Self-Care

What can I take?

On a pretty regular basis, I have clients and others asking me what they can take for a specific concern or condition, especially in pregnancy. The typical scenario is that the person has some type of temporary illness or malady–a cold, an upset stomach, a headache–and they want to take something for it. The subtext of the question, “what can I take?” is really, “what can I take that will immediately or at least very quickly make this go away so that I can get on with my life?”

I get it. I’m busy, too, and usually don’t like being slowed down by my body. But, oftentimes, our bodies are very wise in knowing what they need, and sometimes they make us sick so that we will pay attention. Perhaps, instead of reaching for a tablet, a pill, an essential oil, or an herb, we can pause and take. . .

. . .a break. Our bodies need regular breaks from inactivity and also from activity, about every 90-120 minutes. Stand up and stretch if you’ve been sitting. Sit and meditate or pray if you’ve been busily moving. Breathe some fresh air.

. . .a drink. Are you thirsty? Many pregnant clients discover that their nagging regular headaches resolve after being more mindful about drinking more water.

. . .a snack. Modern life is busy, over-scheduled, and filled with us running from one thing to the next. When was the last time you ate some nutrient dense foods? Not just grabbing convenience items on the way to your next activity or event, but really sitting and enjoying healthful food?

. . .a nap. Even just lying down and closing your eyes in a darkened room for 20 minutes can help you to feel refreshed and ready for the rest of your day.

. . .a walk. Enjoy a vigorous walk to help your body and mind re-set.

. . .a hug. Maybe that nagging headache or the cold that won’t quit is due to stress in your relationships, and seeking connection can help your body to heal itself.

Certainly, we can’t cure all of our ills with simple lifestyle choices, but it’s always a good place to start.

Some cool resources for more information on any of the above:

Dr. Aviva Romm’s blog, podcast, and classes

The Gottman Institute for evidence-based information on romantic, family, and parenting relationships

Dr. Frank Lipman’s book How to Be Well

What resources have helped you to be well?

 

Arvigo therapy mayan abdominal massage ATMAT
about me, announcements, Arvigo, breastfeeding, forest bathing, Self-Care

Summer Thoughts

Summer seems to be inevitably winding down, even thought it’s really still just the first part of August. But that wee bit of realization that we want to hurry up and pack some fun into the days before school schedules and cold weather starts has me feeling reflective and maybe a little bit sad and weary. There never is enough time for all the fun to be had.

I was out of town the last part of July and the first week of August, in a decidedly remote location for the first part of my sojourn, for a retreat with other Arvigo® practitioners. Remote, as in, there was barely even a little bit of cell service, and there was no way I could attend to my business–phone reception was impossible, with only texts coming through occasionally, and email and social media unwilling to download with that bitty bit of reception. I didn’t even take any pictures, except for this one of Rosita Arvigo and me, which, technically I didn’t even take.

 

It was challenging and also blissful. Such is life–a little bitter with your sweet.

The gathering of Arvigo® practitioners was informative, fun, and nurturing, as I always find those gatherings to be. Rosita lead a shinrin-yoku or forest-bathing session for us. And while I struggle with the idea that we somehow need certified leaders to help us relax, it was a beautiful exercise in mindfulness. Three mindful hours in nature can have positive benefits lasting up to a week in terms of lowered stress hormones, blood pressure and blood glucose. As someone with a history of Lyme disease in myself and in my family, and with the penchant for attracting mosquitoes and other biting insects, relaxing in the woods is a tricky thing for me. But I got all covered in insect repellent, and headed out with my practitioner friends. It was a moving experience for me, and resulted in an unburdening of worries and stress that I didn’t think would really happen.

I rounded out my forest bathing by camping with my family for three additional days at Mirror Lake, near the Wisconsin Dells. Yep. No pictures. Just the after effects of spending 5 days disconnected from technology and connected with cool people.

I had some new professional photos taken in July. Unfortunately, the day was rainy, so “humid hair” will be on display in my professional pics until I do that again. I always feel awkward getting my photo taken, but I’m pretty happy with the ones from the session.

midwife home birth water birth breastfeeding arvigo

A new testimonial was shared with me, on a day that was filled with sadness and grieving for another person. I love to hear your stories about how my ministrations have helped you, but you all should know that your kindness and positive encouragement helps me as well. Even if I don’t tell you in the moment, I treasure your cards, photos, and gratitude, and they are a healing balm for my heart and soul.

Appointments in Oshkosh have been booked pretty solidly for the first two months of them at Bartelt Holistic. Because the third Thursday is coming right up here in August, I have a few openings this month. I’m offering $25 off any Arvigo® session or lactation consult if you take one of the remaining spots on Thursday, August 16th, 2018. Call 920-659-0267 to book your appointment. Consultations for home birth midwifery care are always free, and I’d be happy to book that as well!

I’ve made a commitment to walk on October 6th for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and set a personal fundraising goal of $250. I want to give back to the community in as many ways as I can, and I have been touched and helped by the work of NAMI, personally and professionally. My 2017 summer began with the news of the loss of two beautiful souls via suicide, and my 2018 summer has been sadly bookended with two additional tragic losses. Many new parents struggle with feelings of sadness, isolation, and depression. The pain is real. I pray that all aching hearts will find comfort and peace, and that people find help and support when they need it. I hope that you might consider supporting the work of NAMI with a donation for the walk.

