Guest Blogger: How to Prevent Pre-eclampsia

How to Prevent Preeclampsia Part II: Magnesium Reduces Risks

boca raton pregnancy doctor

Our bodies contain about 25 grams of magnesium, of which about 60% is in our bones, 39% is in our soft tissues, and only a mere 1% is in our blood (National Institutes of Health [NIH], 2018).  Put more simply, 99% of our magnesium is intracellular (inside of our cells). Therefore, it is impossible to identify if a magnesium deficiency exists with typical serum blood work (NIH, 2018).  Even if your magnesium level was normal in your last workup you could still be deficient within your cells and bones (NIH, 2018).  Often when is even more confusing to people is that the deficiency is usually subclinical (which means initially there are no obvious signs).  Magnesium is a vital cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems in the body and it regulates a multitude of processes. Unfortunately, more than half of Americans do not even get the recommended daily amount in their diet.  

“Because of chronic diseases, medications, decreases in food crop magnesium contents, and the availability of refined and processed foods, the vast majority of people in modern societies are at risk for magnesium deficiency” – DiNicolantonio et al., Open Heart Journal, 2018

So how can supplementing with magnesium prevent preeclampsia?  We will be discussing each of these functions of magnesium and connecting them to preeclampsia.(source of list: NIH, 2018)

  1. It regulates blood pressure

  2. It plays a role in the transport of calcium and potassium across cells

  3. It contributes to the development of bones and teeth

  4. It is required for protein synthesis

  5. It is required for production of the antioxidant glutathione

  6. It is required for the breakdown of glucose

(1) Magnesium regulates blood pressure and

(2) plays a role in the transport of calcium and potassium across cells

…..Read more on Elena’s Daily Dose click here

Nurse and the author of Survival Secrets For The New Graduate Nurse

Limited Edition Breastfeeding Fall Photo Sessions

Breastfeeding Photo Sessions are open to new clients, past birth clients and my birth world colleagues

Saturday November 10th

Sunday November 11th

(Below you will see back up dates in case one of my birth clients is in labor on Saturday November 10th and Sunday November 11th)

Back Up Dates: Saturday November 24th and Sunday November 25th


Pre-Golden Hour Time Slots:

4:00PM to 4:20PM

4:30PM to 4:50PM

5:00pm to 5:20PM

Golden Hour Prime Time Slots:

5:20 to 5:40PM

5:40PM to 6:00PM

6:05PM to 6:25PM

6:30PM to 6:50PM

$50 Deposit

This is only the DEPOSIT! Remainder due in full before session of day of. Deposit is NONREFUNDABLE.

Details: $350 — This session includes 20 minutes of shooting, at least 2 spots on beach location (by greenery and by the water) and 10 edits. All photos are available via a direct download through an online gallery.

Going Back to Work - My Post Partum Experience

Over this past weekend, a dear mama friend reached out to me and asked if me or any of her mama friends ever had to leave a stable full time job and go solo with our own business. I can totally relate to her hesitation and nervousness about leaving a steady job to start your own business. Taking that leap is absolutely terrifying. It’s like taking a trust fall and having no idea if anyone is standing beneath you to catch you.

My Post Partum Going Back to Work Experience

  • Pumping at work

  • Leaving my baby to go back to work

  • Becoming a full time photographer

I wanted to share with her and with you what my post partum going back to work experience was with my boss, with pumping at work, with leaving my barely 3 month old with my mom and mother in law, and how because of my experiences and personal journey, I became a full time photographer.

