Common Skin/Body Care Ingredients to Avoid While Trying to Conceive and Pregnancy:
Aluminum chloride hexahydrate: Look for it in antiperspirant; also check for aluminium chlorohydrate.
Beta hydroxy acids: Typically found in anti-aging skincare products. Look for salicylic acid, 3-hydroxypropionic acid, trethocanic acid and tropic acid.
Chemical sunscreens: Read label and look for avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, oxtinoxate, menthyl anthranilate and oxtocrylene.
Diethanolamine (DEA): Found in hair and body products under the names diethanolamine, oleamide DEA, lauramide DEA and cocamide DEA.
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): Found in spray self-tanners.
Fluoride: Found in toothpaste, mouthwash, municipal water sources; scientific studies have linked it to lower IQ scores in children exposed to it in utero.
Formaldehyde: A preservative found in hair straightening treatments, nail polishes and eyelash glue; look for formaldehyde, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM), hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol).
Hydroquinone: A skincare lightening agent; abstain from using products containing idrochinone and quinol/1-4 dihydroxy benzene/1-4 hydroxy benzene.
Parabens: Has been linked to cancer in clinical studies. Keep away from propyl, butyl, isopropyl, isobutyl and methyl parabens.
Phthalates: Found in synthetic fragrances and nail polishes; avoid diethyl and dibutyl.
Retinol: Linked to birth defects in clinical studies; Found in anti-aging skin care products; Look for the names Vitamin A, retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene and isotretinoin.
Thioglycolic acid: Found in chemical hair removers; also look for the names acetyl mercaptan, mercaptoacetate, mercaptoacetic acid and thiovanic acid.
Toluene: Found in nail polishes; skip methylbenzene, toluol and antisal 1a.
Breastfeeding is a gift, but when mastitis appears, it can quickly become a nightmare. The good news is ancient Chinese Medicine has proven to effectively prevent its onset and boost recovery.
What is mastitis?
Mastitis is inflammation of a milk duct due to infection in a clogged duct. It can arise quickly and will leave you feeling like you’ve been run over by a bus. Common symptoms include acute breast tenderness, an engorged milk duct, red skin over a milk duct, fever/chills, fatigue, and body aches. If left untreated, mastitis can rupture into an abscess requiring surgical intervention. Therefore, it’s important to be as vigilant as you can about clearing clogged ducts.
Mastitis is most likely to occur within the first three months of breastfeeding and is the second most common infection during postpartum (for those who want to know, urinary tract infections are the most common postpartum illness).
The most common Western treatment for mastitis is a course of antibiotics to kill off an overgrowth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. S. aureus bacteria is generally transmitted from the baby’s mouth to the breast. If your immune system has been weakened by stress or fatigue, the bacteria can take up residency in a milk duct causing inflammation and engorgement.
How can I prevent mastitis?
Twenty centuries ago, Chinese doctors discovered the root cause of 99% of mastitis infections… anger, frustration, and/or resentment! Have you ever been so mad at someone/something you felt like you might explode with words or burst into tears? Anger is a powerful emotion that literally brings a rush of energetic heat to the body like a flame shooting upwards. According to Chinese Medicine, that is energy (qi) in the Liver meridian looking to escape. If you’re a nursing mama and the sudden rush of Liver qi is not expressed, it lodges in the breasts inflaming milk ducts and establishing ideal conditions for an infection. To prevent mastitis, your best bet is to find a safe outlet for any anger, resentment or frustration. An outlet could be talking to someone you trust, taking a walk, writing in a journal, or creating art.
If I get mastitis, what should I do?
Mastitis is best-treated sooner rather than later. If you notice a clogged duct not clearing with feedings, self-massage or heat, it’s best to seek professional help right away as mastitis can escalate quickly. Your family doctor or gynecologist can prescribe antibiotics, while an acupuncturist can perform a treatment aimed at getting the stuck energy (qi) moving and will likely send you home with Chinese herbs to clear the infection naturally over the course of a few days. To keep mastitis from recurring, stick to a regular feeding schedule, take the time needed to clear clogged ducts as soon as you notice them, and find a healthy way to release any unresolved feelings of resentment or frustration.
To schedule a consultation for all of your postpartum challenges, contact us at 512-686-0777 today!
Reality: IVF is brutal. The bruises are real. The fear of failure can be overwhelming. The financial burden is heavy.
The antidote to this challenging reality is faith.
Faith in the Universe to unite a mother with the soul of her unborn child.
Faith in doctors to expertly prescribe the exact dose of Follistim or Gonal-F, Lupron, hCG, Prednisolone, Estradiol, and/or Progesterone needed to hijack a menstrual cycle and optimize the body’s conditions for conception & pregnancy.
Faith in holistic medicine to support & protect the body, mind, and spirit from such an invasive process.
Faith in traditional Chinese herbs to harmonize the body, mind, and spirit and nourish the Uterus.
Faith in yourself to answer the sacred calling of a Mother.
As a Licensed Acupuncturist, one of my favorite skills is reading a patient’s pulse to find out what’s going on in their body-mind-spirit. In Oriental Medicine, this is called pulse diagnosis. Within seconds, I can find out whether a patient…
… is having nightmares
… is digesting a greasy hamburger
… is constipated
… has a headache
… has back pain
… is about to catch a cold
And, my favorite pulse revelations:
… is pregnant
… is pregnant with a boy or girl
… is pregnant with multiples
Patients often ask me, “How in the world can you know that from my pulse?”
The short answer is, the pulse reveals everything.
Pulse diagnosis has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. There are over 25 distinct pulses and each has its own unique characteristics. Licensed Acupuncturists spend at least 4 years in graduate school learning & practicing traditional pulse diagnosis. It’s a skill that develops with practice and study over time.
Now, let’s circle back to my favorite pulse revelations, pregnancy and fetal gender…
I can generally detect pregnancy in a pulse shortly after implantation between cycle weeks 3-4. The pulse reveals pregnancy about a week before any modern medical pregnancy test or bloodwork will register enough hCG to deliver a positive result. Discovering a pregnancy pulse is always the highlight of my work day!
The gender of the fetus appears in the pulse as early as cycle week 5. To minimize error, I monitor the pulse carefully between weeks 5-7 before I share the news. Sometimes, parents don’t want to know, so I record the gender and deliver it to them in a sealed envelope for later use. Anatomical ultrasounds typically occur around cycle week 20, so learning a baby’s gender by cycle week 7 gives parents plenty of extra prep time to shop for pink or blue!
Are you ready to get a pulse diagnosis?
Request an appointment here!