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prAna for Spring: Feel Great, Look Great, and Save!

To celebrate spring, prAna is offering Mile High Mamas readers a special discount for most everything you can find at prAna.com (see below for code). If you think prAna is just for yoga, take a look — you might be surprised that you can wear your prAna for so many other activities and situations, including dressing up.

prAna’s Quinn Dresess: Classy, Cute, Comfortable

The Quinn Dress is something I suspect will get heavy rotation this season. It has that rare combination of being classy, cute, and comfortable, all at the same time.

 

Keystone Science School: Summer Camps for the Adventurous Learner (Exclusive Discount!)

If you live in Colorado, you are likely familiar with acclaimed Keystone Science School’s (KSS) programs for sixth graders. My children were not among the fortunate ones to attend with their school but our luck is changing this summer. Out of all the many wonderful summer camps in Colorado, they have chosen to combine science with adventure and fun at Keystone Science School.

Located at 9,200 feet on the site of Old Keystone Village in Keystone, Colorado, their historic 23-acre campus serves as the ultimate outdoor laboratory and is the home base for their diverse suite of programs. Their facilities include modern log-style dormitories, a central dining hall, an outdoor amphitheater, and a state-of-the-art observatory. Their camps are designed to progress your child from being a five-year-old Stellar Day Camper to a seventeen-year-old Counselor Assistant as they inspire curiosity and critical thinking through the lens of science, which allows us to change lives and build communities.

This summer’s theme is the Summer of Imagination and Camp Director Seth Oglesby gives a snapshot of their offerings:

Stellar Day Camp, GRADES K-5 (Minimum Age 5)

Each week, we feature a different theme that speaks to the minds and imaginations of campers. At Stellar Day Camp your child can transform into an inventor, a creator, or an explorer—complete with costumes, hands-on educational opportunities, and outdoor adventures. We incorporate creative activities, teambuilding, and investigative learning into each day.

Specialty Day Camp GRADES K-5 (Minimum Age 5)

Have a high-adventure child? Our off-site Day Camp program combines topical science lessons with tons of outdoor activity and skill building in swimming and/or rock climbing. 

Nova Day Camp GRADES 6 – 8

Nova Day Camp offers super-charged adventures and fresh challenges to our older campers with a unique perspective on their Day Camp experience. Taking Science. Adventure. Fun! to the max, each session includes multiple adventure days, community service opportunities, and advanced curriculum.

Discovery Camp Grades 2-9

Discovery Camp is Keystone Science School’s flagship residential camp program where Science. Adventure. Fun! collide in a traditional camp setting, as campers experience hands-on education and build lifelong connections with friends. Every regular camp session includes a backpacking overnight, challenge hike adventure, team-building activities, a healthy dose of camp magic and time-honored songs by the campfire. We also offer a shorter, “Intro” session for our younger campers (K-5th grade) who have never been away from home before and a longer, “Deluxe” 12-day session for our seasoned veterans!

Keystone Voyagers (KV) GRADES 7-9

Our newest program, Keystone Voyagers, takes our traditional Discovery Camp program on the road and dials up the action! We travel to remote base-camps around Colorado to experience bigger adventures daily, including horseback riding, rock climbing, rafting, kayaking and climbing peaks. Each session is unique in both environment and activities, but all sessions are packed with new experiences and will make memories to last a lifetime! 

Keystone Mountain Adventures (KMA) GRADES 7-12

KMA is our wilderness-based program, with a focus on leadership development for our oldest campers. Trip itineraries vary and take place throughout Colorado and Utah, with each trip providing a unique perspective and lessons on the natural environment, backpacking and wilderness skills, team building and developing friendships that will last a lifetime.

Counselor Assistant Program (CAP) GRADES 6-12

The Counselor Assistant Program offers teens the opportunity to serve as role models, develop as leaders, and make a difference in the lives of others. ‘CAPs’ take part in all aspects of the Discovery and Day Camp programs and work closely with their counselor mentors.

Traditions

The Keystone Science School campus is full of tradition and legend. We may have some conventional camp traditions, such as campfires and talent shows, but we have many that are unique to KSS. Every night KSS encourages campers to talk about their day and share details with one another. Each cabin has a “Candle Chat” every night where campers and counselors sit around a candle in a circle. Counselors facilitate constructive conversation on topics such as what they’re nervous/excited about, what success looks like, and missing home. 

Upon arrival each camper will be given an empty necklace. Throughout each camp session and program, campers collect various colored beads for different activities and experiences. They might earn a bead for going on a Discovery Hike, respecting a fellow camper, or overcoming a personal challenge on their Challenge Hike. Later, they can look back at their bead necklace and remember everything they’ve accomplished at camp.  Some campers keep and add to their bead necklaces year after year. There are many other traditions, such as our closing ceremonies and opening the “Love” at the end of a long challenge hike, that your child will have to come to camp to find out about!

