Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cauliflower coming out of our ears


So my Mr. is a huge fan of Bountiful Baskets.  He is happy to wake up at 6 a.m. (which is our volunteer time) every other Saturday in order to volunteer because he can get the extras that no one else wants and/or any fun extras as a thank-you for volunteering.  I personally have mixed emotions.  I know that quite a few people I have these same feelings about bountiful baskets because #1 you could end up with some fruit/vegetable that you don’t know what to do with (or what in the world it is) or #2 the food sometimes goes bad sooner than anticipated.  I usually don’t have a problem with #1. Generally, I can find some way to cook and try any of the new fruits/vegetables that I have received just by doing an online search of recipes.  Allrecipes.com is a great source to find new recipes for some odd ingredient that you have hanging around and want to use and are not quite sure how to use (and each recipe includes ratings and reviews so you can get an idea if it will be worth your time to make).  For example, I made a fennel soup recently that was on there and it was sooo delicious that my three-year-old burst into tears when we finished it off at the table that night and she wanted to have some for lunch the next day.

Reason #2, on the other hand, has sometimes posed a problem. My solution to this is to a). make Mr. write a list when he comes home of all of the things he received.  Then b.) (since I am busy teaching Saturday mornings) it is his “job” to prepare whatever he can so that it does not go bad or it’s more easily usable.  For example, he chops up onions, peppers, and celery and places them on cookie sheets in the freezer to “flash freeze” later in the afternoon, we just pop them in a freezer bag to be used whenever we need those ingredients.  I personally hate to chop so this is a great thing for me.  Then later, I take the list and make a “plan” according to when the other things need to be used by.  This has really helped us to not waste our produce so it has made me less reluctant to use bountiful baskets.

One Saturday morning Mr. came home with six, I kid you not, six heads of cauliflower.  He said some people didn’t want them so he took them.  I was a little upset because what do you do with six heads of cauliflower?  This was the whole reason those people didn’t want them…didn’t he realize that?  Then I remembered this book we have, Deceptive Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld who suggests you add puréed vegetables into your picky family member’s food.  It is great because it tells you the best way to steam/cook your given veggie so that you can puree it and use it later.  So, I asked my husband to at least steam and puree four of the cauliflowers.  He did and then brought six more cauliflowers home the next bountiful basket Saturday. I had a LOT of pureed cauliflower.

I created this recipe out of sheer craving something creamy and yummy to eat.  The only form of dairy my three-year-old can have is in the form of cheese.  Luckily, cream cheese is tolerated at our house too. I tried (unsuccessfully) to make a cauliflower cream soup with multiple things, mashed potatoes (too starchy tasting), coconut milk (weird flavors) and goats milk (which sends shivers up my spine just thinking of it it was so ghastly).

Finally, one day when I was sadly very low on ingredients as well as time, I threw this together and stuck it in the crockpot and low and behold that evening the most delicious concoction had been produced!  It was so good, the next day at lunch, my 3-year-old was stealing spoonful's out of my bowl.  In the last two weeks I have made this three times.  Now I need to buy a ton more cauliflower so because I  have sad, oh such sad children now that I can’t make this soup on a whim anymore because I am out of pureed cauliflower.

  cauliflower cream cheese soup

Crockpot Cauliflower  Cream Cheese Soup

4-6 cups pureed cauliflower

2 onions chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Turmeric(optional)

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon Pepper

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 cups of water

Directions: In a medium pan, sauté onions with butter.  When soft, add garlic, turmeric if desired, salt and pepper.  Add cream cheese and water and stir until combined to create a sauce.  Put cauliflower in slow-cooker (frozen works just fine) and pour sauce into pot and stir.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4.  Garnish with parsley and bacon if desired.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What am I sacrificing for convenience?

This is a little story about me that explains a lot of the little journey that I’ve lately been on in regards to my family and food.  It really has been quite a journey for me (and it is a little tedious) and some of it is painful for me to relate but it may help others so that’s why I am sharing it.

