Essential Oil Diffusers

SarahMy name is Sarah Croy. I’ve been visiting Mother’s Haven since a week after the birth of my first child 9 years ago. 17 years of marriage and 4 kids later, I still love Mother’s Haven and send people there frequently, knowing they’ll be well taken care of just like I was in those first, hard days of nursing a newborn.

Living on one income with 4 kids had been a challenge, and after several years of wondering how I could contribute financially, I started selling doTERRA essential oils. I had experienced the relief they brought to my family when dealing with illness, emotional distress, the busy pace of life, as well as a variety of other issues. My oldest daughter was having a very difficult time at school. She had a rowdy, overwhelming classroom, and would come home emotional and unable to focus. Even the simplest homework was overwhelming to her, and would lead to a meltdown. I wanted to be able to send her with some oils that would ease her anxiety and help her to focus, but faced a problem – “ How does she take them to school without losing them, and with the ability to use them whenever she needs them?”

So I started looking around online for a necklace the oils could go in. I figured no lost oils, no spills, no hassles. Problem was I couldn’t find a necklace that was what I imagined. The options I found were either expensive ($50 and up), bulky, cheaply made, or downright ugly. I then undertook a lengthy research process to find what I had envisioned, and Essential Oil Wear diffusing jewelry is the result. My essential oil jewelry is convenient, sturdy, beautiful, and made with care by hand. I am so pleased to have my jewelry joining the wonderful products at Mother’s Haven. Whether it’s to relieve morning sickness, aid in focus, ease postpartum depression, or calm an over-active child, I know the oils and jewelry can be as powerful a tool to add to your life, as they have been to mine.

Essential Oil Wear FAQs:

-How do I open the vial?

The top screws off, and you use a plastic pipette, which I include with each item, to fill with your favorite oil.

- Do I have to open it to use/smell my oil?

No, the tiny hole through the cap will allow the oil to diffuse without opening or spilling/leaking through body heat and movement. If you need an extra dose you can simply hold near your face and breathe deeply or open and put the oil where needed.

- How long does the oil last?

Depending on the viscosity of the oil, anywhere from 2 days to 2 or more weeks.

- Will the vial break if dropped?

The vials are very thick, durable glass, and hold up very well to wear, tear, and the occasional drop.

Diapering with Wool
By Alisa Lewis

My name is Alisa, mom of 3 nuggets, ages 11, 9, & 2. I started cloth diapering with my second child, but didn't discover wool until my third. When my daughter was about 4 months old I began to research new types of diapers I hadn't uesd before. That was when I stumbled upon wool covers and Overnight Bamboo Fitteds (OBF) They changed my world! Now I want to share my knowledge with you!
I love wool! It seemed intimidating at first, but it's not! It's naturally anti-microbial, breathable, absorbent (up to 30% of its dry weight in moisture before feeling damp), and temperature regulating (making it awesome in hot or cold weather). But it does take a bit of care. I want to teach you the basics. Learn how to wash, lanolize and LOVE wool like I do!
FUN WOOL FACTS: While wool can absorb moisture (water vapor), it repels liquids. The scales on the outside of the fiber cause liquid to roll off the surface of the wool fabric. Wool DOES NOT need be washed often (yay). When the lanolin (containing fatty acids, having an acidic pH) in the wool reacts with the urea (basic pH) in urine, a chemical reaction occurs. Acids + Bases react to create the end products of water and salt. The urine is no longer urine - it has been neutralized thanks to this wonderful chemical reaction! Wool really is "self-cleaning," with no residual smellof urine, it can air dry in between uses until all the lanolin has been used: once a month or every 2-8 weeks. At this time, you will begin to notice that your soaker doesn't perform as well as you know it can-this is because of the salt build-up on the wool fibers, and that there is no longer enough lanolin left in the wool to create the chemical reaction that neutralizes the urine. Then you just need to wash and re-lanolize your wool- a very easy process.
Educating Yourself on College Savings

