A Natural Mamas Guide to Postpartum Healing & Recovery

     Being a new mom and experiencing postpartum was, and is, one of the strangest and most difficult transitions I have ever experienced. As someone already familiar with the world of parenting and childbirth due to my education (masters degree in infant and toddler mental health and 8 years as an infant and toddler teacher), I thought I had some slight idea of what postpartum would look like. Oh, how wrong I was. Most likely, your body will look nothing like your pre-pregnancy body and really it shouldn’t. After all, you just created another human. It takes a toll on your body. From the fun and oh so stylish adult diapers to the roller coaster of emotions, postpartum can be a challenging and life altering experience.

      Having a home birth with my first, I had a supportive group of midwives to guide me and attended monthly childbirth classes. We discussed the process and what to expect regularly. Regardless of the support and education, there were things I just had no clue about, especially regarding the postpartum body. First off, I felt like I had been hit by a car after birth. Every muscle in my body ached and I couldn’t walk unassisted for a few days. To be fair, I had an unusually long labor, 75 hours, with around 7 hours of pushing, but I had no idea I would be so physically exhausted and aching after birth. I knew birth was hard and would be painful in its own regard, but I didn’t realize the residual pain it would cause, and not just in my nether regions. Pregnancy and birth completely changed my body. Everything looked and felt different. Fluids were coming out of literally everywhere. I would wake up drenched in sweat, breast milk and other fun fluids everyday for weeks. (Apparently heavy sweating is a postpartum thing?!). I didn’t recognize myself or my emotions. I would swing quickly from one mood to the next even though I had some lovely bliss hormones from meeting my new baby. Postpartum is different for everyone, but if no one shares what really happens, how can any of us really prepare for this crazy time? I had endless numbers of people attempt to tell me what to expect from the baby, but no one told me I’d be in diapers icing my nether regions for a week or so.

    Thankfully, my midwives, tips I picked up from other moms, and my own research helped me to make it through postpartum and heal my body. After what felt like endless months, I found my balance and my identity as a mother. I began to feel healthy and whole again. As I prepare to bring my second child earthside, I’ve decided to compile a list of helpful tips for postpartum to make the transition less dramatic and easier for myself and hopefully for other mamas who face the transformative time of postpartum. 

This post may contain affiliate links. As an affiliate, I may receive a small stipend for any purchases made on links with no additional cost to you.

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Magnesium and Zinc Supplements

A few months into postpartum, I found myself still struggling with the baby blues and mood swings. I struggled to regulate my emotions. Looking for solutions, I took to the internet and dived into the research. I was so thankful to have actually found somewhat of a solution. It turns out, depression or depressive symptoms can actually be a symptom of magnesium deficiency. I even heard a few other moms mention it helped them during their postpartum period. I decided to try it out and within a day I found it easier to enjoy daily living and not so hard to regulate my emotions.

“Magnesium deficiency could cause abundant psychiatric symptoms including depression, behavior disturbances, headaches, generalized tonic-clonic as well as focal seizures, vertigo, tremors, irritability and psychotic behavior”

“In pregnancy, the fetus and placenta absorb huge amounts of nutrients particularly magnesium from the mother; this depletion of magnesium with not enough intake of magnesium by the mother is hypothesized to be the cause of postpartum depression.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3430492

Although I personally did not try zinc supplements during my postpartum time with my first, I plan to try it with my second. Similar to magnesium, this mineral may play a key role on postpartum mood disorders.

“Zinc as a trace element has the second highest concentration of all transition metals in the brain, and its deficiency is associated with behavioral disturbances. Lower zinc blood concentration was found in women with postpartum depression.” 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3430492

Herbs

Herbs have endless medical and healing properties and are a great resource for healing during postpartum. From sitz baths to teas, herbs can play a key role in healing after giving birth.

For a sitz bath or peri bottle to promote healing after birth, there are some great recipes of natural herbs to prevent infection, soothe pain, and speed up healing. My favorite recipe is from Wellness Mama:

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Comfrey Leaf

1/2 cup Lavender Flowers

1/4 cup Plantain Leaf

1/2 cup Red Raspberry Leaf

1/4 cup Yarrow Flower

1/4 cup Calendula Flowers

1/4 cup Shepherd’s Purse

1/4 cup Uva Ursi Leaf

1/4 cup Sea Salt or Epsom Salt

You can find a premade sitz herb mix here.