My Pregnancy

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When I was pregnant with my first child Kate, (she is almost 6 years old now), my plan was to always go back to work after she was born. Although I’ve been a photographer for nearly 11 years, for the first 5 years of my photography career, I only photographed clients on the weekends (and sometimes during the week depending on if there was still light out when I got out of my office job). During the week I was a glorified secretary (my official title was Office Manager), and I was working at a dead-end job at a Graphics/Computer Engineering Company in Boca Raton, with nowhere up to go. I had many jobs exactly like this one over a decade leading up to this one. It was the kind of job you have to pay your bills, and live pay check to pay check, but it was in no way a career. On top of it, I had the worst boss. A total sexist individual with absolutely the worst “bedside manner” — who paid no attention to his employees being human beings who needed to be treated with respect and positive reinforcement in order for our team to be strong — so they had a high turnover rate. So I was his assistant and the office secretary in this office. I did my job very well, but I was absolutely miserable. Almost everyday I left work either crying or angry. But it did pay the bills and I was grateful to have a job.

When I was in my 3rd trimester my boss tasked me to find a temporary hire to fill in for me during my maternity leave. I found an excellent employee who I trained to fill in for me, and I worked every single day up until the day I was induced.

In my last week of work my boss proposed an offer to me that really caught me off guard for several reasons:

The Bribe

He told me if I came back to work within the first few weeks of the first months following my birth, he’d give me a bonus of $3,000.

If I came back during the second month, he’d give me a bonus of $2,000.

If I came back within the last 4 weeks of my 3rd month, he’d give me a bonus of $1,000.

These were his incentives to get me back to work immediately.

He used his wife as example and role model for me with how she was back on her feet at work within just a couple of weeks of giving birth to her first child.

This offer really conflicted me. On the one hand, we could really use this money. My salary was laughable, and my husband had just started a new job not too long ago, so this money could really help to pay off our student loan debt, pay for the basic necessities of having a baby since we were doing this for the first time, and many more bills and living expenses.

But on the other hand, I was conflicted about accepting this offer. From what I had heard about giving birth, a woman doesn’t even stop bleeding until 6 weeks post partum. I wondered how I could possibly go back to work while my uterus and body was still recovering from giving birth? I also wondered how I would ever be able to leave my tiny baby with someone at home, forget about her while I was at work for 8 hours (plus commute time). I wondered how it would work with milk production. I was so conflicted and so confused about what to do.

But shortly after, I was being induced, and most of these questions were solved for me.

The Reality of Motherhood for Me

I had a c-section and the recovery was a nightmare.

It was like being hit by a truck. For the first week, I needed help from my husband to get out of bed to pee. The walk from bed to the bathroom took 15 minutes. For a few weeks after that, I still needed to go very slowly and very carefully out of bed for my incision site where the c/section had been performed to not hurt excruciatingly.

Other Challenges in the First Few Weeks Following Birth

On top of it, I was still recovering from being sick. I came down with a cold 3 weeks before I was induced, and because of being pregnant, my immune system was weakened, and I was still sick.

On top of all this, breastfeeding had not at all been the walk in the park I thought it would be. I thought it was this natural process that was beautiful and god-given, but as it turned out, my daughter’s latch was absolutely horrible, if you’ve ever talked to a lactation consultant, they’ll tell you a bad latch could produce a ‘lipstick tip’ looking nipple, which in retrospect I had every time I unlatched her. I found out after 27 years of my life that I had what LCs call inverted nipples. I had to learn and become well acquainted with a double electric breastfeeding pump, nipple shields, lanolin, airing my nipples, constantly leaking with breastmilk all over my entire life.

AND TO TOP OFF ALL OF THIS — I was blessed with a very high needs baby girl. Name the most common newborn problems, this little lady had them.

She had colic, jaundice, severe diaper rashes, was impossible to burp, cried every single night from 6pm to midnight for 3 months without fail and impossible to soothe, wouldn’t ever take a pacifier, nursed constantly and for super long 45 minute stretches, one minute was super constipated another minute had back to back blow out diapers. 15 loads of laundry a day. Then I got clogged ducts (which feel like marbles in your breasts — OUCH!) She wouldn’t ever nap alone in a bassinet, crib or otherwise, she always had to be on me — velcro baby 24/7

Velcro Baby

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I quickly learned that after being a super independent human being for 27 years, having to be attached to a human being who is painfully latched to your nipples all day and all night, never sleeps, never stops crying, pooping, projectile vomiting, while on top of it you are healing from excruciating c/section surgery, I had a massive learning curve to master, I experienced huge “culture shock” and I plummeted straight into the steep slide of post partum depression.

