Iron Tonic from Herbwifery

most women who have investigated supplements for a healthy pregnancy have come across a lovely (and expensive) concoction known as floradix.  pregnant women need to consume nearly twice as much iron as their non-gravid sisters, and this sends many women after this lovely and mysterious elixir.  floradix liquid differs from typical iron pills in that it is plant-derived iron and therefore much more easily assimilated into the body.  anyone who has taken regular iron pills can tell you (as can their sore behinds) that floradix is well worth the cost since it bypasses the nasty constipation associated with the pills.

the good news?  you can make your own floradix-esque concoction!  for very little money!  below, you’ll find a recipe for what i (rather selfishly) call “lucadix”…..feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking, and please share it with others.  also, anemic women will benefit from a daily dose of this yummy syrup!


2 parts yellow dock root 2 parts nettle leaf 2 parts red raspberry leaf 1 part dandelion leaf 1 part dandelion root

(this is a very complete syrup when it comes to vitamins and minerals, but if you really just need the iron and want to save the $$, you can just make it with yellow dock root and the ingredients below)

water molasses honey a jar

step 1.  measure out 2oz by weight of your herb mixture (in a pinch, two big handfuls) per quart of water that you’re using.

step 2.  bring your water to a boil, add your herbs, and turn down to a medium-low simmer.

step 3.  simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced by half (different stoves/pans vary, but 2 quarts boiled down to 1 quart for me in about 50 minutes–make sure not to burn it!)

step 4.  fill your jar halfway full with 3 parts molasses to 1 part honey (ish—experiment with taste here, but there should always be more molasses than honey because it is a very good source of iron)

step 5.  strain the decocted (boiled and reduced) mixture, and fill the other half of the jar.  (So it’s one part sweet, one part liquid)

step 6.  if you aren’t pregnant and are just taking this for the iron, you can add a dash of brandy to preserve it.

step 7.  stir or shake to mix the molasses, honey, and decoction, and then pop it in the fridge.

you can take up to 6 tablespoons a day, and feel free to get adventurous with it.  while you can’t add fruit juice to it (it will spoil), you can add fruit syrups as part of the sweet half.  for instance, i used the last of my elderberry syrup (another lesson forthcoming) in addition to my honey and molasses.  get creative eating it too.  you can put it on biscuits or pancakes or ice cream, or you can take it straight out of the spoon!  in the fridge, this should keep for a few weeks.

get your ingredients here.  shipping is expensive, so buy in bulk or go in with other herbies you know :)



yellow dock root–see all the yellow, iron-y goodness?


Lucie’s List of what baby REALLY needs

Banner lucies list


This is Meg. She has two daughters, Lucie and Alice. (and she hates balloons, just like me!!)



When Lucie was born, she didn’t have a CLUE what she needed or what to expect in the first year, so she created her site so others could learn from my mistakes — and maybe have a laugh or two along the way.

In short, I tried to make the kind of site that I would have found useful as a new mom. You know — all the sh*! that nobody told me?? I’m telling YOU.

Check out her site and her blog:

My Birth Journal

I did my postpartum visit today to see Baby C, who is growing and healthy and happy, and Mama A gave me the most precious gift!!!

Jane Austen 5 Year Journal


This journal has a page a day, so I can log each birth I attend!!!

jane austen journal inside


I love it sooo much!!!

20 of the Best Midwife Blogs in 2012

via Kwik 

Science and Sensibility

This blog is a research blog by Lamaze International. It is a blog about pregnancy and birth as well as containing information for after the birth too. The company itself promotes healthy pregnancy and birth practices and exists to be a support to women seeking information and advice in these areas. Everything on the site is based on the latest education and research practices.

The Feminist Breeder

This blog is self described as being ‘where edgy feminism finds modern motherhood’. The blog contains lots of articles to help inform and guide mothers to be. There are plenty of topic areas to choose from including family planning, breastfeeding and career and work information. There are other parenting specific articles on the blog from a feminist perspective as well as the opportunity to submit guest posts or contact the blogger directly.

Midwife Thinking

This blog is written from the personal perspective of an independent midwife based in the Australia. The aim of the blog is not to advise or offer guidance but to get thinking going about midwifery and childbirth issues. It is designed to share information and knowledge as well as latest research and education and views on this topic. The blog includes written articles and videos.

Village Midwife

Quite simply this is a blog containing stories regarding midwifery. It is also intended that the blog will provide critical commentary on current issues affecting pregnancy and childbirth issues. The articles are informative and cover some commonly asked questions about giving birth. Visitors are able to search previous articles as well as easily access the most recent posts.

