Staci Bishop

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Uganda Prep Update #3: Health & Wellness

I leave for Africa in just 2 weeks. Eek!

The reality of that is starting to set in and I'm trying not to panic. Ha! I've done a ton to prepare but I still feel like I have so much left to do.

This post will focus on the knowledge I have gained in regards to disease prevention.

VACCINATIONS - I finally had my appointment with the travel clinic last week and was able to secure the exemption I needed for yellow fever. There are a ton of "recommended" vaccines (hepatitis A & B, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, typhoid, rabies, and meningitis) but some countries "require" a yellow fever vaccine. As many of you know, my personal beliefs and convictions about health and wellness prevent me from receiving vaccines. I believe the risk of the vaccination outweighs the risk of the disease. I also believe that a healthy immune system can fight off germs of all shapes and sizes with the aid of natural remedies. Vaccines trick our immune systems and, in the process, they actually lower our primary immune response.

Ultimately, the goal, of course, is not to contract any of these pesky diseases in the first place. I have already started daily immune boosters (astragalus, echinacea, vitamin C, elderberry, vitamin D, zinc, probiotic). I will continue these on the trip in addition to adding in super lysine, garlic, colloidal silver, essential oils such as lavender, lemon, tea tree and rosemary, and tinctures like wormwood, black walnut, and licorice root. Click here to view my complete alternative treatment regimen.

When you get down to the nitty gritty, these are the 3 most common disease threats in Uganda...

YELLOW FEVER - A virus transmitted through infected mosquitos. We will be in Uganda during the "dry season" so that should help. All of our lodging will have mosquito netting as well. Plus, I will be using natural mosquito repellents such as lemon eucalyptus (different than lemon and eucalyptus), garlic, and sulphur (natural mineral in the body). If infected, I will be treating with phosphorus, vitamin C, fenugreek, capsicum, and geranium. These are known to boost the immune system and aid the liver. The capsicum and geranium are to assist with hemorrhage should a severe case occur. There is no known treatment for yellow fever, only supportive measures.

MALARIA - A parasite transmitted through infected mosquitos. See above for insect bite prevention. The travel clinic doctor advised that all fevers should be treated as malaria until proven otherwise. A typical malaria attack lasts 6-10 hours. The known treatment for malaria is quinine, which I have in tincture form. If infected, I will also be using wormwood, black walnut, and licorice root tinctures as they are known to fight off parasites. Capsicum and phosphorus are also known to help with malaria treatment.

TYPHOID - A bacteria transmitted through poorly cooked food or contaminated water. I will only be consuming bottled water and eating well-cooked foods (no raw veggies or fruits). The travel medicine doctor advised that I take a chewable bismuch subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) with any meal I feel could be contaminated. This is a natural bacteria killer but it only works in the stomach so it must be taken at the same time as any food or drink containing bacteria. In addition, I did receive a prescription for azithromycin to take with me just in case. He advised that all cases of diarrhea with fever should be treated as typhoid until proven otherwise.

I have a million things that I'm worried about but disease really isn't one of them. For starters, I don't plan to get sick. But, if I do, then I will address it at that time using the knowledge that I have gained and relying on modernized medical care as the last resort that it should be. God has given us some amazing natural ways to prevent and treat illness so I like to start with those as a first line of defense.

Stay tuned for my next update. It will be about packing lists and childcare, two logistical challenges that I'm currently working through.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

5 Ways Your Doula Loves & Cares For You | Brilliant Mama Blog Tour

I'm so excited to be a part of the Brilliant Mama Blog Tour sponsored by Jenni from Pregnancy, birth, and parenting are big passions of mine!

Did you read Leigh Anne's post yesterday? She shared her best birth experience and my favorite part is when she said, "I had no idea that birth could be so amazing!" because it's totally true!

Also, make sure you visit Thrive Education tomorrow because Emi is sharing about teaching her daughter to love herself and her body. I can't wait! 

In fact, you might as well go ahead and sign up for the entire Brilliant Mama Blog Tour so that you don't miss a single post!

Now, there is one thing you should know about me. I fall deeply in love with my doula clients. There is just something about spending quality time with a family and helping them prepare for the arrival of their little one. Then, I get to be present for one of the most memorable moments of their life. What an honor! Plus, I get to visit them again when they are sleep-deprived yet head-over-heels for their little bundle of sweetness. Well, it just never gets old. I remember every birth and there probably isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about at least one of my sweet little doula families.

Doulas want you, your labor, your birth, and your transition into motherhood to be brilliant! We want to give your family the very best start whether this is your first baby or your tenth. I'm convinced that all good things start with love so here are 5 ways that doulas love and care for their clients.
1. She's on call for you. A doula will encourage you to contact her if you have any question or concern. She makes herself available to help you sift through emotional fears and pregnancy concerns. She answers calls, texts, and emails promptly. She will always have a plan A, B, and sometimes even C, in place to drop everything at a moment's notice and come to you in labor. Your wellbeing is a priority to her.

She's there when you need her... because you are loved and cared for.

2. She labors with you. Birth work is often called a labor of love. Doulas have been known to give back rubs and apply double hip squeezes for hours on end. She will walk with you, sway with you, squat with you, hold you, and lean over the tub to get to you. She may even climb in the tub with you if that's what's needed.

She does whatever it takes... because you are loved and cared for.

3. She comforts you. Sometimes, it's just her presence that brings peace and comfort during pregnancy and birth. Doulas "hold the space" to allow you to do whatever your body tells you. When you aren't looking, she's noting the temperature of the room and deciding if the lights need to be dimmed or the music needs to be adjusted. She reminds you to drink and eat and go to the bathroom. She gives your partner a break. She applies cool compresses and massage. She shares encouraging words and reminders that help you stick to your birth plan.

She notices and resolves your needs... because you are loved and cared for.

4. She stays with you. Unlike other care providers, doulas are unique in that they stay with you for your entire labor. They do not have other patients to attend to. You are her sole priority. Even after the birth, she may stay another hour or two to ensure that you and your partner are comfortable with feeding, infant care, and postpartum recovery.

She does not leave you... because you are loved and cared for.

5. She follows up with you. Just because you deliver your baby doesn't mean your relationship ends. She follows up with you at home to make sure you are settling in okay and to help you process all of those new mother feelings. And since babies change quickly, sometimes even daily, she's still just a call or text away with resources and referrals.

She keeps in touch... because you are loved and cared for.

Did you have a doula? Leave a comment below letting me know other ways your doula loved and cared for you.

Are you considering having a doula at your next birth? Be sure to learn more about the nYn doulas serving the Middle TN area and what our services include.

Don't forget to check out tomorrow's dose of brilliant over at Thrive Education

In case you missed yesterday, no worries. Click here to visit Confessions of a Misplaced Alaskan.

Thanks for stopping by the Brilliant Mama Blog Tour!