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Advice to the new father:

By Josh Misner, PhD


1. Find a soothing, memorable song for you and your baby.  Make it yours.  Dance with your baby to this song every night.  Sing it, whether you sing well or not.  Someday, this one song will be your special way of putting your child to sleep without even having to try.
2. Nickname your newborn, repeatedly and often.  Eventually, one will stick and it will be your special, secret code.
3. Don't be afraid to touch your little one.  Babies are fragile, but they need your loving touch as much as mom's.  Kiss their foreheads, those puffy cheeks, and of course, their lips.  Put your noses up to their hair and take in that wonderful new baby smell (preferably with a clean diaper on).
4. Take every opportunity to rock your baby to sleep.  As time goes by, you will find a "nook" in your elbow where they fit just right.
5. Every so often, while they sleep, take time to listen to them breathe.  Place an ear up to their chest or near their face, and just listen.  It is undeniably one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.
6. You can never check on them too often in the middle of the night.  You may very well do this up until the teenage years.  That's okay - it comes with the territory.
7. Babies usually cry for one of three reasons: Hunger, Discomfort (usually the diaper, a fever, or gas pain), and the need to be held and loved.  Respond to these cries by going down this checklist.  The last thing you want to do is ignore the cries.  Ignoring the cries of a baby before the age of 12 months can actually instill a sense of distrust later in life.
8. Sometimes, crying may very well continue on and on and ON, and you won't know why.  Don't take it personally - your baby loves you unconditionally at this point.  Respond with loving care and if necessary, see a doctor.  If you have a colicky baby, rice packs heated in the microwave and applied to the tummy, warm baths, and rocking/singing are lifesavers (see #1 above).
9. Raising a new baby is a tag team sport.  Don't ever expect mom to handle it all.  Other than breastfeeding, you are fully capable of everything she is, but don't interrupt her instincts.  She may need bonding more than you do, but you can and should pinch hit at any time, and any time usually means it is most needed in the middle of the night.
10. When your babies are awake, stare deeply into their eyes and simply feel the rush of indescribable love.  Savor it for as long as possible.

 

Meet Rianne Maldonado

My name is Rianne Maldonado and my family and I moved from Tucson, Arizona two years ago this December to beautiful Northern Idaho. My husband and I have two daughters and one son, a dog, a cat, and a hamster named Vera. In addition to being an Advanced Signing Time Instructor, I am a Certified Lactation Educator-Counselor from UCSD in sunny Southern California. As a mother, I am involved in and seriously committed to my children’s’ education, but sometimes more importantly to their need to feel safe, secure, loved, and heard. It is important to me that children feel free to express their wonderful selves and I feel as a parent it is my responsibility to give my children effective tools to do so. Teaching them to use sign language provides so many benefits from an educational standpoint, but more importantly from a communication standpoint.

In early June of 2009 my daughter, Ruby, was four months old when she and I attended a “Signing Story Time” at our local Tucson library. I had such a great time and was so fascinated, that I just couldn’t wait to learn more! I signed up for all of the private classes that day and couldn’t wait to get started. It was so much fun to learn the signs with other moms and babies, but the very best part of it all was when we started seeing results with Ruby.

Ruby was able to understand our signs very quickly and would show us that she understood. She would smile or kick her legs in response and it was truly amazing. Right around the time she turned 6 months old she signed her first sign back to us. We were in a restaurant and she pointed to her cup of water and signed “water.” The people around us probably thought we were crazy because we were just so excited! From that moment on her signing vocabulary just blossomed and not long after that her spoken vocabulary took off as well. You can see a short video of Ruby at 14 months signing “ALL DONE” and “MORE” on my website www.LittleSignsAcademy.com

Today, Ruby is three and a half years old and even though her spoken vocabulary is astounding, so much so that she is already beginning to read, she continues to sign for many reasons. She loves to sign to her 10 month old baby sister (who is now signing “MILK” for everything she loves) and to everyone she meets. She especially likes to “show off” her signing ability to her Grandpa and Grandma when they visit. There are even times when Ruby is very upset or unable to talk (such as this past August when she had her tonsils removed) and she signs. These are times that I am even more thankful and grateful for this alternative method of communicating with my daughter because to me, at the end of the day, it’s all about our relationships and communication.