If you are interested in a calming cup of tea rather than a soak, there are a few great options that will help you heal and recover.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Red raspberry leaf tea strengthens the uterus, helps it to return to it’s pre-baby size, and eases postpartum cramping pain.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea regulates digestion and promotes calming relaxation to ease anxiety and promote better sleep.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea promotes breast milk production, relieves nausea, and reduces stomach cramps.

Nettle Leaf Tea

Nettle leaf tea helps restore iron levels, calms the body, and boosts breast milk supply. It also replenishes the body because it is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

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Sunshine

Even if this seems like common sense, it needs to be said. Getting outside during the postpartum period is pretty low on any mamas priority list, but it’s necessary for you and baby. The sunshine will replenish your Vitamin D, as well as babies, and regulate both of your hormones, especially sleep hormones. The more natural light baby gets, the more likely they’ll jump on a day/night sleep schedule and you’ll all get more sleep. Not to mention, the awesome happy hormones the sunshine will help you release.

“The light-induced effects of serotonin are triggered by sunlight that goes in through the eye. Sunlight cues special areas in the retina, which triggers the release of serotonin.”

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight#mental-health

Support & More Support

As much as you may think you will not need support during postpartum (me thinking i could be  a super mom), you WILL need support. If you don’t have family or friends available to help, try to set aside money or request as a gift from your baby shower practical support like a maid or food service. Enlist those who are willing to help with the daily duties, not the baby, while you recover and bond with your new baby. Although I didn’t really want my mother to be present after having my daughter so I could enjoy my new time as a parent, I actually ended up being really thankful she did show up. She was happy to help with the grunt work like laundry, dishes, and walking the dog while I focused on my new role of being a mom. Also if possible, have your partner take off as much time as possible. You’ll both want to be present for these new days and learning together what works makes you feel more like a team.

Postpartum, or the fourth trimester, is a substantial time in your new experience as mama and while no one can predict how it will go, it is helpful to have natural healing remedies on hand to face any challenges that may arise as well as ease the basic aches and pains that come with giving birth.

Please note I am not a medical professional and this information should not be substituted for medical advice.

Postpartum Natural Remedies
Fourth Trimester Natural Healing and Recovery
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5 Reasons To Want A Tiny Home

Have you heard of the tiny home movement? It’s growing and becoming more common as people look for ways to escape debt and focus on enjoying life more. Americans are loving the idea of “stepping off the hamster wheel” of endless work and debt and have jumped on the tiny living band wagon (including myself)! Around 700 new tiny homes are being built in America every year (find more info here). With all the benefits, you should jump on board too!

This post may contain affiliate links. As an affiliate, I may receive a small stipend for any purchases made on links with no additional cost to you.

The Money

Let’s be real, owning a home or renting a home is expensive. Deposits, rent, repairs, utilities, etc. are all black holes continuously consuming our money. But what if you could drastically reduce those costs? Tiny living means way less in home costs. With the cheaper cost, it’s much easier to own and skip out on the cost of deposits and rent. Although we have some other costs, our home only costs in the range of $0-700 a month (depending where we set up camp). The most we spend in a month on housing is less than half the cost of any other living situation we’ve previously had. Less mortgage and a lower cost of living also means more freedom to decide how much much you work, if you want to stay home with your family, and the kinds of education your children have. Without tiny living, I wouldn’t be able to work from home part time, but would instead be working to pay for the hefty cost of living!

Studies show that roughly 50% of tiny house owners have more money saved that owners of traditional homes.

https://www.godownsize.com/tiny-house-statistics/

Outside More

A small space can actually mean more space. When you have a tiny space, you get much more creative and a huge part of that is being outdoors more. We now have most of our meals outside together. This has had so many benefits such as more sunshine, an occupied toddler, and a relaxed, enjoyable time. Along with meals outside we now have more time for walks, hikes, and exploring new places.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

– Hans Hofmann

Less Stuff, More Living

Do you get exhausted from endlessly picking stuff up and cleaning? I know I did. When you live tiny, there’s just less to deal with. Once we went minimalist and moved into our tiny home, I found cleaning up took way less time. Instead of investing hours daily to maintain a clean home, I typically can spend 20 minutes to keep things pristine. 

