What is GBS and How You Can Prevent Colonization

What is GBS? GBS (group B streptococcus) is a naturally occurring organism found in the human intestinal tract. Through migration it colonizes the rectum and vaginal tracts of many women.

Why does my midwife swab for GBS in pregnancy? At about 35-36 weeks gestation your care provider will do a vaginal/rectal swab to test for GBS. This is a standard protocol due to the fact that bacterial transmission to the newborn occurs during birth. If you are positive for GBS, it is protocol for hospitals and birth centers to give IV antibiotics during labor.

What can I do to prevent GBS colonization? Prophylactically there are measures women can take to prevent GBS colonization. Below I have listed some recommendations. These protocols can be used throughout pregnancy, especially in the third trimester!

  • Avoid wearing thongs. Wearing 100% cotton underwear will keep the area dryer and less moist, which prevents bacteria from growing.
  • Eat fermented foods. Kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi- these are examples of good bacteria foods that help control and regulate the growth of bad bacteria.
  • Take your probiotics. Probiotics in pregnancy are important for several reasons. Keeping your intestinal flora healthy is one of them!
  • Cook with coconut oil. Known for its antibacterial properties, coconut oil can also be inserted vaginally and even used for lubrication during sex!
  • Consume less sugar. Sugar feeds the yeast and bad bacteria in our bodies. Avoid eating too many foods that contain refined sugars.

 

 

Those GOOD Hormones!

Although there is very little hard scientific research on placentophagy it is important to recognize that the anecdotal evidence has been consistent and strong. I love reading stories about mamas who felt more loving and energized after consuming their placenta. I know for sure that those good hormones stored during pregnancy are being put to wonderful use postpartum! Here is a breakdown of the hormones found in the placenta and what they can provide if consumed PP: 

  • Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone: Contributes to mammary gland development in preparation for lactation; stabilizes postpartum mood; regulates post-birth uterine cramping; decreases depression; normalizes and stimulates libido.

 

  • Oxytocin: Decreases pain and increases bonding in mother and infant; counteracts the production of stress hormones such as Cortisol; greatly reduces postpartum bleeding; enhances the breastfeeding let-down reflex.

 

  • Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH): Low levels of CRH are implicated in postpartum depression. Regulation of CRH helps prevent depression.

 

  • Prolactin: Promotes lactation; increases milk supply; enhances the mothering instinct.

 

Herbal Sitz Baths: Postpartum

Herbal baths in the postpartum period can definitely be a calming comfort for a mama. I am beginning to make and sell herbal bundles for sitz baths. These bundles can be used postpartum and any time after pregnancy, during a menstrual cycle, menopause, or just after a hard day. Each muslin bag contains sea salt, lavender blossoms, plantain leaf, witch hazel, calendula petals, rose petals, and chamomile. This combination of ingredients allows for muscle relaxation combined with a soothing, healing effect for the tired body.

Fill up the tub with hot water, drop one muslin bag full of herbs in, let steep. Wait until the tub is comfortable temperature then soak and enjoy. These sitz bath bundles can be purchased just be shooting me an email adelyn.tomlinson@gmail.com.

*For postpartum mamas, your health care provider will let you know when it is OK to take a bath after baby. If you have stitches, you may want to limit yourself to one bath per day.

 Herbal Bath Ingredients

Herbal Bath Ingredients

Isn't My Placenta Full of Toxins? A FAQ of Placenta Encapsulation

Answer:

The placenta is a miracle organ. It exchanges gases and nutrients from moms blood stream to baby's. The placenta does safeguard baby from toxins but these toxins are not stored in the placenta. So any fetal waste or toxins belonging to mom are filtered back through the blood to be disposed of by liver or kidneys. The placenta IS full of incredible hormones and nutrients which can all be consumed for their benefits, postpartum! 🌳❤ 

Placenta Tinctures: A True Magic Potion

What are Placenta Tinctures?

Tinctures are an excellent way to ensure the longevity of the placenta. The Tinctures I offer are made with 100% organic alcohol and a thumbnail size of the placenta. A few drops from the tincture can be used to relieve menstrual cycle symptoms for mama, they also can be used for hormonal stabilization for the biological mothers daughter. Tinctures last forever!- they even can be used to stabilize menopausal symptoms later in life. AMAZING! ✨

The Amazing and Wonderful Placenta!

Last weekend I attended a training to become a placenta encapsulation specialist through IPPA (International  Postpartum Placenta Association). I am so excited to share and being encapsulation for mamas throughout the Los Angeles area. Two things I would like to share about my training that I found fascinating:

Placenta Salves: A placenta salve is a topical cream made with herbs, oils, and the placenta. This topical can be rubbed on the skin for anti aging and healing benefits. Salves can also be used to heal C section wounds. The salve can lessen scarring, itching, and discomfort. It can also be used 3 days postpartum for perineal tearing or hemorrhoids. 

Placenta Tinctures: The placenta tincture is a great way to get life long use out of your placenta! A tincture is made with a high grade alcohol and piece of the placenta placed into a dropper container. Women can use their own tincture to stabilize hormones during their menses or even in menopause by taking 7-10 drops 3-4 times a day! 

