Verdict is in: Your OB/GYN should advise you about harmful chemicals

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Chemical makers frequently claim that their products are safe, but earlier this month two leading medical organizations declared otherwise.

In a strongly worded opinion, none other than The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists*** and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in conjunction with the University of California, San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment declared that:

“Robust scientific evidence has emerged over the past 15 years, demonstrating that preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents can have a profound and lasting effect on reproductive health…. Exposure to toxic environmental agents also is implicated in increases in adverse reproductive health outcomes that emerged since World War II (and which) cannot be explained by changes in genetics alone.”

The opinion finds that there is much to be concerned about. Every pregnant women in the U.S. is exposed to at least 43 different chemicals, and many of these can cross the placenta. Such prenatal exposures are linked to negative health effects that occur not just in utero but throughout a child’s life. Prenatal contact with certain pesticides, for example, is related to an increased likelihood of childhood cancer.

Not surprisingly, children aren’t the only ones at risk. Adults are, after all, just grown up kids. The groups also cite evidence showing that chemicals harm the reproductive health of adults. They also implicate common endocrine disrupting pollutants like BPA, organophosphate pesticides, and phthalates as key culprits in this multigenerational problem.

Such dangers are not evenly distributed in the U.S.—while we’re all exposed to environmental toxins, minority families in impoverished areas typically face higher pollution levels and suffer from poor housing quality, psychosocial stresses, and nutritional issues that can exacerbate the effects of even low-dose exposures.

The opinion ends with a call for doctors to learn about these issues and actively advise their patients about avoiding toxins, particularly those who are currently pregnant and/or who are members of especially vulnerable communities or populations.

Such directives are badly needed and long overdue. They’re a highly effective first step all doctors should take with their patients, and we commend America’s reproductive physicians for taking action to make that happen. Can you hear us clapping?

***No wonder Dr. Jeanne Conry, president of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is currently one of our 2013 Mom on a Mission finalists. Read more about her story here.

Weekly Topic Discussion Overview: Placenta Encapsulation with Valerie Rosas

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Recently we began a series of weekly topic discussions in which we allow our customer and reader base the opportunity to choose a popular “Natural Parenting” subject to discuss with fellow parents on our social media outlet Instagram. We are AMAZED by the feedback and outpouring of suggestions, comments and interaction between parents sharing their personal experience, asking questions and giving great advice of each topic. As promised, a few weeks after our Topic Discussion we reach out to a professional or experienced parent in said field and allow our readers an opportunity to get a more detailed explanation on the subject. 

One of our first topics was Placenta Encapsulation. We received tons of feedback, suggestions and questions on this topic and we are BEYOND thrilled to have Valerie Rosas of The Feel Good Company Placenta Encapsulation touch on the subject of Placenta Encapsulation. The Feel Good Company Placenta Encapsulation By Valerie Rosas is an L.A. based business that offers Placenta capsules, tinctures, salves, smoothies and much more for mommas-to be. Valerie’s motivation, inspiration, and passion for placenta encapsulation stems from the importance of mental health, she believes in the placenta power and is passionate in helping women in their postpartum recovery and assisting them in their transition into motherhood. Along with aiding women post baby, she is also driven to educate women in general about placenta encapsulation through event speaking. Valerie has received training through Full Circle Placenta Encapsulation and Certification, January 2013, and has been certified since March 2013. She has also obtained her Food Handlers Certification and Bloodborne Pathogens Certificate. In this way her clients can feel safe and secure that they are in good hands.

Placenta Encapsulation 101

There are two methods of preparing placenta for encapsulation, the RAW method and TCM method (traditional Chinese medicine). In the RAW method steaming placenta is skipped and placenta goes straight into the dehydrator.  The TCM method gently warms placenta by steaming with slices of ginger. Tincture is a fermentation process that allows preservation of the placenta so that it can be used for menopause and any hormonal transition. A Salve is a super healing, natural triple antibiotic ointment (used for perineal tearing, cracked nipples, eczema, diaper rash and more). A placenta smoothie is a small piece of your raw placenta with your choice of fruits blended to provide you with a turbo boost of energy along with all the placenta benefits instantaneously!… “How’s this for a history lesson, the earliest recorded use of the placenta was in 1578 by Li Shi-Zhen a medical and pharmaceutical expert of China. He included placenta as a medicine in his first TCM Materia Medica publication… Needless to say, I love placenta!”

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There’s a sub-culture of mommies that is rapidly increasing and for a good reason, PLACENTA POWER!!

