What is a Christian Birth?

What is a Christian Birth?

All birth experiences are unique, no two are alike, although some mothers of subsequent babies recognize similarities between births of their children.  A Christian Birth is a birth experience which is completely unique and related to the Mother’s Faith walk.

  •  It is an intentionally acknowledgement of the God-given blessing, and value of human life and of the familiy.
  • Recognition of the spiritual nature of conception, pregnancy and birth, and it’s significance.
  • Completely in trust and alignment with God and His will, trusting His design of the woman’s body to give birth.
  • Relying on God’s strength and comfort, whatever the circumstances.

Through the heart of her experiences and training, Willow strives to surround the mother and family with Godly love, fellowship, support, and encouragement, a gentle presence to remind them of the hope and purpose God has in their lives as they journey into parenthood for their first or 8th time.

Contact me: 828-676-9072 to arrange a meet & greet interview, and discover if Willow Christian Birth Services are right for you….

Natural & Hip Way to Curb Teething Pain In Your Baby

We’ve all been there….. The crying, fussing,  irritability and “no body sleeps if baby isn’t sleeping” of a baby teething…Baltic Amber, worn as a necklace or anklet or bracelet can mean a big difference for most babies who naturally experience the pain of cutting those pearly whites.  Not only does it work, but it’s a really cute hipster trending fashion for your baby that moms everywhere are swearing by,
So how does it work?

Amber is as old as time itself, an ancient remedy that is still boasted and bragged upon by modern alternative medicine practitioners today. It is known as a natural remedy for a variety of things including joint pain, arthritis, teething pain, and more…. It’s a natural analgesic alternative. Hippocrates (460-377 BC), father of medicine, in his works described medicinal properties and methods of application of Baltic amber that were later used by scientists until the Middle Ages. In ancient Rome Baltic amber was used as medicine and as a protection against different diseases. Calistratus famous physician of those times, wrote that amber protects from madness, powder of amber mixed with honey cures throat, ear and eye diseases and taken with water cures stomach illnesses. Pliny the Younger noted that Roman peasant women wore amber medallions not only as adornments, but also as a remedy for “swollen glands and sore throat and palate.” Persian scientist Ibn Sina (Avicenna) called amber remedy for many diseases. There was a belief in eastern countries that amber smoke strengthens human spirit and gives courage. In Asian countries “amber syrup”, a mixture of succinic acid and opium, was used as a tranquilizer and antispasmodic. It’s use continued by physicians through the Middle Ages and later into the present day 21st Century for various conditions. As late as before World War II, especially in Germany,Baltic amber beads were put on babies to make the eruption of teeth less painful and make the teeth grow stronger.

Baltic Amber contains succinic acid. A powerful anti oxidant that helps fight toxic free radicals and disruptions of the cardiac rhythm, succinic acid has been shown to stimulate neural system recovery and bolster the immune system, and help compensate for energy drain in the body and brain, boosting awareness, concentration and reflexes, and reducing stress. Baltic amber contains 3-8% of succinic acid, a scientifically examined medical substance used in contemporary medicine. The highest content of the acid is found in the amber cortex–the external layer of the stone. There is much documentation regarding the power of succinic acid. Albert The Great, born in 1193 who later became a Dominican monk, called Natural Baltic Amber “Succinium” and stated that it was the most effective medicine of the time followed by other substances such as ocastoreum, mors, camphor, tartarus, and aurum. People of that time also made amber tinctures from beer, wine and water and declared them effective against everything from stomach aches to rheumatism. Recent scientific research has also proved that succinic acid has a very positive influence on the human organism. It strengthens the body, improves immunity, the course of energy-related processes and the balance of acids. Succinic acid was analyzed by the pioneer of modern bacteriology, the Nobel Prize winner, Robert Kock (1886), who confirmed its positive influence and discovered that there is no risk of the accumulation of surplus amounts of succinic acid in the human organism, even after the introduction of considerable amounts into the body.

