Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Grew up on Wonder Bread Sugar Butter Sandwiches; the confessions of a birth educator

Starting from Scratch 

I grew up on wonder bread sugar butter sandwiches; except it wasn’t even butter but soft margarine from a tub. I'd like to tell you otherwise. I'd like to say we only ate the freshest of the fresh, that my mom was an organic gourmet chef who had all the time in the world to spend in a kitchen and garden creating the healthiest food on earth. Instead my reality was a divorced mom who was trying to work and raise 4 kids. Yes she knew how to grow food, can food and cook food from scratch because she grew up on a farm in the Missouri Ozarks. That was part of the reason why she didn't do any of that anymore. She embraced the modern conveniences which blended science with abundance. I was a part of the "Tang" generation. Mornings were challenging getting all of us ready and out the door. Sometimes breakfast was Nestle Quik she had put a raw egg into stirred up and called an egg shake. This was better than the beer shake (same recipe just substitute beer for Quik) my dad sometimes had as a boy in Germany right? Once she even made us oatmeal cookie dough for breakfast. She was just glad to get the oatmeal into us without argument. We thought it was the greatest breakfast ever. Captain Crunch came camping with us and spaghetti from a can was often for dinner. So it's pretty ironic that I teach pregnant moms how to eat in my Healthy Beginnings classes and carefully peruse the food logs I require of my doula clients so I can counsel them on optimal nutrition for pregnancy. You could say I have had a long road to travel to become a healthy eater. Understanding my journey may help you tackle challenges on your nutritional road with less stress from guilt. Remember we are replacing cells in our body all the time so we can literally recreate ourselves. Click here to read the rest of my confessions.

What My Husband Didn't Do

Months ago I was asked the question how did my husband show his support of my choice to breastfeed our son? I am ashamed to admit that I couldn’t think of a single thing my husband had done or said. Recently I turned this question inside out and took another look. What had my husband not done? When viewed this way it became blindingly clear all the ways my quiet husband had been my mainstay throughout my breastfeeding experience and parenting. Read about it here.

My Classes


Healthy Beginnings/Healthy Choices: Get your pregnancy off to a great start!

Why Should I Take Classes? If you are planning a homebirth, using a midwife or have a doula already on board you may be wondering if you need classes. Besides isn't birth natural?

Heart, Mind & Body Birth Preparation: My series blending the best of many "methods" to give you the tools to create a positive birth uniquely right for you.

Intro to Parenting 101; a prerequisite to Parenting 102: Read what a class is like.

Basic Class InfoThe who, what, when and how


What My Clients Say

My Classes are featured in a book! 
Read Baby Daddy to get one of my dad's thoughts on my birth classes.
Support for After Your Baby Arrives: My "Whole"isitc Mamas group

Friday, July 20, 2012

Birth Stories

Learning from Our Birth Sisters. Why I have begun my birth story project.

A Safe Place: Stories Can Help Us Heal. The importance of sharing, listening & honoring women's birth stories.

Baby Comes in a Rush: Twin Cities Birth for Second Time Mom. Hear Jackie's story.
First hospital water birth in the county!

Shasta's Birth: Sierra Vista Birth of one of my doula clients. Hear Jora's story.

A Perfect Birth Experience: First Hospital Waterbirth in the County. Hear Kim's story.

A Doula's Story: a Homebirth in Florida. Read this beautiful piece about birth & being a doula.
This bundle decided to be breech.

Breech Birth: Turning Her Plans Upside Down! Hear Colby's story.

Out-of-hospital Birth Center Waterbirth. Read a dad's perspective & watch a video!

A Quick Homebirth. Hear Billea's short & sweet birth & story.
Filled in as doula for this sweet birth.

Parker's Santa Lucia Birth Center Birth: A photo essay

The Challenges of Being in Labor While Being a Mommy. Hear Kelly's humorous homebirth story.
Kelly's second birth was not at all what she expected.
Finding Your Path;
two women's stories. Following your heart while making birth choices.

