Perfect Birth, Part 2: It’s Personal

A couple of weeks ago, I shared my heart about an issue that I know plagues expectant mothers everywhere: what does it take to have a perfect birth?

I touched on the fact that while childbirth education is imperative, and support during labor is helpful, we still don’t know how any woman will react to the labor process until she is already in the moment. I made the point that all births, no matter what they look like, are victories to be celebrated. And I mean that. All births are their own brand of perfect. But sometimes, for some women, the truth is this:

Even perfect birth can be traumatic.

I would be foolish not to acknowledge that some women have frightening or even life-threatening births and are forced to come to terms with their experience. For one reason or another, the process simply doesn’t “work” in some situations. For some of these women, my testimony about my disappointing birth experience and my injured feelings of self-worth might be exactly what they need. But for others, well… maybe not so much.

Beyond our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies, we are each also composed of our own complicated list of experiences. We have a mind, which we discuss in class, but we also have a subconscious mind, which we couldn’t even begin to cover: immature in its ability to make sense of our experiences, and endlessly vulnerable to the hoaxes of the enemy (again: see the Devotional). Working quietly behind the scenes, beneath our cool, collected exterior, it shapes our reactions to every one of our life experiences.

It’s personal.

In the five years since starting my childbirth services company, I have had no choice but to grow as an individual. I have been brought to my knees by some of my own life experiences. Shaken to the core of my beliefs. The shaping of my character as an adult has been arduous, and I have fought hard to find—and hold on to—what is true. In the process, I have also come to see some of that which is not.

I have learned something very important: We are each fighting our own battles. Maybe that sounds cliché, but this is relevant in all areas of life – including the quest for a great birth. For me to come alongside a woman and preach “worth,” when her own personal life experiences have shaped her to need a message of “safety” (for example), would mean that I have missed her altogether.

But how can I help? How do I know what someone needs, when it is beyond their own understanding? How do I discern the tune of their song, unless they themselves can sing it to me?

It’s possible.

The message I offer in my classes about worth and birth idolatry and relationship problems is—in all humility—good. It is quality stuff, and I will continue to teach it. But if I am to partner with God in caring for souls, then I must work from the heart with all of the skill allotted to me. There is more I can offer on an individual basis, seeking hearts and re-adjoining them to God’s in a way that is so much bigger, so much more personal, than the quest for the perfect birth.

It’s time to integrate more. Eden’s Promise is ready to offer you – each mother, father, and child- more than I ever dreamed possible. Click here to find out more!

Jennifer DeBrito, CSP, CCLD, CCBE is a Master Splankna Practitioner  Colorado Springs Doula and Childbirth Educator.She is the author of Expectant Parents Workshop: Devotional, and the creator of the Expectant Parents Workshop childbirth preparation class. Jennifer was the 3-time doula to Suzanne Hadley Gosselin (esteemed author of Expectant Parentsa pregnancy/childbirth/parenting book by Focus on the Family). In addition to coaching expectant parents toward a Christ-centered childbirth, Jennifer also specializes in prenatal and postpartum wellness coaching and Splankna Therapy Colorado Springs. Jennifer is a featured blogger for My719Moms.com. To learn more about Jennifer, go to EdensPromiseLLC.com.

Parents, Beware! Ear Infections and the Endless Cold

Once the worst of a cold is over with, your baby or child may seem to be back to normal, with the exception of stuffy nose or a lingering wet cough. Parents, beware! Just because your sweet Honey is acting normal, doesn’t mean she is recovered. In fact, this is the phase where your child is at greatest risk of developing an ear infection.

It can be easy to forget about all the measures you previously took to keep that mucous moving once your child is happy and on the go again. While it may seem quicker to just give that little nose a wipe in the car before you head off somewhere, it won’t pay off in the long run. The fact that the mucous is still there should tell you that your baby is still fighting off an infection. If left to thicken up in their sinuses, the mucous is likely to back up into their ears, eventually causing a painful ear infection. So the next time you weigh the option to skip the saline and suction bulb, imagine yourself up at 3 a.m. with a helpless, hurting baby. Then do the right thing and help her avoid it by taking the time to use some saline.

If your baby does develop an ear infection, don’t worry. Ear infections are common and easily treated. While most people head straight to the doctor for antibiotic treatment, many people don’t know that ear infections generally self-heal without treatment in about 10 days. But ear infections are painful and most of us want to do whatever we can to speed up the healing process for our little ones. Plus, some ear infections can spread to the bony area directly behind the ear and can be particularly painful for a baby–not to mention dangerous to their hearing. If your child ever displays sensitivity or redness in this region, get them to a doctor right away.

If you are sure that your child’s ear infection is “normal,” it is probably OK to try a natural remedy before going to full-blown antibiotic treatment. Garlic contains strong antibiotic properties which can be particularly useful for topically treating ear infections. Making a garlic oil ahead of time is an easy way to ensure that you will be ready with a remedy when baby wakes up in the middle of the night.

