My husband and I love to eat out. We used to move around a lot as a military family, so we would always make a point to try as many new places to eat as possible when we arrived at a new duty station. It’s part of our family’s life. Moving to Colorado Springs was no different, except my husband was out of the military. We still love to explore which is why I always asked around at prenatal yoga for places to eat.
We knew we wanted to get our son comfortable with eating outside the home, and I thought I’d suggest a few things we’ve tried in case you’re wondering how to dine out with a baby, especially a BLW baby.
Eating out with a baby is never going to be the same relaxed experience you remember when it was just the two of you, but it can be fun for you and your baby with a bit of extra planning. When my husband turned 40 he wanted to go out for a nice steak. We went to a fine dining steakhouse in downtown Colorado Springs on a Wednesday at 4:30 in the afternoon. We were the only patrons in the place for most of the meal, but we have several staff members come over and comment on how cute our baby was eating his mashed potatoes in his highchair and drinking out of his little shot glass. What are some tips you can suggest for eating out with a baby-led weaning baby?
by Michelle Rodriguez, M.Ed., who offers Baby Led Weaning workshops at Enso. Check out her post Why We Are A Baby-Led Weaning Family and register for an upcoming workshop.
A common concern I heard in prenatal yoga was, ‘Should I tell my doctor this?’ This concern is echoed in postpartum yoga (Mom and Me yoga) in the form of, ‘Do you think I should call my baby’s doctor about this?’ I know a lot of times these questions stem from not wanting to bother the doctor with little complaints, but there is also some general apprehension in just talking with your doctor or your child’s doctor.
I’m not going to talk about the traditional advice on talking to your child’s doctor (bring a list of questions and a friend to help). And Enso Prenatal’s newsletters have already highlighted reasons to stay away from Dr. Google (just don’t google it, mamas). No, I’m here to say doctors are regular people. Yup, I married one, and we spend a lot of time hanging out with other doctors. They are just like you and me. They’re human. It’s okay to talk to them.
It’s also okay to question your doctor. In fact, they want you to question them. Sure, some doctors love giving long-winded explanations of your diagnosis, but most doctors like to be sure you understand the problem and ways to help. In fact, the National Patient Safety Council suggests three questions to ask your doctor or healthcare professional (physician’s assistant, naturopath, acupuncturist, pharmacist, etc.) every time you visit:
If you find you are constantly at odds with your doctor, you might consider if they are a good fit for your family. In our next article we’ll discuss disagreeing with and breaking up with your doctor.
by Michelle Rodriguez
From Ancient to Today: The Ageless Wisdom of Prenatal/Postpartum Belly Dance
Found as cave drawings in Northern India, dating back to prehistory, Belly Dance is the oldest recorded form of dance in the world. At its roots, Belly Dance or Raqs Sharqi (Oriental Dance) compliments and celebrates the natural form of the female body. This dance has practical uses for pregnant and postpartum women. The movements in Belly Dance prepare the body for labor and delivery by simulating contractions - without inducing them. It builds muscle memory in the areas that engage during labor. Lastly, it empowers Mommy to trust her instincts during labor by becoming more comfortable with sensations in her body and knowing how to move with them.
I am trained in 'Dancing for Birth' a method of prenatal dance that seeks to "energize, enlighten and empower" every woman as she goes through her pregnancy and birth process. Stephanie Larson is the founder of this practice and has successfully delivered four children of her own and has been a Doula for many healthy births. The class I teach at Enso is also great for Postpartum Mommies! Wear your new little one to class and enjoy dancing in the community of sisters again. All of the movements taught in classes are great for helping return Postpartum Mom to her pre-pregnancy body.
My aim in teaching Prenatal/Postpartum Belly Dance is to
1) Create much needed community for Mommies
2) Educate Mothers on how to trust their Birth Instincts
3) Empower each individual to choose her best birth
"Dancing For Birth TM prenatal/postpartum dance classes incorporate dance moves from around the world that best prepare you to give birth. Birth can be like a marathon, and Dancing for BirthTM classes prepare you for the challenge. You'll become stronger, more agile, more at ease with your body and both mentally and physically ready to embrace your unique birth experience. Weekly classes are offered to keep you dancing thru pregnancy, and postpartum with your baby."
Dancing for BirthTM prenatal/postpartum dance class participants report experiencing low levels of discomfort, few or no interventions, brief labors and high levels of satisfaction during their births.
You'll learn birth dancing moves inspired by Belly dance, African dance, Latin dance and Caribbean dance. It's a feel-good workout that challenges yet relaxes and uplifts you. No experience necessary!
Read more on their website.
My classes focus heavily on belly dance movements during class, because this dance form is my specialty. I have been belly dancing for 11 years!
See you soon,
I've hated ketchup for as long as I can remember. Something about the consistency. The pureed consistency just creeps me out. The thought of having to wash my brother's ketchup-laden dishes as a child still grosses me out.