The benefits of Amber are great, and the countless recorded praises for its use in teething pain and joint paint speak for its usefulness. It’s natural, has no known side effects, and worked better for my kids than the homeopathic tablets, and other various options I tried. It works quickly and lasts as long as the baby continues to be exposed to the amber. I used both the necklaces and the anklets depending on the situation, and both worked great. Before using Baltic Amber my babies wouldn’t sleep through the night without Tylenol because of the pain caused by teething. They would fuss and cry often. When they were wearing their Amber necklace or anklet, I was amazed how much happier they were all the time and sleeping through the night so comfortably. Yay for tired mommy! I highly recommend trying Baltic Amber jewelry for your baby.

If you are interested, I recommend you check out your local mommy baby natural stores (I try to encourage shopping local)(Littlest Birds In Asheville, NC has them) or check out online : https://www.balticcreations.net This lady is a super sweet mama, who makes stunning Baltic Amber (she has made several for me) and natural healing gemstone jewelry. There are also additional sellers on Etsy. (Pictured below is from Baltic Creations)

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I plan to order some to give out to future birth clients.

Prayers Needed For A Local Baby……..

My heart has been touched by a local baby boy who’s story made the news, and I felt God call me to help……

Baby Clay was Shaken To Death by a male caregiver on July the 10th 2013. He was 5 months old. The first photo was taken of him playing and smiling just 3 days before the incident on July the 7th.  Fire Dept Rescue, and EMS found him in full cardiac arrest, cyanotic with retinal hemorrhaging had to be resuscitated by rescue workers. He was taken to the nearby hospital where he lived on advanced life support for a month before doctors had done all they could do. He was not expected to live off life support, and began breathing on his own. Today he lives at home and remains in what doctors are calling “a persistent coma”. Please pass this along, and continue to pray for this baby who’s heroic fight continues! We thank God everyday for Clay’s progress! Please never shake a baby! Visit his Facebook Support Page at: http://www.Facebook.com/PrayersForHendersonvilleBabyBoy

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(Photo Above Uploaded For Update in September 2013)

Placenta Encapsulation Tutorial

****WARNING GRAPHIC PICTURES****

I previously posted regarding the benefits of consuming your placenta post partum in detail with scientific evidence (see previous blog post for the long details & evidence)

The benefits of placenta encapsulation include:

  • Decrease in baby blues & PPD (Post Partum Depression).
  • Increasing and enriching breastmilk supply
  • Increase in energy (Yay!)
  • Decrease in lochia, postpartum bleeding (Very cool!)
  • Decrease iron deficiency or post partum anemia.
  • Decrease insomnia and sleep disorders.
  • Decreases postpartum “night sweats”.

        The placenta’s hormonal make-up is completely unique to the mother. No vitamin, supplement or pill can equal what the placenta can do. Isn’t that pretty cool? It has also been reported to being made into a tincture to be given to the baby that it once supported during infancy and childhood for a variety of benefits. 

*******WARNING GRAPHIC PICTURES***********

OK SO NOW I WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO ENCAPSULATE YOUR OWN…
PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION TUTORIAL
Supplies Needed:

Gloves
Steamer for stove top
Fresh ginger and lemon
Cutting Board
Capsules, 150-200
Dehydrator or Oven

Food Processor or Coffee Grinder or (mortar & pestal- if your a fabulous and strong eco warrior)
Sanitizer and bleachSTEP 1. Place placenta in strainer/colander in sink. Rinse under water removing blood clots.Preparing my placenta that supported my son 07/07/12 before processing My placenta that supported my son 07/07/12 ready for encapsulation

STEP 2. *Not for the squeemish* Place on cutting board and severe cord at base. It will likely bleed little bit. 

If you prefer to do the raw method you would thinly slice the placenta after you have cleaned it. Laying the slices on dehydrator trays(or in the oven), keeping the temp below 118F to preserve maximum nutrients and keep enzymes intact.

