Do you envision a world of healthy mamas and babies?

Do you desire for families to be well-supported for bringing their children into this world and raising them with compassionate, optimal, healthy care?

Would you like for pregnant moms to have the choice to birth their babies where and with whom they feel most comfortable?

Is there a passion within you for creating community, resources, education, support, mentoring, and nurturing experiences for families during the childbearing years?

You are needed to make a difference in this world and create a safer, more peaceful, and loving experience for babies to be born into!

Yes, YOU!

Changes are happening and you can be a part of that. 

For the big transformation to happen we need everyone who is passionate about mother-baby-family health and wellbeing to step up and be a part of the change in all our global communities!

If you want to make a difference, than you got to be courageous, speak up, and be available for people to find you. 

Technology is shaping our culture, and while conscious birth advocates question the use of technology in the birthplace, we must embrace the technology of communication to reach our global audience and make a real difference. 

What has shaped the conscious birth culture recently?

It's the mothers and fathers who demand the best care and services for their babies.

Why do they demand changes from the mainstream birth culture?

It has been because of the educators, doulas, midwives, yoga teachers, prenatal bodyworkers, and birth entrepreneurs who are making a difference through their conscious businesses and online impact.

It has been the amazing educational and informational products that have been produced such as Ricki Lake's and Abby Epstein's Business of Being Born movies, and Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova's Birth As We Know It DVD's.

It's the books that get published, such as the Sacred Pregnancy book and magazines.

It's the awesome products such as the ERGObaby carrier, that bring people's awareness to natural alternatives to caring for our babies. 

It's because of the online e-books, online birth classes, birth bloggers, online videos, and parent's engaging in extensive internet research!

Yes, parents are looking to the internet more and more for resources, inspiration, and education for preparing for birth and baby. Do you have a good online presence that people can find?

Being a conscious birth entrepreneur and creating a business that reaches people and educates them, as well as inspires them, is key to making a difference. 

Conscious entrepreneurs are creating the future. Business, technology, and communication are transforming our culture - and you can be a part of that! It's an open-source revolution!

Are you ready to step into creating a conscious birth business that makes a difference in the lives of mothers and babies - or ready to take your current business and bring it to a whole new level?

There are ways to make your website more effective, your message more inspiring, and your energy channelled more efficiently, so that you can create greater profit, impact, and service. 

If you are ready to birth your sacred calling into the world as a birth entrepreneur, than you are invited to join the Visionary Women Business Academy - specially designed for birthworkers, healing artists, and holistic practitioners to bloom your conscious biz to new heights!

I believe in you, and I believe that it is incredibly important for us as conscious birth entrepreneurs to become more savvy, effective, and smart about how we do business, including utilizing the powerful multi-media storytelling technology, harnessing the magic of our websites, creating innovative products and services, being findable, capturing people's attention, and tapping into our ecstatic feminine energy for success!

Join me for this amazing holistic course for feminine entrepreneurs in healing, coaching, and women's empowerment - there is only a few more days left to sign up, so join now!

Learn more and enroll here: Visionary Women Business Academy.

Why should you make your passion or calling into a business? Because mainstream culture respects business, people respect what they pay money for, and media outlets, publishers, and distributors want to work with successful entrepreneurs. You can reach a greater population with your inspirational and educational birth advocacy by creating a conscious and prosperous business foundation. You can also support your family, and create the freedom, abundance, and joy of doing what you love and making a difference. 

Are you ready? 

Want more inspiration? Check out my article on my KaraMariaAnanda.com blog last week about how to:
Do the Work You Love Without Selling Your Eggs! 

I'd love to hear what you think: what are specific ways that conscious birth entrepreneurs can harness the power of technology, the internet, and conscious business to create birth change? How have you strugg

Many blessings, Kara
www.birthemissary.com
www.karamariaananda.com
 
 
 
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The birth of my son opened up a whole new dimension of my understanding of myself, of my purpose, and of Life itself. I have never before experienced such amazing strength, such power and focus – the strength of giving life. I realized I am that strength, I am Life! I am Life recreating itself one more time into the infinity.

It was mindblowing - I was so energized and HAPPY! I have never felt more present and more rooted in my own body before. A huge wave of gratitude and joy covered me forever - I feel so grateful, thank you Mother, thank you Father, thank you Creation! Thank you for this amazing experience to be HERE, TO EXIST, to be ALIVE! And thank you SO MUCH for the ability to birth my son and share all the gratefulness, joy, amazement, and love I am feeling of living this gorgeous lif. Thank you that I am able to pass on to him that precious experience, this amazing LIFE!!!