In January I had my third baby.  I had had a fairly healthy pregnancy (well, until I got bronchitis for about six weeks at the end) and then I spent three days of prodormal labor in a week and finally birthed my baby.  I don’t know if it is from hormones or what, but after having my third, I have felt fiercely and I mean FIERCELY protective of my children.  I thoroughly enjoyed the newborn stage, which actually was very unusual for me.  It did help that I had an incredible midwife with an amazing couple of student midwives who have gone over and beyond to support me in my postpartum and afterwards.  I felt this time like I had permission to be and do whatever it was I needed to be and do to survive this overwhelming and joyous time in my life.  There was only one aspect of this whole new-baby transition that was making my life seem out-of-control and I had no idea what to do: My three-year-old.

My poor little three-year-old who loved the baby and was so happy to be a big sister…she wanted so hard to show me that she was a big girl, but she could not get potty trained.  If she felt the urge to go #2 she would be sitting on the potty for up to two hours sometimes.  She wanted me to understand her, but she would hardly talk and the words she said were usually difficult for me to decipher.  She rarely would make eye-contact.  She constantly threw tantrums…and when I say constantly I mean like one every ten minutes or less.  It was very upsetting.  For the most part, I just tried to let her do what she wanted and didn’t push her.  She spent a lot of time drawing circles.  Teeny tiny hot-pink circles swirling in a curly-q around the paper.

Then my in-laws came into town for a week. And she was for the most part an ANGEL.  Then I thought.  “Oh, it’s just extra attention that she’s needed.”  And I was so relived that they didn’t have to deal with what I had been dealing with for the last few weeks.  It was a lovely time and I was able to sew the baby’s blessing dress.


Then the visitors all left and life went back to normal.  Well, the normal we were used to.  Big sister still threw tantrums, wouldn’t make eye contact and didn’t make it to the bathroom.  I was nursing the baby a lot of the time and watching PBS while nursing.  The ladies at my church were talking about doing a “Feel Great in 8” challenge and so I decided to join them.

One evening, while I was adding up my score for the challenge, I was watching a PBS special about this lady J.J. Virgin's diet. I found it to be really interesting and so I texted my sister and asked her if she had heard of it before.  Then she said “No, but a lot of those things she tells you to stop eating are common GMO’s”.  I was like “Huh" and didn’t really think much of that but I looked online about soy information and how it mimics estrogen and how you can tell if you’re estrogen dominant (saddle bags, back fat, and upper arm fat), things that I have struggled with since high school days to one extent or another.  That night I started really reading the ingredients on the back of packages.  Most ingredients, I had no clue what they even were.  I did however, notice a common-theme in the soy department. Pretty much everything had soy in it.  Even my beloved chocolate.  From that time on I decided to avoid soy like the plague.

Then I decided to look up the other items on her ban-list.  I had already read this article from Parents Magazine about gluten. 

We had already banned milk products the year before in 2012 when big sister had only gained one pound from age 1-2 and then went in for multiple tests at the doctor’s office only to have them repeat all the same tests and then tell us that they didn’t know what was wrong with her.  I had just miscarried and was sick and tired of taking my child in for more poking and prodding without results so I decided to try eliminating all dairy to see if that helped her.  Miraculously, in a month, she had gained 3 lbs and was finally 24 lbs.

Then I read this article from the Healthy Home Economist and I had an aha moment.  I knew why big sister was happy and darling and just plain fine while my in laws were here at the beginning of March…we were eating gluten free because my mother-in-law is gluten intolerant.  I have cousins who are gluten intolerant….I realized that my little girl may be gluten intolerant.  I called my mother-in-law and asked her a ton of questions and she gave me a fabulous quote.

A woman's intuition

I talked to my husband about my feelings and about my fears about how our daughter exhibits signs of autism.  He was in complete denial and asked her to come talk to him and look in his eyes.  She reluctantly came over to him, after much prodding and could not make eye contact…then she left us to go play by herself and her little people as usual.

