Infections & Essential Oils

Natural Cold & Flu Remedies

flu and coldNatural remedies are our primary and almost exclusive recommendation for seasonal ailments. We encourage our clients to educate themselves and prepare ahead so they are equipped when and if they face these exceptionally inconvenient circumstances.

Although the common cold or influenza can be extremely debilitating during pregnancy, it should not be a threat to you or your baby. If you have a prolonged fever or particularly high fever however, you should consult your nurse-midwife or medical practitioner.

Recommendations for Management

Rest alone, at the start of a viral or bacterial infection can help shorten its duration. 

Mouth breathing at night can dry out your respiratory system and if you have an illness, this is particularly irritating. A vaporizer or humidifier can improve symptoms, although avoid the “cool misters” as they are not only less effective, but can breed bacteria.

Some foods are best avoided during a cold, as they can actually create more mucous during a respiratory illness. The biggest offender, cow dairy. Milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream can make mucous thicker and more abundant, coating the back of the throat creating a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Other foods that can contribute are wheat products and for some people, particularly children, citrus juices. Stay away from smoke.

Extra water is important for thinning secretions and eliminating bacteria. Aim for half your weight in ounces of water or a cup of fluid every two hours, even more if you’re feverish. Avoid alcohol, carbonation and caffeine. Warm fluids can encourage white blood cell activity, enhancing healing. A Lemon-Ginger Echinacea drink can be found in most health food stores, or a glass of water with honey and lemon can be soothing.

Saline nose sprays are made of salt water, similar to your body’s own fluid, and can help moisten your nasal passages, clearing mucous and bacteria. If you can pry the top off the bottle, adding 5 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract can greatly enhance its anti-bacterial effect. Don’t share nasal sprays and throw them away after an illness. Resist over-the-counter medicated nasal sprays as they are addicting in as little as three days.

Echinacea is an herbal supplement that is believed to boost the immune system to help fight infections. Tincture form seems to work better than capsules. When sick use 2-3 droppers full in about 1 ounce of water or juice, taken 3-4 times each day. If you are using it as a preventative, use 1-2 droppers full once a day, for one week a month during the winter. Evidence suggests echinacea as a safe pregnancy option.

Some studies support zinc as an antiviral. This mineral apparently helps prevent the formation of certain proteins the cold virus requires to reproduce. It doesn’t appear to prevent colds but can shorten the duration of a cold and reduce the severity when taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Dilute grapefruit seed extract into the saline nose spray, 5 drops in 1.5 ounce bottle, or gargle with 10 drops diluted in about 1/2 cup of water. Grapefruit Seed can also be taken orally (10 drops to 1 cup of water or juice) 2 to 4 times each day. There is also a pill form which you’d take as directed on the bottle – less if just feeling like you’re getting sick, more if you’re already sick.

Vitamin C can both reduce symptoms, shorten the duration of a cold, and one study suggests it can even prevent colds. The suggested dose is 250mg every 2 to 4 hours if you are sick, with the maximum daily intake of Vitamin C for adults is 2,000 milligrams. If you have loose stools, take less frequently.

Grandma was a smart woman. Chicken soup may help cold symptoms in more than one way. Inhaling the steam can ease nasal congestion. Sipping spoonfuls of fluid can help avoid dehydration. And some advocates say the soup may soothe inflammation. Researchers have also found chicken soup to have anti-inflammatory properties.

tea kettle w flowerDrinking hot tea offers some of the same benefits as chicken soup. Inhaling the steam relieves congestion, while swallowing the fluid soothes the throat and keeps you hydrated. Black and green teas have the added bonus of being loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants, which help fight colds. Try lemon balm, chamomile, or elderflower and, in moderation, ginger or dried yarrow. However, avoid yarrow during the first trimester.

Garlic has long been touted for legendary germ-fighting abilities. Some take garlic capsules, others swallow garlic cloves whole, and still others favor garlic lemonade. Simply boil water for lemonade and then seep four or five cloves for twenty minutes within the water. Remove cloves and mix in freshly squeezed lemon juice and honey. Take with vitamin C for an additional boost.

