Monday, July 1, 2013

Why Midwifery?

I'm writing this post as an assignment for a class I'm taking. This is where I collect my thoughts and then disperse them, so that others can relate to me. Enjoy!


Why am I interested in midwifery? Why do I think it's for me? How did I find out about midwives? After having two very medicalized and invasive(but not surgical) births, I knew I wanted a different way to have my third child. I knew even before I conceived my youngest that something had to be different. So, I started looking into more natural and alternative births.

This started when I was 32 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child. I started looking into natural techniques and took a hypno-birthing class. I was interested in natural birth, but I didn't seem to have my mind wrapped around what a truly natural birth was. The idea of it was great, but the pressures of being at the hospital and having the drugs was overpowering and I caved.

When I found out I was pregnant with Levi, my youngest, I knew, for a fact that I would not have him in the hospital and I would not have drugs. Call it what you will, but my intuition kicked into high gear from that point on. I researched endlessly about birth and precautions to take to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy and delivery.

By my third trimester, I knew I wanted to be a birth professional. Wether it be a doula, midwife or OB nurse, it was going to happen. All of my research led me to one conclusion: that the state of maternal healthcare in the U.S. was in horrible shape. Women's needs are disregarded and are coerced and even forced to do things they did not want to do, all in the name of a healthy baby. It never mattered to these healthcare professionals HOW the baby came into the world, but if a live baby was delivered, they'd done their job and that was good enough.

This is not true. All a mother wants is to have a healthy, happy baby. This is why they are swayed so easily to do a doctor or nurse's and midwife's bidding. My mission in becoming a midwife is to educate women about their bodies. Not just in childbirth, but their overall health, to live a long and fulfilling life.

To me, midwives are the ones meant to care for women. When a complication arises, this is the Obstetrician's job. To treat the complication and resolve it. Low-risk women do not need to see an obstetrician, because an OB's training doesn't cover an uncomplicated pregnancy and labor. Because obstetricians deal with complications, most will warn any low-risk mother about something happening so that they get what they need.

If a labor is taking too long, better put her on pitocin! If she's feeling too much pain from the pitocin, better get her that epidural. The epidural stopped her contractions, better up the "pit"! Well, now the baby is in distress, we better give her a c-section! This is the famous phrase that women in the natural birth community like to call "cascade of interventions".

Obstetricians and OB Nurses are not trained in the normal physiology of birth. In their world, women are pumped full of drugs, laiden with wires and IV's and stay in bed until it's time to push or the mother or baby show signs of distress, leading to c-section, in 33% of births. As well as laying flat on their backs, pushing to a 10-count.

Midwives are trained in the natural physiology of birth. Gravity is nature's best friend. A laboring mother needs peace and calm and resolve and positive affirmation to give birth. This is often not facilitated in hospitals. Often times, there are doctors and nurses coming and going. All of these strange people, in a strange environment(hospital), touching you and inserting things into you, sometimes against your wishes. This can cause longer labors, and will stall a labor, leading to the mother to be convinced that pitocin is needed.

This is what I want to change. I want women to be in tune with themselves. I want them to feel empowered and to feel joy as they come closer to meeting their baby. I want them to know their bodies. I want them to know their rights as a patient. I want them to be able to cure a condition, instead of trying to cover it up with drugs (i.e. high blood pressure, onset of pre-eclampsia, extreme morning sickness). I want to give women the power to choose the birth that they want, because they know what is best for themselves. Because this is something I did not have with my first two children.

Knowledge is power and I want to give women the gift of the knowledge that their bodies are just as they should be. They are not broken. They are not ill. 40 weeks is not their expiration date. Women, as complex as our bodies may be, are made this way for a reason. We were built to create life and bring it forth. Birth is a big deal and I see it as my duty to let women know this.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Naturo-Mommy's WAHM Product Review Featuring: Roberta's Boutique(on Etsy)

I sincerely apologize that I have neglected my blog, for those of you that look forward to reading it. Life has been crazy busy lately. Anyway. Onto the review of this lovely mama's product!