He looked at me and said “Whatever you feel like you need to do, try it.”

So I took my girl off of gluten.  And guess what?!  After 48 hours she was an entirely different child.  No joke.  I was shocked.  Then I felt terrible.  How long had I basically been giving my little girl something that made her feel so awful that it felt “normal” for her to feel yucky.

In three days, she was completely potty trained.  And in one month she had grown.  She had gone from a tiny barely 2T size to be a 3T and almost a 4T with some of her clothes.  Her hair started growing like crazy and she started TALKING like all the time!  Her tantrums were practically non-existent unless she had been tainted with gluten and the best of all, she started looking us in the eyes and wanting to be held and cuddled.  I am so relieved and I feel so blessed that I was led to figure out what my little girl needed.

These past few months have been amazing as I have gotten to “know” this little girl who before was so much more silent and less interactive.  Now she loves to find the humor in things and loves to tell me things to make me laugh.  Besides going off of gluten, we have dropped many other “regular” foods from our diets and pretty much only eat things from scratch.  I use many paleo, clean or “real food” recipes now.  It is amazing because for me, I have always always struggled with my weight, but since changing our lifestyle my pregnancy weight has literally fallen off of me without me even worrying about it.  I feel younger than I did five years ago which is saying a lot for a 30-something woman who has had three children and has rods in her back.

Many people have asked me if it is difficult to have changed our diets so dramatically and I have to say, yes, it’s been a challenge, but the benefits are more than worth it.  It has caused me to reflect more and more when I am tempted to eat something that I know is not good for me but I am hungry and want something quick, “Am I sacrificing health for convenience?”.

Am I Sacrificing

When so much of the “American” diet is basically chemicals that are KNOWN to cause adverse effects, I wonder, why. Why is it "normal” to eat these things and “out there” to eat real food?  It doesn’t make sense to me that we as a society want to be healthy and naturally beautiful and yet we also want to literally eat garbage and curse the effects of eating garbage.  We are what we eat. Literally.  If we were raising a prize-winning animal, would we let anything but the best touch their lips if we have any control?  Why don’t we treat ourselves with the same kind of respect?  Is a moment of flavor worth putting unhealthy things into our bodies?  I think there is nothing wrong with delicious food, but let that food be from “real” whole ingredients.  Yes, make cookies that are full of oats, coconut, cacao, and honey.  Eat them and enjoy.  Also enjoy that if they are made from wholesome ingredients you won’t feel sluggish or gross after a sugar crash or an aspartame headache (which is worse).  I make treats ALL the time.  Ask my family.  We are not depriving ourselves of enjoying sweet treats.  We aren’t however, dependent on a sugar-high to keep us going each day.

Since I was young I have heard about chemical warfare.  Now, as I educate myself on the chemicals and “ingredients” that are added into our foods without us even knowing what they are and what effects they cause I realize that chemical warfare is happening daily between our bodies and the chemicals we are putting into our bodies.  I feel almost angry that I have been “fed like a lab rat” for so many years.  It makes me wonder if some of my health problems would have never happened had I known better.  But you know what?!  I don’t have time for wondering and wishing that things were different.  I am now empowered with information to do better.  To teach others how to feel good and to lead my family into a lifestyle that will help them feel their best.  I have the power and so do you.

Oatmeal Pancakes (Gluten-Free)


When we started this whole gluten-free thing, the hardest, most frustrating thing for me was what to do to “replace” bread.  My oldest was basically addicted to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and took them EVERYDAY to school  (he even sang the Peanut Butter and Jelly song for his Kindergarten Talent show his love is so intense).  When we announced that we were not going to give his sister bread anymore he was supportive as long as it didn’t apply to him.  Do you know how difficult it is to have bread in a house and not let crumbs end up on/in/around well everything?!  Poor sister kept getting “tainted” and would end up crying and feeling sick.

