Normalize Breastfeeding / World Breastfeeding Week 2018

My body feeds / contracts / reacts and breathes // I multiply / I replete / I complete cycles on repeat // I’m from the heavens / I’m from the earth / I’m from the places that you’ve never heard. – excerpt from Celestial Bodies

| n o r m a l i z e  B R E A S T F E E D I N G |

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Photo cred: Mama Niela. Click on the photo for more of her phenom work!

Is it cray to anyone else that we need to normalize something that’s…normal?! So normal in fact that it happens as naturally as breathing. The female body lactates, it’s what it does after giving birth. Yes, I’m aware that some women have issues with breastfeeding, I was one of those women, but my body did produce milk all on its own within days of birthing this big ole baby. For me, it was never a question of if I was going to breastfeed, if I could, I was going to, it’s what I was looking forward to the most, since that’s something I missed out on doing with my first. I did however romanticize the easiness of it. It was hard and really freakin painful. I had no idea how to do it or how much support I would need or that I would need to be taught how to do it. I envisioned birds would chirp around us as deer gathered at my feet and light beams shot out of us the moment his lips attached to my breast in an effortless latch. HAHA! Not quite. Thank Goddess for my midwife, postpartum doulas & lactation consultants (I was seen by 3!) because no one in my family had much advice on the matter as I contacted female family members crying and looking for encouragement only to find out that I was one of 3 out of 23 women in my immediate family to breastfeed. Yup. That’s it. It hasn’t been common, it’s def not normalized and breasts are still overtly sexualized and gross- ew boobs! I am part of a lineage of women who chose to formula feed vs breastfeed. I was a formula-fed baby, so I’m not completely dissing it. I seem to have turned out fine and I have one hell of an immune system. Finding out I was in the minority in my family tho led me to ask why on a larger scale and I began learning that women were sold “convenience” by a big ass *$70 billion industry and lied to about our milk. Women were made to feel that breastfeeding was inconvenient, dirty and that our milk, the one that is chemically altered on the daily to meet our babies needs, is inferior to formula and EVEN COW’S MILK for Goddess sakes! Why would I feed my baby another mammal’s milk if I have the ability to feed them my own…I rant. Scene.

I didn’t realize what a supportive breastfeeding bubble I live in, in Southern California until I traveled to the east coast this spring. I did not expect to feel so out of place, judged and even shunned while nursing my baby.
Here’s a few of the things I heard from my family:
Ugh! He spit up on me! It’s her milk, so gross. (Male to a group of male family members).
Oh god, you’re breastfeeding right now?! (Male. We were in the dark and Baby was in a carrier, but the mere thought of me breastfeeding was enough for him to have to leave the premises).
Could you cover up while we’re here? I don’t think 91yo Grandpa G can handle seeing you breastfeed. (Male).
I thought only my mom did that. (11 year old Female, because she has not seen ANYONE else nurse!)
You can give him some whole milk now. (Female, also a head nurse at her hospital. My son was 7 months old).
What’s your nursing plan? How long do you plan on breastfeeding him? (Male & Female from the east coast to the west coast x100, everyone feels the need to know how long I plan to whip out the titty to feed my baby as if it somehow affects their life).

All of the above and so much more because my son does not like to be covered up while nursing, I mean, would you want to eat blindfolded under an unventilated piece of fabric? This, is why we have to normalize. Our bodies, the female body, the ones that choose to birth, were also created to sustain our babies lives. In fact the World Health Organization recommends “breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.” In Amuuurica, we are dealing with dum dee dum dums in our government that didn’t even want to sign a breastfeeding resolution that basically states “countries should limit the misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes, as a mother’s breast milk has been shown to be the healthiest for children in decades of research.” And yet there’s more, “The resolution was expected to pass easily, but U.S. delegates aimed to remove language that encouraged countries to ‘protect, promote and support breast-feeding’ in an alleged alignment with baby formula manufacturers.” The American hypocrisy-democracy live in the sticky icky green-lined pockets of loyal lobbyists, who they brought WITH them to the damn Assembly in Geneva! Oh and PS., the US threatened other countries into not signing it until they were ultimately foiled by none other than MotherEffing Russia. How fitting?