I have always been fascinated by American Sign Language, but when I learned enough to communicate with my daughter I realized how truly amazing this beautiful language is. I knew I wanted to continue my education in ASL and share my knowledge with other families so I decided to become an Advanced Signing Time Certified Instructor through Signing Time Academy. I am working diligently to further my education in ASL and sincerely look forward to signing with you and your baby!

Mama's Milkie Morning Pancakes

By Melissa Morgan, IBCLC

Milkie Morning Pancakes are made with whole grains, rolled oats, flax seeds, and nutritional (or brewer's) yeast, all of which are generally considered as nutritional galactagogues (they help support milk production). Oats are high in iron and dense with filling, healthy calories. Nutritional or brewer's yeast (used somewhat interchangeably) are excellent sources of B vitamins, which are essential to the health of any body, but especially nursing moms. Additionally, when these cakes are made with pastured, grass-fed milk and eggs, they provide a higher amount of omega 3 fatty acids (beyond those provided by the flax seeds), which are essential to overall good health for moms and babies and are necessary for optimum infant brain growth (delivered via mother's milk); omega-3s are difficult to find in the typical conventionally-farmed American diet.

These Mama Milkie Morning Pancakes are deliciously wonderful and provide nutritional support for the whole family (please be mindful of honey use in infants under a year; brown sugar or other sweetener may be substituted).

Ingredients

  • 4 c milk
  • 4 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-¾ c whole wheat flour
  • 2-¾ c whole rolled oats (slow cook)
  • 1 c flax seed
  • ½ c nutritional or brewer's yeast
  • ¼ c local honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Prepare

  • Preheat griddle to 325*.
  • Measure milk into large bowl; add vinegar and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
  • Lightly hand-beat eggs with honey and vanilla; add to milk mixture and mix.
  • Combine dry ingredients in another bowl.
  • Add milk and egg mixture to dry ingredients. Mix well.

Cook

    • On hot griddle, pour 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake.
    • Cook on one side until edges are dry and center is bubbly.
    • Flip and cook until underside is medium brown color.
    • Serve topped with pastured butter, nut butters, fresh or pureed fruits, pure maple syrup, raw honey, or other toppings.

Store

Store excess cakes in the refrigerator for breakfasts throughout the week or store in the freezer for up to three months.

Notes

Substitute buttermilk for milk and apple cider vinegar. Choose animal milks and eggs that are local and grass-fed/pastured, as they tend to be more nutrient-dense (specifically, higher in Omega-3 fatty acids that are difficult to come by from a meat source in the typical American diet). Aluminum-free baking powder improves the taste of your cakes. Bob's Red Mill is a non-GMO brand.

Baby Wearing

By Heidi Donnelly, Certified Baby Wearing Instructor

Babywearing changed my life. In fact, it easily makes the top three things in my life that have had the greatest impact. Just under getting married and having children.

Yes, I’m that passionate about wearing my babies and I think every baby should be worn. In fact, every baby expects to be that close to another person and every baby needs to be that close to another loving person.

My name is Heidi and I am so excited to share the art, science and practice of babywearing with you that I could burst. Thank you so much to Margaret and her staff at Mothers’ Haven for their willingness to share their space and team up with me to share this passion with you.

I remember the moment I discovered babywearing. It was over eight years ago when my first baby girl (I have three girls now, and a boy) was eight days old. There was another mom at the local Le Leche League meeting and she had a Maya Wrap ring sling. I was absolutely sold on the idea from the moment I spotted that crazy tool. That week I went out and bought one of my very own.

But darnit if I couldn’t figure that thing out! And not for lack of trying. I watched the instructional DVD and read the directions and everything, but it hurt my back and just didn’t feel right. Naturally, I tossed it in the corner and just carried her around and wondered how some people could make it work and I just couldn’t.