So I did the only thing I could know how to do and that is “pull the bread”.  Someone was not happy and you can bet it was Mr. PB&J.  When I tried the gluten free bread it not only tasted like cardboard, it also cost $6 + and for something that doesn’t even taste good I just was not willing to spend that kind of money for bread.

Thank goodness we came up with a solution one night when I made these pancakes for dinner (sometimes we like breakfast for dinner) and my oldest asked if we could cut his pancake with the sandwich cutter.  Hello epiphany!  Why not have pancake sandwiches for lunches?  So from that day on, I will make a big batch of pancakes, let them cool and then wrap them in wax paper and toss them in a freezer bag.  Each morning, he takes out two and uses it to make a sandwich and it is thaw by lunch.

These are a little more dense than regular pancakes but they work better that way if freezing, the more liquid you add the less dense they will be.  When I make them for breakfasts I add a little more milk than the recipe calls for.  Every type of milk I have used works just great for these so don’t hesitate to use what works for you.

These are really delicious, and my personal favorite way to have them is slathered with butter and dripping with raw, unfiltered local honey.  Yum!

oatmeal pancakes

2 cups oat flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

a pinch of nutmeg

2 teaspoons baking powder (or 1 teaspoon baking soda)

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups coconut, almond or cow’s milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:   Preheat a griddle to 375 degrees F or use a pan on the stove at medium-high. Use coconut oil to grease griddle/pan (these seem to work best on the griddle because the heat is more evenly distributed).   In a medium bowl mix together the oat flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, baking powder, and coconut sugar.  Make a well in the middle and add the milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined and no lumps remain.  Pour onto griddle in desired size and flip with a turner when small bubbles appear.  Cook on opposite side until it pulls up easily off of the griddle. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Gluten Free Granola

In April this year, we found out that our middle child is gluten intolerant.  We had been buying conventional cereal and having that for a quick breakfast a lot, but when we had to make a switch to gluten free fare, we were dying at the prices.  We didn’t trust anything that didn’t claim “gluten free” because we have learned that when the ingredients list “natural flavorings” quite a bit of the time there actually is gluten in those oh so “natural” flavorings.  Any-how, because oatmeal is good for nursing moms, we’ve been having oatmeal, steel cut oats, or granola pretty much every week day for breakfast (on weekends we make pancakes, or eggs and bacon.  Yum.)  It’s funny because at first my kids were not happy with the whole oatmeal kick…and actually there was a day when my oldest went on a rampage about “eggs and oatmeal”.  It was very annoying for a mom who was just trying to keep all  her kids healthy and well-fed without eating the majority of meals that our family was used to.  But now, my kids adore oatmeal and my oldest is a HUGE fan of my granola.

I’ve been experimenting since April or May on a granola combination that is gluten free and only has healthy ingredients to start my children’s day out with and I am happy to say, I think I finally have come up with a formula that is salty-sweet (my favorite) and just the right blend of spices too.  This recipe makes quite a bit so it lasts us just shy of two weeks with the four of us (and this includes that my son pretty much has made this his go-to snack after school everyday).  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


Gluten Free Granola

Gluten Free Granola

Makes about 2 gallons



8 Cups of Gluten Free Oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 cup nuts of choice (optional…we love cashews)

1/4 – 1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/4 – 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

4 Tablespoons – 1/2 cup flax seeds

2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast Flakes (optional)



1 Tablespoon ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 Tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves



1 cup coconut oil

2/3 cup molasses

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut sugar

Method:  Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a very large bowl mix dries until well combined.  In a separate small bowl, mix spices until combined.  Add spices to oat mixture and stir until combined.  In a saucepan on the stove on a low temperature, stir in the sweeteners until combined…do not heat excessively. Pour gently into oat mixture and fold in until well incorporated.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Pour oats onto baking sheets and place in oven to toast. Bake for 20 minutes.  Afterwards, if desired, can add craisins or raisins.