If you are experiencing sinus pressure, there are a few tricks that can offer relief.

Craft a bean bag, or make a simple version with rice in a tube sock. Leave enough room to tie a knot at the ankle. Heat in the microwave and place over your sinus area while you rest. The Red Raspberry Boutique offers a nice bean bag with flax seed, rice, rosemary, camomile, lemon grass, and lavender flowers.

An ounce of dry rosemary or 3 drops of rosemary essential oil in a pot of boiling water can help open sinuses. Stir and cover 5 minutes, then take off the heat and sit over the steam, breathing it in. You can put a towel over your head to hold the steam in, but be careful not to get burned.

Pressure points can provide relief for sinus pressure as well. Massage the inner corners of your eyebrows, the middle of your eyebrows and the cheekbones beside the opening of your nose. Press and massage for one minute for relief.

The Neti Pot, an invention from India, helps wash out mucous that you cannot blow out. Simply add warm water and pour through your nose, up one nostril and out the other. Using it every day lessons colds as it washes away viruses and bacteria before they have a chance to set-up residence in there.

A few tricks for chest congestion include Mullein leaf tea or tincture, massaging pressure points on your chest where your ribs attach to the breastbone, and kelp 1-2 every few hours with a glass of water.

Sore throats can be relieved with elderberry syrups or lozenges, slippery elm lozenges or sprays which can help numb, and a salt water gargle (one teaspoon of salt per cut, gargle, letting the water get as far back into the throat as possible).  The Red Raspberry Boutique offers slippery elm Throat Coat tea, as well.

If your ears feel congested, blocked or ache a little, use Olive or Lavender oil Ear Drops (diluted in olive oil). Do not use if eardrum is perforated or you have ear tubes.

Allergies are yet another reason many suffer the above symptoms. Natural remedies and some of the food eliminations mentioned below can greatly relieve symptoms.

Pantothenic Acid (PA) which is a B Vitamin and Vitamin C with bioflavinoids has been suggested to assist those with allergies. Take 25-30mg of PA and 250mg of Vitamin C with bioflavinoids, three times a day, for the first three to five days, then as you notice improvement in symptoms, decrease to two times a day for three to five days, then try once a day. If a seasonal allergy sufferer, take these vitamins once or twice a week on the “off” season and when the “on” season approaches, symptoms should be controlled with either once a day dosing or even every other day.

Avoid diary foods, wheat and maybe even citrus. Try an elimination diet by taking out all of these foods for at least a month, and then add them back, one at a time. The fewer processed foods you eat, the healthier your body, the less you should experience allergy symptoms.

Important Reminder

Let your fever work. It is your body’s natural remedy for actively fighting colds and the flu by making your body inhospitable for germs. Endure a moderate fever for a couple of days to get better faster. Stay well hydrated. Call your provider if your fever is more than 101 if pregnant, and 104 if it doesn’t come down quickly with treatment while non-pregnant. In newborns 3 months or younger call their provider for any fever greater than 100.4. Children with a fever less than 102 usually don’t require treatment unless they’re uncomfortable.


Hirkani’s Daughters- a Book Review



The title of this wonderful collection of memoirs comes from an Indian folktale, in which a mother’s love for her child is so strong that she escapes a walled city at night and climbs down a cliff in order to feed her child.  Though modern mothers may not often encounter these same sorts of geographic barriers to breastfeeding, cultural and societal cliffs do interfere for so many mothers wishing to give their milk to their children.

The book divides mothers’ personal stories by continent, but the memories shared are universal.  Mothers all over the world long to provide the nutritional and emotional benefit of breastfeeding while still contributing financially to their family.   Jennifer Hicks points out in her introduction that women have always worked and cared for their children, and that many women continue to work in both paid and unpaid jobs while nurturing children  all over the world.  This book compiles compelling memoirs of those who work outside the home and express breastmilk in all sorts of jobs all over the globe.  Mothers share their stories in their own words.  Particularly compelling were those of a Mexican housemaid who was encouraged to breastfeed by her employer (after having switched to formula) and the story of the mother of four who breastfed her last child after chemo and mastectomy.  With only her heart on her left side, she still nursed her baby with her remaining breast!

