Crazyhippiemom’s Weblog

Just an urban hippie with a kid in tow, sharing a little eco-friendly, holistic info with the world.

The Preschool Chronicles – Month One September 25, 2008

It has been almost a month since my 2 year old has been installed in preschool.  I use the word ‘installed’ quite on purpose, due to the fact that he was probably not very pleased about being left there…in fact, I’m sure he wasn’t.  The tears of shear dismay and pleading, rather begging, “MOMMY, MOMMY!!! NO!!! NO!!!! MOMMY!!” still replay quite vividly in my mind.  Well, I won’t relive the awful scene as I placed his diaper bag (no he’s not yet potty trained) and his carseat in the respective designated areas.  I’d rather focus on the last three weeks as a whole.  For those of you currently awash in the abyss of your toddler’s first preschool experience, read on and know that you’re not alone.  For those who have already mastered the preschool years, please provide some sort of insight; a survival guide or something to help us novices out!

The Germ-Fest

My vegan son is the epitome of health.  No fillers, no additives, no Big Pharma candy…no, no, no.  Nothing that had a mother, nothing made in a factory, you get the point.  The little man hasn’t had a cold in well, I’d say forever, but he’s only 2 and that would be a little unbelieveable…it has been at least 6 months though. So you could imagine my surprise when on the second day of preschool, he arrived home with the sniffles.  Now everyone I spoke to about this momentous event said exactly the same thing, “Oh yeah, when they’re in preschool, their noses never stop running!”  Why is this something we are unable to fix?  Why must their noses continually run?  Why are they passing germs around like…the plague!  Okay, I overstate.  But honestly, why is the everyday, run of the mill preschool a germ-fest?  I’m venting, bare with me.

My son’s a genius, why don’t they realize that?

I know every parent says this about their child, but mine really is a genius.  Okay, whatever.  I spent an enormous amount of time branding the ABC’s and 123’s into my sons head so he could start preschool to sit down and watch Sesame Street all day? I don’t think so!!!!  Alright, alright, maybe not all day, but really, shouldn’t they be cultivating each child’s potential with sensory learning tools and all that other jazz? 

He eats like an anorexic super-model

Is it just me or is my son refusing his favorite meal…that would be white rice.  Actually, he’s refusing everything I put in front of him.  It seems almost impossible that he can maintain his energy levels with just the morsel of food he’s been eating. 

Much more clingy than usual

This one I can kind of figure.  He may be having some abandonment issues.  Therefore when he sees his parents, he holds onto us with all his might.  I’ve been reassured that this will pass as he becomes more acclaimated to his surroundings.

Alright, so these are the changes I’ve noticed over the past three weeks.  As is my custom, I’ve done a little research to try to understand the ins and outs of the whole preschool thing.  Here’s a list from the experts to help ease my (and your) concerns.

What parents can do to ease the transition:

  • Talk to the preschool teacher about your concerns
  • Stay for a class
  • Practice appropriate preschool behavior while at home
  • Reevaluate maturity level and preschool readiness

This is definitely a process for all of us and I’m still researching it myself.  What are your thoughts?  What has worked for you?  Enlighten us.

 

Water Is Your Friend August 17, 2008

I applaud the water bottling companies for their ingenious attempt to “make-over” water! Yes, my friends, you may not have noticed it, but water is being made over, right before your very eyes. Recently, I’ve seen the sleeker, more eco-friendly bottles, some with cool blue hues to attract a more discriminating consumer, others with a more minimalist approach – clear bottle, scarcely worded labels – you catch my drift.  But why do I applaud them? Because they are in the business of selling perhaps the most therapeutic and health-preserving remedy known to man – Water.  Okay, call me naive for actually believing that the companies are in it for your health. There’s a lot of profit in selling plastic bottles! But I wish to just ponder for a second, in my warped reality, about the millions of potential soda purchasing teenagers who were lured into picking up a shiny bottle of water instead. Call me nuts!

So, let’s talk about water – the mystery and the magic! I overstate (as is my custom) for effect. We’re actually going to be discussing the benefits of water, why drinking it as often as possible could improve your health (obvious) and extend your life (these statements have not been approved by the FDA).  In a nutshell, water transports nutrients and hormones to vital organs.  It also gets in there and gets rid of all the stuff that shouldn’t be there. Yippie!! It hydrates and aids in digestion. It’s truly the miracle liquid. It does quite a few more things for the body as well…

  • Removes toxins and waste from your body
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Improves energy
  • Keeps skin healthy
  • Improves brain function
  • Reduces risk of heart-attack
  • Improves immune system

To maintain optimum function, being well hydrated is necessary. It is not always easy to drink the recommended 8 glasses a day, for some, even 4 or 5 glasses is hard.  This was a challenge for me as well, so I implemented a few strategic “inspirations” that kept me on track and may work for you as well.

