Reverie hit a milestone moment a few weeks ago: I hit 100 posts. I know that this seems like a small thing but in the middle of having to close my clinic due to the coronavirus crisis and the drastic shifts I am making in my life to accommodate for that, I’ll take any glimmer of sunshine I can get. I wanted to do this post for my 100th post but other things took precedence. After all, this blog is here for you: as a reference to my patients and as a resource to everyone else. But whether you are a regular blog reader or not, 100 posts is a lot and it’s quite possible that you may have missed some of the most popular posts I have to offer. So that’s what today’s post is: a round up of the 10 most popular posts over the past two years. I hope that you can find something that serves you. Featured image and cover photo by Malte luk from Pexels

Milestone Moment: Reverie hit 100 posts!

Reverie hit a milestone moment a few weeks ago: I hit 100 posts.

I know that this seems like a small thing but in the middle of having to close my clinic due to the coronavirus crisis and the drastic shifts I am making in my life to accommodate for that, I’ll take any glimmer of sunshine I can get.

I wanted to do this post for my 100th post but other things took precedence. After all, this blog is here for you: as a reference to my patients and as a resource to everyone else.

But whether you are a regular blog reader or not, 100 posts is a lot and it’s quite possible that you may have missed some of the most popular posts I have to offer.

So that’s what today’s post is: a round up of the 10 most popular posts over the past two years. I hope that you can find something that serves you.

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Guest Post: Why you should consider a postpartum doula

This week I’m excited to share a guest post from one of my favorite birth workers in the Twin Cities. Lindsey Fontaine is a postpartum doula. She supports families as they transition into life with a newborn, helping them thrive and not just survive.

While many people have heard of birth doulas, postpartum doulas are a vital part of recovery and redefinition. I have a lot to say on the matter, but I am going to leave it to the postpartum doula expert:

This week I'm excited to share a guest post from one of my favorite birth workers in the Twin Cities. Lindsey Fontaine is a postpartum doula. She supports families  as they transition into life with a newborn, helping them thrive and not just survive. 

While many people have heard of birth doulas, postpartum doulas are a vital part of recovery and redefinition. I have a lot to say on the matter, but I am going to leave it to the postpartum doula expert.
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The first month of the postpartum period is the most important for recovery. Photo by Laura Garcia from Pexels

The First Month Postpartum

Postpartum care and the attitude towards postpartum recovery in this country is terrible. Part of the reason for our absolutely atrocious maternal mortality rate is that once a patient is sent home, that’s typically the end of their care. There might be a postpartum checkup a couple of weeks later but that’s the last time a patient will see their care provider until their next annual exam.

Screening for postpartum depression happens at your child’s pediatric visits and that screen ends at six weeks, well before most symptoms of PPD or PPA arise.

We have to do something about this. But instead of looking forward, many natural care practitioners are looking back. The traditions that are still alive in many other countries can be used here to support new parents during this time of transition.

I’m going to cover the first month of postpartum care from a Chinese medicine perspective, but don’t limit yourself to my view! So many other cultures have rich and supportive traditions for families that could be beneficial and all are definitely worth considering.

Kidney disharmonies and imbalances are the heart of many people’s fertility struggles. The kidneys, when combined with the liver, form the root of how hormones are developed and move throughout the body. The kidneys themselves govern our growth and development as well as our reproductive potential. And the kidneys are also one of the only systems that have a predictable pattern of change throughout our lifetimes. Understanding kidney disharmonies isn’t about preventing them like it is with liver and lung disharmonies. It’s about balancing changes to make the process of aging more comfortable and preventing that change from negatively impacting other organ systems. Because the kidney system is literally the foundation of our bodies and all of our yin and yang, I’ve divided it into two parts. Today we will discuss kidney yin deficiencies and imbalances and tomorrow’s post will discuss kidney yang disharmonies. Featured image and cover photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

Kidney Disharmonies: Foundations of Yin

Kidney disharmonies and imbalances are the heart of many people’s fertility struggles. The kidneys, when combined with the liver, form the root of how hormones are developed and move throughout the body. The kidneys themselves govern our growth and development as well as our reproductive potential. And the kidneys are also one of the only systems that have a predictable pattern of change throughout our lifetimes.

Why has #winemom become a growing hashtag? Why has this mommy wine culture simultaneously become a joke and a social movement? And why is it just moms? Why are we willing to risk depression, anxiety, weight gain, osteoporosis, premature menopause, menstrual irregularity, infertility, systemic inflammation, stomach issues, gingivitis, impaired decision making, heart disease and a wide variety of cancers for the relief of a single glass of wine at the end of the night? Because it’s our only choice. At some point our society stood up and said that we would rather sacrifice the health and well-being of our mothers than to give them the community and support they need. The jokes just make us feel better about it. Cover photo and featured image by Helena Lopes from Pexels

Mommy Wine Culture, Part 2: A Symptom of a Bigger Problem

In the last post, I spent a ton of time on a difficult topic: the health risks of mommy wine culture.