Get Exactly What You Want

When it’s a small space, it’s much easier to personalize everything to be how you want it. In regular sized homes, I have always allowed it to not be exactly what I want either because of cost or the sheer size of a project. While remodeling a kitchen in a regular home typically costs thousands, updating our tiny home is easy to do ourselves and takes way less supplies (aka less time and money!). We were quickly able to achieve the aesthetic we wanted, while in our previous, larger home we put in tons of time and money and never quite got things how we wanted.

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

– Socrates

Less Stress

Along with less stuff and more living comes less stress. Don’t get me wrong, things can still break and get chaotic when you have a tiny home. Just in our first month in our tiny home our A/C unit caught fire (thankfully everyone was safe and the fire caused no damage) and had to be replaced costing us about $1K, however there’s just much less to go wrong. Our large home has cost us thousands in repairs and updates in the two years we owned it.

What to know about tiny living and homes

Having a tiny home allows for more flexibility and freedom! Have you ever considered going tiny?

A Beginner’s Guide To Eating Plant Based

5 Steps To Eat Plant Based

This post may contain affiliate links. As an affiliate, I may receive a small stipend for any purchases made on links with no additional cost to you.

What Is A Plant Based Diet?

A plant based diet is just what it implies, a diet compromised of plants. Commonly, a plant based diet includes those who eat some animal products as long as they primarily eat plants. I’ve followed a plant based diet for about ten years and love it!

Plant-based diets emphasize higher intakes of plant foods and lower intakes of animal foods. Foods derived from plants include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/09/health/plant-based-diet-heart-disease-study/index.html

Why Eat Plant Based?

More and more research is emerging on how healthy and vital a plant based diet is. Not only is a plant based diet better for the environment, and ethically for the animals, it’s now emerging to be the healthiest option for our bodies. 

Sticking to an overall plant-based diet or a diet that includes more plant foods than animal foods could be associated with a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and up to 25% lower risk of early death.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/09/health/plant-based-diet-heart-disease-study/index.html

Eating less meat also decreases the risk of stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and many forms of cancer (see more here).

If you want more information, I recommend checking out the documentaries Forks Over Knives, What The Health, and The Game Changers. These documentaries go into depth about current research and observational studies of plant based diets.

Improve your health with a plant based diet

How Do I Become Plant Based?

Meal Planning

Meal planning is key. Most quick options are not plant based (i.e. fast food), so having a plan in place and food ready to eat will be your most important step to ensure you eat plant based. For more meal ideas, you can get some awesome plant based recipe books. My favorites are Thug Kitchen and Forks Over Knives Cookbook.

Pinterest

Pinterest has endless options for awesome plant based recipes. Pinterest is a great place to get some ideas and start planning. You can check out my plant based recipes board here

Start Simple

Eating plant based doesn’t have to be hard. Start with simple basics you’re familiar with and build from there. Always have easy and quick options on hand like oatmeal, beans, rice, apples and bananas (not to mention these basics are super cheap and will keep your food costs down). Try to keep food that is both familiar and quick to make readily available as you transition. Tacos, salads, and grain bowls are all great, easy basics to focus on.

Reach Out To Others

Try to connect with others who follow a plant based diet. Having others to enjoy a similar diet with will make the journey much easier and more enjoyable! My husband and daughter are plant based as well and we love having big feasts together or trying new recipes! We also joined local meetups for plant based diets and found some awesome like minded people to enjoy food with!

Commit

Just commit. Once you make the decision, it’s not so hard. Write down a list of goals to become plant based and put them somewhere you will see them everyday. You could start with something easy like “no meat on weekdays” or “one plant based salad a day” and work your way up to being fully or primarily plant based.

Little steps make a big difference! Whether you’re making the switch for the animals, the environment, or your health, only good can come from it!

A guide to eating plant based vegan vegetarian
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Do you have a favorite plant based meal? Any other tips you think would be helpful? Questions? Drop them below!


20 Quotes For World Schooling

Quotes For Child Lead Natural Learning

Quotes are a wonderful and quick way to express a larger idea and get to the center of a thought. As a more natural minded mama, I use quotes all the time to express the importance of child lead learning and natural exploration as well as to motivate me to stick to getting out and letting my little one learn her own way. I’ve collected some of my favorite quotes for world schooling and child lead learning to share with those looking to share these wonderful core ideas and get inspired or inspire others!

