Posted on

ParentFest 2019 – Friday May 31, 2-8pm

Family walking by the sea

ParentFest 2019 is our NEW annual Parent-Celebrating Event. On Friday May 31,  the day before the United Nations Global Day of Parents (June 1), Mothering Touch will be honouring and celebrating and pampering parents of all genders.

The Global Day of Parents “… was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012… and honours parents throughout the world. The Global Day provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.”

Mothering Touch wants to join in this expression of appreciation, And so from 2-8 pm on Friday May 31, we will be having a party!

All day long, in our big activity room, all divided up into booths and dimly lit, practitioners of various modalities (massage therapists, acupuncturists, reflexologists, a yoga therapist, a photographer) will be offering their services for little 15 minute mini-treatments for $5 each. In the Nest, there will be delicious snacks and tea. We will have friendly doulas here to help host our guests, and to hold babies while parents have treatments. In the shop there will be a 20% off sale (on almost everything), live music, and free workshops!

In the afternoon, from 2-5pm, we want to focus on families with older babies and toddlers. Alyssa Klazek will be here with her guitar, playing for all of us, but also leading some sing-alongs. Because we want the whole family to come along to this event, we wanted to provide some activities for the older babies and toddlers too. So there will be bubble making equipment outside – next to the Valet Stroller Parking. And indoors, the two treatment rooms will be handed over to the babies – one to play in, and one to do some simple crafts – play dough and crayons.

In the evening, from 5-8pm, we would like to focus on expectant and pregnant parents, and very new families with tiny babies. Local doulas will be here to chat, and hold babies while parents get a massage, or some acupuncture. And in the centre of the store we are going to run free mini-workshops, hosted by our Mothering Touch practitioners – workshops on massage, reflexology and acupressure for labour, and on how to stay connected as a couple after you have a baby.

We hope parents in Victoria will come and join us to try out some new experiences, and that they will leave feeling pampered and appreciated! Happy Global Day of Parents!

Posted on

New Postnatal Yoga Program at Mothering Touch – Classes from Birth to Toddlerhood

Yoga for Toddlers

The Mothering Touch Yoga Teachers had a meeting a couple of weeks ago and decided to offer something brand new: A graded approach to Postnatal Yoga.

We realize that as parents recover from childbirth, as their bodies get stronger, they need more challenge. But they also need classes which accommodate their growing babies. A lovely, quiet, restorative class is great for someone who gave birth 6 weeks ago and has a peaceful new baby. But the more “senior” parent with the 5 month-old who has just learned to shriek, or roll, will feel out of place in that class. And the “advanced” parent, who gave birth almost a year ago now, needs a yoga class to come to where there is no judgement about a baby  who wants to poke the other babies in the eyes!

So we decided to set up a system to provide a Yoga Class for Every Parent!

Our first offering, for parents who are 6-15 weeks postpartum, is called Restorative Yoga for the Fourth Trimestre. It is a soothing, nurturing class, to help you come back into your body, and move with awareness as you recover from childbirth. Your little baby is welcome, and can lie along side, or on top of you, participating in some poses, or just napping.

Once your baby is more than 3 months old, we invite you to move on, to Postnatal Yoga for Strength. This class will focus on building strength, increasing stamina, reducing fatigue and releasing chronic tension in the spine. Babies from 3-9 months will be welcome, and expected, to make more noise, demand more attention, and be more distracting. But they will also be happy to be stimulated by the more active class.

After your baby starts to roll, creep, crawl and maybe even walk (9-15 months), we urge you to try the Postnatal Flow Yoga class. This more challenging class, will lead you through sun salutations, strengthening poses, and some restorative work, to get you in shape to keep up with your new toddler.  The instructor, and the other parents, will fully expect the interruptions created by

the mobile kids. But those interruptions are just the sorts of challenges you need to learn to overcome, if you are to have a regular yoga practice as a parent.

Finally, for parents whose toddlers have gotten big and strong, we have Yoga Despite the Toddlers. In this class the instructor will lead you through a flow, AND entertain the kids. You can get a yoga class in, without having to find childcare!

