A fresh empirical look at what is happening with online dating, the pill and their long term affects on our culture today.
Have you ever been curious as to what is actually happening in your reproductive system each month? Check out this 4½ minute animation of the cycle:
It is a brief explanation of the complexities of what happens in your body each month. You will be amazed at how intricate it all is – what extraordinary creatures we women are!
The Billings Ovulation Method® can help you to manage your fertility safely, successfully and naturally.
It is the most thoroughly researched method of regulating fertility available today – natural or artificial! Over 850,000 individual hormone assays and 25+ years of research into the role and function of the cervix in human fertility. Plus countless cycles of clinical study of women’s charts.
If you are interested in details of that research we can supply them, but probably you just want to know that it will work for you. And the best way to find that out is to give it a go. What have you got to lose?
The quickest and most efficient way to learn is to find your own individual, confidential tutor Franchesca Duval right here at Blue Lotus Fertility!
Setting Yourself up for Breastfeeding Success
Breastfeeding looks like a straightforward easy experience but it can be surprisingly challenging for the first time breastfeeding mother. Here are some resources, suggestions and tools to set yourself up for a sweet successful experience.
If you are reading this and are still pregnant try to sit topless in the sun for 10 minutes a day, exposing your nipples to direct sunlight helps gently toughen them up. Also, while showering or taking a bath you can use a washcloth and gently rub it over your nipple, don’t rub until you feel pain, rub to the point that you think “hmmm that could feel painful if I kept going” the washcloth will also get your nipples used to some extra stimulation and ease the beginning breastfeeding experience.
It is important for your baby to have your breast deep inside their mouth with their lips flanged (like they are puckering up) around your nipple and some surrounding areola. If your baby is sucking on just your nipple and not the nipple and surrounding areola the latch will be painful.
It is common for first time breastfeeding mothers to experience soreness or some cracking of their nipples in the first 10 days of breastfeeding. If you see that your baby has an improper latch at your breast simply wet a clean finger with your saliva, slide it into your babies mouth alongside your breast and turn it to the side to break your babies suction so you both can try again. Calmly bring your babe back to your chest and stroke the side of their cheek or tickle their chin with your nipple to get them to open wide so you can angle your nipple towards the upper back of their palate for proper depth so there is a good latch.
In the beginning both the baby and mother are learning how to breastfeed and the mother is not used to having so much suction on her breasts. Never fear, you both will learn how feed and it will become a beautiful and enjoyable experience.
It is well worth your time to secure a few simple items before giving birth so you are prepared for a smooth and graceful transition into first time feeding. Here are some tools to help you through the first few weeks of feeding and beyond:
Tall Glasses of Water: Hydration is profoundly important during pregnancy, labor and breastfeeding. While feeding, your babe is not only getting food, they are getting hydration. It is important that the mamma stays juiced up so her milk supply is strong and her baby can receive what he/she needs. Drinking a tall glass of water (follow your thirst, if you are still thirsty keep drinking) just before or while feeding will help your milk flow easily and keep you from feeling parched.
Good Fats In Your Food: Nutrition is paramount while pregnant and continues to be while breastfeeding. Your child is literally being built off of your breast milk and everything that you choose to consume. Having healthy fats in your diet in the first few weeks will help your milk come in and create richer milk which helps your child’s growth and brain development. Good fats are fats that are organic, unprocessed and either from an animal or uncooked plant source. A good piece of steak or salmon is packed with nutrients needed to sustain mamma and babe, if mamma is vegetarian then turning towards raw, organic, cold pressed coconut oil (use it like butter on toast, in oatmeal, on potatoes – pretty much anything) as well as cold pressed, organic olive oil (don’t sauté with it, pour it over your food after it is cooked for maximum health benefit. Can be added to soups, salads, rice etc.) is wonderful. Eggs, avocados, and nut butters are also fabulous sources of healthy nourishing fats. The first few weeks after giving birth are all about maximum nourishment and rebuilding your body, not a time to worry about loosing weight. Your happy breastfeeding babe will nurse any extra fats or food you consume right off of you as they gain healthy weight.
