Sadly it is very common for woman to have traumatic and disappointing birth experiences with their first birth.  Let us help you change your expectations and prepare for a beautiful and positive birth this time.

GentleBirth Mom Clare describes how GentleBirth helped her overcome her fears after a difficult first birth experience.
 
 
GentleBirth Childbirth Classes include a huge focus on mindfulness.  Here are 5 min mindful minutes at the beach
 
 
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Supporting mothers in establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship is one of our most important roles as doulas.  

When we talk about the first hours after birth we often tell expectant mothers to trust the baby, they know exactly what to do and the less we mess with the process, the better it goes.





The following YouTube videos show how the slow, gradual process occurs.  We all just need to be patient and let nature take its course.  You and your baby are amazing magical creatures.  If anyone tells you otherwise, come back and watch these.  

The first is a quick highlight reel video by Entrust.  
The second video is from Raising Children Network and has interviews with two mothers.
This third video posted by Jennifer Pitkin is the whole process.  This mom and baby have had immediate skin-to-skin and it seems there has been no interference.  Oh the suspense!!
 
 
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I taught myself to knit and crochet in high school.  MANY moons ago!  My favorite time spent knitting and crocheting was during my pregnancies.  There is something special about knitting baby outfits for your little one.  Each of my littles had a wardrobe by the time they were born.

I also made a blanket for each of my babies while I was pregnant. It kept my mind occupied when I was nervous about giving birth.  It helped keep me sane when I was still pregnant at 42 weeks.  It helped me connect with my baby before the birth.  While I crocheted, I imagined what their personalities would be and what they would look like wrapped in my creation.

Being pregnant in New Jersey during the winter made me feel isolated.  I found a little knitting group that met at the Barnes & Noble so I would have actual human interaction.  I kept up with them after the baby was born, too. It helped pick me up during the baby blues. They were a great postpartum support group of wise, experienced grandmothers.

As a doula, I continued knitting to occupy the "waiting time".  I always have a baby hat in progress in my doula bag, sometimes finishing them in time for the birth.  Clients sent me pictures of those babies wearing their doula hats.  My creation on their creation.  Nothing better than that.

My Stained Glass Blanket above is a version of the Granny Square found here.  It was a stash buster project and I love how it turned out.  It isn't quite a beginner project though, so this link will take you to the Yarnspirations site for an easy Beginner Baby Blanket Pattern.  I hope it inspires you to try yarn crafting!

 
 
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Today's recipe was submitted by the amazing Chiropractor, Dr Kyle Klim of Integrative Wellness Group in Belmar, NJ. We hear some rumors about a pregnancy cookbook.....We will post once we confirm;)

Ingredients:

4 to 6 chicken thighs or breasts, depending on how many servings you need
2 heads of broccoli, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley or dried Italian seasoning
2 cap fulls of Braggs apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Equipment:

2 baking sheets

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On one baking sheet, place coconut oil and broccoli. Season with salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar. On the other sheet, place the chicken, and season with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Bake broccoli for 15 minutes, until tender. Bake chicken for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of each piece. When finished, plate them up and enjoy!

You can easily substitute lots of different veggies for this recipe such as asparagus, sprouts, zucchini, or anything your family enjoys. 


Dr.Kyle Klim, DC, BS
Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in Pregnancy, Pediatrics, Gymnasts, Webster Technique Certified, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Member 

Dr. Kyle grew up in rural northeastern Pennsylvania and has been under Chiropractic care his entire life. Dr. Kyle decided as a teenager that he wanted to become a Chiropractor in order to help people achieve the level of total wellness he had been experiencing as a result of being under consistent care. With Dr. Kyle's experience as a competitive gymnast, college cheerleader, and tumbling coach, he understands the needs of the athlete in competition, balance, strength, flexibility, recovery, and performance. Dr. Kyle is also a member of the a international Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) and focuses on keeping the body balanced and aligned during the pregnancy for the best possible outcome during labor and delivery. He is also Webster Technique certified which is a specific Chiropractic analysis, soft tissue release, and adjustment to properly align the pelvis to allow for the best bio mechanical and neurological function giving the growing baby the best amount of room and positioning for the birthing process. Dr. Kyle is dedicated to taking care of the family as a whole in order for everyone to be their best every day.