  • Carry water with you everywhere you go – preferably in a glass bottle or container (like a Perrier bottle)
  • Keep a glass or bottle of water next to you when you’re sitting for extended periods of time – like at your desk at work
  • Set your “water” alarm to remind you to drink your water at set intervals
  • Add lemons or mint leaves to your water to make it more appealing
  • Eat water-rich fruit such as melons

It goes without saying that water is the end-all-be-all when it comes to health management. It purifies, hydrates and refreshes the body in ways no other liquid or solid can boast. Water does it all, because indeed, water is your friend!

 

Pristine Clean Intestines August 9, 2008

This may seem like an odd thing to say but, I like my intestines pristine clean! Yes, my intestines.  Why, may you ask, is this the first sentence of this post?  And my answer, ladies and gentlemen…who wouldn’t want pristine clean intestines?  And, in an effort to successfully obtain those pristine clean intestines, I undertook the task of a mono-fruit detox.  Oh yeah, baby! One fruit, well, actually 8 fruit, but of one kind.  I literally ate 8 apples over a 24 hour period.  And some organic apple juice and water…but you get my point.  A mono-fruit detox with apples as the mono-fruit!

Why apples?  Apples, as you know, have phenomenal health benefits.  We’ve all been told, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Well it aids in creating pristine clean intestines as well.  How?  Glad you asked.  Besides being an awesome source of dietary fiber, it reduces cholesterol, maintains healthy bowel function (now that’s what I’m talking about!), reduces the risk of stroke, Type II Diabetes and asthma. You can’t beat that with a stick!

Of course, you can complete a successful mono-fruit detox with just about any fruit, I just personally prefer the health benefits of apples.  Grapes (strangely enough, my favorite fruit), is another wonderful option for the mono-fruit detox.  In fact, grapes provide an enormous amount of Vitamins A, C, B6 and folate.  They’re also quite refreshing.  What more can you ask for? The list of acceptable fruit can go on and on, but we’re talking about pristine clean intestines and this mono-fruit detox…

Why pristine clean intestines? Now we’re getting down to business.  Cleaning the intestines contributes to ones health in many ways:

  • Rids the bowel of excess fecal matter 
  • Helps skin conditions
  • Reduces the risk of most cancers
  • Fights fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Reduces Blood Pressure
  • Assists with allergy relief

As the body detoxes, you may experience certain side effects, none of which are life-threatening. Side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Thirst
  • Mood Swings
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Body/joint aches 

Like I said, I like my intestines pristine clean and after reading the benefits, everyone should want to do an internal Roto-Rooter on themselves.  I chose the mono-fruit detox, however there are many types of detoxes out there to help you obtain pristine clean intestines.  Do a little research or check out more of my posts on healthy eating and weight loss.

 

Sell Your Stove – More Raw Recipes May 30, 2008

This installment of Sell Your Stove has recipes to please both Herbies (herbivores) and Carnies (carnivores) alike.  It has become painfully clear to most, that consuming raw and/or lightly steamed veggies and raw fruit improves your health exponentially.  Of course, the main hinderance has always been taste, and we are slaves to our tastebuds (those wiley suckers).  Even if the food item could cure whatever ails you (and most raw fruit & veggies can), most people would still decline to consume the produce because of that five letter word, TASTE.  Keeping all this in mind, I went on a research mission, searching the ends of the virtual world, trekking high and low, across rivers and lakes (okay, okay…perhaps I overstate) to come up with what I think are some pretty darn good recipies for Carnies who just can’t get past their you-know-what.  Here are some tastebud inspiring raw recipes to win over even the most hard core Carnie.

