Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Gathering at Journey Birth Services

I've decided to have an annual get together, and this weekend was the first one! We had a fun time - pictures are on Facebook if you want to see. I had a lot of requests for some recipes, so here they are...

Potato Leek Soup
Prep Time: :35
Cook Time: 1:30

* 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1/2 pound each)
* 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 medium leeks (white and light green parts), sliced and rinsed well
* 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
* 4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 cup (about 1/4 pound) grated sharp Cheddar (see Cook's Note)
* 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens or chives

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes, pat dry, and pierce several times with a fork. Set them directly on the oven rack and bake until very tender, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth and 2 cups water. Simmer until the leeks are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

Cut one of cooled potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh out in one piece from each half. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside. Coarsely chop the potato skin and the entire remaining potato and add to the pot with the leeks. Puree the contents of the pot in batches in a blender until very smooth. Return the soup to a clean pot and reheat over medium low. Whisk together the milk and sour cream and then whisk this into the soup, along with 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese. Stir in the diced potato. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the remaining Cheddar cheese, the bacon bits, and the scallions or chives.

Yield: 6 cups, 4 servings

Cook's Note: Sharp cheese works well in this soup because it melts smoothly. Extra sharp will give you a more pronounced flavor but because of the lower moisture content, the soup will be less smooth.

And, the ever famous Amy's Artichoke Dip...
1 can (14oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8oz crumbled Feta cheese
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
optional: 2oz diced pimentos, drained
(I just chop up some black olives. But, do whatever you want)

1. Mix all ingredients
2. Spoon into 9in. pie plate or 3cup shallow baking dish
3. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes

And, finally, butternut squash risotto
Chop up a medium sized onion and a couple of garlic cloves. Saute them in olive oil over medium high heat for 5 or so minutes. Add 1 1/3 cups of arborio rice (whatever it's called. You know, risotto rice.) and saute for a minute or two. Add a cup of white wine and cook for about a minute. Oh, while you're doing this have some chicken broth simmering on another burner. Then, once the wine cooks off, ladle in some chicken broth - about 3 or 4 ladles. Cook it down, stirring frequently. Repeat. Repeat again. Keep repeating until the rice isn't hard. Takes about 1/2 hour or so. Once the rice is cooked, turn off the burner, add in about 2 cups of smashed up, cooked, butternut squash, 3 handfuls of parmesan cheese, some nutmeg and some sage, and some country style sausage sliced up (and already cooked). Let it sit up for a minute or two, then eat. It's good. Really, really good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Hi everyone! I realized that I haven't been posting lately - I'm so sorry! I think I am going to change the blog a little bit. I'm going to write birth related posts (my opinion about stuff), and invite former clients of Journey Birth Services to send their birth stories and/or photos in to be posted. Journey Birth Services has a page on Facebook, where I've been posting upcoming events and interesting news stories because it's, well, easier! So, come follow me on Facebook at Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mom's Group 7/9 (Thursday)

Come to Amy's house and meet with other moms. Meetings start at 11am and end at 2pm. Bring lunch or something to share. Children are always welcome!

52 Marshall Road
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Thursday, July 9th 11am to 2pm

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Class Available!

I am so excited to announce my new class - Vaccination Information!!
Learn everything you wanted to know about vaccines in this informative class. Class covers a short history of vaccination, the diseases the US currently vaccinates against, available vaccines and their ingredients, and scheduling of vaccinations. Class price of $40 includes a copy of The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert W. Sears. The class schedule may be found on the Journey Birth Services Calendar. Class size is limited, so register early at Journey Birth Services!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mom's Group 6/10

Come to Amy's house and meet other moms on the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings start at 11am and end at 2pm. Bring lunch or something to share. Children are always welcome!

52 Marshall Road
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Wednesday, June 10th 11am to 2pm

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

35 Reasons to Have a Homebirth...

Here are some of my favorites...
13. Home birth is just more fun!
22. You can cut the umbilical cord when you are good and ready. The speed at which they want to snip our newborn’s lifeline is unbelievable.
32. Nobody comes in, wakes you up, and checks your vitals every half hour at home.
34. Having a home birth is different. Different is cool.

Read more and feel free to leave your reason(s) in the comments!

Childbirth: Can the US Improve?

Once reserved for cases in which the life of the baby or mother was in danger, the cesarean is now routine. The most common operation in the U.S., it is performed in 31% of births, up from 4.5% in 1965.