I felt the deep bond we all have as women, passing on this amazing gift of life from one placenta to the other, from one woman to another, throughout the years, throughout the centuries, throughout timeless and spaceless eternity. In the security of the warmth and darkness of our wombs, life is creating itself, and a new, perfect and unique human being is able to grow with such will and wisdom. 

In the soft candle light of my birthing room, my husband and I were intertwined and melted with each other sharing the powerful beauty of the sacred moment. In my own journey, far away in a trance-like state, I was also completely feeling my baby and communicating with him, dancing with each contraction and channeling the urge to push into deep earthly sounds. I was emerged into a timeless space, only aware of what was going on deep within our souls.

I was working together with my baby in a birthing pool in my room, surrounded by the unconditional love and support from my husband, my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, my wonderful friend, and doctor. Suddenly, my sister-in-law tells me – do you want to touch the head?

WHAT?

WOW! YES! His HEAD! I love you! I love you little one, I love you so much, thanks for being here! Thank you for choosing me as your mom! HIS HEAD!

Incredible – I am touching his head! It is coming out of my beautiful vagina, out of my own body! Wow! His head, so small, so real, so beautiful! My baby is getting born! I am caressing his beautiful head for the first time! I can feel his little hairs in the warm water, so amazingly wonderful and blessed and divine! My baby is being born and the entire Universe is here right now giving birth with us!

The strongest wave so far came, and I knew that he could be born if I just push enough. I felt in an instant that I have a choice – to push and ride the wave all the way, or to wait for the next one and take it really easy and gently. Eager to meet that amazing little person who shared the same body and soul with me so intimately for 9 months, I decided to push, and collecting all the energy from each cell of my body and soul I focused that immense power opening myself as a channel for new Life to pass through. He bravely seized the opportunity and came through on a wave of pure energy, coming out into a new world like a little fish in the water.

In the moment of giving birth, I felt connected to everything, to every little cell, to each and every plant and being, to all the planets and stars, to all the Universe which was both inside and outside of me. I felt WE ARE ALL TRULY ONE.

That feeling was overwhelming, so releasing, LOVING, JOYFUL and so STRONG! I was looking at MY SON, holding him in my arms and falling in love with the brand new face and body I was seeing. He seemed so peaceful and content, so glad he was here! Hugged and loved by his mother, father, grandma, and aunt, we all started singing his song to him giving him our happy welcome.

The experience of birthing was an initiation that transformed me. With a new baby, a new mother was born too. Besides being a mother, I became aware of the amazing strength I have as a woman and the full power of life I am so privileged to be a channel of. 

The magical realization that changed my birthing experience was that birth doesn’t need to be a struggle to overcome pain or achieve anything, if I don’t want it to be. All I needed to do was to stop thinking or doing anything and instead enter the temple of LOVE each of us has inside, at our very center and the source of our being. This quality of love meant total acceptance, trust, freedom, flowing, and joyful playfulness. The strength needed to birth a new life was actually pure energy and power in the form of LOVE and LIGHT. I felt as a root of Mother Earth stretching out and spreading life, so happy to share, so abundant and giving.

During the time since the birth of my son until now, I have been loving, caring for, nurturing and getting to know my growing baby, as well as myself. Honoring this sacred miracle, I am receiving the amazing gift life gave me, and discovering the true meaning of being a woman and a mother. I listen to my soul telling me things, while I am discovering and forming my visions and purpose. I listen to the beautiful and soothing song of Love and Gratitude, letting it overflow me, guide me and teach me how to love, live, inspire and share. I can hear my own inner calling stronger than ever, together with a calling of Mother Earth, to fully realize and create myself into a person who I am and who I want to be.

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Sanda Baretic is a Conscious Birth Emissary, Mother, and Textile Artist from Croatia, currently living in Mexico. You can contact her online here: Sanda

 
 
Myth #1: Sleep training infants to sleep through the night is a good idea.

Flocks of parents buy up books and DVD's that promise 12 hours of sleep a night by 12 weeks and a baby that sleeps on schedule. However, sleep training infants is counter to the human evolutionary design that requires babies to breastfeed regularly through every day and to be closely cared for by their parents throughout the first year. Limiting feedings during the day and eliminating them at night also sabotages breastfeeding, eliminates cosleeping, and prevents the use of cloth diapering or elimination communication as changing diapers would wake the baby. Yet, sleep training continues to be touted as it's great support for the crib, formula, and diaper industries, and to get moms back to work in the workforce by 12 weeks postpartum (which is the ridiculously short and unpaid maternity care leave that US women have, by far the shorter of all developed countries in the world). It's no coincidence that our short unpaid maternity leave is over at the same time that the corporate baby industry promotes that babies should be sleeping through the night by. 