Not to mention, my poor baby girl came down with a cold when she was barely three months old, which quickly accelerated and worsened, and the pediatrician we were with at the time continued to tell us to “wait and see” as there were not recommendations for medicating a sick barely 3 month old. (Long story short, two pediatricians later, frustrated parents who were getting no help and no answers, ended up in the emergency clinic where my daughter was diagnosed with pneumonia).

Infant Pneumonia

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Forget About Money

But going back to when my baby girl was barely 3 months old, at this point I was neck-deep in post partum anxiety, post partum depression, and barely navigating through mothering a brand new baby as a first time inexperienced mom. It was in this state that I finally returned to work.

As you have already gathered, my boss’s tiered bonus incentive offers went out the window, I completely forgot about them once my baby was born.

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What Motherhood Meant to Me

Because motherhood, and the 4th trimester as I discovered is not some kind of bargaining chip or negotiation.

Motherhood, especially for first time moms, especially for moms who undergo a difficult recovery whether from a vaginal or c-section birth, especially for moms who are blessed with a hyper, irritable fussy baby, these women are NOT thinking about MONEY and getting back to work immediately. They are in survival mode, thinking about how to stay afloat, while at the same time, as crazy and counterintuitive as it may sound to non-parents — we are also hopelessly falling madly in love with our new baby and not wanting to spend a single minute apart from them regardless of how absolutely unpleasant and traumatic my 4th trimester has thus far sounded to you — because I instantly felt a huge maternal bond to my baby (I know and honor the women who did not, because that is all too common as well and I see you mamas, I see you and I honor you) and the last thing I wanted to do was to put the pause button on all this 4th trimester rollercoaster baby-mooning and say “yes sir, I want to come back to work and work my ass off while you treat me like crap).

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The First Weeks Back at Work

I eventually did go back to work at the 12 week mark, and my first day leaving my baby was an absolutely nightmare for me. I cannot even describe the deep level of psychological and emotional pain I felt leaving my first baby at home and going to work. My innate maternal instincts told me to not leave her. And the severe anxiety, crying and depression that leaving her caused me was devastating. This separation did me no favors to the post partum anxiety and post partum depression I was already juggling.

The immediate nightmare I was faced with when I started my first week of work was that my boss gave me a very hard time about pumping. He compared everything to his wife and told me that he didn’t understand the need for me to pump at the office — his wife had supplemented the baby with formula while she was at work so why couldn’t I.

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Florida Maternity Leave Law

It was a small business under 20 employees so there really weren’t any Florida business laws he had to worry about violating. He kept pushing me to pump before or after work because he did not want to allow me 15 minute breaks to pump during my work day. He did not want me pumping in the office and the building had no dedicated rooms so he pushed me to pump in the bathroom. I never pumped in the bathroom. I felt this was a disgraceful violation of human rights.

Finally I was given a spot on the floor behind a door, with male employees constantly walking in on me. I was told very clearly I had to record the times during which I pumped and I would be docked this money for using the time for personal reasons.

After just a couple of months of a very loose version of the term “part time hours” my boss fired me. He told me that they had a lack of work at the company and they had no need for two office managers.

I can’t believe that I actually had a screenshot of getting fired from April 26, 2013 and the person delivering the message? The employee I recruited to fill in my position…

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Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the temporary employee I recruited to fill in for me during maternity leave assumed a full time permanent position — my job.

I almost maybe sensed this coming. But naively I didn’t want to admit it.

I suddenly found myself as a stay at home mom and our family was being sustained by one entry-level income from my husband’s job.

