Flower + Gem Essences for the Journey: The Second Trimester

Lavender

Over the next few weeks we’ll be exploring Flower + Gem Essences that are particularly useful during pregnancy, labor and postpartum (to learn more about what Flower + Gem Essences are visit our previous blog post).  The great thing about Flower + Gem Essences is that they are good remedies that, by their very nature, can do no harm which makes them wonderfully safe to take during pregnancy.

Now let’s look at the Second Trimester:

Woah, I am really, really pregnant.

You’ve made it through the First Trimester and you may just beginning to feel that you’re getting a hang of this whole pregnancy thing.  Energy is up, a desire for intimacy may be returning, issues around body and size might be emerging, and nesting may have begun in earnest.  The following essences lend support in balancing the busy-ness of being pregnant and preparing with the need for rest and stillness, all while helping to strengthen your sense of agency throughout your pregnancy.

LAVENDER “I am peaceful”

The Second Trimester can be a period of renewed energy after the First Trimester and suddenly the thought of preparing for baby feels less daunting.  Take advantage of your heightened energy, but allow time for stillness, rest, and seek activities that help develop a sense of peace.  Lavender is a wonderful essence for promoting a peaceful state of being.  Lavender also helps to protect the spirit from unwanted psychic burdens of friends, family, and strangers noticing you’re pregnant and not always making the most sensitive of comments.  If you suffer from stress-induced headaches or tend to be wound-up throughout the day, Lavender might be a good remedy for you.  One of the other wonderful qualities of Lavender is its abilities to help us mellow enough so that we are able to dream better and envision the future with more clarity.

SCLERANTHUS “I choose confidently”

Scleranthus is a wonderful herb for transitory periods where you are between two points – the Second Trimester is in the middle of your pregnancy, no longer in the early stages of pregnancy, but not to the point of preparing for labor.  Here is an essence that can help clarify the path ahead and the choices you are making which are defining your upcoming labor, the birth of your child, and the change in your life and family.  Scleranthus strengthens your inner compass, which helps with becoming more decisive, but on a deeper level encourages fuller and more active participation in your unfolding life.

CITRINE “I am energized”

The bright yellow-gold stone of Citrine is your own source of all-natural celestial rocket-fuel!  A radiant burst of energy, Citrine helps to infuse us with optimism not only because we feel energized but because are brightness is being recognized – we feel better understood.  Citrine also helps us to store needed energy and maintain it throughout the day, in part because it encourages laughter which is one of the best ways to recharge tired minds, bodies, and spirits.  Citrine helps you feel the pregnancy glow and polishes off lethargy with flourish!

We carry Lavender and Citrine in our Etsy Shop and Poppy Swap Shop.  Essences such as Scleranthus can be found from a variety of resources such as the Flower Essence Society and Bach Flower as well as local health food and natural healing stores.

Next time we will look at Flower + Gem Essences for the Third Trimester.

Reblogged with permission from Worts + Cunning Apothecary.

 

Posted in Second Trimester Tagged with: , , , ,

Flower + Gem Essences for the Journey : The First Trimester

Milkweed

Over the next few weeks we’ll be exploring Flower + Gem Essences that are particularly useful during pregnancy, labor and postpartum (to learn more about what Flower + Gem Essences are visit our previous blog post).  The wonderful thing about Flower + Gem Essences is that they are good remedies that, by their very nature, can do no harm which makes them wonderfully safe to take during pregnancy.

Let’s begin by looking at the First Trimester.

Wow, I’m pregnant (!) (?) (.) (!?)

While every pregnancy is different (we’re all unique, folks, it’s true), often during the First Trimester there can be increased emotional and physical sensitivity, sometimes morning sickness, irritability and a vast array of emotions about being pregnant.  The following Essences may be helpful in bringing balance to these various emotional states, ultimately giving space to be able to process what we are feeling and who we are becoming.

MILKWEED       I am nourished

Milkweed is an incredibly nourishing essence, one that feeds the roots of our soul.  For Milkweed, nourishment is getting exactly what we need by being exactly who we are – which is a wonderful lesson in living in maintaining the “I” in the myriad of roles we live as someone’s lover, friend, child, partner and community member.  The first trimester can bring morning sickness, irritability, apprehension, joy, excitement and extra sensitivity – Milkweed is an ally during these early days, helping us to maintain a balance that feeds our spirit in the unique way it needs to be cared for.