The possibility of dodging postpartum depression while replenishing iron and lending a consistent flow of oxytocin to get your motherhood started with a feel good vibe has mommas researching for the nearest placenta encapsulator. Hence, The Feel Good Company Placenta Encapsulation By Valerie Rosas. After all, no doctor on this planet can prescribe a vitamin or herbal supplement more perfect than your placenta. Consumption of placenta is known to have been practiced as far back as 1578 as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and though it has surfaced on the mainstream through several celebrities such as Alicia Silverstone and twin sisters Tia & Tamera’s public acceptance, many cultures around the world find it to be common practice to consume placenta as part of a healing process after giving birth. As for Valerie, She knows through her own experience what it feels like to have been swallowed up by baby blues and two weeks after giving birth rescued by the encapsulation of her placenta. Her testimony is very similar to the stories shared on YELP by the ladies that she’s encapsulated for. The Feel Good Company PE is dedicated with the upmost passion to serve Mommas with complete and wholesome care and priding itself in making sure that mommas receive their placentas within 48 hrs, if not sooner so that they may reap the benefits of the medicine that their very own body has created for them. Other services besides encapsulation also consist of Salves, Tinctures, Smoothies and Dream-catchers made from the umbilical cord. For more information please visit…. www.feelgoodplacenta.com

 

 

Family-friendly Local Travel: El Capitan Canyon… Camping done RIGHT! plus BIRDLING BAG & $150 worth of M.O. Goodies GIVEAWAY!!

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We are always looking for fun and exciting ways to incorporate travel, family-time, nature, memories and new experiences into our lives. Being a busy family running a small business you don’t always seem to find time to sit back and just enjoy. For awhile now my husband has been hinting that he would love to do a family camping trip. My husband and I are a lot alike but when it comes to roughing it, I’m just not your gal. Plus having two kids under 3 and another bundle in the oven just made the idea of camping not too exciting. My first thoughts were: no bathrooms, no showers, kids wondering off, bears, bugs and more than anything pregnancy late night “can’t hold water” problems. I know this all sounds dramatic but these truly were my thoughts of camping, especially at this current stage in our lives. Did I mention I’m 6 months pregnant with a two-year old and a three-year old? The idea of camping just didn’t hit the “relaxing trigger” in my mind.

Well boy oh boy was I wrong!!! Recently we were introduced to the idea of “Glamping”. For those still new to the term, “Glamping”, Oxford Dictionary defines it as,  ”A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping”. This seemed more up my alley. An opportunity to experience nature, shower within the comforts of my bathroom, have a potty close by for my toddlers and also those frequent “pregnancy can’t hold water” visits, electricity and so much more. Meet our newest annual family summer vacation spot: El Capitan Canyon.

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Where do we begin? El Capitan Canyon, just north of Santa Barbara along an unspoiled stretch of the California coast, is renowned as an all-season comfort camping destination. Originally a traditional campground, El Capitan Canyon reopened in 2002 as an upscale, outdoor destination and quickly became known for its picturesque canvas safari tents and contemporary rustic cedar cabins. It was one of the first to be coined “luxury camping.”

Nestled against the Los Padres National Forest with access to 3,500 acres of pristine nature preserve, the Canyon is set on 350 acres of rolling hills and creek canyons and is a five-minute walk to El Capitan State Beach. During the summer months, the Canyon becomes a place for families to reconnect as it offers a no-fuss, back-to-nature camp experience with s’mores by the fire, hiking, and outdoor concerts. Family-owned since 1975, El Capitan Canyon provides affordable luxury in nature. Set amidst a grove of California oaks and sycamore trees are six adventure yurts, 26 canvas safari tents and 122 individual cedar cabins, including 13 new Corral Cabins. These comfortable accommodations are arranged in villages.

Truly this place is a campers dream! What we enjoyed most was that we still felt connected to nature. We still felt we were camping and enjoying all the things traditional camping has to offer plus the convenience of “luxury accommodations”. We stayed in one of El Capitan’s Cedar Cabins. The Cedar Cabins feature spacious decks, full bathrooms and kitchenettes. Many have fireplaces. Guests can choose from a Creekside King with soaking tub, Canyon Suite, Canyon Loft, Creekside and Canyon Queens, Creekside Double with soaking tub, Canyon Bunk cabins, or the newest cabin type, the contemporary rustic Corral Cabins, set slightly aside from the main camp for more privacy. All cabins include linens, duvets, towels, picnic tables, grills and fire pits. Another great thing about El Capitan is they also offer other styles of camping for those that prefer the camping experience of a tent.

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Once we arrived we quickly dove right into the many activities that El Capitan has to offer. First we hiked through the camp grounds to explore the property. We were amazed to find all the amenities such as: a playground, a heated pool, a petting zoo, a market full of eco-friendly items and toys and last but not least a staff that was more than accommodating. Like most moms when on vacation hotel staff is sometimes as important as comfy sleeping arrangements. We need to check in fast, have staff that may understand the tired crying baby, staff that greets you with a smile and staff that reassures you that you made the right choice by bringing your family to their location to make memories. We also loved that they mapped out exactly what was offered at El Capitan to make our trip even easier .Truly we can say this was one of the most relaxing, exciting, enjoyable vacations we’ve ever been on. El Capitan truly gets the Mothers Organic family stamp of approval for BEST LOCAL FAMILY TRAVEL.