Granola ingredients

I Added this photo because when I was getting ready to make this today for the blog, my husband commented that this looked like “Food Art”.  Thank you.  Thank you very much

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Milk Boost Cookies (gluten-free)


Here is my recipe for gluten-free lactation cookies.  When my family went gluten-free for my daughter this year, I made a couple of batches of regular lactation cookies that I got off of Pinterest, and it was a royal pain hiding cookies for my little girl.  So I experimented for a while to make gluten-free lactation cookies.  I gave this recipe to my milk-tastic friend who felt like her supply was dropping.  She texted me later that day, “Holy milk-boost Batman!”  I was thrilled these worked so well for her.  So I really feel selfish keeping this happy secret to myself. I usually make a double batch because I go through them so quickly.  I hope you like them as much as we do at my house!

Milk Boost cookies

Milk Boost Cookies

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 2 3/4 cups Gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional flakes
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds or flax meal
  • 1/2 cup raisins and/or 1/2 soy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Cream butter, coconut oil and sugar together.  Add egg and beat until incorporated, stir in honey and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutritional flakes and flax.  Add dries to the sugar and oil mixture.  Then stir in oats and raisins and/or chocolate chips.  Using 1-2 tablespoons, form into balls and then place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and press down.* Bake for 15-19 minutes.

*Because these are gluten-free, once they are cooked they look pretty much the way they did on the pan when you placed them there so shape them the way you want them to look.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

10 + Things to Boost Your Milk Supply



Since my last post about post-partum care, I’ve been pretty consumed with taking care of my family.  The thing that has been the most trying and difficult for me as a mother has been feeding my babies for their first year.  I have this breastfeeding problem.   It’s incredibly embarrassing to me that I have this but I have had to deal with it daily for the first year of each of my children’s lives so thankfully, I’m beginning to accept it.  However, there are days when demon thoughts haunt me and I wonder if I have a right to give birth to children when I can’t even sustain their lives after they’re born.  I do feel that I have done the best I know how to do and have learned some great things to help myself at least maintain some supply of my own milk for my baby.OldDesignShop_MotherAndBaby1916

According to my midwife, as well as my own intuition, some breast milk is better than none and so whatever I can give my babies, it’s worth it to me to do it.  This topic was my biggest worry when I first decided to interview midwives for my homebirth—I knew that midwives are super pro-breastfeeding—which I am too, except that I honestly cannot feed my babies on my milk alone.  Of the three midwives I interviewed, one made me cry because she accused me of feeding my babies poison, the other made me cry because she didn’t think I had tried everything, and the midwife I picked said "There are three rules when it comes to feeding baby.  Number one: feed the baby, Number 2: try to do it at the breast…if that fails you need to revert to number one and feed the baby!”  She sold me and when she said that, that’s when I told blurted out “You’re hired!”.  This has been a sensitive topic for me so having an understanding midwife was paramount for me. Let me make a disclaimer that no, I’m not a health professional or a lactation consultant, but these are things that have helped me or people I know with their supplies.  So without further ado, here’s my list of 15 things to boost your milk supply.

1. Hydrate

The first thing a lactating mother needs is water.  Also if you drink beer, the hops in deep dark beer are supposed to help women lactate. I have also heard that whole raw milk can make a huge difference in the supply of some women.  In order to try that one though, you will have to find a local farmer.

2. Quality nutrition

One thing I did not understand before this baby is that quality milk is an important thing to aim for.  I’ve learned that eating real, unprocessed foods as well as eating the right fats can really make a difference in the quality of your milk as well as following this article’s advice on what foods to avoid at your local supermarket. As a side note, I noticed when I stopped eating any soy (including soy lecithin in chocolate chips) my acne went entirely away and the fat on my arms, back and thighs started disappearing. On top of what the articles’ suggest, eating more foods like avocados, olives, and hazelnuts that have good fats can raise milk quality as well.