Lanolin: Helps keep your nipples hydrated while first learning how to feed and prevents cracking and bleeding. Ideally the lanolin would be used in a situation where you are topless after feeding and alternating the breast which you are feeding from. For example, nurse your babe on your right breast until they are full then apply the lanolin to the right nipple to protect it. When your babe is hungry again they can nurse off of your left breast and after the second feeding the lanolin should be absorbed by the right nipple. Lanolin residue is not harmful to the baby, but large amounts of it should be gently wiped off before attempting to feed – this will prevent your child from slipping all over your breast and getting an improper latch. The best quality of natural lanolin I have found can be purchased here.
Proper Pillow or Prop For Shoulder Support: The first few weeks your babe will be feeding round the clock and it is important to have proper support for your upper body while you feed. Different pillows work for different stages, I personally have had the best experience with this pillow while my daughter was small (this pillow also doubles as a great way to prop babe up when they are wanting to see what is going on in the room). Once she was three months old we switched to this Sweet Pea Pillow which doubled as a fabulous maternity pillow while I needed support when sleeping with my pregnant belly. Having a pillow to rest your babe on takes the strain off of your body and allows you to fully relax which also helps your milk flow and the overall enjoyment of connecting to your child.
Happy Bonding and Nursing!
Labor Snacks, Sweet Simple Foods to Keep You Going
The process of giving birth burns on average the same amount of calories as a 30mile hike! When thinking about snacks to have on hand think hydrating, juicy, and easy to prepare treats that the momma and birth support will enjoy. All drinks can be offered through a straw for ease and sips should be given to the momma at least once every 15 minutes to help her stay hydrated.
Here are some sweet simple snack ideas to get you inspired:
Home Made Labor Popsicles:
This is a simple way to stay both hydrated, and nourished throughout labor. Many women experience nausea with contractions, and these labor pops are a great way to head that off. The coolness is also refreshing and easy to take in.
1-2 oz of dried red raspberry leaf
1 quart of water
Quart size jar with lid
Honey and lemon to taste
2-3 1mg calcium tablets
ice tray or paper dixi cups
To make the labor pops, steep 1-2 ounces of red raspberry leaf in a quart of water for at least 20 minutes up to four hours. Strain and sweeten with lots of honey and lemon, these will add much needed calories and lemon can help ease the nausea (as well as the red raspberry leaf). Crush the calcium tablets and add to the tea. Calcium is a muscle relaxant and can help with some aches and pains during labor. Pour the mixture into the ice tray. When labor commences, eat throughout the labor. They really are easy to eat when nothing else sounds to good! (credit to hakima widwifery).
Also Try Peppermint Tea pops, brew up a strong batch of peppermint tea and add a decent amount of honey to taste – the honey will give you a boost of energy while the cool refreshing peppermint will give you and your birth support just the thing you need to feel refreshed.
Instant Miso Soup is a nourishing swift snack that can be prepared with simple not water in the hospital or added to some bone broth at home (see article on making bone broth for instructions and health benefits).
Home Made Electrolyte drink:
In a mason jar of water fill with chilled fizzy water the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon, two pinches of salt and either honey or maple syrup to taste. The lemon/salt combo provides electrolytes like any energy drink without the added dyes and preservatives.
Once your baby is born the momma is going to be quite hungry (and rightfully so!) good post labor foods to have on hand are things that can be prepped/reheated easily that are rich in good fats and carbs. Think lasagnea, cheese tamales, good burger, her favorite comfort foods. The richness of the post labor meal will help the mothers breast milk to come in. Good fats and hydration are key to a healthy milk supply.
Happy Birthing and Snacking!
Have you been trying to conceive but are unable to become pregnant?
Did you know that a woman ovulates once a month and that peak moment of fertility can occur on a different day from cycle to cycle?
Did you know that it is possible to bleed every 28-35 days and not have ovulated?
It is not the bleeding that is the sign of fertility but rather the ovulation. Ovulation can be determined through sensations felt at the vulva (opening of the vagina) throughout the day and visual confirmation of cervical mucus discharged. A simple charting of the days observations provide a record for women to look back over and get acquainted with the patters of their fertility. No temperature taking or internal checking needs to occur to correctly identify peak fertility each cycle.
