Sunshine On My Shoulders

Summer 2014 is upon us which means we are all flocking to the beach with our kids!

Each spring, I check-in with the Environmental Working Group to see the latest reports on which sunscreens are good to use – from “0-2 low hazard”, “3-6 moderate hazard” and “7-10 high hazard”. You can read much more about their grading system on their website.

I’ve always tried to stick with sunscreens that are in the 0-2 range. After doing some research, it’s then a matter of trying to find the products at places like Longs, Walmart, Target but some years I end up ordering from Amazon. My dilemma is that we are a family of five and we go through a lot of sunscreen each year… a lot!!

Good sunscreens can be expensive and I’ve had no problem squeezing every last ounce out of a tube. It is amazing how much is left in a tube when you think “it’s done!”. Don’t be afraid to cut the bottom off the tube and scape the inside.

To my surprise I was able to get almost 1/3 of a tube out of all the used tubes. It’s worth it when you are sometimes paying a premium for a good sunscreen!

To my surprise I was able to get almost 1/3 of a tube out of all the used tubes. It’s worth it when you are sometimes paying a premium for a good sunscreen!

All sunscreens may not work for your family so it’s best to get one tube and try it out before you make a commitment to stocking up.

In 2013, I was going to go back to Alba Botanica but just happened to walk down the baby aisle at Target and found the brand BabyGanics: Sunscreen Stick SPF50 (rated a 1, #18) and Sunscreen SPF50 (rated a 2, #130).  It’s been superb for us.

BabyGanics

BabyGanics Sunscreen & Sunscreen Stick. Don’t be concerned if you see new packaging!! White stick is from 2013 and green stick is new packaging for 2014)

It is important to use sunscreen that you have researched and are comfortable with. Each year the EWG updates products so it’s worth looking to see where your skincare products are for the current year. Companies change formulas and so you can’t assume that what you are using this year will be OK next.

Most pediatricians do not recommended sunscreen for new babies until they are about 6 months old but there are some who will say to use a mild, baby friendly, hypoallergenic formula SPF 15 sunscreen.

It’s better that babies avoid the full sun and it’s best to swim in the early morning or late afternoon when the suns rays are not so strong. When you are putting sunscreen on your baby for the first time it’s good to do a small test patch before lathering your baby up!

And don’t forget sun hats and rash guards are great for kids too!

Picture of CLB and twins at Kailua Beach June 2007

Cathy Louise and twins at Kailua Beach June 2007

Here’s another good blog on 21 Safe & Natural Sunscreen Brands for Swim and Sport, Summer 2014.

Have a great super sun safe summer!

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Babes in Arms

My babies are not babies anymore. This past weekend my twins celebrated their 8th birthday. Where have the last eight years gone? Every parent asks this question, “Where has the time gone?”

All three of our girls do things that take us right back to their “baby days” – an expression or a little twinkle in their eye. They are more faceted and complex now yet some little part of each of them is the same as when they first arrived.

Look deeply at your babies and you’ll see them at 5, 10, 20 years old and beyond. Each year they grow more independent and need us less and letting them go is hard but beautiful. I believe if we get it right they’ll always return for a hug or reassurance. It’s important to keep listening, watching and witnessing as all those baby steps turn into reading a birthday card without our help, thanking a friend for a perfect gift, talking on the phone with a grandparent and running wildly and not falling down.

2nd Birthday (2007)
2nd Birthday
8th Birthday (2014)
8th Birthday

Doulas: Angels in Waiting

A doula is a person who supports you in your pregnancy and will be with you during labor to help in any way she can. Doulas are not trained to do medical procedures, but whether you are at home or a hospital they can help explain things to you and your partner when questions arise, help make decisions if you are unsure what to do, be a sounding board, and advocate for you with hospital staff.

My husband’s first reaction when I said that I wanted to look into getting a doula was, “Why? I’ll be there!” This is a very normal reaction for partners. It seems that we are employing someone to take away their role in the labor room. In fact, the doula is there to support both your experiences. She will give your partner a chance to just be there without having to figure out what to do.

My husband said after we had our first baby that he was so glad our doula, Barbara Essman, of Sacred Birthing, was there and he couldn’t imagine doing labor again without her.

Some doulas offer massage therapy before you have your baby and can even help with after-labor care (postpartum doula).