Women in Charge

This blog is aimed at empowering women to take charge of their own ‘bodies, babies and births’. It is believed that with the right information and encouragement women have the power to control their own birth situations. The blog is a project of the Wisewoman Childbirth Traditions.

Ontario Midwives

As the title indicates this is the site for Ontario Midwives. This group receives funding from Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. As a consequence of this pregnant women get access to free midwifery services for birth at hospital or at home. This site gives and overview of the services available and outlines how to access this care. In addition there are also useful general articles regarding pregnancy and childbirth.

Citizens for Midwifery

This is a simple blog which is full of useful and insightful articles regarding midwifery. Visitors can browse previous articles as well as search for information. Previous posts include book reviews and details of midwifery events as well as links to other useful sites and resources.

Carolyn’s Blog

This is a personal midwifery blog which contains articles and commentary on midwife news and current issues. There are numerous interesting posts regarding issues that affect parents and parents to be. The blog is about midwifery and midwifery education. The blogger also encourages feedback in the form of comments on the different posts whether in agreement or not.

Bloody Show

This is the blog of a student midwife. As such the blog is mainly full of post relating to midwifery education issues rather than parenting issues or advice generally. What is interesting is that this blogger states an interest in ‘the intersections of health and race, class, sex, gender, sexuality and daisability’ so the articles and posts are varied and diverse.

Meconium Happens

This is an eclectic mixture of articles, poems, posts and musings from a student or ‘fledgling’, as she calls herself, midwife. There are personal stories, poetry and midwife stories on this blog. The blog is useful anyone wishing to find out more about becoming a midwife and all it entails. As a mother of eight children this blogger also details her credentials in terms of parenthood for the role of midwife.

Stacey Curnow

Quite apart from midwifery this site is actually aimed at women seeking to find themselves outside of motherhood. The site is designed to provide information about how best to separate home life as a mother to the rest of a woman’s life. Stacey Curnow who runs the site wants to help mothers looking to find themselves and has thus designed a ‘Midwife your Life’ package which can help do just that.

Mother Bloom

This site is promoting the midwifery services of Mother Bloom which is based in Austin, Texas. The website details the services available to parents to be seeking midwife care and it also gives information to families and also about midwifery and what it entails. The blog on the site contains personal posts from the lead midwife of Mother Bloom, Christy Tashjian.

Gloria Lemay

This is the blog of ‘childbirth activist’ Gloria Lemay. The site contains lots of detailed articles and information about midwifery and the opposition the career comes up against. Gloria promotes Birth Freedom even when this is not supported by many countries around the world. The site contains articles around home birth, breastfeeding and the holistic education of doulas and midwives amongst other information. Gloria lives in Canada but has travelled to gain information and attend events regarding midwifery in other parts of the world.

Mom’s Tin Foil Hat

This is a blog by a single mom of two boys. She is also a midwife and this blog is where she shares her experiences and expresses her thoughts. She invites comments and contact via the blog and aims to simply share her opinions with others about her life and her continued studies in obstetrics and gynecology.




Sarah Stewart

This is the blog of Sarah who works for the Australian College of Midwives. The articles on the blog are a variety of midwifery stories as well as those about teaching and learning. Sarah has experience as a midwife and nurse and is currently a facilitator and educator amongst other things that specialises in e-learning and social media. The blog is a personal blog but the posts are written to stimulate and interest others in these areas.

Where’s My Midwife?

This is the website of grassroots organization ‘Where’s My Midwife?’. The aim of the organization is to raise the access to midwives in hospitals, birth centers and at home. On the website is information about the cause as well as how to get involved and take action to help. There are videos and a blog with posts and information about the organization’s activity. There is also a page where people can donate cash to the organization too to help.

Safer Midwifery for Michigan

This website has been set up by families in Lansing in Michigan who support getting standards improved and made safer for midwifery practices in the state. Overall the site discusses current practices and experiences and attempts to engineer conversations regarding maternity care. The aim of the site is to improve the standards of care for all families in Michigan. Not only is the site informative about the cause but there is also the opportunity to get involved and take action to show support.

A Midwife’s Muse

This is a personal blog of a trained midwife. The articles are a mixture of professional and personal and are intended to inform rather than give advice or enable any self diagnosis. This midwife is UK based. Articles are based on general pregnancy, childbirth, newborn information and breastfeeding support. The site enables visitors to view previous posts and search for articles or topics too.