If I still lived where I was raised, I’m not sure that I would have made it through those first 7+ weeks to my now “lookin hella easy” breastfeeding status. I can do this shit walkin, talkin and chewin gum now, so yeah, I’m a BF-G. To all of the badass breastfeeding Mamas out there, keep posting your beautiful boobies, your stories and the FACTS to support the Mothers that choose to and can breastfeed feel less nervous and more supported! No one should ever be shamed or sexualized (unless you’re into that) when it comes to feeding and connecting with our babies! I will continue breastfeeding (read: breastfeed forever) to normalize it in my own family!

I’ll leave you with this.

“A 2016 study published by The Lancet says breastfeeding could save the lives of 823,000 children and 20,000 mothers each year. In addition, universal breastfeeding could save $300 billion in reduced health care costs and improved economic prospects for children.”

*The Times reported that the baby food market is a $70 billion industry.

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– xOx

 

Pregnancy and Weed

Candles glow // I close eyes for the wishes I blow // Seeds I sow // For the chance to know // Your healing soul // Grow Flower grow.

This week I had the honor of guest writing for the blog, Jane Dope, “a blog by and for women who love Cannabis.” on the super taboo topic of smoking weed while pregnant. In the article, I share my personal thoughts and experiences. Here’s an excerpt:

“I’m a planner and a researcher living a hippie lifestyle. I don’t just put anything into or on my body without proper investigation, so to smoke during my pregnancy was a conscious choice.” 

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to share my story on a female-driven platform for other conscious tokers. I hope that it can bring some understanding to those that may judge us and also share a light with those who feel alone or even ashamed by their marijuana use.

Peep the full story here.

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A gloriously full 10 months pregs!

– xOx

The Many Uses of Coconut Oil

Let me lick you up and down til you say stop. – Silk

Check out 5 different ways to use coconut oil here.

I love me some coconut oil. You can use it for practically anything I swear! My top daily uses are:

  1. Oil pulling!This 3,000ish year old practice comes from Ayurvedic medicine. You swish coconut oil around in your mouth for about 20 minutes to release the demons! and to pull toxins out. Spit it out when done, do NOT swallow (that’s what she said!). “Recent studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath.”
  2. Moisturizer!– Raw shea butter is hella hard, so I add coconut oil to it and blend it up together to make a creamy and luscious body butter. I use it on my hands, my feet and for my abdominal womb massage nightly.
  3. Hair growth!– My main squeeze is trying to grow his hair out and Southern California is hella dry, so I mix Tea Tree Oil in a glass container with coconut oil to massage into his scalp, this stimulates hair growth and combats the dry flakies! It’s a 2fer! 2 treatments in 1 mixture!
  4. Cooking!– I love the taste of coconut, it makes me feel like I’m in the tropics somewhere. Coconut oil doesn’t break down at high temperatures like other oils so it’s good for high temp cooking, especially rice dishes (mmmmm!). Now I know some people don’t prefer the taste of coconuts (like how?) but Trader Joe’s got ya covered, they make a triple filtered coconut oil that takes most if not all of the wonderful coconut flavor out. If you don’t live near a TJ’s, you can also get it here!
  5. LUBE!– yes honey! Lubrication for sexy time! Coconut oil is naturally antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal, isn’t that amazing?! It got me smellin like a damn summer paradise between the legs and between the sheets! I used to work in sex retail and I’ve used a plethora of lubes from silicone, to water and all those in between and coconut oil is by far my fave! It works for partner use and solo play either with or without your adult toys. Side note: Make sure all your toys are high grade silicone, glass, metal or crystals! 🙂 Those are the only materials I recommend to go into your body, this goes for men, women and non binary!
  6. Baby’s Bum and other skin irritations!– This wasn’t in the original video, but coconut oil is a daggone miracle worker! Anytime my son has a small skin irritation, whether that be in his diaper area or under his armpit or some other roll that’s not being clean properly b/c babies stay sweatin, I clean it and then put a little coconut oil on it and BAM! it’s gone by the next day if not in a matter of hours!

