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

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a disruptive neurologic disorder that seriously affects 2-3% of the adult population. RLS results in an irresistible urge to move the legs which is accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation in the legs. Many describe this feeling as jerking, creepy crawlies, tugging or pulling. Because RLS most often occurs in the evening, it can severely disrupt sleep and reduce quality of life.

How do I know if I have RLS?

If you think you have Restless Leg Syndrome, speak with your primary healthcare provider. Your nurse-midwife, nurse-practitioner or physician will look for these five criteria for making a diagnosis:

  • Strong urge to move legs which can’t be really be resisted
  • Symptoms start or become worse when you are resting
  • Symptoms get better when you move your legs. Relief persists as long as the movement continues.
  • RLS symptoms are worse in the evening especially when you are resting
  • The urge to move legs and any unpleasant sensations cannot be explained by another condition, such as leg cramps, positional discomfort, leg swelling, or arthritissore leg

What causes RLS?

Research is ongoing and growing especially more recently. Researchers have discovered gene variants that contribute to the risk for RLS. While it does run in families, it can also present as a result of another condition, such as pregnancy, anemia, low iron levels, endstage renal disease with dialysis, and peripheral neuropathy.

What treatments are available?

There are no lab tests for confirming the diagnosis of RLS, although many providers will check iron levels and/or potentially order sleep studies. Ruling out other disorders is the first step.

There is no cure; however, there are many nonpharmaceutical and pharmaceutical therapies that help ease symptoms. Your healthcare provider may choose medications that increase the chemical dopamine levels in the brain, or choose an epileptic medication, an opioid pain reliever, or offer a sleeping aid. Our practice will first encourage testing of the neurotransmitters so we better understand what chemistry is off balance, rather than assuming and medicating inappropriately. We can also discuss herbal, homeopathic and essential oil therapies.

Common antihistamines and some antidepressants can make symptoms worse. A regular exercise schedule can improve symptoms, as well as engaging your mind when symptoms begin. Eliminate alcohol and caffeine from the diet. Get to bed on time. Fatigue can make symptoms worse.

What if I’ve been misdiagnosed?

Because there is no specific test for diagnosing RLS and because there are a number of disorders that mimic this disorder, misdiagnosis is possible. Nocturnal leg cramps awaken people during their sleep, are painful and may cause a person to get out of bed at night; however they affect a specific area of the calf or sole of the foot. These are sometimes called charley horses, and are the result of a muscle spasm lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Interestingly, RLS in children is associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Up to 25% of children with ADHD also have RLS, sleep apnea, and/or periodic limb movements. This may actually contribute to worsening symptoms of ADHD. They may not sleep well, twitch, or need to get up suddenly and walk around. Some evidence suggests the link is related to a deficiency in dopamine.

Anxiety can also cause sleep disturbances, pacing, and the need to walk around at night. Treating the underlying anxiety may resolve symptoms.

Peripheral neuropathies are nerve disorders that can produce burning, tingling, pain, and/or shooting sensations in the limbs. Diabetes is certainly a cause of painful peripheral neuropathies, although alcoholism, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, amyloidosis, HIV infection, kidney failure, and certain vitamin deficiencies. Peripheral neuropathies though, are not typically associated with restlessness, a key component of RLS. Movement does not relieve pain associated with peripheral neuropathies either, and symptoms are persistent, day or night.

Less commonly, akathisia or meralgia paresthetica may be to blame. Akathisia is a state of restlessness or agitation, described as muscle quivering. This sensation occurs at any time and more often when a sufferer is sitting (not lying down as with RLS). Typically this is caused by drugs used to treat schizophrenia or other psychoses, or anti-nausea medications. This condition can also present with medications used to treat Parkinson’s are withdrawn. Meralgia paresthetica on the other hand, causes a numbness, pain, tingling, or burning on the front and side of the thigh and is typically limited to one side or the other. A chiropractor is the best source of relief, as this condition is caused by compression of the thigh nerve as it passes through the pelvis as a person is sitting.

I am pregnant and have RLS.

Penny, our midwife, can identify with this those that suffer with RLS, as she had this disorder with her last four pregnancies, and it never completely resolved after her fifth. Twenty percent of women, in fact, suffer with RLS although it typically resolves within a month of birth. Some women experience these symptoms in their arms, as well as their legs and most notice an increase in symptoms during their third trimester.