Erin Ellis Midwife

This is a blog written by a trained midwife. She is also a mother and is taking time off from midwifery. That said she is currently using this time to consider the ‘Birth Change’ movement in the US. She writes about childbirth and mothering as well as ‘political and clinical issues in maternity care’. The site contains birth videos and links to other useful websites as well as articles and resources and some commonly asked questions.

Mothers Naturally

There is all sorts on this site for mothers to be and new mothers. The site is clearly laid out and visitors can access sections regarding home birth, natural pregnancy, birth stories and frequently asked questions. There is also a due date calculator meaning visitors can estimate their baby’s due date ahead of visiting a health professional. There is the opportunity to sign up for a free newsletter and also find a midwife or at least information on having your own midwife.

Belly Casts

A belly cast is a three-dimensional plaster sculpture of a woman’s pregnant abdomen as a keepsake of her pregnancy. It can also be known as a belly mask, pregnancy belly cast, a pregnant plaster cast, or prenatal cast.

There is one moment in life in which we give freely of ourselves to another life. This is, perhaps, our one true moment.
There is no moment as “true” as the one in which we offer a new life the opportunity to be born onto this world.
I love seeing belly casts, and people are finding more and more ways to decorate their big bellies:




But as beautiful as they are, what do you do with them…forever?

Hang it:


Frame it:


Lots of great ideas out there!!!

Cloth Diapering 101

I got a cloth diaper tutorial with Hannah Neas of The Cloth Nook and got to see and feel many types of cloth diapers.

The less expensive diapers will require more time to assemble, the more expensive, the easier to use.

Don’t fully invest in one kind or brand. As your baby grows, one may work better than the others. So, experiment!


First, there are many styles of cloth diapers:

FLATS/PREFOLDS: your grandma will recognise these, but most are secured with Snappi Hooks not safety pins!




•Easy to launder and fast to dry

•Post diaper use as burp cloths or cleaning rags


•A cover is required

•Takes time to fold

•Pins and/or a Snappi can be hard to use

•Runny messes are harder to contain

FITTED: A fitted diaper is shaped a lot like a disposable. Fitted cloth diapers require no special folding because they wrap around baby just like a disposable diaper, the back wings attach in front, under the baby’s belly.


•Fitted and snug for a good fit on baby and under diaper covers

•Can be washed at high temperatures, separate from covers

•Easy to clean

•Can be very trim for day use or bulkier for nighttime use…your choice


•A cover is required to make the diaper function

•Can be hard to wash and may have smell problems if there are too many layers

POCKET: A waterproof shell is lined with super soft cloth and have pockets for the removable absorbent inserts.


•Does not requires a cover

•fastens with snaps or velcro

•Outer layer is waterproof

•Usually has elastic and legs and back area


•Requires and absorbent stuffer material to be placed in the pocket before each use

•One Sized are more money up front

ALL-IN-ONE: All in one diapers have an inner absorbent layer attached to an outer waterproof layer with adjustable closures (either Velcro® or snaps). All-in-one diapers are just like disposable diapers except you wash them!


• Functions like a disposable

• No separate soaker or doubler required

• Easy to use

• No separate cover required

• Preferred by childcare givers


• More money up front

• Longer drying times

• Harder to clean effectively

• Will “break down” faster than a diaper with a separate cover/insert

Second, washing is important:

Get a Wet Bag to place the soiled diapers in till laundry day.

For pocket diapers, remove the filler and place all parts in the wet bag. For poopoo diapers, deposit feces in toilet and dunk or rinse. Then place in wet bag.

  1. A warm soak/rinse
  2. A HOT long wash
  3. Dry on medium heat

Do not use fabric softeners

Drying in the sun is best for stains and odder, if you are able!

DETERGENTS: Some laundry soaps will leave residue behind (a scent or softener, which is fine for clothes) that will decrease the absorbance of the diaper. Look for detergents that are free of phosphates and fragrances. Two great companies are DeeTergent and Rockin Green.




Green Mountain Diapers

The Cloth Nook

The Diaper Jungle

Why We Love Green


My Birth Story

Due Date: November 10

Birth Date: Tuesday, November 25  (Tuesday’s child is full of Grace)

Time: 5:33am

Weight: 7lbs 1oz ; Length: 20.5in ; Head: 12.75in.

Hair Color: Blonde

Eye Color: Blue

I asked my mom to write down my birth story. I have heard some of these stories before, but it is nice to have it all written out!

