When Baby Joins the Pack

Bringing home a new baby can be a big transition for the entire family, pets included. Whether your fur baby has been your ‘only child’ or you’re continuing to add to your ‘pack’, figuring out how to introduce a new baby to your pets can be exciting and stressful. 

Mack protecting his baby brother

Mack protecting his baby brother

Be sure to plan ahead! 

-Break out the baby gadgets like the swing or bassinet, nursery furniture and car seat/stroller well in advance. This will give your pets a chance to acclimate themselves with the change and not feel as overwhelmed when baby arrives.

-Continue to set and enforce firm boundaries with your pet(s). Enforce verbal commands like ‘come’, ‘sit’, ‘go to bed/crate’ and ‘lay down’. Your second trimester is a great time to spend some additional time on obedience training since it will be fresh in their mind and give you plenty of time to practice. 

-If you don’t yet have one, make a safe place for your pet, away from the excitement. As your child grows, teach them that the pet’s safe place if off limits. 

-Work out the details of who will be taking care of your pets while the baby is born. Will your partner come home from the hospital to care for the pets? If you are choosing to birth in the home, you may want someone to come by to feed and play with your pets so you, your partner and your birth team can focus on labor. 

Bringing home baby!

Baby Alex and his pack

Baby Alex and his pack

-Have someone bring home something scented with the baby (blanket, onesie) in order for your pet to get acclimated to the baby's smells. 

-When you arrive home, have others go in first to greet the pet, then come wait with baby so that you can go visit with your pet before they see you with the baby. Chances are good your pet has missed you tremendously, especially if you were out of the home for a few days while the baby was born. 

-It may be best to leash the dog for initial interaction, especially if your pup hasn't had a ton of exposure to children previously. Reward good behaviors with lots of love and treats, and correct inappropriate behaviors immediately. 

-Just like a human sibling, fur siblings could exhibit some jealousy after baby is home. Sometimes just a few minutes of attention can go a long way for settling a jealous pet and ensuring they still feel loved! 

Some great additional resources are available from both the American Kennel Club (AKC) 

and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

Placenta Encapsulation FAQ's

We've had a lot of questions about our latest addition to the list of DCMD services- Placenta Encapsulation.

Here's the answers you wanted to the questions you didn't want to have to ask!

What are the benefits of consuming the placenta?

Placentaphagy, or the practice of consuming the placenta, is actually not a new trend. Within the animal kingdom, most mammals consume their placenta after birth. There is an admitted lack of scientific evidence, both in favor of, as well as against the practice in humans, though the anecdotal evidence is abundant. It is thought that through consumption, many of the nutrients (iron, calcium, etc) and hormones (oxytocin, hCG, prolactin)  found in the placenta may be replenished in the newly postpartum body. Anecdotal evidence suggests benefits of placenta consumption to include increased energy, improved and stabilized mood, lessened risk of postpartum mood disorders, increased milk production, quicker postpartum healing and lessened postpartum bleeding.

What exactly is done to the placenta to 'encapsulate'?

Our encapsulation standards are based upon those of Traditional Chinese Medicine- the placenta is actually a TCM herb used for it's 'warming' effects. We gently steam the placenta with other TCM herbs to reduce the risk of  bacteria, then slice and dehydrate. The dehydrated portions are then ground into a coarse powder and put into capsules for consumption.

Where does this process take place?

For the safety and convenience of our clients, encapsulation takes place in the home of the birthing person. This is done to prevent cross contamination both from other client's placentas as well as from other potential germs or allergens present outside of your home. Encapsulating in your home also allows you to have as much (or as little) to do with the process as you desire. It provides a unique opportunity to ask questions of your Postpartum Placenta Specialist, whether about the process or potential benefits of consumption, newborn care or being a new parent in general. 

I've just given birth to my baby. Now what? 

During your third trimester, your Postpartum Placenta Specialist will have given you a transport kit for your placenta as well as detailed instructions for transport and storage. Depending on the policies of your birthing location, the placenta will either be kept in a cooler on ice or taken out of the birthing location and refrigerated shortly after deliver, typically by a grandparent or other friend/family member. You will notify your PPS, either when labor begins or within 12 hours of the birth, and make arrangements to begin the processing. Your placenta can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days after birth after which time, it may be frozen. 

How many capsules will I get? 

Generally, a placenta yields somewhere between 80 and 180 capsules. Larger babies or multiples may have larger placentas, thus yielding more capsules. Fun fact- the placenta is approximately 1/6th the size of the baby it nourished! 

