BellaBirthing® honors and protects the sanctity of your postpartum bond & bliss with your baby.
We offer in-home holistic care during your fourth trimester so you can rest and receive the nurturing care you deserve. Postpartum home care is unique to your individual needs and may includes gentle acupuncture and abdominal massage to encourage proper alignment of the uterus, a vaginal steam bath to help heal sensitive tissues, and breastfeeding support.
The first few days and weeks with your child is precious.
Allow yourself the best chance to fully enjoy this time of bonding
by ensuring you recover well after childbirth.
Giving birth is a profound and deeply moving time in a women’s life and affects change in all realms -physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual. Taking the time to nourish and heal your body allows you to move into your role as mother in a balanced, healthy way. Caring for your own well-being is essential to replenish your energy in order to care for your growing family.
TCM has a beautiful protocol for the fourth trimester known as The Golden Month. During these forty days, women stay home (preferably skin-to-skin) and bond with their newborn. Cold foods and beverages are forbidden and warm, nourishing foods are served. The new mothers activity and attention is focused solely on caring for herself and her baby. Women given this incredible gift of healing in the postpartum phase have amazing outcomes in: establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship, nurturing emotional health, healing tears or lacerations related to birth, and overall, navigating life with a new member of the family.
MOTHER AS QUEEN
During the fourth trimester, the new mother is treated like a Queen and completely taken care of. The only visitors are people who are their to take care of mom and baby, prepare food, cleaning the home, and allow the mom to rest and bond with baby. This rest is needed to compensate not only for the birth but the nine months of pregnancy. The emphasis during the fourth trimester is on nourishing foods, gentle activity, sleeping when the baby sleeps, and lots of kisses and cuddles with the new baby. This postpartum time is viewed as a critical period in a woman's life and taking the time to care for and nourish one’s health after childbirth can have a great impact long-term health.
There are several simple recommendations made to help women regain their health and balance in the fourth trimester:
1) Take special care to get enough rest and nourishment. When feeling stronger, women should try to find time for moderate activity such as walking, in order to help restore the circulation of qi and blood. Sleep when your baby sleeps. This is a great opportunity to learn to Let Go and let others help you. Its easier said than done, it takes practice but it can be achieved. You wont regret the help and It will make you feel more like your self and help you be a better mom.
2) Let your food be your medicine. Digestion tends to be somewhat weak after delivery and because there is a great demand for nutritious food in order to replenish blood and form breast milk, warm, nourishing and easy to digest foods are recommended. Traditionally, soups are particularly emphasized. Herbs, food or drink that are cold in temperature or energetic nature should be avoided. Using a small amount of fresh ginger root as a tea or added to soups can be helpful.
3) Carry nothing heavier then the baby. Heavy lifting should be avoided for the first few months in order to minimize the risk of uterine prolapse and to allow the pelvic tissues to completely heal and renew. According to TCM, Heavy physical work or exercise should not be resumed until the 4th or 5th month postpartum.
4) Keep your womb warm. Moxibustion is an effective treatment to help warm the uterus and uterine collaterals, and has been shown to help dry up the lochia, prevent or treat hemorrhage, shrink the uterus back to normal size, and stimulate milk production. At delivery, the Ming Men "life gate" opens, allowing passage of the infant. Postpartum the Ming Men must close and become strong again or the Kidney Qi will be chronically diminished.
MOXA PROTOCOL: Indirect moxa is burned over the lower abdomen and/or low back for 20-30 minutes until a sensation of deep warmth penetrates the area. The treatment may be repeated often and is usually experienced as very comfortable, relaxing and revitalizing.
5) Stay home and enjoy your postpartum bubble of BLISS!!! You will be amazed how quickly your 40 days postpartum will go, and you will be thankful that you took the time to bond and eye gaze with your beautiful baby. Cherish this time.
