Tag Archives: Mary Ewing

Meet the Beeyoutiful Team: Mary Ewing

Meet the Team from Beeyoutiful.com

Welcome! It’s time again to go behind the scenes at Beeyoutiful. Today we’re visiting with the irreplaceable Mary Ewing. 

Meet the Team from Beeyoutiful.com

What are you in charge of at Beeyoutiful?

A little bit of everything! For the last few years, my job has heavily revolved around Customer Service, but lately I have switched hats and have started focusing on new product development and marketing! I have loved loved being so involved with Customer Service and interacting with our customers, but I do have to say the new products and marketing are amazing.

Mary Ewing from Beeyoutiful.com

Mary Ewing from Beeyoutiful.com

What do you do every day?

My days change up a lot too because I am also a mom of five little kids! Most days, I try to get up and work a few hours before lunch, and then after lunch while the kids are doing rest time. But usually I stay up late working while it is quiet in the house. I am thrilled we are getting an office building large enough for me to be at with the kids. So my days will probably change. My husband, Tal, works managing inventory and shipping, so occasionally when I need to be hands on or dedicated time to write, we trade off and he works from home with the kids.

What can customers count on you for?

I love to interact with customers and help answer questions and even with my slight switch in focus with my job, will still be available to do that, so keep emailing me! I love getting to know our customers. You can always count on me to take your product suggestions into consideration as I help plan out new products, education information on health, and working to make sure your experience in the Beeyoutiful Family is a good one!

What do you do to support your own health?
My health journey started about 8 years ago as a nurse who totally discredited holistic techniques. But my son’s health was not responding to conventional treatments and I was desperate. I had met Steve Tallent in Russia when I was a teenager and reconnected with him and Steph about the same time. Over the next few years, their gentle sharing of lifestyle modifications that had benefited their family seemed to leak into my life too. As I made baby steps (and am still making baby steps), I have seen remarkable changes in our family’s health.

I recently felt like I hit a plateau in my health and have taken a step back, gotten some bloodwork processed to assess the foods that are causing inflammation in my body, taken some time off those foods and added in foods and supplements to heal my gut at the same time. I am feeling better than ever and looking forward to continuing health!

When you’re not working on Beeyoutiful projects, what’s one way that you enjoy spending your time?

I love gardening, spending time in nature with my kiddos, knitting, reading, cooking…..and a lot of other things. But am hoping to very soon move on to our own small homestead. We have dreamed of this for about 6 years and although we are able to do some at our rental house, it will be amazing to have our own place to develop generational legacy.

Leave a message for Mary in the comments below, and see her view on the world on Instagram. Be sure to visit her online store, Duck River Naturals, for her own selection of momma-approved items. You can read her Beeyoutiful blog posts here, and meet the rest of the team here

Marjoram Tips

New to Marjoram? Want to know what role it can play in your house?

– Diffuse Marjoram to help increase clarity of mind and decrease stress, while supporting healthy brain activity.
– Diffuse Marjoram blended with Chamomile (1:1) to encourage a restful night’s sleep. Use with a carrier oil to massage the neck and shoulders for extra relaxation.
– Blended with a carrier oil (3:1) such as our Sweet Almond Oil, Marjoram can be used as a massage oil after workouts, during illnesses, or to relieve sore muscles.

Thanksgiving Joy

Thanksgiving Joy

There is nothing that says holidays to me more than the aroma of spices floating through my busy household. The kids are running in and out of the house with red cheeks and leave sticking out of their hair. Yummy savory meal bubbling on the stove and my favorite warm drink by my desk!

To set the tone in our house, we diffuse this wonderful blend. It is reminiscent of holiday wassails and baked goods!

10 drops of Cassia Essential Oil
10 drops of Orange Essential Oil

How to Make a Perfect Cup of Tea

Beeyoutiful announced this month the recent purchase of MoreThanAlive.com. Along with the company came an inventory of great herbs and other amazing products such as bulk foods, scarves and hair sticks, to name just a few.

If you are like me, I have used teas my entire life, but the concept of using herbs was less familiar to me. Thankfully, this summer I began studying for my Master Herbalist Certification and have almost completed the Family Herbalist portion of the course. With my interest in herbs already piqued, I was more than excited to discover we would be acquiring herbs in our new product line!

When beginning in the world of herbs, all the new options and information can seem overwhelming. My suggestion is to start small and learn about each herb, one at a time, and discover how it works. Then tackle the next one that strikes your fancy.

