Infertility Pregnancy

My journey to a more natural lifestyle

My journey to a more natural path begun almost 7 years ago when me and my partner were trying to have a baby.

Being on contraceptives for more than a decade to regulate my periods and all the symptoms accompanied by the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), i naturally thought of going to my obstetrician and see what the situation was and if i could finally stop taking the pills in order to become pregnant. He assured me that i would be pregnant in no time (as he did so many times before when i had asked about being able to conceive..). So i stopped taking the pills and i felt confident that my body will do the rest. One month later, two months later, 6 months later my period was still nowhere to be found.

So we went back to the doctor’s office. Apparently my hormone imbalance did not allow for my ovaries to develop an egg properly and so i never had ovulation and thus no menstruation. So the doctor advised that we start with hormone pills to develop the eggs. But still nothing happened. Somehow my body was refusing all the hormones. It could not work properly. I was getting frustrated and anxious and the hormones were making me irritable and emotional. We tried a few times with the pills and then went on to hormone injections. Still, every month was a disappointment and heartbreak.  It was getting harder for me to cope with the hormones that i started getting depressed. I could not understand why this was happening to me and i did not know what to do to help myself.

Desperate to find a way to conceive we changed our doctor to someone more experienced with infertility issues. He was very understanding and kind and he listened to us and after a long time made us feel like our feelings mattered. We proceeded with a combination of folic acid, hormone pills and injections to help my ovaries develop an egg, which they did,  but all the pressure, the stress and anxiety could still not help me conceive.

We were just a step away from doing IVF when i decided enough was enough. I decided that this was not the way i wanted to conceive my baby. I wanted it to be intimate and personal and as nature intended. Not in a clinic, not with artificial hormones, not with injections.

So i begun a quest to find the best possible way to become pregnant naturally. I felt it in my heart that there was a way to solve this problem. I began talking to people. Friends, family, anyone who might be able to help me find my way. And they did.

I was introduced to a wonderful doctor and holistic practitioner who changed my life. I was tested for food allergies and intolerance, for nutrient deficiencies and we examined every aspect of my health and diet right up to that point. He suggested i get a detox to clean my body from all the toxins built up from the artificial hormones and i started taking supplements. I eliminated from my diet most of the processed food i was consuming and removed completely sugar and cow’s milk. I became mindful of what i was putting in my body. I reinvented my diet and myself. It was a very challenging period but i was willing to risk it all in order to be able to start menstruating and conceive naturally.

After 3 months of changing my diet one step at a time, i got my period. Naturally. I was amazed. I could not remember the last time i menstruated naturally… This helped me relax, believe in myself and in my body and have faith in nature. And my miracle happened!

I had a wonderful first pregnancy. I continued with my changed diet and it became a new lifestyle. I had to be mindful not just for me now but for my baby as well. A year and a half after having my first baby, i naturally conceived my second baby. I now have regular menstrual cycles and i can pinpoint exactly when i am ovulating as i now have and understand the symptoms of ovulation.

Looking back to my journey, i can now reflect and see clearly how everything that happened, happened for a reason. I am grateful for everyone who where part of this journey. I am thankful to the universe for giving me what i wanted most!

So this is why i believe in a more natural way of life. Be more mindful of what you consume as this will reflect in your health. I understand that it is not easy for everyone to lift infertility issues and conceive naturally. But my story is proof that it is possible. And i wish this to every couple facing issues. Trust your instincts and your body. And trust that your journey will lead you where you want to be. Just believe!

If you want to talk about any issues you are facing, i will be glad to listen. Let me know in the comments. Sharing your story can be liberating!

Love and kisses

A.

Birth Motherhood

The importance of skin to skin contact with your baby

Skin to skin is an important practice from birth and onwards which benefits not only your newborn baby but also you and your partner and in extent your whole family.

