Nettles

calcium, magnesium, potassium, chlorophyll, iron, vit A, C, D, K, amino acids, B complex

Energy, builds immune system, leg cramps, boost iron, supports kidneys, pain during and after birth, reduces hemorrhoids, increase richness and amount of breast milk, reduces blood pressure, helps with allergies, improves digestion, great for hair, nails and skin.


Red Raspberry Leaf

calcium, iron, vit A, B, C, E

Strengthens pelvic muscles, tones the uterus, helps with morning sickness, reduces pain during labor and after birth. Does not cause contractions, just makes labor contractions more efficient.


Dandelion

calcium, iron, vit A, B, C, D, E, folic acid, potassium

Reduces edema/swelling, supports gallbladder, lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, prevent and treat pre-eclampsia by supporting the liver and kidneys, helps prevent newborn jaundice by supporting baby’s liver while pregnant and breastfeeding. 


Oat straw

calcium, magnesium, vit A, B complex, E

Strengthens capillaries to help with hemorrhoids and varicose veins, helps with gallstones and gallbladder issues, constipation, vaginal dryness and sex drive.


How to Make Infusions

  • Hot Infusion = 1-3 tsp of herb in 8 oz of boiling water. Steep for at least 30 minutes. Drink hot. Drink 2-3 glasses a day. Used for medicinal purposes, where as tea (1 tsp herb in 8 oz water, steep for 2-3 min) is purely for the enjoyment of drinking tea. If you prefer ice tea, then double the herb used to account for the melted ice added.
  • Overnight Infusion = 1 oz of herb in 1 quart of boiling water.  Steep for 4-10 hrs or overnight.  Strain the herbs, squeezing out the extra liquid from the herbs.  Drink cold, especially good over ice and 1 quart a day. Once strained, the infusion will last for 3 days in the refrigerator.  Gets even more nutrients out the herbs than hot infusion.  This can be more intense flavor.  If you are new to herbs, start with the hot infusion.

These are some of my favorite books for pregnancy, birth and kids.  You'll notice a theme.  I am a huge fan of Attachment Parenting and anything Dr. Sears.  His books spoke to me when I was trying to figure out how I wanted to raise my girls.  The overall theme talks about tools not rules.  Use the tools that work best for you in the situation you are in.  No one way is going to work for everyone.  This also relates to life. Whenever I talk to families about parenting advice or really any life advice, I always say "If it doesn't feel right to you, don't do it.  Don't ever do something just because someone else told you to and don't not do something just because they said you shouldn't."


In life, we should always do what makes us feel good.  When faced with a decision, if one choice doesn't stand out, do nothing until it is clear which option feels good. That is intuition in its best form.  You can always trust an answer that makes you feel good.

Books

Pregnancy and Childbirth

  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin 
  • The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer 
  • The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America's Baby Experts by William Sears, Martha Sears


​Breast feeding

  • The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning by William Sears M.D. 
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Teresa Pitman


Parenting and child raising

  • The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby by William Sears, Martha Sears
  • The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition) by William Sears, Martha Sears, Robert Sears and James Sears

Herb infusions

I LOVE INFUSIONS.  I like to drink 1 quart of herb infusion each day. Nettles is my favorite.  I like it plain over ice. You can also add honey bush or rooibos to it while it steeps to cut the grassy taste.  Oat straw is great with some lemon grass.  Making an Overnight Infusion is how I drink my vitamins.  I have more energy and at the end of day, my legs and feet aren't sore.  I sleep better, too.  I really like Nettles, so I drink that every day and then add one of the other herb infusions to my daily fluid intake. Currently, I'm hooked on hibiscus.  So refreshing and full of vitamin C.  I encourage all my pregnant and breastfeeding clients to drink lots of water and I practice what I preach.  I drink about 3-4 Mason jars of infusions and water each day.


For pregnancy, I love the 4 herbs listed to the left. Just remember that during pregnancy you need nutrients to create the cells needed to form 2 extra pounds of uterine muscle; the nerves, bones, organs, muscles, glands and skin of the fetus; several pounds of amniotic fluid, a placenta and 50% increase in blood volume.  In addition, extra kidney and liver cells are needed to process the waste of two beings instead of one. It can be hard to keep up. Infusions can help with this.


Some great web sites for further reading are 

http://whisperingearth.co.uk/category/babies-and-children/

http://www.susunweed.com/

http://avivaromm.com/