By now, your child has attended a lot of yoga classes. It’s time for them to get their own class. So as soon as they can follow some simple instructions – maybe by 18 months or so – you might like to try Yoga for Toddlers. This class is for the kids. The grownups can do the poses too, but it’s all aimed at helping the children develop a love of movement.

What will all these classes have in common? At that Mothering Touch Yoga Teachers meeting, we spent some time discussing the Mothering Touch Yoga culture. We all agreed, that we want our classes to be inclusive – so we make use of props to accommodate everyone regardless of their skill, level, ability, size. We want our teachers to be able to meet individual needs – so all classes start with a check-in. We want our classes to promote community – so they all in the round – participants can all see each other – there is no front or back row. We want parents to be able to feel comfortable in their bodies and feel supported in their search for balance and wellness as parents – so we make our classes as welcoming as possible to their children.

We hope you will come and join us in this unique new way to tell tell the story of your child’s first years through yoga.

(The New Graded Postnatal Yoga Program begins Monday April 29!)

 

 

Posted on

The Power of Community Acupuncture for Birth and Beyond

The first time I experienced Community Acupuncture was when I was living in South Korea. As a public school English teacher I received health benefits that included Chinese Medicine for a mere $5. After a friend’s recommendation I went to see her Doctor. I walked into a beautiful office and was lead into a large treatment room with beds and chairs all around, some with curtains for privacy and others open to the room. I was led to a bed and made comfortable. The doctor did my intake and the needles were carefully inserted. Meanwhile all around I could hear, see, and feel the other patients. The room was abuzz with all the healing patients were experiencing. It was such a unique experience for me at the time, having always seen a doctor in a private room. Here healing was not a private thing to be endured alone, but was a communal experience. Family members could be with their loved ones, and in their common desire to heal each patient offered a smile and nod to each other.

When I returned home it was several years before the first community acupuncture clinics began popping up in Vancouver. Though this model was slightly different, the decor was more western, no family members were around, and there were no curtains, the energy was still the same: the energy of people coming together to heal in community for an affordable price. It is important for us to be reminded that we are not alone on our journeys, that others also have difficulties and challenges. This can build our resilience. This is most crucial throughout the journey of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. This is a time when we need to find our inner strength and be supported by those who have walked the path before us and those who are walking it with us. Gathering together and sharing the experience of pregnancy; the joys, the worries, the aches and pains, the nausea, the flickering of fetuses, can make our experiences much richer and more bearable.

In the final weeks of pregnancy, as we prepare for birth we look to our sisters, mothers, friends, aunties and peers for support and reassurance. At this time community acupuncture can help your body prepare for birth. Cervical ripening, sometimes called pre-birth acupuncture, begins at 36-37 weeks gestation. It consists of a series of treatments given once a week, based on your unique experience. Specific points are chosen on the hands, arms, legs and feet to help support the body’s natural process of preparing for birth while balancing any discomforts that you may be experiencing with your pregnancy.

 

Some of the benefits of pre-birth acupuncture include:

  • Cervical softening/ripening/dilation
  • Increasing blood flow to the Uterus
  • Supporting, regulating hormonal levels leading up to labour, including enhancing oxytocin release
  • Calming the mind and balancing emotions – fear & anxiety prior to childbirth, post-partum depression
  • Encouraging optimal fetal positioning and/or addressing breech/posterior positioning
  • Potentially decreasing pain and exhaustion during labour
  • Enhancing efficiency of labour, and shortening active labour
  • Reducing the rates of medical interventions
  • Addressing ongoing issues throughout pregnancy such as musculo-skeletal pain, gestational diabetes, edema, anemia, etc.
  • Potentially a faster recovery, less complications following childbirth
  • Promoting lactation, supporting breastfeeding

Throughout my own pregnancy I received acupuncture for a variety of discomforts but it was the cervical ripening treatments in community acupuncture that allowed me to take the time and space to settle into my body, to be reminded of all the women who went before me and connect into all the support that existed in my own community. Research has shown that cervical ripening acupuncture can create a more effective and shorter labour with a reduced rate of medical interventions. My experience as a mother, doula and treating women in clinic supports these findings.

