What is a doula?

What is a doula?.

“There is no Orisha (deity) like Mother, it is mother that is worthy to be praised.”

 

STAY AT HOME MOM 101

Annie Lee ‘Spin Cycle’

Top Ten Do’s and Don’ts in no particular order….

1. Unless you’re up and dressed for the day, try not to let your man come home seeing you in the same clothes, especially your night-clothes! I’m not saying beat your face and get fly. But at least put on a fresh shirt (spit-up and cooking stains are not sexy lol). Even if you haven’t had a chance to shower yet, make your stress look sexy. Easy fix…buy cute lounge wear, like comfy dresses, or if you have sweat pants opt for a fitted shirt or tank top. Try Gap Body.

2. Throw on a pair of heels/wedges and style your hair at least once a week when the family goes out. Not only will it be refreshing to your mans eyes, but it’ll help you feel good as well.

3. Cook a meal AT LEAST twice a week. Casserole dishes are simple and delicious if you’re pressed for time or the baby is hanging on your leg. Ex. A can of soup(like cream of mushroom/chicken), rice, chicken, and veggies. Or Veggies (zucchini/tomato/spinach), pasta and cheese. My favorite go to is baked chicken with a side and salad, because its prep and go.

4. Keep your toes right and lips moisturized! Just do it! If you don’t have the money or time to get a pedi do it yourself! 2min pedi!

Annie Lee ‘Full Set or Fill’

5. Make time for yourself. I can not stress this enough. If not a whole day, at least 2 or 3 hrs once or twice a week. How you feel personally is vital when taking care of the family.

6. Nurture your relationship FIRST.  If mommy and daddy are good, baby will inevitably be too. It’s so easy to put the kids first and neglect your partners needs, but trust me, children benefit from the love  and strong bond between their parents.

Annie Lee ‘Love Song’

7. Deep clean the house once a week with your significant other, that way the only thing you’ll have to do  is put baby’s stuff away toward the end of the day. If you have older children 3 and up they should be able to pick up after themselves.

8. If you’re not too tired try waking up at least 1 hour before everyone else. This gives you some uninterrupted “me time” to sip some tea or coffee, sort some laundry, work out and shower.

9. Don’t try and be like the other moms on the block by comparing your day/schedule/routine or lack there of to their’s. Do what works for you and your family.

10. Eat clean to stay energized and keep your body and mind active! If you have things to do around the house, strap that baby on and get to it! Also stimulate your brain with a good book. Reading baby books and watching ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ can take a toll on you.

Did we leave anything out?? We wanna hear from you!

Annie Lee ‘Steeping and Soaking’

LIQUID GOLD: Reap the Benefits of Your Breastmilk!

Breastmilk is one of Gods greatest gifts. He made us perfectly and with no mistakes! Not only does it provide the perfect nourishment for our babies, but it also has MANY alternative uses that benefit Mommy as well. When it was too early to bath my son, I’d wipe him down with expressed milk every other day, It works better than any over the counter decongestion meds, and I even use it to clean my face!  Take a peek.

Medicinal

For Babies Only

    1. Get Rid of Diaper Rash: Breastmilk can help heal diaper rash, so squirt some on, allow it to dry in the air, and watch the rash disappear.
    2. Prevent Diaper Rash: If your little one is prone to diaper rash, go ahead and put breastmilk on her diaper area daily as a preventative measure.
    3. Clear Up Baby Acne and Eczema: Massage breastmilk onto your baby’s face to clear up baby acne.
    4. Cradle Cap: Conventional mama wisdom says to massage breastmilk onto baby’s scalp to get rid of cradle cap.
    5. Donate It: If you have breastmilk in abundant supply, consider donating your milk, either to a friend or acquaintance or through a milk bank