Roberta's Boutique has a cute and quaint feel. I was sent her children's matching card set, and a laminated activity booklet with a cleaning cloth that can be reused and not easily damaged. My kids had lots of fun with it, using Expo markers.

I wasn't able to get adequate pictures of them in action because my camera is out of commission until I can afford a new one. I did happen to get these pictures on my webcam though!

Laminated activity booklet with cleaning cloth

Two card matching sets
 We are loving these matching card sets! My 3 year old just can't get over the "Children Playing" set. She loves seeing the diversity in ethnicity and describing what they are doing in the pictures. My 6 year old has even set them up in story form to tell different parts of a story with each picture!

Children Playing Matching Game
I don't know if you can see or not, but this "Colors" matching set says the colors in both English, Spanish and French! Accomplishing 3 goals at once. Teaching them their colors, teaching them another language, and helping them improve their grouping and matching skills.

Colors Matching Game
These sets are very valuable while on trips. The activity booklet will keep an older child (about 4-6 years old) busy and quiet and the matching sets are great for table games in a motel room instead of dragging tons of toys with you on a trip.

Overall rating: Very creative. Almost indestructible, unless you take scissors to them. lol Very portable. They can fit just about anywhere. The cards are smaller than a regular deck of playing cards and the activity booklet is small enough to slip into a tiny space for storage. This product get an A+

Be sure to visit Roberta's Boutique on Etsy!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Naturo-Mommy's WAHM Product Review Featuring: Erijane Creations!

We accidentally skipped over March and then scrambled to get someone in for our April spot, but we promise to keep doing our monthly reviews!

This month, we are featuring Erijane Creations! They specialize in crocheted items, such as hats, booties, baby blankets with hoods, and if you want your fix of frills, they have lots of that as well! Tutus, headbands, hair bows and clips! They have them!

Here are some of their products. These pictures are property of Erijane Creations!

Classic Hair Bow

Red & White Tutu w/ initials

Baby Blanket w/ Hood

Adult Beanie w/ Flower
Naturo-Mommy was sent a set of baby apparel hat and booties made by the wonderful ladies at Erijane Creations and oohed and aaahed at how teeny and cute they were! Since my baby isn't much of a baby anymore, I did some searching of friends and one of my special Attachment mama friends came to my rescue with her adorable bundle!

This is Levi *heart melts at cuteness*

And this is what he'll be wearing:

Beanies and booties are a must have for smaller babies and in the cooler months of winter! I know I love curling up into knit and crocheted wool. And, in this case, it doesn't hurt to be a fan of baseball, either. wink

Here is our little superstar in action!

 There isn't much to say after seeing the pictures. They pretty much speak for themselves! You've got to put Erijane on your baby! (or child... or yourself!) The size and fit were right on and they totally maxxed us out on cuteness! It was a cooler April day here, so the booties and beanie were awesome while being outside!

Erijane Creations is operating from their Facebook page so you can make orders, requests and consult them about prices (which are awesome, by the way!). Payment was easy and shipping was fast and convenient. Go like their page and see what they're about! You won't be sorry!

For more information on being featured in our monthly review, please email us at or message us on our page, Naturo-Mommy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Naturo-Mommy's Guide to Achieving a Natural Birth

A guide to achieving a natural birth                                        Note: All pictures are used with permission
Most women that choose to do attachment parenting or have had traumatic birth experiences in the past are in the process of educating themselves on pregnancy, labor and birth. Birth is one of Naturo-Mommy's goals and passions to educate women (and their partners) on their bodies. The more you know, the more in control you'll be over your labor. Knowledge is power, if you're in the presence of a care provider that wants it their way. I've decided to take it upon myself to write out some things that have helped me and those around me achieve a natural birth.

Choosing A Care Provider
It's always very important to choose your care provider very carefully, if you choose to get prenatal care. It's not wise to settle on just any care provider, if you have more than one to choose from, because you just don't know what their bedside manner is like or if they'll try to push you around. Always look up online reviews of the doctors or midwife you are choosing. If you don't see much good about them, steer clear!