I am delighted to be offering community acupuncture at Mothering Touch on Friday afternoons from 2:00-5pm. I invite you to come and be apart of this affordable community healing experience.

 

Marika Reid Hall BA HDP RAc

 

References:

Kubista E Kucera H. (1974) Geburtshilfe Perinatol; 178 224-9

Rabl M, et al. (2001) Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labour at term – a  randomised controlled trail. Wien Klin Wochenschr; 113 (23-24): 942-6

Tempfer C, et al. (1998) Influence of acupuncture on duration of labour Gynecol Obstet Invest; 46:22-5

Betts D, Lennox S. (2006) Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice. Medical acupuncture May; 17(3):17-20

Posted on

A is for Advice by Ilana Stanger-Ross – Book Launch – Saturday, April 6 – 6-8pm

A is for Advice by Ilana Stanger-Ross

Mothering Touch is pleased and proud to be hosting a Book Launch for one of our favourite Victoria midwives - Ilana Stanger-Ross. Her book, A is for Advice, is a brief and compelling reflection on pregnancy, birth, and the early postpartum period for expectant mothers of all kinds.

Whether you prefer a water birth at home or a scheduled C-section in a hospital, whether you believe in painkillers or an all-natural labour, breast milk or formula, this book speaks to you and your pregnancy. Written in the approachable and friendly tone of a best-friend blogger but informed by the insight of a Registered Midwife, A is for Advice seeks to comfort and inspire, providing realistic and soothing advice at a time when most women desperately seek out information.

Through 26 lesson/letters of the alphabet (C is for Control; F is for Fear; W is for Water), A is for Advice offers practical and emotional insights into the often overwhelming transition to motherhood. Using a combination of humor, story-telling, research distillation, and personal reflection, A is for Advice speaks to concerns common to all women as they approach birth and motherhood. Eschewing the “birth wars” for a women-centred, feminist perspective, A is for Advice does not argue for any one type of birth experience, but rather empowers each woman to be her own advocate. 

Ilana Stanger-RossWhen I first met Ilana, she was a student-midwife and had just published Sima's Undergarments for Women. It is a charming novel about a bra-fitter. I found it especially charming, because I had just opened Mothering Touch and was learning to fit bras myself. I am very excited to read Ilana's new work. Please come and join me to hear her talk about it!

Ilana will be at Mothering Touch on Saturday April 6, from 6-8pm. We will start with a brief interview, and then give the audience a chance to ask questions. And of course, Ilana will be happy to sign copies of her book.

Posted on

Navigating Motherhood Gracefully ~Practical Tools to help you Thrive~

Free Workshop for Mothers
Navigating Motherhood Gracefully
~Practical Tools to help you Thrive~

Free Interactive Workshop by Therapeutic Counsellor: Theresa Gulliver

Motherhood is challenging and children bring out our best and our worst.

Do you ever wonder:

– How to thrive as a mother and still take care of the needs of your child(ren)

– How to handle your emotions when they are high

– How you can be the best mom possible
What if motherhood was an opportunity to address some of your own personal challenges so they don’t surface in unhealthy ways and negatively impact your family?

 

In this 60 min interactive seminar, Theresa Gulliver, Mother, Step Mother and Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, shares useful information and helpful tools to help you navigate motherhood gracefully.

You will have an opportunity to learn and practise:

– Increased self awareness, self compassion and self love (which can then be naturally extended to those around you)
– Tools for effective communication
– The importance of authentic connection
– Positive personal coping mechanisms

Theresa’s goal is for you to seize every opportunity to heal and grow and be the best mother you can be – for yourself and for your family!

April 7

6pm to 7pm

Click here to register!

Posted on

Win a FREE Prenatal or Postnatal Reflexology Treatment with Linda Baril

Linda Baril is offering Foot Reflexology sessions at Mothering Touch. Her years of experience working with childbearing women have shown her how valuable a treatment can be, both in the prenatal and postpartum periods. Reflexology can help to relieve some of the anxiety and stress that a woman may be experiencing about the upcoming birth and the changes that accompany this amazing transition in parenthood. It can also help to alleviate some of the discomforts of pregnancy, whether you are experiencing disrupted sleep or heartburn.

