Stretching The Psoas

Hello Medical Mama readers! My name is Nicole, aka The Blonde Yogi, and I want to thank Breanna for having me guest blog again.

A little bit about me, I am a 200 hour certified yoga instructor, a wife, and mom of 3 littles. I blog because I believe everyone has a story to share that we can all learn from.

Follow me if you’d like, or don’t. Your life. 😉



Either way, thanks for stopping by and learning about the Psoas.

So. what is the psoas muscle? Well, let’s back up. How do you even say psoas? It’s pronounced, “so- az” and it is the only muscle in our bodies that connects the spine to the legs; our upper and lower halves. It is responsible for stabilizing us and gives us the ability to lift our knees up.

Most of us have issues with our psoas being too tight. Sometimes the psoas can be overstretched which would require different care. But for the sake of keeping this blog short and holding your attention, we will just focus on the stretching and releasing aspect. You’re welcome. 😏

Here’s the test to see if you have a tight psoas:

Lie on your back with your legs stretched out. If you can fit your hand between the floor and your low back, the psoas is tight. The goal is to only be able to get a pencil between your back and the floor.

What causes the psoas to become tight?

•Sitting for long periods of time (you know like reading blog after blog 😬 but don’t get up yet!) Also, try sitting back in your chair and unhooking your feet to prevent stiffness in the low back and hips.

•Sleeping fetal or on your stomach.

•Excessive running or cycling.

•Lack of stretching after these activities.

What issues result from having a tight psoas?

When the psoas is tight, it pulls on our lumbar spines causing back pain, pelvic pain, pelvic floor issues, digestive issues, lack of core stability, SI joint pain, breathing problems (which then lead to emotional issues), and overcompensation of the other muscles.

Yikes! Who knew this muscles was so important let alone even existed?

A regular yoga and/or Pilates practice will keep this muscle in good shape.

Here are 3 stretches to release this tight and overworked muscle:

•Warrior One

Warrior one is a great hip opener if done correctly. Normally, the back foot is at a 45 degree angle and you’ll hear that cue from yoga teachers all the time. HOWEVER, if you have a tight psoas and hip flexor then come up on the ball of that back foot and bring BOTH of your hip bones to the front of your mat. That is when you’ll feel the stretch where it is supposed to be.

•Kneeling Low Lunge

Lean your hips forward until you feel the stretch in your hip flexor. When you get there, relax and hold the pose taking big breaths in and out.

•Constructive Resting Pose

It may look like nothing but in this posture you’re actively resting and releasing the psoas. Allow yourself to surrender to gravity, melt into your mat, and BREATHE. Spend about 10 minutes a day in this position. It’s great for the psoas and great for your posture.

That’s it.

This was a very brief intro of this very complex and important muscle. If you’d like to know more, Liz Koch is the queen of the psoas. She has a great book, The Psoas Book, with tons information and guidance for taking care of your low back and hips.

Happy Stretching,




New Baby Food Guidelines Parents Aren’t Following But Should

Photo Credit Tori May. (2018).

Hi everyone! Please help me welcome our next guest blogger Tori May! When I met Tori she is so energetic and on que with her articles. Her articles are so informative and filled with a lot of great information for parents, first time moms, and anyone who wants to know more about different life style articles. You can follow her on her website at, on Facebook, and Pinterest. Thank you for sharing Tori! 🙂

Tori months of may ownerHi! My name is Tori May, owner and operator of On the Months of May blog, you will find my best parenting advice, plant based recipes, and healthy lifestyle tips. I love to share the experience I’ve gained as a mom to a sweet baby boy. I am also passionate about yummy and healthy vegetarian food, living the healthiest life possible, and Oreos (It’s all about balance, right?) I would love to have you follow along!
DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert. Please consult with your child’s pediatrician and do your own research before following any advice.
Before the birth of my son I did as much research as my shrunken pregnancy brain could hold. That’s how I know that your brain actually shrinks during pregnancy. SHRINKS! I filled my head with breastfeeding facts, birth stories, baby product reviews… you name it. One thing I neglected to research, however, was starting solids or complementary foods. Babies start eating solids at 4 months, or so I was always led to believe and I never questioned it. That is until my pediatrician recommended that I wait until 6 months to start solids. Six?! I was immediately motivated to become educated so as to make an informed decision about my little one’s eating habits. What I found was not only has the recommended age for complementary foods changed, but the guidelines for the type of food have changed, as well.