RLS in this population is often contributed to deficiencies in iron and the B vitamin folate. It is important to identify and discuss treatment options as it can significantly impact restful sleep which in itself can further intensify symptoms. Hormonal changes, increased sensory input, varicose veins, nerve compression, decreased bladder capacity and prolonged caffeine half-life are additional theories on the cause of RLS in pregnancy. Treatment, particularly pharmaceuticals, are limited during pregnancy. There are no safe medications used to treat this disorder, although again, the chiropractor can offer tremendous relief.

Depression and RLS

Approximately 40% of people with RLS complain of symptoms that would be indicative of depression if assessed without knowledge or consideration of RLS. Interestingly, greater depression severity has been found with increased severity of RLS. Effective treatment of RLS will result in a significant improvement in depression in some cases. When victims of depression suffer from RLS and depression, and antidepressants are indicated, treatment can involve a delicate balancing act, as some of the most effective and widely used antidepressants can actually worsen certain aspects of RLS.

Visit Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation for more information and to locate the nearest support group, NightWalkers.

Speak to your provider if you think you may have RLS.

IQ Mega Salad

Our practice works hard to implement good fats into the diets of our pregnant mothers, because these are so important for the development of their baby’s brains. Fish have become victim to pollution and must therefore be rationed in the diet to a point that does not meet the needs of the growing baby. While we encourage including other sources of healthy fats, often mothers need a supplemental source.

iq megadōTERRA’s IQ Mega has been popular with our clientele because it takes the fishy taste out of fish oil and puts the fresh orange flavor of dōTERRA’s wild orange CPTG essential oil in this great tasting and easy to swallow omega-3
supplement providing 1,000 mg of concentrated, pure omega-3 from fish oil per serving. IQ Mega contains the essential nutrients EPA and DHA to support healthy brain, cardiovascular, immune and joint function.* IQ Mega is formulated to be used daily, by children and adults, with A2Z Chewable.

We found a great IQ Mega Salad recipe and thought we would share. Please let us know if you enjoyed it!

IQ Mega Salad


1 package (12-16 ounces) salad greens of your choice (romaine, arugala, spinach, etc.)

1/2 cup roasted and salted pepita seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 large avocado, cubed

2 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned

2 small baby cucumbers, sliced

1/4 cup dōTERRA IQ Mega

1/4 teaspoon teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, finely groundomega 3

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/8 cup feta cheese, crumbled


Get the salad ready with all the veggies, fruits, and nuts. Drizzle IQ Mega over the salad to lightly coat it. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Add feta cheese and lightly toss until mixed. Yum! I have also added black beans, chicken strips, or cubed tempeh as a protein source for a complete meal (about 1 cup).

Lisa Kelly’s fabulous recipe

Non-Alcoholic Mint Mojito

I’ll admit, I am a big fan of the Mojito so when I found this non-alcoholic recipe with dōTERRA lime, I was rather excited. Enjoy.summer cocktails


Club soda
dōTERRA Lime essential oil
Liquid stevia
1 small bunch of mint leaves


Fill regular glass with club soda. Add 4-7 drops Lime essential oil, 10-17 drops liquid Stevia, and 8-10 mint leaves. Stir and enjoy.

If you try this recipe and love it, leave us a comment!

Meet Amy Robinson PT

A Natural Solution for Infertility and Women’s Health Issues


Amy Robinson PT is director of the Clear Passage Physical Therapy clinic in Indianapolis.

By Amy Robinson, PT
Did you know that approximately 6,000,000 U.S. women are presently diagnosed with infertility? In addition, 60 percent of women in the U.S. experience pain with intercourse pain, also called dyspareunia, at some point in their lives.

The good news is that infertility and numerous other women’s health issues can be treated naturally, without the need for drugs or surgery. As director of the Clear Passage Physical Therapy® clinic in Indianapolis, I help women overcome these challenges every day.

I address these issues using a unique manual therapy called the Wurn Technique®. At the core of this treatment is a focus on adhesions – the internal scars that form in all of us as we heal from trauma, surgery, infection or inflammation. Composed of tiny collagen strands called cross-links, adhesions can remain in the body throughout life. I use my hands and over 200 manual techniques to improve fertility and reduce the pelvic pain and dysfunction caused by adhesions.

What are adhesions and how can they be treated?

The female pelvic organs may be subjected to numerous traumas, infections, inflammations and surgeries during a woman’s life. Endometriosis, a bladder or yeast infection, fall onto the tailbone, car accident or simply sitting for long periods of time can all contribute to the formation of adhesions.


Adhesions can attach to pelvic organs and structures, causing pain and dysfunction.