Not too much later we learned we were expecting baby #2, who also turned out to be a girl. A local friend of mine caught wind of our coming addition and invited me to hang out at a local park. And she brought an entire basket of baby carriers. Pouches, mei tais, and more mei tais. I was absolutely in love and went home and ordered a mei tai (pronounced MAY-tie).

When it came, I was full of hope that I could make this one work. It was beautiful. Even in my very pregnant state I made my then 2-year-old get in it on my back. It was awesome and I was so looking forward to my new baby to put in it!

After a bunch more research I also managed to make myself a couple pouches. Between those and my new mei tai, I was set for life! Or so I thought.

Our baby girl arrived and as soon as I got her home from the hospital, I tossed her in a pouch. It was the best thing I ever! I remember walking down the stars with this new little bundle all snug as a bug in that pouch and my husband looked up and said, “Wow! You’re such a natural!” I have a photo and I still love that picture today.

The mei tai was also absolutely amazing. I bought one for a friend of mine, too. We both were in love and wore our new babies everywhere. Then, one crazy day, I discovered the woven wrap. After a very brief discussion with my husband (Honey, I’m buying a wrap), I ordered one. Then I spent the next three days waiting for it and watching videos and studying tutorials to figure out how to use it. When I got it and got it washed and dried, I threw my baby in it on my back!!

Suddenly, I was completely un-stoppable. And I had the photographic evidence to prove it! I had mastered pouches, mei tais and now the ever daunting WRAP!!! What was there left for me to conquer?!?!

Then I was pregnant, again. I realized that I did in fact have one carrier left to conquer. I was still a ring-sling-ding-a-ling, as a friend affectionately dubbed my lack of ring sling skills, something I found out was not all that uncommon after all. So I set out to figure it out. I had been attending local babywearing meetings for some time and was studying their take on the ring sling. But I still lacked confidence. And now I was pregnant and had pregnant brain. But I was going to figure it out! I was determined.

The day came when I had my third baby girl. I wowed the hospital staff when they walked into my room to find me walking around with my hours-old baby tied on my front in a wrap. This time I just couldn’t wait until I got home to tie her on. It just felt right to start right from the very, very beginning.

When I went home I eyed that ring sling in the corner taunting me. I looked away, gathering courage and summing my new-found knowledge. I must have faked it out, because when I grabbed it after all those years of intimidation, I could feel its shock and horror. Served it right!

Resistance was futile. I had mastered it! I had in fact mastered it to the point that it became my new favorite carrier! I even went to the local babywearing meeting and the leader told me that when I walked in she thought, “Oh! Heidi had her baby! . . . But that can’t be Heidi! She’s wearing a ring sling!”

Now I was not only un-stoppable, I was invincible. The baby boy we had just a short eighteen months ago has been in a carrier from hours old and is still worn daily in all manner of carriers. I own a stroller, but rarely use it.

All four of my children have directly benefitted physically and emotionally because we use babywearing daily at our house. As a family, we have hiked all over Idaho the last three years with two carriers and all of our kids. So many great benefits, great adventures and great memories and all thanks to the power of babywearing!

In 2010 I had the great privilege of being on the planning committee for the International Babywearing Conference in Rigby, Idaho. I was also recently elected to the Babywearing International (BWI) board of directors. It is an honor and a privilege to be an advocate for the age-old and world-wide practice of babywearing.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that I didn’t give up after my ring sling experience. I’m glad I found support and continued down the road my instincts were leading me. Babywearing changed my life. It’s enriched my life and the lives of my children and my husband—the awesome babywearing daddy of our little family. I would love to share the art with you! Come join us at a FREE BWI meeting where I will share the art and science of babywearing, discuss different carriers, different ways to use them, and help you find the one (or more!) for you or master the what you have.

Bring your questions. Bring your carriers. Bring your babies!

ICARE Programs

By Beth Barclay, ICARE Director

Parenting is ONE TOUGH JOB! Full of rewards, beautiful moments, laughs and love. But the reality of raising children today is that parents can become overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed. We get it. We’re the ICARE Program of St. Vincent de Paul and we know how the life of a parent can be. All over Kootenai County, we provide parents with the expert information, tips and support they need and deserve to be the best parents they can be.