Birth Attendants
One thing that I want to make clear is that midwives and OB/GYN's are not the only birth attendants you can have at your birth. There are women who specialize in support, compassion and advocating for your needs during labor, when you or your partner cannot. She is a doula and a doula can be very invaluable, and act as a loving, patient friend during a difficult time during labor, whether it be trouble with you, your baby, your doctor or nurse pushing things on you that you don't want. She is there and will help. Your doula may also specialize in post-partum care, and this can include helping you care for yourself, helping with breastfeeding and even placenta encapsulation, which we'll get to later.
photo credit: balanced birth

Birth Plan
Say what you will about birth plans, but they can be just as valuable as a doula. If you want to be left alone during labor, write it down. If you don't want fetal monitoring, write it down. Make sure to share your birth plan with your provider a few weeks in advance so you can talk about it in future visits and your wishes won't be announced last minute and surprise an unsuspecting Obstetrician. I made this mistake with my youngest. "Oh my! What's a fetoscope? I've never seen one." "You want delayed cord clamping? I don't do that." "You'll have to ask the nurses about doing minimal monitoring." You don't want to be in that spot of explaining yourself on several topics in one setting. If you plan on having a few people at your birth, it might be a good idea to tell your care provider in advance as well.
Here's a good birth plan template

When Labor Begins
Notify your provider when you know you are in labor. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to run off to the hospital or have your midwife and doula rush over to your house. Just go with the flow and time your contractions, if you like. Find a good groove and listen to music or meditate. If it's at all possible and you have an established chiropractor, go get an adjustment so everything is aligned perfectly for labor! Take a shower and eat. It might be a good idea to eat something that's sure to give you an energy boost, since your body will be doing a marathon. Eat some nuts or some noodles and definitely keep your sugars in check with some fruit, so you'll be a little less likely to feel sick later on. Do things that keep you content and relaxed while in early labor. This is not an emergency, this is a joyous, exciting time, when you'll meet your baby.

It's Intense, What Do I Do?
Your contractions are getting close together and becoming too much for you to handle. If you're choosing to go to the hospital or stay at home, it's important to tell your care provider how labor is progressing and what your game plan is and ask for tips on pain relief. Here are a few things you can do:

Shower or bath: Some people refer to water as nature's epidural. While it doesn't take away all labor discomfort, most women who use water for contractions find immense relief.

Pressure on hips: If someone is with you, have them press on your hips during contractions for counter-pressure.

Sway & rock: Find someone or something sturdy to lean forward on and sway those hips! Not only does it keep those muscles loosened, it helps baby come down more. You can also get on hands and knees and rock back and forth or sway your hips in that position as well.

Vocalizing: Vocalizing is a very important part of pain relief in labor. Some women do it more than others or are louder or more... colorful with their vocalizing words. I have found, through experience and asking around that one of the better vocalizing techniques to keep you more relaxed is to keep your throat, jaw and eyes relaxed and mouth in a wide "O" position during contractions. "Aaaaahhh'ing" through contractions will intensify them more. A good, long, low "ooooohhhh" does wonders! And if you need to curse or scream, DO IT! haha

Being in water during labor is known among the natural birth community as
nature's epidural and helps relax mom. 

The Staff Is Harassing Me About Interventions
You've arrived at the hospital and you've given your birth plan to staff. There is at least one nurse that doesn't look at the birth plan or chooses to ignore it. She keeps asking if you want drugs, if she can check your cervix, the list goes on. It's very important that you make your wishes clear or have someone there to advocate your needs. Whether that be a doula, your partner, family or friend, as long as they're your rock as far as what you want and need. Only YOU get to choose what happens to your body and your baby. Nobody else. Another thing that a nurse or doctor might get you to NOT do in labor is EAT. Eat whatever you want, whenever. Your body needs fuel to facilitate labor! And of course, if you're at home, no one will stop you from eating. ;)
Edited to add: Don't feel like a failure if you do end up needing an epidural. It happens. I know a few mamas who've been way too exhausted to continue labor without one and just needed a bit of rest, or actually having a swollen cervix because their body wouldn't quit pushing at 8 or 9 centimeters. There's a place for epidurals, but they are an abused intervention. It's a great option, though, for the reasons I explained above.

