My first baby was born in a hospital with an OB and it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life! After that I never wanted to have another child! Well, I DID, but I didn't want to have another BIRTH if they were like my first! Eventually my desire for more children lead me to do some research to see what my options were. That's when I discovered midwives! My next child was born at home with midwives and was a wonderful, healing experience. My last child was also a homebirth, and though as a 10 pounder, I wouldn't exactly call her birth "wonderful" (hey, before and after...great, but pushing the human equivalent of a thanksgiving TURKEY out of one's own body....yeah, not a whole lot of positives can be said in that moment ;) ) but I would do it again in a heartbeat! While looking for some links to share here, I was greatly disappointed to see how much homebirthing is still being "poopooed" by the mainstream! It seemed people were starting to come around for a while and now it's back to bashiing, what a shame. I'll include a couple links, but I am sad that people just looking into homebirthing are going to have a harder time finding accurate information and not fear-mongering :( . Basically, I think homebirthing is a WONDERFUL option for low-risk mothers, protecting mama and baby from unnecessary interventions (that DO carry real risks!) and exposure to superbugs!
- fill a crock pot with warm water and leave it on warm or low, with the lid off. Instant warm compresses for stretching skin
-I took this Gentle Birth Formula leading up to the birth of my second child. By FAR the easiest birth I had!
-Before the birth, make your bed, then cover it with plastic sheets (put pillows in garbage bags and tape shut and make it again (with older sheets you wont mind getting stained). After the birth you can pull off the dirty sheets and you are left with a clean, ready made bed!
- Use some to make an infusion, spritz some pads (preferably cloth) with the infusion and put them in the freezer! Soothing and healing after the birth!
- Drink lots of nettle infusion leading up to birth so mama and baby have good vitamin k stores!
- Tinctures of motherwort or ground ivy are excellent for afterpains
- If you experience post-partum depression, my favourite remedy is lemon balm! Either a cup of infusion (with milk and honey!) or 3ml of tincture 3 times a day. Blessed thistle is another good one. Up to 4 ml of the tincture a day.
Breastfeeding is SO beneficial for both mama and baby! Being so young and inexperienced, and getting NO help at all establishing breastfeeding, my first child was exclusively formula fed. My second baby took to nursing like a fish to water but because my confidence was destroyed after my first experience, I panicked when she started nursing more frequently at 6 weeks and thought I needed to supplement. Well, once she had a bottle, she didn't want to go back. She'd nurse less and less until she was 6 months and then was on formula (and lots of digestion problems :( ) from then on. By the time I had my 3rd child I was well armed with more confidence because I knew I COULD nurse and was much more educated on health and I knew this time formula was NOT an option! I fully expected her to nurse until at least 2 years but she had other plans and weaned herself entirely at 10 months old! However, at least by then she was eating such a wide range of foods and was big enough she was able to forgo formula. I miss this time with my babies so much, but I have continued to educate myself on breastfeeding, both so I can help support my daughters when the times comes, and because I hope to someday become a doula! Here are some interesting and useful links...
-If breastfeeding isn't possible (side note; some recipes call for fermented cod liver oil. I do NOT recommend fermented CLO! There is quite a debate going on about it's safety [see here, here and here for more info]. I do not give it to my family and I do not feel comfortable recommending it to others. My favourite brand of cod liver oil by Quantum Labs was discontinued, this is the one I use now.)
Since my youngest child is 10, diaper days are well behind me (*sniffle*). I didn't give cloth diapering a thought until my first child was nearly out of diapers, but I loved using them once I started! Especially now that I'm more health conscious and know more about the toxicity of the chemicals used in making disposable diapers (and pads by the way), I really recommend them! I used several different varieties of clothies over the years my children used them, my favourites were 100% cotton prefolds and waterproof covers (though I recommend leaving the cover off as much as possible!). Here are some tips and links for more information...
-If you use pins, stick them in a bar of soap between uses to help them slide easily through the fabric
- Make homemade diaper wipes, free from harmful chemicals and better for the environment: Cut up some soft flannel into your preferred size, you can hem the edged but I didn't bother. You can use baby washclothes if you want, but I found them too small for my preference. Just toss them in the diaper pail to be washed with the diapers.You can use plain water to wet them or use this homemade wipe formula...
1/4 c jojoba oil 1/4 c mild liquid castile soap (like this one!) 1 1/4 c distilled water 8 drops Lavender EO 5 drops Tea tree oil You can use this 2 ways, you can either mix and put in a spray bottle to shake and spray on dry wipes before use, or you and mix is up, soak your wipes, wring a bit and fold and place in an empty wipes container.
-To wash, I put set the machine to do a hot wash/ cold rinse cycle, with an extra rinse cycle. I used about 1/4 cup of my homemade laundry detergent (do not use too much detergent, it will cause problems! If you are using a detergent, use about 1/4 of what you would normally use, I wouldn't use more than a tablespoon. If you can smell soap on them once they are washed you used too much!) and about 1/2 cup peroxide (here in Canada you can buy President's Choice GREEN bleach, which is peroxide). I also add about 1/2 cup white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser. When possible I recommend line drying them in the sunshine (sunshine is a fantastic germ killer and will naturally bleach your diapers snowy white) otherwise dry them on a hot setting with NO fabric softener sheet!
-If your little one ends up getting a yeast rash, you are going to have to make sure you get rid of the yeast in the diapers or you will just end up reinfecting them! Common advice is to wash diapers with bleach. I don't recommend this as not only is bleach not the safest chemical to be using, but it won't kill the yeast spores! I resorted to using bleach a couple times and could never figure out why it never seemed to work! I had no idea it didn't kill the spores, so of course the infections would come right back! To kill the yeast AND the spores, wash your diapers as usual on the hottest setting possible and add 1 tsp grapefruit seed extract to the wash and an extra 1/2 cup of peroxide. Add an extra rinse cycle or two (you really want these rinsed well!) and you should be good to go. Do this all twice or even three times if the yeast has been entrenched for a while! Make sure ALL the diapers, wipes, and anything else that came in contact with baby's bottom gets the same treatment. If you have a pressure cooker you could also steam them under high pressure. 15 minutes for a stovetop PC or 30 minutes in an electric one (since they don't get quite as pressurized as a stove top you'll want to make up for the lightly lower temperatures with more time).
Found this recipe today and decided to try it out. I've never made a cornbread with vanilla in it before and decided it was an oversight worthy of correction. It was really yummy! The only thing I would do different next time would be to add just a little more sugar, as I think the vanilla would really hot off a sweeter cornbread.