What is a tincture? How do I use it?

A tincture is an extract of an herb or drug steeped in a high quality alcohol; the most commonly used tincture is vanilla extract. Our clients' tinctures are made with the coarsely ground placenta powder in a high quality vodka. The tincture takes approximately 6 weeks to mature, at which time it can be used on an as needed basis by simply placing a few drops in a liquid or under the tongue. The benefits of a tincture are similar to those which you experienced while taking the placenta capsules initially. The main reason the tincture is such a popular option is because it has an indefinite shelf life (when stored in a cool dark location). Many clients report using it for mood and hormone stabilization during the return of their menstrual cycle. 

Does it smell?

Well, yes, but most clients admit it is not in an unpleasant way, and much less than many expected. The raw placenta itself does have a metallic, iron rich scent, as you would expect of any organ. The smell during processing is predominately the steaming herbs. Most clients report the dehydration process does not have any smell at all. The powder and capsules has a faint earthy scent. 

How many pills do I have to take?

Different people respond in differently and personal preference can vary. Our recommended consumption guidelines are 2 capsules 3 times a day for the first 3 days, 1 capsule 3 times a day for days 4-10 and 1 or 2 capsules daily until they are gone. 

How much does it cost? 

Placenta Services are $275 which includes capsules, tincture and a cord keepsake. 

Ready to secure your Postpartum Placenta Specialist for your due date? Contact us for availability.

 

Fall is a mom’s best friend

The summer tourist season is over! 

Enjoying a quiet day at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Enjoying a quiet day at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

School is back in session so fall is the perfect time to take a trip to one of the many destinations our area has to offer. My family and I recently went to the Baltimore Zoo (where we are members) and had basically every exhibit to ourselves. The only screaming children I had to endure were my own! 

 

The weather is perfect! 

We are fortunate to experience all four seasons here in central Maryland- snow, allergies, sauna and AUTUMN. Obviously my bias is showing here, but who doesn’t love a 65 degree day with low humidity? 

 

Perpetual good hair days! 

I am ‘fortunate enough’ (so I’m told) to have naturally wavy/curly hair, which means I rock the ‘messy mom bun’ far more than I’d like to acknowledge all summer. Combine ideal weather with the luscious locks that pregnancy brings and you look like a Vidal Sassoon model straight out of bed. 

 

Busting out your favorite jeans and comfy sweaters

(or yoga pants and hoodies)

Gone are the days of the tanktop and sundress, and with it, the concern over when, exactly, was the last time you shaved your legs (since who has time for that every day with a baby?!?!). 

 

Pumpkin picking at Baugher's Farm, Westminster, MD

Pumpkin picking at Baugher's Farm, Westminster, MD

Harvest festivals, apple picking and pumpkin patches abound!

The fall brings plenty of affordable, exciting activities that are fun for the whole family; a hay ride, bonfire, corn maze or strolling through an orchard in search of the perfect apple tree. There is something about digging the guts out of a pumpkin and carving the perfect jack-o-lantern that brings out the kid in everyone! 

 

Babywearing without sweating!

Perhaps our favorite fall accessory this year is a snuggly new baby! Whether you opt for a structured carrier like the Ergo or Tula, a cozy broken in wrap or a simple ring sling, wearing a baby in the fall is like having your own personal heater on a crisp day. Plus the extra layers on baby combined with your body heat are perfect for keeping their temperature regulated. 

 

Enjoy your fall! See you at the pumpkin patch!

 

 

Sibling Transition Tips

Bringing a new baby into your family is a transition for everyone, but especially for the soon-to-be siblings.  Even the most excited and proud big brothers and sisters may not realize just how significantly their life is about to be altered. 

2016 Carroll Biz Challenge

Having grown up in Carroll County, I have always appreciated the small town feeling- from the local grocer knowing me by name (and subsequently recognizing that my oldest daughter looks just like I did at her age) to our favorite pizza place always asking how my sister is doing in New Mexico.

Introducing Kimberleigh Schneider

Exciting news at DCMD!

We have partnered with one of our favorite local photographers Kimberleigh Schneider Photography!

As a mother of two herself, Kim has an innate ability to capture the passion, beauty and love during birth, the immediate postpartum moments and the weeks that follow. 

We are pleased to offer packages for both birth support and photography as well as a postpartum support package which will include a lifestyle photo shoot in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Kim is also available for newborn and family sessions for DCMD clients. 

Be sure to visit her website to learn more about Kim and witness just a few of her beautiful photographs.