Postpartum Support with ATMAT
ATMAT helps enhance and improve healing during the postpartum period. At 6 weeks postpartum, ATMAT can be performed with gentle work over the pelvis. This is a wonderful way to encourage proper healing of the uterine ligaments, the uterus, and general pelvic region. ATMAT can also aid in the healthy healing of Cesarean Birth scars.
ATMAT home visits can be initiated within 3 days postpartum. Home visits include nourishing Yoni/Root herbal steam baths that warm the uterus encouraging any remaining contents of the womb to exit and healing the sensitive tissues of the birth passage. The uterus will be assessed and a brief abdominal massage given.
In-office treatments can be resumed 6 weeks after birth in order to realign the pelvis, encourage better uterine position, and to help heal tears, scars and hemorrhoids.
Postpartum Support with Acupuncture
- Postpartum Depression
- Decreased or Insufficient Lactation
- Mastitis or Blocked Ducts
- Constipation and Hemorrhoids
BENEFITS OF POSTPARTUM YONI STEAM
Vaginal Steam Baths, AKA “Yoni steam baths” or “Bajos” have been performed routinely as a ritual for women's health by many indigenous cultures from every region of the globe for eons of time.
In many regions women put the yoni steam to use after giving birth. They are used as gentle healing agent to recover the five systems of flow, which include arterial and venous blood flow, nerve, lymph and Qi (vital life force energy). It is also a great way to tonify the pelvic floor after birth.
If you are a postpartum mama, you may consider utilizing a yoni steam with tonifying herbs everyday for 2 weeks after birth. This is a great way to tone and heal the pelvic floor and completely clear any remaining debris that may have been left behind in the uterine lining. If you have experienced a recent miscarriage or D&C, a yoni steam is what you need to heal naturally and gently in a very gentle and nurturing way.
If you have experienced any type of surgical procedure to the pelvic bowl as well a cesarean section it would do your body good to utilize the healing of the steam bath to soften any scar tissue that resulted from the incision. For pelvic and vaginal rejuvenation the steams do wonders as they improve pelvic tone for all women. The healing herbs infuse into the steam and are absorbed directly into the circulatory system through the delicate mucous membrane of the vaginal tissue. Blood flow and circulation are improved as a fresh supply of blood nourishes the pelvic floor and perineum.
A positive side effect of yoni steams are that they have been know to improve pelvic organ prolapses as they tonify the muscles of the perineum. They are a great for all ages and cycles of life as well as for for general health maintenance. Its time to give it a try if you never have. Call Agape Healing Arts today to schedule your POSTPARTUM YONI STEAM or your regular good ol' monthly maintenance “Yoni spa day steam.” It does a yoni good!
Holistic Pelvic Care Postpartum
Postpartum pelvic floor care is an essential part of women’s health-care which decreases pelvic floor difficulties including incontinence, pelvic pain and prolapse later in life. As early as six weeks postpartum, new mothers are invited to revitalize their root after the birth of their baby. This helps to resolve postpartum symptoms such as pelvic pain, discomfort, or muscle weakness and greatly assists overall healing. Women who have experienced trauma during childbirth find that restoring pelvic balance aids their recovery. Women who have experienced cesarean sections can benefit from nourishing their bodies following a prolonged vaginal birth attempt, assistance with fascial release following cesarean scarring or may need help to complete the birth process. Honor yourself and your body by taking this step to wellness so that you may begin your journey to mothering from your center.
BEATING THE BABY BLUES
In TCM there are three main reasons why postpartum depression may result:
- excessive blood loss during delivery
- stagnation of blood after childbirth
- constitutional tendency to mental-emotional problems
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, childbirth is seen as a deficiency of QI (Vital Energy) and Blood. It is believed that all new mothers suffer from Postpartum QI and Blood deficiency. This is due to the fact that all women lose a lot of Blood and QI during and after childbirth.
Also organ such as Spleen (producer of blood), Liver (storer of blood), Heart (commander of Blood), are deficient because of this loss. If this Qi and Blood is not replaced it can lead to many serious problems. One of the side effects of Qi deficiency is Postpartum Depression. If not addressed properly, this deficiency can lead to far more serious effect such as suicide and violent behavior.