After baby has arrived, the new mother’s emotional and physical being are going through dramatic adjustments – a session can help ease you through this transition. Linda had found that a postpartum treatment can help the body release the accumulation of extra tissue fluid, encourage the rebalancing of hormones and provide a sense of ‘revitalization’.

Linda is a Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator, as well as a Reflexology Therapist and Instructor. She is also the mother of four and grandmother of four more!

Enter to win a free Reflexology session with Linda at Mothering Touch!

To Enter: Like our post on Facebook, Tag a friend, and make sure you are following our page. You will then be entered to win the reflexology session with Linda. Contest ends on Thursday, December 13 at 12pm when we will draw a name.

*No purchase necessary. The winner will have 3 months to claim the treatment. Treatments must be redeemed at The Mothering Touch Centre, 975 Fort St, Victoria.

This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Posted on

Santa Claus is coming to Mothering Touch!

Mothering Touch is very lucky to be on Santa’s list of places to visit! He will be here on Friday, November 23 from 2pm until 6pm and Saturday, November 24 from 2pm until 5pm.

We are also lucky to have the fabulous photographer Christin Carruthers this year to photograph all those adorable little ones with Ol’ Saint Nick!

This event raises money for the Young Parents Support Network. So we ask for a minimum donation of $5 which goes directly to them and you get your picture taken with Santa.

About a week after the event, Christin will post a gallery of all the photos on her website.  You can find yours from there and download a low resolution photo for free. FOR AN EXTRA COST you will be able to purchase high resolution photos suitable for printing directly from Ooh Ooh Darling Photography.

On these two days we also have a Christmas Shopping Sale. Almost everything in the store is 20% off, so get some shopping done while you are here!

Don’t call us to try and pre-register. You can only sign-up ON THE DAY. But Santa and Christin are very quick and no one has to wait very long!

Posted on

Navigating Motherhood Gracefully ~Practical Tools to help you Thrive~ FREE Interactive talk with Theresa Gulliver

Free Workshop for Mothers
Free Interactive Workshop by Therapeutic Counsellor: Theresa Gulliver

 

Motherhood is challenging and children bring out our best and our worst.

Do you ever wonder:

- How to thrive as a mother and still take care of the needs of your child(ren)
- How to handle your emotions when they are high
- How you can be the best mom possible

What if motherhood was an opportunity to address some of your own personal challenges so they don't surface in unhealthy ways and negatively impact your family?

In this 60 min interactive seminar, Theresa Gulliver, Mother, Step Mother and Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, shares useful information and helpful tools to help you navigate motherhood gracefully.

You will have an opportunity to learn and practice:

- Increased self awareness, self compassion and self love (which can then be naturally extended to those around you)
- Tools for effective communication
- The importance of authentic connection
- Positive personal coping mechanisms

Theresa's goal is for you to seize every opportunity to heal and grow and be the best mother you can be - for yourself and for your family!

for this Free 60 min Workshop
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
7:30 - 8:30 pm
Posted on

**Winner Chosen** Win a FREE Acupuncture Treatment with Jill Moran

Acupuncture can be used to support your health during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period. Check out our acupuncture page here to learn more. And this week we are offering you a chance to win a treatment with Jill Moran, Registered Acupuncturist.

You can read more about Jill as well as our other practitioners here on our practitioner page.

To Enter: Like our post on Facebook, Tag a friend, and make sure you are following our page. You will then be entered to win the acupuncture session with Jill. The contest ends on Wednesday, September 26th at 12pm when we will draw a name.

And check back next week for another treatment giveaway!

*No purchase necessary. The winner will have 3 months to claim the treatment. Treatments must be redeemed at The Mothering Touch Centre, 975 Fort St, Victoria.