I already know what you’re probably thinking and I have heard plenty of parents say it. What’s it matter? My sweet little perfect angel didn’t follow these “new” guidelines and they turned out fine! I am sure your little ones are fine, and in fact, I started having rice cereal in my bottle before I was four months old. As far as I know, I don’t have any detrimental health consequences as a result. So, most likely, if you don’t follow the new feeding guidelines for your children, they will be “fine,” but is that what we want?
Do we want to ignore the research and have our children just be fine? Think about it; our grandparents, even some of our parents, as babies rode home from the hospital in their parent’s laps. They obviously survived, or we wouldn’t be here. Just because those babies were “fine,” doesn’t mean that our generation has abstained from using car seats. Parents listened to the research, that babies in car seats were better off than babies not in car seats, and acted accordingly. Personally, I want to do whatever it takes for my child not only to survive, but to thrive! A combination of following guidelines supported by research and being intuitive to your baby’s own needs is what I believe is necessary for optimizing your child’s health and potential in their life.


New Baby Feeding Guidelines Parents Aren't Following but Should The World Health Organization recommends that infants begin consuming foods (other than breast milk or formula), otherwise known as complementary foods, at 6 months and beyond. More specifically, they recommend that:
“…infants start receiving complimentary foods at 6 months of age in addition to breast milk, initially 2-3 times a day between 6-8 months, increasing to 3-4 times daily between 9-11 months and 12-24 months with additional nutritious snacks offered 1-2 times per day, as desired (Nutrition: Complementary Feeding).”
If you previously never heard about the complimentary foods guideline switch, don’t feel bad! The American Academy of Pediatrics only changed their recommendation in 2013. Further, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study found that nearly half of all parents fed their babies something other than breast milk or formula prior to four months. The study further inquired about the parents reasoning for giving their children complimentary foods prior to four months, which many replied “a doctor or health care professional said my baby should begin eating solid food” (Vossenaar, Doak, & Solomons, 2014).


The complimentary food guidelines deviated because, upon analysis, experts found that waiting until 6 months is best for baby’s health. What exactly makes holding off until 6 months more suitable for your baby? First, breast milk and formula are very rich in nutrients and contain beneficial properties for your baby. Diluting your baby’s diet with other, less nutrient-dense, foods can cause malnutrition.
Babies who are introduced to solid foods prior to 6 months are at higher risk of suffering from gastroenteritis and diarrhea because they may not have yet developed gut bacteria that is crucial in the breakdown of such foods. Further down the line, and this is where your child could suffer long-term, but appear “fine”, studies have found feeding complimentary foods too early to be associated with a higher possibility of obesity, eczema, diabetes, and celiac disease (Vossenaar, Doak, & Solomons, 2014).
On the contrary, introducing baby to complementary foods too late can have adverse consequences for baby’s health. My son’s pediatrician informed me that there is a short window of time for baby to properly learn to use a spoon. Further, providing baby with solids belatedly has been linked to allergies and nutrient deficiencies (Huffpost, 2018).


New Baby Feeding Guidelines Parents Aren't Following but Should

As aforementioned, babies should start eating complimentary foods at 6 months, but what should they eat? The World Health Organization recommends mashed, pureed, or semi-solid foods to begin with. As time progresses, babies can move onto “finger foods” and eventually can eat most of what the adults are eating at about a year old, if your baby is developmentally prepared. Of course, make sure you are being careful with tough foods, large foods, or anything that could be a choking hazard, such as uncut grapes. In terms of the variety and type of food, the World Health Organization encourages a diet for infants rich in all the necessary nutrients, including protein, Vitamin-A, and healthy fats (Vossenaar, Doak, & Solomons, 2014).
Many parents choose baby cereals as a first non-milk/formula food for their babies. Baby cereal is a good option because it is a liquid-like consistency and easy for your little ones to eat, without any overwhelming flavor. Many pediatricians recommend that baby’s first meals consist of rice cereal, despite recent studies that show rice cereal has been found to contain six times more arsenic than other non-rice baby cereals (Vossenaar, Doak, & Solomons, 2014).
When in doubt, vegetables and fruits are always a great option when served properly. Just make sure your baby is getting a variety of nutrients and vitamins that include all their necessities. Fresh foods are best and if the food needs softened, try simply steaming it. Beware of foods that might look healthy for your baby, but are not. For example, canned vegetables, while convenient, are extremely high in sodium content. Also, many “fruit” juices are just as sugary as a soda. Raw avocado, steamed carrots, steamed sweet potatoes are all wonderful and healthy baby foods, but don’t stop there, the options are numerous!


