This post originally appeared at Rebirththebook.com.
The following post is not meant to be medical advice, please discuss your unique situation with your medical team.
I wanted to take a moment to address stitches for perennial tears after birth. "Did you tear?" Is one of the leading questions I hear when discussing births, and understandably so as no one wants to go through labor, childbirth, and THEN face stitches.
In my opinion, stitches are overly used on tears which could heal on their own without intervention. But, they're overly used because doctors and midwives know that for a tear to heal correctly, the new mom must be laying down in bed for two weeks in a position that allows for the tear to properly line up. Sounds a bit complicated, eh?
First, let's address the tear lining up correctly because this is crucial. Picture a rectangular piece of cloth... now take a pair of scissors and cut it about one inch in the center. When that piece of cloth is lying flat on a table, the part of the cloth that is cut will still line up neatly. Many perennial tears that line up correctly when mom lays down will heal perfectly on their own with bed rest. If mom is running around after a toddler and trying to do the dishes, the extra movement can undo any natural healing and make the damage worse.
Not all tears will line up correctly. In this case, stitches are the best option and will prevent mom from dealing with any future issues. A local anesthetic is injected, and self-dissolving stitches are placed to ensure proper healing and minimal scar tissue. Though no mom wants this to happen, stitches prevent any major complications such as painful or difficult intercourse, pain sitting or walking, and excess scar tissue.
In my own life, I've had 4 babies and torn 3 times. I received stitches the first time and really was uncomfortable for weeks after. Part of it may have been more physiological than physical, but I never wanted to go through stitches again. My second birth was my smallest baby, and I did not tear. But, I did tear during my next two homebirth.
My first homebirth was in Virginia. At that time, midwives weren't permitted to carry lidocaine to numb the area before performing stitches, so for them to be performed, mom needed to be taken to the hospital after birth. Nobody wants to do that. My wonderful midwife said she felt I would heal on my own if I laid down and rested, and I did.
My second homebirth was in Connecticut, and the midwives are permitted to keep lidocaine on them so they can perform stitches in a home setting. My tearing was a bit more complicated and my midwife recommended stitches because she felt that rest and proper healing would be tough with 4 kids running around. I REALLY didn't want stitches so I declined them and agreed to lie in bed with my legs and knees together so the tear would line up properly and rest for 2 weeks. I did heal perfectly without stitches and was really relieved.
The bottom line is that stitches can be declined if you discuss it thoroughly with your provider. Declining stitches poses the risk of not healing correctly or taking longer to heal, so be sure that you’re aware of your tear and your ability to properly rest before declining stitches. If I tear heals in separate sections, a person would be looking at much more complex surgical repair work than simply having stitches after birth so talk about it with your provider and postpartum support team before deciding!
If you're planning to breastfeed or currently nursing, I'm sure you’ve checked out the various nursing pillows in the market. Most pillows are a life saver, or at least a back saver, once you find the right one. I've owned four different types, three of which I would recommend to a friend.
First off, we'll start with the bad. I grabbed a no name nursing pillow at a consignment sale. It came in the same half-circle shape as other nursing pillows, but was pure fluff with no support. I threw it in the back of my car for infrequent car nursing sessions, and eventually dropped it off at goodwill. Don't waste your time and money on no names pillows, because they leave you with no support!
The Boppy nursing pillow, My Breast Friend, and Ergo nursing pillow are far more worth your time and money.
Which nursing pillows have you used? How would you rate it?
I tried Grove... Here's How it went
My Facebook and Instagram have been packed with ads for Grove.co and the Mrs. Meyers deal convinced me to dive in and give it a try. So- here's how the program works, what I purchased, and my honest, unsolicited opinion.
The Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Kit came free with my first purchase and I was only going to buy things that I absolutely needed. I found my new chapter multivitamins, a big bottle of hand sanitizer, and a toddler toothbrush and hit order! The package arrived about 5 days later, and I was super excited!
The multivitamins were just as expected. I ordered a 48 count of New Chapter Multivitamins for $24.95, which breaks down to about $0.50 per serving. Amazon has the vitamins for $0.40 per serving, so I paid a bit more- but was getting a cleaning kit!
The toothbrush that I ordered was the Radius Totz Toothbrush for $3.99. That's about 3x the cost of a regular kids toothbrush, but it claims to be safer and supports a charity... so I went for it. The photo showed a white one, and we received a purple, sparkly one which my son didn't like... so that purchase was a bit of a bust.
Then I ordered the Grove brand hand sanitizer for $6.95. I figured we go through so much of that this time of year, so trying a new one with coconut oil in it sounded great!
The Mrs. Meyers cleaning kit came with a bucket, sponges, dish soap, floor cleaner. The dish soap was labeled pumpkin spice but only smelled like coconut and the sponges were in a package but felt moist and didn't smell great. :/
I did leave a low star rating and customer service promptly got in touch, which was great!
The two products I unexpectedly fell in love with were the hand sanitizer and floor cleaner. Both smell amazing and do their jobs incredibly well.
Ultimately, I feel like the products I received were a great value and the customer service was superb. I plan to order from them again, and am really excited about their dish towels. I know... I'm at that point in life when dish towels are exciting... but what I didn't love is that the service automatically subscribes you to ordering the products monthly. I like to pick out my stuff and order when I need it, so I always unsubscribe. I also don't like that after 60 days, you have to pay for the VIP service. That's not something I can financially justify at this point, especially when the products seem to be priced a bit higher than amazon.
The bottom line is Grove.co is offering an amazing introductory deal, which you should take advantage of! Then, decide for yourself if it's worth keeping long term!
If your interested in trying out Grove, I'd love for you to use my link so we both get bonuses. Right now, they're offering their Christmas scents, [and if it smells like coconut, customer service can help :)]
Have you tried Grove? What did you think?
Fresh Bread For Motherhood
One of the hardest parts about motherhood is that everywhere I look, there's a need, and someone looking at me to fulfill it. There are emotional needs like love and encouragement, educational needs for my second grader and kindergartner, play need for my three year old, and a baby who needs milk, and food, and protection and diapers. Then there's all the crazy physical needs, like financial, organization, cleaning, and cooking. The list is completely endless.
When I grabbed my bible after a particularly trying day, I opened up to Mathew 15. Jesus just learned that John the Baptist had been beheaded, so he retreated to a quiet place. BUT, people followed him.
As I was reading this passage, I was struck by the notion that Jesus gets it. He understands the moments when you want to hide from your kids, eat ice cream and cry. [That was me yesterday after my kids managed to spill THREE smoothies on carpets]. When Jesus retreated to have some alone time with the Father, people followed too.
But, Jesus had compassion on them and healed their sick: The mute spoke, crippled where healed, the lame walked and the blind saw (Matt. 15:31).
Then Jesus fed them, and not just a little snack. We're talking about 5,000 men plus all the women and children (Matt. 15:38). The fact that he miraculously gave in abundance out of that trying moment, to me, is assurance that he will also give each and every tired mama who seeks Him the grace, strength and patience they need for the tasks ahead.
"I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way..." (Matt. 15:32 c).
Mama, Jesus sees your weary heart and he never wants to send anyone away hungry. He's got every bit of provision waiting for you so that you don't collapse on this journey. Seek him at each step, and remember, He gets it.
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.