natural motherhood, part 3: the big, bad list of “no-nos”

you knew this was coming, right?  amidst talk of all the wonderful new things you get to do (be goddess-controller of the air conditioning, add frivolous things to grocery lists, stop sucking in your gut for the first time since you were eight) is the dreaded list of “thou shalt nots.”  now, i’m not a doctor, so my word isn’t law here (funny how we assume that five extra years in college=always right!) but i do have some good source material and a lot of common sense.  i’m a teacher and a researcher by trade, and birth is my subject of choice.  just sayin’……this isn’t THE list; it’s the herbwife’s list.  amend as you see fit.  ask for second (and third, and fourth) opinions.  also, don’t assume that doing a few of these things a few times=sure trouble.  repetition increases risk with any harmful substance.  plenty of women have had beautiful, healthy babies after doing a whole slew of these things—-these are just guidelines for giving yourself and your baby the best chance at health. Read the rest of this entry »

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natural motherhood, part 2: iron, calcium, and folate

as i began my foray into the world of alternative medicine, i made  the mistake that many (if not most) people make.  i adopted the heroic tradition’s view of the body as a dirty temple–one that must be punished and purified.  go into any health food store and you’ll see aisles of pills and potions meant to purge you from every end.  you’ll see bowel cleanses that work by irritating  your colon so badly that its only recourse is to pull precious water from your cells and flush out all contents.  you’ll see testimonials of people marveling at the horrible things that their bodies pushed out. Read the rest of this entry »

lunar musings

as we approach the full moon, i feel compelled to write about it…but what to say?  there’s so much that it’s almost impossible to know where to begin.  the moon has fascinated human beings (english teachers, get ready to cringe) since the daaaaaaaawn of tiiiiiiiiime!  but seriously, humans have been mystified by this serene celestial body, i am positive, for as long as there has been abstract thought.  each culture has its own set of myths and legends, gods and goddesses, associated with the moon, and both our recent (well, relatively anyway) lunar landing and our subsequent failure to return have only further fueled humanity’s obsession with our nearest neighbor.

i suppose that, since i’m approaching such a massively huge topic, the best place to start would be, well, with a definition—and with some good old-fashioned science—but not too old-fashioned mind you!.  so what is a moon?  in general, a moon is a natural satellite of a planet.  earth’s moon (i wonder if she’s upset that we just call her moon; the other moons have sweet names) is 238,900 miles away and is about 1/80 the size of its primary, the planet earth.   Read the rest of this entry »