A beautiful collection, which also highlights public policy surrounding breastfeeding!  Recommended for anyone who has lactivist leanings, interest in public health, or who just enjoys reading the stories of women and their nursing babies around the world.  The push for maternal leave and positive workplace policy surrounding breastfeeding and milk expression  must continue in the US.  There is more work to be done!



Considering the Cost

Paying for maternity care out-of-pocket is a concept outside the comfort zone of many Americans. More than half of all births in Indiana for example, are covered by Medicaid. Our money pursepractice has discontinued our participation within the Medicaid program, however, and have ceased filing insurance claims with third party payers. Homebirth is certainly not mainstream, so as couples explore their options, considering the cost of homebirth is high on the list of discussion points.

The number one reason couples choose to birth at home is because they believe it to be the safest option (Boucher, Bennett, McFarlin, & Freeze, 2009). Unfortunately we live in a society in which our healthcare infrastructure demands the movement of patients through clinic visits with the efficiently of an assembly line and providers thrive best by securing those procedures which will return the highest dollar. Maternal and child health, however, suffers under these terms. Midwifery is the answer, but its model is juxtapose against the medical model and therefore, struggles to get a foothold within the current infrastructure. If the childbearing family seeks care that is time-intensive, education-rich, and intervention-free, they will need to personally invest.

Consider the cost one pays when they purchase their teenage child their first dependable car, or pay for the insurance to cover their young driver a single year. These expenses are both likely greater than the expense of securing the care of a nurse-midwife for the entire child-bearing year. Our maternity fee is a mere fraction of what parents pay for a single term at a private college, and one-fourth of what the average young couple pays for their wedding in the United States, not including the honeymoon or engagement ring.

A wedding is a single day. A term of college is but a few short months. A car may last ten years if one is lucky. The care of your midwife will last an entire lifetime. We do not apologize for our fees or not accepting insurance and Medicaid. In fact, we believe are fees are far too low for the standards of our society. Our nurse-midwife earns less than bedside nurses, and none of our staff have medical insurance. However, we each live within our means and we appreciate the autonomy to practice our passion. As expenses increase through the years, so will our fees. We challenge you to find a better investment for mom and baby, than midwifery care for the childbearing year.

Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks

We had a lovely abundance of zucchini this year and so I’ve been looking for new recipes. I found this one in Please share your own favorites and if you try this one, give us a review.

Zucchini Sticks

Cooking spray
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), cut into 1/2-by-3-inch sticks
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 475. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Combine flours, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a large sealable plastic bag. Dip zucchini in egg white, shake in the bag to coat and arrange, not touching, on the baking sheet. Coat all exposed sides with cooking spray.
3. Bake on center rack for 10 minutes. Turn the zucchini and coat any floury spots with cooking spray. Continue cooking until crisp.

Organic Baby: Simple Steps for Healthy Living by Kimberly Rider


Organic Baby is a visually appealing general reference book whose purpose is “to help you create the most healthful pleasing environment you can for your baby.”  It is divided into sections with pastel colored tabs marking each- “gear”, “the nursery”, “baby food”, “what comes closest to baby’s skin?”, “out in the world”, and “resources”.  No specific recommendations are given for products in this book, which makes it of limited value.  Further, the author doesn’t give any scientific explanations or information about her statements- are permapress drapes really a concerning health risk for a home?  Is organic cotton bedding really safer?   Suggestions are limited- ideas like a natural crib mattress, hard flooring instead of carpet, and organic bedding are discussed.  Paint is also discussed- she mentions low VOC paints as a healthier alternative.  After telling the reader that crib mattresses are made of petrochemicals sauced in “a slurry of toxins” the author reassures the reader that if she can not afford a natural mattress she has not “failed” her child.  No brands are referenced.  No sources are endorsed.  No recommendations are made.

