Winter Warm Up Massages

by Cathleen McCauley, LMT

Whether you’re treating yourself to a much-needed day of relaxation or stuffing stockings with a special surprise, Pulling Down the Moon can help with three new massage treatments from our Winter Warm Up Menu!

Healthy Holiday Massage Bring a little merry and bright to the season with a Healthy Holiday Massage. This 60-minute treatment focuses on relaxation and physical, mental and emotional wellbeing by indulging all your senses with seasonal delights.  Each massage session features your choice of a holiday essential oil blend, warm hydrotherapy to soothe and melt tension, soft holiday lighting, classical music and a steaming cup of hot cocoa or cinnamon stick tea. This session will be available until January. Purchase one session for $95 or 3 for $255.

Breathe Better Treatment A cold or cough can make a Scrooge out of anyone during the holidays. Clear your head with a 30-minute Breathe Better Treatment. This session targets the face, head and neck area to relieve tension and sinus pressure and incorporates cedar eucalyptus oil to open airways. The crisp and woody oil blend clears sinuses and lungs, enhances energy, supports adrenal function and promotes clarity of mind. This session will be available through March. Purchase one session for $40 or 3 for $105.  

Treat Your Feet Winter weather can be rough on your feet and not to mention all those holiday errands! Take a load off with a 30-minute Treat Your Feet session. This treatment focuses on melting away foot and ankle discomfort with massage, mobilizations and heated towels. A warming blend of cinnamon and clove essential oils helps to increase circulation and ground your spirit. This session will be available through March. Purchase one session for $40 or 3 for $105.

Purchase your Winter Warm Up massages today! Contact Pulling Down the Moon at 312-321-0004 (Chicago Area) or 301-610-7755 (DC Metro) or book online at www.pullingdownthemoon.com.

3 Tips for Moms to Stay Nourished

When getting ready for your baby, it’s so natural to think only about your baby and hardly at all about yourself. The irony is that one of the best ways to take care of your baby is to make sure he/she has well-nourished parents! (Ideally, they would be well-rested too, but hey, we are not magicians!)

In addition to getting the nursery ready and stocking up on baby gear, take some time to think about making sure you have a plan for eating nutritious, tasty food. Here are some tips I learned the hard way:

  1. Stock up on easy-to-eat, nutritious, filling snacks.   Eating three square meals a day is not a realistic expectation for a while. The truth is, you’ll be eating a lot on the go and at unconventional times. You may have to take quick advantage of the 5 quiet minutes your baby is happily playing by him/herself at 3:30pm to eat lunch! Pick up some trail mix, granola bars, nuts, and baby carrots with hummus.
  2. Make sure you have the right food in your freezer. For breakfast and lunch, there are lots of good-for-you options that are easy to eat and prepare available right in your grocer’s freezer. For breakfast, waffles are a great option (try to get some made with whole grain rather than the super-sugary varieties). Plus, these are great if you have an older child at home. For lunch, try enchiladas, mini calzones, mini quiches or anything else that is easy to eat while holding your baby.
  3. Make the right kind of food in advance. I’m sure you’ve already been told to make some lasagna and freeze it. That’s nice, but not a very realistic food to eat while holding your baby (heavy, messy foods tend not to be…). Plus, because you have to defrost the entire pan, you’ll be eating it for a while! Here’s the solution: convert your favorite casserole into muffins. Instead of making a huge pan of macaroni and cheese, bake it in muffin tins. That way, you can defrost only what you need and, it will be much easier for you to eat! (Extra bonus: you can feed this to an older child if you have one at home!)

I hope these tips help you as you prepare for this exciting time!

Now is the perfect time to get yourself some meals or to give a gift to a mom you know! Moment for Mom is pleased to announce a special offer to Pulling Down the Moon customers! Purchase a Day of Meals Package, get a FREE upgrade to Day of Meals + Dinner for Partner ($15 value). To redeem, purchase a Day of Meals at momentformom.com through Paypal and where it asks “Is this a gift (YES/NO)?”, write “MOONGIFT” if it’s a gift and “MOON” if it’s for you. Valid on your first purchase only.

 

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Merav Benson is the founder of Moment for Mom, a meal delivery service for new moms in Chicagoland. Our menu was developed with a registered dietitian to focus on the nutritional needs of a new mom and we offer lots of options that are easy to eat even while holding a baby! Our meal packages are great for you and also perfect as a gift for a new mom (you choose the meal package – and mom chooses what she wants to eat and when she wants it delivered!) Check us out at www.momentformom.com

 

Acupuncture and Postpartum Depression

by Hena Shomali, L.Ac.

What is Postpartum Depression?

The birth of a baby not only causes excitement, joy, love, fear and anxiety: Chemical changes may occur that can also cause depression after birth.

Many new moms go through an emotional phase. This phase can include anger outbursts, mood swings, crying and mild depression. Some new moms have emotions that run much deeper for a longer period of time. Depression that lasts for an extended period of time after birth is called postpartum depression.