CALIFORNIA WILD ROSE       I love expansively

A wonderful heart opener, California Wild Rose helps us to fall in love with the art of everyday living.  The essence of California Wild Rose infuses the spirit with enthusiasm, highlighting the ways that simple tasks such as eating well, resting deep, and laughing often are powerful services towards ourselves, the world and our relationships.  I recommend heart-opening essences and herbs like California Wild Rose during transition phases in our lives because an open heart leads to greater compassion for yourself, your responsibilities and the ones you love during times of change.  California Wild Rose is also wonderful for dealing with fatigue and it helps prepare the body for the journey ahead.

CHAMOMILE       I am bright

Chamomile is a brightening essence, good for morning sickness, and is an excellent remedy for tension.  Soothing and harmonizing, Chamomile helps bring perspective to the day-to-day, helping everyday nuisances slide off your shoulders.  Chamomile is an excellent essence to take throughout your pregnancy and labor.

CERATO       I trust myself

I am including Cerato in our collection of First Trimester essences for those folks who have a lot of self-doubt of their inner knowing and their ability to make good decisions for themselves leading them to over-depend on the advice and recommendations of others.  A great essence for those who often say “I just don’t know” and worry that any decision they do make will ultimately be the “wrong” choice.  Cerato helps grow an inner confidence and shifts the process of decision-making into one full of obstacles to one full of amazing, affirming choices.

We carry Milkweed and Chamomile in our S H O P and essences such as California Wild Rose and Cerato can be found from a variety of resources such as the Flower Essence Society and Bach Flower as well as local health food and natural healing stores.

Next time we will look at Flower + Gem Essences for the Second Trimester.

Reblogged with permission from Worts + Cunning Apothecary.

Posted in First Trimester, Health Tagged with: , , , ,

Happy Birthday!

Today I turn 30 years old! Getting ready for the next 30 to be even more amazing than the first.

Baby Krystel and her Mom

Baby Krystel and her Mom

Posted in About the Midwife Tagged with: ,

My Midwifery Ancestors

Augusta Anderson Family

 

My grandmother’s grandmother (which makes her my great great grandmother?), Augusta Natalie Nelson Anderson, was a midwife. She was born in born in Sweden we think in 1860, and died in Clear Lake Minnesota at the age of 95. When Augusta was 18, she moved to Stockholm to become a midwife at the local hospital. At this time her childhood sweetheart moved to Cleveland, Ohio. She saved her money and then followed him to the United States and married him. She took a job working in a hospital, although was barred from working as a midwife due to the fact that she didn’t speak English yet as well as the myriad of laws preventing women in this era from practicing as midwives (for more information on this, read Judith Pence Rooks’ incredibly informative book Midwifery & Childbirth in America).

Augusta Anderson Wedding

 

Six years later she married Charlie Larson and had three children with him in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Her youngest died from pneumonia and Charlie died in an unfortunate and horrific train accident. Augusta then married Lars Anderson and had 5 children with him in Clear Lake, Minnesota. They all continued to live in Minnesota until the dust bowl struck and Lars and his sons (the stories I could tell you about those bootleggers) drank all of their money away and they lost the family farm. The sons piled their families into two Model A Fords and drove to Montana where they resettled. Augusta, Lars, and their daughter Alma remained behind in Minnesota until their deaths although Lars and Augusta went to visit their children and grandchildren in Montana often.

If I remember correctly, Augusta’s spinning wheel is still in the family somewhere and makes its appearance at periodic family reunions.