3. Frequency

I know you’ve heard this before, but it’s true.  Let that baby on the breast as much as s/he wants to. I know that it’s nice if baby only wants to eat every 3 to 4 hours, but really?  How often do you want even just a little drink?  Babies are made to nurse when their needs go up so if they are wanting to get on more, let them.  Pumping for 15 minutes four extra times a day can help raise supply too.  Just remember that your baby is more efficient than a pump so don’t freak out if you don’t get anything in the pump, you also may need a different flange size for your pump to work optimally for you and your breast size.  Also, renting a hospital-grade pump can help with this and some insurance plans will even pay for the rental or getting you a good pump yourself so do call your insurance and see if this is an option for you.

4. Old Fashioned Oatmeal

I notice a huge difference when I eat a lot of oatmeal.  This is why I eat old fashioned oatmeal, steel cut oats or homemade granola every morning for breakfast.  I buy gluten-free oats which I will explain further down the list.

5. Lactation Cookies

There are many recipes for lactation cookies online.  I have created my own recipe however that is gluten-free.  Whenever I feel like I am dropping in my supply, I whip up a batch of these yummy things and eat them with abandon.

6. Placenta Capsules

These things are like little magic pills.  I hear that for some women, they make mountains of milk on these.  I don’t make mountains but I feel like these are what is keeping me from drying out.  They really do keep the “crazy” at bay on those days when you feel like your hormones are taking over.  I only have a few left so I save them for “special” occasions.

7. Fennel Oil

I am so glad I learned about fennel.  Initially, my husband bought some of the seeds because of my midwives recommendation and brought them home and ground them and then made a tea out of them right after baby was born.  It occurred to me that the oil would be more potent so I asked my friend who sells oils if she had any.  I put a couple of drops in a glass of water but I do have to be careful, the oil tends to float and I have burnt my lips from too much getting on me at a time.  Another option is to put some drops in a capsule and then just swallow it.  My friend does this because she hates them smell of fennel.  Fennel smells like black licorice (personally, I like it).  An added benefit of fennel, besides upping your supply, is that it relieves baby of gas.  You read that right.  Especially before babies get to crawling, they tend to get gassy and either have to burp or toot it out and we know what that means….less sleep for momma.  I drank water with fennel religiously when I realized when I didn’t had a direct correlation to the nights I stayed up burping my crying baby in the middle of the night.  This reason alone for me makes the $20 I spent per bottle completely worth it…plus it takes a while to go through a bottle at least a month or two.

8. Mother's Life Tea

This tea is a great way to help your supply too.  It comes in a two-pound bag so that means it makes 20 gallons worth of tea so though it seems expensive, it is worth keeping your supply up.

9. More Milk Plus

You can find this at your local wholefoods or at amazon.  Personally, I prefer a nearby baby boutique to buy this.  This is pretty expensive so I have taken this, with the tea and fennel when my supply has completely tanked before.

10. Goat's Rue

This one is in tincture form so it’s nasty but if you’re desperate, it’s worth a try.  I found out that this herb is what they feed girls who are going through puberty in Europe to make sure that their bodies develop enough breast-tissue.  This will definitely be something that I want to find in future for my daughters when they are developing.  Anything I can do to avoid them going through what I have is worth extra work to me.


Okay, Now let’s talk about some things I’ve learned to avoid that have made a difference in supply.

11. Go gluten-free

This was a hard decision for me initially.   After lots of deliberation over some health problems my three-year-old daughter was having, I decided to take her and the entire family off of gluten.  Low and behold, I noticed that my supply was staying much more steady than ever before!  Then I read that gluten can actually be an inflammatory for some people and though they show no other symptoms it can lower their milk supply….this is why I created gluten-free lactation cookies.