Learning about Pregnancy: • It took about a year to get pregnant and was starting to get worried, but luckily Mother Nature worked it out. Obviously, I was ecstatic to be pregnant with my first baby! I hoped only for a healthy child; I didn’t care what sex would be. • The first person I told was baby daddy, then grandparents, then all our friends and family. Everyone was as overjoyed as we were! • I educated myself about pregnancy; but did not take any classes. I talked to friends and family about their stories and read as much as possible. I got a subscription to “Parents” magazine and joined Better Homes and Gardens (BH&G) book club and ordered many applicable books. One of my favorites and most informative was a BH&G pregnancy; childbirth; infancy reference book. I referred to this book throughout my pregnancy and throughout the kids early childhoods. Read about Lamaze birthing methods, although we never took any formal training classes. I understood the importance of staying calm and breathing so I attempted to educate myself. I didn’t use coaches, etc.; my Doctor was an OB/GYN & delivery was planned for the hospital. • I worked full time up until 1 month before Cortney’s birth. I gave 2 weeks’ notice (2 weeks before due date) but since she was 2 weeks late (due Nov 10) I gained 2 extra weeks off work so ended up not working for the last month of my pregnancy which was nice since I was so huge … and I never went back after Cortney was born. • I was super sick the first 5-6 mos of pregnancy. I could not stand scent or smells of any kind. I could not stand to look at or smell meat; esp. raw. I could not really cook or eat anything. I had to even throw out my strawberry-scented lipgloss & bath/perfume products. I was dizzy constantly like being seasick, I threw up & had dry-heaves almost round the clock (not just in the morning). Did not gain much weight in these months and I was exhausted. I could sleep for 12-15 hours easily, plus naps. It was very hard to work during this time period. • I had cravings for milk-related products @ about 3-6mos pregnant; esp. ice cream and cream cheese. I ate a frozen cream cheese pie every day along with quarts of ice cream. Actually this was about all I could keep down since I was so sick with morning sickness practically 24/7. • Even though I was so sick in the beginning I ended up being Huge! I gained about 40lbs (120 to 160). This is a heavy load to bear for someone who is 5’3”. Had to deal with water/fluid retention & possible toxemia. Was supposed to eat low sodium diet. I also had joint problems due to swelling; excess weight & whatever. Developed “temporary” arthritis in knees & fingers. Note: Unfortunately I was pregnant with both of my kids before I educated myself on healthy eating. Basically at this time of my life I was still a meat eater & I ate salads that were made out of iceberg lettuce and then drowned in Ranch dressing with mounds of croutons and grated cheedar cheese etc on top … & I thought this was healthy eating? Also ate a lot of hamburger (as in Hamburger Helper); Taco Bell burrito supremes; & Meat- Lover pizzas with goobs of pepperoni; sausage; ham; cheese; etc.

First Indications: • We had gone out to dinner on Monday evening ,Nov 24, for a big steak dinner (which was typical). I don’t remember eating that much as I was huge & just didn’t feel too hungry. I remember wondering if I wasn’t that hungry because labor & delivery would be soon. My hunch was correct. • We got home around 9pm & I went to bed around 10 or 11pm. Woke up at 2:30am (Tues Nov 25) with what felt like mild cramps or gas pains. Ran a hot bath & sat in it for a half-hour or so as the heat felt good on my lower back & stomach. Since all the stories I had heard or read were that I would probably be in labor at least half-a-day (i.e. 12hrs) and probably longer (since this was my first baby) I didn’t feel any urgency to rush around getting ready for the hospital. But then the cramps & pain started getting more intense & lasting longer but more frequent & my water broke. Was happy I had already been packed for several weeks for the trip to the hospital. Woke baby dada up around 3:30am & said we needed to go & soon. By this time I was hurting & sick. I threw up everything I had eaten for dinner & possibly everything I had eaten the previous day(s). Also I didn’t realize a blizzard had blown in since we had gotten home at 9pm the following night. First, dada called the Doctor who said to come to the hospital right away & he would meet us there. Second, he called his mother who rushed right over. Third, he called the Sheriff’s dept who said they were discouraging travel but the highway was still open but only for 4-wheel drive vehicles or with chains. Forth, since we did not have chains or a 4-wheel drive vehicle, he called the neighbors across the street to borrow their 4-wheel drive truck & they gladly consented.