For Everyone

“Madonna and Child Project ” by Kate Hansen

    1. Pain Relief: The endorphins in breastmilk can actually reduce pain felt by your child, so nurse away anytime your little one gets hurt.2
    2. Ear InfectionsDr. Mercola says that there is a simple solution for childhood ear infections: just “put a few drops of breast milk in the ear canal every few hours. This usually works to clear up the infection within 24-48 hours and is far safer, less expensive and a better solution than putting the child on antibiotics. If the mother is not breastfeeding, it is likely she knows someone who is. All that is required for the treatment is about one half ounce of breast milk . . . .” Mothering suggests following the breastmilk with “warm (not hot) olive oil and garlic, or bottled garlic mullein oil.”
    3. Prevent Childhood Illnesses: Because your baby’s immune system is not mature, theantibodies present in breastmilk can help protect him against a variety of childhood illnesses, including “ear infections, upper and lower respiratory ailments, allergies, intestinal disorders, colds, viruses, staph, strep and e coli infections, diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, many childhood cancers, meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, salmonella, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS),” asthma, and more.3
    4. Chicken Pox: Relieve the itch and heal any sores from chicken pox.
    5. Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac: Try dabbing at the itchy spots with a cotton ball soaked in breastmilk.
    6. Prevent Adult Illnesses: Research has also shown that breastfeeding can help give “lifetime protection from Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, some lymphomas, insulin dependent diabetes, . . . breast and ovarian cancer[,]” osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and others.4
    7. Prevent Illnesses in the Breastfeeding Mother: Breastfeeding reduces the nursing mother’s risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer, protects mothers against anemia, and can stabilize the progress of endometriosis.5
    8. Cuts and Scrapes: Breastmilk is actually a natural antiseptic, and it can be used to soothe and promote healing of cuts and scrapes.
    9. Insect Bites and Stings: The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of breastmilk can reduce itching and promote healing of insect bites and stings.
    10. Clogged Tear Ducts: Tons of anecdotal evidence (that is, motherly wisdom) has it that breastmilk can help unclog clogged/blocked tear ducts. Science of Mom took a look at some of the studies behind this cure, and found that breastmilk is indeed safe – and potentially healing – for clogged tear ducts.
    11. Conjunctivitis/Stys: While there have been no studies (to my knowledge) that prove whether breastmilk can help get rid of conjunctivitis or stys, many breastfeeding mothers have found it helpful. And from the research on clogged tear ducts, it may follow that breastmilk – especially colostrum – could be beneficial.
    12. Sleep Aid for Baby/ChildNucleotides in breastmilk actually help babies go to sleep.
    13. Tranquilizer for Mom: Hormones released in mamas while breastfeeding decrease blood pressure and act to calm and soothe mothers, helping them sleep.6
    14. Congestion in Infants/Children: Breastmilk’s antimicrobial properties can also help babies and children when you squirt it into little noses.
    15. Neti Pot (Congestion in Older Children/Adults): For congestion in adults, try putting breastmilk in a neti pot to flush your nasal passages. If you don’t have a neti pot, just put a few drops of expressed milk in the nose like you would saline.
    16. Sore Throat: Gargle with breastmilk to help fight off a sore throat.
    17. Cold/Flu: Boost your body’s immune system and stay hydrated with breastmilk.

      “Madonna and Child Project ” by Kate Hansen

    18. Heal Sore NipplesResearch has actually proven that rubbing breastmilk on sore, cracked nipples leads to shorter healing times than using lanolin.
    19. Cure Cancer: Scientists have found that “[a] substance found in breast milk can killcancer cells.” Patients have been drinking breastmilk to treat their cancer with successful results.
    20. Cough in Infants/Children: Little ones with a cough need to stay hydrated – give them fluids and environmental-specific antibodies by nursing or expressing breastmilk.
    21. Birth Control: “Lactational amenorrhea is the natural postnatal infertility that occurs when a woman is amenorrheic and fully breastfeeding.” In other words, exclusive breastfeeding can help with child spacing.7
    22. Fever in Infants/Children: For a child with a fever, you want to keep him hydrated. Let him nurse or drink expressed breastmilk – it will quench thirst and provide antibodies.
    23. Cold Sores and Fever Blisters: Pat a cold sore or fever blister with a cotton ball soaked in breastmilk to help promote healing and relieve pain.
    24. BurnsMothering shares that a burn treated with a mixture of breastmilk and smashed up blueberries will heal more quickly.
    25. Infected Wounds: Apply breastmilk to the infected area to take advantage of its antiseptic properties.
    26. Boost Your Immune SystemAntibodies in breastmilk are environment-specific, so drinking breastmilk from a mother in close proximity can help boost an ill person’s – such as a chemo or organ transplant patient’s – immune system.
    27. Skin Rashes and Contact DermatitisBreastmilk’s antimicrobial and antiseptic properties can be used to help heal and relieve pain and itchiness of rashes and contact dermatitis.
    28. Sunburn: Gently pat expressed breastmilk onto a sunburn to help ease pain and heal the skin.
    29. Wound Cleaning: If you are out and about and someone gets hurt, use breastmilk to clean out the wound if you do not have access to another cleansing agent.
    30. Warts: According to Mothering, put “a breastmilk-saturated cotton ball on the wart for a few minutes twice a day. Continue for several days until the wart dries up.”