The author is an interior designer, not a parenting expert, and that is clear through out the book.  This is a pretty book to flip through, but for real information about creating a healthy home for your baby, look elsewhere for specific suggestions, sound reasoning, and clever ideas.  The section on infant feeding is especially weak, but does include a handful of recipes and the ubiquitous freezing instructions you may have already heard from your own mother (freeze baby’s foods in ice cube trays). The section on car seats fails to mention crash test safety ratings and easy installation, the two most important facets of car seat safety. The author barely scratches the surface of the multitude of slings, wraps, and infant carriers available.

Most of our well informed Believe Midwifery Services Moms will already be familiar with any information presented in this book.  Many will enjoy flipping through for the attractive presentation, but most will prefer better sources of real substantial information.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is thought to be the most common gynecologic condition among women of reproductive age, affecting up to ten percent of the population and up to 30% of those without menses, 75% with irregular menses, and up to 90% of women with hirsutism. Only within the last two decades has this condition become well recognized and treatment plans been standardized.

RibbonPCOSOvarian dysfunction is typically the catalyst for diagnosis. Women generally have no menses or rarely menstruate when they suffer with PCOS, certainly leading to infertility. Women with this condition often have male hair patterning, as well as, acne. Cysts on the ovaries are not necessary for diagnosis, as many women have cysts without additional symptoms, and others have a number of symptoms, but are without the ovarian cysts.

What is the Cause?

PCOS is still being explored but experts agree that the underlying issue is a hormonal imbalance, combined with insulin resistance, that promotes an increase in androgen production (Shannon & Wang, 2012). It is not known what triggers these hormonal imbalances, although there does seem to be a genetic link, but once the process initiates, it is a tough spiral to escape.

Luteinizing hormone hypersecretion is the hallmark of PCOS. Women with this condition will have both an increase in the frequency and amount of secretion, which subsequently stimulates an increased androgen production by the ovary. Women with PCOS have a higher incidence of insulin resistance, whether obese or not obese. Nearly half have impaired glucose tolerance and ten percent will develop diabetes by the age of 40 . Women with PCOS and hyperinsulinemia typically have higher levels of testosterone and suffer from mild acne to increased hair on their face, neck and abdomen. They may carry weight around their midsection, have male-pattern baldness, velvety skin and hyperpigmentation, suffer from vocal chord thickening or have an enlarged clitoris (King, 2006; Richardson, 2003; Shannon & Wang, 2012).

Finding Help

Nurse-midwives are well placed to make an early diagnosis of PCOS and to help manage symptoms so that clients avoid the long-term consequences of the condition, such as diabetes and heart disease. Depression and infertility are also well addressed under the care of a nurse-midwife. The first step is identifying the problem, which is typically done through obtaining a detailed history. A physical exam will be provided and labs will be suggested, if only to assess overall health.

The treatment for PCOS can be complex, but start with lifestyle modifications. Numerous medications and protocols have been developed, but an individualized treatment plan can be designed based on the most pressing concern and ultimate goals of the client. Women hoping to become pregnant, should be provided preconception counseling and evaluation as well.

If you feel you are suffering with PCOS, call our office to see how we can assist you in finding optimal health. 765-436-7527


King, J. (2006). Polycystic ovary syndrome. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 51(6), 415-422.
Richardson, M. (2003). Current perspectives in polycystic ovary syndrome. American Family Physician, 68(4), 697-704.
Shannon, M. & Wang, Y. (2012). Polycystic ovary syndrome: a common but often unrecognized condition. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 57(3), 221-230.


Guest Post: Tamrha Richardson

Tamrha Richardson is a certified doula and works as a midwifery assistant for our practice. She has allowed me to share some of her insights.