The Placenta is just plain amazing! I will be incorporating the tinctures and salves into my practice of encapsulation as well and I hope that many mamas can enjoy the benefits of their own placenta products.  A reminder that all products of the placenta are nutritional supplements and may not work for everyone. Any allergic reactions, discomfort, etc and these products should be discontinued. 

Yoni Steams

Herbal Vaginal Steams should be the new normal for menstrual regularity, pain relief, and reproductive well being. A vaginal steam is a safe and relaxing method to heal your womb and honor your feminine balance. V steams can be used for a number of reasons such as bacterial imbalance, painful periods, uterine prolapse, as well as fertility conditions.  Preparing a steam with fresh herbs is simple and non time consuming. Dried and fresh oregano, basil, lavender, and rosemary are common herbs used for V steams. The medicinal properties of these plants enter through the pelvis and heal from within. If your moon cycles are full of hormonal imbalance, frustration, and pain an herbal steam could be an empowering ritual. Natural Health Methods + Self Care = Feminine Health Wisdom Done Right. 

 Example of a vaginal steam for dysmenhorrhea: Grab two handfuls of fresh Oregano and one handful of fresh Basil and place herbs in a half gallon mason jar. Pour boiling water over the herbs and let the herbs seep in the water for about 10 minutes. This allows for the herbs to release their natural medicine. Once the herbal water is cool enough (should be hot, but not too hot) place the mason jar in a steaming stool or chair. Allow yourself to relax into the steam and wrap your lower half in a blanket so that the steam is contained. The steam should last about 15-20 minutes. Use this time to breath, relax, or read a book. Listen to your body. V steams should be done right before bed so that your body can rest post steam. (Steams should not be performed while menstruating, pregnant, or while you have an infection. Always consult your healthcare provider before performing a vaginal steam.) 

Bougainvillea Flower Essence

When I first visited California I immediately was drawn into the beauty of the desert. The cacti, succulents, sage, and the overwhelming vibrant bougainvillea bush. The bright pink and purple flowers add such beauty to the bustling streets of Los Angeles. They climb the sides of apartments and nestle on walls, giving sidewalks showers of pale fuchsia light during magic hour. The plant is simply joyful!

To my surprise bougainvillea isn't just uplifting for the eyes. After doing some research on the flower essences of Southern California I came across the bougainvillea flower essence which is derived from the tiny white flowers on the inside of the vibrantly colored leaves which are often mistaken for the actual flower. The white flower inside the pink leaves is said to mirror the innocence of the soul. The innocence is surrounded by the colorful and complicated leaves which could compare to the complications and weariness of the world that interfere so often with the simple nature of the spirit.

Bougainvillea flower essence can be a tool for those of us whose daily lives are affected in some way with crisis and constant distraction of emotion. Bougainvillea essence can bring a sense of inner peace and calm the wild inner spirit and allow the body to deal with grief or sadness. For those not fully dealing with their emotions, but perhaps using deflection methods, this flower essence can bring a certain soulful depth from which transformation for a peaceful spirit can occur.

I moved across the country to start midwifery school. (As a side note;  according to the Bach Flower Essences, bougainvillea essence can be helpful in turning breech babies. Acupuncture and moxibustion may also be helpful in turning breech babies but it is so amazing to me that bougainvillea may also help!)

 

 

Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery, San Diego

A few months ago I received an email informing me that I had been accepted into midwifery school. I am beyond excited and thrilled to be starting at Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery this October. When I attended orientation in mid August our class was presented with the question: What kind of midwife do you want to become? What are your goals and future plans as a midwife?

For me this question is limitless and I hope to learn more about what I want in a practice along my journey to becoming a certified midwife. 

One of my main priorities as a student and a future midwife is to work with COHI (Circle of Health International) helping women around the world gain access to important information regarding their reproductive health. 

Another major goal of mine is to work and train with an alchemist and learn more about the importance and effectiveness of botanical medicine in correlation to women's reproductive health. 

Baby Catcher

I recently finished Peggy Vincent's "Baby Catcher" Tales of a Modern Midwife and this book was beyond inspiring. This book is a very helpful resource to anyone interested in the birth field but also to newly pregnant women who want some real talk and honest stories about home and hospital birth. As Peggy recalls several stories of her many clients one can't help but  be drawn in to every detail of pain and suffering that leads to an overwhelming peace and joy. She also shares a lot about her personal life and how her career as a midwife demanded a lot from her husband and three children. Peggy is a a true role model of a midwife in every sense. She is honest and outright with her experiences and I think this is so important, now than ever, in the birth community. Peggy's book has only furthered my excitement to begin midwifery school!

Labor Support Doula

The presence and support of a doula can bring strength and enhance the birthing experience. Through the woman's own natural child-birthing tools, the doula ensures confidence and allows her to fully extend her strength through each rush of labor. Intuitively, each woman is given the ability and knowledge to give birth. The doula aids in making those tools more fruitful so that the mother to be can be as attentive as possible to her body and environment.