Our most famous camp tradition is a local legend: the elusive Hot Pink Gorilla! Rumored sightings occur throughout the year around Summit County, but they seem to be centered around the Keystone Science School campus. We are still unsure of its origins and reasons for living at KSS.

But if your child is lucky they’ll be able to see the Hot Pink Gorilla…while experiencing so much more at Keystone Science School

Exclusive Discount

Get 10% off tuition on all camp sessions (Keystone Mountain Adventures, Keystone Voyagers, Discovery Camp, Stellar Day Camp, Nova Day Camp, Specialty Day Camp, CAP programs). Code to enter in the Coupon box at checkout is: MILEHIGHMAMA10. Coupon is good until Friday, June 2, 2017. 

Prom and Graduation Season Puts Our Kids at Increased Risk from Drugs and Alcohol

Being a parent of school-age children has never been easy, and it certainly isn’t today. As a mom to girls aged 6 and 12, I know first-hand how hard it is to keep up with the messages your kids are getting about drugs and alcohol.

Whether via the internet, songs and music videos, TV shows, movies or magazines, or social media, kids are bombarded with communication about substance use. And, if we’re honest, we have to admit that many of the messages fall into the “just do it” category.

As we enter the prom and graduation season, the risk to our kids increases as the celebrations begin. During this time of year it’s more important than ever to talk with your kids or the young people in your life about drug and alcohol use, including prescription drug abuse. Don’t think of this conversation as “The Talk.” Instead, this needs to be an ongoing discussion because kids’ risk from substance use is ongoing.

I find it’s helpful to jump in when a show or song we are watching or listening to touches on substance use. If, for example, a show’s character is being offered marijuana I might say, “What would you do if you were her?” If there was a scene where drug use was present, I might say, “Do you think kids at your school are using drugs?”

The point is to look for an opening and then start an open dialogue. I try my best not to get too repetitive, but also know that it’s better to err on the side of talking too much rather than too little. The website speaknowcolorado.org offers great tips on how to start the conversation, no matter how old your kids are.

With my pediatric patients and their parents, I focus on what their goals are and how drug and alcohol use will interfere with these goals. “Soccer is a fun sport and I know you’re a great player. It’s good that you’re saying no to drugs and alcohol, because those things can really mess up your game. In fact, according to the journal Sports Medicine, athletes who drink more than double their chances of an injury compared to athletes who don’t.”

I often hear from parents that they don’t think their kids listen to them when they offer advice. I know it can feel that way, but research shows that your kids are listening. I urge parents to “load their kids’ lips” with reasons why they need to say no to offers of drugs or alcohol. Tell them to use you as the reason. “My parents are watching closely and I don’t want to get in trouble and miss the concert this weekend,” is a great response. Referring to their positive goals is good too. For example, “I have a big test coming up and I need every last brain cell to be firing, you know what I mean?”

Thank you for being that parent or caregiver who goes the extra mile to keep kids safe. Let’s see if we can all wake up on the morning after prom to stories of beautiful dresses and who was flirting with who.

Dr. Meister is a pediatrician at the Rocky Mountain Youth Clinic in Denver.  In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

 

Is Marijuana Safe When Pregnant or Breastfeeding? What the Experts Say

I recently attended a conference where the presenter referenced a vintage Blatz Beer advertisement extolling the benefits of drinking beer…for mom and baby. 

This, of course, seems far-fetched in today’s world. Research has proven the harmful effects of moms drinking alcohol while pregnant and nursing. I have a dear friend whose adoptive teenage daughter will likely suffer from the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) for the rest of her life.

Fifty years ago, many people assumed that using alcohol or tobacco while pregnant or breastfeeding was more or less safe because these drugs were legal. Today, many people believe the same about marijuana.

According to a recent blog by Children’s Hospital Colorado, Maya Bunik, MD, MPH, PSPH, medical director of the Primary Care and Breastfeeding Management Clinic, is seeing this trend. “It’s definitely been an issue over the last five years, especially since legalization in Colorado,” says Bunik. “There’s a public perception that legalization means safety.” 

Is Marijuana Safe When Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

So, where do women stand with using marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding?  There hasn’t been a significant amount of research conducted to date. And, the body of existing scientific research doesn’t always produce clear results. That’s why the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee recently published its latest “Monitoring Health Concerns Related to Marijuana in Colorado: 2016” report. The report reviews all of the scientific literature currently available on the health effects of retail marijuana use, including during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Based on this report, here’s what we do know:

  • There is no known safe amount of marijuana use while pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Marijuana contains THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that makes the person consuming it feel “high.”
  • Whether marijuana is smoked or eaten, THC is passed to the baby when a woman uses marijuana during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
  • Exposure to THC in the womb may affect a baby’s brain development, making it hard for them to pay attention and learn as they grow older.
  • When a breastfeeding woman smokes or eats marijuana, THC gets into her breast milk and passes through to her baby.
  • THC from marijuana use stays in breast milk much longer than alcohol does, so “pumping and dumping” doesn’t work with marijuana.
  • Because THC is stored in body fat, it stays in the mother’s body for a long time. A baby’s brain and body are made with a lot of fat. Since a baby’s brain and body may store THC for a long time, women shouldn’t use marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Not all natural substances or plants are safe. Tobacco and poisonous berries are great examples.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also says that mothers who are breastfeeding should not use marijuana. 