I’ve listed my top 6 daily uses here, but there’s so many more!! Here’s an article from another awesome mama with 101+ uses and benefits for home AND beauty! That’s so many!!

So what are you waiting for? Go get some right now!

– xOx

Baby’s First Cold Remedies

Mornings filled with ritual // chants to protect // Let no harm come to him // my fully realized classic hymn. Excerpt from King of Kings.

Dealing with my baby’s cold here.

My baby got his first cold!!! Wannnh! I know it’s inevitable and his immune system does need to build up its strength, but I was hoping we had another few months before he got sick. Like I really thought maybe around 9-12 months, y’know, because of the super duper forcefield and otherworldly power of my breastmilk! But alas…he got that runny nose y’all and word on the street is, babies can get sick 6-8 times before they turn 1! WTF?!? Seriously. I know I’m living in LaLa Land, both literally and figuratively, but I hope babes doesn’t get sick again for the rest of this year! Praying his immune system has gotten really strong this go round!

Anyhoo. He got sick, I freaked (aka scoured the internet to make sure it wasn’t the plague) and these are the things I found to help and they seem to be working!

  1. Sauna it out! Go into el baño, run the hot water, put some drops of peppermint oil and *eucalyptus oil* in the bath and let the room steam with aromatherapy! We sat in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes tops. NOT in the shower, just in the bathroom on the toilet, breathing. (This one was hard for me because I HATE wasting water, but it does feel like it helps a lot.)
  2. Suck boogies! The classic blue bulb syringe BS that we all know and loathe. Every mother receives one through the hospital, their registry or from some well-meaning person and it’s quite frankly a piece of doo doo! It really can’t do anything, look at the teeny tiny hole and long slender nozzle, that hole isn’t pulling in diddly squat and that violent nozzle is going to stab the baby in the brain. PLUS you can’t see inside of it to see if it’s getting anything (it’s not) or clean it, that’s just gross. So… I tried sucking babe’s boogers out with my mouth, yes, I did that, I know, I know, but it is a thing and I was desperate! However it didn’t work well. Then after some more internet digging, I found this amazing mama’s post and immediately ordered the Frida Baby! It basically marries me sucking boogers out of his nose with the blue bulb blob and it’s SO much better! You put one end in the baby’s nose and it creates a suction around their nostril and then the other end in your mouth to suck. Don’t worry, there’s a long ass tube and a filter, so no boogies get in your mouth! Seriously though, it gets so much mucus out! There was a point where I felt like I was sucking his brains out because the mucus wouldn’t stop coming! How would he have lived with all that snot in there? I felt like a hero, I don’t think he saw me the same though. FYI *Do not do a saline flush more than 2-3x a day for over 4 days, you run the risk of drying baby’s nose out too much.*
  3. Oil Diffuser/Cool Mist Humidifier! I live in California where it’s hella dry! We’ve been running a Young Living Essential Oils diffuser which also works as a cool mist humidifier in the room for pretty much 24 hours a day. I added peppermint oil to it for a menthol-y scent to help open up babes nasal passages.
  4. Baby’s Positioning! For the first 2 days and 2 nights I slept in a recliner with my big ole baby on my chest. It felt like we were back on his newborn schedule, sleeping off and on every 1-2 hours. I believe it helped the phlegm not pool in his throat and I loved sleeping with him like we did when he was first born! *Memories* He’s back in our bed now and I’ve been keeping him on his stomach or laying him on an incline, his whole upper back inclined, not just his neck, you never want anything to compress the neck area. I also worked from and hung out in the room on these days to watch him breathe, because…mommy paranoia! If your little one sleeps in a crib. Roll up some towels and put under the side of the mattress where their head is so there’s a slight incline, again for that mucus drainage. YUCK!
  5. Onion! A super holistic mommy friend of mine told me about this, “quarter an onion and put it in every room of the house. It will purify the air of anything airborne.” I trust this woman and what she tells me, so I did it. It definitely added a scent that I believed was taking out all the “bad” with it. I also found this article by a Mama in Indonesia who uses the onion method and adds *eucalyptus oil. She has some other fab tips as well.
  6. Bath! We took a nice warm bath and afterwards, he got a lovely massage with coconut oil. I concentrated on his crown chakra and the bottoms of his feet in hopes that it will ignite healing from both ends!
  7. TLC! I’ve just stayed with him all day and all night. I’m there for whatever he needs, whenever he needs it. We haven’t left the bedroom in 3 days. I let him nurse on me as often as he wants and we’re both naked, so he can have the boob whenevs. We sleep, we read books and I hold him, a lot. My lower back is def in need of a good stretch and workout this week, but right now, being here is worth every minute! Now I know how my Mama felt when she would bring pillows in the bathroom and sleep on the floor with me when I was sick. Mommies ARE heroes! 🙂