As an affiliate, I may receive a small stipend for any purchases made on links with no additional cost to you. I only recommend items I love and use. Thanks for supporting a work at home mom!

“The ultimate gift we can give the world is to grow our tiny humans into adult humans who are independent thinkers, compassionate doers, conscious questioners, radical innovators, and passionate peacemakers. Our world doesn’t need more adults who blindly serve the powerful because they’ve been trained to obey authority without question. Our world needs more adults who question and challenge and hold the powerful accountable.”~ L.R. Knost

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“By the time your school understands the importance of green time, your kids may have children of their own.  So, today let the homework lay untouched, in favour of outdoor play and real-world learning.” ~Penny Whitehouse

“Our rapidly moving, information-based society badly needs people who know how to find facts rather than memorize them, and who know how to cope with change in creative ways. You don’t learn those things in school.” – Wendy Priesnitz

“Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. ….A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world, especially in larger cities.” ~ Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong

“Let Nature be your teacher.” ~ William Wordsworth

“They’re not just playing in nature, they are: Learning, creating, sensing, believing, relaxing, exploring, observing, wondering, connecting, discovering, appreciating, understanding, experimenting…”~ Penny Whitehouse

“To develop a complete mind: study the science of art; study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.” ~Thomas Berry

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. “– Oscar Wilde

“Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times” -Asian Proverb

“Don’t just tell your children about the world, show them.” ~Penny Whitehouse

World Schooling Nature Schooling Quotes
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“The best education does not happen at a desk, but rather engaged in everyday living – hands on, exploring, in active relationship with life.” ~ Vince Gowman

“An environmental-based education movement—at all levels of education—will help students realize that school isn’t supposed to be a polite form of incarceration but a portal to the wider world.” ~ Richard Louv

“Teaching is not about answering questions but about raising questions – opening doors for them in places they could not imagine.” ~Yawar Baig

Nature Schooling Quotes

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” ~John Lubbock

“As children observe, reflect, record, and share nature’s patterns and rhythms, they are participating in a process that promotes scientific and ecological awareness, problem solving, and creativity.” ~Deb Matthews Hensley

Unschooling World Schooling Quotes
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“If we want our children to move mountains, we first have to let them get out of their chairs.” ~Nicolette Sowder

“Close observation of children at play suggests that they find out about the world in the same way as scientists find out about new phenonoma and test new ideas…during this exploration, all the senses are used to observe and draw conclusions about objects and events through simple, scientific investigations.” ~ Judith Roden

“Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime.”~Robin C. Moore and Herb H Wong

“Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them.” ~The Audubon Nature Preschool

Kids Nature Schooling Quotes

Any quotes you would add?


The Only Things You Need For Your Pregnancy From A Minimalist Mama

The Must Haves For Your Pregnancy

As an affiliate, I may receive a small stipend for any purchases made on links with no additional cost to you. I only recommend items I love and use. Thanks for supporting a work at home mom!

Effective & Healthy Prenatal Vitamin

The prenatal vitamin you use during pregnancy is extremely important. Depending on the vitamins’ contents, it can either promote or hinder your baby’s growth and development. A plant based vitamin is necessary for the best absorbtion. Synthetic versions are much less readily absorbed. It’s also important to use an organic vitamin. Pesticides, used on non-organic food, have been linked to irregular brain development and autism. My favorite plant based vitamin is the Organic Garden of Life.

Comfortable Maternity Clothes

You’ll be pregnant for nine months and for at least four of those, not fit your usual clothes. For both of my pregnancies I’ve been in maternity clothes by three months since my belly pops so early! A few of my Amazon favorites are below and

Kindred Bravely

also has some great options!

Organic Peppermint Tea

Peppermint Tea helps with heartburn, nausea, lowers stress, headaches, sinuses, and energy, so pretty much everything you need help with during pregnancy! I had a cup of peppermint tea almost every morning of my pregnancy and it instantly would soothe any nausea or heartburn I had and gave me a little boost of energy!