The promotion of 12 hours of sleep a night for infants runs counter to the recommendations of every medical, pediatric, and breastfeeding organization in the world that all clearly state that infants should be breastfed for at least a year, exclusively for 6 months, and 8-12 times a day. The La Leche League, American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization, UNICEF, International Lactation Consultation Association, and more also promote the breastfeeding on demand of babies exclusively throughout the first six months.  Limiting feedings to 4 times a day, is not feasible for an exclusively breastfeeding mother of a 3 month old, or else she will have to be up several times in the night to pump, so she's not getting a full night's sleep anyway, but is more awake sitting with a pump than snuggling in bed sleeping with her baby. The risks of not breastfeeding include higher rates of respiratory disease, infectious disease, diarrhea, allergies, asthma, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). According to UNICEF, non-breastfed babies in the US have a 25% greater chance of dying than breastfed infants. Breastfeeding has so many benefits for baby and mother, including building the baby 's immune system, promoting intelligence, and cancer prevention for mothers. Sleep training may lead to dehydration and failure to thrive in an infant, and many pediatricians have made public statements discouraging it. Supporting breastfeeding is key to global health and healthy mothers and babies for life. 

In order for the 12 hours of sleep by 12 weeks method to work, you need to feed the baby 4x a day 24 oz. How does a breastfeeding mama know how many ounces her baby is getting in a feeding? Also, formula fed babies naturally sleep longer periods because the formula does not digest as fast and fills them up. Also breastfeeding is more than just feeding, it is comfort, immunity, regularity of biorhythms, and more. There is nothing wrong with comfort feedings, especially with a teething or sick baby. Schedules and sleep training undermines breastfeeding.

Through my 15+ years working with hundreds of families in the postpartum time I have done extensive research and study into optimal sleep habits for families. There are so many new sleep books that regularly come out as it is profitable and fashionable to market to sleep-deprived new parents who will buy up whatever is being shared. While it may work for some, I feel very strongly that there are gentle ways to support parents to sleep better that don't involve training babies. Training infants to sleep longer than 5 hours at a time (which is what sleeping through the night is considered by adults) leads to higher rates of SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which does NOT occur with babies who are cosleeping near their parents while following safe guidelines (such as proper bedding and not smoking, drinking, or taking pharmaceutical medication that cause drowsiness). I think we need to retrain parents on what expectations we put on our babies. 

I understand how the idea of sleeping 12 hours straight as a tired parent sounds SO appealing. However, is it best for a 3 month old to sleep through the night? Why do babies wake up to nurse regularly? My baby is now 16 months plus and still wakes to nurse several times a night. However, I feel no problem with waking to nurse, as we cosleep and I barely wake up. I just switch sides, nestle the baby in my arm, and doze off. Naturally cosleeping and breastfeeding supports healthy growth, development, and healthy emotional attachment. Sometimes now that he's bigger I can just say "it's ok, go back to sleep" and he will, if he just wants reassurement and not milk. However, babies have small stomachs and are growing bones, teeth, muscles, brains, and their whole beings rapidly and need frequent nourishment. I believe nature has designed our babies and bodies to be able to support our health naturally and that when we work with it that we can find ways to support our babies through the night without feeling exhausted or depleted or that we need to train our babies in a particular way. 

I know many mamas are sleep deprived and tired, but I feel that there are other ways to shift that - by prioritizing yourself, taking naps, receiving support, letting go of unnecessary obligations, increasing nourishment and improving your sleep space. I have lots of ways to support mamas to feel more rested without training their babies! Part of the solution is to let go of schedules and trainings and just BE with your baby. However, that can be hard for parents who are putting babies in daycare at 6 weeks, working regular shifts during the day, and overscheduling their own personal lives. Then it turns into needing to schedule the baby's sleep to accommodate our own schedules.

My gentle support method for healthy happy sleeping families includes fresh air, exercise, and activity during the day, creating a sleep sanctuary, having a big enough mattress, nourishing the baby and mama during the day, having a calm bedtime routine, regular baby massage, bath time, and energy work. The times when I have had a hard time getting my baby to sleep at night have been times when I myself have been anxious and my baby couldn't settle their nervous system because mine was all wound up - and mothers and infants are entrained. In fact, that is one of the reasons why cosleeping is so beneficial, because sleeping next to your infant stimulates the baby's nervous system, heartrate, and breathing to entrain with the mothers, which helps prevent SIDS. The times that I have gotten frustrated at long nursing sessions during the night, were usually because I myself needed more nourishment and was feeling depleted. Therefore, supporting the parents more fully is key rather than making an infant accommodate an adult's expectations in this industrialized world. 