12.  Avoid certain herbs

Oregano, thyme, sage and the mints all do something to lower your supply.  This is a shame because I adore oregano.  When I got mastitis this time, I took oregano oil which worked remarkably well (within 12 hours I was completely better) but I had completely dried out.  Big bummer.  Luckily, I had an arsenal of things to take to get my supply back up stat so it was only a few hours that I was all dried up and I just kept that baby on her regular schedule though she was pretty mad at me.

If you’re having supply problems, I hope that you can get some help from the list above.  If all else fails, please, contact a good lactation specialist and/or contact your local la leche league.  I have been to many a lactation specialist and some are better than others.  One of the things that I do is use an SNS because if I didn’t my babies would literally starve to death.  With my first and second, I used powdered formula.  Since then, I have learned how dangerous infant formulas sold in stores actually are, and I believe that they have contributed to my older daughter’s gut problems (As a side note, doesn’t it seem strange that the top ingredients in formula; milk, soy and corn, are also on the list of the top 6 allergens in the country?).  I have been incredibly blessed with this baby to have found angelic women who have been incredibly generous to me and my baby who have donated milk to her and she has received donor breast milk for all the milk that I have not been able to supply.  If you are not able to supply your child with the amount of milk that they need and you’ve exhausted all the possibilities, there are wonderful, amazing women on milk-sharing websites such as Eats on Feets and Human Milk 4 Human Babies.  These sites have local chapters on Facebook where you can meet and screen donors and if you make too much milk, sharing with others is greatly appreciated.  If you are not comfortable with human milk sharing, it’s understandable.  It took me a lot of research and prayer to wrap my head around it.  Something that would be better than powdered store-bought formula would be to make your own Homemade formula.  Having milk supply problems is a very painful thing for a mother who’s greatest instinct is to take care of her child.  I never feel so panicked as I do when I realize my freezer is getting low on milk.

Hopefully, this post will help someone.  If there is anything that you have to add, or something in here helps you, please, comment below!  I would love to hear your experience.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

10 Home Remedies for Postpartum Care


Two months ago, I gave birth to baby #3. For different reasons I chose to give birth at home with a midwife.  My motivation initially was for financial reasons…birth in the hospital without insurance that will cover maternity care is expensive, and besides, since I have a fused spine I have to give birth naturally without an epidural anyway, so why not do it at home?  I honestly have to say this was my most favorite birth experience of the three.  You can read my full birth story here on my family blog if you’re interested.


Here’s a photo of me with my new baby girl right after she was born.  Not the most flattering photo of me but it was a truly amazing moment.  One of the things that has me raving about my birth is that I have learned sooo much this time about caring for myself after giving birth.  If you remember, this is my third time giving birth (I’ve said that a couple times now haven’t I? Winking smile) so I thought I had this birth thing pretty much down when I first stepped into my midwife’s office…boy was I wrong. 

Well, after some months of feeling the best I have after giving birth that I’ve ever felt, I’ve decided that it’s selfish not to share what I’ve learned about taking care of me after birth so if you or someone is about to have a baby, you might want to listen up.  I’m not sharing this for my health but other mommas because this really has helped me.  I’m going to add that these are just suggestions that you may want to talk to your provider about using.


For Momma

1.Vitamin K






My midwife suggested I start taking vitamin K once I reached 34 weeks. This is to help prevent hemorrhaging after birth.  This really helped and my midwife was shocked at how little blood loss I had.  You can get it here.

2. Afterease


This stuff is remarkable for cramps!  With my first child’s birth they gave me Percocet and that didn’t even work as well as this stuff…plus I feel like garbage on Percocet and Afterease does not have any side effects.  You can take a dropper full every 15 minutes after birth and it works wonders especially when coupled with Ibuprofen every four hours (which I remind you never to take until after you have had a baby).  I do have to warn you that it is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever put in your mouth so you may want a chaser of something not disgusting!  With each child your cramps get worse so this stuff was a godsend!