“Nikki’s" family had been homeless over a year, due to unemployment. She and her husband had both lost their jobs. That made life quite challenging for them and their 3 children, with another on the way. Eventually they were able to get into an apartment through Idaho Housing and have now been stable there for a year. She found a job within walking distance so they could start saving for a car. Nikki and her husband took a class in budgeting and are very carefully managing their finances. The 4 children are now ages 8, 4, 3 and 8 months. With 2 of them in diapers, she knows exactly how many diapers she needs to buy in a month. Some months they can’t save for a car because they need to buy diapers. (Food stamps don’t cover diapers.) In spite of these life challenges, Nikki is a wonderful mom and is so proud of her children, especially Baby Danielle. She takes tremendous joy in seeing Danielle reaching her developmental milestones right on time. She’s crawling now and will be walking soon!

ICARE offers Home Visits with one-on-one parent coaching to support parents like Nikki by providing them with current, reliable and practical information on a variety of parenting topics related to raising children from infancy through adolescence. Child development, parent-child interaction, brain development, development –centered parenting and family well-being are some areas we cover.

ICARE also offers 10 week parenting classes in the community called Nurturing Skills for Families. Our next one begins Jan. 11, 2012 at Skyway Elementary School. Please call us at (208) 676-1515 or visit the ICARE website for more information.

We are a nonprofit organization funded by grants and donations. Many thanks for your Diaper Drive this year on behalf of all the babies and parents we serve!

Essential Oils and Your Pregnancy

By Heidi Higgins, Certified Wellness Educator

Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience where a great deal of personal energy is given to the miracle of life. It is often full of wonder, excitement, anticipation and feeling of euphoria. It is also a time where tremendous changes are taking place in your body. Hormonal, circulatory, structural and emotional changes all present a variety of physical and emotional challenges that need to be addressed while still attempting to maintain a sense of normalcy from day to day. Did you know that quality essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy and can help to minimize the discomforts? Here are a few examples:

During pregnancy essential oils can help to reduce swelling & water retention, ease heartburn or morning sickness, minimize chance of tearing & promote restful sleep. There are also a number of post labor discomforts that can be aided with the use of essential oils.

Additionally, essential oils are safe to use on baby & children and can help with a variety of issues ranging from diaper rash and constipation to the common cold. They are great to keep on hand for first aid too!

These are just a few ways in which essential oils can benefit you during and after your pregnancy. It is important to note that not all essential oils are created equally. In fact, many that are purchased (even at health food stores) are poor quality and even contain synthetic ingredients. I do suggest only using oils that are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. Anything less than this grade may not produce the desired results and can, in some cases, be extremely toxic.

 

World Breastfeeding Week

By Eileen Bagan, RN, BSN, IBCLC

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1st - 7th. This annual event draws attention to the health impact of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. Worldwide, more than 170 countries celebrate this week.

The theme for this year’s celebration, “Talk to Me! Breastfeeding-a 3D Experience”, focuses on the importance of communication in supporting those families who have chosen human milk and breastfeeding for their infants. Communication is an essential part of protecting, promoting and supporting human milk feedings. In today’s world, we can connect with others anywhere in an instant, which is truly amazing!

Hilary Clinton stated it takes a village to raise children. Well, this same philosophy can also apply to the family that has chosen to breastfeed. We must embrace, empower and educate all those who are a part of the family unit.

Educating why human milk is like no other food: species specific even different from mother to mother; multiple immune properties to protect the infant; multiple disease protection properties for both mother and infant are just some of the amazing educational facts. Supporting the breastfeeding family in the hospital after delivery by assisting with feedings and continuing the educational process for them and their visitors throughout the hospital stay.

Informing the mother and families of community support groups available in our area: Mother’s Haven, WIC Peer Counselor Program, Outpatient Consults at Kootenai Medical Center with a Lactation Consultant or private sector Lactation Consultant. It is a continuum throughout the pregnancy, delivery and post delivery time period that women and their families need this support and constant communication avenue.