We don’t like to look at it. We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t like to hear about it. Just let us have our wine and relax. We worked 98 hours this week and we’ve earned it.

For some of you, it was a hard read. For some it was eye-opening. And for a few of you, it was “alarmist bullshit.” One particular mom said that I should be a part of the solution and not part of the problem. When I asked her what the solution was she said,

The solution is for you to mind what’s in your glass and stop worrying about everyone else.

"I vow to rescue all living beings from their sufferings...my purpose is to preserve the lives of others."
But, that’s what I vowed to do when I graduated

I get it. I do. And maybe if I wasn’t a healthcare practitioner, minding my own glass would be easier. However, alcohol isn’t good for anyone.

According to the World Health Organization,* “overall there is a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and more than 60 types of disease and injury. Alcohol is estimated to cause about 20-30% of worldwide esophageal cancer, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, homicide, epilepsy, and motor vehicle accidents.” Every year, alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths.

Statistic from Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr. Claudia Welsch, affiliate link

The 2015-2020 “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” recommends that if you have never had a drink in your life, that you shouldn’t start. Full stop.

So why, then, has #winemom become a growing hashtag? Why has this mommy wine culture simultaneously become a joke and a social movement? And why is it just moms?

Why are we willing to risk depression, anxiety, weight gain, osteoporosis, premature menopause, menstrual irregularity, infertility, systemic inflammation, stomach issues, gingivitis, impaired decision making, heart disease and a wide variety of cancers for the relief of a single glass of wine at the end of the night?

Because it’s our only choice.

At some point our society stood up and said that we would rather sacrifice the health and well-being of our mothers than to give them the community and support they need.

The jokes just make us feel better about it.

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Flower essences are ideal for emotional support, and are a great supplement to care during the postpartum period

Flower essences for the Baby Blues

Did you know that up to 75% of mothers will experience the baby blues postpartum?

The baby blues are an emotional and mental shift that happen when the cocktail of pregnancy hormones rapidly decreases while at the same time, a mother learns how to interact and care for her new baby. It’s a stressful time but it tends to be relatively short.

But 10-20% of mothers (and some new research shows that it may be higher) will develop postpartum depression, which has more severe symptoms than the baby blues and can but the mother’s life in danger. Postpartum depression or PPD often develops six months postpartum and sometimes as late as one year.

I go into more detail about the differences in this blog post but for this blog post I’d like to say right now: if you are showing signs of depression including withdrawing from friends and family, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy and having no interest in the baby talk to your midwife or primary care provider.

Flower essences can be very supportive in helping with emotional and spiritual shifts and are a powerful energetic medicine, but PPD can be life-threatening. Make sure that you have a support system in place before supplementing your care with flower essences.  

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When it comes down to it, boobs really only have one purpose: breastfeeding. That purpose is not (as was once told to me by my favorite five-year old) “to look like we have boobs.” No. It’s to feed babies, for as long as we are willing and able. Breastfeeding is great for both parents and kids. For moms, 2 years of breastfeeding throughout her life is linked to significant decreases in rates of breast cancer. The CDC also reports that breastfeeding reduces the rates of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and ovarian cancer in women. More often we talk about the benefits to our babies. Breastfeeding children significantly reduces the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), lowers the rates of colds, flus and ear infections, lowers the risk of asthma, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Breast milk is an amazing substance. So when is it safe to stop breastfeeding? What is the best cut off for mom and baby? The answer is more complicated than you may think. Cover photo and featured image by willsantt from Pexels

When to stop breastfeeding

When it comes down to it, boobs really only have one purpose: breastfeeding.

That purpose is not (as was once told to me by my favorite five-year old) “to look like we have boobs.” No. It’s to feed babies, for as long as we are willing and able.

Breastfeeding is great for both parents and kids. For moms, 2 years of breastfeeding throughout her life is linked to significant decreases in rates of breast cancer. The CDC also reports that breastfeeding reduces the rates of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and ovarian cancer in women.

More often we talk about the benefits to our babies. Breastfeeding children significantly reduces the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), lowers the rates of colds, flus and ear infections, lowers the risk of asthma, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Breast milk is an amazing substance.

So when is it safe to stop breastfeeding? What is the best cut off for mom and baby? The answer is more complicated than you may think.

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Postpartum depression affects thousands of women and is much more serious than the baby blues. Knowing the difference could save your life.

Postpartum depression and the baby blues

This has been a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time, I just haven’t known where to start. But sometimes starting a post is a matter of putting my butt in a chair and my hands on a keyboard.

We don’t like to talk about depression as a society. We talk about it in quiet places, in shadowy spaces and in clinic offices. We talk about it in shame and secrecy. And the shame and secrecy around depression is a significant contributor to the tragedy of suicide.

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