One of the things that I have encountered is new moms who feel with every cell in their body the desire to sleep with their baby, nurse their baby on demand, and hold their baby. Yet, their partners and family get pop-culture parenting books like this and pressure them to put their babies on schedules and in cribs or on formula. It undermines their confidence and maternal intuition. I believe that mamas know best what is right for them and their baby and family and that supporting a mother's intuition will guide the family to find the best way to nurture their newborn.
MYTH #2: Co-Sleeping, Breastfeeding, or Attachment Parenting Will Lead to Your Children Being Emotionally Dependent Upon You. 

My older son is now a super healthy, emotionally secure, pre-teen who is totally confident, people-friendly, vibrant, and has a rockin' immune system, and I nursed him and co-slept with his for 3 years. He also has no problems with sleeping through the night now, and will sleep through almost anything, so cosleeping did not harm his ability to sleep well as a child. As well, I am mother to a young baby who is 16+ months old, cosleeps, breastfeeds, and has no hesitancy to toddle off to the neighbors house to go play without looking back to us for reassurement. My personal experience as a mother shows that breastfeeding and the family bed support healthy secure balanced children and is an enjoyable and loved experience for all of us. 

Myth #3: If You Don't Sleep Train Your Children When They Are Babies They Will Never Learn To Fall Asleep On Their Own.

I think the reason older children may have sleep problems today is not due to whether or not they were sleep trained as babies, but due to the high levels of stress children experience today due to rising academics expectations in school, decreased recess, artificial and processed foods, as well as high amounts of screen time with tv's and computers. Sleep help for older children I think is a great idea, but really should be based on lifestyle: kids need good nourishing foods, lots of exercise, fresh air, and outdoors play time. Plus, older children still benefit from a reassuring bedtime ritual, perhaps including books, reading, bathtime, hugs and connection with parents, and peaceful intentions. Bedtime is a great time to connect with your children and can be a fun and beloved time of day for children and parents throughout the stages of childhood.

Myth #4: Co-Sleeping is Dangerous and Babies Should Sleep in Cribs. 

Mothers and babies sleeping together is the way that nature has designed us to parent for our survival, health, and optimal rest. Unlike other mammals, the human baby is born while still very undeveloped. Other mammal young are born able to stand up and walk within minutes, thus empowering them to be able to run from predators or find their own food. However, human babies have limited motor-control at birth, and are comparatively born much more immature due to the size of our brains. If we were to gestate inside our mothers for the same amount of time as the relative maturity of another mammal baby, our skulls would be too big to birth through the human female pelvis. Thus, evolutionary biologists call the human gestation to be 18 months: 9 months inside the womb and the first 9 months outside the womb, which is referred to as exogestation. Since human babies cannot survive on their own, humans have slept with their babies or had their babies right next to them in their sleep for millennia. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents avoid bed-sharing, however the AAP is an unreliable opinion on this matter, as the research they use to come up with this statement is includes parents who smoke, drink, slept with their babies on couches or other unsuitable locations. Research from New Zealand shows that sleeping on crib mattresses is linked to higher rates of SIDS. If a baby is sleeping alone, they recommend wrapping the mattresses in plastic to prevent toxic off-gassing. When sleeping with babies, the mother's heartbeat and breathing helps the baby to regulate their own systems which is another reason to have the baby nearby the mother, if not in the bed. I recommend that parents who utilize cribs for their infants have them in the same room as them (not in a nursery down the hall) for the first year. Also, baby sleeping hammocks and co-sleeping bed extenders have been used by parents to sleep more comfortably but with their infants close by in the same room.

I consider Dr. James McKenna to be the world's premier researcher of healthy sleep patterns for mothers and babies and his research is very sound. Please investigate. Sleep training is a new social experiment, when we study anthropology, biology, and attachment theory we can discover the science to support healthy biological sleep patterns for babies. I love co-sleeping because as a mama, I don't have to fully wake up to take care of my baby. I just nurse my baby and fall back asleep. It would be so much harder if my baby was in another room, and I had to get out of bed, go down the hall, prepare a bottle, feed them, get them back to sleep, and then go back to bed. In the morning, he wakes up, sits up in bed, and when I open my eyes he says "Hi!" all excited about the new day and gives us kisses! It's the best way to wake up. 

Last night, my baby woke up to see my husband lying next to him. Baby points and says "Daddy!" in the most precious loving voice ever. Our hearts melt. He cuddles up and falls back asleep easily, we are filled with love and adoration. Thanks to cosleeping!

Resources: 
Mother Baby Behavioural Sleep Center - University of Notre Dame - Dr. McKenna
Ten Tips for Safe Sleeping - Dr. Sarah J. Buckley
Getting a Good Night's Sleep: Another Perspective - Dr. Sarah J. Buckley
Baby Mattress Covers
The Truth About SIDS
What Happened to Ethics in Pediatric Medicine? Psychology Today


Blessings, 
 
 
The baby's experience of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum creates the foundation of the child's health and consciousness. 

