Women's Health and Issues

Nurturing Prenatal Massage Therapy

September 23, 2009

pregnant womanMarin Mommies is pleased to present a guest article by massage therapist, doula, and yoga teacher Elizabeth Shelhart on the many benefits of prenatal massage.

When a woman becomes pregnant, her body begins to rapidly adjust to the new levels of hormones circulating throughout her system and her emotional balance is also affected. Throughout pregnancy, a woman’s body changes in ways she never imagined before. Muscles soften, ligaments lengthen, skin stretches, and organs shift around as the baby grows in its underwater home. Pregnancy is by far one of the most transformational experiences a woman will ever go through.

Can Breast-Feeding Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer?

August 10, 2009

According to a study published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women at high risk for breast cancer can possibly cut their chance of developing the disease by 59% by nursing their baby for at least three months. Dr. Alison Stuebe of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her team followed over 60,000 women for more than nine years, and found that breast-feeding could possibly offer the same benefits as taking the well known drug tamoxifen to cut down on the risk of breast cancer.

Read more about this study and the benefits and challenges of breast-feeding in the article on CNNHealth.com.

Regain Your Healthy and Beautiful Skin—A Mommy’s Guide

April 27, 2009

Skincare imageMarin Mommies presents a guest post by Cheryl Huang, MD FACS—Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

As mothers, we all delight in our babies’ skin—soft, plump and smooth. But we often forget to value our own skin. Neglecting to take proper care of this “canvas of beauty” can deprive us the opportunity to keep looking radiant and youthful for the years to come.

So many factors take a toll on our skin, from stress and hormonal changes to illness, sun exposure, air pollutants, and poor nutrition. These inflict damage on our skin, ultimately leading to the degeneration of collagen and elastin. For many, this breakdown begins during our thirties, with the appearance of fine lines under the eyes and around the corners of the mouth. Those lines may begin to deepen, and the surface of our skin may start to become dull, dry, blotchy, and discolored. 

But today we know that the earlier we start taking care our skin, the more damage we can prevent. Simple lifestyle changes and the help of a medical professional can help you make 40 the new 30. The following ideas can go a long way to restoring some of the youth and vigor to our skin.

Today is the Day to Act on your Ideas!

April 15, 2009

We're pleased to present another great guest article, this time written by Marin life coach Johanna Beyer.

So often I speak with people about what they would do in their lives if there were no constraints holding them back. Often times people have visions of being more creative or starting a business or traveling to new places. Inevitably, there is always a big, old BUT that comes after their exciting stories of possibility and that BUT is usually followed by a reason why they cannot make it happen. Perhaps it is not financially possible or there is a fear of failure or no one would think their idea would succeed. I then ask them why they cannot begin to explore their curiosity. What is the harm in beginning to carve out some time to specifically explore, research and talk to others about what interests them? The biggest obstacle I see people bump up against in trying to make purposeful change in their lives is an “all or nothing” approach. I can see the ego wanting the new endeavor to be perfect and that is just about death to any new seedling of an idea. Does a redwood tree come out of the ground strong, tall and robust? No, it takes time and the right conditions for it to grow and become majestic.

The Benefits of Practicing Yoga while Pregnant

March 9, 2009

Presenting a guest post by Lisa Flato, certified Hatha, prenatal, and postpartum yoga instuctor. Lisa teaches prenatal yoga at The Yoga Source in San Rafael on Saturdays mornings.

The image of a pregnant woman shrouded in flower petals, seated eating ripe fruit, all while having her feet rubbed is perhaps a nice dream. Once in a while she may have the opportunity to take in such pleasures as she rightly deserves. However in our world of moms who work away from home, stay-at-home moms, and all of the other many variations, it’s not always possible to pamper oneself accordingly. And, to be frank, the pregnant body is not always comfortable staying still for that long; movement often feels much better.

New: The Parents Center at Heller's in San Rafael

February 17, 2009

I think one thing that all expectant and new parents can agree upon is that there can never be too many resources to back you up in this new and unfamiliar part of your life. One of these resources is the new Parents Center, which recently opened in the inside the venerable Heller's for Children store on Fouth Street in San Rafael.

Located in Heller's loft area (in space donated by Heller's), the Parents Center is a comfortable, welcoming place that offers support and education for new and expectant parents. Moms are invited to come in, feed and weigh baby, have a cup of tea and relax. There's even a special rocker for breastfeeding moms with an optional privacy screen. There is a library of books and dvds for loan, all about pregnancy, parenting and baby and mother wellness. All parents are welcome, so stop by and check it out.

Classes, workshops, and programs offered at the Parents Center include free lactation consultations on Tuesdays between 12:30 and 2 pm, infant/child CPR and first aid, childbirth, newborn care, breastfeeding and pumping, prenatal yoga, baby massage, infant sleep, baby massage, and more. All class fees are on a sliding scale, which is especially welcome in today's economic climate.

Spice Up Your Life!

January 28, 2009

mom and daughter kissingPresenting another guest article, this time by Mill Valley life coach and mom Johanna Beyer.

Last night I watched Kung Fu Panda with my 4-year-old son. I was thinking that it was going to be another silly kid’s movie, but I was pleasantly surprised by its spiritual message. In the movie Po, a big, clumsy panda, is constantly told by his father about the family’s secret noodle ingredient. When Po is finally able to learn about the secret ingredient, he is told by his father that there really is no magical ingredient. His noodles taste so good because of his hard work and dedication to the art of making good soup everyday. Now that is DEEP!

Marin Mother's Circle Begins in February

January 25, 2009

Mom and babyTwo great new programs for Marin moms and their babies are starting up in February. The Marin Mother’s Circle 0–6 Month Series is a six-week mother’s circle starting Tuesday, February 3, for moms and their 0–6-month-old babies, and the Marin Mother’s Circle 6–12 Months Series, for moms and their 6–12-month-old babies, also lasts for six weeks and begins Thursday, February 5. Both sessions are from 2:15 to 3:45 pm.

Some of the topics focused on include:

What Was Old is New Again: Psychotherapists Making House Calls

January 21, 2009

Marin Mommies is pleased to present another great guest article, this time by Mill Valley psychotherapist Lisa Nave, MA, MFT. Lisa specializes in working with parents, children, and families, and works from a holistic, integral psychotherapy model, which combines the best of western psychology with the best of the eastern wisdom traditions.

Today, we live in a technological society where much of our communication is virtual. Our society is more socially fragmented than it has ever been, with high divorce rates, disconnected suburban communities, and a lack of common values or even cultural rituals that keep us closely tied. In my private psychotherapy practice many of my clients have spoken of these issues over the years, and it is due to their distress that I decided to offer house calls as an optional service, if appropriate.

For issues such as parenting and child development, house calls may be the preferred method. There are several reasons for this:

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