You will need:

Garlic, Olive Oil, a small dropper bottle

Mince the garlic and place it in about a cup of olive oil. Cover and allow it to sit overnight, up to 2 days. You may wish to give it a swirl or stir occasionally.

Strain the garlic pieces out of the oil using muslin cloth or mesh, discarding the garlic. Pour the garlic oil into the dropper bottle and tighten lid. That’s it! Your treatment is ready to go.

If you suspect an ear infection, place a few drops of oil into your baby’s ear. Tear a small piece off a cotton ball and place it in their ear canal to keep the oil from running back out. This can be done frequently without worry about over-dosing. Plus, if it turns out that your baby does not have an ear infection, the garlic oil will not cause them any harm. Give it a try!

Jen DeBrito, CCLD, CCBE

Jennifer is a Holistic Christian Doula & Birth Educator in Colorado Springs. In addition to coaching couples toward a Christ-centered childbirth experience, she also specializes wellness coaching for prenatal and postpartum women and their babies. She is the author of Expectant Parents Workshop: Devotional, and the proud owner of Eden’s Promise, LLC.

To learn more about Jennifer, please visit: www.edenspromisellc.com

First Natural Remedy: Homeopathy

In my last post, I promised to explain what to do with each of the natural remedies on the shopping list. I suppose the best way to work through them with you would be to go in the order in which you will probably want to use them, so we’ll start with the homeopathic flu remedy. (It would be prudent for me to mention that no natural remedy, including homeopathy, is a replacement for medical attention. Everything I recommend should be done in addition to – not in place of – whatever your own doctor or pediatrician recommends.)

First, let me explain what a homeopathic remedy is. Basically, it is a not-even-measurable amount (or infinitesimal dose) of a natural agent, which helps the body to ‘understand’ an illness. Think of it like this: If you told your child to go make cookies, would they know where to begin? Mine wouldn’t. But if I sat down with him and explained the recipe and helped him to measure out each ingredient, then it would be quick and easy for him to combine the ingredients into cookies.

This is what a homeopathic remedy does: it shows the body the broken down ‘recipe’ of an illness, so the body can proceed with making the correct antibodies. The homeopathic remedy does not actually contain an illness. What it contains may be a variety of naturally occurring herbs, flowers, minerals, etc which, if  taken in incredibly massive doses, would produce similar symptoms in the body as whatever you are trying to fight off . Taking a homeopathic remedy is basically like reading a recipe card to your body.

You would therefore choose your remedy on the basis that “like cures like”, meaning you just need to choose the homeopathic remedy which would theoretically cause the same symptoms you are experiencing. A quick online search, or even the book provided by Boiron or Hyland’s near their products in a natural food store, are perfectly good sources for deciding what to use. (For example, is your runny nose your worst symptom? Allium Cepa–also known as Onion–is probably the right product.) Once you give it a run, you’ll find that it’s easy and even a little bit fun.

If you start taking your homeopathic remedy as  soon as you start feeling symptoms (this period of time is referred to as “the healing crisis”), then your chances of overcoming the cold before it really even has a chance to begin are greatly increased. There are good remedies out there that can be used for  adults, children, and infants (such as Heel BHI FluPlus), and all you have to do is change the dosing according the instructions. Always follow the instructions on the label.

There are also products made specifically for children, if you are concerned about dosing, but it is interesting to note that the measurements in homeopathic remedies (3c, 6c, 12c, 30c) simply indicate the number of times the product has been diluted, thereby breaking down the ‘recipe.’ So while you’d still stick to the lower numbers for children (like 3c and 6c), it does help some parents to know that the higher numbers do not contain higher amounts of the natural substance. You just don’t want to overwhelm your sweet baby’s body with information, is all.  (Homeopathic remedies can also end in “X.” Same goes for those.)

Homeopathic remedies are especially helpful with children because their bodies are already in the process of growing and changing, and they don’t contain as many of the chemicals which tend to make homeopathy less effective (such as caffeine, nicotine, mint/methol, artificial sweeteners, etc). As a note for adults, if you are going to take a homeopathic remedy and are able to cut out any of the above-listed chemicals from your own diet, it will help to improve the effectiveness for you as well.

By the time the healing crisis has ended, sore lymph nodes and head/body aches have generally subsided… and other symptoms have probably taken their place. The illness will still run its course, but it will be a shorter and less intense trip than if you were to brave it without homeopathy. Next time I will cover the 2nd step in overcoming your illness quickly and comfortably.

Stay healthy!

Jen DeBrito, CCLD, CCBE

Jennifer is a Holistic Christian Doula & Birth Educator in Colorado Springs. In addition to coaching couples through childbirth, she specializes in wellness coaching for prenatal and postpartum women and their precious children. She is the author of Expectant Parents Workshop: Devotional and the proud owner of Eden’s Promise, LLC.

For more information about Jennifer, visit: EdensPromiseLLC.com