Tag Archives: maternal health

How Diet Affects Vaginal Health

As you guys know, I am passionate about women’s health, maternal and child health, and as a result, I’ve decided to share more about the things I’m passionate about here on the blog. Today’s post as you can already see by the title is about vaginal health. Many of us live our lives trying to do the best we can to survive but how much attention are we really giving to our body parts? Let’s get into today’s post.

The human body is made up of intricate systems that are considered delicate. Our overall well-being depends on how we care for our bodies, this includes the types of foods we consume. Each body system and its functionalities are affected by our diet and this includes the vagina. This may seem a bit taboo because there are a lot of misconceptions about diet. Typically, when diet is mentioned, it is associated with the microbiome that resides within our gastrointestinal tract, general gut health, or weight loss. However, everything is interconnected one way or another and diet can affect vaginal health. 

According to general research conducted, the pH level of a healthy vagina usually ranges between 3.8-4.5 which makes it naturally acidic. I know that you may be wondering how on earth can an acidic environment be a good thing. However, the acidic pH level found within the vaginal microbiome provides protection from sexually transmitted pathogens and unhealthy bacteria that can cause infections. Hence, the foods we consume can create an imbalance and disrupt the natural function of the vagina.

For instance, if enough water is not consumed daily but there is an increased intake of alcohol, that can lead to a host of skin-related issues. This includes dry skin, flakiness, and wrinkles. As a result, both the external and internal parts of the genitalia may become dry which could lead to itchy sensations. Due to this uncomfortable feeling, one may engage in constant scratching of the area which can cause inflammation. Additionally, drinking enough water can help prevent possible UTIs and yeast infections. Remaining hydrated will naturally cause you to urinate and can help get rid of the unhealthy bacteria before it gives you an infection. 

The consumption of processed and fried foods daily can also affect the health of your vagina. Ultra-processed foods are known for containing high amounts of added sugar, fats, unhealthy preservatives, and artificial ingredients which are all harmful to one’s overall health. Ingesting processed or fried foods can alter the pH level of the vagina, causing an unnatural foul odor. Excessive sugar on a daily basis can create an environment in the vagina for yeast to grow because it has the potential to destroy the good bacteria in your vagina. Be mindful of eating meat or dairy with preservatives or animals who have been fed growth hormones. These growth hormones may block the body’s formation of estrogen; inhibiting the function of the vaginal mucosa, which as a result, can increase the likelihood of infection.

A healthy and balanced diet is key to maintaining your vaginal health. Experts recommend eating foods that are considered prebiotics and probiotics. These may include cranberries, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, yogurt, salmon, and foods rich in vitamin C.  It will help to fight against infections and maintain the normal vaginal pH range. If the foods that you consume daily affect your immune system and general health, they will affect your vaginal health. Be sure to make your health a priority. 

What Is Placenta Encapsulation?

A week ago I had the privilege of attending a placenta encapsulation class. As a Doula, my goal is to learn more skills that will be valuable for my clients and potential clients. I came across a beautiful young lady by the name of Kaci on Instagram one day while looking through a Doula hashtag and I followed her and we became insta buddies. I checked out her site and saw she was offering a placenta encapsulation class. I had an idea of what it was but didn’t know as much then as I know now. I consider myself a professional student and I’m always willing to learn new things especially in this birth worker space.

In this post, I’m going to talk about placenta encapsulation and what are the benefits. 

What is a Placenta?

The placenta is a temporary organ that develops in your uterus during pregnancy. This organ provides nutrients and oxygen to your growing baby during pregnancy, and it also removes waste products from your baby’s blood. The placenta attaches to the wall of your uterus, and your baby’s umbilical cord arises from it. The organ is usually attached to the top, side, front, or back of the uterus. 

What is Placenta Encapsulation?

The custom of consuming the placenta which is known as placental encapsulation is centuries old and is often practiced in Chinese medicine. Placental encapsulation is the practice of ingesting the placenta after it has been steamed, dehydrated, ground, and placed into pills. Traditionally, this is taken by the mother and is believed to impart numerous health benefits.  It is frequently taken shortly after giving birth, during a woman’s menstrual period, or during menopause with the belief that it helps counter some of the symptoms of menopause.

Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation 

There is little evidence-based research available in regards to placental encapsulation and its consumption benefits. However, tradition and holistic customs embrace numerous potential advantages which come from ingesting the placenta.