Imagine spending your time in your safe place, whatever this might be, your home, the arms of a loved one, and suddenly you find yourself in a completely new environment. You would probably experience some kind of stress. Let’s now imaging your baby inside the womb.  A safe  and warm environment with abundance of nutrients from the mother’s body. But everything changes with labor. Your baby finds its way out of the womb through a somewhat stressful process, that of labor, and lands in your arms. But in order for your baby to feelsecure again, it must be held in close to your heart, close to your skin, to feel your warmth, to smell you. Skin to skin contact helps your baby’s body stabilise its temperature, breathing and heart rate. Skin to skin can be practiced by both parents for as long as possible, especially in cases when there are complications during labor and the mother is unable to hold her baby for some time. But the father can practice skin to skin as a way to start bonding with the baby immediately after birth.

Studies have shown that skin to skin can be extremely beneficial for premature babies or in general babies who have been in a neonatal intensive care unit and that the benefits will persist for life. Researchers have found that babies who have received skin to skin contact with their parents, demonstrated enhanced cognitive development, reduced anxiety and better maternal attachment behaviour.

Below we list the most important benefits of skin to skin contact with your baby:

  • Improves baby’s heart rate and lung function
  • Helps stabilize the baby’s body temperature
  • Helps regulate baby’s blood sugar
  • Helps establish breastfeeding
  • Promotes the transfer of good bacteria from mother to baby
  • Calms the baby and reduces crying
  • Provides pain relief
  • Bonds mother and baby, father and baby and their in between communication
  • Provides an easier transition from the womb to the new environment
  • Enhances your baby’s development

Sources: Babygooroo, Parents.com, BabyCenter

Giveaway

12 Days to Christmas giveaway by Mums In Cyprus

We are super excited to have teamed up with MumsInCyprus network to give you the chance to win one of our Sweet MommyBoxes through a fantastic Christmas Giveaway! Our box is filled with organic and natural products suitable for pregnancy and postpartum and will make you feel special and pampered. A gift for your little one is also included! But if you cannot wait , you can buy our Sweet MommyBox now!

MumsInCyprus will be giving away at least one prize a day from Monday December 10th to Friday December 21st and better yet – these fantastic gifts will be delivered in time for Christmas!

One entry per person and the competition is open to Cyprus-residents only. You can enter the draw up until the last day but the sooner you enter, the better chances you have to win a prize!

Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

MommyBox Team
xoxo

Mental Health Motherhood

Happy Mommy = Happy Baby

If you are a first time mommy you will surely know how difficult it is to handle all those new emotions without panicking. If you have more than one children you will surely understand how difficult it is to handle 2 or more children who might be arguing or simultaneously crying, asking to pick them up, to hug them, to carry them.. Sometimes it is just too much to handle. Motherhood is not easy. There are times you feel like you are doing something wrong, you want some time to yourself to breathe, to gather your thoughts in order to be the best mommy you can be! And it is understandable. We have all been through situations like these. You are not alone.

Birth Forward in association with the Center of Systemic Consulting, are organising on December 8th in Nicosia, the first monthly Mothers Support and Empowerment Group “The journey to Motherhood”. The support group aims to allow every mommy to express her own experience on the journey of motherhood, to express her feelings and to understand that she is not alone, to be surrounded with safety, positiveness and confidence in order to continue her journey to motherhood calmly for the sake of her family and to receive valuable information and knowledge from health practitioners.

The group will meet once a month and will be coordinated by a professional phycologist and supported by a professional midwife. For more information visit the Journey to Motherhood Support group event page on Facebook

If you are having trouble with your emotions, if you feel like you want to share what you are going through and would like support, register to the event!

Love,

A

Natural Birth Pregnancy

Natural birth: a powerful right for every woman

It was a wonderful evening last night at the Cine Studio, where the last screening of the BirthDays documentary took place in Nicosia. A room full of expecting couples, young mothers and healthcare practitioners.

The documentary, directed by the talented Danae Stylianou, was a true masterpiece. With just a video camera at hand, she managed to capture the miraculous event of welcoming a baby into this world. Powerful moments that brought the audience to tears.

For me it was a reminder of that exact moment your baby is placed on to your chest, the feeling of relief and the overflowing  of love. It brought back all the emotions experienced during pregnancy and birth. The fear of the unknown, the anxiety, the self-doubt.