Cosmetic and Practical Uses

    1. Clear Up Teen/Adult Acne: Use a mixture of breastmilk and coconut oil on a cotton ball to help clear up acne in teens and adults.8
    2. Contact Lens Solution: Did you get something on your contact, but you don’t have saline solution handy? Clean it with some expressed breastmilk!
    3. Soap: “Milk is touted as an ideal ingredient for skin care products because it contains essential proteins, amino acids, and vitamin A, which nourishes skin. Milk is also rich in lactic acid, which cleanses and softens.” Check out two recipes for breastmilk soap and one Etsy shop that sells breastmilk soap.
    4. Make-up Removal: Use breastmilk on a cotton ball or pad to remove make-up and soften skin.
    5. Red or Puffy Eyes: If you don’t have cucumber slices for your puffy eyes, saturate two cotton balls with cold breastmilk.
    6. Moisten Chapped Lips: If you run out of lip balm and need instant relief, rub some breastmilk on your lips.
    7. Deodorant: One of my readers shares that she uses breastmilk as deodorant. Just rub some milk on your clean underarms and let dry.
    8. Lotion: One resourceful mama has published a recipe for a homemade breastmilk, oats, and honey lotion.

For Consumption

    1. Ice Cream: Many kids say thatbreastmilk tastes like melted ice cream, so making ice cream out of breastmilk only make sense.
    2. Cupcakes: Melodie from Breastfeeding Moms Unite actually made and ate cupcakes made with breastmilk. She kind of rocks.
    3. Popsicles: Either freeze plain old breastmilk into those little plastic popsicle forms, or jazz it up with some green smoothie add-ins. Let teething toddlers have healthy, cold relief.
    4. Mesh Feeder: If you don’t have popsicle molds, you can also freeze breastmilk into ice cube trays, then put some in a mesh feeder for teething toddlers.
    5. Baby Food: If you are making your little one fresh baby food, add some breastmilk to the mix!
    6. CheeseChef Daniel Angerer offers a breastmilk cheese recipe, if you have some milk to spare.
    7. Coffee Creamer: It’s milk. It’s sweet. It’s sweet milk for your coffee!
    8. Butter: I really want to try this easy recipe.
    9. Yogurt: Mmm yogurt! Here’s a recipe for yogurt made from breastmilk.
    10. Sherbet: What a great way to help a little one with a fever or a sore throat – sherbet made from mama milk!
    11. Bread: Create your own breastmilk bread starter with this recipe.
    12. Soup: Mothers can replace cow milk with breastmilk in cream soups. This mama tried it with Cream of Carrot soup and proclaimed it “not bad.”
    13. Anything that Calls for Milk: You can use breastmilk in just about any recipe that calls for milk; this site has recipes for everything from macaroni and cheese to french toast.

For Everything Else

  1. Necklaces: Memorialize your nursing years into a necklace. Here is one where the milk has been made into a plastic-like substance by solidifying the casein contentHollyday Designs makes beautiful necklaces with “milk beads” in different shapes.
  2. Sexual Lubricant: Express breastmilk and use it as you would any lubricant.

Emancipate Your Mind

Independence day is coming up, but what did you do for Juneteenth??? Remember, it’s up to us teach our children and community about our history. There is so much strength and power in knowing our REAL history. “But what’s a couple weeks?” you ask. Well, it means nearly 89 years between what we celebrate on the 4th of July and the beginning (and only the beginning) of true independence for African Americans. What does July 4th mean to you as an African American? TAKE our POLL!!

And then there’s THIS

“Attachment Parenting…a white people thing.”

Today I stumbled across an article on Parent.com of all places, that raised the question of “attachment parenting” being a white/caucasian thing. After reading it, I replied saying that the article was absolutely ABSURD and that the only thing white about attachment parenting, is the men who gave a name to it. See white men like Dr. Sears and John Bowlby, basically put a label (as they like to do with EVERYTHING) on what Africans and any other people of color have been doing since the beginning of time! From “wearing your baby” and “co-sleeping” (again with the labels) to breast feeding, THIS is the norm with most cultures, but has not been accepted or openly tolerated by the western culture until recently. Or is it?