STEP 3. Begin steaming it on the stove, (I don’t find this an offensive smell, but it can be strong and distinct to some, this may be a good time to send guests and your hubby out for a while and open a window). Wrap placenta membrane fetal side around placenta into a ball. Place lemon & ginger in water in steamer. Put placenta in steam basket and cover. Steam on medium for about 15mins on *each side*. Bleed whiling steaming (stabbing/poking it). SKIP THIS STEP IF YOU ARE DOING THE RAW METHOD

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My Placenta After Steaming/Before Slicing

STEP 4. Slice up placenta into thin strips at this point. If you are using a low oven to dehydrate your placenta, set oven to lowest temp. It takes 12-24hrs to dehydrate depending on method used.  It’s best to slice thin and keep them uniform in thickness and length so they dehydrate evenly. 

STEP 5.  GRIND THE STRIPS.. Using a strong grinder or processor, grind placenta strips. They are going to be very hard. You want to grind them down to a fine powder. You may want to break the dehydrated strips in half prior to grinding, actually I recommend this so you don’t break your grinder/processor which I have heard can happen. This is the time to add/mix in any familiar and beneficial dried herbs if desired.

STEP 6.  Fill capsules. One placenta will yield *about 125-175 capsules*. You can use equipment like The Capsule Machine but I have done mine by hand and it wasn’t too bad. A good capsule size is “00”.There are smaller size capsules available. 

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My Placenta After:        Encapsulated

STEP 7. Store capsules in refrigerator or freezer, they will keep indefinitely. How many to take depends on the mother and her needs. . Typically 1-3 caps 2-3 times a day.. Depending on the herbs you used, and the level of need this should be tailored. Generally most moms start of with the 1-3, 3  times a day- and then taper down after a week or two. If mom is feeling fatigued, low milk supply or emotionally fragile you can increase dosage or take anytime down the road for a pick-me-up. (THIS ISN’T MEDICAL ADVICE or Substitute for Medical care)

STEP 8.  Clean up & Sanitize everything

This post is not medical advice and is not a substitute for seeing your health care provider. 

Our family grew again! Introducing our newest Prince…

Andrad Hart Arnold entered this incredible world in the very early morning of June 30 (after a long night of labor) delighting (daddy) Steve & I in the birth pool we shared. We simply can’t stop enjoying him, daily entertaining our family with his charm. We are so blessed and complete now that he is here.

We all think he looks so much like his daddy.  The older siblings are quite proud. We Praise God for him!

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The Natural Benefits of Placentophagy (Consuming your Placenta Post Partum)

The placenta is an amazing organ that after birth most mammals will eat it to complete the birth process instinctually. In many cultures and societies this is still a common normal practice. In the USA it is trending in more acceptance and awareness. There are a variety of ways that you can consume your placenta. Some midwives will encourage their mothers to take a raw bite at the birth to help ease the recovery immediately.

The more popular routes to consumption in modern cultures are to prepare recipes with the placenta or if that doesn’t sound very appetizing, you can always process the placenta and encapsulate it like a pill.

Why would anyone eat their placenta? Does this sound barbaric to you? Modern day cannabelism? Nah, it’s really natural. Think about it. Most mammals will consume the placenta after birth. Why wouldn’t humans? Take a moment to really be present with that…

The benefits of placenta encapsulation include:

  • Decrease in baby blues & PPD (Post Partum Depression).
  • Increasing and enriching breastmilk supply
  • Increase in energy (Yay!)
  • Decrease in lochia, postpartum bleeding (Very cool!)
  • Decrease iron deficiency or post partum anemia.
  • Decrease insomnia and sleep disorders.
  • Decreases postpartum “night sweats”.

        The placenta’s hormonal make-up is completely unique to the mother. No vitamin, supplement or pill can equal what the placenta can do. Isn’t that pretty cool? It has also been reported to being made into a tincture to be given to the baby that it once supported during infancy and childhood for a variety of benefits. 

Below is an article on the scientific benefits on consuming the placenta or also known as placentophagy from Placenta Benefits Ltd.. Futher information can be found on their website at http://placentabenefits.info/articles.asp 

“Scientific Evidence

Placenta as Lactagagon
Soykova-Pachnerova E, et. al.(1954). Gynaecologia 138(6):617-627.