Recipes

Apple Salad in Lettuce Cups

3 1/2 cups of diced apples
1 cup of diced celery
1 cup of diced banana
1/2 cup of raw walnuts
1 cup of raisins
Half head of lettuce

Mix all ingredients (except lettuce) together and place in lettuce cups

Banana-Date Salad

1 cup of pitted, chopped dates
1 cup of diced bananas
1 cup of diced celery

Mix all ingredients together and serve over crisp greens

Nutty Vegetable Salad

1 small bunch of parsely
1 head of Romaine lettuce
1/2 chopped sweet pepper
1 cup of raw mixed nuts
1 cup of mini tomatoes

Mix all ingredients together and place on lettuce cups

Veggie Corn Chowder

2 1/2 cups of Almond Milk
5 ears of corn on the cob, shaved
1 small avocado
Sea Salt to taste

Put aside one handful of corn.  Blend everything else in a blender, pour into bowl.  Add the handful of corn and sea salt. “Living on Live Food” Alissa Cohen

Brocolli Soup

3 cups of water
1 cup of almonds
1 teaspoon of honey
2 cups of broccoli
1 avocado
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon of cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a blender, blend water, honey and almonds until smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Banana Nut Ice Cream

2 frozen bananas (very ripe)
4 pitted prunes
1/4 tsp. of vanilla
1 handful of almonds
1 Tbl. honey

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until you get the consistency of yogurt.

Live Fries

1 lb Jicama
1 Tbsp of onion powder
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1 Tbsp of paprika
Sea Salt to taste

Slice Jicama so that it looks like fries.  Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Enjoy.

Raw Fruit Cereal

Cereal: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, chopped peaches
Milk: blend a banana and enough water to make banana milk
Pour milk onto cereal and enjoy

So that’s my list for now.  Try them out and see how you like them.  Let me know what you think by sending me a comment on any of the recipes you’ve tried.

 

Make Your Ends Meet – Money Saving Ideas April 26, 2008

If things continue going the way they have been, we’ll be sitting around in a few years saying, “Remember when gas was $4.00 a gallon? Ah, those were the good old days.”  But until we make that inevitable statement, we’ve got to find ways to put a lid on that siphon attached to our wallets.  There used to be a time when I didn’t mind paying a high price for the things my family needed.  Nowadays, I find myself averaging if we can go another week without running out of toilet paper (just picture that one); or negotiating between shampoo and shower gel (I got the shower gel and used it as shampoo as well as body wash).  Bottom line – times are tough and money is tight!  

It became evident that the stress of my financial situation was overpowering my usually rational thought  process, when I nearly beat my farmer’s market grocer with a stalk of celery after he told me it was $3.00 a bunch.  It was time for an intervention.  Like I said, times are tough, and people get crazy when times are tough.  I have instead decided to implement a few money saving tricks into my lifestyle, that have so far been working and keeping me from an assault & battery charge.

  1. Public Transportation – I’ll admit it.  I drove a MEGA gas guzzler and every time I put my foot on the peddle, I could feel my wallet shudder, not to mention the emissions!  So, I parked that sucker and opted in to the transportation reimbursement program offered at my job.  They pay for parking or bus passes.  I evaluated my situation – gas was a significant drain on my finances (upwards of $400/mth) so utilizing public transpo really did the trick for me.  It also gave me some extra sleep time on the way to work.  
  2. Farmer’s Market – Oh the joys of NOT having to pay almost $50.00 for one bag of groceries.  I always carry only $40.00 with me to the market.  With this $40.00, I get the following items: 2 bags of raw almonds, a week’s supply of broccoli, celery, spinach, cauliflower and carrots.  I also get some flowers (they usually die within the week), a week’s supply of pears, apples and grapes.  Then, I pick up lunch – yes, without exceeding that $40.00.  Obviously, for a person like me (Vegetarian/Vegan), the farmer’s market is like heaven, but looking at the cost of meat these days, you might want to consider becoming V/V.
  3. Buy in Bulk – I’m pretty much a minimalist, but when it comes to kids, you’ve got to have their stuff on hand, otherwise you’re screwed.  I started using an online baby store called Diapers.com, where I can buy just about anything for my son and have it mailed directly to my door.  Hooray, they just launched their ‘green section’, this is the area in which they’ve assembled all of the eco-friendly products for tree-huggers like me.  After comparing calculations for buying in bulk or otherwise, I realized that I’ve been saving about $5.00 per purchase.  Also, if I spend over $50.00 (which I ALWAYS do – have you seen the price of diapers lately?), I get free shipping.  

As another means of trying to save, I subscribe to an online newsletter called Dollarstretcher. com.  The ezine is filled with helpful hints (sent in by real people) to get you on the saving track.  I’ve scoured several of the installments I’ve received over the past months and have reprinted them here.  Check them out and if the shoe fits, by all means, try that sucker on.