By Tucker Marcheso

A 12-year-old boy named Richard Turere and his family raise livestock on the edge of a vast national forest park in Nairobi, Kenya. One of the biggest challenges is protecting the animals from lions-especially at night. Richard had noticed that placing lamps in the field didn’t deter the lion attacks, but when he walked the field with a torch, the lions stayed away. From a young age, he’d been interested in electronics, teaching himself by, for example, taking apart his parents radio. Richard used that experience to devise a system of lights that would turn on and off in sequence-using solar panels, a car battery, and a motorcycle indicator box. Thereby creating a sense of movement that he hoped would scare off the lions. He installed the lights, and the lions stopped attacking. Soon villages elsewhere in Kenya began installing Richards “Lion lights”.

Because of Richards’ contributions he has been able to travel the world, received college grants, and was even a speaker at a TEDtalk. People like Richard should definitely have the opportunity to go to college. Who knows what contributions they will bring to the world with higher education? But what happens when our kids don’t discover, create, or custom fabricate a life improving device at age 12? When I was a kid I too tore apart my parent’s radio, but wasn’t asked to speak at a TEDtalk. I did however turn my desire to know how things work mechanically into a degree in Bio-physiology.

For me, my education happened after the Marine Corps. I wanted to pay for my own way, even though my parents had college money saved for me. But I know that is not the normal. As I am looking at starting a family myself, my lovely Fiancé’, and I started thinking about our own planning and what it meant to us as potential parents. It wasn’t hard to find information about colleges and trade schools, or what degree programs, or grant, that is available. It also wasn’t hard to find out about the price. I won’t scare anyone with the results but I will share this. Since the mid eighties college prices have gone up 375%!

It is hard not to wonder what the next 20 years will bring in terms of cost of higher education. To even consider saving for it is daunting. What we did was talk seriously about what was important to us and how we would like to help our kids. We think it’s important to help but not cover the full expense. We think there are lessons to be learned by paving their own way. We do want to be able to help with supplies like a computer, phone, food, travel (so they can come home for a visit, or do laundry), reliable transportation, and an emergency reserve fund, for when that time comes too. They always come.

By our calculations, and my Fiancé’s amazing spreadsheet; we have roughly 20-25 years to save for these expenses. We started a personal budget and then got really honest about what was realistic for us to start saving today. Realistic isn’t always Ideal. But think of this, even if you don’t pay for an entire college or trade school expense (school, housing, food, etc) how many of the necessary expenses CAN you pay for, and how much will that help? So I took our worksheet to my office and got into research mode.
In my professional life as a Financial Advisor, I am aware of the IRS tax codes and products available to the industry that can help me save for college the most efficiently. I do a lot of planning for people when it comes to their family and estate. Making a budget and having an honest conversation with your oved one or partner is an exercise that I put my clients through, and one I would recommend to you the eader. The other big thing overlooked is inflation. Remember the 375% increase in college prices since
the 80’s? That wasn’t that long ago. What’s the next 20-30 years going to bring? If this isn’t looked at
when you plan it will be an unwelcome surprise when you’re ready to use the money.

There are a lot of plans that can be created. Most of the people who do the planning work are
Registered Representatives, CPA’s, and Attorneys. Things like Coverdell plans, 529 plans, and even
certain types of life insurance plans are available as tools to help save for college. There are a few
moving parts but once you understand how they work, it is pretty easy to see which ideas fit into your
plan.  For our planning we chose a combination of a cash value life insurance policy, (for flexibility and to avoid
tax consequences) and a 529 plan for some other tax benefits. They were easy enough to start, and fit
well within our budget. By putting our plan in place we now have a College savings budget. We
understand the importance of factoring in inflation (we used 6%), and had a great conversation about
our future! We even discussed saving for our own college costs; thinking that we may be interested
upon retiring, to go back to school.