Some of these benefits are:

  • Increase production of milk
  • Increased supply of Iron
  • A decrease in post-partum depression levels
  • Better Maternal bonding with baby
  • Reduced PostNatal bleeding
  • Reduce hair loss
  • Increased in energy
  • Increased release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus to return to its normal size

Making Your Decision:

There is limited research available in either support or opposition of placenta encapsulation, although there are many reported benefits.  The potential benefits of placenta encapsulation include both mental and physical benefits.  An individual’s experience with their placenta is a very personal one.  Individual assessment of one’s risk of developing a postpartum mood disorder, having milk supply issues, or possibly struggling from blood loss after giving birth may be the most appropriate guide in determining whether or not placenta encapsulation is right for you.

I’m currently waiting on my official certification but if you’re in the Atlanta area and you’re interested in this service reach out to me via email and of course, reach out to my amazing instructor Kaci Griffin from Labor With Kaci, and also follow her on Instagram. We are committed to the safe preparation and storage of the placenta for those interested in experiencing the great benefits of placenta encapsulation.

What Is A Doula And Why I Became A One

Just call me Tanya The Doula! Ever heard of the phrase “slow and steady wins the race?” Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you have. There was a time a couple of years ago where I had no idea what my purpose in life was. Although I had an idea, of course, I allowed doubt and fear to creep in. I now know that my purpose in life is to be of service to others; it’s who I am.

I mentioned the phrase “slow and steady wins the race” because it means if you work slow and are consistent, you will succeed better. My friends, this is what I’ve been doing. I have not accomplished all of my goals, but I’ve been working on them slowly and have been accomplishing some as time goes by.

This brings me to today’s post. I know you’ve seen the title, so you’re wondering why I was saying all of that instead of getting to the point, Ha! Last week was national Doula week, so I think this is the perfect time to announce to you and the world my newest accomplishment and business venture. I’ve had a keen interest in Maternal and Child Health for a while, and that interest was sparked even more as I pursued my Public Health degree. I’ve done many research on maternal health, especially among the African American community, and that prompted me to think of ways I can give back and help. I decided to do that by becoming a Doula. Last September, I trained to become a Doula. It has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. 

WHAT IS A DOULA?

For those of you who don’t know what a Doula is. A Doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible. (DONA.org). So, to be honest, A Doula is the support system you didn’t know you needed. In recent years, Doulas have made a resurgence in today’s society. There has been much research done about the benefits of having continuous labor support. 

BENEFITS OF HAVING A DOULA

  1. A positive birth experience
  2. Fill in the gaps with support
  3. Individual childbirth Education
  4. Decreases the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience by 31%
  5. Provides support mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically
  6. Reduces the rate of C-section by 39%
  7. There’s an 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
  8. We have a great connection to local resources

I became a Doula to make a difference in the lives of women and families. To be an advocate and to ensure that every mother’s birth outcome is positive. I was trained to be a Doula, Childbirth Educator, and I’m working on becoming a certified Breastfeeding counselor. I have the privilege of being mentored by an amazing birth worker. I can’t call her just a Doula because she does it all and is amazing in this Doula community. I want to give a shout-out to my mentor Esther from the Metro Mommy Agency. I have all the tools to be the best Doula I can be and run my Doula business because of her. 

As time goes by, I will share my experience and share my clients’ experiences here on the blog, so I can continue to educate you more about this community the importance of having a Doula as part of your birth plan.

As a Doula, my purpose is to support your birth vision, bring oneness to your body and mind. I am here to amplify your experiences and, of course, empower you to find your strength from within.

call me Tanya The Doula

MY DOULA SERVICES

I’ll take this time to say I am accepting new clients. If you or anyone you know is expecting and think a Doula is a right fit( I hope you do consider), please send me an email, and we can set up a consultation. I am here to help you from the Prenatal stage, Labor support, and postpartum stage. I am all about educating, empowering, and promoting positivity!

  1. Prenatal: Birth planning, addressing your concerns. get your partner involved by teaching them comfort measures and what to expect.
  2. Continuous Labor Support: No matter how long your labor is, I am with you! I work on call. I’ll be your speed dial person. I do home births and hospital births. I will remain with you and your family up to 3 hours after your delivery.
  3. Postpartum care: 24 to 72 hours after delivery. I’ll be there once you’re discharged from the hospital. I will provide newborn care, light housekeeping, meal prepping during the first six weeks.

Have you or anyone ever had an experience with a Doula? Comment below what your experience is/was. Do you think you would have a Doula as part of your birth plan when that time comes?