With that surge has come an explosion in medical bills, an increase in complications -- and a reconsideration of the cesarean as a sometimes unnecessary risk.

It is a big reason childbirth often is held up in healthcare reform debates as an example of how the intensive and expensive U.S. brand of medicine has failed to deliver better results and may, in fact, be doing more harm than good.


Why todays parents are saying no to circumcision

We are the only country that routinely circumcises our infants at birth for non religious reasons. This is not the norm in other countries. In fact when speaking with a European friend of mine who was expecting a boy, she said she would not only not circumcise her son, but that she would never stand for it. When you live in a culture that does not routinely circumcise, the question becomes why would you.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Free Local Family Wellness Fair 5/16/09

And if you come, you could stop by and see yours truly!!

We have had several late vendor additions to the list below, so it's going to be a great day with lots of entertainment and information for the whole family. Please join us and tell all your friends and family to do the same!

Free Local Family Wellness Fair on 5/16/09

The Delaware County, PA chapter of the Holistic Moms Network, in conjunction with Ohm Chiropractic Center , is sponsoring a Wellness Fair on Saturday, May 16, 2009 from 11am to 4pm at Ohm Chiropractic located at 327 N. Middletown Road, Media, PA 19063. Free lectures start at 11am and fair festivities start at noon.

This family-friendly event is open to the public and free! Come early and bring your entire family to enjoy the lovely spring day and the scheduled outdoor activities. There will be an assortment of BBQ and vegan food available, live music throughout the day, raffles and more!

There will be free: massages, small reiki sessions, spinal check ups, reflexology sessions, adult yoga class and several fun children’s activities. Some of the vendors will represent a variety of products: essential oil bath and beauty products, handmade candles, handmade scarves, Ergo baby carriers, Juice Plus whole food supplements, handmade jewelry, Shaklee cleaning products and Selene Whole Food Co-op. There will also be several well-known area birth services, local non-profit organizations and other wellness practitioners with informational booths. Scheduled lectures include vaccine choice, homeopathy for moms and kids and traditional Chinese medicine for children.

For more information, please contact Heather Busovsky.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ricki Lake and The Doctors

I was going to make a post about the TV show The Doctors and their take on birth and Ricki Lake, but then I saw Jill's post, and I figured I'd just let her do it. Go read!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do You Doula?

A video about the role of doulas in childbirth... pretty good!

Delayed Cord Clamping

Great video about the benefits of delayed cord clamping!

Mom's Group 5/13

Come to Amy's house and meet other moms on the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings start at 11am and end at 2pm. Bring lunch or something to share. Children are always welcome!

52 Marshall Road
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Wednesday, May 13th 11am to 2pm

Monday, May 11, 2009

Widespread use of labor induction potentially harmful

The investigators found support only for inducing labor at or beyond 41 completed weeks of gestation and under some conditions when a woman's membranes break before labor. However, there is not good evidence for inducing labor in many other situations, including when the fetus is believed to be large or to have restricted growth, or when a woman is pregnant with twins, has insulin-dependent diabetes, or has low levels of amniotic fluid.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cesareans outnumber Vaginal Births in S Florida

Last year, for the first time, more babies in Miami-Dade County were born by cesarean section than were born vaginally, according to state records, and Broward's not far behind, with a rate of 43.7 percent -- both far above the national average.

At Kendall Regional Medical Center in Southwest Miami-Dade, seven out of 10 babies were delivered by C-section, a rate that University of Miami obstetrician Gene Burkett called ``just astounding.''

Locally and nationally, the cesarean rate has been creeping up annually for years. In 2007, the U.S. rate reached 31.8 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics -- an increase of more than 50 percent over the past decade.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Essay on the Factory Model of Childbirth

If only more OBs thought this way! Please read this - the lack of choice in maternity care is something that people need to be aware of!

Obstetrician/gynecologist Lauren Plante has a remarkable essay in the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics in which she condemns the rising cesarean rate and compares current U.S. childbirth practices to the industrial revolution.


Washington State Passes Breastfeeding Law

It's now a woman's civic right to breast feed her baby in public. Before the new law, women couldn't be arrested for indecency while breastfeeding, now they're protected from being asked to leave.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Home births 'as safe as hospitals'

The largest study of its kind has found that for low-risk women, giving birth at home is as safe as doing so in hospital with a midwife.