I was so inspired by my own findings in this exercise of college savings that I contacted Mothers haven
about wanting to share my experience and what I learned during this exercise. In cooperation with
Mothers Haven and my firm Marcheso and Associates we are doing a series of classes for new parents
and their families over 6 months that will cover things like saving for College, keeping your financial
house in order, preparing for the unexpected, and others. I hope this article inspires some planning,
questions, and great conversation.

Essential Oils for Pregnancy and Birthing

By Heidi Higgins

Been hearing a lot about essential oils lately? Well, there's a reason for that. More and more people are recognizing they are safe, powerful and effective, and can be used to address a myriad of physical and emotional concerns.

In our family we successfully use essential oils almost daily for everything from scraped knees and germ prevention to kicking colds and pitch removal. In our chiropractic clinic they're used with patients to soothe muscle and joint pain and as support for more serious conditions. But, one of the uses I most enjoy sharing about is how they can be used during pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and baby.

Essential oils can be a tremendous blessing during pregnancy. In addition to eating right, proper exercise, reducing stress and informed supplementation and self care - essential oils can help promote overall health and wellness.

Stephanie Fritz LM, CPM is an author and midwife who frequently uses essential oils in her practice. Her book, Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth, and Babies, is one of the best guides I have found for using oils during pregnancy and beyond. Her suggestions are helpful and reassuring. We often reference this book during our Mothers Haven classes, and share tips with many moms in the making. Having just returned from a seminar and hearing her speak- I wanted to share some of her insight on the safety of essential oils and pregnancy.

She only recommends certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils for use during pregnancy and beyond. These essential oils have been carefully selected and tested for their safety and positive impact for mother and baby. Some sources suggest avoiding essential oils completely during pregnancy. According to Stephanie, most books and resources were written for ALL oil users and need to be super conservative because they cannot guarantee quality. She quotes Dr. David Hill on the quality of oils "You will find warnings everywhere about which oils you should and should not use during pregnancy. These previously were very valid concerns because of the impurities that were so prevalent in the oils available and the threat they posed to a developing fetus. But now that we enjoy the purity of this grade of essential oil it is no longer an issue."

She does suggest practicing common sense. Skin can be very sensitive during pregnancy. Essential oils are pure and potent. The oils used that are certified therapeutic grade do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities and a little goes a long way. It is best to start with a small amount (1-2 drops) and use more frequently rather than to apply many drops at once.


Home Remedies for the Family



Breastfeeding: the Healthy Choice



Meet Dr. Chelsea Pearson

ChelseaDoctors Jeff and Chelsea Pearson and their two children recently located to Coeur d’Alene to be closer to family.

Dr. Chelsea Pearson is a chiropractor who specializes in pediatrics and pregnancy care. She is certified in the Webster technique and has her fellowship with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.

She grew up in Canada and attended Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN where she graduated with her Doctorate of Chiropractic and Bachelor of Science in human biology in 2002. After graduation, Dr. Chelsea started her practice in Carlsbad, California and has been in active practice for 12 years.

She has a very gentle approach and specializes in cranial sacral therapy on infants , SOT, activator, and natural remedies. Dr. Chelsea continues to take classes and continuing education in pediatrics, pregnancy care, and nutrition. She has received many awards for excellence in her professional career and has lectured on topics of nutrition, pediatrics and pregnancy care.

Dr. Pearson was a consultant for other chiropractors across the country for her expertise in management of successful family wellness practices. She loves the outdoors and has done several half marathons, half ironmans, and even the famous Race Across America bike race.
Dr. Chelsea Pearson looks forward to serving the North Idaho community. Her passion is creating health families! Please feel free to contact her at or 760-415-1441. She is also offering a free consultation to meet with her on how she can help or send you in the right direction.

Uterine Rupture Survival Story

By Jessica Allen

Hi, my name is Jessica Allen and I am a new blog writer for Mother’s Haven!  Each month, I will be sharing stories of families who shop at Mother’s Haven.  Mother’s Haven has been a big part of my life, since becoming pregnant with my daughter, and is, by far, my favorite shop in the area! I am so excited to be partnering with them again, in this new adventure.  I thought it would be best to share my own story with you all first, so I hope you enjoy!

