<![CDATA[NJ Birth & Postpartum Doulas - Blog]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:49:42 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[A Letter to My Younger Self]]>Sat, 18 Feb 2017 14:59:51 GMThttp://wisebirthchoices.com/2/post/2017/02/a-letter-to-my-younger-self.htmlDear Younger Jill,

Things you need to know before you turn 30…

You are going to have babies, don’t believe the doctors.  You are not infertile!  I repeat, you are not infertile!  Don’t believe anything they tell you about advanced maternal age, either.  It's all a bunch of hooey.

Once you have those babies your life will be COMPLETELY altered.  You are not mentally prepared for this, because you think you cannot have babies.  Stupid doctors. You will no longer be able to "up and go as you please" or "live your life as you see fit".  You will spend all of your time balancing work, family and your social life.  This will always be out of balance.  It’s ok!  They all adapt perfectly well.

Don’t listen to your judgmental mother after they turn 5.  You will wonder if you are permanently damaging your children.  You are not.  They are fantastic.  You will also enjoy being with them when they get older.  Don’t listen to the “terrible teenager” stories.  Also a lot of hooey.

Oh yeah.  One other thing.  Your ass is going to go south at age 43.  Wear the thong bikini in your 30’s.  This is not hooey!  The good news, eyesight starts failing around age 40, so your husband will not notice the slow progression.  Just make sure he takes his glasses off.

Tons more to tell you, but all I will say is, you will enjoy the ride.

Your grown-up self,
Jill

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<![CDATA[Our Favorite Breastcrawl Videos]]>Sat, 18 Feb 2017 14:16:33 GMThttp://wisebirthchoices.com/2/post/2017/02/our-favorite-breastcrawl-videos.htmlPicture
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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<![CDATA[Knitting Keeps Me From Unraveling]]>Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:00:23 GMThttp://wisebirthchoices.com/2/post/2017/02/knitting-keeps-me-from-unraveling.htmlPicture
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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<![CDATA[Menu Monday - Easy Baked Chicken and Broccoli]]>Mon, 13 Jun 2016 12:57:46 GMThttp://wisebirthchoices.com/2/post/2016/06/menu-monday-easy-baked-chicken-and-broccoli.htmlPicture
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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<![CDATA[Menu Monday - Mini Spinach and Cheese Pizzas]]>Wed, 08 Jun 2016 15:06:29 GMThttp://wisebirthchoices.com/2/post/2016/06/menu-monday-mini-spinach-and-cheese-pizzas.htmlPicture
I love making these little pizzas for my family. They are fast and versatile. Bocconcini are small morsels of mozzarella - but you can also cut up whatever mozzarella you have at home or use shredded. 

Today's recipe comes from Delish.com

Ingredients
  • 4 small 3 inch whole wheat pitas
  • 1/2 c. part skim ricotta
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 package of frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/2 pt. bocconcini

Instructions
1. Heat broiler with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a large baking sheet with foil and arrange pitas cut side up.
2. In a bowl, combine ricotta, oregano, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly onto the pitas and top with spinach and bocconcini. Season again.
3. Brown until cheese is melted and starts to brown (4 - 6 minutes) rotating sheet from front to back halfway through baking. Serve immediately.

Today's recipe was submitted by the fabulous Renee Hennings. Renee can be reached at renee@wisebirthchoices.com. She found this recipe at http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a15528/mini-spinach-cheese-pizzas-recipe-mslo0511/

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<![CDATA[Menu Monday - Overnight Oats]]>Mon, 16 May 2016 11:55:51 GMThttp://wisebirthchoices.com/2/post/2016/05/menu-monday-overnight-oats.htmlPicture

Breakfast is always a meal I struggle with! Cereal and hard boiled eggs are my stand-bys but overnight oats have been changing my life lately! 


These are perfect for summer (no heat used) and you can prepare large batches and store in your fridge for the week. And they are also a great snack. 



Ingredients
  • 1/4 c old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1 Tbsp chia seed
  • 1/2 c milk of choice (almond, hemp, soy, vanilla, plain, etc)
  • 1 - 2 tsp, pure maple syrup, honey or agave
  • Toppings! I love to put a dollop of jam and some slivered almonds but here are a few more suggestions: banana, mango, kiwi, fresh berries, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, dry cherries, cranberries or raisins, toasted coconut, peanut butter.
  •  

Instructions
  1. For each chia oat bowl, stir together the oats, chia milk and sweetener. Refrigerate overnight (let the chia do its magic).
  2. In the morning, add your favorite toppings


NOTE: I like to make 5 - 6 separate jars on Sunday night to have for the week. Mason jars work great and they're lidded so you can grab and go in the morning!