One of my personal favorites is Spearmint. It’s a deliciously minty herb with a lovely aroma that makes a perfect tea for all year round. It is lovely served warm, or chilled over ice. While Spearmint is historically known to be very beneficial to aid in digestion, we find it is delightfully refreshing for general use. Don’t wait for a tummy ache to an excuse to try out Spearmint!

Rule of Thumb for Herbal Tea

1 teaspoon of loose herbs
8 oz of freshly boiled distilled water

Steep for 5-20 minutes depending on the strength desired.

You will want to use distilled water because it is what is known as a “hungry” water. All the minerals and nutrients that can be found in water have been distilled out and it is ready to receive the nutrients from the herb. This allows you to get the maximum benefit from your herbal tea.

For more information on the use of herbs and their many benefits, I highly suggest browsing the selection of books we have available to learn more. If you have questions about herbs, feel free to send me an email; I’d love to hear from you!

~ Mary Ewing

More Than Skin Deep- Spring 2013 Catalog

More than Skin Deep

Solving Problems on the Surface by Healing Inside

Mary Ewing

Mary Ewing Bio Picture 

Beauty may only be skin deep, but problems that show up on the surface often are not. They come from hidden places in the gut and become painful and impossible to ignore on our skin. Yet most conventional treatments offer little hope, with words like “idiopathic” (unknown cause), “lifelong and chronic,” and “no cure.” If you’ve ever sought treatment for skin problems, you’ve likely been offered a steroid cream or ointment to help with discomfort but given little actual help curing the fundamental problem. Doctors often do not even recognize the presence of underlying causes.

Although I’ve experienced a few mild bouts of adult onset acne, my main battle with skin problems has been on behalf of my son. Our sweet Elliot was born six years ago and struggled with stomach issues from the beginning. He eventually developed extreme eczema—to the point that his feet would crack and bleed when he walked. At times, he screamed for hours on end because of the discomfort. A doctor “assured” us this was “hopefully” just a childhood problem he would grow out of but left open the dismal prospect that it could be a lifelong condition. As instructed, we smothered the affected areas with an assortment of creams, all of which included petroleum or steroids, and none of which did a bit of good. It broke our hearts. For almost a year, my husband and I took turns sleeping on an air mattress by Elliot’s bed so we could press on his breakouts to help relieve the pain and “itchies” when he woke up in the night.

Gutting It Out

Studies show that most skin disorders are related primarily to the gut—either with food allergies or intolerances—and/or poor bowel health altogether. This is especially true for those whose bodies have significant yeast overgrowth. When we discovered the skin-gut connection, we began to explore healing through adjustments in Elliot’s diet. Recognizing that healthful eating would benefit the whole family, I made sure our diet included healthy fats, grass-fed and organic meats, and organic vegetables and fruits low in allergens. We started with an elimination diet and found that Elliot’s triggers were corn (he doesn’t seem to react to organic corn, but we still limit it in his diet) and sugar. By eliminating just these two foods, he improved greatly.

We augmented his diet with gut-healing helpers like Tummy Tuneup and Digestive Enzymes at each meal and did a gentle yeast cleanse on him. Elliot took daily servings of coconut oil, and once he could swallow the necessary capsules, we gave him Yeast Assassin Lite. Finally, we started him on cod liver oil every day. At that point, not only did his symptoms disappear, but his skin became softer and less prone to itching.

Meanwhile, Back on the Surface

While the foods and supplements worked on Elliot’s insides, one of the things for which we will be forever grateful is the lotions, astringents, and essential oils that became the daily regimen of relief! (I’ve also seen the benefits in friends suffering with rosacea, psoriasis, and acne.) Using natural treatments like these increased my peace of mind, knowing they didn’t add a toxic burden to Elliot’s already overtaxed system. When people lather up with chemically-based potions, they often pump toxins—such as fragrances, dyes, petroleum, and parabens—into an already stressed body.

As a barrier to the outside world, skin is designed with a waterproof layer—the stratum corneum—which both keeps moisture in and foreign substances out. The problem is that when exposed to water or liquids for a long period of time—like soaking in a bath or using a warm facial—the skin starts opening up and accepting moisture. This also tends to be when we start slathering! So coating ourselves with non-natural products actually infuses these toxins into our bodies.