Nursing by the numbers

In 2001, the USDA concluded that if breastfeeding rates were increased to 75 percent at birth and 50 percent at six months, it would lead to a national government savings of a minimum of $3.6 billion. This amount was easily an underestimation since it represents savings in the treatment of only three of the dozens of illnesses proven to be decreased by breastfeeding: ear infections, gastroenteritis, and necrotizing enterocolitis.


Birth by Appointment

A decade ago, surgical delivery mainly was reserved for emergency situations, such as when mothers had high blood pressure or were failing to progress in labor or the baby showed signs of distress. Today, several factors are leading to the rapid rise in C-sections, even though having one carries with it a longer hospital stay, longer recovery time and the risk of complications from anesthesia. Those factors include changing attitudes toward childbirth, the convenience of a scheduled birth for busy women, and malpractice concerns by doctors and insurance companies.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mom's Group Rescheduled!

I am walking out the door to a birth and have to reschedule mom's group to next Wednesday, April 15th. It will still be 11 to 2 at my house. Hope to see you then!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Eating Lightly During Labor May Not Affect Obstetric or Neonatal Outcomes

Eating a light diet during labor did not affect obstetric or neonatal outcomes or increase vomiting, according to the results of a prospective, randomized controlled trial reported online first in the March 25 issue of the British Medical Journal.

"The current rationale for women fasting during labour is to protect them from pulmonary aspiration should general anaesthesia be needed for an emergency operative delivery," write Geraldine O'Sullivan, MD, from St. Thomas' Hospital, Guy's and St. Thomas' National Health Service Foundation Trust in London, United Kingdom, and colleagues. "However, prolonged fasting in labour has never been proved to influence the incidence of pulmonary aspiration, and some clinicians and midwives consider that preventing food intake can be detrimental to the mother, her baby, and the progress of labour. Whether food intake in labour will influence the ability to deliver normally, the length of labour, or other obstetric and neonatal end points is not known."

The new 'natural' cesarean

The lights of the operating theatre are dimmed and there is a mood of calm among the hospital staff. A midwife softly narrates a continuing procedure to a patient who is squeezing her husband's hand. The surgeon gives the nod: it's time. The drape across the patient's abdomen is lowered and her head is raised. Her eyes widen as she and her husband watch their baby, tiny and pink with a mop of black hair, being gently delivered from her. There is a moment of collective awe before the newborn's cry fills the air. "It's a boy!" his mother gasps, before enveloping him in a warm hug.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Caesarean link to surge in hysterectomies

Doctors in Dublin’s maternity hospitals are performing an increasing number of life-saving hysterectomies on mothers who have previously had caesarean sections. The upsurge in the number of births by c-section has led to a marked increase in emergency operations to remove women’s wombs due to a condition called placenta accreta, according to a new study.


Mom's Group 4/8

Come to Amy's house and meet other moms on the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings start at 11am and end at 2pm. Bring lunch or something to share. Children are always welcome!

52 Marshall Road
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Wednesday, April 8th 11am to 2pm

Please note, I have a client due any day now. If I have to go to a birth, I'll post here when I leave so check or call me before you head over!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Belly Project

Bellies of all shapes and sizes before and after childbirth... check it out!
The Belly Project

Personhood USA

According to Personhood USA, legislators in at least five states are sponsoring bills that would give the unborn full state constitutional rights from the moment of fertilization.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Near-Term Babies May Face a Higher Risk of Problems

Babies born just three to six weeks before their due dates are more likely than full-term babies to have disabilities or developmental delays in kindergarten, a study has found. The children also are slightly more likely to be suspended or held back in kindergarten and to require special education.


Have you given birth in the past three years?

If you have, please take the Birth Survey! Leave me a comment if you do!

The Birth Survey is structured around the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) evidence-based 10 Steps to Mother-Friendly Care and other quality of care indicators. The creation of The Birth Survey has been inspired by Childbirth Connection's Listening to Mothers Survey (Harris Interactive, October 2002) and the A-CAHPS (Ambulatory Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) program and surveys.

We believe that women of childbearing age must have access to information that will help them choose maternity care providers and institutions that are most compatible with their own philosophies and needs. We hope that the Transparency in Maternity Care Project will provide information that will help women make fully informed maternity care decisions.

We also believe that maternity care practitioners and institutions must have access to feedback from their patients. We hope that doctors, midwives, and hospital administrators will find the information generated through the Transparency in Maternity Care Project useful in quality improvement efforts.