Water Filter

A water filter is a necessity because a leading cause of miscarriage is chlorine in tap water (learn more here). I use the Berkey filter which is one of the most effective filter systems you can get and also offers an optional fluoride filter. 

Pregnancy Journal

A pregnancy journal is great to remember your pregnancy as well as to stay engaged in your baby’s growth. I love this reflective and guided journal, Sacred Pregnancy A Loving Guide and Journal for Expecting Mothers, for a more connected and spiritual pregnancy or this simple pregnancy journal just to record memories.

Pregnancy & Birth Books

See my favorite books to read during pregnancy here.

Are there any other necessities you’d add to the list?

A Quick Guide On What To Read For An Empowered and Informed Birth

The Best Books To Read During Pregnancy

Modern birth has become scary, medical, and often, an experience mamas fear. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many resources available to get educated and take power of your birth. After planning my last homebirth, and beginning to plan my second (see my birth plan here), I have found endless amazing resources to learn how to take charge of pregnancy and birth and get the experience you want.

As an Amazon affiliate, I may receive a small stipend for any purchases made with no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting a work at home mom!

The Positive Birth Book: A New Approach to Pregnancy, Birth, and The Early Weeks

This book will help you understand all your options in pregnancy and birth and decipher what the best plan is for you. It’s full of facts and information and is not judgemental, regardless of what kind of birth you want. It even gives information on how to have a woman-centered and empowered C-section. I also recommend this book because it pulls on experiences from many different women quoting then on their personal birth experiences.

Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way

A straight forward guide to succeed in natural child birth. The book goes into depth on how to prepare your body for a healthy labor, what labor will entail, how to involve your birth partner, and how to get the information you need to make informed decision for your birth and avoid induction and surgery.

Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy

A funny and personal reflection and assessment of the modern culture around pregnancy and birth as well as the science of pregnancy and birth. A great guide to understand the basics from miscarriage, pregnancy, and labor, to postpartum and breastfeeding.

Sacred Pregnancy A Loving Guide and Journal for Expecting Mothers

A spiritual guide to pregnancy. This is one of my favorites for pregnancy because it provides resources and ideas to connect to your pregnancy experience and your baby. This also doubles as a pregnancy journal with weekly journal prompts to ensure you are feeling positive and connected to your pregnancy process.

Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth

This book focuses on women’s natural abilities to birth and empowering them to believe in their bodies abilities with science backed information. It’s a great guide to understanding how to optimize your chances of a natural birth, naturally lower pain during labor and even learn about orgasmic birth.

Mindful Birthing

A helpful guide on making pregnancy, birth, and postpartum a positive and calm experience that pulls research from the neuroscience and mind/body medical field. The book provides effective methods to reduce stress and pain while improving confidence and connection.

Hypnobirthing Home Study Course Manual: Step-by-Step Guide To an Easy, Natural, and Pain Free Birth

A great guide to learn hypnobirthing and avoid other forms of pain management. This book boasts “Over 85 percent of Hypnobirthing Home Study Course mothers birthed naturally and easily, with most saying they were entirely comfortable throughout the birth and didn’t even think of asking for pain medication.” The book focuses on teaching you to control your thoughts and gain control of your experience.

I hope with all of these empowering resources you will be able to kick the great of pregnancy and birth and gain control over your experience.

Also read The Best Resources for Planning Your Ideal Birth and My Natural Birth Plan for my information and inspiration!

Shop Marama Naturals Plant Based Pregnancy & Baby Care at Ecocentric Mom!

Books for natural pregnancy and birth


Book to read for an empowered natural birth

5 Quick Steps To Improve Your Parenting This New Year

1. Make a Detailed List Of The Parent You Want To Be

Include at least 10 characteristics of what an ideal parent is to you. For example, you could say you want to be calm, kind, and affectionate. There is a free handout to help at the bottom of this article!

2. Write 3 Things You Want To Change About Your Parenting

Get specific and write out all the details. I would even suggest writing a story down of an example of the parenting characteristics or actions you want to change. This will help you clarify the issues and pinpoint what you want to change and how you may be able to do so.

3. Make An Action Plan

Write a detailed plan for the new behaviors you are going to use to replace your old unwanted behaviors. GET SPECIFIC. For example, instead of telling when my kids aren’t listening I will calmly give them two choices. Write yourself an example to make it real: “You can get your shoes on by yourself or I can help you.”

