What’s Next?

In the next few blogs I will be discussing the healing aspects and nutritional aspects of some common foods. These are beneficial for a variety of reasons and good to use in dishes, or to have whole, on your plate!

These particular foods I would recommend to include in your diet for a healthier pregnancy…



These will be:

Ginger Root

Any warnings for pregnancy and lactation will be included, and where possibility of a recipe or two. All references for these are on my reference page.

NOTE: Imagery is from free-domain imagery sites.  If I have used any images that are not free to use, please email me [rosebud.cbe@gmail.com] and I will remove them.



co sleeping

Co-sleeping as defined here is “bed sharing”. It means to share the bed with your infant, for the purpose of breastfeeding, as well as bonding. This could encompass the use of the crib or bassinet in the bedroom (in general) or beside you when you sleep or not.

In Gettier’s article, she distinguishes between those parents who intentionally share the bed nightly, and the parents who are reactive bed-sharers. A ‘reactive bed-sharer shares the bed due to having “child sleep difficulties and / or to ease nighttime feeds (9)”. This would occur less regularly and are for shorter periods of time. Those parents who regularly sleep with the child, have the child in their bed for the full night.


• If there are two parents within the household that choose to bed share both parents must agree to be
vigilant and responsive to the infant.

• Babies who are born small for gestational age should avoid bed sharing

• If the mother smokes, she should choose same room sharing, not bed sharing if she does not
shower nightly.

• Bottle feeding parents (without breastfeeding) should also use room sharing [never prop the bottle].

• Think of the safety of the baby, and suffocation. If you have a bed set, remove the mattresses (placing
headboards, et al into storage temporarily) and move the mattresses to the center of the room.
Babies and roll and move, get wedged between the mattress and headboard (or mattress and wall)
and suffocate.

• If you choose to keep the head and foot boards , eliminate the spaces that are between mattresses
and the head or foot board.

• Older children and pets should not be sleeping in the bed with the infant.

• Co-sleeping is not recommended if you are or have been drinking. Nor is it a good idea to share your
bed with baby if you’re doing recreational drugs.

• Bed sharing should be on a firm mattress, with no duvets or heavy bedding. Infants need to be away
from pillows or other bedding that may obstruct the infant’s breathing.

• NEVER co-sleep on a couch, recliner, or chair.


There benefits to bed sharing.
These include: higher percentages of breastfeeding rates, longer feeding times, increased feeding during the night. Keep in mind, babies tummies are small and they would therefore feed more frequently.

It is known that there is a greater immunological benefit in breastfeeding. It is known to be a “protective factor against SIDS (Vennemann et al 2009, Gettier, 10)”. Mothers who breast feed longer are less likely to develop breast cancer as well.

Babies who bed share are awake for shorter time periods than those who sleep separate. It is thought that bed sharing assists in a “synchronization between mother in terms of arousals and sleep stage shifts (McKenna and Mosko 1994, Gettier, 10).” Both mother and father seem to get much more sleep with bed sharing, than those who do not.


The Careful Decision to Bedshare. Lee T. Gettier. (2010) International Doula. Vol. 18, Issue 1

*A more detailed document is available at the Hokṡiyuhab Oti Childbirth Education Classes*

Diapers vs. Disposables

Cloth Diapers vs. Disposables

cloth diaper“I was afraid of the smell and the grossness factor of poopy diapers”. I have heard this as the reason cloth diapers are not used, by a friend. Yes it would smell if you did not tend to the diapers by rinsing the diaper in the toilet then placing them in a pail. “My cloth-diaper pail, with water and vinegar in it, didn’t smell nearly as bad as the garbage can full of [disposable C] diapers (Shawna Cummings)”.

WHY Use Cloth Diapers?

For starters…consider the contents of the manufactured disposable diaper. They are made with plastics (a petroleum-based product); most brands are bleached and so would contain trace amounts of dioxin. Dioxin is a carcinogenic (cancer-producing), by product of the paper-bleaching process. Jay Bolus states that ‘Dioxins can be toxic and persistent, stick around in the environment for a long time, and accumulate in our bodies (, 58)’; they do not biodegrade easily and are persistent in leaking toxins into the soil.