Surgery is another common cause of pelvic adhesions in women, resulting in fertility issues or various types of pelvic pain and dysfunction. Adhesions often form after a hysterectomy, C-section, myomectomy or appendectomy.

Regardless of what caused them, adhesions can attach to organs and structures, creating pulls that can cause pain and dysfunction. Adhesions that occur around the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes or the delicate fimbriae at the end of the uterine tubes can impact a woman’s ability to become pregnant

Studies published in several U.S. and international medical journals, including Medscape General Medicine and Contemporary ObGyn, found that the Wurn Technique improved fertility and decreased pelvic pain in most women, including in complex cases involving advanced reproductive age, unexplained infertility and women for whom traditional fertility treatments were not successful.

An effective adjunct to the care of physicians and midwives, our therapy can be used as a complement to the pre-conception and infertility care provided by Penny and the Believe Midwifery team.

A different approach to care

By the time they arrive at my clinic, many of the women I treat are frustrated by the lack of results they have seen with other treatment methods, including surgery and drugs.

Our treatment programs occur over five weekdays, Monday-Friday, typically with four hours of treatment per day. Whether I am treating a woman for infertility, dyspareunia, incontinence or other type of pelvic dysfunction, I begin with a thorough evaluation of the entire body, checking for restrictions. Using this whole-body approach, I begin treating adhered areas, with manual techniques that can feel like a deep stretch or a site-specific pressure, to reduce pain and increase function.

The transformations I see in my patients throughout and at the end of treatment are incredible. I feel so privileged to be able to help women achieve their goals and return to a life free of pain and dysfunction.

If you would like to learn more about the women’s care we provide or to schedule a free phone consultation, I invite you to visit or call 1 (866) 222-9437.

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can adversely affect oral health, which can subsequently effect a woman’s overall health and well-being. Preventive, diagnostic, and restorative dental treatment is an important part of optimizing pregnancy outcomes. The National Consensus on Oral Health Care in Pregnancy (2012) states that dental procedures are safe throughout the entire pregnancy, although our midwife encourages families to avoid the first trimester if at all possible, allowing the fetus to develop without the introduction of medications, X-ray exposure or even bacterial upset in the blood stream from tooth cleanings.

pregnant-woman-with-toothbrushEvidence suggests that most infants and young children acquire caries-causing bacteria from their mothers. This was believed to be from breastmilk for decades, but experts now recognize that the breastfed mother more often cradles her child in her arms than the mother who supplements and therefore provides greater exposure to her child. Providing pregnant and lactating women with counseling to promote healthy oral health behaviors may reduce the transmission of such bacteria from mothers to infants and young children, thereby delaying or preventing the onset of caries.

Consider Your Oral Health Status

  • Do you have swollen or bleeding gums, a tooth-ache (pain), problems eating or chewing food, or other problems in your mouth?
  • Since becoming pregnant, have you been vomiting?
  • When was your last dental visit?

Our practice encourages women to seek oral health care, practice good oral hygiene, eat healthy foods, and attend our Optimizing Pregnancy childbirth education class. Our client privilege page offers names of holistic dentists, nutritionists who provide counseling, and community-based programs that serve pregnant women with low incomes, as well as a letter for your dental provider.

Tips for Good Oral Health During Pregnancy

If your last dental visit was more than six months ago or if you have any oral health problems or concerns, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. Tell the office that you are pregnant and your expected due date so they can provide the best care for you.

  • Brush your teeth twice each day. Replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or more often if the bristles are frayed. Do not share your toothbrush. Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
  • Rinse every night with an over-the-counter fluoridated, alcohol-free mouthrinse.
  • After eating, chew xylitol-containing gum or use other xylitol-containing products, such as mints, which can help reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay.
  • If you vomit, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water to stop acid from attacking your teeth.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, and dairy products. Meats, fish, chicken, eggs, beans and nuts are also good choices.
  • Eater fewer foods high in sugar like candy, cookies, cake, and dried fruit, and drink fewer beverages high in sugar like juice, fruit-flavored drinks, or pop (soda).
  • For snacks, choose foods low in sugar, such as fruits, vegetables, cheese and unsweetened yogurt.
  • Read food labels!
  • Drink water or milk instead of juice, fruit-flavored drinks or pop. Drink water throughout the day, especially between meals and snacks.
  • Continue taking care of your mouth after your baby is born and take care of your baby’s gums and teeth, and take your baby to the dentist by the age of one. Breastfeed exclusively!

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy Expert Workgroup, 2012. Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center.

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