We cut down every expense we possibly could and even had only 1 car for almost a year.

6 Months Post Partum

The time when my 4th trimester really ended

When my baby turned 6 months old, that was really when I started feeling more like myself again. We finally connected with an amazing pediatrician who saved her life from the terrifying encounter with pneumonia after two pediatric practices completely disregarded my plea for help, (the amazing Dr. Edna Tello of Personalized Pediatrics), my baby started growing out of colic and the witching hour vanished, my breasts finally stopped leaking constantly as my milk supply evened out, I started feeling like my post partum depression started to fade and I felt more motivated to start photographing again, and so I started taking the first real professional pictures of my daughter.

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Finally Leaving the House and Making Friends

This was also the first time that I started leaving the house with her — just me and my daughter. We had that entire traumatizing experience with my baby and two incompetent pediatric practices and my daughter having pneumonia and so between that and my post partum healing both physical and psychological, the very first time I ever took my daughter solo to the park and met other moms and children wasn’t until she was almost 8 months old.

But this is the profound moment of my life (that I had not clue about at the time) when the foundation of my career as a birth photographer was being started

Shortly after I became very immersed in the local mommy community.

I started taking pictures of friends and other moms in the community on the weekends and in the evenings when my husband would come home from work and stayed with our daughter. And sometimes, I’d bring her with me while I wore her in a carrier while I took pictures of friends and their children.

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Call to Action

I found through hearing other mothers breastfeeding journeys, challenges and struggles that I was compelled to fight for them using my pictures.

That’s where my advocacy in my work was founded.

But it was not an easy journey. I was terrified of restructuring my photography business around breastfeeding photography.

I thought I’d lose all 400 followers — well I did.

I lost all 400 of my facebook followers who had no desire to see pictures of mothers breastfeeding their children.

Breastfeeding Photographer

Breastfeeding Advocate

Women’s Rights

But in the place of the 400 followers I lost, I gained 2,000 new followers — all new mothers who believed in my goals, in my mission, in the power of community and empowering mothers.

But it was still terrifying even then.

Losing a Steady Income is Frightening

I was terrified that I lost my steady income when my office job let me go. I felt like we were going to lose our home and end up begging on our knees for my parents to take us into their home.

But I went with the flow of the ocean.

I closed my eyes and went with the flow of the waves.

My life led me away from a steady income job, to home where I was able to be a stay at home mom for my daughter when she needed me most, and then when I saw that my heart grew a deep passion for education and motherhood, I took a leap of faith doing rather controversial at the time Photography, and 4 years later, I am the head of household financially and we can afford to have both of our children in full time preschool (that my dear doula friend Lisa Raynor encouraged me to do)

We are basically working for our kids to be in preschool, but I have never been more empowered by my role in our family, in my community, among other women. I hope this gives mothers a little bit of hope. I took a huge leap of faith, and put 110% of my passion into it.

Post Partum Depression - Good News is That it's Not Here to Stay!

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Dr. Jaclyn Polsky

Specializing in maternal mental health, which includes postpartum depression/anxiety, infertility, and loss

The majority of my work is with new and expecting moms, helping them to alleviate negative thoughts and emotions, as well as obtaining the confidence that we sometimes forget that we possess.
— Dr. Jaclyn Polsky

When Dr. Jaclyn was in high school, she enrolled in a Psychology course as an elective and she has been hooked ever since. From there, she knew she wanted to major in Psychology while in college and quickly realized that she wanted to go all the way and obtain her doctorate. She believes that it is one of the most interesting fields, with various topics always evolving. Once opening her own private practice, she fell in love with the ability to help others. Whether it be grieving the loss of a loved one, relationship difficulties, postpartum depression following the birth of a baby, or anxiety surrounding an upcoming situation, there is always a solution and a way to alleviate those not-so-pleasant feelings. Dr. Jaclyn strongly believes that therapy is a unique process for each person and she prides herself on utilizing an individualized approach in order to ensure that all individuals receive the appropriate support and guidance necessary to grow and change, and improve their overall quality of life.