Current Research

In order to help address what we don’t know about marijuana use and pregnancy or breastfeeding, new studies currently are underway across the US. For example, Children’s ColoradoUniversity of Colorado Hospital, and the University of Colorado School of Medicine are investigating how much THC from marijuana makes its way into breast milk and how long it stays there. Commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control, the study’s goal is to accurately map how THC presents in breast milk, in what concentrations, and for how long. It’s just one piece of research that will help women make informed decisions about what’s best for them and their babies. 

Learn More

With new research underway, it’s more important than ever that pregnant and breastfeeding women stay informed. The Good to Know site features the latest information at www.GoodToKnowColorado.com/baby. Pregnant and breastfeeding women also should talk with their healthcare providers to learn the facts about retail marijuana to make informed and educated decisions for themselves and their babies.

At Mile High Mamas, there’s one thing we an all agree on: we want babies to be happy and healthy. That’s why we encourage you to visit www.GoodToKnowColorado.com/baby to learn more about retail marijuana, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

In partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

 

‘Lets Be Chefs’ Helps You Cook Up Fun, Easy Dinners!

It’s my almost-daily battle: what to make for dinner? I love cooking but when 4 p.m. hits and I don’t have a dinner plan, I’m always scrambling to throw together whatever ingredients I have on-hand. Sound familiar?

Castle Rock mom Suzanne Hayen knows this routine all too well and that’s why she founded Let’s Be Chefs,  an app-based service that makes it easier to get dinner on the table. They make it simple to find new recipes that you’ll like, plan your dinners for the week, grocery shop, and cook. Their goal is to help you with as many of the repetitive tasks having to do with meal planning and cooking as possible.

“I came up with the idea for Let’s Be Chefs because as a mom to a 2 year old, I was really struggling with making relatively healthy, home-cooked meals,” says Suzanne. “I found myself wishing that there was an app or service that would help with all of the repetitive and tedious tasks associated with getting dinner on the table. My hope is that our service helps save time, relieves stress, allows families to spend more quality time together around the dinner table, and allows people to eat a little healthier.”

How It Works

I have about 20 cookbooks and a Pinterest page brimming with recipes I rarely use because when it comes right down to it, pulling together a new-to-me meal can be overwhelming.  And meal planning? Forget it. I barely know what I want for dinner, let alone have the organizational aptitude to plan for the entire week.

Let’s Be Chefs gives you a new menu through the app every week.  Thankfully, they know you don’t want to cook new meals every night (and if you do please come cook mine).  They send you 4 recipes (the default), but you can change that in the settings menu and receive up to 6 recipes every week, which gives you plenty of choices in addition to cooking your regular favorites. And here’s the magic of it all. When you rate the recipes as you cook them (or as you’re scrolling through), they can learn your preferences and recommend the best possible meals for you. Let’s Be Chefs uses nifty advanced machine learning algorithms to predict what kind of meals you and your family will enjoy.

There isn’t an archive section, but any recipe you give a 5-star rating to will be stored as a “favorite.” To swap a recipe with one of your favorites, click the circular arrow icon in the bottom left of the recipe card. You’ll be able to choose from any of your 5-star recipes that aren’t already on that week’s menu.

 Once you receive your menu, you can quickly add all the meals you intend to make to automated your grocery list. Set the time you want to eat and they’ll even send you reminders when it’s time to start cooking. The entire process of planning your meals for a week could take as little as 2 minutes! 

What Kind of Meals Are Available?

Let’s Be Chefs strives for a fairly diverse array of recipes, but they all need to fall into the category of “normal.” Based on my preferences, my menu choices included Chicken with Brie and Pesto Sauce, Cheese Tortellini Salad, Flank Steak Street Tacos, Chicken Avocado Pizza, and Filet of Sole Almondine, all of which varied from 15-30 minutes for active cooking time. There are three tabs on the app: Past, Current and Upcoming recipes, making this your own personal recipe box. 

And who is the executive taste-tester? Suzanne’s two year old tries every meal and if he won’t eat it, it doesn’t get added to the service. “These meals have been tested by many families and get rave reviews from adults as well as children. The meals also need to be easy to make – we know you’re probably not a professional chef, but we want you to be able to prepare meals that taste as if you are! The meals are generally well-balanced and nutritious, but this isn’t a health food service (those don’t pass the two year old test…). You should expect tasty and delicious home cooking.”

What About Food Allergies?