When you are looking for a doula, treat it like an interview – you have to like and trust the person you are choosing. Initially call or meet a couple of different doulas on your own. When you find one you like set up a separate meeting for the doula to meet your partner. It is important that your partner supports you in getting a doula. They may feel threatened by the idea but once you are in labor they’ll be happy there is an extra support person there to help you both cope with labor.

I was recently talking to Katja Bajema (see below) and she recommended calling and chatting with a doula first over the phone.  Both you and the doula can get a good sense of whether you will be a good fit and then you can make arrangements to meet up face-to-face.  Sometimes meetings are arranged and as soon as you meet you just know you won’t click.  Having some interview time on the phone will save you some precious time!

Typical questions to ask a doula are:

– How long have you been doing this and what kind of training have you had?
– How many births do you attend a year?
– Can I call or meet you before I go into labor? Is there any charge for these visits?
– Do you offer pregnancy massage? If not, can you recommend someone?
– How do you support women (and partners) during labor?
– If I am having my baby at a hospital can you meet us at home or at the hospital?
– If for some reason you aren’t available do you have a back-up person who can help?
– How much do you charge?  What does your fee include? (Fees range $300–$1,000)

Barbara Essman at my side while laboring with the twins (April 2006).

DOULA – POSTPARTUM DOULA – MIDWIFE  (updated February 2018):

Crystal Minnick Doula (current 2018)
Birth and Postpartum Doula
Placenta Encapsulation
Bengkung Belly Binding
Birth Sealing/Yoga
email: crystal@lovinglotusbirth.com
website: www.lovinglotusbirth.com
(808) 673-8717

Jaymie Lewis (current 2018)
Midwife
Doula
Lactation Counselor
email: sacredhealingarts@gmail.com
website: www.sacredhealingarts.info
(808) 783-0361 (office)

Jenna Clarke (current 2018)
BEST Birth Hawaii & Mālama Momma

Birth and Postpartum Doula
Essential Oils Educator
Postpartum Belly Wrapper
email: info@bestbirthhawaii.com
website: bestbirthhawaii.com
(808) 366-0230
– OR –
email: jenna@malamamomma.com
website: www.malamamomma.com
(808) 597-0593

Kari Wheeling (current 2018)
DOÑA trained birth doula
email: kariwheeling@yahoo.com
(808) 330-2005

Katja Bajema (current 2018)
Founder and Owner BEST Birth Hawaii

Certified Childbirth Educator
Birth and Postpartum Doula
Certified Lactation Counselor
Placenta Encapsulator
email: info@bestbirthhawaii.com
website: bestbirthhawaii.com
(808) 366-0230

Kehaulani Avicolli (current 2018)
Birth and Postpartum Doula
email: info@bestbirthhawaii.com
website: bestbirthhawaii.com
(808) 366-0230

Lea Garner (current 2018)
Certified Birth Doula
Postpartum Doula
Certified Childbirth Education
Certified Lactation Consultant
email: lea@hibabykailua.com
website: www.hibabykailua.com
808-690-4445

Dr Lori Kimata (current 2018)
Naturopathic Physician and Midwife
website: sacredhealingarts.info/about-us/
(808) 783-0361

Rosi Badalementi (current 2018)
Trained Labor and Birth Doula
email: info@bestbirthhawaii.com
website: bestbirthhawaii.com
(808) 366-0230

Sarah Cruz (current 2018)
Birth and Postpartum Doula
Childbirth Educator
Lactation Specialist
email: info@bestbirthhawaii.com
website: bestbirthhawaii.com
(808) 366-0230

Tara Compehos (Big Island – current 2018)
Midwife
Doula
email: rootsremedieshawaii@gmail.com
website: www.rootsremedieshawaii.etsy.com
(808) 450-0498

Tara Mattes, L.Ac. (current 2018)
Doula
Licensed Acupuncturist
email: sacredhealingarts@gmail.com
website: www.sacredhealingarts.info
(808) 783-0361 (office)

Vanessa Jansen (current 2018)
CPM/Traditional Midwife
email: vanessacpmwaldorf@gmail.com
website: littlelightmidwifery.com
(808) 754-6122

Dr Ye Nguyen (current 2018)
Midwife
Doula
email: dryenguyen@gmail.com
(808) 388-7207

updated February 2018