Dioxins are the stuff that is stuck against your baby’s bottom, tossed in the trash and then ends up in landfills. Not only do you expose your precious child to toxins, but the diaper ends up in the soil contaminating the soil for literally generations to come!

Then there is another factor: use of natural resources and the costs for replenishing the environment and clean-up. In Sweden the conclusion was reached that “plastic diapers use three times as many natural resources as cloth (Margulis, 58).

chart for diapers

The use of plastics in the disposable diapers also exposes infants and young children to contained heat. It is bad enough for female children, but the males wind up with exposures to heat on the genitals. The male genitals are outside the body for a reason, in order to keep them cooler than the body (98.6 degrees). Obviously the heat contained cannot be healthy for a male enfant!

Cloth for Diapers

The first and foremost reason to use cloth is: NO Dioxins! When washed with natural soaps, the cloth diaper is the gentler choice. The chances of diaper rash or allergy reactions from cloth diaper use are diminished if laundered correctly.

Also, please consider the use of wash cloths instead disposable wipes. Disposable wipes are also manufactured with petroleum-based materials.

diaper pinCloth diapers are now made with a variety of materials. These materials are cotton, flannel, bamboo, and hemp. Use cloth that has not been bleached, and your baby’s bottom will thank you!
You can buy cotton diapers with no form-fitting features, or diapers that are form fitting that would need large diaper pins to keep them on baby.

You can also buy them with special fabric called “PUL” sewn on the inner layer, with closures made of Velcro or snaps. Some diapers have a removable “refill” insert. Even these should be made of natural materials.

leslie's boutique wet bags“Wet bags” are excellent for keeping soiled diapers from keeping the house or room from smelling. You can wash the bag itself every other time you wash the diapers. I would recommend the use of white vinegar in the pre-wash for odors.
If you decide to use cloth diapers, two wet bags are what I would suggest, a larger wet bag for general use around the house, and a smaller one for when you are running around town or visiting a friend. The small wet bag should be large enough to hold 2-4 diapers.
~Image is from Leslie’s Boutique Wet Bags

For cleaning the cloth diaper, consider mild soaps (preferably biodegradable if using a washer at home) and no bleach. You can purchase non-scented types of soap or scented. Non-scented is less likely to cause allergic reactions. To assist with softening and whitening cloth diapers I would recommend the use of household-grade washing soda, and hanging them on a cloths-line outside (sunlight and air are wonderful for any diaper any day).

Where Are the Cloth Diapers Sold?

Target sells regular diapers and pre-folds, as well as diaper pins

A few sites online are:

http://www.bummis.com Bummis
http://www.bumgenius.com BumGenius
http://cottonbabies.com Cotton Babies
http://smartipants.com Smartipants

If you want to make your own:

http://naturesfabrics.com Natures Fabrics [See: diaper pattern hand-out]
Join a forum to learn more: Diaper Sewing ‘N More https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Diaper_Sewing_N_More/inf

See my pinterest post at: Make your own cloth diapers


Mothering Magazine. No. 160 May-June 2010. The Diaper Dilemma. Jennifer Margulis.
Real Diaper Association http://realdiaperassociation.com



The Monitrice can assist in providing a continuity of care, from pre-pregnancy through post-partum. They are trained in all the basic skills that a midwife is trained, but without the certifications to actually “catch” the baby.

At the point of a woman going into labor, the Monitrice/Midwife’s Assistant attends the birth in the manner of a Doula. See the blog post: ProfessionalLaborSupport-Pt1 regarding how a Doula assists in childbirth.

A Monitrice/Midwife’s Assistant:

-Assists women with the pre-pregnancy and fertility issues they may have, along with natural birth control methods.

-Has knowledge of local resources

-Monitors the pregnancy with training in taking the blood pressure, FHT, and urine collection
They enter the labor room in a Doula capacity.