Different Positions to Bring Baby Down & Pushing
This is another area where you'll need a strong advocate. A lot of doctors and nurses don't like a patient that won't "be good and lay down". I know that's not the case for ALL, but it happens more than you'll care to know. I've heard of women being FORCED to be on their backs. Get in any position that is comfortable for you and ask for whatever you need. Hip pressure, help getting to hands and knees, swaying your hips and holding onto someone. You want to keep those hips open for baby to descend. When it's pushing time, you want to TRY to stay off your back unless that's what you feel is right. Being on your back closes up your pelvis by 30% and baby will need to go under your pelvis and UP and out, so you're essentially working against gravity instead of with it. More effective positions for birthing are upright positions, such as: Squatting, Birthing stool, or full upright standing. You can also use positions that don't involve being upright. Hands and knees is always great. Side-lying with one leg up is good for a wide pelvic opening.
Good upright, squatting form, supported by partner. Both effective and intimate.

In The Event That A C-Section Becomes Necessary
You can get a spinal block, which is when the anesthetic goes INTO the spine, whereas an epidural is right outside of the spine. You can get the epidural, of course, or you can be put to sleep. Anything is possible when it comes to spinal pain relief, because sometimes it doesn't work. In which case, usually in an emergency, they'll put you under. If you're awake, you still need your lovely family, friend, or whoever to advocate for your needs in this vulnerable time. Explore your options for what you'd like when baby is being born, because it's not just cut and go. Bonding is still crucial, even with c-sections. And even if you end up with a c-section, do not feel like a failure. Your body isn't broken and you can always try for a VBAC later or a gentle c-section if that's what you're comfortable with.

Everything that happens after the birth is crucial to yours and your baby's bonding as well. Even if you end up with a c-section, you might try immediate skin-to-skin so that the two of you can bond chemically through touch and sense of smell. The oxytocin coursing through your body is there for a reason. That wonderful love hormone! Having baby close for even the first hour is very important. Baby does NOT have to leave your side, unless showing signs of distress. If baby is fine, which is usually the case, baby stays with you, with the cord attached until it's done pulsating, nursing, looking at each other. Never allow traction to be applied to the cord to expel your placenta. This can lead to hemorrhaging. Let it come on its own. Make sure you and your little family are left to relax and bond, whether you're in hospital or at home.

Breastfeeding immediately after birth helps the uterus
contract down and release the placenta.

(Admin Lizzy with her youngest- home birth)

Birth group mama (who chose to remain anonymous)

It's very important to educate yourself on natural techniques, such as the ones described. Side effects of medications offered to you in the event that you need them and also things such as delayed cord clamping, skin-to-skin, keeping your placenta for encapsulation or a placenta print, etc. I hope that this helps even a few mothers cope with labor a bit better. My biggest hope is that women make more informed decisions and not be forced into something they aren't comfortable with because their doctor is bullying them. Informed consent is important. Knowledge is power.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Advocacy & Activism: Why gentle Advice and Guidance is Better Than Fear-Mongering

Written by: Beckah
Edited by: Tijana
Advocacy and activism- You might ask why I am writing this and what is my point in comparing the two? What's good or bad about one or the other? What's the beef? Why the negative connotation? I'll tell you.

We all know that children don't come with how-to manuals. We all know that people give unsolicited (and unwelcome) advice. "You're holding her wrong." "You're holding him too much, don't spoil him." "He's still breastfed? Time to wean!" "WHY aren't you breastfeeding?" One of mommy's biggest pet peeves, yes? We want to figure it out on our own and when we want to know more, we will search it out by asking a friend or taking to our friend Mr. "Google" with his copious amounts of helpful links. Right?

The problem with advice given by well-meaning parents or care providers is that it's difficult to determine if they want to push an agenda or are really trying to help you. I call this advocacy versus activism. 