I didn’t even know that I had an ancestor who was a midwife until my father’s cousin (the unofficial family historian) sat me down to tell me the whole family history. Augusta is fascinating to me in part because of her employment history, but in part because there’s so much we don’t know about her. There is a story about her grandfather who was a general under Napoleon. While he was living in France, he fell in love with and married his housekeeper, which was unheard of for someone of his rank. He was promptly dismissed from the army and returned to Sweden with his new wife and had a happy family. I was told that there may have been some controversy around this housekeeper as well because she may have been Jewish (this was told to me with great solemnity and not a little bit of embarrassment and would-be denial, thank you deep-seated familial racism and anti-semitism). Truthfully, we have no idea her ethnic heritage and it is interesting to me that Augusta looks so different from my other very Swedish-looking relatives on this side of the family. She has a much darker complexion and a much more square face than any of the other Andersons. Unfortunately due to the passage of time (and likely her grandmother’s status as a lower-class woman), I will probably never know the truth behind this story. Regardless, we do know that this grandmother’s name was Natalia and the name was passed down as Augusta’s middle name and the name of her first daughter who went by Nettie. I’ve also been told that although Augusta was born in Sweden (we think), her ancestry is Bohemian and her family came from the area that is now the Czech Republic.

Sometimes I stare at these pictures of her and wonder what this woman was like, whose hands caught babies once upon a time in a hospital in Stockholm.

Originally posted on Bloody Show.

Posted in About the Midwife Tagged with: , , , ,

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

. . . . . . . . . .

Basil this moment

Posted in this moment Tagged with:

Fermenting Radishes (aka Midwifery is Delicious!)

TM Table
I loved tabling at the Improving Birth Rally and the Natural and Holistic Baby Expo this past week. At both fairs, I set up a super cute display with fresh growing root vegetables, gave away seeds to grow and prenatal tea, and generally followed the Taproot Midwifery theme. Even though they wilted a bit, my veggies were still delicious.

At the end of the day, though, I wound up with a LOT of leftover radishes. I like radishes, but there’s only so many you can put on your salad and only so many radish-heavy salads you can eat in a day. So what do you do with a heck of a lot of radishes? Ferment them, of course! Fermenting your veggies has a whole host of health benefits, most notably repopulating your gut with healthy probiotic bacteria. I recommend consuming a good amount of fermented veggies, sauerkraut, kefir, and other good probiotic foods daily whether you are pregnant or not.

It’s super duper easy to make and absolutely delicious. Here’s how you do it:

What You Need

  • 1 quart mason jar and lid (very clean)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2-3 Tb salt
  • 2-3 bunches of radishes
  • Spices like bay leaves, dill, caraway, garlic, etc. (optional)

What You Do

  1. Heat water and salt together on the stove until the salt dissolves. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Place your optional spices in the bottom of the jar. You can play around with spices and taste each time you make a batch.
  3. Wash your radishes, cut off the greens and the tails. Cut them up into slices or quarters (sixths for very big radishes). Pack them into the jar. Cover with the water, leaving 1 inch of headspace. If you have floaters, put another lid or weight inside the jar to keep the radish pieces covered at all times. Put the top on the jar.
  4. Keep your radish jar on the counter for 2-3 days until fermented and then place in your refrigerator or cold storage. Eat and enjoy! The flavor improves with time. They are excellent on salads, with corn chips, or by the forkful. Yum!
  5. Do not throw out the liquid leftover in the jar! It is chock-full of nutrients and probiotics and is incredibly healthful. In cultures that regularly ferment their veggies, this liquid is prized and considered a delicacy. Drink it down straight, put it in salad dressings, add it to soups to bring up the flavors, or use in place of vinegar in your recipes. Just whatever you do, don’t let it go to waste.

Happy fermenting!

Posted in Recipe Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

On Health Journies

For the last several years, I have been on a journey to better and more vibrant health. Eating better, moving my body more, being more joyful in my overall life, performing regular self-care, and maintaining my spiritual practice are all pieces of the puzzle for me. Step by step, things just continue to improve and get better. I feel better, I learn more about myself, I keep loving life more bit by bit.

Moving into better health is something I am always talking about with my clients. How is your diet? How are you moving? In what ways are you taking care of yourself? And frankly, to let you in on a little secret, I care that you feel good about how you move through the world, what you eat, and love the ways you choose to move your body. I do not care what you weigh, at all. I do not care if you can run a marathon, bike a century, or do a perfect yoga headstand. I firmly believe in health at every size. I care that you are putting good food into your mouth and that you move your body some every day. I care that you are making time for self-care. I see this as a journey that will last the rest of your life, not a goal to be achieved by a certain date and then ignored.