A healthy pregnancy and a gentle birth creates the most pleasurable, intimate, and loving experience of childbirth for both the mother and baby.

It is essential for parents today to become conscious consumers, to do their research, know their options, and make wise choices. 

It is also vital for the mother's support team in pregnancy and birth to be gentle, loving, nurturing, and to prevent unnecessary intervention. 

Violence is the perpetuation of trauma and healing birth is at the root of healing violence in our world for the generations to come. 

We can heal humanity through birthing and raising babies peacefully and teaching them the way to be kind. 

Many blessings, 
Kara Maria Ananda
www.birthemissary.com
www.karamariaananda.com
 
 
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Glowing Goddess Kraut

Home fermented veggie medley sauerkraut provides excellent probiotics to keep digestive systems healthy and balanced, enhance optimal nutrient absorption in the body, provide a variety of vegetables. 

Eating fermented veggies and foods through pregnancy helps to prevent Group B Strep in pregnancy (which if a mother tests positive for, she is then usually required to take antibiotics during labor). When mothers eat healthy balanced probiotic foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding it enhances our digestion and keeps our bacteria in balance, so that our babies have healthy guts for their lives too! 

Fermented foods in pregnancy may help prevent or stave off morning sickness or nausea and satisfies that common pregnancy craving for pickles (where were traditionally fermented).  

The picture above shows Glowing Goddess Kraut on the left and Spicy Goddess Kraut on the right. 

Both are delicious and awesomely pink!

Glowing Goddess Kraut: 

  • Organic red cabbage
  • Organic green cabbage
  • Salt
  • Spring Water

Reserve the large outer leaves of the cabbage. Chop or grate your cabbages fine. Mix together green and red cabbage shreds in a large bowl, sprinkle lavishly with sea salt or pickling salt (not table salt). Press down in the bowl with a heavy object (I use the bottom of a mug or a jar) or massage the veggies until they start to break down and release the juices. Pack cabbage into a large mason jar, cover with outer cabbage leaf, and hold down with a large washed stone that fits into the jar mouth. If the cabbage at the top is not covered with liquid, than add a brine of salt water made with salt and spring water to top the veggies with an inch of liquid. Cover with a cloth and keep in a warm kitchen in the winter, or a cool cupboard in the hot summer, and check each day. Press the stone and veggies down from the top each day. Ferment for 3 to 5 days depending on temperature. Check the taste toward the ends until you like it. Then enjoy and store in the refrigerator. 

Spicy Goddess Kraut:

  • Organic red cabbage
  • Organic green cabbage
  • Daikon root, grated
  • Two carrots, grated
  • One beet, grated
  • One jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • Chili powder
  • Salt
  • Spring Water

Make the same way as the above recipe, but include the extra veggies and spices. So delicious and spicy! Plus hot pink because of the red cabbage and beet! I love this!

Did you eat fermented foods during your pregnancy or do you now? Let me know what you think and what your favorite fermented foods for mamas are in the comments below. 

Blessings, 

 
 
Read the first installment of this series of blog articles here:
Nourishing the Breastfeeding Mama (Part One) 
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In my quest to regain my energy and vitality postpartum and to feel replenished and nourished while breastfeeding, I have been finding support from the teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the books "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, as well as "Healing Our Children: Sacred Wisdom for Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting"  by Ramiel Nagel, and "Real Food for Mama and Baby" by Nina Planck. 

I first read "Nourishing Traditions" when I was a vegan in 2001 and a new mama to my firstborn. I was not ready for the information in that book at that time, which encouraged eating a traditional diet based upon study of healthy indigenous people around the world, and eating animal products including raw dairy, fish, and meat. 



The traditional diet counters the popular belief systems of the vegetarian movement, but also rebels against modern agribusiness culture and factory-farm food inventions including pasteurization, homogenization, and includes eating high-nutrient foods such as organ meats, raw dairy, and fermented foods. It can be a little far out there for the mainstream, but having repeatedly come back to this information and source, over and over again through the years, I've slowly integrated different parts of traditional cuisine into my culinary repertoire with increasingly beneficial results. 

First I started focusing on healthy whole fats including coconut oil and wild salmon, then fermented foods like sauerkraut, then grass fed and raw dairy including butter, milk, yogurt, and cheeses, pastured eggs, then raw and cooked meats of buffalo, lamb, and grass fed beef. Now, I'm also introducing shellfish like clams, oysters, and crab into my diet, as well as organ meats (I'm working on that one). I'm also taking a fermented cod liver oil/high vitamin butter oil blend each day - the top recommended superfood of the Weston A Price Foundation community. This provides a rich variety of Vitamins A and D, DHA, EFA's, minerals, vitamins, and Activator X, a nutrient factor that Dr. Weston Price found in special healing foods that indigenous groups considered sacred or essential for fertility, pregnancy, mothers, and children. Activator X is found in raw pastured spring butter, fermented cod liver oil, organ meats (especially liver) of land and sea, and fish eggs.