The other problem with these toxic treatments is that many have a lower molecular weight than water which enables them, even without soaking, to slip through the skin’s protective matrix. Since most chronic skin issues result from toxin overload, “traditional” treatments thereby compound the existing problem. And for teens or adults who suffer from blackheads or acne, it may even exacerbate the situation in the long run because the body’s other detoxification methods—bowels, liver, and kidneys—are already stressed. As a result, the body may turn even more to the skin for detoxification, which can lead to even more acne—a vicious cycle!

So even if the entire gut-healing regimen seems out of reach to you, healing with natural-based lotions, astringents, soaps, and other topical aids can go a long way to reducing the burden on your skin. Let me recommend a few that Beeyoutiful can help you with.

(1)    Astringents

All Beeyoutiful astringents are handmade with organic or wild-crafted herbs, specifically formulated to address acne and other facial problems. They also work well on bug bites and flare ups of eczema. We offer three types—normal, dry, and oily–corresponding to your type skin. All have a base of plantain, calendula, comfrey, rosemary, sage, thyme, and horsetail in alcohol and witch hazel, combined in varying proportions as appropriate to skin type. These herbs help moisturize while they promote healing of damaged skin, cell renewal, and tightening of pores. They also ease itching associated with eczema and bug bites. We suggest applying in both morning and evening, but you can use them as needed for discomfort.

astringent_group

(Tip: Since small flecks of the herbs often get on your cotton pad, the slight residue may leave minute smears on your face. So we astringent cottonsuggest putting the astringent on your cotton pad and then flipping it over and applying it to your skin with the other side. The astringent absorbs through the cotton, but the green flecks don’t. Although the flecks can actually be beneficial to problems you’re treating, you probably don’t want to wear them around all day!)

(2)    Laveshmint Daily Moisturizing Lotion

This lovely, light facial moisturizer has such a wonderful cooling and soothing sensation that it is my go-to daily lotion. This can be especially helpful for itchy, scaly skin associated with eczema and psoriasis, but it also helps calm the flushing and breakouts in skin ailments like rosacea. Aloe and Coconut oil are the primary moisturizers in Laveshmint. Both are natural moisturizers—even safe to take internally—but they also offer healing properties from antimicrobial affects to nourishing the skin as it softens and moistens. In addition, the essential oils, Lavender and Peppermint, are tremendous for the skin! Peppermint’s cool, tingly, refreshing aroma enlivens the skin and stimulates blood flow while it soothes aggravated areas.  Lavender does double duty by decreasing skin irritation, and its healing properties help restore the supple skin that should have been there to begin with.

(3)    Miracle

When a moisturizer isn’t enough, we reach for the miracle in a jar: Miracle Skin Salve. Like Laveshmint, it contains Coconut oil and Lavender but also other natural healing ingredients such as plantain, comfrey, propolis, and Rosemary Essential Oil! Plantain has long been used as a natural and easy-to-find cure for cuts, abrasions, and stings. It works well to heal and promote blood supply in affected areas. Comfrey has anti-inflammatory properties, and it supports the healing of cuts and abrasions. Propolis is well-known for helping skin problems ranging from acne to eczema to psoriasis. Finally, Rosemary Essential Oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties which can be especially helpful with rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema!

(4)    Tea Tree OilTeaTreeEOil

Since many of these conditions have roots in fungal infections, specifically candida, I highly recommend washing the areas with a Tea Tree Oil bath each night. This is not only good for treating the underlying problem if it is fungal, but it prevents microbes from gaining a foothold in or around the affected area. Since problem skin is inflamed and often has abrasions, it is more susceptible to infections or fungal growth. Cleansing with a simple Tea Tree wash—approximately ½ cup of warm water with 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil—and then patting dry can help deter microbial growth for many hours. It has also been known to diminish acne overnight!

(5)    Bamboo Charcoal Unscented Soap and Charcoal Masks

I discovered with Elliot that it is immensely cool to a young boy to smear himself with black soap, but he had no clue that I did not choose the soap for its fun in the tub! It actually helps bind and cleanse the impurities expelled from the skin. This can be especially helpful for those with blemishes and acne, because it serves to draw out toxins the skin is eliminating while reducing redness and swelling. In addition to the soap, a charcoal mask can be used weekly to diminish acne and blackheads. A tutorial video on how to do this is available on the Beeyoutiful website: https://articles.beeyoutiful.com/2011/12/02/1086/

charcoal soap

Like we did with Elliot, the ultimate solution for skin disorders is to treat the internal causes. But reducing the external manifestations can prevent complications such as infections from broken or irritated areas. The goal in our family remains complete, deep healing, but attacking the inner problems from inside and out is the best way to bring back skin-deep beauty and gut-deep health.

