DIY 100% organic, vegan, all-purpose Mama’s Balm

I’ve been a mom for almost 2 years now, and I guess my very first steps into the search for more natural and organic cosmetics started during my first pregnancy. It was organic belly oil I was after, and then more and more after the birth of Miss Jyve.

I could not get my hands on anything that was pure or natural enough for my baby, so much so that I did not use any product on her at the beginning except for diaper cream, which for the clueless first-time new mom was from the pharmacy. Only water and cotton wool for washing at the start, and she turned out just fine! I’m of the belief that babies should be exposed to as few chemicals and cosmetics as possible, as their little bodies adjust to the outside world. Even water(!) which can be harsh on the skin, so not too frequent baths either. We didn’t have too many throw-up episodes to deal with probably because Miss Jyve was exclusively breastfed, and babies don’t get too grimy in any case so it suited us fine. And I just looovvveee that new baby smell. Also quite frankly as busy moms, we don’t always take the time to understand what ingredients are in all the products we are using. I wasn’t one to load on the products for Miss Jyve – just an occasional light massage with 100% pure organic sweet almond oil, and her grandmother actually commented on how she has the nicest and softest skin!

The breastfeeding cream I first came across was 100% pure lanolin, sold to me by the breast pump company, which I was told by the lactation consultant is ‘good’, so I continued with it till I read about what lanolin actually was, and how it was extracted and produced. It wasn’t even that effective in healing, nor was it easy to apply. I hated how sticky and goopy it was, which pulled on already-tender skin. I was slightly horrified and uncomfortable that lanolin cream was one of the top recommendations to moms all over the world as a breastfeeding aid.

I wasn’t happy that my baby was ingesting lanolin with her breast milk, as the cream does not need to be washed or wiped off with each feed. And quite frankly, your nipples are so sore at that point that you hardly want to touch them.

So I started looking around, and never actually found one organic enough for my use. Even certified organic products can contain as little as 15% certified organic ingredients to attain a certification. I can’t really recall what I got my hands on, but I think breast milk seemed to have been the answer at that point, though I never felt it was too effective or protective.

Fast-forward to this pregnancy where I’m better equipped with the expectations that full-time breastfeeding demands, so I’m thinking ahead.

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Miss Jyve’s birth story (4) – The water birth

Advanced labour

I’ve now developed severe cramps in my left glutes stretching all the way to my knee due to being forced to ‘lay still’ on the bed while the strap-on monitor tries to get a steady reading from the baby. Which is absolutely RIDICULOUS considering we (Baby & I ) were both in active, advanced labour.

Funny, but the leg cramps are bothering me way more than the uterine contractions – which I seem to be able to deal with, while the leg cramps are just UNBEARABLE. I think this was the only point I actually shouted to Erin to

“Please do something to help me with the leg cramps!!”

We finally find that keeping my leg bent and her pushing down with all her might on my knee works to keep the cramps at bay.

Idiote medical doctor comes in once again, looks at me squirming around in the bed, looks at the monitor and says the reading is ‘not satisfactory’.

She then kind of yells at me, asking if I have ‘the urge to push’. I’m like, ‘I don’t know?!’ She rolls her eyes at me and leaves. This is my first baby, how the heck am I supposed to know?!!! All I know is that my body seems to have taken over!!

I wanted very much to yell various profanities at her, had I been physically able to, but the labour was frankly overwhelming in that it took over all of my focus and energy.

At this point, a different midwife (of middle eastern descent) comes in to take a look at me. Apparently a shift change had taken place during that time, which explains why we were left to ourselves for quite a long while. The midwife finally has the experience to know that I should be checked, before realising in shock that I was already at 10cm. I see her almost jump up to roll the medical tray into the birthing pool room and call the OB/GYN pronto.

Apparently no one had expected too that I would progress so quickly, as I had just been recently admitted.

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I’ve just secured an appointment with the obgyn for next week – makes me feel like I just struck the lottery – so happy! Getting an appointment with a doctor in Paris is like – 🙏🏼

Miss Jyve’s birth story (3) – The ‘Real’ Labour

40 weeks + 4, Thursday

2 am:

I am awoken by a huge contraction and roll off the couch (we’d both fallen asleep) wordlessly for fear of waking the husband and alarming him before it’s Really necessary.

I try to get back on but the force of the contraction overwhelms me and I decide to stay on the floor.

Somehow this time I have a feeling that “We’re about to hit the road, baby!”

I spend the next hour diligently timing each contraction and the intervals with my pregnancy app.

3 am:

Each contraction was about 2 minutes apart, and I went through the hour quietly and calmly (hypnobirthing at its best!), before waking the husband.

“I think I’m in labour. My contractions have been less than 2 minutes apart for the last hour.”

The husband bolts right up like – what?!! Where have I been this whole time??? Sleeping?!?!!

He springs into action and quickly gets Erin the doula, to come by, and phones the hospital for advice. The midwife says to run a bath for me and pop a couple of painkillers, and see if the ‘pain’ goes away. (Haha.) I think they do this to avoid people rushing to the hospital at the first twinge or Braxton hick.

From this point onwards I have no awareness of timelines, and I have the hypnobirthing track playing through with me on the mobile.

REAL Labour this time

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Miss Jyve’s birth story (2): Pre-Labour & Hypnobirthing

40 weeks + 3, Wednesday

Contractions still going, received a message from my doula (E) first thing AM:

E: How are you feeling today, are the contractions increasing in frequency/intensity?

L: Yea… erm… maybe…? I’m not sure…

At this point I may be making it all up in my head.

She decides to come by to check on me, and confirms that I was indeed making it up in my head.

E: Real labour is much more intense than this.

L: But how will I know?

E: Oh trust me, you will know.

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