An attempt was made to increase milk secretion in mothers by administration of dried placenta per os. Of 210 controlled cases only 29 (13.8%) gave negative results; 181 women (86.2%) reacted positively to the treatment, 117 (55.7%) with good and 64 (30.5%) with very good results. It could be shown by similar experiments with a beef preparation that the effective substance in placenta is not protein. Nor does the lyofilised placenta act as a biogenic stimulator so that the good results of placenta administration cannot be explained as a form of tissue therapy per os. The question of a hormonal influence remains open. So far it could be shown that progesterone is probably not active in increasing lactation after administration of dried placenta.

This method of treating hypogalactia seems worth noting since the placenta preparation is easily obtained, has not so far been utilized and in our experience is successful in the majority of women.

Placentophagia: A Biobehavioral Enigma
KRISTAL, M. B. NEUROSCI. BIOBEHAV. REV. 4(2) 141-150, 1980.

Although ingestion of the afterbirth during delivery is a reliable component of parturitional behavior of mothers in most mammalian species, we know almost nothing of the direct causes or consequences of the act. Traditional explanations of placentophagia, such as general or specific hunger, are discussed and evaluated in light of recent experimental results. Next, research is reviewed which has attempted to distinguish between placentophagia as a maternal behavior and placentophagia as an ingestive behavior. Finally, consequences of the behavior, which may also be viewed as ultimate causes in an evolutionary sense, are considered, such as the possibility of beneficial effects on maternal behavior or reproductive competence, on protection against predators, and on immunological protection afforded either the mother or the young.

Placenta for Pain Relief:
Placenta ingestion by rats enhances y- and n-opioid antinociception, but suppresses A-opioid antinociception
Jean M. DiPirro*, Mark B. Kristal

Ingestion of placenta or amniotic fluid produces a dramatic enhancement of centrally mediated opioid antinociception in the rat. The present experiments investigated the role of each opioid receptor type (A, y, n) in the antinociception-modulating effects of Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF—presumably the active substance). Antinociception was measured on a 52 jC hotplate in adult, female rats after they ingested placenta or control substance (1.0 g) and after they received an intracerebroventricular injection of a y-specific ([D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE); 0, 30, 50, 62, or 70 nmol), A-specific ([D-Ala2,N-MePhe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin (DAMGO); 0, 0.21, 0.29, or 0.39 nmol), or n-specific (U-62066; spiradoline; 0, 100, 150, or 200 nmol) opioid receptor agonist. The results showed that ingestion of placenta potentiated y- and n-opioid antinociception, but attenuated A-opioid antinociception. This finding of POEF action as both opioid receptor-specific and complex provides an important basis for understanding the intrinsic pain-suppression mechanisms that are activated during parturition and modified by placentophagia, and important information for the possible use of POEF as an adjunct to opioids in pain management.
D 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Effects of placentophagy on serum prolactin and progesterone concentrations in rats after parturition or superovulation.
Blank MS, Friesen HG.: J Reprod Fertil. 1980 Nov;60(2):273-8.

In rats that were allowed to eat the placentae after parturition concentrations of serum prolactin were elevated on Day 1 but concentrations of serum progesterone were depressed on Days 6 and 8 post partum when compared to those of rats prevented from eating the placentae. In rats treated with PMSG to induce superovulation serum prolactin and progesterone values were significantly (P < 0.05) elevated on Days 3 and 5 respectively, after being fed 2 g rat placenta/day for 2 days. However, feeding each rat 4 g placenta/day
significantly (P < 0.02) lowered serum progesterone on Day 5. Oestrogen injections or bovine or human placenta in the diet had no effect. The organic phase of a petroleum ether extract of rat placenta (2 g-equivalents/day) lowered peripheral concentrations of progesterone on Day 5, but other extracts were ineffective. We conclude that the rat placenta contains orally-active substance(s) which modify blood levels of pituitary and ovarian hormones.