  • Homemade Mixes – A great way to save time, money and eat healthier is to make your own mixes for cookies, pancakes, quick breads or anything you bake in the oven. I save the 32-ounce yogurt containers I buy and then I put a piece of masking tape on the cover to label the mix. I measure all dry ingredients into the containers (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, salt, etc.). I alter my recipes, substituting with healthier flours (soy, pea, whole wheat, buckwheat). Once a month, I create the mixes we’ll use for the month. It is such a time and mess saver, and we don’t use store mixes, which can get expensive.
  • Frugalize’ your gift giving – Instead of buying yet another toy that will be forgotten, give kids “gift certificates” good for lunch with dad or mom, miniature golf trip, batting cages trip, etc. Make it something your kid always wants, but you feel is a splurge.
  •  Cheap Mattress Protector – If you have a child who is toilet training or just needs a mattress protector, why not buy a shower curtain at about $2 instead of the terribly overpriced “store bought” protectors? They work extremely well with no leaks and are also fully washable.
  • Don’t buy plastic zipper bags – Don’t waste your money on food zipper bags. Many items purchased at the grocery store come in zipper type bags, including deli meats, tortillas, cheese, raisins, frozen items, etc. They can be washed and used again and again. It’s a good ideas to use an anti-bacterial spray, too.
    For items that do not have to be completely airtight, use produce bags, bread bags, cereal liners, etc. These are also great for freezing meats into smaller portions and then placing all the contents into one larger zipper bag.
  • Cheap Chips – We love to eat tortilla chips with our homemade garden salsa, but cheap chips are often greasy and unhealthy. The low-fat baked chips are way too expensive for us! So we get white or yellow corn tortillas in a package of 36 for about $1.50, cut them each into eight triangles (this can be done quickly in a stack and with a pizza cutter) and spread them on cookie sheets. I sprinkle them with water to make them crispy, add seasoned salt or whatever other seasoning we have around, and then bake them at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. These chips are very low fat, high in fiber and taste great! Best of all, they cost much less than the national brands of baked chips.
  • Shower Moisturizer – I take an inexpensive pump container of body lotion (after about half is gone) and then add some baby oil, shaking it up very well. Then after showering, while still in the tub and before toweling off, I rub it all over myself. Then I “pat dry” so that most of the lotion mixture stays on. It works as well as expensive shower moisturizers and also leaves your towels smelling great! Also, it doesn’t make the bottom of your tub slick like straight baby oil due to the much thicker consistency of the lotion.
  • Make the salad yourself – When shopping in the produce department, I usually buy bagged pre-washed salad to save time and money because it is just the right amount for a family of four. This week I compared prices and the cost of a bag of leaf lettuce was half as much and would make twice as much salad. By dividing it up after washing, we can have salad for two meals and save on the cost. Also those carrots that are “mini” are much more expensive than the carrots that need to be washed and peeled. Now we can have our greens and save some green too!
  • Free Mailing Packaging – I save the extra tough plastic-like mailing bags from packages that I receive in the mail and turn them inside out to reuse. They look like new and are free.
  • Discount Student’s Instruments – When my son was taking clarinet at school, I determined that I didn’t want to rent one and I didn’t know enough about the instrument to make a wise choice of buying one. So, I called the company that provides the rentals for the schools. They were happy to sell me a refurbished clarinet for far less than the cost of a 9 month rental. The staff there knew what the school’s requirements were, the kind of instruments the teachers wanted the kids to use, and were very forthcoming. I saved a lot of money by purchasing that used instrument on my own rather than going thru the school’s rental program.
  • Children’s Party – For your child’s next party, consider having a “book exchange” instead of gifts. Here’s how it works. Each child who attends the party brings one wrapped book (age appropriate of course). At the start of the party, all of the books are put into a bin. Then, when the party’s over, each child gets to choose a book to take home as his or her party favor. We tried this for our daughter’s fourth birthday party recently and it worked great. The parents all loved the idea because they didn’t have to worry about what to buy for a gift. And it freed us up from having to buy or make goody bags, which usually just consist of candy and/or cheap plastic toys anyway. At our party, everyone remembered to bring a book. However, I’d recommend placing two or three wrapped books in the bin yourself in case anyone forgets to bring one.
  • The Eating Out Bank – I recently started my own “Stop Eating Out” plan. I used to stop at Starbucks and get coffee and a sandwich every workday. Then at lunchtime, I drove to various fast food places for lunch. No more. I started bringing lunch, embracing the concept of small meals with the right amounts of protein, starches, veggies, and sweets for my sweet tooth. When I do this, $5 goes into the piggy bank. So I’m sort of “paying myself” to not eat out! And I think I’m eating healthier, too.
  • Homemade Non-Stick Spray -I bake a lot. Instead of buying expensive cake release or nonstick spray I make my own. It’s just equal parts of flour and shortening plus a little bit of vegetable oil to make it more spreadable. I usually use one cup of flour, one cup of shortening and two tablespoons of oil. I mix it up and store it in an airtight container. Just brush it into your pans. The results are great.