Let’s Be Chefs is currently working on a feature that will allow you to filter out certain ingredients or specify certain dietary preferences (gluten-free, vegetarian, etc.). In the meantime, though, if you give a 1-star rating to any recipes that you don’t like (or can’t make), and a high rating to the meals you like, the app will learn your likes and dislikes and recommend recipes in the future that match your preferences.

If you’d like to be notified when the “filter out certain ingredients” feature is available, shoot an email over to feedback@letsbechefs.com. It’s also worth mentioning that all of their recipes are peanut-free.

“We want to make meal planning really easy, and if we gave you too many options, you might end up spending all your time looking through the recipes,” says Suzanne. “We offer a level of personalization that we’ve never seen with any other meal planning service. Each week, we send you a menu that is completely customized to you – we learn your preferences based on how you’ve rated other meals and send you recipes that we think you’ll enjoy. With many other services, you choose a plan (vegetarian, gluten-free, no seafood, etc.), but you receive the same meals as every other customer with that plan – the menu is not tailored to you at all.”

Get a Free Week!

Try Let’s Be Chefs FREE for a week! Simply sign up at www.LetsBeChefs.com.

Cyphr: Get Awesome Deals While Supporting Local Businesses

Growing up, my mom owned a quaint gift shop and tearoom that was a local’s favorite. Whether people were grabbing a quick coffee or wanted a delicious lunch, The Olde Curiosity Shoppe was something special–not just to the regulars but also to our family. I was a waitress there for years and it helped pay for college. The purchases clients made put food on my family’s table and helped fund our many needs. 

In the world of corporations and franchises, #ShopLocal has fallen to the wayside.  Though Groupon offers great deals for consumers, did you know when a local merchant offers a 50 percent discount, they have to give another 50 percent to Groupon as commission? You do the math and the equation is that so many “Deals” companies are not pro-small business. 

The point is that every dollar spent has a REAL impact on the community. By shopping at locally owned, independent businesses, more money is kept in the community. 

Introducing Cyphr

Getting the attention of new customers has become much more difficult in the digital age for local business owners; the digital marketing solutions they’ve been given have been costly and ineffective. But there’s a new kid in Denver that has figured out a fun way to support local businesses and be rewarded for it!

With Cyphr’s free app, you unlock local businesses you choose. Those businesses send you time-sensitive “Secrets.” If you see a Secret you want to use later, you just press the “lock” button and it saves in your vault. At that point, it becomes like a mobile coupon you use before the expiration date. Cyphr provides a cost-effective solution where business owners can send the message they want, to the audience they want, at the exact time that they want that audience to receive it. They don’t take a percentage of their sales; they don’t even charge them until after it works for them. 

 I put Cyphr to the test and was pleased to find an ever-growing list of local businesses that included the Denver Bouldering Club, A Kneaded Touch Massage Therapy, Blowout Hair Studio, Bonnie Brae’s Tavern, Max’s Wine Dive, in-Tea, Nixons Coffee House and Outlaw Yoga. From five star restaurants in downtown Denver to nail salons to pet food, I love knowing that I am not only supporting local businesses directly but also being rewarded for it. And of course, businesses are delighted when someone brings in a Secret!

How Does It Work?

Instructions to download/get started:
1. Open your app store or click this link if you’re on a mobile device
2. Search “Get Cyphr” 
3. Select the Cyphr app (a blue icon with white key)
4. Create your profile and select Denver as your city
5. Select businesses you’d like to receive Secrets from. Press and hold on a logo on the Explore screen to view more details about the business. 
6. Swipe up on the “Secrets” button to see what Secrets are there for you!

 

It’s just that easy. “Local businesses need a way better way to reach their favorite customers in a way that delights and rewards them,” says Dawson Barksdale, CEO of Cyphr. Their mission is for everyone to fall in love with local businesses again and this unique, innovative and straight-forward app is just the way to do it.
 
Go to getcyphr.com for more information. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

Best Way to Kill Lice: A Lice Clinic!

I used to joke that my kids would never get head lice. We have very low standards of hygiene in our household, and I had always heard that lice are attracted to clean hair. We were waaaaaaay in the clear on that one.

So, the morning my 5-year-old started scratching her head, and the school health practitioner called “lice,” I was shocked. She advised olive oil, mayonnaise and/or getting the stuff at the grocery store. I started reading horror stories online about how it took months to truly get rid of infestations.

When a friend screamed through the phone, “Don’t use the store-bought stuff!!” I was thinking that while I’m all about natural living, I really didn’t care at this point what was in it – I just wanted these little buggers GONE – and shoot, was my head starting to feel itchy too? “No, she said. It just won’t work. Go to a clinic – they guarantee results.”

What the what? A LICE CLINIC? Did such a sanctuary exist? Who knew!

We easily made an appointment at Lice & Easy (two locations in Denver) who gave me and little brother head checks, demonstrated how to identify lice eggs vs dandruff (if you can drag the white pod down a strand of hair, it’s lice which sticks), used this flowbee device to vacuum my daughter, educated me with prevention tips, provided all the snacks we could eat, and most importantly, restored my sanity with their 100% guarantee.