4. Make a List of 3 Ways You Will Bond With Your Child(ren)

Choose specific activities that you will both enjoy and can do regularly. Also try to choose activities that allow you to chat and focus on each other. For example, if your child is sporty, instead of playing laser tag or something with a lot of distractions, try put put golf so there’s lots of time to chat. Some ideas for bonding with younger children is art activities, going on a walk, or some of these easy activities. Whatever you choose, schedule it in at least twice monthly. Get a calendar or planner, write it down, and stick to it. The consistency of your efforts will mean the world to your child (whether their old enough to express it or not).

5. Reflect and Improve

Although reflection requires a lot of effort, it will by far make the biggest difference in your parenting. Take time at least weekly to check in on your parenting goals and see if you’re meeting them. If not, where can you make little adjustments to make the goals more obtainable. What new examples can you write down to help remember and put into action the way you want to parent? With each reflection, you’ll be able to better embody your parenting goals.

Free parenting goals handout!

You may also find How To Be A Better Parent and The Secret To Being A Calm Mom helpful!

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The Best Resources For Planning Your Ideal Birth

My Favorite Resources To Visualize A Positive Birth

Having the birth experience you want requires planning, education, and understanding. It’s important to know all the whys behind different approaches to birth and navigate what will be best for you and your baby. If you approach birth without knowledge, your birth experience will be whatever your medical professional would like it to be rather than your own preferred experience because unless you give direction, others will take the lead. There are endless resources to understanding and learning all about birth. In order to align with the birth you want, it’s important to dive into that experience. Here are a few of my favorite resources to help learn more about birth and decipher your own ideal birth.

As an Amazon affiliate, I may receive a small stipend for any purchases made. Thanks for supporting a work at home mom!

The Birth Hour Podcast

The Birth Hour Podcast is one of my favorite and one of the most accessible resources. I listen on Spotify, but it’s available on a myriad of platforms. It’s important to be aware though that it shares ALL types of stories, including the more negative or more medical focused experiences, but it’s a great place to start in figuring out what you may or may not want. This resource is all about the birth stories and not so much the educational side of things or hearing research behind birth although it does come up occasionally. It’s a great place to start when forming ideas about your ideal birth because you’ll begin forming a vocabulary around birth and hear about all the different things that can come up and the approaches to birth. I think it may be ideal to lay off this resource or be more selective with episodes once you do have a set birth plan to make sure you’re not filling yourself with fear or giving yourself different visions of birth than you would like.

Empowered Birth Project

Instagram Account

EmpoweredBirthProject.com

The Empowered Birth Project was one of the first birth resources I was exposed to outside of my formal education and I was immediately obsessed. I had never seen birth framed as a beautiful and empowering experience before and that’s what the instagram page is all about. This page shares real stories along with, photos, and videos, and emphasizes birth education and awareness. 

Unique, eco-friendly products chosen just for you and your little one!

Pinterest

Ok so this one is probably a no brainer, but I think Pinterest a great resource for planning a birth because you can find stories, research, and inspiration for any birth you may desire. I have a Natural Birth Inspiration board you can check out here. It provides a myriad of resources from research to things like affirmations for birth.

Books

Books can be an amazing resource as they go into depth about topics allowing you to gain more understanding and possibly even more skills to prepare you for the birth you want. This is a quick list of a few of my favorites, but I will probably write a separate article shortly to go into more depth about all of my favorite birth books.

Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way

Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth

The Doula’s Guide To Your Empowering Birth: A Complete Labor and Childbirth Companion For Parents To Be

Mindful Birthing: Training The Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond

In Your Community

Some of the most important resources you will use are those in your community. I personally suggest using a midwife group or hiring a doula (or both). They’re a great resource for natural and empowered birth options. You can also check into local Le Lethe League meetups which is a great moms’ support group for breastfeeding. I also suggest looking into local birth classes, pregnancy support groups, babywearers clubs, prenatal yoga, chiropractic, and acupuncture. All are amazing resources to ensure your body and mind are healthy and prepared for natural and/or an empowered birth. You’ll also find the transition to motherhood much easier if you already have a like minded mama tribe through different prenatal groups.

You can also reference My Natural Home Birth Plan for more information and ideas!