 

Charcoal Mask

• 1 spoonful of raw honey

• 1 spoonful of charcoal powder

• 1 tsp of Sweet Almond or Jojoba Oil

• Several drops of Tea Tree, Chamomile or Peppermint Oil

• 1-2 capsules of Bee Strong and Bee Immune

Mix well, and then apply to face (avoid eyes!). Allow to dry as long as desired, and then rinse with water. Wash with your favorite soap or cleanser (natural, please).  Dab problem areas with a small amount of Miracle Skin Salve. Then use the herbal astringent of your choice, and follow up with Laveshmint Daily Facial Moisturizer to complete your routine.

Better Than Grandma Used to Make- Catalog Winter 2012-2013

Better Than Grandma Used to Make

My Journey to Healthy Eating—Even on Holidays!

Mary Ewing

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I love Thanksgiving. My fondest memories revolve around spending that holiday with my mom’s parents. It embodied southern charm, and the table overflowed with a spread fit for any home and food magazine. I loved the sights and smells, the joy and laughter. The holidays have always been the highlight of my memories. Perhaps the best they have to offer is knowing you will be with people who love you.

These warm memories prompted one of my biggest fears on the journey to genuinely healthful eating. I was afraid I would have to give up the holidays as I knew them—not just the specific foods but the warm fuzzies that come with them. I feared that having a healthful holiday meant not having a happy tummy.  Would my family’s fare be sterile, maybe even un-appetizing? I worried they wouldn’t have the same cozy, satisfying memories of holiday meals that I did.

Holiday Health Crisis

On December 20th, six years ago, a sweet, precious boy was born to my husband and me. Due to lack of good planning on our part, I ended up alone in the hospital that night with our newest love. We had lost one baby and then found out we were expecting another, and throughout my pregnancy, I had struggled with conflicting emotions. I wanted to be thoroughly excited but waded through fears and anxiety over possibly losing another child. I don’t think I truly relaxed until that night in the shadowy darkness of my hospital room. I barely slept, watching that little self, snuggled next to me. I relished our night alone before the reality of now having a family of four hit home the next day.

That little man-to-be is the one who launched my journey to healthful living. (I’ve told many of you parts of my story on the phone or through email, so I apologize if my article is redundant, but this holiday season has gotten me thinking about how grateful I am for my life.) It wasn’t long before I knew he had some health issues. We discovered that his projectile vomiting after every feeding was caused by idiopathic reflux. Doctors assured me that it was perfectly normal for a child to be colicky and have bad skin breakouts, and that treatment would be “no problem.” We could try each of three medications to see which would best handle the condition. We would then continue whichever was most effective until he was old enough to walk . . . or maybe a bit older . . . or possibly his entire life. That didn’t sound like “no problem” to me, but I bought the first prescription and sat in the drugstore parking lot, bawling my eyes out.  How could I give my four-month-old baby a life sentence to medication? By the next day, I had decided to find a better way.

New to True Health

Trained as a nurse and steeped in standard medical ways, I knew virtually nothing about the world of genuinely healthful living. I began researching the reasons for colic, reflux, and eczema. Although information available on the topics has exploded in the last five years, even then I found some really cool stuff, which catapulted me toward a new lifestyle. But I had no idea how radically I needed to change my thinking about food and nutrition. At that point, I still thought I could heal my little boy while we continued to consume fast food, processed foods, and the other aberrations of the modern American diet. My entire paradigm needed to change.

We started with little steps that seemed right for the baby. I cut out dairy since that seemed to be linked to a big offender for his disorders. I fed him homemade formula that was less than lovely. It contained carrot juice and stained all his clothes orange during the transition period in which he was still spitting up a lot. We endured making formula daily for our little tyke and saw his reflux disappear. He gained about five pounds in a month and started sleeping better as well.

As the months past, we still struggled with the eczema and frequent illnesses. So we began intense probiotics. I’m beyond thankful for Tummy Tuneup and its ease of use with little ones! We sprinkled a partial capsule in his bottles and on his food until he was old enough to swallow the capsules, did yeast cleanses, eliminated all toxins we could and corn syrup specifically (major!). His once cracked and bleeding feet became supple and soft. The eczema disappeared from his scaly, itchy legs after consistent, multiple daily applications of Miracle. But the best, most rewarding part was that his moodiness and behavior problems began to melt away.

tummy_tune_120_1

Although my son will eat a plethora of raw fruits and veggies and likes plainly prepared meals, he is picky about ferments and bone broths, which I knew were a key to his (and our) healing. But as we got the yuck out of our diet and replaced it with healthy alternatives, he was willing to try and accept foods he previously rejected (still working on the nutrient-dense sauces, though).

