It has been a wonderful 3 years spending time with my family and providing care for clients in the Bay Area, however, it is time for me to move on. My fiancee Sarah and I are relocating to Tucson Arizona. We are looking forward to exploring the Southwest, creating new community, slowing down a bit, and being able to serve growing families in and around Tucson.
Evidence suggests that Coronavirus infection during pregnancy can cause placenta damage, mainly causing Maternal Vascular Malperfusion. This means that oxygen and nutrients may not be able to get to the baby as readily, which can be very dangerous. This may also alter the way that women who test positive for Covid-19 need to be monitored during pregnancy.
Check out the full study here:
The following link has what information is available by the CDC on
Covid-19/Corona Virus and Pregnancy and Breastfeeding.
I know things are feeling very out of control in our state, country, and worldwide with the outbreak of COVID-19. Many, if not all of us are feeling a certain level of anxiety and fear about what's ahead regarding the outbreak of the Coronavirus. We're all having to do our best decision making as we navigate living through this pandemic. Because it's a brand new virus, without an existing vaccination or treatment plan, we are learning as we go, and doing our best to stay informed with accurate and current information. A link to the CDC guidelines about COVID-19 and pregnancy and postpartum is posted above as a resource for you.
As a home birth midwife, living in California, I've been getting a lot of phone calls about home birth since the outbreak started. When the "safer at home" orders were put into place, the phone calls increased. Most people right now are interested in avoiding the hospitals, especially pregnant people and those with newborn babies. This makes a lot of sense, as hospitals have always been places where people go when they are sick. Therefore, they do tend to be hot-spots for germs. I would be incredibly excited to see different buildings for infectious disease care, so healthy pregnant folks do not need to walk through the same lobbies, or breathe the same circulated air coming through the air vents, as sick folks. (This would also be great for other folks who are not contagious but need care, such as trauma victims or especially immune compromised folks, such as people with cancer, etc.). This unfortunately has never been the set-up for hospital care in our country, and during this pandemic it seems highly likely that a lot of people will not seek the care they need because of this set up.
In order to provide information, guidance, and advice from my area of expertise, home birth midwifery, I wanted to share more about the type of care I offer.
To current, potential, and future clients, please read the following:
Midwifery care with an out-of-hospital midwife is very different than the hospital/medical model of care. It involves a horizontal organizational structure that is based on collaborative decision making. There is no "power over" structure, and your midwife will not make decisions for you or tell you what to do. The midwifery model of care supports the idea that you are the specialist when it comes to your body and your baby.
Your midwives provide you with all of the information we can, so you are empowered to make a truly informed choice about your care. But in the end, you are responsible for making the decisions about what is right or wrong for your family. This can be an incredibly powerful experience and is often different from what most people experience in standard OB care, where you're strictly following the orders and suggestions of your doctors. This is why a lot of people choose home birth. However, some folks do not want this responsibility. It's important to consider whether you want this type of autonomy or whether you prefer to have someone else make the decisions regarding your pregnancy and birth experience.
In addition, attempting to have a home birth is not a guarantee that you will not go to the hospital. Home birth is safe for low risk pregnancies when labor and birth proceed normally. Midwives are excellent at monitoring birth and noticing when things are no longer normal. If your pregnancy, labor, or postpartum period becomes higher risk and we cannot remedy that at home, you may need to transfer to a hospital.
Home birth also means that laboring folks do not have access to pharmaceutical pain relief. It involves trust in the birth process, and minimizing interventions to allow the birth process to unfold naturally. If you want an epidural or pain medications, a home-birth is not a good option for you.
The most important thing to keep in mind when considering what birth option is right for you, is answering the question, "Do I WANT to have my baby at home?" As I stated, home birth is a safe alternative to hospital care for low risk pregnant folks who WANT a home birth. While I have been dreaming of a society where home birth is the norm, I want that to be the case because people choose home birth out of a desire for it, rather than a fear of catching COVID-19.
I hope that our current situation brings a greater awareness and appreciation for home birth. Of course, as a home birth advocate, I strongly believe that this is an excellent birthing option that should be available. That being said, I want people to come to the decision have a home birth feeling educated, calm, and certain about their decision. Your birth hormones work best when you feel safe. Please consider that when deciding if birthing at home is the right option for you. Make sure that you fully research and understand your decision before you make it.
If you want more information, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with myself or another home birth midwife. I'm happy to talk to you, answer your questions, help you decide if homebirth is a good option for you, and consider if I am a good fit to be your midwife.
A client gave me this recipe years ago and I recently found it. She gave me a bunch of her "Energy Balls" as she used to call them and they were delicious. They are great for labor or nursing moms as a fast and delicious way to get some quick calories in you. They can be stored at room temperature for a few days, but will keep longer if stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
2 cups cashews
1 cup medjool dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
In a food processor, using the S blade, process cashews until finely ground. Add dates, vanilla and sea salt and process until combined. Next add sesame seeds and coconut as well as lemon zest. Combine until you create a dough like consistency. Roll into balls or press flat in a pan and refrigerate until firm.
Unforseen circumstances have extended my trip in Europe. I will be staying abroad for a few more weeks. I hope to be back home in the Bay Area in the first week of November. I'm sorry for the delay, but look forward to hearing from you!