In the six years that I’ve worked as a Birth Doula, 99% of the births I attended, before working with the team at Believe, were in hospitals on Long Island and in New York City. While there were many beautiful, natural births that I was blessed to see and support, there were also many births that made me question my ability to continue to support hospital births. I worked hard to help my clients find the evidence-based information they wanted, taught them the proper ways to ask a question of their care providers in order to get all the information they needed, helped them with Birth Wishes lists, went to prenatal appointments with them, all to prepare for the births they were told that their care providers would support them in.
So many times I saw the rules change once labor was under way. Sometimes a mother who was told that she could have the natural birth she wanted would be pushed into an induction. Other times the skin to skin she advocated for would be nowhere in sight. The clients who signed up for Baby Bonus programs – where the baby would never leave their sight for a minute, not even for infant exams and screenings – would find that the hospital wasn’t really doing that program and their babies would be taken away after a half hour or if we were lucky, an hour. Obstetricians who said they supported VBACs would suddenly be rupturing membranes at 2 cm, inserting monitors and before long that vaginal birth was gone, and they were in the OR again, if they weren’t pushed into a cesarean before that. However, these were the care providers and venues that my clients were choosing, and as their Doula it was not my place or job to tell them to do something else once they made their choice. Most of my work in guidance and education during the prenatal time stopped at the birth. It was about supporting them, no matter what they were choosing or allowing to be done to them.
However, there was one birth where I broke my own rules, where I stepped in between a birthing young woman and her care provider and drew the line. She was a teen, living in a shelter with her mother, and a minority. I was paid by the State of New York to support her, as I did so many other teen mothers. This hospital had one of the highest cesarean rates on Long Island; just about 50% at the time. During active labor, the on-call OB entered the room with a nurse. With a loud booming voice, he introduced himself as he got down by her bent knees and started pushing them apart. The nurse, who on her own seemed comforting and gentle, was now his accomplice as she started trying to help him pry this young girl’s legs apart in order to do a cervical exam. They were both shouting at her to ‘open her legs and let them check you.’ But there was no permission asked. No comfort given.
I looked at my client’s face and knew that she was in the middle of a contraction. I double checked it by glancing at the fetal monitor and confirmed it. “Stop!” I shouted to them, putting my hand up as I leaned over her body on the bed. “Would you please mind waiting until she is done with this contraction before you check her?”
Thankfully, they listened to me. They stopped trying to pull her legs apart and waited. When it was over, they asked permission to enter her body. But I left that birth angry for all the women who are not respected as they birth, and who are violated by their care providers when they are so vulnerable. I was angry that this sacred, life changing experience can be so disturbed by care providers who lack the respect they should have in the presence of a woman bringing a child into the world. So, I sat down in front of my computer and started to write, and what poured out was the Birthing Uterus’s Bill of Rights.

The Birthing Uterus’s Bill of Rights

1. The Birthing Woman who spent nine plus months in gestation of her child(ren) retains ownership of me, her Birthing Uterus. Regardless of the fact that I am bringing forth children, I am not a separate object but am connected to a human being. A Birthing Uterus does not become property of any medical staff, Nurse, Obstetrician or Midwife.

2. My sister, Vagina retains her right to choose whom and what she allows inside her and when she allows them inside her, and has the right to allow none inside her.

3. As a sacred portal into this world, I deserve and have the right to respect. Approach me with kindness and reverence. Enter my sister Vagina as gently as possible at all times after, and only after, you are given permission to do so.

4. As a Birthing Uterus, I retain my right of privacy. If requested by the Birthing Woman, all nonessential personnel may be asked to leave the room if permission is given to enter my sister Vagina. The Birthing Woman’s cultural and religious requirements of privacy should also be respected at all times by all members of medical and support staff.

5. Those with permission to enter will wait until I am not surging. Unless there is a medical purpose for it, you will exit before the next surge begins.

6. The Birthing Woman that I am a part of retains the right of informed consent and informed choice about any and all procedures that may potentially take place within and around me. This includes all augmentations, drugs and medications, including their risks and side effects to either her or the unborn child. She also retains the right to be told of any alternatives, and the right to deny any and all treatment as per the Patient’s Bill of Rights.

7. Sister Vagina retains the right to not be enlarged without good reason by cutting our sister, Perineum. Sister Perineum has the ability to stretch to pass the child past her. If she tears in the process she can be mended by a skilled physician or midwife, giving her the best opportunity, as per researched studies, for a healthier outcome. They have the right to be gently supported with counter-pressure and/or gentle massage and assisted stretching.