 

This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Posted on

**Winner Chosen** Win a Free Prenatal or Postnatal Relaxation Massage!

Are you pregnant or have just had a baby? I bet you could use a massage! Did you know that Mothering Touch has massage appointments available to provide you relief from your pregnancy and postnatal aches and pains? This week you can enter-to-win a one-hour relaxation massage with Amanda Kihn. You can read more about Amanda as well as our other practitioners here on our practitioner page.

To Enter: Like our post on Facebook, Tag a friend, and make sure you are following our page. You will then be entered to win the one-hour prenatal or postnatal massage appointment with Amanda*. The contest ends on Friday, September 14th at 2pm when we will draw a name.

And check back next Friday for another treatment giveaway!

*No purchase necessary. The winner will have 3 months to claim the massage. Massage must be redeemed at The Mothering Touch Centre, 975 Fort St, Victoria.

 

This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

 

Posted on

How to Introduce a Bottle to a Breastfed Baby

(This is a piece I posted on my blog at evabild.ca back in 2014. I have been asked for it three times in the last week – so I thought I would post it here too! If you want to see what else I have written about babies and breastfeeding and sleep, go check out that website.)

______________________________

Let me start with a disclaimer. Not all babies need to have bottles. Babies who are doing well at the breast, and whose mothers are available and happy to provide the breast whenever the baby needs it, these babies do not need bottles. Not all mothers want to or need to spend time away from their babies. And some babies are peaceful and happy between feeds and can go 2-3 hours in the cuddly arms of the other parent or a grandparent while mom goes for a swim or a walk, or sings in her choir.

But some babies and mothers need bottles. Some mothers need time away from their babies, for their physical, emotional, financial or professional health. These babies need bottles. And the mothers, having followed the best advice from breastfeeding experts which is to offer only the breast for the first six weeks, sometimes find themselves at 6, or 8 or 12 weeks, trying to get a very breast-imprinted and irritated baby to take a bottle.

When babies are very new, in the first 4-6 weeks, they will suck on almost anything. A bottle nipple, or a breast, or a finger, or a pacifier, are all relatively easy for them to learn to use. But by 6-8 weeks, babies move on to using their mouths more for exploring and gumming and chewing. So when an 8-week-old baby is presented with a bottle nipple, that behaves in no way like a breast, the baby gets frustrated. Here is this thing in her mouth, it smells like milk, she can taste a little milk leaking out, but she can’t get it to work! Often, parents are given the advice to try the bottle with the baby when she is hungry, and that makes her even more irritated. And then Dad is holding her in his arms, in a position similar to the one in which she gets the breast, and instead she gets this hard rubbery thing which doesn’t work! So the baby howls, and the Dad or Parent or Other-Mother or Grandmother or Uncle feels very rejected indeed. So much for bonding with the baby by giving her a bottle!

Very often, parents will try many, many different sorts of bottle and nipples, trying for the one which the baby will “like.”  They often ask me what nipple I recommend. My hunch is that no matter what nipples they try, no matter what the order they try them in, the baby will finally take the sixth or seventh one they try. It’s not that they have finally found the right nipple, but that the baby got some practice.

So based on my basic knowledge of how to teach skills to children, and on some ideas I have gathered from clever, patient parents who have done this recently, here is the method I suggest. These instructions are intended for the Dad or other parent  – not the breastfeeding mom. This is a skill the baby needs to learn to do with someone else. That’s the whole point of the bottle, for someone else to be able to care for the baby. So let that start now.

Equipment

  • 1 baby in a good mood – not hungry, not sleepy
  • 2 bottles with plain, “slow-flow” silicone nipples (I recommend these because they are cheap and easy to find. If you have something else, use that. The only bottle  would not recommend is the “Calma” by Medela. That nipple is great for a newborn who has to be supplemented. But for a baby after 6 weeks, it’s going to be very frustrating.)
  • In one bottle – for the baby – put just 20ml of breast milk. (If you put more in the bottle, you will be bothered when it gets wasted and you will try to force the baby to take more. This is just going to be a practice session. Don’t expect too much. When you eventually teach this child to ride a bike, you won’t expect him to ride all the way to school on the first day, will you?)
  • In the other bottle – for you – put something that you would like to drink!
  • 1 car seat or bouncy chair