If you have any other money/time/sanity saving ideas, please leave a comment letting us know who you are and what your tip is.

 

Sell Your Stove – Raw Recipes April 17, 2008

I am not now, nor have I ever been a “chef”.  Cooking never really ‘lit my fire’, pun intended.  I know, I know… as a raw food eater, I should be promoting a raw diet because it is naturally better for you and the environment and etc. etc., but the truth is, I went raw simply out of pure laziness.  OK, I’ve admitted it.  This lifestyle has, however, rendered me some amazing health benefits that are well worth noting and that would prove to be beneficial to just about anyone willing to embark upon this unique journey.

Usually when people hear the term ‘Raw Food Diet’, they think that means chewing on carrots & celery all day.  This is not the case.  This particular type of diet is based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, dried fruit, and seaweed – YUM! When you heat food anywhere above 116 degrees F, it destroys enzymes in the food that assist in digestion and absorption of food.  Cooking also diminishes the nutritional value and “life” of most food.

Those who have implemented the Raw Foods Diet (75% raw/25% processed) boast of numerous health benefits:

  • Better Digestion – raw foods put the smackdown on IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Gastrointestinal Issues and Constipation
  • Weight Loss – when you reduce your caloric intake by chowing down on fresh, organic fruit & veggies as opposed to danish & hot dogs (let it be known, I have nothing against the Danish or dogs that are hot), you tend to see less inches in the waistline and the buttline and the thighline… you catch my drift??
  • Better Skin – some people wear their processed, oil & fat-filled diets on their skin.  You know those blotches and acne?  Not only is it hereditary, but your diet more than exaserbates the already delicate skin issue you’ve got going on.  Do your skin a favor and feed it properly, it’s the largest organ you have!
  • Increased Energy – you know that brisk morning walk you keep promising to do?  Well, you may actually want to do it with the loads of energy you’ll wake up with utilizing a raw food diet.  There are much fewer fats and bad carbs to weigh you down and tire you out.

Now that you know what the benefits are, I think I should provide you with a little bit of ammo to get your raw food experience started.  Remember, a raw food diet is not about just picking up a veggie or fruit and devouring it – the terms ‘organic’ and ‘local’ become mantras to you.  These terms usually ensure that the items were grown pesticide free and didn’t need a passport (i.e. having been transported from out of state or a location that’s relatively far from you) to get here – of course if you live near a toxic waste dump, you may want to consider ‘not-so-local’ fruit & veggies.  For the farmer’s markets, family farms, and the like in your area check out www.localharvest.org.  Now, onto the eats…

Recipes

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of your favorite large mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup of Pine Nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup of fresh cilantro, packed leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of fresh basil, packed leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of Braggs or to taste

Place all ingredients into a food processor, except the tomatoes, and pulse chop several times.  Stop to scrape down the sides and repeat.  Add the tomatoes and continue to pulse chop until just blended.  Keep a texture to apesto, it should not be a puree. Remove stems from mushrooms and stuff the filling into the cap of the mushroom.  Place on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 105 degrees for 2-4 hours.

Cinnamon Date Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of soft wheat, sprouted 1 day
  • 1 cup of dates (pitted)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of raisins

Process wheat and dates in a champion juicer using the solid plate.  Add cinnamon and raisins to the mixture and mix well.  Form into 4 loaves of bread, place on a teflex sheet in the dehydrator at 105 degrees for 5-6 hours, remove teflex sheets and turn bread over, continue dehydrating for 5-6 hours, or until desired moisture is obtained.

Raw Veggie Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 3 lettuce leaves, shredded
  • 1-2 zucchini, shredded in Food Processor
  • 1-2 carrots, shredded in Food Processor
  • Handful of alfalfa sprouts
  • Handful of cauliflower, bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced/diced
  • Handful of chopped red cabbage
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 carrots (whole)
  • Juice of one lemon

In a blender, blend: 2 tomatoes, 1 stalk of celery, 2 carrots (whole), and juice of one lemon

Then add soaked sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, or avocado to your desired thickness.  Pour this mixture over the casserole and mix thoroughly.