We talk about this so much that I think it can be helpful to know that your midwife is on her own health journey. The past few days, I have been feeling pretty discouraged. When I feel discouraged, I don’t take the best care of myself. On really bad days, I can find myself slipping into the space where that old tape in my head plays over and over, lying to me that I am not worth the time and effort it requires to take really good care of myself. So I struggle through, and ask others for help, and continually remind myself that yes, of course I’m worth it. I would tell each and every one of my clients no less.

One of the things that helps me the most is to remember that big changes are happening all the time. Step by step you might not recognize it. Just like how new parents can’t always see the huge ways their babies are growing because they spend every waking moment staring at them. I can’t always see the big changes in my health because I’m so caught up in the day to day struggle. And then something happens to remind me just how much has changed. Today I was walking my scruffy dog, Basil, up a hill that always used to leave me winded and gasping for air. It wasn’t until I was in the middle of sailing easily right over that hill that it hit me just how much things have changed. It made me proud of myself and all of my hard work and reinspired me to keep working bit by bit because eventually it all adds up.

What is different and better and stronger about you as you continue improving your health and wellbeing? Please share by leaving a comment and inspiring all of us. It can be physical, emotional, spiritual in nature. We are all growing and changing in miraculous ways all of the time.

Hiking the Seven Sisters portion of the Holyoke Range in western Massachusetts.

Hiking the Seven Sisters portion of the Holyoke Range in western Massachusetts.

Posted in Health Tagged with: , , , ,

Oh, Oh Baby Boy!

Oh, Oh Baby Boy! by Janine Macbeth is one of my all-time favorite children’s books. It is absolutely stunning and completely heartwarming. It follows the life of this beautiful baby boy as he is born, grows into a kind and engaged boy, and finally becomes a handsome father just like his dad.

I really can’t gush enough about how much I love this book. It celebrates families of color and perhaps most importantly fathers of color in a gentle, loving light. It focuses on the joys of boyhood outside of traditional, stereotypical gender roles. There are no biological imperatives in this book – it works for straight families, queer families, trans* dads, whoever.

It is THE book I want to share with my families with sons. I love this book, I love this story, and I am so excited to be able to share it with all of you.

“Every engaged father was once a child…”

Posted in Uncategorized

Placenta Encapsulation? We’ve Got You Covered

By Amy Haderer-Swagman of The Mandala Journey

Wanting to find someone to encapsulate your placenta? We’ve got you covered here at Taproot Midwifery.

Here’s how it works. You contact us to book your due date in our calendar. When you have your baby, let us know and we’ll pop right over and pick up your placenta. Once we get home, we get to work processing it and are usually done within 2-3 days, depending on how many births we have happening at that time. Once we’re done with your placenta, we package it up all pretty and head to your house to drop it off. Voila! Easy peasy lemon squeezy and now you can enjoy your beautiful new baby AND all of the marvelous benefits your placenta pills bring.

What about placenta tinctures?
We also offer the option of a placenta tincture. That is where we preserve a small piece of raw placenta in organic vodka. It takes 6 full weeks to make and will last indefinitely. Over the years, the alcohol will start to evaporate out, but you can just add some more in. Eventually, you will run out of placenta pills, but your placenta tincture will keep right on going. You can continue to take it for all the things you used your placenta pills for – a moody or emotional day, extra energy when needed, to regulate and smooth out your hormones. Someone folks even save their tinctures for menopause.

You can also use this tincture with your child. For all of those months, your baby hung out in your womb with its placenta bathed in the same hormones, minerals, and micronutrients that your placenta tincture still contains. Many people feel that coming back into contact with those substances reminds a baby or child of their time in the womb – that incredibly safe and protected space where all their needs were met. You can put a drop on the top of their head, rub it into their temples or pulse points, or put it in hot water to evaporate the alcohol and give it to your child orally. Use it for teething, when they are having a hard day overall, or to help calm your child down.

Overall, placentas are pretty incredible, magical things. You have lots of choices of what to do with your placenta, but if you decide to encapsulate it and/or tincture it, we have got you covered.

Posted in Uncategorized

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

. . . . . . . . . .

you and me and tea

Posted in this moment Tagged with:

Taproot Midwifery welcomes all families regardless of race, sexuality, gender, family structure, class, country of origin, religion, age, and/or ability.