Their special dryers blow 140-degree air onto the hair at about three times the strength of a hair dryer, which took about 30 minutes. Basically, they dehydrated the head, which not only torched the lice, but more importantly, the eggs.

Only 40 percent of people who test positive for lice say their head feels itchy, so we took home lice prevention shampoo and a special comb that we use once a month.

A few lice myths debunked

  1. Lice don’t care whether your hair is short, long, dirty or clean, young or old. They feed on your blood – not your hair.
  2. Lice will not breed in your home. While it’s suggested to throw sheets and stuffed animals into the dryer for 30-40 minutes (which also psychologically makes your feel like you’re in charge), since eggs thrive on human blood, they won’t last more than a day or two off a human head.
  3. You cannot get lice from your pets or need to worry about them getting lice from you. Lice “has a type,” and it ain’t animals.
  4. Lice cannot jump to another head; they cannot jump, fly or swim; they can only crawl.
  5. “Super lice” is a thing. Darwinism at its finest, lice bugs have developed an immunity to over-the-counter lice treatments like Rid and Nix. Experts say these treatments only work 20-40 percent of the time.
  6. Mobile lice units don’t solve the problem either. While a concierge lice buster that makes house calls seems ideal, they only comb the hair and still rely on 21 days of messy hair treatments to which, bugs are often resistant.

For Denver-area urgent lice and removal treatment solutions, call 303-416-2216.  Locations: 5730 Ward Road – Suite 205 – Arvada, CO 80002; 7936 E Arapahoe Ct – Suite 2600, Centennial, CO 80112. In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

-Loren Faye

Keeping Up My Happy Mama Facade: One Mom’s Struggle

At 33, after a lot of work and sacrifice, my first son was born.  My husband, Jason, and I were so excited to be parents.This next step in our adventure together would be full of love and joy.  Just like the diaper commercials, love at first sight.

Thanks to maternity leave, we spent 8 beautiful weeks together with our child, adjusting to family life.  At my six week follow up appointment the doctor gave me a questionnaire about how I was feeling emotionally.  I read the questions and responded “I’m fine!  Great!  Everything is awesome!”  I regarded the exercise like a quiz in a magazine.  The kind where you know what the acceptable answer is, and which answers will reveal all your personality flaws.  So things were not 100% awesome, but they were mostly good, and isn’t life supposed to change anyway when you have a baby?  Isn’t discomfort and lack of sleep the punchline of all the mediocre parenting jokes in the world?  I genuinely wondered how many folks actually feel so bad that they would select some of the more severe answers on the questionnaire.  And thus, I began to craft my Happy Mom façade, my protective outer coating meant to help me blend in with all the other moms out there who completely have their stuff together.  I believed that I could fake it until I made it happen.  I’m a strong, smart, capable woman and I should be able to do this motherhood thing.  Pull your stuff together!  Be stronger!

Jason went back to work, and I picked up a new part time job that allowed me to keep my son with me.  Breastfeeding is hard, a new job is stressful, but everything is fine.  Months went by and I began to struggle with new, intrusive thoughts that popped into my head multiple times a day.  I’m not feeding him enough, and he is going to starve to death.  He’s going to stop breathing in the middle of the night.  I’m going to drop or possibly throw this child down the steps.  It might be an accident, but it might not.  No you won’t, that’s ridiculous (and scary!)  What is wrong with me?  Maybe I should drop my child off at the fire department.  It’s a Safe Haven right?

Looking back, there wasn’t any one particular day where I noticed a drop in my well-being, it happened slowly, an undetectable slide into a very painful and exhausting reality.  I thought that if I told anyone, my partner or my doctor, that I’d be revealing myself as the bad mother, the weak female, or the crazy person I suspected I might be.  Maybe my partner would take the kid and leave me.  Maybe someone would call Child Protective Services and take my child away.  Better to stay silent then, and hope that it would just get better on it’s own.  

The silence grew long and isolating, and the intrusive thoughts grew louder and more frequent.  I was terrified of myself, and worried for my kid.  I became tired, angry, and secretive in the service of keeping up my Happy Mom façade.  I believed that having a child, one we had worked so very hard to create, had been a mistake, and that I was the worst parent.  

Then, I broke.  At seven months postpartum, a stressful personal event brought all these emotions to a head.  I knew that something was wrong, and it wasn’t going away on it’s own, instead it seemed to be getting worse every day.  I reached out to an acquaintance, the wife of a former co-worker halfway across the country.  She had just started her own non-profit organization to help moms who were dealing with pregnancy-related depression, after she had experienced it herself.  She responded immediately and asked for my phone number.  We talked for two hours.  

What I remember was her refrain “It can get better.  You are not alone.”  She helped me locate resources in Colorado through the network she worked with, Postpartum Support International.  We picked a support group, and I promised to go to the next meeting.  She promised to hold me accountable and to check in on me.  