Raw Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of date paste (1 lb of dates=1 cup of date paste)
  • 1 1/4 cup of raw almond butter
  • 1 1/4 cup of raw carob powder
  • 1/3 cup of honey

Mix and press into 9×9 square pyrex pan/dish.  Refrigerate at least one hour.  Cut into squares.

As you can see, going raw will require a few extras.  A dehydrator is invaluable and a food processor gets the silver medal right behind it.  Planning and preparation is important, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be raw in no time.  For more raw recipes, check out living-foods.com.

If you have any questions or would like to share some of your delicious RAW recipes, please feel free to leave a comment.

 

The Squatting Birth April 9, 2008

I’ve heard it described as “the most beautiful moment in life”.  I’ve seen grown men cry just reliving the memory.  But, for those of us who truly know, childbirth ain’t no walk in the park!  This natural life occurrence has got some blood, sweat and tears associated with it – and they’re not all tears of joy either. The last thing in the world any mother wants is a prolonged labor and/or delivery.  Some women opt for planned births (scheduled C-Sections), others choose managed deliveries (epidurals & other drugs) while others go for the au naturale.  Which coincidentally, will be part of our discussion today.

When choosing an all-natural birth (pregnancy, labor & delivery), pregos must plan, plan, plan. Planning and preparation for your all-natural delivery is more than important, it’s vital! Extended labors and deliveries are, in part, due to lack of planning for and understanding of the birthing process.  Gravity is your friend and it’s best to use it wisely.  

The squatting birthing technique is something that may seem a little… well, un-everything you were told birthing should be.  We’ve been fed the hospital scene where mom is rushed in on a stretcher, hubby is right by her side, holding her hand and the stretcher is rushed into the delivery room… where she lays on her back pushing and pushing, breathing and breathing… hubby is doing his best to help her remember her lamaze class instruction – 3 quick breaths and hold, 3 quick breaths and hold.  Then, miraculously, after about 5 minutes of breathing, pushing, anguished glances, and a commercial break, the beautiful, cooing baby emerges from moms forcepped legs.  Did you get all that?  Well forget it!  It’s all wrong… not really, not in every situation, but for chicks who want to get in and get out, squatting is the way to go.

The history of squatting goes back hundreds of years, maybe thousands.  There have been ancient art created to depict women squatting during birth.  Artfully crafted birthing stools and chairs have been built to assist mothers.  Where are they now?  Why haven’t we heard of them until now?  IDK.  Ask modern medicine  and Big Pharma- but that’s not what this post is about.  Let’s get ready for our squatting birth…

First, the benefits of squatting include:

  • shortened second stage of labor (the pushing phase)
  • Reduced need for forceps during delivery
  • Reduced need for episiotomy
  • Shortens the depth of the birth canal
  • Increased pelvic diameter

Preparation During Pregnancy:

 

  • Walk daily (low-intensity 30 minute walk)
  • Squat often – this will strengthen your legs for when you need to squat during birth.  A 30 minute daily squat session in intervals of 5 squats for 6 minutes each seems reasonable to me.
  • Seek out and employ chiropractic care (see my post Chiropractic Care – A Must for Babies & Moms-to-Be )

Now, let’s discuss what to do once in labor.  Squatting should be exercised during contractions.  Once the contraction begins, the mother should be helped into the squatting position for the duration of the contraction.  When the contraction ends, she should resume the most comfortable position for her, giving her time to relax before the next round of contractions start – usually 2 minutes of contractions to 5 minutes of relaxation.

It is important to know your options when utilizing the squatting technique.  Some hospitals or birth centers provide squat bars (to support the mother’s weight to give her legs a rest), birthing stool (also supports the mother in a squatting position… it’s U-shaped stool the mother sits on), there are also specially made beds with attachments that extend and retract for a more comfortable squatting “experience”.

The squatting technique has been shown to truly reduce the length of the birthing process, and who wouldn’t want that??? Besides Big Pharma who wants to drug the hell out of you to get bigger payouts for the drugs they poison you with (do you sense a little animosity?) We all want shorter, healthier, less dramatic births and squatting is by far, the best way to get there.  Seek out doulas or birthing coaches who can provide you with more in-depth information with regard to squatting during birth.  Trust me on this one, you’ll be so glad you did.

For more information on squatting births check out birthingnaturally.net.

I’d like some feedback on this post if you don’t mind.  Whether you love it or hate it or in-between, send me a comment.  

Thanks.