You can reach Dr Kyle Klim at (732) 359-8263 or visit the office located at 
800 Main Street #109 Belmar, NJ 07719

 
 
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Pasta Fagioli
This recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  When reheating be sure to add water because pasta absorbs it during storing.  If you would like to prep the recipe and freeze you can eliminate the pasta and add it when reheating.


Prep time:  approximately 15 minutes
total cook time:  approximately 30 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
1 medium onion - diced
2 cloves garlic – crushed and diced
olive oil
6 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 can crushed tomato
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ pound of ditalini pasta
2 cans cannellini bean (white kidney beans)
1-2 cups chopped fresh spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

(if using gluten free pasta, precook pasta as per directions. Prepare recipe below and add pasta as your final step.  If you add pasta prior, it will change the consistency of the broth and pasta can easily become overcooked)

1. In a large pot, add oil.  Saute onion until translucent then add garlic and saute for approximately 2-3 minutes.
2. Add can of crushed tomato, seasoning, broth and pasta.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium.
3. When pasta is al-dente, add beans and spinach.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Todays recipe is submitted by the fabulous WBC Doula Anna Gourlay-Irons. Anna can be reached at anna@wisebirthchoices.com


 
 
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The first day of spring gave us our last burst of winter, here in NJ.  Today's recipe is a great way to warm up during these last few freezing nights!  This recipe is a copycat of the famous Skyline Chili restaurant recipe.

I can't usually wait til the next day to eat it-- it's sooo yummy! Can be served with gluten free pasta, or over rice, and without cheese depending on your dietary restrictions.

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Ingredients:
  • 1 quart cold water
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups crushed tomato ( or 1-15oz can)
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Preparation:

  1. Add beef and water to a 4-quart pot. Bring to a simmer while stirring until the ground beef is in very small pieces. Simmer for 30 minutes 
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Continue to simmer on low, uncovered, for 3 hours. Add water as needed if the chili becomes to thick.
  4. Refrigerate the chili overnight, and the next day remove the layer of fat from top before reheating and serving. 

Today's recipe was submitted by the fabulous WBC doula Cornelia Mazzan, she can be reached at cornelia@wisebirthchoices.com


 
 
This week on Bold and the Beautiful the Forresters and Spencers talk homebirth, midwives & doulas.
 
 
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Today's recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free.  Prep time approx 10 minutes.  Cook Time approximately 30 minutes.    This is a great lunch option, too.  Make a large batch and eat throughout the week.


Ingredients
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 white onions
3 cloves or 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
½ cup red lentils*
2 cups of water or broth**
1 – 10 oz package frozen spinach or 10 oz fresh (one bag)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
________
4 cups water (approximate) Depending on brand of rice 
2 cups basmati rice

Directions *If you choose to use larger lentils it will increase the amount of cooking time.
**If you choose to use a broth, vegetable or chicken is suggested.

1. Saute Onion in a deep skillet over a medium heat until onions become translucent.  
   Add garlic and saute for another minute.
2. Add lentils and water/broth and bring to a boil then reduce to low and cover for
   approximately 20 minutes until lentils reach desired tenderness.  
   (It may be necessary to add more fluid while cooking.)
3. Begin to cook rice.
4. If using frozen spinach:  While lentils are simmering, cook frozen spinach in
   microwave.
5. Once lentils are desired tenderness, add spinach, salt and cumin.  
6.  Add additional toppings/seasonings to taste.

Today's recipe is contributed by the Fabulous WBC doula Anna Gourlay-Irons.  Anna can be emailed at anna@wisebirthchoices.com


 
 
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My family loves this recipe because it feels like a special treat. I love this recipe because it tastes like tacos without all of work and has a good amount of protein.

You could substitute or add meat to the beans. Personalize this to suit your family.  

This would be great for #familygamenight ! It will become a quick favorite!







Ingredients
3 cans cooked black beans
One packet of taco seasoning or 3 T. Homemade taco seasoning
6 oz shredded cheddar cheese
2 avocados cubed
1 jar of salsa
8 oz sour cream
Chopped green onions (optional)
One bag of tortilla chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Warm up beans on stove top and season with taco mix
3. Spread beans into the bottom on a 9 x 11 pan
4. Top with shredded cheese and warm in oven until cheese is melted
5. Top with cubed avocados, a jar of salsa, sour cream and chopped chives.
6. Serve immediately with tortilla chips


Today's recipe was submitted by the fabulous WBC Doula Tzipi Sutin.  Tzipi can be reached at tzipi@wisebirthchoices.com