How She Overcame Obstacles in Building Her Business To Help Women

Like any situation in life, Dr. Jaclyn was presented with obstacles along the way of reaching her ultimate career goal; however, she is a strong believer that overcoming these roadblocks only leads to more strength and confidence. Wanting to offer her patients only the best quality services, she would not settle for anything less; therefore, this road took slightly longer than expected to reach. Dr. Jaclyn says she would not change a thing about this journey.

How She Impacts Women’s Lives by Specializing in Motherhood

Being a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Jaclyn has training in general areas of focus (i.e., depression, anxiety, grief, relationship difficulties, stress, anger management, parent training, etc.); however, her specialty is maternal mental health, which includes postpartum depression/anxiety, infertility, and loss.

The majority of Dr. Jaclyn’s work is with new and expecting moms, helping them to alleviate negative thoughts and emotions, as well as obtaining the confidence that we sometimes forget that we possess.

Moms: You can follow Dr. Jaclyn on Facebook

post partum depression boca raton

When opening her own practice, Dr. Jaclyn says she made a promise to herself to maintain an individualized approach for each of her patients. All of her patients have access to her direct e-mail and cell phone number, and she has received amazing feedback regarding the ability to reach her without going through an office manager, answering service, or numerous prompts over the phone. Dr. Jaclyn believes that the ease of these methods of contact is priceless.

South Florida Psychological Associates in Plantation

150 South Pine Island Road
Suite 369 Plantation, FL 33324


Limited Edition Holiday Fall Photo Sessions

Family Photo Sessions for past birth clients and my birth world colleagues

Saturday November 17th and Sunday November 18th










$50 Deposit

This is only the DEPOSIT! Remainder due in full before session of day of. Deposit is NONREFUNDABLE.

Details: $350 — This session includes 30 minutes of shooting, at least 2 spots on park location (bridge and path) and 10 edits. All photos are available via a direct download through an online gallery.

Meet the Pediatric Sleep Specialist who is Changing Sleep for South Florida Moms

When Laura became a mom to her beautiful baby boy Logan over 3 years ago she quickly discovered he was not a good sleeper.

She actually nicknamed him Senor Fussypants, because he fussed and whined day and night.

At the time, she didn’t know this wasn’t normal because he was growing and gaining weight on the standardized growth charts, and she recalls all the doctors telling her that “he’ll grow out of it”.

After a very long year of struggling he did grow out of his medical issues but not out of the sleep issues. So then Laura decided to try and learn everything she could about baby and toddler sleep, and she realized that there is a lot of misinformation out there and almost no support for parents!

As a struggling parent Laura decided to do something about it — she went back to school became certified and started her business:

Good Little SleeperZzz

south florida pediatric sleep consultant

So as a parent who struggled personally with sleep and infant sleep deprivation, Laura knows the kind of support and guidance parents need during these tough times. Which is why it’s become her passion to help support parents and education them on the topic of their children’s sleep!

The biggest misconception about the work Laura does:

Laura says that when people hear about the work she does, she gets called a “sleep trainer” and parents get nervous because they think that means that she comes into their homes and make their kids cry themselves to sleep (known as the “cry it out” method).

The Truth:

Laura never wanted to use the cry it out method with her own son so she would never ask any parent to do that with their babies.

Laura takes the time to explain, almost daily, to parents that there are gentle ways to teach positive independent sleep habits. She tries and encourages parents not to suffer through, so many parents think its okay to just survive in a sleep deprived state but doesn’t have to be that way!

Laura’s business "Good Little SleeperZzz is about educating and supporting parents struggling with their children’s sleep.

Laura offers families customized sleep plans and in home support.