These techniques were and are probably still looked at as things only poor or indigenous people practice, but despite the association, they had the right idea. The TRADITION and ART of “Baby wearing” was a NECESSITY not some type of fad and the use of strollers (which grew popular with the British) was counter productive in more ways than one. Honestly when I went to a group meeting about “wearing” your babies, I felt it a tad odd to see a white woman hosting it. I wasn’t used to seeing white women with their babies tied to them.  However living in San Diego for a year got me used to seeing these granola white women more involved in nurturing their children, it even made me wonder why don’t I see more black women extra involved with nurturing their babies in this way?

I think this whole uproar in breast-feeding/attachment parenting, with high society white women is a shock perhaps only to
white men, and unfortunately some black women. I’m not mad at nor am I putting down white women who adopted these methods, but I am disappointed that this is yet another thing most black women have  abandoned and allowed white men and women to take credit for.
It is my belief that the US as a whole needs to widen it’s perspectives, and black women, we need to realize that this is OUR history. This is what we do! It is NOT a white people thing.  We don’t nurse because celebrities are doing it, we do it because thats what God made breast for and it IS the best way to nurture our babies. Everything else after that is the ALTERNATIVE. You see not too long ago white women who were rich and famous did not raise their own children (a lot of them today still don’t). Hell even if they were moderately well off they had other women, such as black women (nannies) raising their children. “In fact, slave owners used and purchased black women as wet nurses for their own children, often forcing these mothers to stop nursing their own infants to care for others.(www.momlogic.com/)

 

Why, black women, are we allowing the media to teach us something that is a major part of OUR culture, OUR history? Furthermore, why are we still allowing some white man to TELL us what is right when is comes to child rearing, as if they didn’t first learn from our ancestors? They if anyone are THEE furthest example of a nurturer. Mothers on all levels are constantly trying to figure out the best ways to nurture and care for their children. For the most part all mothers want to make sure our children are well balanced and reach their optimum potential.Why are we thinking that it’s a white thing along with everything else thats good?  The only thing that comes to mind is miseducation, and a heavy reliance on someone elses opinion, that may not have your best interest. Bottomline? OPEN YOUR MIND TO WHATS INNATELY WITHIN YOU!

When Talking in Front of Your Child Goes Wrong!

Over the weekend we took Vida to the local pool, as many other families did. As I was playing with Vida in the water a little girl approached us, wanting to play with Vida. Of course she was asking lots of questions like “what’s her name?, what’s my name? how old is she?, and could she hold her?”. It was very cute! However it was when she asked where Vida’s daddy was, it became interesting. After I pointed to him on the side of the pool, she began telling me how after she grows up and has her baby that she’s gonna leave the father because she won’t need a man! I then asked her, why she didn’t want a husband for her and her baby, and she didn’t answer.

Now if you don’t see anything wrong with her comments, perhaps your on the wrong website! As a black woman who is pro-family, it truly saddened me to hear a young 8 year old black girl obviously regurgitating what she hears her mother, grandmother, or aunties say. Her statements brought a couple questions to me, such as, why is her mother or whoever having such adult conversations around her? Does she have a father or  male presence around to counter these teachings? When I spoke with my sister about what happened, she told me that a little black boy told her that he was gonna just leave the baby with its mother because he didn’t need to be there. Now I’m not going to assume all black folks are teaching their children these things. They could be learning it from tv, or friend’s family, or their family members… but as adults shouldn’t we be more cognizant of what children hear us discussing?

Too many times I have witnessed friend’s mothers, and even my very own mother (RIP) trash talk their children’s father in front of the children. I am here to tell you ladies and gentlemen just in case you didn’t know, that that shit is NOT ok! Regardless if the other parent is not the best or is the worst person ever, do not discuss the issues you have with them in front of your child or children! If you are a single mother or father, do not allow your child to believe that single parenthood is a normal thing. Yes being a single parent happens in our society due to a ton of reasons, but that is not a burden for our children to bear. We need to teach our children that having a spouse to raise children is very important, and its good for everybody. Why perpetuate that slave mentality!? Yes I said “slave mentality” or like my father says accepting “mediocrity”.

It is up to us as parents to set examples for our children. There is no need to teach them that they will have to endure parenting alone. There are already too many missing fathers out there in our communities, so there is no need to perpetuate that at an early age. Let’s uplift our children, and teach them how to be good to others, show them love, so that they can love others. Give them a chance to not automatically expect that their future relationships will go horribly wrong. I hope that is not too much to ask for?

How LOVE should be…

I saw this in my face book timeline this morning and I figured I would share. How do you view LOVE? Wether its your friend’s, family, boyfriend, husband, wife, or children it’s all about the love we share with them…. Allow your loved ones to be who they are! They will in turn love you for who you are….

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