Bodie's Birth; a cesarean story

Keeper of the Space. A beautiful poem birth story by a doula in Florida. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Parenting Issues, Ideas & Choices

My Parenting Group: For on-going support after your baby arrives.

Re-framing Birth: Thinking about birth from your baby's point of view.

To Clamp or Not to Clamp? That is the Question!: Video demonstration of the importance of waiting to cut the cord.

Your Baby's First Latch: video of initiating breastfeeding via breast crawl.

Baby's First Bath: rethinking this bonding tradition.

Deciding about Giving Vitamin K to Your Newborn?: Learn the pros and cons, why, when and how.

The Social and Emotional Intelligence of Infants: The mother /baby dance of life-long love and learning. 

Deciding about Circumcision: Hear what a pediatric urologist has to say.

Food for Thought: Baby Bonding and Attachment

What My Husband Didn't Do: How a dad can make all the difference when it comes to breastfeeding.

Food for Thought: How Labor Pain Medication Affects Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding & Kangaroo Care: One woman's neonatal intensive care unit story.

Speaking out for breastfeeding: Hear me interview our local La Leche League Leader about the challenges and benefits of breastfeeding.

New Research into Bonding with Your Baby: Latest info backs up what our hearts have been telling us.

More Good News About Breastfeeding: Latest studies on health benefits for mom and baby & it's financial impact.

Family Bed: Learn About the Latest Information on the Benefits vs. Risks of Sleeping with Your Baby.

A Visit to Grandma and Grandpa Stover: Important safety information about traveling with your baby.

Mothering as a Spritual Quest: Something to think about as you are about to embark on the most incredible experience of your life: motherhood.

Why African Babies Don't Cry: A Kenyan woman shares her grandmother's wisom on mothering.

New Mothers Grow Bigger Brains: Study shows significant brain development in women after giving birth

Need a Laugh? Every parent needs to use humor to help relieve the normal stress of parenthood.

Breastfeeding and Working: I did it and you can too!

Inspiration: La Leche League my inspiration to start the South County Holistic Mamas.

Your Baby or Toddler's Exposure to Toxic Flame Retardants: Learn about this commonly overlooked carcinogen.

I am Proud to Say I am an Attached Parent: Learn more about Attachment Parenting. Listen to 3 moms talk on the radio, be inspired by a new mama and gain resources for going more in depth into this topic.

Vaccinations; a Hot Topic! I will be compiling a variety of my writings and links to others writings on this important parenting decision.


The best reason to take care of yourself!
Food for Thought: Posts from my Facebook series designed to get pregnant couples thinking.

Pregnancy the First Step into Motherhood: Dr. Zoe Wells, ND talks about many pregnancy issues.

Why You Need to Create a Healthy Balanced Pregnancy: How your choices can effect your child's health the rest of their lives.

Ideas for Creating a Healthy Pregnancy: Info on various local wellness resources and why they are important for your pregnancy.

Your Nutritional Path: I Grew Up on Wonder Bread Sugar Butter Sandwiches; confessions of a birth educator

The amazing Courtney
from Cook Well
Pregnancy Nutrition: Here's the right way to do it.

Courtney's Low Sugar Recipes to Boost your Protein and Iron.

Consider Chiropractic Care: Learn why this should be part of every pregnant woman's self prenatal care.

Massage Therapy-More Than Just Pampering: Learn how prenatal massage can promote a healthy pregnancy and support women experiencing difficulties.

Prenatal Water Massage: Help for the aches and pains of pregnancy, as well as, high blood pressure & sciatica. A blissful way to learn deep relaxation, breathing & movement for birth.

Why Does Birth Feel Like This?: Wonderful quote on the process of becoming a mother and mothering.

Making a Baby Shower Special: Advice on Creating a Heartfelt Experience.
Read their story in Finding Your Path

Finding Your Path: two women's stories

Making the Decision about Where to Birth; Hospital or Home: Read one woman's story.

Making the Decision about Where to Birth; part 2: Parker's birth at Santa Lucia Birth Center

If Your Baby is Breech: Turning your baby, new research on safety, & decisions to make.