Parents come to Laura exhausted and seeking guidance, so all her parents have to fill out an in-depth questionnaire which she uses to create their customized sleep plan for their child or children.

Next, she comes into their home to help guide them through implementing the plan and subsequently supporting them through all the new change.

Overall, her goal is to make the experience as positive as possible for both parents and the children.

What makes Good Little SleeperZz unique is Laura’s passion for helping the families she works with, not just help but to really support and guide them during the entire process. Any change can be hard but when you have someone who is there following up everyday (and even during the night), the entire process really becomes a positive one that can really change family’s outlook. There is nothing better for Laura and her company, than working with a struggling family who is just so grateful to have your help and support throughout the process, and then you get to see them really blossom into this beautiful, happy and well rested family. Seeing parents light up when they get their first good night’s sleep is just magical to Laura.

How to get in touch with Laura:


What's the appeal nowadays with professional pics taken during birth?

I was recently asked a really good question by a labor doula…

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…"What's the appeal nowadays with professional pics taken during birth?”

This is actually a really important topic we should talk about together as a community, so I brought it here to my birth blog…


7 life-impacting reasons expecting couples decide to hire me as their professional birth photographer

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  1. Memories & Emotions are Important

It’s so important to my birth clients that their transformative experience is documented — for the emotions they experience in becoming such a powerful woman during their labor, to remember the bond they shared with their partner during this experience, to capture their completely raw and unplanned emotional reaction to seeing and touching their baby for the first time.

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2. Risk of losing everything

Another thing that most of my birth clients tell me is one of the reasons they choose to hire me is because they don’t want to risk leaving it in the hands of someone who might be taking pictures of a birth for the first time, or someone who may be emotionally compromised in the moment, such as grandparents, friends, dad or the other parent who is witnessing their baby being born. I’ve heard this from many of my birth photography clients with regards to photos from their previous births — as in they don’t have any — their partner was so captivated when they saw their child they forgot to take photos of the moment. Many of my birth clients are having their second or third baby and they remember what their photos look like from their previous birth where dad, grandma, sister or friend took the pictures: most pictures are blurry and this makes sense, an inexperienced hand that belongs to a really excited family member, tends to also be an unsteady hand. Birth clients also recall cell phone / cheap camera pictures from previous births being either too dark or too bright, which makes perfect sense to me, since without knowing the birth process and how different medical providers work during birth, you may not know when to expect sudden bright lights or the opposite. Fluorescent lighting in hospitals is especially tricky to work with and can cause pictures to come out with weird bands, or oddly green/yellow photographs.


3. Not Being Part of the Story

I think that the #1 thing my birth clients tell me is the reason they hire me is because they want to know what his reaction will be, they want to see what his reaction will look like, they want their partner or spouse to be PART of the birth story.

Did you know that most pictures taken at births are taken by dad/partner/spouse? That means usually the only pictures of them are holding the baby way after delivery, when you’ve had the time to get comfortable, and that initial raw reaction of his PURE AMAZEMENT has faded. The family pictured below did not want to give up that moment a second time so they hired me to capture them meeting their second daughter.

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This family pictured below knew that an experience like becoming parents for the first time ever was something they couldn’t miss and chose to hire me for the birth of their first child, a baby boy.

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4. Umm.. that’s not exactly what I wanted a picture of…

Often times when a family member or friend is taking pictures at a birth, the pictures end up being not exactly what the mom had in mind.

Many of my birth clients tell me that to them — the most important FEELING about their birth story photos was to see the emotional bonding between mom & her partner, between mom & baby, daddy & baby; but often times when it is someone who is inexperienced in photographing a birth story, they often focus on the wrong things — they might photograph the baby crowning (and often at a very unflattering angle!) but totally forget about mom’s face in the moment she realizes she’s really doing it! They may photograph the doctor holding up the baby but not mom and dad’s faces lighting up and crying and smiling like crazy at the first sight of their baby.