While introducing nutrient dense pastured and wild animal foods into my diet, I've phased out most grains, nuts, and seeds unless properly soaked, sprouting, and/or fermented to reduce phytates which prevent mineral absorption in the body. I've learned that whole grains, including gluten-free grains, are very high in phytates which interfere with the assimilation of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and other essential minerals. Of course, any artificial foods, sweeteners, and preservatives should be avoided, as well as factory-farmed conventional animal products, pasteurized or homogenized dairy, any non-organic foods that may be GMO. I sometimes enjoy bread when it's a delicious local organic sourdough bread made with rye, and for sweeteners I use a minimal amount of raw local honey, and sometimes organic maple syrup or raw coconut syrup. 

My top favorite dishes for nourishing meals are soups, egg scrambles or frittatas, veggie saute's with added protein, and smoothies. These dishes allow a variety of ingredients to be included in the dish to create a nutritional alchemical fusion that is easy and delicious to eat. Creating nourishing soups is super nutritious and delicious especially when made with homemade bone broth. Bone broths are high in minerals needed for bones and teeth, supports and heals the digestive system, enhances the immune system, and the gelatin supports the body to utilize the protein and nutrients in your diet more efficiently. Probiotics such as home fermented organic sauerkraut, is also an important daily staple to help the body to digest and assimilate the nutrients from the food being eaten. 


Today, daily staples in my diet are foundations of the traditional foods legacy: raw dairy, pastured eggs, organic sauerkraut and fermented foods, bone broth, grass fed meats, wild seafood, organic vegetables and fruits, and fermented cod liver oil. I make soups with the bone broth almost every day, and also drink mugs of the bone broth daily. We try to diversify our diet and eat a wide variety of animal and vegetable foods, and also drink lots of tonic herb tea daily too to support our immune and endrocrine systems. 

We love exploring our local groceries stores, farms, and and grower's markets and the local food culture is a huge source of inspiration! I feel more connected to the earth, land, and nature around me eating local natural foods. 
To me traditional foods looks like a fusion of traditional homesteader, raw food gourmet, locavore cuisine, fermented wizard alchemy, and grandma's kitchen all mixed up in a modern farmer's market shopping basket with a heavy dose of raw cream. It's exciting to connect with the earth and nature through supporting small farmers, slow food, and longevity. 

Many blessings,
 
 
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As a full-time breastfeeding mama of a 16 month old, with over 4.5 years of breastfeeding experience, I can attest to the fact that nursing makes a mama HUNGRY!

I spend a significant amount of my time thinking about food, sourcing food, preparing food, eating food, and cleaning up after meals. Luckily, I have help from my husband (and sometimes my 12 year old son). We consider our food budget to be our health insurance, life insurance, and medical care. It is the largest expense we have monthly as we feel the importance of investing in our health and longevity through fresh, local, and nutrient-dense foods.

I consider nutrition from preconception through pregnancy to be the number one source of prenatal care. During the breastfeeding relationship, the nutrition needs to grow and nourish an infant to a toddler are even higher, and it's evident why as you see a newborn grow and transform into a crawling, walking, playing, talking toddler. 

The hunger that comes from breastfeeding is greater than that of pregnancy for me. It finds me in the kitchen after long breastfeeding sessions, not able to hold a conversation until I down some nutrient-dense deliciousness. I am in the kitchen late at night snacking to tide me through the multiple nighttime nursing sessions ahead.

The feeling of having food in my pantry and kitchen gives me the greatest feeling of abundance, more than having money in a bank account. When I have nourishing food available at home for my family, I feel so blessed and grateful. I repeatedly bless and thank my food as I purchase it and bring it home, as I put in away in my pantry and fridge, as I prepare it, and as we enjoy and consume it. Blessing and giving thanks to our food is essential for us, not only to honor the complexity of the web of life and the food production necessary to bring all this food to us, but also to honor the life-force of the food itself that nourishes and sustains our body. 

Cultures around the world have honored certain nutrient-dense foods as being sacred foods that are of especial important to pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers, as well as children. Foods such as raw grass-fed dairy (including butter, cream, milk, yogurt, and kefir), organ meats, fish eggs, bone marrow, fermented foods, cod liver oil, and fresh green and orange vegetables are some of the most prized nutrient-dense foods according to the life research of Dr. Weston A. Price, and the books "Nourishing Traditions" by Sallon Fallon and "Healing Our Children" by Ramiel Nagel. 