Trip to Hospital: • Baby dada drove us to the hospital along with my mother-in-law (who came over to the house which was easy since she just lived around the corner). • We had an approximate 30 mile trip to the hospital. Unfortunately, a winter blizzard had blown in & weather & road conditions were very bad. We needed a 4-wheel drive vehicle to make the drive into town & had to borrow the neighbors across the street since we did not have one. And due to weather it took us longer to make the drive. • I sat on my knees in the floor board of the truck & laid my head on the seat in the front seat. My mother-in-law was sitting in the front seat & rubbed my back which helped with the cramping & labor pains. • We left home at 4am & got to the hospital at 5am. Dada pulled up to the Emergency Room entrance. They hospital crew was expecting us & came out to the car to help us. They brought out a wheel chair but I couldn’t & wouldn’t sit down. Next they came out with a roll-away gurney which I laid down on & they wheeled me in to delivery. Cortney was born at 5:33am.

Labor and Delivery: • I was not into setting any endurance records or becoming a labor and delivery queen role model so I opted to get a local as this appeared to be a fairly pain free and healthy way to go according to my research. I did not want a spinal or to be totally knocked out or drugged up during my labor and delivery as this did not appear to be a healthy way to go. • Since I got to the hospital only a half-hour before baby was born it was too late to have any interventions including a local and too late to have any drugs or pain meds to take effect; additionally at this late stage any drug could affect my delivery and the health of the baby. So, to my own detriment off to delivery, I went in about as natural a state as one can get! Bottomline is that this is not a painfree experience so if one accepts or “bites” this reality from the beginning and psychs themself out in preparation for this experience then there will be no surprises and you will do ok.

Naming: • For some reason I was drawn to “C” names. Potential candidates for girl names were Courtney Lynne; Colette Michelle; Carolyn Grace (nickname Carrie); Chrystal Dawn; Christy Leigh; Cheree’; Colleen; Chelsey; and Hope for a possible middle name. I really liked Colette Michelle and was still debating this name up until the baby’s birth. But I wanted the baby girl to have my middle name and I didn’t feel like Colette Lynne flowed smoothly. Carolyn Grace was beautiful and my great-grandmother’s name and Carrie was her nickname but Carolyn Lynne was one too many “lyns” plus I couldn’t get that ridiculous 70s horror teen flick “Carrie” out of my head so I checked this name off my list. Chrystal and Chelsey were really trendy in the late 70s and early 80s so I decided not to go with these names although I then went with the very trendy Courtney and thought I was clever by deleting the “u” in order to be different. Making up baby names and reinventing the spelling was also an upcoming 80s trend. In hindsight I wish I would not have dropped the “u” from Courtney but that’s what happens when you think you are a cool and trendy parent. Christy Leigh sounded too much like a country and western singer (although Lee was baby daddy’s middle name) and Colleen Lynne had too many “Ls” and didn’t flow well so this name was out. I always liked Cheree’ but had trouble finding a middle name that flowed with it. Had I had a second daughter I would have struggled with Colette Michelle or Leigh; or Carolyn Grace or Leigh (middle name after Lee for dada) as I would have felt compelled to have the second child with dada’s middle name to follow the current naming convention but it would not have resulted in the names or flow that I wanted.

Life with Newborn: • Was ecstatic to be home with my beautiful new baby girl! • I was obviously tired a lot & didn’t get much sleep but new mothers run on adrenalin! • Unfortunately, Cortney had colic for approximately the first 6mos or so; so this caused some stress for me. Nothing seemed to work: home remedies or Pediatrician’s advice & medicine. • Cortney also had a lot of energy & really never slept a lot like most newborns. • I breast-feed Cortney for the first 6mos. Nursing was really nice & convenient since it was cold during the winter months. I didn’t have to get up in the middle of a cold winter’s night to make baby bottles etc. This was also easier for me since I did not return to work. But with a baby that is eating every 2-3 hrs it makes it difficult to go anywhere or get anything done! • I was a tad “hyper” as a new mother due to all of the slight stresses above. • This was the fastest weight loss ever! I was in the hospital for 3 days & the day I left the hospital I had lost all 40lbs gained while pregnant (from 160 to 120). This means within 3 days I weighed exactly what I had weighed when I got pregnant. Within one month of giving birth (i.e. by Christmas) I had lost an additional 5lbs so I was back wearing my size 3 jeans • Also nursing also burns mega-calories and helps to contract/shrink abdomen muscles back into shape faster. I highly recommend this to all new mothers plus breastfeeding is healthier for baby!

Thanks Mom!!!!