A little background on me first.. I have three children, two boys who were delivered via c-section, and my daughter, who I tried unsuccessfully for a VBAC.  She is who this story is about.  Well, both her and me, I suppose.  I decided on trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian) when I found out I was pregnant with her because there was a huge part of me that desired to have a 'normal' childbirth experience.  With my first son, my water broke and went slowly through labor, ending up in a c-section due to 'failure to progress'.  My second son came along shorty after my first (surprise!) and I was recommended by my doctor that a scheduled c-section would be the best option. (I wish that I had chosen to have a VBAC then, but that's for another story..)

A little less than 2 years down the road, my husband and I decided we'd try for one more, hoping for a baby girl to complete our family.  I searched all over for a doctor who would let me attempt a VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 cesarians), even debating home birth, because I so desperately wanted to have my last baby be how I wanted.  I ended up finding a doctor in Spokane, at Holy Family Hospital, about a 45 minute drive from where we were currently living, and I knew he was the right one for us, even at the first meeting.  He understood my passion and told me that he would do everything in his power to make it happen.

My due date was set for June 23rd, 2012. She was 5 days late. That's where the real story begins....

Wednesday night, June 27th, I was having contractions that lasted all through the night and prevented me from getting a lot of sleep, but I wanted to hold off for the morning, so Thursday morning, at 6:30, we headed for the hospital with not a lot of sleep but totally ready to have a baby! 

Once we got to the hospital, they checked me and I was already 2.5 cm!  Yay! (This was really wonderful to hear because at my last doctor’s appointment, a week before, my cervix was still hard and I was not dilated at all..)  I was very excited at the thought of my body really being able to DO this, even though there were times that I doubted it.

We got settled in, they started a very light drip of Pitocin (only at a 2) and we just hung out for several hours.  The more painful the contractions got, the more my blood pressure went up so I was already starting to doubt my ability to go through labor without an epidural.  (This wasn’t too big of a deal to me, though, because my main concern was to get the VBAC, not necessarily to do it drug-free).  Around lunchtime, I could not take the pain anymore and decided to get some relief from an epidural.  After that, things went much easier and my blood pressure immediately lowered back down to where it was supposed to be.

Shortly after getting the epidural, my doctor came in to break my water and get things moving a little faster.  At this point, I was about 3.5 cm and 90% effaced.  After breaking my water, the doctor left me to labor some more on my own.  I went on like this for about 2 more hours and when the nurse checked me next, I was about 5 cm.  It seemed to me like it was taking a while but everyone who was there was encouraging me that I was doing well.
In the next couple of hours, I was having very steady and strong contractions.  Thankfully, my epidural was low enough that I could feel all the tightening with-out any of the pain.  When my nurse checked me again, around 5:30, I was shocked to hear her tell me I was at 9 cm! WHAT?! That sure had gone fast!! I was so excited because I was thinking that I really could do this and I was almost there!

She called the doctor about a half hour later.  He took a little while to come up so while we were waiting, I began to do some pushing with the nurse. It was around this time that my epidural started wearing off.. I pushed some more (for about 15 more mins) but finally said I needed another dose into my epidural before I could push anymore. We waited and the anesthesiologist arrived very quickly to help out.  My doctor arrived at the same time and so after getting the extra boost, I started pushing for the doctor.

I almost did it.  I was probably an hour or so away from holding my baby girl. I was pushing and she was crowning!  Then it got terrifying. I started having the most intense, sharp pains in my entire abdomen.  I was crying and telling them that something was wrong because I should not be feeling pains like this with my epidural in place! Then my doctor saw blood in my catheter and told everyone that I needed to get into the OR right now.  My uterus had ruptured.

We knew there was a chance of uterine rupture.. Everyone, VBAC or not, has the same risk; 0.6% chance; less than 1%. There is such a low risk of this that I had not even considered the possibility.  The thought had crossed my mind, when discussing the risks of trying for a VBAC with my doctor, but it exited as quickly as it came.. I never dreamed this would become my birth experience.