In January 2011, Surgeon General Dr. Regina M Benjamin called to action all sectors of society to help remove obstacles facing women who want to breastfeed. “They shouldn’t have to do it alone. Whether you’re a clinician, a family member, a friend, or an employer, you can play an important part in helping mothers who want to breastfeed.”

At Kootenai Medical Center, we are proud to hold Baby Friendly Designation. We strive to promote, protect and support mothers and their families. We know it takes time, patience and perseverance when learning to breastfeed your baby. We along with the other community agencies are here to assist you in your feeding needs before, during and after your hospital stay. Our Lactation Department is proud of our program and will continue to be here for you as needed. We thank Mother’s Haven for their incredible efforts to support, promote and protect breastfeeding for mothers in our community.

Juice Plus, What's All the Buzz About?

By Jenny Piazza
Juice Plus Distributor

My name is Jenny Piazza. I am a wife, a mother of three beautiful children, and on a mission to provide parents with information and helpful tools to achieve maximum health for their families.

The one thing almost everyone agrees on is that eating more fruits and vegetables can improve our health and reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Every fruit, veggie, nut, and grain has thousands of phytonutrients, which help our body ward off diseases. However, very few of us eat the frequently recommended 7 - 13 daily servings for various reasons, such as: 1) the increased price of fresh produce, 2) the lack of availability of seasonal produce, and 3) sometimes, children don't want to eat the veggies and other healthy foods we provide for them.

I would like to share with you a product my family uses to help bridge the gap between what we should eat and what we actually eat. It is called Juice Plus+. Juice Plus+ is an all-natural, whole food based nutritional product made by juicing a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and then concentrating the juices into powders using a proprietary, low-temperature process. It comes in capsule or chewable form. Juice Plus+ is NOT a vitamin supplement. It provides WHOLE FOOD based nutrition.

Clinical research has found that Juice Plus+:

  • Helps support healthy immune system
  • Helps protect DNA
  • Delivers key phytonutrients that are absorbed by the body
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • positively impacts several key indicators of cardiovascular wellness

Additional health tips:

It is the perfect time of year to shop at your local Farmers' Markets. Local Farmers pick their produce right before bringing it to market, which allows it to fully ripen on the vine increasing the nutrient value. In addition, produce in-season not only tastes better it is also cheaper.

Eat all the colors of the rainbow!!! Make sure the colors are deep and vibrant. For example, pick the reddest strawberries or the darkest green broccoli. The deeper and darker the color, the more antioxidants and vitamins the fruit and veggie provides. You can turn this into a fun educational game while shopping with your children.

For more information on Juice Plus+ please contact me at (208) 691-8147 or refer to my website. I will be holding future wellness presentations at Mother's Haven starting in August.

Placenta Encapsulation for Postpartum Wellness

By KC Loveland
Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist (CPES)

Studies show that 50 - 80% of postpartum women suffer from the baby blues or minor postpartum depression. Symptoms like weepyness, mild anxiety, and irritability often go unchecked and untreated; chalked up to fatigue from a tough labor, or the stresses of motherhood. The symptoms last about two weeks and gradually diminish within the first month. Although the time frame may seem manageable to a non-postpartum adult, to a postpartum mother and a newborn baby the first two weeks prove to be an important mother and child bonding time often weighted by the baby blues. We spend hours during pregnancy planning and researching, choosing just the right gear and equipment to help our babies be the best they can be and to help us be spectacular parents, but little thought is put into our emotional wellness postpartum. The fact is, there is a natural way to fend off the baby blues, increase lactation, increase energy and speed healing: Placenta Encapsulation!

“Ewwww! Eat my placenta! Yuk!” Well, it’s not like were putting it in lasagna here! (Although, that would be beneficial as well). Placenta ingestion by the mother is not a new practice, in fact it has been a customary practice for postnatal women in Chinese and Vietnamese cultures for centuries. The placenta is rich in iron, vitamin B6, protein, as well as numerous other vitamins, minerals, nutrients and hormones. Traditional Chinese medicine has been using placenta for thousands of years to promote lactation, and modern science backs it up! New research is happening every day proving the benefits of placenta ingestion on the postpartum woman.