During pregnancy, female hormones of estrogen and progesterone increase greatly only to drop rapidly to normal levels within the first 24 hours after childbirth. While it is not uncommon for most women to experience ‘baby blues’ for a short time while hormone levels regulate, some women develop longer lasting symptoms that may remain for weeks or years. Women who experience postpartum depression tends to feel alone and isolated in their experience. Know that if you feel this way you are not alone. This feeling itself is a symptom of deficiency of Qi and blood. Acupuncture and herbs are a simple and holistic way to beat these feelings we call "the baby blues". Using your own placenta as medicine is by far the quickest way to restore much needed sources of QI and Blood.
THE HEART HOUSES THE MIND
In TCM, the heart houses the Spirit-mind and governs blood. Excessive blood loss during delivery or a pre-existing Blood deficiency results in failure to nourish the Spirit-mind. When not properly nourished the Spirit-mind becomes weak and unsettled and may manifest as symptoms such as fatigue, mild anxiety, insomnia, tearfulness, a feeling of guilt, loss of libido, poor memory, and/or palpitations. If a Blood deficiency is left untreated it may develop further into a Yin deficiency or if the woman has a predisposition to a Yin deficiency, more serious symptoms may develop. More serious symptoms may include insomnia, mental restlessness, scanty breast milk, palpitations, feeling of heat in the evening and night sweating. Blood that is not able to move freely becomes stagnated after childbirth and ‘harasses’ the Spirit-mind. In this case the woman is not only depressed but also confused and may experience manic or aggressive behavior, delusions, hallucinations and destructive or suicidal thinking. ‘Postpartum psychosis’ is far less common but gives some explanation of why a woman may abandon or even harm her own child.
The Signs and symptoms of Qi and Blood deficiency are:
- Tiredness, fatigue
- Pale skin, complexion
- Weakness of limbs
- Dizziness, light-headedness
- Poor appetite
- Blurred vision
- Poor memory
- Loose stools
- Pale tongue
- Weak pulse
How do we restore our QI and Blood using Chinese Medicine?
- Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
- Let your FOOD be your Medicine!
- Eat only warming foods
(No Cold, Raw foods or foods and drinks cold out of the fridge)
- Eat blood rich foods
- Eat plenty of soups (Chicken, Beef bone, Ox Tail, Vegetable etc)
- Avoid greasy, fatty foods
REST REST REST!!!
Avoid cold places and drafty conditions
Blood and QI Rich foods:
Lots of GINGER ... as tea and in food.
Beef bone soup
Offal (Liver, heart, kidney etc)
Black Grapes or Black Grape Juice
Chinese vege (All)
Black Soya Bean
"THE HAPPY PILL"
Placenta is good medicine:
Another powerful tool that TCM suggests is placenta encapsulation. The placenta contains nutrient rich medicine that reharmonizes the overall Qi of the body. Placenta encapsulation is a process in which the placenta is steamed, dehydrated, blended into coarse powder and put into small capsules. As the placenta contains massive amounts of crucial hormones and iron that leave the body once the placenta is born, consuming the placenta in any form can help new mothers maintain their hormone and iron levels in the few weeks after the birth.
Encapsulating and consuming the placenta has a number of postpartum healing benefits for the mother:
- Decreases the likelihood of postpartum depression
- Increases and enriches breast milk production
- Decreases the incidence of iron deficiency
- Replenishes essential hormones such which results in a calmer mother
WHAT IS IN MY PLACENTA that is so good for me?
- Gonadotrophin is the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
- Prolactin is the hormone involved in stimulating milk production and enhances maternal instinct.
- Oxytocin is the love hormone that promotes feelings of love and maternal bonding between mother and baby. It also decreases pain, helps the uterus to return to the normal size while reducing postpartum bleeding, counteracts the production of stress hormones such as cortisol and enhances the let-down reflex.