3. Ibuprofen

Tylenol just does not compare to the power of Ibuprofen for cramp relief but be cautious when using this (and make sure you never take it while pregnant) because it is harsh on your liver and you want to take the lowest dose you can stand at all times. 

4. Arnica

This is a homeopathic medicine for swelling…honestly, it works amazingly well.  I looked this up on the internet and some people clam that arnica is sugar pills and a placebo…whatever!  If this happened to be true then my lower regions respond very well to placebos because if I forgot to take this I would be reminded pretty soon by my body that I needed my dose. Smile You can get this at sprouts or www.birthwithlove.com.

5. Padcicles

This is something I learned about from Pinterest and holy cow!  They are A-MAZ-ING!  I made 24 before giving birth and wish I had made double….my poor 7-year-old boy was my runner to get one out of the freezer when I needed to use the restroom but luckily he was happy to have a chance to hold the baby so he didn’t complain about it much. 

6. Pineapple Juice

Another fabulous thing that I learned about from another blogger.  100% Pineapple juice is an anti-inflammatory so this really helps with clogged milk ducts.  I have always had problems with filling lumpy and in pain while nursing—until I learned to have my daily dose of Pineapple juice that is.  Now I am much more comfortable.

7. Encapsulation

For those of you who don’t know about this I have to tell you the first time I heard about this was at a La Leche League meeting for my second child and I was a little bit weirded out by the whole idea of it.  However, there were many many women there who went on and on about the benefits of encapsulation—it helps prevent post-partum hemorrhaging, regulates your hormones so you’re less likely to have the baby blues, (you also may get really great skin as a benefit), and it helps with milk supply among other things.  If you think about it all the mammals in the natural world (that I know about) eat their placenta after giving birth so I’m putting it out there that maybe it’s a natural thing to do even though culturally that just is too weird for some people.  My suggestion is to look into it and do some research before blowing the idea off completely because you may be glad if you do try it.

For baby

8. Goldenseal

Goldenseal is a natural antibiotic so it only makes sense that my midwife gave me some capsules of it to sprinkle on my babies cord with each diaper change to help her cord dry and protect it against infection.  It’s a bright yellow powder so it pretty much matches the same color as breast-milk poop.  This was a little bit weird to see on her skin because of the bright color but I felt it helped keep it dry without harsh chemicals.

9. Castor oil

This is a trick I wish I had learned with my first two so much in the early days.  You know that black tar-like meconium poop that babies pass in their first couple of days?  You know how it’s super sticky and you have to practically scrap it off your brand-new baby’s bottom?  Well, with this trick you won’t have any more problems.  After each diaper change, rub a little castor oil on your baby’s bottom and you will be thrilled that the poop will just come off easily in their diaper. *Sigh of relief* Such a nice feeling!

10.  Coconut oil

Okay, some people are not going to like me for saying this, but baby oil is gross. Not only that, it smells weird and is full of chemicals that honestly, I’m not sure I want touching my brand-new baby’s skin.  My little girl came out with dry little hands so I would just lightly message her hands with coconut oil and it was amazing how her skin drank it up and she smells divine!  Oh, and she never got cradle cap because I just would message her sweet little head with coconut oil and that seemed to be the perfect remedy….I’ve heard some people suggest olive oil but I personally think coconut oil is better because it is absorbed so quickly into the skin it won’t make a big mess and it smells less like dinner to me. Smile

Another thing that I should add is that my midwife wanted me to basically stay in bed for 3 whole DAYS after I had my baby!  She didn’t even want me to venture downstairs at all….which I might add was pretty hard mentally for  me to wrap my head around because I’m usually all over the house all day.  Well, I obeyed her orders and went downstairs on the 4th day one time and up one time and added one more time each day.  It did seem to help me heal much faster.  And…it was nice to stay in bed and cuddle my new baby for days on end! Smile 


I hope you can benefit from one if not all of these suggestions.  I know I have.  If you have anything to add to it, I’d love to hear your suggestions!