When I was pregnant I thought a lot about how we were going to raise our baby. The thought of offering solids caused me anxiety even before I even laid eyes on my son. While at a La Leche League meeting a woman mentioned the term baby-led weaning (BLW). I was still pregnant at the time, but I made a note (in my phone - pregnancy brain is a killer, ugh!) to look more into this feeding technique - mainly because it meant no purees. The baby eats what the family eats, more or less. I was confused by the term 'weaning' but it's used in the British sense here - you aren't stopping breastfeeding or formula, instead you are merely introducing solids to complement your baby's main source of nutrition: breastmilk or formula. The baby is offered baby-appropriate pieces of food and the baby chooses what to eat (or not eat).
The idea of skipping the purees really appealed to me, and the more I researched baby-led weaning (BLW) the more I feel in love with its simplicity. Here are some reasons my husband and I decided to do BLW when our son was ready for solids:
1. My husband and I have struggled with our weight most of our lives. In the past we consistently ignored hunger cues, overate, and felt the need to clean our plates. We don't want our son to have those issues; with BLW the baby is in control. He eats as much (or as little) as he wants with no coaxing or bribing from us. Sorry, no hungry baby birds or airplane spoons here. He's learning how to listen to his body and how to use food to satisfy hunger (not some other emotion or to please his mommy and daddy).
2. I really love cooking meals for our family, and in general we eat pretty clean. Since our son eats pretty much what we're eating I'm extra cognizant to make sure the meal is as healthy as possible. That little extra bit of accountability ensures our family is eating well, even when I'm tired or just plain lazy during meal prep. It also means I do more meal planning and less frantic 'Oh, crap, it's 4 PM; what are we going to eat for dinner tonight?!'
3. My husband and I were guilty of eating dinner on the couch sometimes. It's a hard habit to break, but now that we eat at the table with our son (most nights) we've been able to reconnect and talk with one another instead of zoning out in front of the TV. And our couch is cleaner since no one eats on it anymore!
4. As I mentioned before, we love to eat, and I love to cook. During dinner I want to actually eat my delicious meal while it's warm and not have to wait until I'm done spoon feeding my son. Sure, we need to pause our meal to pick up a cup off the floor or to give our son a second helping of food, if he wants it, but for the most part everyone is enjoying dinner at the same time. Meal time is a pleasurable time to connect with each other.
5. Finally, our fat Chihuahua could not be more pleased about our choice to let the baby be in control of feeding himself. One drawback with letting a baby be in control is the mess, oh the mess! A dog definitely comes in handy if you plan to use BLW.
Are you thinking about Baby-Led Weaning? What interests you about BLW? Have you used BLW with your child? Why did you pick BLW? Do you want to learn more? Check out the calendar to see when the next BLW workshop is being offered.
Want to more? Sign up for author Michelle's Baby Led Weaning Workshop.
Michelle is a first time mom with a background in adult education who does copious amounts of research on all things baby. She loves cooking and creating healthy, homemade meals for her family as well as adding to her cookbook collection. She's been enjoying her family's BLW journey and wants to share the fun with you. If you love what she writes, visit her on her blog The Well Adjusted Pessimist.
Whether you're expecting or have a new baby in your life, the internet can be a deceptively unhelpful resource. We're the most educated, informed generation on earth with access to facts, statistics, and internet flotsam, and while this can be beneficial in certain circumstances, it can also be overwhelming, confusing, and scary.
Dr. Google is not your friend.
Let me first say, I do this all the time. I google all sorts of crazy things all the time, including things I think might be wrong with me or my birds. It almost never brings me peace, usually always consumes hours of my time, and frequently leaves me feeling rather silly if I land in my doctor's office because the burst blood vessel in my eye is, “probably from looking at a computer screen for too long.”
So where do you go when you have questions and are not certain where to find the answers? First, I recommend your provider. If you're pregnant, your doula can often be a good resource for information. If you've taken an independent childbirth class, you can often email the instructor and they'll get back with you more quickly than your doctor's office, even if you're six months postpartum. And what about your prenatal yoga or belly dance class? These can be good starting points.
If all of those resources are unavailable, I recommend the following sites for good, reputable information.
Evidence-Based Birth: if you're trying to make sense of whether or not to start an induction, this can be a helpful resource that compiles the most recent scientific evidence and clearly states the difference between standard of practice (what people do because that's what everyone does), evidence-based practice (what scientific studies suggest are best practices), and opinion.
La Leche League: this site is well developed and crosses many cultures and scientific/regulatory agencies. It isn't posted by someone with a financial interest, but by a group that believes that breastfeeding is best. You can usually find tips on things like solid foods, fussy babies, and even a few things about pregnancy on their site.
The Mayo Clinic: written for consumers rather than providers, this site can help you understand your concerns in plain English. It borders on Dr. Google, but is at least fairly reputable.
Message boards, social media, and groups are fantastic for planning outings, learning baby-friendly recipes, deciding where to vacation with your baby this year. I've seen so many mamas needlessly upset or worried because of medical advice they received from an unnamed source, or casual commentary that wasn't explained well.
Need other resources? We are always reading and sharing great information on our Facebook page. And if you're up for some more academic reading, we can usually offer you a pointer or two or can help find someone who can.
Kari Kwinn, ERYT500, RPYT, Doula, Midwife's Assistant is one of Enso's co-owners.
This blog is not intended to be a source of medical information or advice. Please discuss all of your concerns with your care provider.