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Posted in Birth Stories, Natural Childbirth, Positive Birth Movement, Pregnancy, Western Birth Practices, Your Questions Answered | Leave a comment

What is an Empowered Birth?

“For me an empowered birth is one where I am the one who makes the decisions for me and my baby. Where I am in an environment of love, support, and respect for the power within my body to successfully birth my baby. Where I can be free to express anything I need to express; sound, movement, fear, love, ecstasy in a place that my expression will not lead to interference from the outside. I believe women have the ability to create an empowering birth experience regardless of if the birth outcome is natural, medicated, or surgical.   When women are making the decisions for their bodies and their babies out of education, faith, belief and confidence in themselves and not out of fear or manipulation they will be empowered.  I believe in the human body, in it’s power, and in birth’s ability to transform a person, woman, wife, and mother.”

Dr. Nancy, Your Birth Coach

If you, too, want an empowered birth – join the community at

Natural Birth, Baby, and Beyond is an online childbirth empowerment course and online community where you can get all the information and resources you need to create the best birth for you and your baby.

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Tired of Looking Pregnant

I get asked if I am pregnant all. the. time.

Pregnant with #3

Pregnant with #3 (2011)

From 2006 through 2011 I have had 3 people live inside my body.  I made space for each visitor by expanding and stretching to their growing needs.  Almost 4 years has passed since my last guest vacated his home within my womb and I am left with a body that has not yet realized that there are no visitors taking up this extra space.

I am 4 years post partum and I look 3 months pregnant, sometimes more after a big meal.  My abdominal muscles are stretched and have not yet regained their previous length.  They don’t have the tone to keep my abdominal organs tucked neatly inside and instead they push my abdomen out like a uterus with a growing baby.  I also have diastatis recti a common condition in pregnancy and beyond, where the abdominal muscle separate at the midline and cannot hold in the pressure of the abdominal organs.

1 year after baby #2

1 year after baby #2 (2010)

After my second child was born I was smaller and more toned than I had been since I hit puberty.  Things were different in my life, I was back at work within 3 months working as chiropractor which is a physically demanding job of always moving your body. I also had started doing capoeira (a Brazialian martial art) at 3 months postpartum and was working my core muscles through the movements.

After my third child my life changed.  I chose not to return to my chiropractic practice so I could be home more with my kids.  I have been working more on the computer writing my upcoming new book Great Sex, Great Birth, blogging, and developing the Natural Birth, Baby, and Beyond Childbirth Empowerment Curriculum and Community, as a result more time has been spent sitting at a computer. With the extra busyness of life with 3, lots of volunteer work in the local birth and parenting community and moving homes farther from my capoeira classes, i haven’t returned to the same level of activity, and it shows.

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3 years and 9 months after baby #3 (July 23, 2015)

I get asked quite frequently by well meaning acquaintances, strangers, and especially children, “Do you have a baby in your belly?” I answer, “Sadly I do not, just that my body remembers what it is like to have 3 individuals live in there.”

Honestly, I am not offended by their questions.  People know I am very involved in the world of pregnancy and birth and that I love babies.   I do look pregnant and am happy to still be within childbearing age that people could think that I am indeed pregnant. Although I am likely not going to have more children, as strange as it may sound I take a certain amount of pleasure form still being fertile. That probably comes from societal programming as a kid that fertility is a measure of your worth as a woman, but I won’t address how ridiculous it is that I grew up with that insane judgement about women and their bodies in this post.

I have breastfed three kids since this last pregnancy and even the extra calories burned by nursing will not change the way my tummy hangs out.  So now 4 years after giving birth I am resigned to the fact that my belly isn’t going to magically disappear on its own and also that my pelvic floor needs some work.

My pelvic floor is an issue i didn’t realize I had until just recently.  Having pushed three babies through my pelvis it wasn’t entirely surprising that after my last birth I had some mild stress incontinence with laughing or sneezing.  This seemed to resolve itself just fine within a short time after giving birth.  It wasn’t until a couple of months ago when I went to a trampoline park with my family that I discovered that my pelvic floor isn’t as strong as I thought it was.  Daily life is fine and normal but my body just could not handle the intensity of jumping on a trampoline.  Going to the bathroom to empty my bladder every 10 minutes wasn’t even enough to allow me safely jump without leakage.

While I loved my pregnant body when there was babies living in met, I am at a point where I want to regain tone back into my core and reclaim my body that has given so much to others.

Up to now I haven’t addressed the issues because I know that conventional core exercise does more harm than good when someone has diastasis recti and I wanted to make sure I was doing the right exercises to effectively deal with my postpartum body.  There are some local classes lead by wonderful women but finding the time in my schedule to drive across the city once a week just hasn’t made it to the top of my priority list.

I recently discovered a course called the MuTu System to help postpartum moms get their core strength back, correct their diastasis recti, and improve their pelvic floor.  I have just signed up to give this course a go and I am going to share my journey with you.

My goals are:

1. Increased core strength

2. Tighter abdominal muscles (not look pregnant)

3. Ability to go trampolining without needing to wear a diaper

Today, July 27th, will be day 1.  I will keep you posted on my progress and if it is something I would recommend to others.  In the meantime, feel free to check it out yourself by clicking HERE.  

Let me know in the comments how you are feeling about your postpartum body.

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Please note: links are paid affiliate links and I have not yet experienced the product so cannot vouch for the program just yet. I hope to be able to give you some great feedback and post pictures soon.