If Your Baby is Arriving Early: Latest study says c-section may not be the way to go.
Class client whose husband wrote
Baby Daddy.

Get Educated: A Midwife's Reading List

More Education: My Reading List

Baby Daddy: a book just for him.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Consider Chiropractic Care during Pregnancy

I would like to introduce you to a resource I rely on for my doula clients, Erin Parsons,DC owner of San Luis Obispo Chiropractic. Over the years I have reached out to Dr. Erin because of the quality care she provides and her gentle personality which my pregnant clients love. Some chiropractors are not comfortable adjusting pregnant women. Others do not have the specialized training required. On top of all of that Erin is a mother just like you. She has been through pregnancy and birth. She believes in your body's abilities to birth naturally. Each time you go for a visit you will get a boost to your confidence about your coming birth day. I am positive you will like her as much as my client who traveled from Paso Robles for optimum pregnancy health or another who drove up from Santa Maria for help in turning her breech baby.

I asked Dr. Erin to please explain how chiropractic care should be part of your plan to thrive in pregnancy and this is what she said.

Pregnancy, Chiropractic, and Pain

Do you think Chiropractic care is ONLY for back pain? Have you been told it is dangerous to be adjusted while you are pregnant? Not True!! While Chiropractic is GREAT for back pain, neck pain, and headaches (to name a few) in ANY PERSON of ANY AGE... it is also a fantastic way to help pregnant women. If you think about it for a minute, what is a common thing people know about being pregnant... You shouldn’t take
medications; including common headache and back pain relievers.

So what is a woman to do when her belly is sticking out so far she can't see her feet and her center of gravity is so far off balance she has to arch her back even further to stop from falling over? This change in posture can quickly irritate the low back, as well as, cause neck stiffness... and don't forget the hormones!! The fluctuation of hormones is one of the main causes of headaches and morning sickness.

Now remember, NO MEDICATIONS!  Should you suffer? No Way!
Chiropractic is not only good for the overall wellness lifestyle, it is also great for pregnant women to alleviate their back pain, neck pain, and headaches, and minimizing morning sickness. Adjustments put the spine and pelvis into proper alignment taking pressure off of the nerves which are usually causing the pain. After
everything is lined up properly, the muscles can relax, and everything functions better.

Pregnancy, Chiropractic, and Prevention

Waiting is a common mistake. Many women wait until pain comes on. They may think, 'I feel fine, I don't need Chiropractic care'. But getting regularly adjusted before, during, and after pregnancy prevents pain from coming on and keeps pain away.

Most of us don't think of our nervous system as being part of the creation process but our central nervous system regulates all the systems in our body. When you have a misaligned vertebra and/or a pinched nerve your entire nervous system is being compromised while your body is busy creating this fragile new human being. Doesn't it make sense that you would want this baby to have your full nervous system potential to help him or her grow to their full potential?

Pregnancy, Chiropractic, and Labor

Regular Chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy helps encourage a faster labor and delivery by promoting looser, more mobile pelvic bones. The three bones in your pelvis need to be as mobile as possible to be able to expand during labor and delivery while the baby is descending. To give you the best chances of a quick labor, I recommend a full evaluation of your spine followed by developing an individualized treatment plan for you to follow throughout your pregnancy. Typically a healthy woman with minimal spinal misalignments is recommended to get adjusted once a month for the first 6 months, 2 times per month for her 7th and 8th months, and every week thereafter until delivery.

Special Pregnancy Situations

Unfortunately, there are times when the baby is not in the optimal head down position. The baby can be either sideways, or in the head up/bottom down breech position in the womb. The Webster Technique is a special chiropractic adjustment that has successfully encouraged babies to turn into a better position. The Webster Technique has a specialized treatment plan to optimize your chances of success.

To learn more about Dr. Erin visit San Luis Chiropractic's web site.
You can contact her at or call 805-541-BACK(2225) to make an appointment.

Visit here for more ideas on how to thrive during your pregnancy.