The next few minutes were the most terrifying in my entire life. I honestly thought that either I or the baby were going to die.  The pain I had was nightmarish (I still have dreams about it sometimes) and being rushed into the OR, people flying all around, all the commotion and panic in the air, was the scariest experience I have ever been in.

Due to the urgency to get the baby out of me, I had to be put under general anesthesia.  In a matter of seconds after getting the drugs in my IV, I was asleep.  When I woke up, I found out that my baby girl had been driven quickly to our local Sacred Heart NICU Unit (the best in the area), which thankfully, was only about 15 minutes away from the hospital where I delivered.  My uterus had, in-deed, ruptured and had done so very severely, also causing my bladder to rupture at the same time.  It took my doctors about an hour to repair my uterus (which they did, even though I am not advised to get pregnant again) as well as my bladder.  My uterus did not tear on my previous c-section scar but diagonal across most of my abdomen.  When they pulled Natalie out, they actually found her outside the uterus entirely, in my abdomen.  I had never even heard of that happening before.  The fact that we both survived was a complete miracle.

Even though I have no idea why God caused this to happen to me and my baby girl, He was watching out for us!  My rupture occurred right during shift change, right before 7pm, we were right across the hall from the OR, we both survived and I got repaired with a surprisingly small amount of blood loss!  All that happened on Thursday.  It was a very busy and terrifying day for me.  But in the end, I got my Natalie Rose, my beautiful miracle, and that is ALL that matters.Baby

My beautiful girl was in a NICU for 13 days.  She was without oxygen, from when the uterus ruptured to when they got her out, for about 10-15 minutes.  The doctors assumed there was going to be some kind of brain damage, even though they have not been able to find any yet, thank God.  For 3 days, she was under cooling protocol, which cooled down her body temp to make sure there was no swelling in the brain from lack of oxygen.  This is a semi-new procedure that helps a lot with young babies in the NICU, to help them heal faster from various injuries.  I am confident that this procedure helped save her life, as well as prevent her from having any lasting brain damage.

Every day that she was in the NICU, she kept thriving more and more and was such a brave girl.  I finally got to nurse her, on day 10, for the first time and she latched right on!  I had to force my milk to come in with a hospital-grade pump and even though that was another incredibly difficult issue, we both ended up working it out and Natalie nursed full-time for 6 months!

Just a few days ag, a friend asked me if I am still an advocate for VBAC's, even after my experience.  I said "'Yes, of course!"  Even if the risks for rupture were great, I would still have chosen to attempt a VBAC.  There are risks with birth, no matter how the baby comes out, no matter what you plan.  If something is going to go wrong, it will go wrong, regardless of how you try to prepare.  Research, make your choice and be confident in your abilities as a woman and 

a mother.  This can be taken as negative, but I like to think of it as a relief, knowing that there really is little you can do to prepare for the bad.  All we can do, as parents, is know the facts, the risks, and the choices, and make an educated decision for ourselves.

Please don't let my story scare you.  Please don't let my story make you choose a different path than your heart wants to go, for your own childbirth experience.  I only share this with you all to let you know that bad things can happen when you least expect it, but the good can happen in the same way!  There were so many things that went wrong with our own story, but at the same time, looking back, we can see all of the good things that were lined up, that ended up saving both of our lives.

Mom and Baby

Fast forward 21 months and today, my Natalie Rose is a healthy and crazy-active toddler who will not stop exploring and chasing after her big brothers. She has no developmental issues that we know of yet and frankly, we are not even worried about it!  If she does have some delays down the road, we will deal with them as they come, just like with any child.  She will always be such a strong and brave girl who fought for her life and WON!  She is my beautiful angel baby and I thank God for her every single day!