Progress Report

As we made changes little by little, became more convinced about the rightness of our new path, changed and grew, I looked back and realized we had made a huge lifestyle shift. Our whole family benefited from it! My husband’s persistent sinus and allergy problems became less frequent. He went from being the first to get sick to often escaping the entire round of family illness. His taste buds changed as well. Instead of sugary cereals and Coke, he happily chose yogurt for breakfast with just fruit for sweetening. My oldest daughter stopped getting sick as frequently, and recovered noticeably faster when she did get sick. My youngest two, who really benefited from our lifestyle change (both before birth because I was healthier and after because they haven’t been exposed to as many toxins and “fake” food), are fairly robust and typically bounce back from health setbacks quicker than the rest of us.

But the most dramatic change occurred in yours truly. I would never have considered myself a “sick” person or that my health was less than prime. Yet at 29, I had begun to take seriously what people said when they warned that “things change in your 30’s.” I could not believe I should be so tired all the time and feel as horrible as I did. I struggled to keep up with the children, even while taking vitamins. My head was in a fog much of the time, and I suffered from extreme migraines. In a good month, I got by with only one severe headache, but in bad times, I had as many as 20 in a month with double and triple migraines in a day. I had suffered from them as a teenager but had a reprieve after getting off aspartame. Once I had children, though, they came back with a vengeance. After six long years, it seemed only to be getting worse. I lived in constant fear of my next headache and was unable to care for my children when a migraine landed me in bed.

At first, our moderate diet changes didn’t help. Then I completely eliminated MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and food dyes. I also went gluten-free (which did not affect my headaches but did improve my overall feeling of health, and I had fewer sinus problems and less brain fog). I did not stay gluten-free because I am not intolerant of it, but now, as a family, we simply limit our exposure.

With the addition of Magnesium Citrate, CoQ10, and B-Better, my migraines have disappeared entirely. It has been just over 20 months since my last one, and I had only one in the ten months before that. I believe migraines are a complex syndrome triggered by a variety of factors, including deficient magnesium levels, poor gut health, toxins, foods that block absorption of magnesium in the body, and stress. As I have become more healthful in our lifestyle and with the addition of several key supplements, though, I have not only had no migraines, but my energy levels are high, and I function well throughout the day!

Health Routine

My healthy patterns are now fairly well set for the family: whole foods, extremely limited processed foods, grass-fed meats, raw milk from pastured cows, sprouted grains and beans, and all-organic “other.” I drink kombucha and kefir, and love to eat sauerkraut. My pantry has slowly transformed from grab-and-go or scoop-dump-mix-and-warm to ingredients that require time and attention but are the best things you ever put in your mouth. I rarely implemented more than one change in a day, and typically any significant shift was a few months in the making.

Now I cannot imagine going back to the other—even on holidays! What about warm, fuzzy, yummy family times? We limit processed foods to those produced by thoroughly trusted organic, full-disclosure companies. We use funny sounding sugars like rapadura and turbinado. I don’t even own a product like Crisco anymore. We use healthy, farm-fresh lard. Our eggs and milk come straight from a farm, as does most of our meat. And we absolutely will not allow any high fructose corn syrup, MSG, or food dyes in what we eat. I have been pleasantly surprised at how well I have acquired skills to re-create favorite dishes using healthful ingredients, and now they taste even better than the original ones my grandmother used to make! To my further surprise, the extra prep time is neither laborious or a drain. It is really quite a lot of fun and something my little girls happily participate in. The best part is that now I’m passing down healthful traditions of my own.

Our green bean casserole is not only the best, float-you-to-food-heaven-and-back recipe you’ll ever want (see sidebar), it is also good for you. Sweet potatoes still put a smile on our faces but don’t give my son eczema. Cranberry sauce still dances on our tongues but doesn’t mess with our livers. Charlotte, our favorite dessert, tastes like lying in a hammock with a cool breeze hushing you to sleep on a quiet fall day, yet is a nutrient-dense treat. (I still make my grandmother’s refrigerator rolls, but since they are only a twice-a-year occurrence, we let that slide.)