The group and the facilitator saved my family.  I learned that intrusive thoughts were a part of pregnancy-related depression and anxiety, and I could voice my fears and concerns with other moms who had experienced similar thoughts and reactions.  The facilitator visited my home and talked with Jason about what was happening and how to support me.  Jason had noticed that I had withdrawn, that my behavior was different, but didn’t know how to respond.  He acknowledges now that he had no frame of reference to recognize that this is what pregnancy-related depression and anxiety can look like.   We both know better now.

I did not want to accept that I needed medication to function, fearing that taking medication would be admitting that I was not strong enough as a mom.  That I was a failure.  Then, during a support group meeting after I shared all of the reasons I did not want to try medication, somebody asked the simple question, “What if it works?”  That was enough to send me back to the Doctor, in tears. I revisited that questionnaire.I began taking Zoloft that evening, and within two weeks, I felt renewed.  After a year, I was able to feel like myself again without medication.  

We just had our second child 11 weeks ago.  I was afraid that I might repeat my experience with anxiety and depression even though every single pregnancy is different.  Just because you had pregnancy-related depression and anxiety with one child doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have it in another pregnancy.  And just because you didn’t have it does not mean that it won’t happen to you ever.  This time I knew what to look for and what resources were available.  At 8 weeks post partum, those intrusive thoughts returned.  Unlike before, I could name them as what they were, anxiety related to a chemical and hormonal imbalance in my brain.  Not a personality flaw.  Not a lack of strength.  I reached out immediately for help, which I know now, is a sign of my strength as a mom.  

Remember, you aren’t alone and you can get help.

-Guest blogger Erin Kenworthy

If you or someone you love is struggling with pregnancy-related depression and anxiety, visit www.postpartum.net/colorado for more information and to find Colorado coordinators who can give you support and resources in your area. You can also call 1.800.944.4773 for confidential, free and immediate English or Spanish language support. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

You Are Not Alone: Pregnancy-related Depression and Anxiety

If there is one article that has resonated very deeply with our audience, it was Casey’s confession of when she intentionally overdosed on prescription medication when she was seven months pregnant.

Pregnancy is supposed to be a wonderful time in a woman’s life as she prepares for the joys of motherhood. However, pregnancy-related depression and anxiety are the most common complications of pregnancy, affecting about one in 10 Colorado women. At Mile High Mamas, we are proud to partner with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on their new awareness campaign to help women recognize the symptoms and get help with the important message:

You are not alone. 

Pregnancy-related depression (PRD) and anxiety can occur any time during pregnancy through the baby’s first birthday. It may also happen after a miscarriage, pregnancy loss or after adopting a baby. Many women feel uncomfortable talking about their symptoms with family, friends or health care providers and we want to help break down those barriers.

Symptoms of PRD

Pregnancy-related depression and anxiety are serious conditions that affect a woman’s physical and mental health. Pregnancy-related mood disorders include anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychosis. Symptoms differ for everyone and might include the following:

  • Feelings of anger or irritability.250x250
  • Lack of interest in the baby.
  • Loss of appetite and trouble sleeping.
  • Crying and sadness.
  • Feelings of guilt, shame or hopelessness.

Why is this happening?

Just remember: you are not at fault and you are not to blame! There is no one cause for pregnancy-related depression and anxiety. Women who develop depression or anxiety around childbearing have symptoms that are caused by a combination of psychological, social and biological factors that can include a personal or family history of mood or anxiety disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) and sensitivity to hormonal changes.

How is PRD different from the “baby blues”?

Pregnancy-related depression and anxiety can look like the “baby blues” because they share similar symptoms such as worry, crying and fatigue.

The difference is that with the “baby blues,” the feelings are somewhat mild, last a week or two and go away on their own.

How do I get help?

Here’s the good news: With support and resources, pregnancy-related depression and anxiety is highly treatable. Treatment plans are different for each woman but might include increased self-care, social support, therapy or counseling, and treatment of symptoms with medication when necessary. Here are some suggestions for mothers:

○ Get support from family and friends so you can keep active, eat healthy and get enough rest and time for yourself.

○ Talk to a professional.

○ Learn as much as you can about pregnancy-related depression and anxiety.

○ Ask for help when you need it.

○ Join a support group in your area or online.

○ Don’t give up! It may take more than one try to get the right help you need.

Where do I get help?

Feelings of guilt, frustration and withdrawal are common among new moms but you don’t have to feel this way. Having a baby is hard but help is available.

Go to www.postpartum.net to ​get information about pregnancy-related depression and anxiety and find Colorado coordinators who can give you support and resources in your area. You may also call 1.800.944.4773 (English and Spanish) to​ get confidential, free and immediate support. They also offer free, live phone chats with experts every week including chats and resources for dads.