As always, I love to hear from you with stories of how your little people are growing, and photos, and questions. Keep in touch!

postpartum doula breastfeeding baby newborn
breastfeeding, community partnerships, postpartum, Self-Care

Why you might want a doula after your birth

written by Hanna Donati

At one time, a whole village would gather around to nourish and support a new mother. Traditionally, communities would ensure mothers could stay in bed for up to forty days to ensure optimal postpartum healing and bonding. Mothers were fed, pampered, and supported emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Unfortunately, as a society we do not place value on rest. We expect ourselves to “bounce back” without allowing our bodies precious time to heal. We expect ourselves to continue our lives as normal on our own-except this time, with a brand new baby and a body rapidly changing hormonally, physically and emotionally. We have lost the cradling support of our “village”, and the rates of postpartum depression, birth injuries, and unsuccessful breastfeeding journeys are proof that we need to reconnect to this ancient wisdom.

Postpartum doula services can fill this void. Entering into motherhood is a sacred time of a woman’s life. Birth and a new addition to the family means life altering change. Although it is an exciting, precious time, many women feel stressed about the prospect of learning how to breastfeed, care for a newborn, and keep themselves (and the rest of their family) fed and clothed! In fact, when talking with my birth doula clients, one of the few things they knew about the postpartum period was that it was “terrible.” This breaks my heart!

You don’t have to be in the immediate postpartum to take advantage of a postpartum doula. Some families have support when they have a newborn, but things get sticky when the adults in the home have to transition back to full time work after a leave, and your help seems to leave you when you most need it. Don’t hesitate to contact these great service providers to see if this service is right for you.
What does a Postpartum Doula do?

  • Emotional support; an expert in your home in real time to support you
  • Provide evidence based resources to you on newborn care, breastfeeding, the postpartum period
  • Help create biologically normal routines and practices
  • Allow time for you and/or your partner to get some much-needed rest
  • Family education and older sibling support
  • Physical support for your postpartum body, helping with lifting and
    information on how the body recovers from childbirth including surgical
    birth
  • Overnight infant care works beautifully with any way you choose to feed
    your child and you get sleep
  • Breastfeeding guidance and resource referral
  • Newborn care guidance for you or other family members
  • Prepare nourishing foods with what you already have in your fridge, within the framework of any diet you adhere to
  • Light housework including organizing baby clothes, doing dishes, laundry, and making beds

Want in?

Anja has partnered with two local doula groups so that her clients can receive special offers through Bloom Doula Services of the Fox Valley (serving Oshkosh and surrounding areas) and Green Bay Doulas (serving Green Bay and surrounding areas). Please contact those providers and mention that you are or have been her client.

 

 

 

Arvigo, events, Self-Care

Arvigo® PechaKucha

That’s quite a title, isn’t it? Almost like a foreign language. Lucky for you, I’m a pretty good explainer.

My son’s very awesome public school has an annual fundraising event called Pecha Kucha. This is a simple, brief presentation style that originated in Tokyo in 2003, that helps folks to start having community conversations about great ideas. Each speaker presents a power point, 20 slides, with 20 seconds to talk about each slide. The slides advance automatically while you’re speaking. Let me tell you, as a speaker, you really have to figure out how to make your point concisely. It was a lovely challenge.

I tend to shake like a leaf in a windstorm when I’m speaking publicly, even though I’m not afraid to speak, and I usually say yes to these types of opportunities. I was grateful for the structure of the talk, and the solidness of the podium to hold on to as I was speaking.

Of course, my topic was Arvigo® Therapy. I can’t talk about it enough–I think it’s such a great tool that can help so many people. If you want a general overview, and you have 6 minutes and 40 seconds, you can view my recorded presentation here.  As I write this, it is April 16th, and we’ve had two solid days of an intense blizzard named Evelyn. Everything is closed down, and roads are impassable. It’s a great day to watch some of the other Pecha Kucha presentations from all over the world about so many topics. Learning all the time, but especially during blizzards.

Stay safe and warm, Midwesterners! The rest of you from balmy climates are so jealous that I live in a veritable snow globe, I just know it. This photo was taken yesterday, before ice started raining from the sky and an additional ten inches of snow fell. Totally jelly, aren’t you?

midwife blizzard wisconsin midwife
Blizzard Evelyn 2018

 

Arvigo Therapy ATMAT Appleton Sherwood Oshkosh Neenah Menasha Green Bay De Pere Fertility Infertility Painful periods Irregular periods
Arvigo, Self-Care

Self-Care Training

I hosted and assisted the instructor for an Arvigo® Level 1 (Self-Care) Training last weekend. Eight lovely women from nearby (Appleton, Fond du Lac), and farther away (Minneapolis/St Paul MN, Marquette Michigan, and Kentucky) came for a beautiful, intense and supportive weekend. We ate healthy food, learned the self-care protocol for the Arvigo® work, delved into the anatomy of the pelvis, shared stories, laughed and cried together.

Whenever I’m with other practitioners, the gatherings are supportive and welcoming. The community upholds the standards and ethics of the profession, and also supports each other and welcomes new practitioners with open and loving arms.

Self-Care training is open to anyone, regardless of whether or not you plan to move on to practitioner training. Anyone with a belly can benefit from the gentle self-care that is taught during an Arvigo® session and at the full weekend retreat training.

There will be more offerings of class and gatherings! Stay tuned to this space, as well as my business Facebook page for updates on 2018 happenings!