I will be riding my bike along the Camino De Santiago in Spain and will be mostly disconnected from internet and cell phones until I get back to the US. Upon my return I will be checking voicemail and emails, and will get back to you as soon as I am able. Until then, I hope your October is wonderful, and I look forward to talking to you!
Yes, there are a lot of changes happening with me both personally and professionally. I am moving back to San Mateo, CA, where I grew up, to be closer to my family. While I am so sad to be leaving Grays Harbor County and will miss the Pacific Northwest after having lived here for the past 13 years, I am so excited to be coming home to serve home-birth families in and around San Mateo County! I will be continuing to care for clients in the Grays Harbor who are due through mid July, and plan to be open for business in California this September!
Yes, it's true. La Ventana Midwifery is now doing business as Natural Birth Services. Please let me know if you find my old name listed on any directories (or in my website) that I will need to change. I know this process may take awhile, and I appreciate your help!
This is my favorite Nourishing Pregnancy Tea blend, however there are many other herbs that are wonderful during pregnancy that can help with more specific conditions during pregnancy. I have included some of those herbs at the end of this post.
Please consult with your midwife or doctor before taking this tea.
Stop taking and consult with your midwife or doctor if you have any ill side effects.
1 part Nettles
1 part Red Raspbery
½ part Alfalfa
½ part Oatstraw
½ part Chamomile
Mix all the herbs together and store in an airtight container away from heat and light.
To Brew Your Tea:
Place ¼ cup of the mixture in a quart sized jar. Add boiling water to fill the jar, cover and let steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain and enjoy!
Drink 1-4 cups daily
A little About These Ingredients:
Nettles- Contain lots and lots of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B C, D and K as well as protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Nettles can be used throughout pregnancy and they improve energy, strengthen blood vessels, reduce varicose veins, alleviate leg cramps, prevent anemia, and decrease the chances of hemorrhage after birth. It is my favorite herb for everyone, especially during pregnancy.
Red Raspberry Leaf- This herb is full of vitamins and minerals and helps to tone the uterus, and is said to make labors go faster and smoother as well as speed up the healing process afterwards. Red raspberry leaf is generally considered every pregnant woman’s best friend, although I have also met one woman who had contractions too early in pregnancy whenever she took red raspberry leaf and she needed to stop taking it in fear that it would cause miscarriage. For women who are at risk of miscarriage or who seem especially sensitive to contractions before 37 weeks pregnancy, I suggest avoiding red raspberry leaf until 36-38 weeks of pregnancy.
Alfalfa- High in protein, Vitamins A, D, E, B6 and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, trace minerals and digestive enzymes. Hi in chlorophyll and carotenes. Can be taken throughout pregnancy and may help prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
Oatstraw- A nerve tonic, which promotes relaxation, sound sleep and healthy muscle function, oatstraw is also good for bone-building, and an excellent source of calcium and magnesium.
Chamomile- a gentle nervine to help you relax and feel calm. It reduces tension and helps with sleep. Chamomile also improves digestion, nausea, heartburn, constipation, and it helps prevent urinary tract infections.
Other Herbs that can be added to your Pregnancy Tea:
Burdock Root- Mineral rich, this root also strengthens the liver while supporting urinary organs. It helps balance blood sugar, stimulate digestion and the pancreas, and it is a gentle laxative. I have read that it was originally used as a uterine tonic, and it may help to prevent herpes outbreaks.
Dandelion Leaves- Support liver and kidney function, helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and aides in digestion and nausea. Dandelion leaves are a diuretic, so I suggest avoiding them at night so you don’t have to get up to pee even more often than you probably already do.
Dandelion Root- Dandelion root improves liver function which is critical during pregnancy and can help prevent preeclampsia.
Ginger- Ginger is another great way to add flavor to your tea and may help with morning sickness.
Lemon Balm- This tea tastes delicious and it is a nervine, so it helps you relax and stay calm while helping with digestion. It can be added to the tea or it can replace Chamomile.
Mint- Mint is a great way to add some pleasant flavor to your tea. Mint may also help with heartburn and digestion.
Rose Hips- High in vitamin C to help with immune and circulatory systems.
Yellow Dock Root- This is a great source of absorbable iron while preventing constipation, and it supports liver function. It is best taken as a syrup iron absorption.
This is my favorite salad, hands down, and even folks who refuse to eat green things love it!
¼ c. Mayonaise
1 ½ Piece of ginger, minced
1-2 Garlic cloves ( I think I usually add more)
2 T Brown rice vinegar
2 T Tamari/Soy sauce
¼ c. Sesame oil
½ T. Chili flakes or fresh peppers (less if you don't like spicy)
Dash of Cumin
¼ bunch cilantro, chopped
Salt if needed
Blend all ingredients with a blender
Kale (Iacinato Kale [Dinosaur Kale] is the best to use) - Finely Chopped
Toss the Kale with the Dressing
Note: I've had this recipe for years and don't remember where I got it, but I did not make it up and am eternally grateful for whoever invented this deliciousness... so thank you.
Natural Birth Services
Creating community around women's health