-Assist with neonatal care

-Supports breastfeeding of the baby

-May assist in post-partum care

-Knows alternative complimentary methods for pregnancy and childbirth



mom and babyChildbirth Educator

The childbirth educator teaches and assists women in understanding the nature of childbirth, from pre-conception through the first year of baby’s life.  The information they give assists women in having a better and safer birth experience.

The professional Childbirth Educator trained at Birth Arts International adheres to the “Midwifery Model” of care, as outlined by MANA. This is where I am training (and near completion of).

Here are some things that may be covered:

  • Nutrition – preparation to conceive, during pregnancy, and post-partum
  • Pre-natal tests: What is required and why
  • Exercise: for optimal health, and to tone muscles in preparation for birth, as well as post-partum exercises
  • Stages of labor
  • Interventions
  • C-sections and VBAC
  • Neonatal care (newborn baby care)
  • Breastfeeding

Even second-time mommies can benefit from classes.  It helps you to have a better / safer birth to review information.

Childbirth Educators can assist in labor, in a much similar way that a Doula would.  They can answer your questions and assist after the baby is born.

 Part 3: Midwifery

Why Breastfeed?









Cow milk is for calves, human breast milk is for babies. It has the best nutrients for baby. Breastfeeding has benefits for both baby and the mother.

Benefits For Baby

Breast milk is a safeguard against allergies (those babies who get allergies would be worse). Human milk protects against infections, inhibits the growth of virus’ and bacteria in baby.
It is helpful in the development of baby’s jaw and facial structure. It encourages normal weight gain, which assures a less-likelihood of obesity later in life. The developing brain and nervous system of the baby also is benefited.

Benefits For You

Breast feeding without supplementation delays menstruation for six months or more. During this time the chances of getting pregnant is practically nil.

Studies have shown that women who breastfeed their babies, for even a few months, are less likely to develop breast cancer, than if a woman does not breastfeed. It also protects against ovarian cancer, urinary tract infections, and osteoporosis.

The hormones released when you begin to breastfeed assists in the reduction of the size of the uterus after giving birth (Oxytocin) and assists in the bonding process of mother and baby. As does the close contact made between mother and baby.

Oxytocin is also a powerful antidepressant. The act of breastfeeding and its subsequent release of Oxytocin is shown to assist in the reduction of post-partum depression.


Allowing the baby to nurse as often as baby needs to nurse, is the best way. In the beginning this may mean about every two hours, from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next. This assures your supply of milk will come in, and that you meet the baby’s needs.

When a feeding pattern is established, all seems right in the world! But if you suddenly are dealing with a more frequent urgency of the baby to feed, this is not an indication baby is “dissatisfied” or your milk is not sufficient to meet the baby’s needs. It means that baby is working to increase the supply, to meet his/ or her demands. It is normal. You do not need to supplement, nor do you need to begin to feed baby foods.

The length of the feeding depends on the baby’s interest and response. At first baby will seem to be starving and suck eagerly, then after about 10 minutes doze off or lose interest. It is at this point you should burp the baby and change the diaper if necessary. Afterwards, you can switch to the other breast.


To succeed at breastfeeding and working, it’s good to find people will support your goal of breast-feeding when you return to work whose words emphasize being successful at working and breast-feeding, not failing.

A Childbirth Educator can assist you (I personally have experience with working and breastfeeding successfully with two of my babies). You can also call the La Leche League, or visit the online site.

medela manual breast pumpDon’t wait until a week or two before you’re going back to work. Do your information gathering and learn all you can ahead of time.

For success, you will need a good breast pump (The picture above is one of the recommended types and brands). You will need to use your break time and express your milk. If you take with you to work a decent and yet small cooler or even an insulated lunch bag you should be able to keep the milk for later use.



Breastmilk has the remarkable ability to slow bacterial growth. It will stay fresh safely at room temperature (66 to 72 degrees) for up to ten hours.