When it is a person who is inexperienced in capturing these exquisite once-in-a-lifetime moments, they may not know how to look for the important highlights of a birth story, and so often, not only is it common for the quality of non-professional birth photos to be compromised, but the photos may all together be of not quite the special and emotional moments the parents wanted to remember from this day.

5. This is the picture I wanted:

Is what most of my clients who are having their second or third baby say to me when they describe the lack of photos of these special memories from their previous births. And it is also one of the moments and photos my first time moms are looking forward to seeing in their birth story once they give birth.

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6. Family Matters

Family matters to my clients, and these kinds of reactions below would NOT be possible without quick acting and knowing your camera gear and what to look for and when to expect it.

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7. Forgetting Most of the Day

For most women, labor tends to be long, and towards the end — quite intense. It is easy to quickly forget most of your labor. Having it captured by someone who exclusively photographs birth, understands the physiology of birth and works really well with your doctor, midwife, nurses, doulas and family members — it is the best investment and the best way to document and remember this incredibly life-changing experience forever.

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Behind the scenes of birth photography | discretion, respect, love

MIDWIFE HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: Courtney McMillian CNM of Boca Midwifery

My first birth with Courtney McMillian of Boca Midwifery as the midwife was the pivotal moment when my view of birth changed. She is my person supergirl in scrubs. She is the kindest, most patient midwifery practitioner. Here are some fun facts about this amazing birth provider!

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  • Courtney McMillian is a Certified Nurse Midwife which means that she delivers babies in the hospital

  • She has been a midwife for 4 years

  • She became a midwife to help women have better (more gentle/less interventional) births

  • She has 3 children, ages 4, 8, 11

  • Her own first birth with her first child was a home water birth

  • She has given birth at home, at Boca Raton Regional Hospital and at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital

  • Courtney is married to Joseph of 12 years

  • She is a Leo born in the year of the goat

  • Her favorite color is navy blue

  • When she was a child she wanted to be a pediatrician when she grew up

  • Her favorite place to go with her entire family is the beach. Or away anywhere they are all together! 

  • In the morning she drinks 2 cups of coffee

  • She is an omnivore

  • Something you don’t know about her is that she lived in Spain for 6 months in college

  • Her proudest moments as a midwife are helping women achieve vaginal births after c-sections (VBACs)

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DOULA HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: Orlando Labor Doula Katherin | Rin Rin Doula

I recently met a fantastic human being and amazing labor doula in Orlando, FL — Katherin Rinaldi, owner of Rin Rin Doula.

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Katherin Rinaldi

Orlando, FL

What really struck me about her the very first time I came across her, was her energy. Yes you read that right, her energy was so powerful and positive, I immediately knew that this woman was born to do what she does.

Katherin is the third of four children, born in Colombia and raised in a Baha’i family (a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people). She moved to the US when she was 13 years old with her parents and younger brother. She got married at 20 as a student at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, GA and her husband and she now live in Orlando, FL and have three daughters. She feels that being a mom to her three daughters has been tremendously fulfilling but also challenging. She enjoys an active lifestyle and is passionate about health and wellness, meeting new people, serving others, and traveling with her family. She loves dancing (especially salsa) with her husband, water sports and baking and gardening with her girls.


Katherin says she has always been mesmerized by childbirth.  One day many years ago, while her mom was talking to her two older sisters sitting at the kitchen counter, she asked her (out of the blue) if she was pregnant.  Surprised by this question from her three year old daughter, she said “Si!” (“Yes!”) with a gleaming smile.  Her sisters thought she was joking.

After she found out it was going to be a baby brother, she asked her Dad to make a countdown calendar for her; she couldn’t wait to become a big sister. She frequently asked her sisters and their teenage friends to read her an encyclopedia-type book on childbirth (with graphic pictures and descriptions) and it quickly became her favorite book around the house.  