The placenta preparation technique used by PBi Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialists (CPES) has been carefully developed using ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) methods paired with modern sterile practices. Your placenta is handled by a PES with the utmost care and respect. The preparation and encapsulation take place right in your home, where you are welcome to watch the entire process if you wish. Your placenta will be handled under strict OSHA, EPA, and FDA guidelines, and processed legally and carefully. The placenta is processed, dried and put into easy to swallow capsules extending the benefits of placenta ingestion throughout your postpartum period and beyond!

The vast majority of women who have chosen to take placenta for its benefits have shown outstanding results. When the capsules are taken women report a noticeable difference in mood. The benefits of placenta encapsulation for mother and baby are being discovered daily by women in our area, the positive feedback is overwhelming! Now that encapsulation services by a CPES are available in our area pregnant women can make their plans to reap the benefits of placenta encapsulation, and have a happy and healthy postpartum for themselves and their precious new babies.

Go to KC Loveland's website for more information or call her at (208) 310-0922 with questions or to book your encapsulation.

Book in June (no matter your due date) and mention this article to receive $10.00 off your Placenta Encapsulation services.

Optimize your fertility with Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture

by Dr. Pamela Langenderfer
Naturopathic Physician, Licensed Acupuncturist
Fellow of American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine www.Lakeside Holistic Health

Hormones are funny little things, you can’t see them but they have a very powerful effect on our day to day well being. When a woman’s hormones are out of balance she may experience symptoms such as PMS, fatigue, irregular periods, infertility, or depression, to name a few.

Naturopathic medicine and acupuncture can offer a safe natural way to restore balance. Chinese medicine is the oldest continuous recorded medical system, dating back over 4,000 yrs. Chinese medicine is not about stimulating your hormones but restoring them and your body’s natural balance. Chinese medical treatments are designed to work with nature rather than against them. Restoring optimal health permits the natural fertility state.

Acupuncture by itself can increase fertility rates by 60%. Acupuncture can improve fertility and pregnancy rates in several ways:

  • Improve ovarian function to produce better quality eggs
  • Regulate hormones to produce a greater number of follicles
  • Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining
  • Relax the patient and decrease stress levels
  • Prevent the uterus from contracting
  • Lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF and gynecology
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Improve the sperm count and motility to produce better quality embryos
  • Decrease and prevent the chances of miscarriage

It is generally recommended to prepare the body for pregnancy for 3 months before becoming pregnant. This usually entails herbs, nutritional supplements, weekly or biweekly acupuncture, exercise, and a healthy diet.

Acupuncture and naturopathic medicine are also great noninvasive choices for postpartum women. Herbs are used to nourish the body after birth which can help with energy and postpartum depression. Optimizing hormones at all phases of life is important for women especially when planning to conceive.

Meet Amy Gates

Hello, I’m Amy Gates! I’m the mother of a beautiful, smart and funny 7 year old girl. I love being a mom, and I truly believe in the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”. Mother’s Haven for me is part of that village.

I first visited Margaret at Mother’s Haven about 8 years ago when I was pregnant with Penelope. I brought Penelope to Mother’s Haven for infant massage with Margaret. I absolutely loved these classes and I remember Penelope loving them as well.

I have fond memories of Margaret fitting me for a Bravado nursing bra and dropping by the store to learn how to properly wear my Maya Wrap sling. I loved visiting the ladies at the store and always hoped of working at Mother’s Haven one day.

For the past 8 years I have been teaching yoga and prenatal yoga, and I became a certified DONA doula. I have a passion for health, yoga, balance in life, the miracle of pregnancy, the joy of birth and of-course babies! What better place to express my passion than to join the team at Mother’s Haven? The opportunity came to me at the perfect time in my life and I have been with the Mother’s Haven team for almost one year!