New Baby Feeding Guidelines Parents Aren't Following but Should As mentioned above, rice cereal has been proven to contain extremely high levels of arsenic. Will arsenic negatively impact your baby’s health? The answer is complicated, because even if rice cereal is cut out, your little one will be exposed to arsenic in another matter. It is important, however, to minimize the amount of arsenic your child intakes as much as possible. Small amounts of arsenic will have a larger impact on infants, as the arsenic will be less diluted through a baby’s tiny system. Arsenic has been linked to lower IQ levels, cancer risk, and neurological development issues (Houlihan, 2017).
Without a doubt, rice cereal is responsible for most of baby’s arsenic intake. Babies who consumed rice cereal had urine with 3.3 times more arsenic than those who didn’t. Plenty of other options exist! Oat or quinoa cereals are great alternatives, or just skip baby cereal and make sure your little one is getting all of their nutrients from purees, mashes, and soft foods (Houlihan, 2017). Cereals are bland and boring anyways, so I wouldn’t recommend making them a staple in a baby’s diet unless your pediatrician specifically recommends it. Seriously, would you want to eat that mush? Some even suggest that children being introduced to these bland cereals can cause them to be pickier eaters later in life.
In conclusion, the new regulations regarding complementary foods for infants are simple. Wait until 6 months to feed your little ones anything other than breast milk or formula, and don’t feed them arsenic-rich rice cereal. Despite such simple guidelines, many parents are still resorting to outdated recommendations. Lack of education about proper infant nutrition, generations of feeding customs, and even pediatricians who don’t follow the new recommendations are to blame for the trend of improper feeding habits. Hopefully, with competent education on the subject, more parents will become enlightened to the best ways to feed their children. Hey, it even took years of educational campaigns and even legislative measures to make car seats the constant they are today!
New Baby Feeding Guidelines Parents Aren't Following but Should
  1. Nutrition: Complementary Feeding. (n.d.). Retrieved April 03, 2018, from
  2. Vossenaar, M., Doak, C. M., & Solomons, N. W. (2014). Challenges in the Elaboration of a Field Interview Instrument to Capture Information for the Evaluation of Adherence to the WHO/PAHO Guiding Principles for Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed Child. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 35(3), 338-350. doi:10.1177/156482651403500306
  3. Vossenaar, M., Doak, C. M., & Solomons, N. W. (2014). Challenges in the Elaboration of a Field Interview Instrument to Capture Information for the Evaluation of Adherence to the WHO/PAHO Guiding Principles for Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed Child. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 35(3), 338-350. doi:10.1177/156482651403500306
  4. Houlihan, J., MSCE. (2017, December). Arsenic in 9 Brands of Infant Cereal. Retrieved April 3, 2018, from
  5. F. (2018, January 11). American Parents Are Giving Babies Regular Food Far Too Soon. Retrieved April 04, 2018, from


Balancing Holistic and Western Care

by: Nicole H.
Please help me welcome Nicole H. Also known as The Blonde Yogi. She quotes herself as being “An adventurer at heart longing to travel but at the same time so content with this little life of mine. A daughter, sister, wife, mother of 3, and yoga teacher all rolled into one bad ass blonde.” You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram. And of course you can follow her on her own website at:

Thank you so much for sharing your article with us today.


Nicole, Nik, or Nikki B. Newbie being the most appropriate of all names when it comes to blogging and just writing in general. However, I keep finding that my heart is in sharing life’s experiences in hopes of reaching at least one person who could benefit. Maya Angelou says it best, “When you learn, teach.” I’ve learned some things these past (almost) 3 decades and I’m ready to share.

