Muslim American Childbirth Preferences & Experiences Survey

In order to get a better picture of Muslim American women and their experience of childbirth and maternity care here in American, I’ve been working with Krystina Friedlander, a childbirth doula in Boston to create a survey.  Survey responses will help us understand how health care providers can better support Muslim women and their families […]

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Shatavari: A Fertility Friend

I’m more than thrilled to have my lovely friend Krystina Friedlander of Baraka Birth guest blogging today!  She’s offering a wonderful online class entitled, Natural Approaches to Fertility, on March 20 through the Boston School of Herbal Studies.  Shatavari: A Fertility Friend    Here in Boston it’s not unusual to see snow continue through March, […]

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Cod Liver Oil for Beautiful Babies

When you’re trying to conceive, you’ll try anything to make it happen. Simultaneously, you will down herbs that taste like compost, do a headstand (because it delivers circulation to ‘ze ovaries), chant affirmations about your self worth, and of course, look hot for your partner at just the right time of the month.  I’ve been […]

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Roasted Dandelion Root Chai

  Once the leaves start changing colors, I don’t know about you, but I crave warm cups of something starting around 2 o’clock.  In fact, right now, I have so many warming, nourishing drinks on the roster, that I’m thinking of starting a whole series, “2 o’clock Pick Me Ups!” This Roasted Dandelion Root Chai […]

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Ultrasound: Helpful or Harmful?

So, it’s all a little abstract, other than the nausea, and maybe some sore breasts, you are still basically feeling like yourself.  You can’t imagine that in a mere 9 months you will balloon out and eventually birth a baby, one with a personality and a destiny all its own. This is when the siren […]

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Baby Treasure Baskets

Have you ever looked at the baby section in toy stores?  Flashing lights, tinny songs, hard plastic, jarring colors, whew, it leaves me overstimulated and cranky, so imagine the effects on baby!   When babies are born, anyone with a beating heart will attest to their spiritual nature, the openness of their being. They absorb our […]

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Inductions: Just Say, “Wait!”

The other day I realized that I now mark time in terms of babies born. July 2008 brought Maryam, Omar, Julian, and Sofia. If I want to think back to say November 2009, I think of Asiya, Malachi, and Caroline. Living in a season-less California, births mark times and seasons more concretely than weather can. […]

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The Healing Hour

No matter what type of birth you have, the first hour after birth is meant to be savored. Both mother and baby have made it. The hard work is over and the instinctual acts of attachment and bonding are about to begin. Baby has so much work to do, learn to breathe, digest, find the […]

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Herbal Fertility Spa

  I have three kids, but I have spent a total of 21 months attempting to get pregnant.  Instead of relinquishing more control with each passing month, I often became more panicked, desperate to find whatever new fertility trick was on the horizon.  Acupuncture, hips piled on top of pillows after each attempt, I’ve even […]

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Home Birth FAQ’s

 So you want a home birth, but you want to know how they’re going to clean up all of that blood and uh, stuff?  In the hospital it just fell into a neat little plastic bag at the end of the bed, and was promptly whisked away after delivery right?  How will they do that at […]

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Chickweed Pesto – Antioxidants for the Mamas

      The benefits of eating weeds cannot be underestimated.  In an article in the New York Times, The Island Where People Forget to Die, about Ikaria, an Island off of the Greek coast whose inhabitants live to be 90 at two and a half times the rate Americans do, they found that wild greens contained […]

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Lion Hearted

Lion Hearted
At four weeks postpartum, I was bending over cardboard boxes, deciding which books I would need for the next year, and which I could part with.  As I straightened up, I tightened the knot on the belly wrap designed to put my fragile insides back together.  To help me pare down my closet, I needed a dear friend, and the unwavering opinion of my fashion sensible midwife.  I guess plaid is out, who knew?

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Ramadan – Fasting with Child(ren)


Ramadan’s many lights and gifts will be here in a matter of weeks. One of the questions I am often asked by pregnant and nursing women is whether or not they should fast in Ramadan. This post is not meant to encourage or discourage women from fasting, rather it is to provide information that can help mothers stay healthy if they decide to undertake even a few days of fasting.Many women say that they would rather fast when everyone else is fasting instead of making their fasts up later. If you are one of those women, I hope this can help prepare you physically for the fast of Ramadan.

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Eat, Drink and Be Content – My Birth Story

The gray area of when labor starts is rarely heralded by a neat “5 min apart, lasting 1 minute, for at least 1 hour”, otherwise known as 511, but, shhh, don’t tell my midwifery clients.  As a midwife, I can tell it in the puffed faces of my beautiful mothers, their mental desperation and physical […]

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