Today's recipe submitted by the fabulous Doula Sara Sandstrom. Sara can be reached at sara@wisebirthchoices.com

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<![CDATA[Menu Monday - The Anatomy of a Meal Plan]]>Mon, 09 May 2016 19:03:49 GMThttp://wisebirthchoices.com/2/post/2016/05/menu-monday-the-anatomy-of-a-meal-plan.htmlPicture
I started writing meal plans when I got my first apartment, but I wasn’t consistent with it and I often chose recipes that took too many steps or had too many exotic ingredients.

When I was first married, meal planning went to the next level because now I was cooking a Thanksgiving style spread every week for Shabbat AND I had to make sure there was a hot meal on the table each night.

Now that I have children, all of the perfectly tweaked, multi-step recipes are useless to me. I need to feed my family, and I need to feed them fast. Meal prep looks very different now. Here are my secrets.

1.     Raid the pantry and freezer – See what you already have. Lentils, some frozen chicken breast or some taco shells can be your inspiration.

2.     Check the fliers if you have time – Choose fruits and veggies that are in season and on sale. This is good for your budget too!

3.     Gather recipes – You don’t need a formal recipe for each night of the week, just if you’re trying something new for the first time and need precise measurements.

4.     Choose one or two nights for leftovers – In our house it’s Thursday (aka “fend for yourself night” because I have to cook for Shabbat that night). Sometimes we also do leftover Sunday if I know that one or two of the dishes are big batches.

5.     Double or triple up! – many recipes can be doubled or tripled and either frozen before cooking or after. Then in the future when you’re strapped for time, you can thaw, heat and eat (more on freezer meals and what works another time). This week it’s Corn Chowder that I cooked a couple weeks ago!

6.     Embrace your slow cooker – It’s the obligatory wedding registry item, and many of my clients tell me that they don’t really use it when I ask “where’s your crock pot” at our first post-partum shift together. You need to put that bad boy to work at least twice a week.

So there you have it. That’s how I meal plan for the week. Follow us on Instagram the rest of the week @njdoulas to see how it all comes together in the kitchen

Today’s post is submitted by the fabulous WBC Doula Tzipi Sutin. Tzipi can be reached at tzipi@wisebirthchoices.com


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<![CDATA[Menu Monday - Wild Cod in Puttanesca Blanc]]>Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:09:52 GMThttp://wisebirthchoices.com/2/post/2016/04/menu-monday-wild-cod-in-puttanesca-blanc.htmlPicture
One Dish Baked Wild Cod in Puttanesca Blanc 
Today's recipe is from guest blogger Kyle Klim, DC, BS from Integrative Wellness Group

Simple ingredients with amazing flavor.  This easy fish recipe is a great break from the usual menu.  A great way to add Omega 3's and other mood-improving nutrients.

Ingredients:
  • Two to three 8 ounce filets of wild cod
  • ¼ onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 ounces organic jarred capers 
  • 10 organic cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup white wine (optional)
  • 1 Tblsp Kerrygold butter
  • 3 Tblsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Equipment:
1 large terra cotta pot or glass pyrex casserole dish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. While oven is preheating, roughly chop onion and garlic, then add to dish with butter. Place in oven to begin to cook. Allow to cook for about five minutes. While that is happening, season cod filets with salt and pepper. Remove dish from oven, then place cod on top of onion and garlic mixture. Pour in broth, wine if desired, olives, tomatoes, and capers. Cook for another 15 minutes, or until filets are firm to the touch. Finish with butter and parsley and serve! If you would like some greens as a side dish, you can easily add them to the dish while cooking, and they will wilt into the sauce. Spinach would work great for that.

Visit Integrative Wellness Group online
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.

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<![CDATA[Menu Monday - Pasta Fagioli]]>Mon, 11 Apr 2016 20:48:20 GMThttp://wisebirthchoices.com/2/post/2016/04/menu-monday-pasta-fagioli.htmlPicture
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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<![CDATA[Menu Monday - Cincinnati Chili]]>Mon, 21 Mar 2016 17:59:39 GMThttp://wisebirthchoices.com/2/post/2016/03/menu-monday-cincinnati-chili.htmlPicture
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


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