Coming from a history of 15 years of vegetarianism, and 1.5 years as a raw vegan, the transition to eating animal products, learning how to prepare them, becoming comfortable with raw dairy, raw seafood, and even raw meat, as well as eating organ meats, has taken some intensive learning and transforming of belief systems. What I've found is that eating high-quality nutrient-dense foods, including raw animal foods, satisfies my hunger unlike anything else, and brings more lightness to my brain (literally felt as light expanding outward from my brain!), and groundedness to my body.

I am also so thrilled to be back to my pre-pregnancy size and clothing at only 16 months! With my first son, I felt it took 3 years to get back to my regular weight, though I ate what I thought was a fantastic low-fat vegetarian, mostly vegan, organic whole foods diet. Now, I eat LOTS of fat - WHOLE FATS always, and it fills me up and has helped me to burn off more weight faster. I've actually had to buy new clothes because my old clothes are too baggy on me now. I gained well-over 50 pounds when pregnant - and have dropped it all by eating huge amounts of foods with healthy fats. 

I know my diet may be controversial, however, I wish to share because I experienced slow progress in regaining my pre-pregnancy body shape after my first pregnancy, as well as experienced mineral deficiency resulting in fatigue and exhaustion, and I am so happy to have found a way to enhance my vitality and feel good about my body postpartum, as well as the long-term health of my children and family. In my second round of the postpartum breastfeeding mother experience, I am feeling more energized, more fit, and more informed. I've been doing my research, reading, resourcing, and rejuvenation! 

Eating sacred foods is essential to the vitality and nourishment of breastfeeding mothers and babies. I am so grateful to be in an area where I can go to local farms to purchase raw creamy milk from grassfed pastured animals and pastured eggs from free-range chickens, as well as a community where locally raised animal meats are available, even by ranchers who bless and pray over their animals and honor their lives with ceremony. This is changing my life, my health, and my vitality. 

I would love to share with you my family's current favorite raw tonic elixir:

The Real Eggnog

  • 3 c. raw grass-fed cow or goat's milk
  • 2 raw local pastured eggs
  • 2 T. creme fraiche 
  • 1 T. raw local honey
  • 1 T. organic cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 t. organic fresh ground nutmeg
  • dash of organic vanilla extract

Blend, pour, and enjoy!

This is super nutritious and filling. Serves two. 

To nourished mamas everywhere! 

Blessings and thanks for all the food on our planet!

May all be fed and nourished in body and soul.

Be well, 
 
 
The Healing Arts of Birth have been practiced by wise women, midwives, traditional healers, and shamans for thousands of years. Healers around the world have integrated bodywork, energy techniques, healing food and herbs, and natural therapies to support women in the childbearing year to have healthy pregnancies and births. 

Natural healing arts can offer effective pain relief and support for labor and birth without any of the negative side effects that narcotic and pharmaceutical pain relief can cause. Birthworkers, birth partners, and pregnant women can all benefit from learning techniques and practices from energy healing, massage, craniosacral therapy, rebozo, dance, yoga, sound healing, and holistic nutrition for improving labor experience and outcomes. 

There are skills from the healing arts that can provide prevention of common pregnancy and birth discomforts, as well as improve labor experiences, and reduce pain in the birth experience. Energy healing and rebozo are two areas of natural healing arts that offer simple and powerful techniques that anyone supporting a birth can learn quickly and effectively.

Energy Healing can relax a woman in labor, ease pain, and provide comfort. Vibrational medicine can be used for a woman experiencing a natural birth or with an epidural or during surgery. It is applicable to all labor and birth situations to improve and ease the experience. One birth that I attended, a mother had an epidural and was experiencing great anxiety and nervousness, and her baby was needing to rotate more in her pelvis to be born. I simply put my hands on her hips and sent the baby and her pelvis loving energy. Within a couple minutes the mother turned to me and said with a calm voice how amazed she was that she could feel that energy and warmth and how calming it was, even though she was numb to a pin poke in that area due to the anesthesia. The energy was greatly beneficial and she went on to have a healthy birth.

Rebozo massage is a comforting and diverse skill from the art of Traditional Mexican midwifery using a long woven shawl to sift or rock the mother and baby for comfort, relaxation, and to improve the position of the baby. When I teach workshops the rebozo part is often a favorite of everyone attending. It's incredible what a versatile tool the shawl is for bodywork and positioning for pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and beyond! The rebozo can be used to relax the mother, align the uterine ligaments, calm the nervous system, encourage baby to move into an optimal birth position, alleviate hip pain, support the belly, balance the musculoskeletal system, carry a newborn baby, and so much more! There are basic techniques that can be used with a rebozo or any shawl that are simple and effective for anyone to learn. 