It can also be kept in the refrigerator for up to eight days. If you need longer storage, it can be frozen for up to two weeks. Use a separate container (that has been cleaned) for each expression. These can later be combined, once cooled.

Use bottles that are designed for nursing babies. Otherwise the baby may develop what is known as “nipple confusion” and not suck sufficiently at the breast. Brands (all of these simulate the human nipple), such as: Mimijumi Very Hungry (mixed reviews / highest priced), Avent Naturals, Medela Calma (Can be purchased at Amazon / BPA free), and the Playtex Ventaire (some mothers say it leaks), plastic Philips Avent (BPA free that can be purchased at Amazon). All of the aforementioned brands are tooted as having little to no problems with “nipple confusion”.

Remember you are working to simulate the nursing atmosphere. Make sure your babysitter understands the concept of holding the baby as if feeding at the breast and that they should not be propping the bottle for baby.



Korte, Diana and Roberta Scaer. A Good Birth, A Safe Birth. (1992) Harvard Common Press.

La Leche League International. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 7th Rev. ed. (2004)

Katelynne Shepard. Breastfeeding Problems.com. http://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/breastfeeding-hormones.html


SIDS: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome


No one knows for sure what the actual causes are for SIDS. Although, statistically, SIDS does occur more often when parents do drugs (even certain prescribed drugs), or alcohol while the mother is pregnant.

If you do not fit the category of drug using , then the puzzle is even harder. The most important thing to do is not take drugs or drink (including smoking marijuana), ask questions about prescribed drugs and consequences to the unborn fetus. Make sure you eat well, drink lots of water, and do moderate exercise during your pregnancy.


Many people feel isolated after the death of a baby or infant. People tend to think that you should “get over” the loss quickly. This is especially true in the Lakota culture where the belief is the soul moves on after four days.

It may be difficult for you to grapple with your emotions, and especially anger or fear. The latter due to not understanding that there was not much you could have done to prevent SIDS.


If you have lost your baby due to SIDS, an autopsy may be required by law. Or you may be encouraged to give permission for an autopsy. Unfortunately, with SIDS you may not get any answers to the causes of death nor on how to prevent SIDS in the future.


Herbal Teas – Part 5

red clover illusRed Clover
Trifolium pratense, L.

Constituents: Phenolic glycosides, isoflavones, flavonoids, salicylates, coumarins, cyanogenic, glycocides, mineral acids, vitamins

Actions: Alterative, antispasmodic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, possible estrogen activity

Common Names: Purple Clover, Trefoil, Cleaver grass, Cow grass

Medical Parts: flowers and leaves


Renal Conditions (233) IHONA

“Very soothing for the nerves” (233) IHONA

As a gargle for sore throats (234) IHONA

Promotes fertility, restores hormonal balance, and balances Alkaline/Acid.  (2) WWHCY

Useful for coughs, and colds…mucus congestion (220) TWOH

Stimulates the liver and gallbladder/for constipation and sluggish appetite. Outside the body a fomentation is used for rheumatic or gouty pains, and to soften hardened milk glands (395) THB

Ointment: Lymphatic swelling (128) CGTMH

Eye Infection (99) WWHCY

Homeopathic: Cancer, constipation, cough, mumps, pancreas (affections of), throat (sore, mucus in), Uvula (pain in). (234) IHONA


VITAMINS AND MINERALS: Vitamin B1, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Calcium.


Gladstar, Rosemary. (1993) Herbal Healing for Women. Fireside Books: New York.

Hutchens, Alma R. (1991) Indian Herbalogy of North America. Shambhala: Boston.

Lust, John. (1983) The Herb Book. Bantam Books, NY

Ody, Penelope. (2000) Natural Health: Complete Guide to Medicinal Herbs. Dorling/Kindersley Lmt.: London.