I hope some of these work for you as they’ve been working for us. He still has a lingering cough that we’ve been told by a doctor can last another 1-2 weeks as the postnasal drip clears. BOO! So we’re still using the humidifier, steams and baby positioning. LET THIS COLD END!!!

Blue bulb of death.                            Suck them baby boogies out right!

– xOx

Book Reviews: Nutrition!

Oh snap! My first book review here.

As a vegetarian/wanna be vegan (like 89% vegan) who wants to get pregs, I have received an onslaught of opinions and theories from other people.

#1. I would have to start eating meat again if I want the baby to get the proper nutrition or even just to conceive, “bone broth, bone broth, bone broth”- ugh!

#2. But the cravings! If the baby wants meat, mama is going to have to eat meat.

#3. It’s not healthy to be a vegetarian/vegan and get pregnant, be pregnant, nurse, etc.

#4. Blah, blah, blah!

Welp! Shut it up! I mean, I know that when most people share thoughts and opinions, it’s coming from a well-meaning place, but I’m just not into meat like that. Sorry meat, it’s not you, it’s me. Oh, also the pure disgustingness that is factory farming, rotting flesh that’s been on the shelves longer than it should be and a whole bunch more that’s actually our government’s fault! I’ve never been a big meat eater and have loved veggies since I was a kid, broccoli was my ish! I was a vegetarian in elementary school, ate meat (amongst a number of other unhealthy habits) in high school and then came back around to my veggie-lovin self consciously, 4 years ago. I kind of figured that someones, somewheres out there had to have had healthy conceptions, pregnancies and children with a plant-based diet and thus I was led by one of those people to two books. The Kind Mama by Alicia Silverstone and Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. They both definitely echo each other, but hey, repetition is the mother of mastery and they confirm all the theories of my own intuition, that a plant-based diet is a totally doable and healthy way to have a pregnancy. I watch my protein, my calcium, my folate (the natural occurring version of folic acid), etc, etc on an app called My Fitness Pal, it’s heeeeeeella tedious, but I know where I’m coming up short and/or over on. I feel like I’m watching my food intake more now than when I went through a fitness bootcamp pre-wedding sans working on my 6-pack, let’s be real, my 4-pack! But it’s for da baby!! Happy healthy eating everyone!

– xOx

Fertility Smoothie

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates

Making my daily fertility smoothie here!

Mmmm fruit smoothies and preventative food medicine that packs a nutritional punch! POW! There’s a number of things that make a smoothie great and if you’re a little veggie-lover like me, one of the major things is making sure I’m getting the right fats and PROOOOOTEIN! I’m all about that protein life and it’s the annoying question every carnivore will ask, “how do you get your protein?” “Umm there’s a rack of sources, oh limited thinker that’s been conditioned by our meat industry.” Each of my protein shakes typically has 30+ grams of protein per serving. Now, let me hurry up and write this post so I can go make one!