Speaking strictly from my experiences and perspective, we as a society tend to put 100% of our faith and trust in our doctors and western medication. We kind of have this knee jerk reaction to call up our physicians or visit the nearest pharmacy for every little cough and sniffle that comes our way.

I am a yoga teacher and have been studying for a few years now the practice and the science behind meditation, mindfulness, breath, and essential oils and how all those things affect our physical and emotional health. In this post, I’ll be sharing with you (as a non medical professional) some experiences that have made me start thinking differently about health and how I take care of myself.

What exactly is “holistic health”?

Holistic health or medicine is a form of treatment that considers the whole person — body, mind, spirit, and emotions — for optimal health and wellness. Treatment involves fixing the cause of the condition, not just alleviating the symptoms. Conventional medicine may be used but more often than not, a natural way of healing (diet, exercise, environment, essential oils, acupuncture, etc.) is approached first. This avenue also asks the patient to take responsibility for their own well-being and lifestyle changes.

Think about the laws of nature. A whole is made up of interdependent parts. The earth is made up of systems— air, land, water, plants and animals. If life is to be sustained, they cannot be separated. What happens to one is also felt by all of the other systems. We as people, are the same. An individual is a whole made up of interdependent parts— physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. When one part is not working at its best it effects everything else.

For example, my mom has dealt with chronic migraines for over 25 years now. She has seen sooo many physicians to figure out how to get rid of this debilitating illness. After years of tests and medication (looking at the problem as one part not as a whole) nothing has helped and no answers have been found.

It is a good thing she sought medical help because she could’ve had a brain tumor. But since that’s not the case, the only solution a doctor can come to is to medicate. The holistic approach would say the real reason she has chronic migraines might have something to do with the suppressed emotions she’s been carrying since she was a child, and resolving those emotional issues will resolve the physical as well.

My grandmother is a great example of someone who puts too much trust in doctors and none in herself. And it’s probably a generational thing too, I don’t know. Anyway, she had back surgery on her lumbar spine a few years ago. She lives a rather sedentary life even though she’s still fairly young and completely mobile. She could’ve avoided surgery had a doctor suggest to her that her psoas muscles were probably the root cause, and with a little yoga and daily activity not only would her back start feeling better but also she would experience an overall improvement physically and mentally.

I am a big believer that we know more about our own bodies and how to take care of them than we give ourselves credit for.

I wrote a blog talking about how I was having lots of “lady problems”. I went to my OB/GYN and she, without asking me many questions at all, prescribed me Prozac. I refused her prescription and found out the real solution (through my own investigation) was as simple as strengthening my pelvic floor. Absolutely no need for drugs with multiple side effects. Knowledge is power, people!

Don’t get me wrong, I have had experiences where I was VERY glad to have conventional doctors and science-based medication available to me. I’m talking about childbirth, guys. Gotta love those epidurals! Not to mention the invaluable support and reassurance I received from them that everything would be okay. Currently, I am grateful for the doctors who will be fixing the blockages in my grandpa’s heart when he goes into surgery in the next few days. These are the types of cases where diffusing lavender oil isn’t going to do a darn thing, and we have to now turn to the professionals, right?

Think bigger picture. Think balance! Life is nothing but one big balancing act.

I can see the holistic lifestyle regaining popularity though. Maybe that’s only because of the profession I’m in. Who’s to say? In any case, I hope more people start putting trust back in their own intuition and self awareness a little more. Like in every one of my yoga classes I ask my students to ask themselves, “How do I genuinely feel? What do I feel? Where in the body do I feel it?” If you haven’t a yoga practice of your own it’s a great place to start your journey for a healthier, more holistic lifestyle.

16 Things to Teach Your One-Year-Old

Today we have the privilege of reading an article from another author. Please help me welcome Veronica. She is the author of She is another mommy blogger with lifestyle flare mixed in, and her articles are so honest. I think everyone can relate to them. Make sure you go check out her site and other articles as well.