Romm, Aviva Jill.  (2003) The Natural Pregnancy Book: herbs, nutrition, and other holistic choices. Celestial Arts: Berkeley

Tierra, Michael. (1990) The Way of Herbs. Pocket Books: New York

Weed, Susan S. (1986) The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Ashtree Publishing; Woodstock NY

Herbal Teas – Part 4

Urtica dioica

Constituents: Histimine, formic acid, acetylcholine, serotonin, glucoquinones, many minerals (incl. silica), vitamins A, B, C, tannins.

Actions: Astrigent, diuretic, tonic, nutritive, stops bleeding, circulatory stimulant, promotes milk flow, lowers blood sugar levels, prevents scurvy.

Nettles take minerals, including iron, from the soil and the aerial parts are a good tonic for anemia; high vitamin C content in the plant helps ensure that the iron is properly absorbed. Clears uric acid from the system to relieve gout and arthritis, and the astringency stops bleeding. (131) CGTMH

Said to reduce Rheumatic problems, stimulates the digestive system and promotes milk flow in breastfeeding women. Used for excessive menstruation flow and blood in urine. (191) THB

Good for asthma, chronic and acute urinary complaints, urinary stones, nephritis, and cystitis. Nettle also used for helping with diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids and chronic arthritis and rheumatic problems. (202) TWOH

Nettle is considered to be an herb that is “rich” in calcium, iron, and numerous other vitamins and minerals.  It is an herb that is recommended for pregnant women who have low energy or suffer from chronic fatigue.  Nettle aids as a diuretic, to eliminate excess water from the body. This herb is considered a pregnancy “Tonic”, which stems from Native American usage as a pregnancy tonic, a preventative of hemorrhaging after birthing, and energy restoration after childbirth . (177) HHFW

It is an anemia preventative, reduces varicosities, and decreases the likelihood of hemorrhaging during childbirth. TNPB

Nettle will expel phlem from the lungs and stomach; clean the urinary canal, valuable for diarrhea, dysentery, piles, as well as inflammation of the kidneys.  IHONA

Nettle is known to increase male and female fertility, will assist in the rebuilding of kidney function as well as kidney stone removal. Eases leg cramps and muscle spasms.  High in Calcium, vitamin K. WWHCBY

VITAMINS AND MINERALS: The tea is a good source of Iron, Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A


Gladstar, Rosemary. (1993) Herbal Healing for Women. Fireside Books: New York.

Hutchens, Alma R. (1991) Indian Herbalogy of North America. Shambhala: Boston.

Lust, John. (1983) The Herb Book. Bantam Books, NY

Ody, Penelope. (2000) Natural Health: Complete Guide to Medicinal Herbs. Dorling/Kindersley Lmt.: London.

Romm, Aviva Jill.  (2003) The Natural Pregnancy Book: herbs, nutrition, and other holistic choices. Celestial Arts: Berkeley

Tierra, Michael. (1990) The Way of Herbs. Pocket Books: New York

Weed, Susan S. (1986) The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Ashtree Publishing; Woodstock NY

Trust the Process

Trust the Process

Birth is Natural, Trust This…


Natural childbirth is:

FEARLESS childbirth
TRAINED childbirth
RELAXED childbirth
EASIER childbirth
SATISFIED childbirth

especially if a mother is helped to GIVE birth to her baby
consciously without too much discomfort, instead of ‘being
delivered’ while unconscious.

~Grantly Dick-Read  Childbirth Without Fear

The purpose of childbirth education is:

  • To INFORM women about all aspects of pregnancy and labor, in order to take the fear out of childbirth.
  • TRAIN women in nature’s process of birth, breastfeeding, and good nutrition.
  • Teach RELAXATION techniques, to reduce discomfort during childbirth.
  • Help women with techniques to make childbirth EASIER.
  • The result should be more SATISFACTION.

Women have helped and supported other women in childbirth since the dawn of time. In our modern times, this practice has diminished. Today we have been subjected to the medical/scientific process that is not focused on the natural way. It is geared more towards heroic measures, mostly based on erroneous ideas or for the time-structure of the doctor, rather than the timing of nature in a natural childbirth.