Women need accurate, objective data in order to make fully informed choices about birth settings and providers. Practitioners and hospital administrators also need data to evaluate whether they are delivering quality care. We hope this project will fill a void by providing much needed information that benefits all parties engaged in maternity care.

Cesarean beliefs 'misguided'

Women who choose to have an elective caesarean in the belief that it will prevent incontinence and genital prolapse are "misguided" and may be putting their health, and that of their baby, at unnecessary risk.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Mom's Group 3/18

Come to Amy's house and meet other moms on the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings start at 11am and end at 2pm. Bring lunch or something to share. Children are always welcome!

52 Marshall Road
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Wednesday, March 18th 11am to 2pm

Please note, I have a client due any day now. If I have to go to a birth, I'll post here when I leave so check or call me before you head over!

Giveaway winner!

OK, I drew the name of the winner last Saturday, and then life got into the way in a serious way! All three kids and my husband got the stomach flu, then I got it, then I had a long birth to attend, and then I had to recover. That itself took a few days. So I'm just now getting around to posting! The winner of the Sleepy Wrap is...

Kate for her entry by subscribing to the newsletter!

I'll be emailing you, Kate, from my account so keep an eye out! Congratulations :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

How About a Giveaway?

I've been mulling over the idea of a giveaway for a while now, and I think I've decided to do it! Aren't you lucky?!? So, first, for the item...
One lucky winner will win a Sleepy Wrap! And, you get to choose the color out of the ones I have, which are black, dark pink, light blue, navy blue, purple, red, or royal blue. Sleepy Wraps are so comfortable, versatile, you name it. And, now, for how to win. You can have up to 4 chances (all links open in a new window!).
1. Comment on this post - tell me what color you'd like. Do you want a wrap for you, or someone else? Be sure to leave your email so I can get in contact with you if you win!
2. Follow me on twitter. Once you follow me, tweet about my giveaway! Email me at amy at journeybirthservices dot com and let me know about your tweet - be sure to include a link to this blog post! If you're already following me, just email me and let me know about your tweet.
3. Join my newsletter. I send out a newsletter about once a month - I talk about local events, pregnancy, childbirth... all kinds of fun stuff. The sign up box is over there on the right. You know, the box that says "join our newsletter" or something like that? That's the one!
4. Blog about my giveaway! Same thing - link it back to here, and drop me an email at amy at journeybirthservices dot com.
So, there you go! You can enter any time up until noon EST on Saturday, March 7th. I'll draw the winner that afternoon using Good luck!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Breastfeeding at Work Toughest for Younger Moms and Retail Workers

Although many organizations, including the federal government, tout breastfeeding babies during the first six months of life as the healthiest choice new mothers can make for their child, a new survey by the not-for-profit National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC) and Medela, Inc. reveals 32 percent of new mothers give up breastfeeding less than seven weeks after returning to work because of significant barriers. This is particularly true of women in retail settings, younger moms and those with lower paying jobs.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New website for pregnant moms

Well, new to me at least! I found Juliet on Twitter - well, actually, she found me - and clicked on her site. Birth Download is a website about natural birth, and has a whole bunch of resources for it, including book and DVD reviews, and a Psychology of Giving Birth program. If you join her newsletter (there's a link on the home page), you get a free Relaxation MP3 and a Birth Companion PDF. So, check it out - I've spent a little while poking around and it looks like a great resource! And no, I wasn't paid to say anything about it!

Health Guidelines Ignored Before Pregnancy

Few women follow lifestyle and nutritional guidelines before becoming pregnant, even when pregnancy is contemplated to some degree, a new study shows.

Researchers at the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre at the University of Southampton wanted to find out whether women follow such guidelines before becoming pregnant, since good health is important before pregnancy.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Nigerian sextuplets' mother dies

A woman who gave birth to a set of sextuplets over the weekend in Nigeria has died of complications.

Ajoke Bello, 32, gave birth to the six babies by Caesarean section operation on Thursday and was initially in a stable condition.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Breastfeeding doesn't make breasts sag

Rinker says this finding should alleviate the fears of new mothers over what nursing their child might do to their breasts in the long run and will encourage them to breastfeed because of the health benefits to their infant.

"Women may be reluctant to breastfeed because of this unfounded myth that doing so means the end of youthful breasts," Rinker said. "Now, expectant mothers can relax knowing breastfeeding does not sacrifice the appearance of their breasts."


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Want a VBAC? In a hospital??

Good luck with that! Here's an article about VBAC support, or lack thereof.
It would seem perfectly natural that a woman could give birth naturally if she wants to. Guess what? She can't.