Many people may feel that postpartum depression is a character flaw or a mental weakness. On the contrary, postpartum depression is caused by the extreme emotional and chemical changes that occur during or after childbirth. Women who have postpartum depression typically need medical care for least a short time. This medical care is focused on correcting the chemical imbalance in the brain caused by childbirth.

Acupuncture may also be helpful in treating the symptoms of postpartum depression. Before we explore that, let’s have a look at some of the things that may cause postpartum depression.

Causes of Postpartum Depression

Physical changes. After childbirth a woman’s hormones fluctuate rapidly and her body cannot always adjust to these changes immediately. The main hormones involved are estrogen and progesterone. The thyroid also may not produce hormones the way it typically did before birth. These things can leave the mother feeling tired, sluggish and depressed. Other physical changes that occur may include loss of blood volume, lower blood pressure, lowered immune system response and changes in metabolism.

Emotional factors. Emotional struggles can be caused by a number of things including sleep deprivation and feeling overwhelmed by all of the new changes in your life. During this time you are happy about your newborn but possibly feeling less attractive, struggling with your identity, and sometimes feeling like you have lost control of your life.

Lifestyle influences. There are many lifestyle factors that can cause postpartum depression. On one hand, your baby is demanding attention in addition to attention you may need to give to older siblings or other people in your environment. On the other hand, you may be juggling exhaustion, a lack of support from your spouse or partner and possible financial adjustments that are necessary with the birth of a baby.

Genetics. Some women are genetically predisposed to be more vulnerable than others to receiving a diagnosis of postpartum depression. This is similar to being genetically predisposed to developing typical depression symptoms throughout life.

Acupuncture for Postpartum Depression Symptoms

Acupuncture can be extremely beneficial in addressing symptoms of postpartum depression. With acupuncture treatment, the body’s natural hormonal balance may be regained in a much shorter amount of time. Many of the emotional symptoms of postpartum depression have been shown to improve with continued acupuncture treatments. It has even been suggested that acupuncture may help to prevent the onset of postpartum depression.

Developing postpartum depression does not mean you are a bad person or a bad mother. Medical help is available. Talk to your family doctor or obstetrician to find out more about treatment of postpartum depression. Don’t wait until it’s out of control to seek help. If you feel angry at your baby, or are not able to care for your baby because of frustration or sadness, ask a friend or relative to keep an eye on your child until you are feeling better.

While it is recommended that you seek medical care in case of an emergency (such as if you feel like you may harm yourself or your baby) acupuncture is recognized as one of the most successful natural treatments for postpartum depression and depression symptoms in general. If you are experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, or feel you may be at risk for developing such symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact one of Pulling Down the Moon’s licensed acupuncturists or to schedule a treatment at one of our centers.

Click here to book an acupuncture appointment online. You may also contact our Chicago office at 312-321-0004 or our DC Metro office at 301-610-7755 to get more information.

Research Round-Up: Myoinositol

by Beth Heller, MS

If you are trying to conceive, your OB Gyn or Reproductive Endocrinologist may have recommended you begin supplementation with myoinositol.   Myoinositol is compound that belongs to the B Vitamin complex and plays a role in cell growth and maturation as well as insulin metabolism.  Much of the research into the role of myoinositol in reproduction has been done in patients with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), where administration of this supplement has been shown to improve blood sugar regulation, restore menstrual cyclicity, and manage PCOS symptoms like acne and hirsutism and even increase conception rates.  When myoinositol was given to women with PCOS undergoing IVF, researchers also noted these women had fewer degenerated oocytes and a greater number of mature eggs (1,2).  Because of these findings researchers have moved beyond the PCOS population to explore whether myoinositol has the ability to improve egg and embryo quality in a more general population.

Here is a round-up of some of the recent findings:

  • Non-PCOS women pre-treated with myoinositol required a lower dose of ovarian-stimulating hormones  during IVF and showed a trend toward greater implantation rates (3)
  • PCOS patients undergoing IVF treated with myoinositol had more mature oocytes and fewer immature follicles (4)
  • Non-PCOS treated with a combination of myoinositol and melatonin after a failed IVF cycle showed  greater amounts of mature oocytes, better embryo quality and higher pregnancy rates (5)

If you are interested in learning more about the way that diet can support fertility you can schedule an appointment with a Pulling Down the Moon nutrition specialist.   Please note that you should always speak to your physician before starting any nutrition supplement regimen.   

Sources

1. Papeleo et al.  Fertility and Sterility Vol. 91, No. 5, May 2009

2. Papeleo et al. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology Vol. 147, 2009.

3. Lisi et al. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2012 Jul 23;10:52

4. Ciotta et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 May;15(5):509-14

5.  Unfer et al. Gynecological Endocrinology, 2011; Early Online, 1-5

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