Having a Natural Pregnancy — Your Experience!

Alright, most posts are about the person writing them but this one is really about you – the one reading them.

It has been a short leave of absence from any posting. I am in the process of writing an ebook about NATURAL PREGNANCY – my own experience, the holistic approach to pregnancy, at home remedies, and why even bother doing something different from the standard medical procedures (ultrasounds, prenatal testing, vaccines).

Being busy with that, a blossoming garden, and a growing family I’m taking a leave of absence.

I’m very interested in feed back about your own questions/experiences about challenges you’ve faced, your favorite home remedies, and the influences behind the choices you made to either follow (or want to follow) a natural approach or choose to have a modern technological pregnancy. I respect either choice and am not here to judge.

Hope you feel inclined to comment! 🙂

Making Milk – Breast is Best!

Thoughts on formula feeding, breastfeeding, weaning, and extended breastfeeding…

First thing to say is that none of them are without their challenges. In fact, having and raising children isn’t easy. Period. It’s a whole rearrangement of your reality. It is challenging, it is fun, it is rewarding, it is work, and dedication to finding the most energy efficient ways of doing things.

How to feed an infant baby has always seemed straight forward to me. The female body provides milk, the baby desires milk, just put the two together annnnd you are breastfeeding your baby. There is nothing that can replace the miracle, convince, or perfect composition of mother’s milk. Each family must ultimately choose their path and if breastfeeding is no longer an option there shouldn’t be any ill feelings of guilt or shame because I believe, a baby can feel the mother’s love just as strongly in her presence even without that direct flow if the mother is consciously putting if forth.

To be able to cradle my newborn child and nurse her felt like the perfect thing. My body was charged with excitement over the birth and a new unknown future. Frequent skin to skin contact while breastfeeding provided an outlet to pour all this into my new baby who was equally fueled with her own desire to live and hungry for love as well as nutrients.

“With his small head pillowed against your breast and your milk warming his insides, your baby knows a special closeness to you. He is gaining a firm foundation in an important area of life – he is learning about love.”

~ La Leche League pamphlet c.1956

In the first months feedings were their own event. I got so excited to be able to do it, feeling how important it is for the baby helped me move past the pain. Breastfeeding is painful and for me, finding the pain/pleasure line was more difficult than giving birth. It was the beginning of learning to let go of selfish tendencies and put my needs aside to the benefit of the baby’s.

While it was challenging and frustrating at times, I took the time to set a specific place for nursing and focus on Aryana’s growth as she drank. I tried to limit any negative thoughts, doubts, or other distractions and give the most peaceful experience possible. This mental practice has continued and nursing always presents a time to reflect on how ‘things are going’. I like give my thanks for all the blessings around and look at my weaknesses with resolve to find ways to strengthen them.

Around the 5th month I began to feel strongly about consuming galactogogues (ingredients which naturally stimulate breast milk production). Not for any obvious reason other than all of a sudden it felt very important to me I specifically included carrots, fermented oats, quinoa, barley, eggs and lactogenic herbal teas on a regular basis. A blend of red raspberry leaf, nettle, and seeds of fenugreek, cumin, and caraway mixed with a generous spoonful of wild raw mountain honey has been a staple since the very beginning. I find it to be not only physically nourishing but also as a breast milk vitamin, if you will, that delivers many important nutrients.

Overall, I have a very good connection with nursing and intend to allow Aryana to self-wean, meaning she decides when she has had enough! I want to give her all the nutrition and emotional comfort I can. Hopefully she picks a good age to stop. Some children carry on for years, even though now milk is about 95% of her diet I don’t imagine that she will still be drinking for a long time to come. Just for fun I’ll make the guess that by three and half years (maximum) she’s done!

Spacing Siblings

The “When are you going to have another??” question has been getting more frequent lately. Is it just spring time or is it really time again?

Originally I thought more or less two years between children would be good for our family. Close enough that they can play together and be friends but not too close that their stages of development overlap.

Aryana (11 months) with Duke and Daisy

Aryana (11 months) with Duke and Daisy

Aryana is just shy of a year and still quite a baby needing the close guidance and company of myself. I don’t know if you are ever 100% READY for a baby, but another one right now isn’t quite for me just yet. I felt strongly that it was time for Aryana and trust that I will feel equally as convicted when the next one is ready to come in.

Being around babies and young children provides an incredible opportunity to grow as a better person. Their purity and innocence extends out to their whole environment and I’ve gone through profound emotional and spiritual changes. Seeing Aryana hold so much light is a constant reminder that my life is just as precious and beautiful as hers. Even though we are obviously at different stages of development, the awe and wonder of life around and inside us remains.

April Sunset

April Sunset

But I still want to be a better person and wiser mom!!!!

Here’s my ‘Before the next pregnancy’ list….

  • I will be in better shape. ACTUALLY. More muscle tone, less jiggle. Lately I’ve been doing some of the P90X workout series. Guess what, it kicks my butt however, results are fast!
  • A Garden. It will be a more mature garden with LOTS of leafy greens to juice every or almost every day in addition to other veggies that can provide the bulk of my families nutrition. I also want to be growing pregnancy and breastfeeding herbs like nettle, fenugreek, alfalfa, chamomile etc.
  • Aryana is not nursing. I remain undecided if this is a self weaned process or not. Ideally it will be.

Those are the main three things. I have hopeful wishes that I’ll have a sewing nook set up, we have a reliable means of income, and the long shot of living in our own home. But I think most important is that my body feels healthy and my mind feels capable to rise to the new challenges. Writing this all down helps me to set priorities and reminds me what I’m working toward.

Unassisted Home Birth

Exciting news — dun dun da -daaaaa —- My friend Angela asked to do an interview about my unassisted home birth for her Vblog Glow with grace. The interview was a fun experience with cameos of both my husband and daughter. Confronting my anxiety of public speaking, I got through it 😉 I’m appreciative of the opportunity to share my experience and contribute to the growing education and knowledge of the possibility of a unassisted home birth.

The interview covers quite a lot. Something I do think is important to define is UNASSISTED vs UNATTENDED…I see unassisted as no limits on laboring, no injections, no pain killers, no cuts, no stitches — letting the woman’s body do her work! Unattended would be a birth without any medically trained nurse/midwife present. The two are not necessarily exclusive.

Here it is, hopefully this first of many!!

I’m considering doing a follow up to any questions/comments I feel are pertinent so ask away. Hope you can enjoy it!