Through proper charting a woman can identify prime time for love making to encourage conception of a child. Proper charting gives women an understanding of what their hormones are doing throughout the cycle and provides clues to understand if not conceiving is due to lack of ovulation each month. If we find that a woman is not ovulating we can then counsel on gentle lifestyle adjustments to bring her body into natural alignment so she can conceive.
Are you looking for a method of birth control that is chemical and device free? Charting your fertility is a great solution. This is not the rhythm method, it does not involve temperature taking, day counting or internal checking.
Fertility is determined each cycle by the sensation felt throughout the day at the vulva (lowest opening of the vagina) and mucus discharged which you can see when you wipe with toilet paper. A quick recording of what you felt/saw throughout the day is added to a chart and soon you will begin to see your natural patterns of fertility. Once you can correctly identify your pattern of fertility through the help of your teacher you can begin to use that information to have sex on the days that you are infertile without fear of becoming pregnant.
Women are only fertile during one time in a cycle; during this time sperm can live inside of our bodies for up to five days. When we are infertile, sperm can only survive inside of us for three hours. The time we are fertile is when we ovulate, there are a few days leading up to ovulation and a few days after that you should avoid having sex to keep yourself from becoming pregnant. Once you have correctly identified your peak time in the month (ovulation) you can have sex any time of the day without fear of pregnancy until your next bleed when you start looking for signs of fertility again.
The few days that we are fertile can be different every cycle; the only reliable way of knowing when those days are is through the correct observations of your fertility that you and your teacher will discover through charting. The rhythm method (assuming that you ovulate on the 14th day of your cycle) is incorrect and puts you at risk for pregnancy because every cycle is different, even if you bleed every 28 days.
It is possible to be fertile during the last few days you are bleeding and it is only through understanding your signs of fertility that you could prevent pregnancy should early ovulation occur and you have unprotected sex on the last few days of your bleed.
Our bodies are actually remarkably simple and give us multiple clues as to when we are fertile so we can make educated decisions every month about whether or not we want to get pregnant. There is no need to be taking hormones, chemicals or inserting IUDs once we know how our bodies operate.
What is Fertility?
There is an unconscious story being told in our society that our fertility is a burden and liability. We are told that our fertility is something that we should suppress because having children before we want them can derail our life plans and end possible opportunities.
We are not properly taught about our bodies. Doctors and clinics do not have time to teach us so we take the prescribed methods of birth control such as hormone oral contraceptives, nuva rings, IUDs etc.
While these methods of controlling our fertility effectively prevent pregnancy they come at two major costs. The first cost comes in the form of women being robbed of the chance to fully understand their cycles. Women are only fertile during one time in their cycle and that time is easy to identify with proper training. The second cost comes from the high doses of chemicals that we now see related to increased rates of breast cancer and infertility in later years of life when women are ready to try and conceive.
If you are currently on a chemical form of birth control I invite you to ask your doctor or look online at the risks involved with using them, the list of contraindications is often longer than risks associated with smoking but no one seems to think twice about it. Why is this? I believe that people accept what is given because we think there are no other answers to harnessing our fertility. I am here to tell you that answers are available and they are simple, clear and more user friendly than you might imagine.
Lets start to reshape the way we think about our fertility.
Websters dictionary defines fertility as:
A) Producing or bearing fruit in great quantities <productive>
B) Characterized by great resourcefulness of thought or imagination
<inventive> a fertile mind
C) Capable of sustaining abundant plant growth <fertile soil>
D) Affording abundant possibilities for growth or development
E) Capable of growing or developing
When looking at fertility in it’s original definition it becomes less of something to push away and more of something to encourage.
Here at Blue Lotus Holistic Fertility and Contraception we are offering a new way of thinking about womens bodies. Holistic Fertility is a movement of being fertile with your mind, body and spirit working as one. Managing our fertility through daily awareness and observations puts us back into power because we are the ones knowing where we are in our cycles. When we put ourselves on hormones, chemicals or devices we become divorced from our innate cycle of fertility and loose touch with ourselves. How can we be whole beings when we are uneducated about such a large part of our bodies natural process? Many of us take the chemical route because we do not have access to any other information but I am here to tell you that there is a better way to prevent or encourage pregnancy.