Learn how to prepare your body for labor naturally here!

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Resources to plan your birth
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Natural Birth Plan Template!

Vegan and Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Jump to Recipe

As a family who strives to be minimal waste and plant based, as well as gluten free and sugar free thanks to allergies, it can be such a challenge to find tasty snacks! However, this challenge has made me a very creative cook. I’ve learned to make pretty much anything I want from scratch with alternative ingredients to meet my families needs and wanted to share with other families who face similar challenges!

This recipe was stumbled upon when the other day my toddler woke up from her nap and was dead set on having muffins. We decided to get creative a try too make something! We typically use chickpea flour and quinoa flour for baking since we can get it organic and it’s high in protein, so we busted those out! I found a recipe online for lemon blueberry muffins and used it as my inspiration and as an estimate of how much of each thing to add. Of course, I altered the recipe a ton to fit my families needs.

Typically, we use organic almond or cashew milk, but I had extra soy on hand since I need it for a recipe for Thanksgiving, so, in it went! I think it made the muffins a little more creamy tasting but I think cashew milk would have worked great as well.

The recipe is so simple my toddler helped me with all of it. Measure, mix, bake and enjoy! I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Gluten Free & Vegan Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Simple, high protein ingredients free of processed sugar. A plant based, delicious snack!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Servings 9 Muffins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 Cups Chickpea Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Quinoa Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 8 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/4 Cups Soy Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well removing any clumps. Add blueberries last for best consistency.
  • Pour into oiled muffin tin. Place in oven.
  • Check after 15 minutes. Poke with toothpick, if it has batter bake longer until you can remove the toothpick clean.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword gluten free, no added sugar, vegan

The Best Modern, Gentle Parenting Books

There is so much “how to” parenting information out there. Unfortunately, it’s focused on controlling children and getting them to behave however is easiest for us as the adults, but not focused on the child’s, parents’, and family’s overall well being. Even though I have a master’s degree in child development and years of experience as an early childhood teacher, I found myself struggling to find my identity as a mother. I knew pretty much all the research, the approaches, and what a child needs for healthy development, but I had no idea how to just be a mother. These books, along with experience and my daughter’s guidance, I am finally feeling at peace with my role as a mother and I hope you too find more peace in your role as a parent.

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Brave Parenting: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Raising Emotionally Resilient Children

I really enjoyed this book. Although it’s a little extra on the advice and judgement, I found so much of the content helpful in being a well rounded supportive mother. I changed my approach to big emotions and their expression (hello toddler tantrums) and it’s really lifted a weight off myself and my toddler. I hate to admit it, but the book may have been right about my over-parenting tendencies, but I was able to stop back with this book’s simple approach to both supporting positive behaviors while also allowing the expression of all emotions.

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How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature

This book is awesome for any parents hoping to raise a nature-loving human. It really gives you more understanding by digging into the research but also teaches how to be a nature mentor for your family. It pushed me even further to get my toddler outside daily.

1,2,3…The Toddler Years: A Practical Guide for Parents and Caregivers

This book is much more approach focused and I actually read this one in one of my child development classes, so not necessarily about your role as a parent. However, I enjoy the simple, child-focused approach and have used a lot of ideas from this book as guidance in my own parenting. I even was a substitute teacher for this center for a while when I lived in Santa Cruz. I think this is a great book to read if you’re really just trying to figure out how to approach toddlerhood and get some real and good advice on how to parent.

Mommy Burnout: How to Reclaim Your Life and Raise Healthier Children in the Process

This book is a must read for all moms. It’s totally focused on the motherhood experience and the modern problem of mommy burnout. This book truly changed my life and is probably the reason this blog even exists. This book will awaken you to the issues you don’t know exist with your own wellness and start you on your journey to repair.

Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom

I think all my fellow crunchy mamas will know why this is on the list. I love this book. I learned so much about the statistics about learning outside of schooling even though I have a degree in education! This book was the last push for my family to fully jump on board with unschooling.

The Awakened Family

This book made me cry in the first few minutes because it hits hard at the truth of why our kids act up and spoiler alert- it’s us. It dives into the need to disconnect from all the “shoulds” and parent from a deeper place. A truly life changing book.

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The Best Modern Parenting Books To Read

What are your favorite alternative parenting books?

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