Baby blues – postpartum depression attributed to low levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone after placenta is gone – Brief Article

Many new mothers feel depressed for weeks after giving birth. Physicians have vaguely attributed this malaise to exhaustion and to the demands of motherhood. But a group of researchers at the National Institutes of Health has found evidence for a more specific cause of postpartum blues. New mothers, the researchers say, have lower than normal levels of a stress-fighting hormone that earlier studies have found helps combat depression.
When we are under stress, a part of the brain called the hypothalamus secretes corticotropin-releasing hormone, or CRH. Its secretion triggers a cascade of hormones that ultimately increases the amount of another hormone – called cortisol – in the blood. Cortisol raises blood sugar levels and maintains normal blood pressure, which helps us perform well under stress. Normally the amount of cortisol in the bloodstream is directly related to the amount of CRH released from the hypothalamus. That’s not the case in pregnant women.
During the last trimester of pregnancy, the placenta secretes a lot of CRH. The rise is so dramatic that CRH levels in the maternal bloodstream increase threefold. “We can only speculate,” says George Chrousos, the endocrinologist who led the NIH study, “but we think it helps women go through the stress of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.”
But what happens after birth, when the placenta is gone? Chrousos and his colleagues monitored CRH levels in 17, women from the last trimester to a year after they gave birth. All the women had low levels of CRH – as low as seen in some forms of depression – in the six weeks following birth. The seven women with the lowest levels felt depressed.
Chrousos suspects that CRH levels are temporarily low in new mothers because CRH from the placenta disrupts the feedback system that regulates normal production of the hormone. During pregnancy, when CRH levels are high in the bloodstream, the hypothalamus releases less CRH. After birth, however, when this supplementary source of CRH is gone, it takes a while for the hypothalamus to get the signal that it needs to start making more CRH.
“This finding gives reassurance to people that postpartum depression is a transient phenomenon,” says Chrousos. “It also suggests that there is a biological cause.”
COPYRIGHT 1995 Discover
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

Maternal Iron Deficiency Anemia Affects Postpartum Emotions and Cognition
John L. Beard, et. al.; J. Nutr. 135: 267–272, 2005.

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine whether iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in mothers alters their maternal cognitive and behavioral performance, the mother-infant interaction, and the infant’s development. This article focuses on the relation between IDA and cognition as well as behavioral affect in the young mothers. This prospective, randomized, controlled, intervention trial was conducted in South Africa among 3 groups of mothers: nonanemic controls and anemic mothers receiving either placebo (10 g folate and 25 mg vitamin C) or daily iron (125 mg FeS04, 10 g folate, 25 mg vitamin C). Mothers of full-term normal birth weight babies were followed from 10 wk to 9 mo postpartum (n 81). Maternal hematologic and iron status, socioeconomic, cognitive, and emotional status, motherinfant interaction, and the development of the infants were assessed at 10 wk and 9 mo postpartum. Behavioral and cognitive variables at baseline did not differ between iron-deficient anemic mothers and nonanemic mothers. However, iron treatment resulted in a 25% improvement (P  0.05) in previously iron-deficient mothers’ depression and stress scales as well as in the Raven’s Progressive Matrices test. Anemic mothers administered placebo did not improve in behavioral measures. Multivariate analysis showed a strong association between iron status variables (hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, and transferrin saturation) and cognitive variables (Digit Symbol) as well as behavioral variables (anxiety, stress, depression). This study demonstrates that there is a strong relation between iron status and depression, stress, and cognitive functioning in poor African mothers during the postpartum period. There are likely ramifications of this poorer “functioning” on mother-child interactions and infant development, but the constraints around this relation will have to be defined in larger studies.

The Impact of Fatigue on the Development of Postpartum Depression
Elizabeth J. Corwin, et.al. (2005); Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing 34 (5) , 577–586

Background: Previous research suggests early postpartum fatigue (PPF) plays a significant role in the development of postpartum depression (PPD). Predicting risk for PPD via early identification of PPF may provide opportunity for intervention.

Objective: To replicate and extend previous studies concerning the impact of PPF on symptoms of PPD and to describe the relationships among PPF, PPD, and other variables using the theory of unpleasant symptoms.

Design: Correlational, longitudinal study.

Setting: Participants’ homes.

Participants: Convenience sample of 42 community-dwelling women recruited before 36 weeks of pregnancy.

Main Outcome Measures: PPF, depressive symptoms, and stress measured during prenatal weeks 36 to 38, and on Days 7, 14, and 28 after childbirth. Salivary cortisol was measured as a physiological marker of stress.