8. As a Birthing Uterus, the Birthing Woman and I retain the right to birth the child(ren) in any position we agree is most beneficial for us and the child, and not the attending medical or midwifery staff.

9. All third stage procedures should be done gently and respectfully, taking into account the feat I have just performed. The emergence of our sister Placenta should be given as much time as possible, as long as the Birthing Woman is not at risk of hemorrhage and with gentle assistance in most cases.

This is the Birthing Uterus’s Bill of Rights. Please honor it and us. Thank you.

© Tamrha Richardson CD, CT (CBI)

Safe and Effective: Essential Oils Repel Insects

Central Indiana is experiencing a much cooler summer than last year, and we are not suffering from lack of rain! While this is wonderful for the farms in our surrounding areas, it is not optimal for picnics, pool days, and other summer outdoor activities. And with the uptick in rain we are also seeing an uptick in pesky bugs and bug bites. We have a variety of safe and nontoxic products in the Red Raspberry Boutique to help you keep these insects from bugging you and your family.

Clove oil is one of the time tested oils which has been shown effective at repelling mosquitoes.  It is a main ingredient in several store bought preparations, but you can easily mix 10 drops of clove oil with a cup of water, (and a small amount of glycerin and witch hazel if you wish) and make your own anti-bug spray! Applied undiluted, clove might irritate delicate skin, but in clinical studies it has been proven to be effective for 2-4 hours with 100% efficacy.

Peppermint is said to to be effective at preventing both spiders and mice from invading homes. You can mix 10 drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle with 8 oz of water and spritz your problem areas (basements, baseboards and any crevices in your foundation inside and out).

Cinnamon is said to discourage ant activity. Again, you can spritz a diluted solution of cinnamon and water. Or apply neat oils to a cotton ball and tuck into any nooks and crannies where you feel the pests may hide.

Lavender has long been used in homes to keep delicate linen safe from moths and other insects.

Lemongrass, related to citronella, may also be effective! Combine with rosemary for a aromatic repellant.

Young Living Oils offers Purification, a blend featuring Citronella as the main oil. This oil can be applied neat and I have found it to be very effective.

Our newest product is doTerra’s TerraShield™. DōTerra’s TerraShield™ Repellent Blend is “a proprietary all-natural, super-concentrated blend made up of 15 Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade™ essential oils that provide a safe and effective deterrent against biting bugs without the use of synthetic chemicals such as DEET.” This is an affordable offering and we encourage you to learn more here

Our most popular product all summer has been Bug Soother. This all natural DEET free bug deterrent spray features lemongrass, lemon, and vanilla has proven effective for our clients against the black flies in Maine and the mosquitos here at home. We currently have a several more bottles in stock with hopes to be able to get more. This is a hot commodity and we enjoyed orders for this product from all over the US this year.

With essential oils you can protect your family and home from biting, stinging pests and you will smell fantastic. But most importantly, you will be using all natural products and making safer choices for your family.




Embarrassed || Spoken Word by Hollie McNish


bananaBananas are great for pregnant women. Peel it. Mash it. Slice it. Puree it. Get it into your diet. One large banana contains 4 grams of fiber and about 20 percent of your daily vitamin C and vitamin B6 needs.

Many know that bananas are rich in potassium. In fact, they offer 1/4 of your daily needs. Plus they contain 40 mcg of folate which most also know is vital for proper development of the fetal spine. However, you might not realize that the B6 helps regulate sodium and potassium which are often out of balance when moms are vomiting during pregnancy.

Those who run triathalons or work out regularly know that the banana is a perfect food post-exercise. The magnesium and potassium balance fluid levels and do the same for the mother with morning sickness. Their blandness is particularly wonderful on a queasy stomach.

Not sure I was even aware that bananas are full of phytochemicals such as myricetin, a potent antioxidant that is thought to help lower blood sugar, and beta-sitosterol, which helps lower bad cholesterol.

Toss them in the blender with some yogurt and a cup of crushed ice and you’ll have a tasty and healthy smoothy.