An increasing number of hospitals in this country are refusing to offer women the option of delivering the way nature intended, if she had a cesarean section the first time around (and guess what -- chances are she has because the 31% of all births are now C-sections -- up 50% in 10 years).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Take the maternity quiz!

Want to test your knowledge about childbirth? Check out this quiz. You might even learn something new!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dear President Obama...

From Gloria Lemay, a midwife in Canada...
Seeing that there is a world wide quest for governments to save money right now, I am putting my mind to ways that I would cut waste if I were in charge of the medical budget.

I invite you to add to this list. Just as the Wall Street tycoons are raiding the piggy bank with their inside deals, the obstetrics community wastes the medical budget with practices that are not only medically expensive but also harmful to the health of the population.

Read her short but sweet list on her blog.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Classes Starting Soon

Journey Birth Services now offers a couple of new classes. One is the one day intensive childbirth class and the other is the refresher childbirth class. The one day intensive childbirth class for first time parents covers stages of labor, coping with labor, common medical interventions, and babies and the postpartum period. Class meets from 10am to 4pm on a Saturday once a month. Lunch, snacks and beverages are provided.

The refresher childbirth class is for repeat parents. If it has been a while since your last child, or if you are planning an out of hospital birth, this is the class for you. Class meets from 10am to 1pm on a Saturday once a month, and from 6pm to 9pm on a weekday evening once a month. Children are welcome, and snacks and beverages are provided.

For more information about these classes and the upcoming schedule, please visit the Journey Birth Services website.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Journey Birth Services Mom's Group

Come to Amy's house and meet other moms on the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings start at 11am and end at 2pm. Bring lunch or something to share. Children are always welcome!

52 Marshall Road
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Wednesday, February 11th 11am to 2pm

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Business of Being Born - Wilmington DE

Tulaa Yoga will be hosting a screening of The Business of Being Born on Sunday, February 8th, at 12:45pm. They're located on Naamans Road in the Shoppes at Naamans. For directions, click here. If you plan on going, please RSVP by emailing Tulaa Yoga!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Classes Start Soon

The winter childbirth class series at Journey Birth Services begins on Thursday, February 5th at 6pm. Classes meet every week for seven weeks, and are 2.5 hours long. For more information or to register for the winter series, please visit Journey Birth Services.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Journey Birth Services Mom's Group

Come to Amy's house and meet other moms on the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings start at 11am and end at 2pm. Bring lunch or something to share. Children are always welcome!

52 Marshall Road
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Wednesday, January 14th 11am to 2pm

New Book: The No-Cry Nap Solution

The No-Cry Nap Solution:
Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems

Foreword by Tim Seldin, President, The Montessori Foundation; Chair, International Montessori Council
Introduction by Meir H. Kryger, MD, Chairman of the National Sleep Foundation

Will your child only nap in your arms, in a swing, or after elaborate rituals? Does your child take cat naps -- or none at all? Let world-renowned, trusted parenting author Elizabeth Pantley help you. She’ll guide you with the same sensitive expertise and gentle approach used in her other No-Cry bestsellers about sleep, discipline and potty training.

Research proves that daily naps improve health, mood, growth, intelligence and well-being. Yet children often resist the naps they need and parents don’t know how to make them happen. The results are fussy, crying babies and cranky, grouchy kids who also have trouble sleeping at night!

In The No-Cry Nap Solution Pantley explains to parents of children ages newborn to kindergarten the importance of napping to both behavior during the day and sleeping during (and through!) the night. She then shares with you her gentle, loving child-friendly techniques--tested on families of all sizes and circumstances--and shows you how you can customize her solutions for your own family.

Pantley addresses issues such as children who resist naps, dealing with schedule changes, turning short naps into longer ones, helping a child go from needing motion for sleep to “stationery” sleep, nursing at naptime, daycare-related napping problems, newborn “in-arms” or “in-sling” napping issues, and much more.

More info here!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

C-Section too Early Risks Baby's Health

A team of researchers lead by Dr. Alan Tita from the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham examined the results of 13,258 women who had a scheduled, repeat C-section that was planned for no other medical reason than the fact that the woman had previously had a C-section.

The researchers found that, compared to babies delivered by C-section at 39 weeks of gestation, those born at 37 or 38 weeks had a higher rate of breathing problems, blood sugar problems and serious infections. Moreover, those babies were more likely to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.