I look forward to the holidays even more these days because I don’t feel hung over from compromised foods. In 20 years, I intend to be the grandma who continues old traditions and shares stories from days gone by over delicious, fun, nutritious food my grandchildren dream of all year long!

Mary Ewing is a wife and homeschool mother of four exuberant kiddos and the fifth on the way! She began her journey into health after quitting her job as a registered nurse to stay home with her children. After realizing their health was not being helped following the typical American lifestyle, she used her research skills to begin to radically change their lives. She is passionate about research and understanding the “way we tick” and fascinated by the immense gifts God has given us in nature to heal ourselves. She is grateful for the last four years that she has worked for Beeyoutiful and the opportunities it has afforded her to allow her to learn more! When not working or taking care of kiddos, she can be found knitting, sewing or dabbling in gardening!

Green Bean Casserole

(adapted from Williams-Sonoma catalog)

8 shallots, sliced thinly

Lard

Salt and pepper

Flour/gluten-free alternative

1 lb of Baby Bella mushrooms, washed and sliced

1 chopped shallot

1 cup bone broth

1 cup heavy cream (I use raw)

2 lbs of green beans (I use whole frozen green beans)

  1. Coat thinly sliced shallots in mixture of flour/gf alternative mixed with salt and pepper to taste. Then fry in lard until crispy but not burnt. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet, sauté mushrooms and shallots in butter until golden brown.  Add approximately ¼ cup of flour or arrowroot to skillet and coat veggies. Slowly add chicken broth, mixing well between drizzles. After all broth is incorporated, add the cream slowly, stirring as it thickens.
  3. Combine beans and sauce in a 9 X 13 pan and bake at 375 for approximately 25 minutes or until bubbling on the edges. Add onions at the last minute, and serve hot!

Cranberry Sauce

¼ cup fresh orange juice

¼ cup 100% cranberry juice (the tart stuff!)

1½ pounds fresh cranberries

Pulp from two oranges

1 cup maple syrup

¼ cup pecans

Combine juice and maple syrup in the pot until it boils; then add cranberries and oranges. Cook for approximately ten minutes, stirring consistently. Once the cranberries begin to burst, lower heat, and stir until most of the cranberries have burst open. Do not overcook because it will not set well. Then stir in the pecans. Chill and serve.

Products Mentioned in This Article:

Tummy Tuneup

Magnesium Citrate

CoQ10

B-Better

Part Ways With Postpartum Blues


by Mary Ewing

Lotte Beth

“Pack an extra change of clothes for baby and yourself.”

“Sleep when your baby sleeps.”

“Have a diaper ready and waiting before you start changing in case

he ends up going again…um, make that three or four ready!”

“Keep a nursing station in several rooms with snacks, water, and reading supplies.

That way you stay nourished, hydrated, and well read.”

These were just a few of the sage tidbits passed along to me before my first baby was born. And while they came in handy, what I did not realize until after the birth was that no one had even come close to preparing me for the realities of what it’s like to have an infant to care for.

I was ready for myriad diapering problems, knew chapter and verse about nearly every possible philosophy on how to get babies to sleep, was up on most spit-up and peed-on stories, but no one had sat me down and shared serious probabilities like:

∙ I would need an entire six weeks to recover after having the baby;

∙ I may have a lot of inflammation, maybe even a tear to heal from;

∙ Nursing may not be the entirely glowing and bonding experience it is touted to be (although it was bonding and often glowing, it was also at times uncomfortable and hard work);

∙ I would need to eat a good deal of nutrition-dense foods so my baby would get enough to satisfy her;

∙ My body would not be the same again for a long time, if ever.

I was not prepared for standing in my hospital room 24 hours after having our first daughter, battling nausea (from blood loss), continuing pain (I tore badly), exhaustion, and being disillusioned that my body looked really bad. On top of all that, I now had an infant who was totally dependent on me for her survival.

I don’t say this to discourage you from having children, because I gladly endure all of this to have my four kids (and hopefully more in the future)! I’m writing this because I wish someone had forewarned me, so I could be a bit more prepared and not so shocked by the “new normal.” Had I known there were things I could do to boost my blood supply immediately and eliminate some of the nausea and exhaustion or that there were simple things to help with some of the pain after labor, I would have definitely had a leg up in starting motherhood.

With what I learned, my subsequent postpartum recoveries have gotten progressively better. So pull up a cup of tea, and let me share with you a few things out of my postpartum experiences that may help you avoid the unnecessary problems I encountered my first time around.