My typical daily smoooovie!

Almond Milk. 8-12oz. I’m not that intense yet that I make my own almond milk and I tend to lean towards the unsweetened option of the Trader Joe’s brand.

Juice, *optional* If I happen to have some delish fresh juice in the house, I’ll add a few ounces up in the mix for flavor and to thin it out a bit.

– H2o. I always add a couple ounces of water because my smoothies tend to come out on the thick side and Mama likes to be able to actually drink them sans a spoon!

Coconut Oil. 1-2TB. Fat, fat, fat, fat, fat! We need fat, point blank period and this is coming from a pretty vain Queen, but our bodies need the good fat to function properly. The fat that comes from coco oil helps balance our hormones, gives our body the fat it needs to use and store as well as giving us healthy fat for pregnancy, our future babies’ brains and has been shown to increase the Laurie acid content in breast milk! BOOM! Not to mention it’s great lube too ;)~ don’t worry, that will be a whole ‘nother post in itself! Trader Joe’s has a pretty good variety of coco oil to choose from these days.

Flax Seed Oil. 2TB. Hands down if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you need Omega 3s, it’s a must for us! Flax seed is a great source of omega 3s and fiber, but it’s not the only way to get them now. We also have the option of chia seeds and walnuts, but they don’t go down as smoothly in a smoothie without additional prep work, so I opt for the Snappie way and oil it is! I eat chia on my oatmeal, cereal and salads and snack on walnuts on their own! You can find it in the vitamin section of Trader Joe’s!

Vegan Protein. 1 scoop. I try to only buy protein that has multiple protein sources and at least 20 grams of protein. My FAVORITE brand, again, is Garden of Life specifically their RAW Organic Protein, “Raw Organic Protein is a Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified RAW Vegan Protein powder made with 13 Raw sprouted proteins delivering 22 grams of protein that is dairy free with a complete profile of all the essential amino acids along with added whole food fat-soluble vitamins, probiotics and enzymes.” (lifted directly from their site!) and I mean really do I need to write or sell it anymore?

Peanut Butter. 1-2TB. Legit, I go through about a jar of PB a week, forreals, in my smoothies, cereal, oatmeal and sometimes just on a spoon with a glass of almond milk. It’s got more FAT, the good kind, it’s a great source of protein and the kind I buy, again from Trader Joe’s, has no other ingredients other than peanuts! GASP!?! We don’t need all those other added ingredients says I? It’s true.

Shatavari Root Powder. 1/2 tsp. Go here for a full spread on the Shatavari Root, but if you’re just gonna stick to this page, here’s a real quick rundown of Shatavari. It’s an Aryurvedic herb known as “woman with 100 husbands” okay?! It’s a great herb for ampin’ up that libido, fertility and even lactation…pump, pump it up, in all the ways.

Las fruttas. I eye this out, but if you want measurements, like 1/2 of each piece of fruit I have and I have my faves naturally. Bananas blend hella well, so does papaya and it seems I also use a lot of mango and pineapple (if the latter 2 aren’t in season, I usually buy the bag of chopped and frozen from TJ’s). I love me some avocado too, it makes the smoothie creamy delish and of course adds more of that good fat! Of course if I don’t have any of those, I just use whatever fruit is in the house, apples, pears, melons, blueberries, whatever’s in season and in my fridge. Chop it and screw it!

Now, mix all these ingredients up in whatever blender you have, I use a Ninja, which works totally fine, but am suuuper pressed to get a Vitamix! There’s gotta be a raffle or something somewhere! Let me know!

PS. Do I sound like a Trader Joe’s junkie or like I’m getting a kickback from TJ’s? I wish I was!! Hey TJ, send a gift card this way!

– xOx