Hello, I am Veronica. I am a stay at home mommy to my one-year-old son Maverik Dean. I run a lifestyle + mom blog called

You can follow her more on Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, SnapChat, Tubler, and YouTube. Go check her out!
Teaching our children things can get pretty difficult. Sometimes we just need a list to look back to. Our child’s development means everything and ultimately it comes back to us, the parents. Here is a list of things I will be teaching my one-year-old. Some of these things you might think it’s “too early” to start, but it’s NEVER too early to start anything! And if your child is not picking up something do not be let down because every child will learn at their own pace. Every child develops in their own way.

 Teach your one-year-old the meaning of sufficiency in all things. 


  1. There is ample parental attention. There is no need to scream and cry to get a parent to notice her or his child’s distress. Pay attention and meet the needs of the moment before a meltdown happens. I wish all one year old children would focus on feelings of sufficiency, and not a lack of sufficiency. Consistent insufficiency (for example, feelings of repeatedly being ridiculed or neglected) creates neural pathways which are not optimal for mental health, emotional growth and self-esteem.
  2. Change your one year old’s focus. Drive his attention to something that is interesting rather than (for example) extremely disturbing. You can tell by a child’s response whether curiosity or fear or other unhappy feeling is the primary feeling.
  3. Model for your child the many joys of reading beginning today. If you haven’t already started then start by reading great stories. Every. Single. Night. Read aloud with different voices for different characters. Get into the story. Ask: “What do you think will happen next?!” Get a library card if you don’t already have one and ask the children’s librarian which books s/he recommends for a one year old child. You can also get movies or musical CD’s.
  4. Read reassuring stories only (at this age). Goodnight Moon is a good start. These kinds of stories show the world to be a safe and predictable place and gives every child a feeling of security. Harry the Dirty Dog is another classic to read out loud because its message is that no matter how you change, you’ll always be loved at home. Children at 12 months perceive much more than they express, and have a sense that things change quickly (hence, separation anxiety).
  5. Make a bedtime routine and do not vary it for a year or so. Do the same activities in the same order, in the same way, with the same words, at the same time every night. For good sleep hygiene: dinner, bath, pjs, in bed, story time, lights out. Predictability of sleep contributes to restful sleep for every family member. If you do not do things in order it can really effect your child’s social skills and activities during the day.
  6. Talk to your child using your best adult vocabulary and narrate whatever you are seeing or thinking. You are describing the universe and are your child’s first teacher. Your child will look to you for EVERYTHING! Everything you say your child will believe. You are your little one’s “go to person” (mommy or daddy).
  7. Play music, sing, and dance. Children respond well to musical rhythms. The rhymes of song lyrics encourage per-literacy skills like phonemic awareness.
  8. Manners training. Now is the time to bring your child’s high chair to the dinner table, model manners, teach “please pass the potato” and “thank you for passing the potatos” by saying please and thank you all the time. Good manners are a social lubricant, used so people are happy to help each other. If you hear your child say please and thank you, note out loud how much you appreciate such good manners.
  9. Set the expectations of some alone time. Babies and one year old children enjoy time alone only when they are ready for it. You can encourage their readiness by letting them play with something interesting while they are near you while you are also focusing on doing your own chores, like folding laundry. Gradually you absent yourself for a minute or less and say “I’ll be right back. I’m going to the kitchen to preheat the oven” or something equally fast. Come right back to avoid your child having the fear that you’ve gone and avoid feelings of being alone. These are too big to handle at this age. If there is any anxiety let your voice be heard from another room. “I’ll be right back; I’m just getting my sweater and your sweatshirt, it’s getting cold in here!”
  10. Say “Yes!” 99.9% of the time and, avoid saying “No”. Unless it is a matter of imminent danger to health or safety let your child feel free to explore the world and let your child discover things independent of your input. Kids are little scientists and love figuring things out without being prompted. Doing that is a matter of self-esteem and pride. “Look what I did!”
  11. Colors! You can teach even a 6 month old what red, yellow, and blue are. You need 3 of something that is completely identical, but it comes in each of those colors. I try to teach my son with balls and also plastic cups. You hold up one ball and say “red ball” and show him the next one “blue ball”. Then “red cup”. “Red cup and red ball” etc. Keep showing him things that are blue, red and yellow over a couple of days when you are playing with them. Identify them like “I have the yellow cup!” etc. Get him used to hearing the labels. Then start asking “Which one is red?” and he’ll learn to touch the correct color. It will amaze you when he picks the correct one, but it’s fairly easy to teach and a great party trick for your baby to do! Note: the items must be completely identical other than the color. If not, say the yellow ball is shinier or the blue cup is bigger, then they might pick the one that they like best and not necessarily the color you asked for.