Procedure

  • Put the baby in the car seat or bouncy chair.
  • Put a happy, cheerful smile on your face and arm yourself with patience.
  • Talk to the baby and explain that the two of you are going to have a drink together. Remember, babies may not understand the words you say, but they are very good at picking up your emotions.
  • Suck on your bottle a bit and make some yum-yum noises.
  • Then offer the baby’s bottle to him. Let him explore it with his mouth.
  • As soon as he seems puzzled, take it away again, and show him how you suck on yours.
  • Make it a game. Sing a little song. Be really silly and happy. This makes babies relax.
  • Try a few times back a forth, baby’s turn, your turn.
  • As soon as the baby starts to look unhappy and has had enough of the game, stop right away. You want to create good associations with the bottle.
  • Remember, babies have a short attention span and they get tired and overstimulated quickly. So a five minute session is plenty!
  • Try again tomorrow, and the next day

Try every day, at the same time, if you can, but only when the baby is in a good mood. It may take a week, or more, but eventually, the baby will figure out how to get the milk to flow from the bottle. And you will have taught your baby a skill. Now that’s a way to bond with your baby!

If you try this out, do send me an email to let me know how it works for you! And let me know if you make any amendments or variations. I will give you full credit when I pass them on!

Posted on

Acupuncture for Cervical Ripening – Guest Post by Malakai Button R. Ac.

Malakai Button, Acupuncturist

The last few weeks of pregnancy is a very exciting time. It is a time of “in between,” a time when you are preparing and waiting for your world to change in an instant. The days seem to drag on forever and the messages from friends and family start rolling in…”has your water broken yet?”…”any baby news?”…”I heard that if you stand on your head while chugging hot sauce the baby will just pop out.” No. Not helpful.

What about acupuncture for cervical ripening?

Cervical ripening is the process which occurs at the end of pregnancy as the cervix begins to soften, thin and dilate to prepare for the birth of your baby. Acupuncture treatments focus on the entire pregnant person, and can facilitate cervical effacement and dilation, assist the baby in achieving an optimal position, relieve aches and pains and help to calm anxieties and fears around birth. Birth preparation treatments are typically given weekly from 37 weeks until labour commences.

There are many studies documenting the benefits of receiving acupuncture in the final weeks of pregnancy. Pre-birth acupuncture has been shown to be a safe option for supporting cervical ripening and shortening the the time interval between due date and actual time of delivery. (1) Studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce the duration of labour, particularly the first stage of labour (2,3). A study published in 2006 observed 169 women receiving pre-birth acupuncture. (4) In comparison to those who did not receive acupuncture, the women who received pre-birth treatments had a:

  • 35% reduction in medical inductions (43% if it was the woman’s first baby)
  • 31% reduction in epidurals
  • 32% reduction in emergency c-sections

Acupuncture in the late stages of pregnancy is a safe and relaxing option for those looking to prepare their body and mind for labour. IN order to make these advantages available conveniently, I offer cervical ripening acupuncture packages from 37 weeks which include a complimentary in home postpartum visit in the weeks/months following the birth of your baby. I enjoy accompanying you at the beginning of the journey into labour, and then I love getting to see the beautiful baby afterwards!

Malakai Button is a Registered Acupuncturist in good standing with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia. Passionate about helping women struggling with hormonal and reproductive issues, she focuses on helping women achieve hormonal balance and healthy pregnancies. She offers her acupuncture studio in Victoria, BC as a place for you to cultivate wellness and reconnect with your body’s innate healing capacity. You can find Malakai at Mothering Touch on Saturday mornings or book with her at www.malakaibutton.com

References:

1 Kubista E Kucera H. Geburtshilfe Perinatol. 1974; 178 224-9

2 Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P. Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labour at term – a randomised controlled trail. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2001; 113 (23-24): 942-6

3 ​Tempfer C, Zeisler H, Mayerhofe Kr, Barrada M Husslein P. Influence of acupuncture on duration of labour Gynecol Obstet Invest 1998; 46:22-5

4 Betts D, Lennox S. Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice. Medical acupuncture 2006 May; 17(3):17-20