Diet Not Thyself!

For nine months, I relished having a good excuse for my expanding waist line. Once I held my baby, though, I was ready to fit immediately back into my “real” clothes. I remember looking at my middle right after that first birth and literally crying at how terrible my abdomen looked. I was ready to jump on the diet band wagon—and I did. Wrong move.

Even though I was due to be a bridesmaid in three weddings just months after having her, my Emma would have been better off if I hadn’t tried so hard to “get in shape” for the events. She was fussy and not satisfied with nursing so I, like a lot of people, thought my milk was just not very good. I began to supplement immediately. What I have since learned is that when I was dieting—i.e., starving myself—I was also depriving Emma of the rich fats, proteins, and other nutrients needed to help her feel satisfied and full. Therefore, during the postpartum weeks and throughout nursing times, you should not try to lose weight by limiting foods.

By the time we welcomed my third baby into the world, I was so flabby that my midwife could actually put her hand between my abdominal muscles, but by then, I also knew how to manage my diet the right way for baby and me. What you can do after a birth is to eat the same diet I suggest for pregnancy.

The Weston A. Price Foundation (www.westonaprice.org) nursing mother and pregnant mom’s diet provides both you and your baby with a fantastic, balanced array of nutrients to help you both: you to heal and restore and your baby to grow and develop. It also offers the added benefit that, because it disallows all junk foods, you should better achieve your optimum weight. Add to that the calorie-burning properties of nursing, and there is a real possibility you actually will achieve a slim waist (just don’t make that your primary goal).

Many people recommend a postpartum exercise plan to help with slimming down, but please be cautious about over-exercising during nursing. While functional exercise is tremendously beneficial to maintain functionality and movement, I would caution against extreme exercise routines or rigorous training regimens—especially long distance running—because most such approaches burn too much fat. This can deplete your fat reserves which are needed to help your baby. Find a functional routine that encourages moderate cardio exercises and flexibility.

Oh So Tired!

Tiredness comes with the territory when you have a new baby. Your infant needs constant attention, and tending to her is only made more exhausting if you already have other children that need you, too. Despite what everyone says about sleeping when your baby sleeps, you still need to wash clothes, shower, and cook. The blood loss that comes with a birth also contributes to your exhaustion. And while I can’t solve your laundry problem, I can suggest some great supplements for extra energy and help with post-birth anemia.

Beeyoutiful’s Liquid Chlorophyll is terrific for boosting blood cell formation. This will help your body produce what you need to replace what you lost. In addition, it’s a great anti-inflammatory which will help decrease inflammation caused by birth. For my last two children, I’ve started taking Liquid Chlorophyll within minutes of the birth and have not experienced the nausea and vomiting I did with my first two children.

LiquidChlorophyllWebProBottle

Regardless of which sleeping philosophy you choose for your child, remember this as you are helping your little one adjust to life: your baby has lived in a warm, peaceful place for nine months, always soothed by your heartbeat and your movement. Taking a baby out of that and expecting him or her to self-soothe immediately is an unreal expectation. The first few weeks should be a time of holding and teaching a baby to soothe. Don’t set yourself up to fail by expecting yours to be a perfectly scheduled baby from day one. Soothing skills must be learned, and you are the teacher. So give yourself and your new one some time to recover and to enjoy each other, even if that means a few more days until you attain your perfect schedule.

The Pain that Didn’t Go Away

Once the birth trauma is past, it can be disappointing to find out how much you still hurt. You ache all over and have afterpains—and it OwEaseinsideviewtends to get worse with each baby. With my first two children, I used a large amount of narcotics and other pain relievers. But I was super excited to use Beeyoutiful’s Ow!-Ease to reduce soreness with my most recent baby. I rubbed the salve on my abdomen and back to relieve pain. Combined with Bromelain, using it eliminated any need for prescription or over-the-counter pain medications. I was thrilled because this not only prevented my baby from ingesting the drugs but helped me stay more alert and able to care for the baby. (Note: Ow!-Ease is not for use on broken skin. Do not apply it to any cuts or abrasions, and use it with care around the baby. Thoroughly wash your hands of any residue before handling your infant.)

