super fruit because they also contain beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate. I’ve been told I “look” internally like someone with PCOS (polycystic overian syndrome) event though I’ve not been diagnosed and cheries have a natural anti-inflammatory property.

My acupuncturist says to stear clear of dairy so I use almond or coconut milk instead. Coconut milk has high detoxifying properties which is an added bonus.

Wheatgrass helps to detoxify, balance Ph levels, increases oxygen, it’s loaded with folic acid and is considered a “complete food” due to it’s level of vitamins and minerals. Whole Foods sells wheatgrass shots in their frozen section that can thaw out under hot water or you can buy wheatgrass powder and add it to your smoothie.

Protein powder because…you’re making human life! You need protein. Plus, it bulks it up and makes it thicker.

Royal Jelly: this one I saved for last because this is THE most crucial ingredient. This supports hormonal balance, supports a healthy endocrine system, increases egg quality naturally, encourages healthy estrogen levels and is considered the fertility superfood. A jar of this schmazz costs about $30; however, it only takes 1/4 tsp each serving and will last 3-6 months.

So, there you have it. Enjoy my nasty hodge-podge of fertility superfoods. You may find yourself sipping it and loving it. I, on the other hand, find myself chugging it. It can be used as a meal replacement if you’re looking to decrease your weight to increase fertility, or it can be used as a snack if you’re increasing your weight to increase fertility. Talk to your doctor about a healthy weight for you to concieve.

Other super foods for fertility include:

  • Lean meats
  • Fatty, low mercury fish
  • Dark, leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach)
  • Herbs: chives, parsley, basil, mint
  • Tumeric, cinnamon
  • Kiwi, bananas, berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Yams, sweet potatoes. butterbut squash

Oh, and water isn’t even drank the same way to an infertile. I infuse my water with lemon, mint, cucumber, and basil overnight. Drink 10-12 glasses a day to keep flushing your system.

Good luck, happy sipping!