And always remember: You are not alone. You are not to blame.  It’s okay to ask for help.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

Two big holiday prize packages: One for mom and one for family!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—free products for mom! We’ve got a lovely crew of brands, mostly hailing from Colorado, and a few products from across the pond and seas that make travel and lifestyle more enjoyable. Happy Holidays mamas! I know you’re stressed this season as the majority of tasks fall on you, so take a moment, read up, and enter to win!

PRIZE PACK FOR MOM

For mom, we’ve got you covered in terms of relaxation, nutrition and skin care on the go. You will win the ultimate pamper package from Inverness Spa (invernesshotel.com), Kalot fruit and nut butters (kalotsuperfood.com), skincare of your choice from Lily Farm Fresh Organics (lilyfarmfreshskincare.com/) and Kleff Tea (klefftea.com).

Inverness Spa’s Ultimate Pamper Package – invernesshotel.com

Rich colors, tumbled stones, ambient light, and pure, gently flowing water all combine to usher you into a uniquely urban experience at the Inverness Spa.  Winner of the “Best Massage” in 5280’s Top of the Town, the Inverness Spa is giving away an 80-minute massage, a-75 minute facial, AND a mani/pedi.  About the giveaway: 80-Minute Massage – Choose the massage that inspires you: 1) Relax Massage – light to moderate Swedish massage to increase circulation and promote relaxation. Organic massage oil is used in this massage. 2) Deep Tissue Massage – moderate to deep pressure full body massage with therapeutic benefits – releasing knots and tension. 3) Sports Massage – this massage is specific to increasing athletic performance or recovery from a race or event. 4) Pre-Natal – specialized massage for pregnant women in their 2nd trimester and beyond. Only offered in 50 minute duration. Classic European Facial – Their trained estheticians will personally tailor to your individual needs providing deep cleansing, massage, exfoliation, and hydration using organic products from the Eminence skincare line. Manicure & Pedicure – This classic nail treatment shapes, buffs, and polishes nails to perfection. Each service is 50 minutes.inverness1

Kolat Superfood Fusions / Fruit and Nut Butter – kalotsuperfood.com

Kolat makes the vibrant health you crave attainable & enjoyable! It is a line butters blended with nutrient-dense fruits, nuts & spices plus 50% daily value of vitamins. Flavor range from Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond Butter to Apple and Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Butter. Plus, they offer a variety of cashew butter options as well. My kids eat is with toast, on apples, and even enjoy a number of the Kolat offerings plain! It’s the perfect post school snack for each of my little ones. GIVEAWAY: 2 Jars of Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond Butter and 2 Jars of Apple Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Butter (great options for kids with allergies)kalot

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Lily Farm Fresh Organics / Skin Care – lilyfarmfreshskincare.com/

Lily Farm Fresh Organics’ mission is to make the world a more beautiful place through their organic natural skin care and organic farming. All women are beautiful, they just want to help you stay that way, organically! They believe that their organic skin care, doesn’t just make you beautiful, it makes the world beautiful. All of their products were developed to cure all facial care needs, organically. They have a complete skin care line for every skin type. Everyone of their ingredients is chosen and grown to perform a function to improve your skin’s texture and appearance. Giveaway: Any $50 in products of your choice.moisturecream

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Kleff Tea – klefftea.com

Kleff is a micro-batch tea boutique located in the heart of the Mile High city. They use only the highest quality ingredients, sourced directly from origin to ensure freshness and character in every cup. Find them online at www.KleffTea.com, or on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest @KleffTea. Happy Brewing! GIVEAWAY: Mulling Spice Tea and assortment of other flavors.mullingspice

PRIZE PACK FOR FAMILY

We are giving away ANY pair of Bobux shoes you want (bobuxusa.com), Silly Billyz bibs (SillyBillyzUSA.com), My Diaper Box supplies (mydiaperbox.com), Make My Day products (makemyday.com), ezpz mat (ezpzfun.com), Spindaroos bike clothing and gear (spindaroos.com) and a travel mat from Star Kids Products (starkidsproducts.com). Retail value of $350+

EZPZ / food mats and accessories – ezpzfun.com

I’m absolutely CRAZY for this brand! I saw it in Nordstrom’s and it was packaged so well, I had to purchase it. Then, I come to learn this product is headquartered here on the Front Range, win, win! Their mats are beyond adorable and all my kiddos use them, from baby to my 7-year-old. New in the line is ezpz’s first book, the perfect companion for the Happy Mat and family mealtime! The book focuses on 1 to 3-year-olds and helps parents recreate snacks and meals that kids are more willing to try. Additional content + tips include: the benefits of playing with food, clean eating facts, tips for picky eaters and creative ways to include kids in the kitchen. GIVEAWAY: ezpz is giving away one of their award winning Happy Mat + Making Mealtime ezpz book. happymat

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Silly Billyz / Bibs – SillyBillyzUSA.com