  12. Teach cognitive skills. Body parts (nose, belly, head, cheeks, hands, feet, ears, eyes, eyebrows); directions (up, down, over, under, over there, over here, etc.); simple songs (Row, row, row your boat, etc.); Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes; Patty-cake; Peek-a-boo; animals and their sounds; names of things around the house; and read to your child at least 20 minutes every day.
  13. Teach your son how to use sign language. You can actually teach your child to use sign language before he can speak. He can pick up some rudimentary signing that helps him to communicate. It was especially helpful because your child could become a late talker.

  14. Teach him all the things you love most about others. Then do those things with him. Help him learn the things he loves in others and himself. In this generation our children really need the confidence to survive school.
  15. Play with him. Talk to him as much as you can. Read to him. Rough house with him a little. Grab a ball and teach him motor skills. Start by having him sit and roll it back and forth between you both. Sing to him. Dance with him. Clean the house with him.
  16. Your one year old is exploring the world through the senses and working out how to move. One year old children need human interaction that is positive and builds trust. They are learning to trust the world and work out how it works. They love discovering routines and predictability. Sing songs. Practice walking. Repeat routines. Teach trust. Don’t forget to stay sane and adult. Don’t overreact. Provide household items and environments (outside, inside to stimulate). Take them along on your life. They are happy to watch and touch everything and will teach themselves. All you have to do is make sure they are warm, don’t choke on small things, get some rest, and eat some food. Think of the child as your fourth. You would take them along to pretty much everything that the household and other children require.



5 Things They Don’t Tell You About Moving in Together


So moving in with your significant other is not all rainbows and unicorns and often I think couples believe that moving in together will solve ALLL of their problems and everything will just go on being A-Okay. Right? Wrong!

There are good and bad sides to moving in together… here are 5 things that couples don’t tell you happen when they move in together.
1.  So you know all those annoying little quirks you thought were cute when you were dating? They won’t be cute anymore. Don’t get me wrong they will still be there and you will find them adorable at times… but then other times they will be the reason you are aggravated. Those quirky little habits will be the big elephant in the room that you once thought was sweet, cute, adorable, funny, etc.
2. What is mine is yours and what is yours is mine literally becomes a rule for everything! For example — using her flat iron to straighten out the edges of your button up shirt in the morning, because you are too lazy or in too much of a hurry to get the ironing board and iron out. OR that junk food you had in the freezer … yeah you have to share.
3.  Peeing, pooping, farting, eating… it is all out there.. no more hiding it. You will see EVERY side of your spouse. In every way. In every place. In every stage of the day and night. Embrace it. This becomes an issue for some, but if your spouse loves you then none of those vulnerable moments will matter.
4. Your little spats will become big arguments. If she is controlling you now she will only be more controlling when you move in with her. The trust issues he has will be twenty times worse when you move in. Everything will be magnified and in your face the second the newly moved in together, puppy dog phase wears off.
5.  Me time will be scarce but it will be important and needed. Make sure you are taking the time away to refresh. If you don’t all of the above will be much much worse as time goes on. Even if it means sitting in separate rooms for a few hours. Take the time alone to do the things you enjoy.Don’t get me wrong some couples move in together and you never hear about problems they are having. If you believe that everyone else around you has a perfect relationship then they have you fooled…

What little things do you think changed in your relationship once you moved in together?

Let me know in the comments!


PS Stay tuned on my blog. Next Monday I will be sharing more detailed stories about things that  changed after moving in with my ex (almost) husband.


Hey! My name is Brittani and I had the pleasure of writing a guest post for Breanna. I am the creator and writer for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly at I am a 23 year old divorced (almost) mother of two toddlers. My ex (almost) husband is a registered sex offender who cheated on me with a minor… before that there were multiple other things going on that landed him where he is now. If you want to know more about my story, follow my dating tips, and motivational posts please follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest!  I can’t wait to hear from you. Talk to you soon! ❤



Thank you so much Brittani for sharing your article! Everyone go check her out on her website.  ❤