Water birth has become an established practice in parts of the United States where midwifery is strong and natural childbirth is popular. It is also gaining momentum in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Advocates of water birth say that it is safe, offering Mom drug free pain relief and better oxygenation during labor and a calm, peaceful entrance into the world for baby as the warm water simulates the intrauterine environment. In addition, the umbilical cord pulsates longer after a water birth, helping to remove damaged red blood cells from the baby’s circulation which reduces the risk or neonatal jaundice.
I birthed all three of my children naturally in a freestanding birth center with only a midwife and a birthing assistant in attendance. I chose to use a birthing tub briefly during labor with my first child. I did experience some pain relief from the experience, and I was grateful to have the birthing tub available as an option during the challenging transition phase.
The decision to give birth in a tub is a lot more significant than the decision to labor in one, however, and if I had a do-over for that labor and delivery, I would forgo the water birthing tub even for pain relief purposes.
One of the most common questions I receive by email relates to the lack of acceptance of friends and family, even a spouse, regarding the decision to eat Real Food or otherwise make healthy changes in the home.
The abandonment of margarine, Egg Beaters, pasteurized dairy, and GMO and additive-ridden processed foods can trigger a lot of debate, discussion, and stress within the home environment at first.
This pushback is to be expected and is totally normal. You should in no way be confused, distracted, discouraged, distressed, or derailed by this type of reaction.
Most importantly, never take this type of thing personally because it has nothing to do with you.
I received a number excited emails from readers regarding the recent article on cheese making. It seems that there are some home fermenters out there who have mastered the basics of kombucha and sauerkraut and are eager to expand the repertoire to include cheese.
I am a firm believer in early success when it comes to trying something new in the kitchen. This minimizes discouragement which can lead to the resurgence of old habits or relying on lower quality convenience foods. Success with a traditional food technique also increases the probability that the new skill will become part of your regular kitchen routine.
Therefore, if making cheese is your goal, I would suggest starting with the most easiest cheese I’ve ever attempted: yogurt cheese. If yogurt cheese sounds like something you’d like to try, there are four basic decisions to settle on before you get started:
Will you use store bought or homemade yogurt?
Will you use raw or pasteurized yogurt?
Will you use yogurt or some other fermented dairy?
Will you use dairy or nondairy yogurt?
Then again, you can just save yourself all the trouble and buy yogurt cheese (where to find). But, you won’t get the satisfaction of learning how to make this most basic of cheeses yourself, not to mention the budget busting price of quality cheese these days.
I am so grateful my Mom (who is 84) is still here for me to say those words this Mother’s Day weekend.
I believe it is important not only to wish our Moms a Happy Mother’s Day, but also to thank them specifically for the things they did that were really beneficial and impactful on our lives growing up. This doesn’t mean our Moms were perfect, far from it! It just means that we are choosing to focus on the positive to make sure this is registered in our minds so that we can duplicate it and hopefully add to it with our own families.
With that, I would like to list the top 10 health decisions my Mom made while I was growing up that were amazingly smart and way ahead of her time. Did she do everything right? Of course not! She would laugh at even the suggestion of such a thing!
This list of health decisions Mom made simply shows that when the intention is there to raise a healthy child, many decisions will be made correctly by virtue of the fact that you are *thinking* about it (as opposed to going through the motions) and trusting your gut when things the “experts” say just don’t add up.
The artisanal craft of cheese making in the home environment has gathered a significant amount of momentum in recent years. This trend is due in part due to renewed interest in fermented, probiotic rich, ancestral foods. Cheese itself is one of the most ancient of foods with the practice of cheese making predating all recorded history. Interestingly, cheese is also the most stolen item in the world!
Other people taking up the hobby of cheese making have become disillusioned with the chemical-ridden processed cheese options at the store along with misleading cheese labels which contribute greatly to the frustration. For example, some store cheeses are allowed by the FDA to be labeled as “raw“, when they are anything but!
Combine this with the high price of quality cheese at gourmet shops or cheese blocks shipped in directly from dairy farms, and the time required to learn cheese making seems well worth the effort.