I’m not the only one with a miraculous story!  Most moms have a story or two to tell, of how they have struggled and overcome in certain situations. I am so excited to share more of these stories with you!  If you would like to submit a story, please email me at

Top 10 Baby Shower Gifts

By Suzie Dunn

When I was pregnant for the first time I remember feeling so many things, excitement, wonder, love, uncertainty, and oh so many other emotions about everything from what was going on in my body to what giving birth would really be like.  I also remember feeling overwhelmed by the amount of items I would need once the baby came.  I was sure the arrival of this bundle of joy was going to bankrupt me.  But my best friend assured me “Don’t worry, that is what the Baby Shower is for.”  Oh yes, of course, the Baby Shower!  How great would it be to have a party with all the people I love the most in my life to celebrate my baby!   I would have a great time and receive all the items I needed in the process.  Perfect!

The shower WAS wonderful, just as I thought; Family, friends, good food, fun games, advice, hugs and tears.  It truly was better than I even dreamt it would be.  But one expectation was not met, the gifts.  Not only did I not get over half of the items I knew to be essential to me bringing home my baby but I actually had a very large collection of items that I had no idea where I would even put.   I became a stuffed animal collector over night.  Stuffed bunnies, bears, giraffes, Winnie the Pooh (who I have always thought was creepy as all get out) and many others.  I also had a huge collection of baby clothes.  I remember when my son was one; giving away a ton of outfits that were never worn and still had the tags on them.

Years later and after working at Mother’s Haven, I realize this is very common.  Many times those attending a baby shower do not know what to give as a gift.  It may have been a while since they had a baby and they really do not know all the new “must have’s” for babies today.  Also many times even when a mom has a gift registry in place, people want to buy stuff that is “cute and fun” over functional.  

So to help both moms and shoppers we have created a list of the Top 10 Baby Shower Gifts.  These gifts are both functional and pretty.   These are gifts that guests will have fun buying and moms will be excited to receive.

#10 – Blankets and Swaddles – Wrapping up that baby good and tight makes them feel more like they did in the womb and is calming to them.  At Mother’s Haven we have a large variety of high quality, functional and pretty options like Aden and Anais, Woomby, Ergo Swaddlers, and  NuRoo.


#9. – Wet bag – No matter what, babies are messy.  Diapers leak, babies spit up, it seems like something is always wet and needing to be changed.  A good quality wet bag is a must in every diaper bag and good news for the gift giver.  They are fun to buy because they are cute as can be.  We carry so many different colors and designs and one of the best brands we carry is made right here is Coeur d Alene by a local mom that has spent many hours in our store. 

Wet Bags

#8.  Nursing Covers – If you know the mom to be will be breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a great gift.   We offer two different brands that are the cutest and most efficient we have found.  They are easy to wear, work great when breastfeeding on the go and again come in many different colors and designs.   You can go to that shower feeling like you bought the mom to be something pretty.  Mother’s Haven carries two great brands, NuRoo nursing scarf and the Bebe Au Lait Nursing cover.


#7.  Teething Solutions – I know the title does not sound like a fun gift to give but we are not talking only about Hyland’s all natural teething tablets here.   Teething solutions come in all sorts of fun shapes and sizes from Sofie the Giraffe and bright colored teething toys to amber teething necklaces.  All work great and are a life saver to a parent with a fussy, teething baby.Teething

Shoes#6.  Baby Shoes – Every baby needs some good quality baby shoes not only to keep those toes warm but to support their little feet when they are getting ready to walk and let’s face it, what is more fun to buy for a baby than tiny shoes!  The styles and colors available seem endless and a ton of fun to not only shop for but to receive.

#5 NoseFrida – The snot sucker – Okay, I know this does not sound like a fun shower gift but I will tell you it will be the one of the best gifts you ever give a new mom.  They might not know it is the best gift at the shower and you will probably hear some groans and the word gross a lot from the crowd.  However, once it is opened and used, you can expect a very grateful phone call or text once that baby comes.  The NoseFrida snot sucker is one of the most popular items we carry in our shop.  Moms just rave about it and claim it to be an absolute MUST HAVE for all new moms.