This is solely my experience and my opinion based on my experience. Although they are on the same level in many ways, there is a huge difference between advocacy and activism. Meaning one similarity is that we are all out there, trying to make a difference. On the other hand, advocacy encourages gentle advice, love and encouragement. Putting your information out there at home plate, instead of searching people out. Activism (which I am COMPLETELY guilty of in the past), I have found, is fraught with people driven by fear, resentment and anger. There are many injustices that need to be rectified in this world. They will all be resolved with time and love. Fear-mongering and the pushing of agendas scares people away. Activism is alarmist. Advocacy is gentle, loving and understanding. There is no black and white. There is always space between those lines for a bit of gray.

Advocacy promotes drawing out the circle of influence out through awareness, whereas activism often focuses all attention on negative feedback and attacking instead of reaching an equal solution.

How do I define an activist vs. advocate?

Here is an example of what I mean. Which statements are you more likely to follow along with or ask more about? Which do you think is lactivist and which do you think is breastfeeding advocate?

Breastmilk and Formula

"You're formula feeding? That stuff is POISON! Why didn't you get donor milk? You probably didn't try hard enough to breastfeed."
OR (if you choose to say anything at all)
"Don't feel ashamed or feel like a failure. It sounds like you tried your best with the support you had. I know you're a good mom and have your baby's best interest at heart."

And so on and so forth with the rest of the "mommy wars" topics. My position in all of this? I'm an advocate. I do slip up at times when passion takes over and push my beliefs. But it's not who I want to be as far as making changes in the parenting world. I strive to make all options known to parents that are interested in knowing. Nothing is more rewarding than giving advice to someone who asks and hearing a success story or a simple thank you for the gentle and understanding information I've given.

This is Naturo-Mommy's philosophy: A safe-haven for parents seeking information without fear of criticism or ridicule for choosing differently. Our biggest goal is parents making informed decisions based on reliable data and proof.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Naturo-Mommy's Monthly WAHM Product Review- Featuring: Baby Monsters Boutique

Easter Tutu by Baby Monsters Boutique

Thank you for viewing our second monthly WAHM Product Review! We at Naturo-Mommy are thrilled to see that requests to be featured in our monthly WAHM Product Review are coming in. We want to see you on our page and we want to see your business grow!

This month, we are featuring a BRAND NEW WAHM Product! We are proud to introduce Christina, of Baby Monsters Boutique. This little operation started out like many WAHM businesses. It was a hobby for Christina that filled her time and as she made things for her adorable girls.

Her hobby quickly blossomed into requests from friends and then a full fledged small business venture. Baby Monsters Boutique specializes in adorable tutus and headbands for little girls.

As you know, when we do reviews at Naturo-Mommy, we have a product sent to us to use for review. We were sent a Patriotic (4th of July) Tutu along with a red crocheted headband with a beautiful fabric flower clip attached.

I received the tutu and headband only 3 days after request. (this was from California to Montana) They were packaged neatly and were undamaged upon opening.

These accessories were tailored for a little girl and not an adult size, so I decided to have my 3 year old daughter do a little modeling for me.

My daughter LOVED putting on the tutu and headband. She said she was "a sparkly princess." These were easy to put on, (even for a wriggly 3 year old.) The headband came custom with the fabric flower clip that just slid into the crocheted latices of the headband. Everything was secure, snug and fit perfectly for her size and the age I ordered for.

We had loads of fun taking pictures for this review as well. I will show a few more of her (just because she's so darn cute) and move onto the conclusion.

Isn't she a peach? Just love her to death!

Alright! In conclusion, this product is well thought out. Not only can you order tutus, but a headband with accessory. Bonus for moms who want an extra pretty for their little girl! The order was shipped in a timely manner and was undamaged upon opening.

Shipping is INTERNATIONAL with EXACT shipping fees included in the total of the purchase. She welcomes custom orders. Orders can be made through their Facebook page and email ( until arrangements are made for a larger clientele base.

For more information on being featured in our monthly review, please email us at or message us on our Facebook Page.