Natural birth can be an emotional, liberating and empowering experience. It allows women to overcome their fears, to trust their bodies and trust in nature that everything will work as intended.

But in order to do this, women need to feel confidence. Confidence that they will have by their side experienced midwives, responsible and well-educated doctors and a system that will provide proper education to pregnant couples on what to expect during labor, how to use breathing techniques correctly and how exclusive breastfeeding can be achieved. And of course to feel the confidence that their rights will be respected.

Congratulations to the team of Birth Days Documentary and to everyone who participated in this film as well as to Birth Forward for their passionate work on educating couples on making informed decisions for the birth of their children.

To all expecting mommies out there, trust your self and your body. You are strong and powerful and you were designed to bring life into this world. Trust in nature and prepare yourself for the wonderful journey to motherhood.

Love,

Andria.

xoxo

 

Mental Health Motherhood Sleep deprivation

Oh my dear sleep

There are certain things about giving birth that no one prepares you about. Things like going home with diapers yourself and blood flow that can last up to a month, how big your breasts get by the 3rd day of having your baby due to the increasing milk supply, having the baby attached to your breasts 24/7 with barely getting any sleep and everything and everyone seems to be making you emotional.

Of course all of the above are normal considering what you have experienced through birth (everyone has a unique experience) and things should start looking better after the first couple of weeks when both you and the baby have settled to the new routine of your new life together.

But one of the most important things you will miss and desperately need is sleep. I never appreciated sleep and its importance as much as i did after having children. And if you are breastfeeding and this is your first baby, the nights will definitely seem longer and you will get stressed about why your baby is not sleeping through the night, if it is normal, if they are getting enough milk. And sleep deprivation is not helping. On the contrary it makes things seem worse.

But REMEMBER, this is all just temporary. It is just a phase you need to get through and you will get through it. Remember that so many new mommies out there are going what you are going through. And their babies are developing well and eventually will sleep through the night and you will be able to get a “full” night’s sleep. And i say “full” as i think mothers never sleep the way they did before, once they have children.

But time is short and soon all the sleepless nights will be forgotten. So make sure you get a lot of cuddles and kisses and skin to skin with your little ones because these are the things you want to remember.

And take care of your self. Take a walk with your baby in the fresh air, enjoy a cup of tea, invite some friends over for support, breath deeply, do whatever makes you feel better. And of course rest whenever your baby is sleeping!

Take care.

A.

Events Natural Birth Pregnancy

BirthDays Documentary: How natural is labor nowadays?

“In a country where Caesarean section births account for 4 times the recommended WHO rate, one mother sets out to reclaim her own body and regain trust in the maternity care system. How do we give birth to our children and what are the reasons behind the increase in C-sections? Has labour become a “cascade of intervention”? What are women’s rights at labour and how can a woman gain confidence in her own female nature?
By presenting audiovisual material from natural births, interviews with health care professionals and a series of real events, Birth Days opens new horizons in the approach of labour as a unique natural experience. Has medicalisation of childbirth gone too far?”

Danae Stylianou’s latest documentary is screening on the 31st of October at Rialto Theater in Limassol. A must see documentary on making informed choices for the birth of our children, on the necessity of medical intervention and on our rights as parents.

For more information visit BirthDays Documentary website

Events Pregnancy

6th Mums2Be & Baby Day by mumsincyprus.com

 

What an incredible opportunity to learn more about pregnancy and baby related matters, find hand-picked items for your little ones and have fun at the same time!

MumsinCyprus organises the 6th Mums2Be & Baby Day Informational Expo on October 21st at Londa Hotel in Limassol from 10:00 to 18:00.

Entrance is free for visitors but a donation of €2 is encouraged as a donation to the local non-profit organisation ‘The Center for Preventive Paediatrics’

Breastfeeding Pregnancy

The first 1000 days

Ygia Polyclinic organises a wonderful event for informing health professionals as well as expecting and new parents on what you should expect during the first 1000 days with your baby.

The event is taking place on Saturday, October 20th from 9:00 to 15:30 at Carob Mill in Limassol.

The program for the day will cover topics related to pregnancy, delivery and care for your baby, breastfeeding, vaccinations and more.