Balancing Breast & Bottle: Reaching Breastfeeding Goals

A book review by Sarah O’Neill Bailey.

Author Amy Peterson BS, IBCLC and Mindy Harmer MA, CCC-SLP

imabbgesThis excellent book is aimed at mothers returning to work or to school who need reassurance and information on how to best combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding. The book is divided into chapters which discuss particular concerns most new mothers facing a separation from Baby will have- getting off to a good start with breastfeeding and pumping, when and how to introduce Baby to the bottle, which bottles to use, how to avoid nursing or bottle strikes and even what to do when Baby develops a preference for one over the other. It assumes some general breastfeeding knowledge but does include some important reminders about the rules of supply and demand and other tips for initiating a successful breastfeeding relationship. The well researched information on bottles and nipples will be appreciated by any mom who has stood in the aisles of the supercenter and wondered at the array of choices available. The information on breast pumps is invaluable, including selection criteria depending on your needs and sample schedules for pumping which should work for women in many different situations. The author also offers excellent information on breast milk storage. What is most appreciated about this book is the reassurance that moms CAN combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding to meet their personal goals. With the information on choosing a nipple provided in this book, moms can avoid common problems which contribute to nipple confusion. Several helpful appendices offer specific nipple brand advice and flow classifications. Believe Midwifery Services, LLC is happy to be able to include this book in our library and to offer the information it provides to our clients within a new class specific to balancing breast and bottle. Watch for further information soon.

The companion website is helpful and is found at

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

"It is much more important to know what sort of patient has a disease than what sort of disease a patient has." Sir William Osler

Food for Thought

Happiness is underrated and critically important to health. Seriously! Unfortunately, many people just have no idea how to be happy. Aviva Romm

Food for Thought

Physicians simply do not have time to be what patients want them to be: open-minded, knowledgeable teachers and caregivers who can hear and understand their needs. Snyderman and Weil

Food for Thought #1

They say that time changes things. But you actually have to change them yourselves. Andy Warhol

Food for Thought

To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking. Johann Wolfgang von Goether

Food for Thought

"Birth isn’t about avoiding one set of realities in favor of another. It’s about embracing all facets of birth--contradictory, messy, or unpleasant as some might be--as vital to the whole." Rixa Freeze PhD

Food for Thought

Why I appreciate being a certified nurse-midwife, as opposed to choosing another route for midwifery: I feel learning the science is vital so the art of midwifery is safe and effective. Dr. Penny Lane, nurse-midwife

Food for Thought

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

Food for Thought

To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. Anatole France

Food for Thought

"Science and uncertainty are inseparable companions. Beware of those who are very certain about things. There are no absolute truths in biological sciences - only hypotheses... 'We need to train medical students and residents more in the art of uncertainty and less in the spirit that everything can be known or that it even needs to be known.'" Grimes (1986)

Food for Thought

American physicians are rewarded for doing things to patients, not for keeping them well. Grimes, 1986

Food for Thought

The false idol of technology. "Having a widget screwed into one's scalp has become an American birthright." Grimes, 1986

Food for Thought

"Between 1985 and 1987, a hospital instituted a successful program to reduce its cesarean rate. The rate fell from 18% to 12%, losing the hospital $1 million in revenues - no small sum in those days." Goer & Romano, 2012, p 37

Food for Thought

"Obstetricians are much more likely to perform a cesarean when they wrongly believe the baby weighs 4000 g or more based on sonographic estimates than when the baby actually weighs this much but the obstetrician did not suspect it." Goer & Romaro, 2012, p 35

Food for Thought

"If you play God, you will be blamed for natural disasters." Marsden Wagner (2006)

Food for Thought

An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't. Anatole France

Food for Thought #3

"Birth is not only about making babies. Birth also is about making mothers - strong, competent, capable mothers, who trust themselves and know their inner strength."

Barbara Katz Rothman PhD (1996)

Food for Thought #4

Believe there is always, always, always a way.

When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven't. THOMAS EDISON

Food for Thought #5

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer

Food for Thought #2

Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.

Psalm 22:9