GOLD Learning Speakers

Minneapolis

Ihotu Jennifer Ali, MPH, LMT, CLC

  • Speaker Type: Perinatal Nutrition Lecture Pack
  • Country: Minneapolis
Biography:

Ihotu Jennifer Ali, MPH, LMT, CLC (she/her) is a doula, public health educator, researcher, and integrative massage therapist specializing in myofascial release therapies including the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®, Craniosacral Therapy, Prenatal, and Infant Massage as a Spinning Babies Aware Practitioner®. She is founder and owner of Black Moon Bodywork, LLC which offers massage therapy blended with health coaching in integrative and indigenous practices to support hormone balance, digestion, sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive justice.

Ihotu’s decade of experience in femme and family health includes years as a DONA certified birth doula and lactation counselor, prenatal yoga teacher and dancer, rape crisis counselor, Institute for Integrative Nutrition coach, and director of pre-conception health programs funded by the March of Dimes. She has collaborated with midwives and physicians in Haiti, Nigeria, Congo, and Morocco, and worked in health policy and research with the U.S. Congress, Clinton Foundation, United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and Columbia University’s School of Public Health. Raised between Minnesota, New York City, and West Africa with respect for both indigenous and evidence-based medicine, Ihotu strives to offer innovative care that is affordable, consent- and trauma-informed, gender fluid and ancestrally rooted. Her writing, public speaking, and coaching brings together emerging science in hormones and gut-brain health, functional medicine, Reproductive Justice and Afrofuturism movements. She offers an intercultural commentary on the busy modern lifestyles, social pressures, and unresolved trauma often at the root of today’s chronic health conditions.

CE Library Presentation(s) Available Online:
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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures
Can Broths and Baths Help the Baby Blues? Where Indigenous Wisdom Meets Functional Medicine
Indigenous practices around pregnancy, birth and postpartum have become wildly popular, and some even controversial, from rebozo belly sifting and Bengkung binding to herbal massage oils and vaginal steams. This presentation will dive deeper to explore the theories and assumptions behind certain lineages of indigenous postpartum care (Traditional Chinese Medicine, Mayan and Nigerian), their analysis of the postpartum body as in a “cold state,” and common warming foods and practices. We will also look at the theories behind functional medicine and compare the two perspectives – both ancient and emerging science - in their common view of the postpartum body as being in a depleted state in need of nourishment. Given the lack of standard postpartum care and the high rates of postpartum depression and mood disorders, a family-oriented and public health approach is proposed here, at the intersection of both indigenous and functional medicine. Both early research and generational wisdom suggest that integrative postpartum care focusing on regular warm broths and baths, anti-inflammatory foods, and nourishing the hormonal, digestive and circulatory systems can relieve new parents’ swelling, joint pain, constipation, hot flashes, energy and mood, especially for those with health conditions, after a difficult pregnancy, or a long or traumatic birth.
Hours / CE Credits: 1 (details)  |  Categories: Midwifery