- Prostaglandins are anti-inflammatory hormones that regulate the uterine contractions after birth and help the uterus to return it its pre-pregnancy size.
- Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF) stimulates the production of your body’s natural opioids, including endorphins, and it reduces pain and increases well being.
- Interferon & Gammaglobulin both stimulate the immune system to protect against infection.
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone regulates the thyroid gland, boosting and balancing metabolism and energy levels.
- Cortisone combats stress and unlocks energy stores in the body.
- Iron replenishes maternal iron stores to help combat anaemia or postnatal iron deficiency. It also decreases fatigue and depression.
- Haemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying molecule vital to energy in the body and clarity in the mind. It is also supportive to the immune system.
- Human Placental Lactogen (hPL) has lactogenic and growth-promoting properties. It promotes mammary gland growth in preparation for breastfeeding and regulates maternal glucose, protein and fat levels.
- Urokinase Inhibiting Factor & Factor XIII reduce bleeding and enhance wound healing.
DIFFERENT OPTIONS FOR CONSUMING YOUR PLACENTA
- This method usually produces around 100-175 capsules, depending on the size of your placenta.
- Capsules last many years when stored in the freezer. Take them for PMS, low milk supply, fertility challenges, and even menopause!
- Capsules should be taken with a glass of juice and a meal to help the powder settle and reconstitute in your stomach.
- Placenta tincture is an added bonus in that it can be used in addition to and long after the capsules are gone. By tincturing a small piece of the placenta in a high grade alcohol, you can prolong the benefits of your placental hormones. The tincture can be used in any time of trauma, transition, emotional distress and during menopause and ease your symptoms.
- The tincture is allowed to sit for at least six – eight weeks before use. It is very shelf-stable if kept in a cool dark place such as a cupboard, and will last for many, many years.
- Your own superfine placenta powder is infused into a high quality salve base, with or without your choice of essential oils. We use a luxurious organic base as our carrier because it is non-sensitizing, good smelling, food based, and can penetrate deep under the surface of the skin. The Salve base is made of: Organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, and vitamin E.
- Placenta has long been used in skincare for its healing and restorative properties. There are a number of expensive anti-aging lotions and creams containing “sheep placenta extract” as the secret ingredient. Your own placenta is much more potent and completely safe to use topically when properly prepared.
- Placenta salve can be used for: Cesarean and other and surgical scars (wait until wounds have closed); Perineal tears (wait until stitches dissolve); Diaper rash; As a general healing and skin-care salve
"PLACENTA AS MEDICINE" Packages and Pricing
Encapsulation Only: $250
- Placenta Capsules
- Umbilical Cord Keepsake IF REQUESTED (included at no extra charge)
The STANDARD Package: $299
- Placenta Capsules ($250 value)
- Umbilical Cord Keepsake IF REQUESTED (included at no extra charge)
- 4 oz Placenta Tincture ($60 value)
The DELUXE Package: $333
- Placenta Capsules ($250 value)
- Umbilical Cord Keepsake IF REQUESTED (included at no extra charge)
- 4 oz. Placenta Tincture ($60)
- 4 oz. Handmade Organic Healing Salve ($40)
Placenta Package Add-ons
Placenta Pick-up: add $30 to any package
- We will come to your birth location (within 25 miles, additional mileage is $1 per mile) to pick up your placenta for processing.
Product Delivery: add $30 to any package
- We will travel to your home (within 25 miles, additional mileage is $1 per mile) to drop off your finished products.
Placenta Pick-up and Delivery: add $50 to any package (within 25 miles, additional mileage is $1 per mile)
Prenatal Planning with Dr. Bella: add $150 to any package
- Discuss your birth and postpartum options.
- Work on creating an effective birth plan.
- Learn how to choose the right care provider for you.
- Discuss how to find the best doula for your birth, if desired.
- Learn the signs of postpartum depression and what to do to prevent it.