natural motherhood, part 5: breast care

i googled “natural breast care” tonight—just to see what would pop up.  to my great disappointment, seven of the nine links were for breast augmentation or “enhancement.”  i cringed and peeked through one eye as i changed it to an image search—while i was glad to see as many pictures of breast self-exams as  i did pictures of blown-out self-tanned porn-star racks, i was horrified by the wide selection of machines that apparently use intense and prolonged suction for the purpose of “growing” larger breasts for you.  oh, and there were the creams for larger breasts, the contorting bras (watch how your pulled-around back fat can be made into more side-boob!), and the scary mixes of unnamed “herbal supplements” just shipped in from china—and all this from searching natural breast care.  what’s wrong with us? Read the rest of this entry »


natural motherhood, part 4: downstairs maintenance

whether you’re planning on getting pregnant, are already pregnant, or have just given birth, it is essential to do your research on “downstairs maintenance.”  odds are pretty much in favor of your having to deal with at least one of these issues, and (although we’ve gotten better about it) women tend not to have as many frank discussions as we should when it comes to our lady parts.  actually, this post branches out a little further than “lady parts”–the uterus and vagina are not the only bits of anatomy affected by pregnancy, labor, and delivery.  you’ve also got to talk about your bowels, your bladder, your vulva, and your rectum.  how many of you cringed when you read that last sentence? lol. see what i mean?  we don’t talk about this stuff enough. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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 »

eco-minded moontime, part 3: cups

greetings ladies and gents!  thank you for waiting patiently while i graded research papers and journals and daily work (etc., etc.) for my english 101 classes!  i’ve been blog-starved, but as the school year has finally come to a close, i have four and a half weeks of unfettered blogging ahead!  today’s entry is the third part in a series that i’m doing on eco-minded menstrual products.  my first entry was a more general statement of purpose for my whole project, and last time i reviewed cloth pads, so check out both of those entries if you haven’t already. 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 »

eco-minded moontime, part 1

this was actually the first blog entry that i wanted to do, but i figured that i needed to lure you in with innocuous topics like tea and laundry before diving head-first into MENSTRUATION!!!!!  ok, how many of you cringed when i said MEEEEEEEEEENSTRUATION!!!?  no seriously–i was actually reluctant to write this entry because, in general, people jump so quickly to defcon 8000 when anyone talks about periods.  when i recognized this as a concern of mine, however, it reminded me how we as women desperately need to talk about menstruation—to tease out all of the discomfort, the squeamishness, and also, for so many women that i’ve met, the guilt and self-loathing—the embarrassment at what should be (what IS) a beautiful and natural Read the rest of this entry »