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She is now following her desire to serve women.  In fact, Doula means woman’s servant in Greek.  Katherin’s goal is to empower women and their families through pregnancy, childbirth and in the post partum period.  She feels that women need to feel cared for, supported and loved during this pivotal moment of womanhood.  Her goal is not to replace the role of the partner or father in the childbirth process but rather to be part of the birth team.. The doula-client relationship begins several months before baby is due. During this time, the mother is free to ask questions, express concerns and fears and her desires for her birth plan. As a doula, Katherin is an advocate for the mother, helping her fulfill specific desires she may have for her birth in order to have a positive and safe birthing experience regardless of birth location. Katherin provides her birth clients with continuous physical, emotional and informational support before, during and shortly after childbirth. She also is able to provide comfort measures and relaxation techniques, positive affirmations to help mothers during labor and she encourages participation from the partner in the process. After birth, Katherin stays and helps the mother with breastfeeding and encourage bonding.

If you are an expectant mother near Orlando, FL seeking the right labor doula for your pregnancy journey and upcoming birth, you can reach Katherin here:

Guest Blogger: Nurse and author of Survival Secrets For The New Graduate Nurse

Preventing Preeclampsia Part I: Connecting the K2 Dots

We don’t know the exact cause of preeclampsia or eclampsia, and current treatments are only moderately effective. Many women who develop it will deliver preterm. Since is a severe progression of preeclampsia which involves seizures, we will only be using the term “preeclampsia.” Converging evidence suggests that supplementation with certain vitamins, micronutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids could prevent or possibly treat preeclampsia and eclampsia. We will be discussing the evidence that supports each, and make a case for the theory that nutritional deficiencies are the cause, therefore nutritional therapy is the treatment. This post is about Vitamin K2, and future posts will cover the other nutritional therapies.

Who is Elena?  Welcome! I am a nurse and the author of Survival Secrets For The New Graduate Nurse.

Who is Elena?

Elena is a nurse and the author of Survival Secrets For The New Graduate Nurse. 

You can follow the series by subscribing on her page here:

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 (also known as MK-7 and menaquinone) is a little understood and little known vitamin and cofactor. It plays a major role the proper absorption of calcium, the prevention of atherosclerosis, suppressing inflammation caused by oxidative stress, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, increasing insulin sensitivity, and many other processes which we are still uncovering. Right now there isn’t even a test that is used as the “gold standard” method for assessing total Vitamin K status. What we do know, is that most people are not getting enough of it from the foods here in America. 
Let us take a look at some of the risk factors and lab values associated with preeclampsia and eclampsia (according to WebMD, 2018) and connect them to K2 deficiency.

Risk Factor #1: Preexisting Protein C or Protein S deficiency

Protein C and Protein S are both Vitamin K dependent proteins. This means that the body requires Vitamin K to be able to activate Protein C and Protein S. Protein C is made primarily in the liver, but 50% of protein S is made in the endothelial cells of the vascular walls (Frannsen et al., 2017). Vitamin K1 activates coagulation factors in the liver, but vitamin K2 activates the vitamin K dependent proteins that exist extrahepatically (outside the liver) (Frannsen et al., 2017). If a vitamin K deficiency exists, than Protein C or Protein S deficiency will also exist. If protein C or protein S deficiency is a risk factor for eclampsia, it is certainly possible then that the root cause is actually vitamin K2 deficiency. 

I was diagnosed with “mild” protien S deficiency after having three miscarriages.  I did not know then what I know now.  I had to take aspirin to be able to maintain the pregnancy.  If I had known better, I would have replenished my K2 before trying again.  I was never tested for K2 deficiency and did not even know it could be a possible cause at the time.  I will be writing about recurrent miscarriage in the near future and will certainly discuss this further.

Why does this matter in preeclampsia?

It is important to realize that calcium plays a direct role in vasodilation (the dilation of blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure), though we won’t get into the specific mechanisms here.

You can read more here on Elena’s page