Miracle2ozLargeMiracle Skin Salve was my second, equally loved, friend. I wish I had known of Miracle with my first baby. I had such bad lacerations I couldn’t walk without pain for over a month. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced such bad ruptures since, but I have had a lesser one which my midwife still thought may need stitches to heal properly. Wanting to avoid suturing, I applied Miracle Salve liberally to the one-inch tear, and when my midwife did her five-day checkup, she was amazed to find that the tear had almost healed. Although she cautioned me to take it easy, she said I was free to resume normal activities. Not only had Miracle helped heal the tear super-fast, it had completely relieved the pain. Other than the first day, I felt no discomfort at all. Definitely worth having—and spreading—around!

Getting Your Hormones to Behave Again

Emotions are raging, skin is dry, your body is rearranging itself, you’re hot then cold, your world feels like it will never be the same again. Thankfully, time does help, the support of family and friends is invaluable, and there are some great supplements that can relieve a lot of the symptoms—or at least make them tolerable.RedRaspberryLeavesWebProPillS

Beeyoutiful’s Red Raspberry Leaves has probably been a friend throughout your pregnancy, and it can still be your friend now. It helps tone your uterus and allow it to shrink back into its regular size and place. Raspberry also helps some women increase milk supply. I love the convenience of the capsules, especially since adjusting to life with a new baby can be hectic. Although I love to drink red raspberry tea, it is much simpler to use the capsules and be assured I’m getting an appropriate amount each day.

EveningPrimroseOilWebProPillSEvening Primrose Oil is my next favorite. Unfortunately it has taken me four postpartum periods to realize what an asset this simple fatty acid can be for a recovering mom. I had horribly dry skin after having my latest baby. A nutritionist suggested I add Evening Primrose Oil to my regimen. After just 24 hours of consistent use, I saw a marked decrease in skin dryness, and my emotions seemed a lot quieter. My skin regained its turgor and softness within three days of starting EPO. I also realized the hot flashes had stopped, my breasts were no longer tender, and I felt much less soreness. In addition, EPO helps relieve hemorrhoids, and the oil’s fatty acids are tremendously important in relieving postpartum depression.

I’ve outlined below a few other helpers that are important during this time.

  1. Magnesium Citrate. Your body is working hard to keep up with the demands of your newborn baby and her growing body. As a result, the reserves in your own body can get depleted. Magnesium levels in particular are often reduced quickly. One of the biggest symptoms of this is “being snippy.” There are, of course, a load of potential reasons to excuse your snippiness, but wouldn’t it be nice to alleviate the need for them with just a few capsules? Magnesium helps relax muscles, including your baby’s. A baby lacking magnesium is often fussy, so by taking your daily magnesium, you can relax both you and your baby.
  2. Tummy Tuneup and Digestive Enzymes. You may have worked on your digestion prior to and throughout pregnancy, and it isn’t time to stop yet! Anything you take into your body will also help your baby as he adjusts to eating, drinking, and eliminating. These two supplements will help build baby’s digestive tract, as well as help her process anything in your breast milk she may be having a hard time digesting. It also helps you because the last thing you need right now is an upset stomach! I have not only taken the Tummy Tuneup myself, but from Day 1, I give it to my children. For a nursing baby, I sprinkle a small portion on the nipple just prior to nursing. My goal is to get an entire capsule in my wee one each day.
  3. Colic Calm Gripe Water. This one is for the baby! I learned about Gripe Water when my son was small and very colicky. After I spent weeks walking and rocking a screaming child, my mother-in-law found this great bottle of gold. After giving it to him just a few times, we were both in heaven, and I’ve never since been without it while there is an infant in our house. It quickly relieves pain and helps baby rest. I’ve recommended it to many friends who are always quick to sing its praises. Several key ingredients help calm the digestive system, bind with eliminate and the offenders, and relieve pain. It is safe for daily use or can be used for breakthrough problems as well.

Wouldn’t Trade It for the World

Even with the pain, exhaustion, long days and long nights, irritability, depression, unknowns, and emotional moments, I still would not trade a second of mothering for anything. In the midst of all that happens after birth, you won’t get these days back again. The sweet cuddles, the tiny baby melted onto your chest as he sleeps, the smells of a newborn, the tiny clothes, and adorable grunts and coos will only last for a few short weeks before they’re gone forever. Cherish and enjoy each minute. Love on that baby, and take care of yourself. Hopefully with a little help from the friends I’ve introduced you to, you can look back at these times and have only good memories of your recovery!

Products mentioned in this Article:

Liquid Chlorophyll

Ow! Ease

Bromelain

Miracle

Red Raspberry Leaves

Evening Primrose Oil

Magnesium Citrate

Tummy Tuneup

Digestive Enzymes

Colic Calm Gripe Water

 

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