Every household needs Silly Billyz Bibs! There’s nothing else like them on the market!  Silly Billyz are made of super soft and absorbent cotton toweling, and it’s stain resistant. The poly/cotton backing is waterproof to add protection. The adjustable snap closures ensure they go on easily and they stay on.  Even more unique is Silly Billyz snuggle neck.   The soft elastic gently hugs babies neck to stop those nasty leakages that find their way down the chin and under the bib.In addition, Silly Billyz offers pocket bibs, bandana bibs, long sleeve bibs, organic bibs and youth bibs… all in a rainbow of colors!  This will quickly become the only brand of bib you use! GIVEAWAY: $40 value of bibs—assortment pack:  1 pocket bib, 2 plain bibs and 1 bandana bibbibz

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BobuxUSA / Baby, Toddler and Kid Shoes – bobuxusa.com

 My 1-year-old munchkin wouldn’t know what the ground feels like beneath his feet—we’ve had him moving in Bobux shoes since he was six months old, and he isn’t even crawling yet. That doesn’t mean he isn’t stylish. This shoe line fits little ones from infant to approximately five years old.  Bobux is based in New Zealand and imported to the USA distributor here in Denver. Bobux delivers on the promise of premium quality leather and materials, style, comfort and function. What else makes them so special? Growing feet need plenty of freedom for muscles to strengthen, toes to learn to grip and spread and for bones to form in a natural position.  Bobux mimics the benefits of bare feet, providing the protection needed without hindering development or restricting movement.   Your little one will love they way they fit and you’ll love the assortment of styles! GIVEAWAY: Pair of shoes of your choice. Retail value $40+bobux

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Denver Playgrounds & Parks – playgrounds.chrisdebbie.com
 
Did you know that the Denver area boasts one of the largest urban park systems in the nation? Most of these public parks feature colorful playgrounds, big and small, old and new, exciting and mundane. From Golden to Aurora and Broomfield to Centennial, this book showcases 737 public playgrounds and presents the 50 top-rated play areas of the metro area. The guide book is available on Amazon for $9.98 and at local stores. Visit www.playgroundsdenver.com for details. GIVEAWAY: A copy of Denver Playgrounds & Parks.denverplaygrounds

 

Spindaroos / Cycling Apparel For Children – spindaroos.com

Cycling as a sport and family activity has steadily increased in popularity. As a result, the cycling industry has focused mainly on designing for adult cyclists. Spindaroos is enthusiastic about sharing their passion for cycling with children. They provide a fun and comfortable entre into the world of cycling by offering a dedicated line of top quality children’s performance apparel. For the wee cyclist of 6 months: adorable “Time Trial Skin Suits” designed like the pros, because we know the little ones need to represent too! For the more seasoned riders of 12 years, we produce full line of cool cycling kits, jersey, padded bike shorts and gloves and outerwear. We believe in fostering a new generation of healthy adults by encouraging kids to cycle – our gear just makes them look cute s along the way! GIVEAWAY: Any item of your choice!spindaroo

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Make My Day Products – makemyday.com

Designed by parents, for parents; Make My Day creates infant and toddler feeding products that are extremely innovative yet practical. Frustrated by what was available to him on the market, Denver based MMD was founded out of necessity by the father of two adorable girls. Leveraging his background in product design and manufacturing, he created a collection of products that have ticked all the boxes for unmatched quality, adorable style and much needed functionality. Available nationally in Nordstrom’s and Babies R Us, MMD is also sold in over 35 countries….helping families world wide make the everyday task of feeding their child a fun, clean and easier experience. GIVEAWAY: 1 bib, 1 sippy cup and 1 fork/spoon set.makemyday

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My Diaper Box – mydiaperbox.com

Based in Denver, My Diaper Box is a subscription service that delivers a monthly supply of premium, eco-conscious diapers and wipes, directly to your door. With fluff-wood pulp harvested from sustainable forestry initiative-certified forests  diapers are dermatologically tested and free of harmful chemicals like chlorine, inks, lotions and fragrances.  But here’s the best part! My Diaper box delivers a premium diaper at an affordable price, all the while helping babies in need.  With each months subscription sold, My Diaper Box will donate 40 diapers to well established organizations that use the diapers to incentivize parents to attend classes that will teach them the life skills they need to succeed in life. GIVEAWAY: 1 free trial (ensure winner gets the right size) and 1 month’s subscription box.mydiaperbox

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Star Kids Products / Travel Mats  – starkidsproducts.com

Star Kids Products is an innovative children’s product manufacturer that specializes in making fun and safe products for busy, traveling families. We specialize in safe and easy-to-clean products to make life easier when traveling with children whether via car on road trips, railroad or by plane. GIVEAWAY: Snack and Play Travel Tray 2.0snackandplay

 Contest

Mile High Mamas is giving away all of these fantastic prizes! They will be grouped in two giveaways: 1) For Mom and 2) For Family. Enter one or enter to win them both. You may submit as many as five entries per giveaway. Good luck!

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Are you entering to win the prize back for 1) Mom 2) Family or 3) Both?

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