My labor with Penelope was difficult and long and afterward I found myself even more passionate about a healthy, happy pregnancy and encouraging women to visualize and work for their ideal birth journey. It’s wonderful for me to see moms each week in my prenatal yoga classes and then have the extreme honor of being their doula! It’s a wonderful bonding experience and each birth I attend it feels like the first. The miracle of birth and the power, strength and courage of a woman in childbirth continues to be awe inspiring.

I love going to work each week and helping moms, dads and babies. I relate so deeply with the moms that come in with tears in their eyes because they are overwhelmed and don’t exactly know how to deal with the extreme hormone changes they are experiencing. I love seeing those tiny babies and helping moms learn to wear our different wraps. I love the patient dads and grandparents that come in and wait while their loved one gets fitted for the perfect bra. I love seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter of our spirited moms group that meets on my day at work.

Our little team at the store feels like family and I love spending time with them and learning from each of them! Margaret often jokes that I have so much fun at work making new friends, and it’s true. Doing what you love is such a blessing. Mother’s Haven is so much more than just a retail shop or a place to work. It’s a support center and a loving home for customers and employees alike!! I look forward to seeing at Mother’s Haven!

Prenatal Yoga - A Benefit to Mom and Baby

By Amy Gates, Prenatal Yoga Instructor, Parkside Fitness

Pregnancy is a blessing and a joy! Whether it is your first pregnancy or your 4th, many women enjoy the changes in their body and the preparation for the arrival of the new family member. The better you take care of yourself during your pregnancy the better you will feel. Proper nutrition, rest, exercise and minimizing unnecessary stresses in your life are all required for a happy and healthy pregnancy. One way you can take care of yourself and bond with your growing baby is prenatal Yoga.

The word “Yoga” has its root in the Sanskrit word “yuj”. Yuj means to merge, join, or unite. Yoga is the union of the heart, mind, body and soul. Yoga is an ancient study and has recently has become mainstream. The physical and mental benefits of yoga are limitless. Yoga can decrease stress, help to build strong, lean muscles, create an inner peace and serenity and help you feel more centered and focused. Meditation and breathing can clear your mind so that you may better deal with life’s challenges. There is no better way to bond and connect with your baby than through Yoga.

In today’s busy society it is difficult for a woman to take the time to enjoy her pregnancy. Yoga can help meet this need. A good Yoga class offers a safe, nurturing environment specifically designed to guide you through the journey of pregnancy. Using yoga postures and breathing will bring awareness to your mind, body and spirit and enhance your bond with your baby. Yoga will help you build physical and mental strength, both crucial for labor and delivery. Using Yoga’s breathing techniques and meditation you can prepare yourself for the challenges of labor and delivery. It is safe to practice Yoga during your entire term and you can begin Yoga at any time during your pregnancy.

It is important to find a certified Yoga teacher that is certified and trained in prenatal Yoga care. Amy Gates is a certified prenatal yoga teacher, and has been teaching in Coeur d’Alene for over 8 years. During her undergraduate studies at University of Washington, she found a love for Yoga and women’s health. With a degree in Zoology, and after practicing yoga for over a decade, Amy decided to pursue what had become a passion, and became a certified yoga teacher in 2002. During her first pregnancy, she furthered her studies with world renowned prenatal Yoga teacher, Colette Crawford, R.N., in Seattle. Since then she has also trained with Shiva Rea. Now certified to teach pre and post natal Yoga, Amy wants to bring this wonderful experience to expectant mothers locally. She continues to teach in the Coeur d’Alene & Spokane areas and has enjoyed guiding women through their individual journeys while creating a friendly and nurturing community of pregnant women. Amy is also a certified DONA Doula and enjoys offering labor support to her prenatal yoga clients.

For prenatal Yoga classes held at Parkside Studio, taught by Amy please call (208) 818-5883 or email us at info@parksidefitness. You may also go to our website www.parksidefitness.com. For more information on prenatal Yoga and its benefits to you and your child, or doula services, please contact Amy Gates at (208) 691-7409 or email her at amyfajerson@msn.com

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