Learn techniques from Energy Healing, Rebozo Bodywork, and much more at the:
 
Healing Arts of Birth Workshop 
with Kara Maria Ananda
September 22 & 23 in Mount Shasta, CA
November 10 & 11 in Cypress, CA

---> Find out more about the workshops and how to register by clicking here. <---
 
 
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Peaceful Lotus Baby
Yes, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of delayed cord cutting, give a baby the full experience of a lotus birth, and still utilize the placenta as medicine for mother postpartum too.

When I was pregnant last I really wanted my baby to have the benefits of the placental transfusion of blood and stem cells from the placenta after the birth through delayed cord cutting, and I was very pulled to the idea of allowing the baby to have a full lotus birth. Yet, I was also eager to enjoy the benefits of placenta medicine for my own recovery postpartum and conventional thought on this is that it must be prepared within the first day. I wondered which one I should choose? 

I asked a friend and experienced mama who had three births and she raved about the benefits of placenta medicine to recover postpartum after birth two. She then went on to have a lotus birth with baby three and also loved that. She recommended that I tune in postpartum to how I felt, and that if I needed to use the placenta as medicine I would know, and then could choose delayed cord cutting and prepare the placenta the popular way of dehydrating, powdering, and encapsulating - which must be done with a fresh placenta in the first 24 hours. 

That seemed like great advice, but still searching for a way to do both the full lotus birth and create placenta medicine I learned of this great technique from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Thanks to guidance from Whapio Dianne Bartlett, founder of The Matrona Midwifery School I had learned the way that I was to choose for the best of both worlds for baby and I. 

A Lotus Birth allows mother and baby to stay in the oxytocin high of birth and keep the field of energy contained postpartum while allowing the placenta to gently detach on its own. 

Lotus birth is when the umbilical cord is not cut, and then the cord separates from the umbilicus naturally, leaving a clean naval (rather than a rotting stump when it is cut), usually around day 3 or 4. The placenta is washed, dried, and prepared with dry herbs, and wrapped in a cloth or placed in a bowl next to mother and baby during the immediate postpartum. 

The benefits of lotus birth include that the baby experiences a gentle transition, as well as the full benefits of the physical and energetic nourishment of the placenta. The baby is the one to release the placenta, which has been a part of them since the beginning first cell divisions. It also encourages mom and baby to stay in bed, since you are not going to go the store with a placenta still attached, or even get up and walk around the house doing dishes or having the baby passed between family members and friends.

Thanks to the preparation, the placenta does not smell as it dries, in fact ours smelled amazingly good, because we used dried cedar and lavender to coat it thickly while drying. The cord changes from thick and soft to dried and thin within the first 24 hours and then begins to detach from the belly button. 

I found the experience of the lotus birth to be very peaceful and beautiful. It was amazing to witness. It felt that our baby truly had the time for his spirit to come fully into his body during the time of the lotus birth, and I was grateful for that sacred transition. The time of the lotus birth felt like a dream, it was a blissful sweet experience that allowed us to truly cultivate and feel the postpartum transition and keep the oxytocin high of birth with us for days while we stayed in bed together, still connected to the powerful energy of the placenta.

Grill it! The placenta can be used for medicine after a lotus birth by charring it with fire in the way of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

After our baby released his placenta in a full lotus birth, my husband took the placenta and grilled it outside for several hours under it turned to char. This char can be powdered and is an alchemical medicine for mother, father, and baby that can be sprinkled on food to support the health both physically and emotionally of the family. 
 
This method of charring the placenta until it turns to black charcoal, or white ash, is a practice from Traditional Chinese Medicine. As Whapio Dianne Bartlett says, the use of fire to thoroughly char the placenta makes even the older lotus birth placenta safe for consumption. Traditionally this powder is stored in a jar or vessel and sprinkled on foods sparingly when it is needed to strengthen the bonds of the family. 

To learn more about charring the placenta, listen to my interview with Whapio Dianne Bartlett on the WOMB Conference at: www.wombconference.com - registration is free and you will have access to the recording after it is released on Friday July 27th and through the year of 2012. 

Blessings,
Be a Conscious Birth Emissary:
Join the online and global training program for Conscious Birth advocates, educators, and mentors today with the JULY TUITION SPECIAL and get a free Sacred Birth Art Blanket! Sign up today for the Conscious Birth Emissary Training.
 
 
Are you an advocate for conscious birth and parenting? Are you passionate about empowering mothers, fathers, babies, and families today? 

Learn how you can be a Conscious Birth Emissary and join a growing global community creating a leading-edge birthing movement! 

The Conscious Birth Emissary Training is a global, self-paced, comprehensive and holistic course with printed workbooks, online video and audio classroom, online private support group, and personalized email and phone consultation support. 

You can birth the change the world desires for conscious birth of a global humanity!


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