Results: Significant correlations were obtained between PPF and symptoms of PPD on Days 7, 14, and 28, with Day 14 PPF levels predicting future development of PPD symptoms in 10 of 11 women. Perceived stress, but not cortisol, was also correlated with symptoms of PPD on Days 7, 14, and 28. Women with a history of depression had elevated depression scores compared to women without, but no variable was as effective at predicting PPD as PPF.

Conclusions: Fatigue by Day 14 postpartum was the most predictive variable for symptoms of PPD on Day 28 in this population.

Iron supplementation for unexplained fatigue in non-anaemic women: double blind randomised placebo controlled trial
F Verdon, et. al.; BMJ 2003;326:1124 (24 May), doi:10.1136/bmj.326.7399.1124

Objective: To determine the subjective response to iron therapy in non-anaemic women with unexplained fatigue.

Design: Double blind randomised placebo controlled trial.

Setting: Academic primary care centre and eight general practices in western Switzerland.

Participants: 144 women aged 18 to 55, assigned to either oral ferrous sulphate (80 mg/day of elemental iron daily; n=75) or placebo (n=69) for four weeks.

Main outcome measures: Level of fatigue, measured by a 10 point visual analogue scale.

Results: 136 (94%) women completed the study. Most had a low serum ferritin concentration; <= 20 µg/l in 69 (51%) women. Mean age, haemoglobin concentration, serum ferritin concentration, level of fatigue, depression, and anxiety were similar in both groups at baseline. Both groups were also similar for compliance and dropout rates. The level of fatigue after one month decreased by -1.82/6.37 points (29%) in the iron group compared with -0.85/6.46 points (13%) in the placebo group (difference 0.95 points, 95% confidence interval 0.32 to 1.62; P=0.004). Subgroups analysis showed that only women with ferritin concentrations <= 50 µg/l improved with oral supplementation.

Conclusion: Non-anaemic women with unexplained fatigue may benefit from iron supplementation. The effect may be restricted to women with low or borderline serum ferritin concentrations.

Have we forgotten the significance of postpartum iron deficiency?
Lisa M. Bodnar, et. al.; American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2005) 193, 36–44

The postpartum period is conventionally thought to be the time of lowest iron deficiency risk because iron status is expected to improve dramatically after delivery. Nonetheless, recent studies have reported a high prevalence of postpartum iron deficiency and anemia among ethnically diverse low-income populations in the United States. In light of the recent emergence of this problem in the medical literature, we discuss updated findings on postpartum iron deficiency, including its prevalence, functional consequences, risk factors, and recommended primary and secondary prevention strategies. The productivity and cognitive gains made possible by improving iron nutriture support intervention. We therefore conclude that postpartum iron deficiency warrants greater attention and higher quality care.
2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. “

This post is not medical advice and is not a substitute for seeing your health care provider. 

Should you pre-register with the hospital??

I recently received the following question in an email from a local mom:

Hi, This is our first baby and we are a little curious if it is really neccessary to pre-register in the hospital for the birth, does it make the process faster or is it ok to just register once we arrive that day??? what do you reccommend?

Is it necessary to pre-register at the hospital before the birth? Is there any benefits?

I do highly recommend that you do pre-register before hand with your local hospital. It may not even be a bad idea to this even if you are home birthing, just in case!

Pre-registration can help the hospital to know important information ahead of time regarding you, your patient information, insurance, your emergency contact information, expected due date, your physician information, family status, and other useful information that you would want the hospital to stay updated on. This can be especially helpful in hopeful unlikely event of emergency in which you may not be able to answer these questions.

While you may still be asked questions upon your arrival, the process of pre-registering can help speed things up as well.

It only takes about 5 minutes and you can easily call, fax, mail, or go online (many hospitals now offer this online) to pre-register. Some providers offices will take care of this for you, however it never hurts to check in with your practice and find out.

Mission Hospital (which is our local hospital in Buncombe County, NC) has an OB/Preadmission you can update online

http://www.missionhospitals.org/obpreadmission

You may also call the hospital at:  828-213-1508