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*** I know most our moms are curious as to what we packed, how we packed and what was our must-have items to bring. I have put together a short list of items to bring and best of all a GIVEAWAY we are including in our review of El Capitan Canyon.

Let’s start with our luggage!!! I am always on the hunt for the “perfect weekender” bag. You know that magical bag that you can fit everyone’s clothes into? Yeap, the one you’ve desperately always wanted but couldn’t find? As a busy mom of young children packing is always such a hassle. Traveling with multiple bags in tow always seems to make our trips more difficult. That was all until I discovered Birdling Bags. Birdling Bags are proudly made in America and offer the finest quality in materials and customer service. I cannot express to you enough how convenient it was to have one bag for all four of us. YES MAMA’S, all four of us!!! Having one bag for clothes made this mama jump for joy. The best part is the Birdling Bags have cool compartments for separation. Trust me when I say you’ll never need another weekender! Our picks for must have camping items are: Sunscreen, Sanitation Hand Wipes, Sanitizer Spray, Stainless Steel Drinking Bottle, and Snack Storage.

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With all that said, since we are still beaming from our amazing vacation at El Capitan Canyon along with the remarkable experience of traveling so light using our Birdling Bag we want to offer our reader and customer base the opportunity to WIN a Birdling Bag of their own along with $150 worth of “travel must-have” goodies from our store.

To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below, also do not forget to leave a blog comment below. Tell us when and where was your last family vacation? The contest is open to U.S. residents only and will run from Thursday, August 14th, 2014 through Wednesday, August 20th 2014 at 12:01PST. Good luck! And remember you can enter once a day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer Spinach and Strawberry Salad

 

One of our favorite seasons is summer. Not only because of the California weather and beaches, but because there are tons of local fresh produce waiting to be added to our dinners. One of my children’s favorite fruits is strawberries. So anytime I can combine their favorite fruit with some veggies I am always over the moon. Below you’ll find one of our go-to salad recipes that our children cannot get enough of.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach
  • 1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

 

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together shallot and vinegar. While whisking constantly, drizzle in oil to make a vinaigrette. Add spinach, strawberries, almonds and goat cheese and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.

 

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Local Traveling With Kids; Our Stay at The Parker Palm Springs

Majority of our customer inquiries tend to be in the range of product details, car seat suggestions, mom-to-mom questions; like how long did you nurse and lastly where and how do you travel with kids, specifically toddlers. Having two little ones so close in age traveling out of the state has yet to happen. Currently we prefer local travel which saves money, helps to keep sane by avoiding airplanes and overall supports local business. One of my absolute favorite places to visit is Palm Springs. From the hot weather to the short 1 1/2-hour drive, Palm Springs has been our go-to when needing a quick getaway with the kids.

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This time around we chose to stay at The Parker Palm Springs. If you haven’t had to pleasure to stay at their fabulous, lush and kid-friendly hotel you definitely must add it to your bucket list. From their gorgeous landscaped property to their amazing customer service The Parker Palm Springs definitely does NOT disappoint. To be honest, upon arrival I was a little intimidated. The crowd is extremely upscale and the hotel is beyond posh. Imagine Hollywood Hills mixed with Ralph Lauren. The hotel architecture and design is beyond breath taking.

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Having two wild children both under 3 at first caused a little anxiety. I began to think, “is this hotel kid-friendly enough? Are my kids going to rip and run and tear everything up? Are we a little to hippie for this spot?” But to my surprise there were more kids than I could count. Kids running wild, playing through the gardens, laughing, screaming and having a ball. After settling into our room we explored the property. Beautiful is an understatement! Gardens, Fountains, Croquet, Petanque and even fire-pits. One of the best amenities was the kid pool. I truly believe all hotels should have kid pools. It allows your kids the opportunity to jump, splash, canon ball and just enjoy without you having to worry whether your kids are disrupting the lady reading her book.

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After all the fun of visiting the pool, eating locally for dinner and watching movies in our bed we all called it a night. First thing in the morning and before checkout we decided to visit the “highly reviewed and rated” Norma’s for breakfast. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!! I truly could stay at The Parker Palm Springs solely for Norma’s it was so amazing. As soon as you get seated you are greeted with a freshly juiced smoothy. This pregnant mama has been dreaming about that smoothy since we left. AMAZING!!! The food was superb to any breakfast we’ve ever had, and trust me we take our breakfast pretty seriously. Again, amazing customer service. Our waiter was amazing and the prices weren’t too bad. We truly had an unbelievable getaway. The Parker Palm Springs was more than good to us and definitely will be one of our go-to hotels to stay when visiting Palm Springs.

For our moms wondering what my must have travel accessories are, here are my must haves on any vacation: Babytime by Episencial Sunny Sunscreen, Lunchskins Reusable Sandwich Bags,  Nena and Company Day Bag, In2Green Eco Throw and of course my Boba Carrier.