Posted in Family Life/ Relationships, General, Parenting, Sexuality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Lego, Please Bring Back the Female Scientists

Lego Research Institute is one of the few career focused Lego sets specifically with female figurines but is not longer available. Lego says, “This set was overwhelmingly popular and is no longer available for purchase.”

Female Scientist Lego set no longer available, let’s all write to Lego and see if we can bring it back.

I sent an email to Lego’s customer support to ask them when this set would be available again and they responded with this: “I’m sorry but we aren’t making the 21110 Research Institute any more. Our Product Developers in Denmark invent new LEGO® toys every year. They spend their time trying to find new and fun toys that are better every time. The shelves in toy shops aren’t big enough to hold everything so sometimes we have to stop making a few of the older sets. The set was brought back once, but quickly sold out after it arrived back in stock.”

If it “quickly sold out” and “was overwhelmingly popular” then why not bring it back onto the shelves or carry it online?

Let’s all email them and see if we can give them the message that this is the kind of Lego we want marketed to our girls.

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Mom Breastfeeds Her 6 year Old and Social Media Goes Crazy.

“The foundation for healthy growth and development in later years is established to a large degree in the first six years of life.”
– Toward a Healthy Future: Second report of the Health of Canadians {Federal, Provincial and territorial Advisory Committee on Population Health, 1999}

Denise Sumpter, nursing her 2 children, ages 6 and 21 months.

The recommendations of the World Health Organization and Health Canada are to breastfeed exclusively for a minimum 6 months and then continue on with complimentary foods for 2 years and then continue on for however long the family decides, with no upper limit.

I am, in no way, saying that everyone must breastfeed for two years and beyond or that everyone must breastfeed at all, what I would like to suggest is that breastfeeding is normal and looks different for every family. You do what is right for your family and another mother will do what is right for hers.

We are in a culture that likes to spew the mantra that “Breast is Best” but then does everything possible to sabotage a woman’s ability to fully breastfeed her child.

There are those who refuse to believe that feeding a child corn syrup and modified milk Continue reading

Posted in Attachment Parenting, Breastfeeding, Family Life/ Relationships, General, Natural, Natural Living, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Are the Benefits to Normal Term Nursing?

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What it’s Like to Nurse an 8 Year Old

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Can you Nurse with No Milk?

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Are You Treating Your Loved Ones Fairly?

I wanted to share THIS ARTICLE because I feel it is an important reminder to treat our closest loves ones with dignity and respect.  The title is, “I wasn’t Treating My Husband Fairly.”

It is important to remember to treat everyone with dignity (especially those people we love). I think we are almost all guilty of imposing our expectations on our loved ones at some point, I know I am.  This article is a great mirror for us to see the effects of this on our family and how we need to step back and look at our own behavior.
One complaint I have about this article is that she said, “I’m not his mom.” We also should not be treating our children the way she described treating her husband. They deserve the same level of dignity and respect we would give to anyone else in society. If you wouldn’t speak to the bank manager that way, you shouldn’t speak to anyone that way.
The same goes for her comment about him not being her employee. No one deserves to be treated in a way that doesn’t honor who they are. I would never speak to my employees the way she spoke to her husband.
We need to remember that other people, including people we love, are their own people and we should not strive for them to be like us, or satisfy our expectations. If we love them, our desire for them  should be to express their true essence, fully. Even if that means they are clumsy, forgetful, or disorganized.
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What Does ISIS Have to Do With Birth and Parenting?

Never before has it been so important to stay connected to our kids. With busy work schedules and kids extracurricular activities, it is easy for families to be moving together but without making any connection.

Kids who feel disconnected from their families have always been at greater risk of being recruited into gangs and following a path in life that doesn’t best serve them or the community. Social media and religious extremists have taken that risk to a whole other level.

Earlier this month 60 minutes did a segment on “homegrown Jihadists” called “Campaigning for ISIS in the West.” Using social media, ISIS is recruiting youth in the west through their bedroom computers. Using online video sharing, twitter and other social media they are actively recruiting those youth who are craving connection, purpose and a place to belong.

It’s not enough these days that your kids are at home. That doesn’t translate to being safe Continue reading

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Prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth.

The World Health Organization has released a statement: Prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth. I am sad that this even needs to be a topic of discussion and thrilled that this is finally being dealt with on a global scale.

WHO Statement: Prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth.

Posted in Birth Stories, Childbirth Activism, Informed Choice, Natural Childbirth, Positive Birth Movement, Western Birth Practices | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Should Breastfeeding Mothers Pump to Feed their Children in Public?

A comment on Today’s Parent article about a nurse in that took place after a recent human rights violation regarding breastfeeding stated:

“God so sick and tired of these women who constantly complain….and I am sorry you wanna whip out your breast to feed your child….do not do it in front of me while I am eating…there is such thing as a pump and if you know your going out pump some milk, you can breast feed in the privacy of your own home.” from MOMOF1

Why on Earth would someone pump to leave the house?

Here is some context about the incident.  A woman who was travelling in Ontario with her baby stopped at Tim Horton’s and breastfed her baby.  She was asked to cover up by the supervisor and the manager.   The next day a nurse-in took place to raise awareness that breastfeeding is a protected right via the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code.  No woman can be asked to move or cover up while nursing.

It seems to me that comments, like the one by MOMOF1, clearly show how much people do not understand breastfeeding and what it would take for a mom to pump to leave the house.

One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that it is available in the right quantity and temperature at all times and places and does not require the expense of any paraphernalia or time to prepare.

For a mom to pump milk to go out Continue reading

Posted in Breastfeeding | Tagged , | 1 Comment