#4.  The Blooming Bath – Talk about a cute gift to give!  The Blooming Bath is your chance to buy that plush toy and have it be functional too.  The Blooming Bath fits right into your sink and creates a very comfortable and secure bath for your baby.   You cannot go wrong with this gift.  Other shower guest will be jealous of your gift.  Trust me.


#3. Baby Carriers – There are many options when it comes to wearing your baby.  We have large selection of wraps, slings and backpack style carriers at Mother’s Haven.    If the mom-to-be does not have one on her registry we can help you choose one in your price range and will exchange it for the mom if she chooses a different style once the baby comes.  We specialize in baby wearing and will work one on one with a new mom showing her how they work and will help her find the one or two that works perfect for her.


#2.  Gripe Water - Gripe Water is a safe and effective all natural herbal supplement used to ease gas and stomach discomfort often associated with colic, gas, hiccups and teething.   It is the #1 selling natural remedy for colic and gas and let me tell you it was a complete life saver for us.  My daughter suffered terribly until we found Gripe Water.   We are such believers in the product that I can say I have not attended a baby shower in 8 years where a bottle has not been a part of my gift.  It is a MUST HAVE for all new moms.

#1. Mother’s Haven Gift Card – There are so many functionally necessary gifts that are personal.  They simply cannot be bought without mom there.  Nursing Bras, nursing tank tops, breastfeeding pumps and supplies even cloth diapers.  If a mom has not filled out her registry with exactly what size style and brand of some of these items, you just do not know what she needs.   A gift card allows her to come in and explore her needs for herself.  We will walk her through all the cloth diapering options and benefits or fit her for bra and counsel her on many other options and needs.  You can never go wrong with a Mother’s Haven Gift Card.


We hope this helps and we wish you all happy shopping and showering.

An Epileptic Mom's Journey to Breastfeeding

By Kelsey Saintz

Ashley Muehlhausen waited a long, long time to breastfeed.
The mother of four suffers from epilepsy, which she developed in graduate school from stress. Due to the medication needed to keep her disease under control, doctors urged her not to breastfeed her daughters Isabella, Sophia, Giovanna and Gabriella.
When Isabella was born in 2006, she accepted the news. Upon meeting with Alicia, the previous lactation consultant at Mother’s Haven, Ashley was already giving her formula. After talking with Alicia about her possible missed opportunity, “I just felt awful,” she said. And that stayed with her until she had Sophia.
“That’s something that, as a mother, you should be able to do if you choose to,” she said. But with both Sophia and her younger sister Giovanna, she again gave up on the idea. Because she wanted to do something all-natural – something beneficial to her kids, she said – the Muehlhausens began using cloth diapers.
When Ashley was pregnant with Gabriella, she started to push her midwife and neurologist. They both agreed to let her try nursing her fourth and final baby, thinking that the medication preventing her seizures may get to Gabriella through the breastmilk.
The good news was, they tested her blood twice and there was no trace of the medication. The bad news was, that meant she could’ve nursed all four baby girls.
Ashley said that despite not being breastfed, her older daughters are intrigued with how their little sister is fed. Giovanna even nurses her dolls.
“It’s become a very family-oriented event,” she said.
Her husband Paul, however, feels how many fathers feel – a little left out. He knows that it’s important and supports it, but it’s not the same experience as bottle-feeding.
A big difference that Ashley sees is that she feels more protective of Gabriella. For instance, she’s hesitating starting solid foods. She said the bond is stronger than it was with her other babies, mostly due to the fact that she never felt the euphoria from a breastfeeding-induced oxytocin release.
Something else that she’s noticed is that it takes more time and attention than bottle-feeding. Ashley said she didn’t realize how much she’d have to slow down and take her time, even though it could make the family late. “Everybody has to wait for me,” she said, “and that’s just what we have to do.”
Ashley said she doesn’t have a goal of when she’d like to stop breastfeeding – she wants to go as long as Gabriella wants. And whenever their nursing relationship ends, she’ll be sad.