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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth


Nutrition Focus: Hydration

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM Comments comments (28)
Our class last night was about Nutrition in Pregnancy.  The Bradley Method® teaches students to follow The Brewer Diet, a high-protein, whole food diet, developed by Dr. Brewer to reduce pre-eclampsia.

As part of the “diet”, Dr. Brewer taught that a mother should be drinking to thirst.  Well, now we know that “drinking to thirst” is not quite accurate.  Thirst is a late signal that the body is dehydrated.  We need to be drinking enough so that we never feel thirsty.  Here is a good rule of thumb – take your weight in pounds, divide by 2, and that is the number of ounces of water you should be drinking every single day.

Read more about why drinking water is beneficial HERE.  

So if water is the best thing for your body to drink, what can you drink if you have a craving for something sweet?

We offer the idea of doing fruit infused water.  You can experiment with different combinations of fruits, vegetables and herbs.  Some of the ones we like to mix and match are strawberries, oranges, lemons, cucumbers, mint, basil, lemon balm, and ginger root.  Cut up the ingredients the night before, put them into a pitcher, add water, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.  Wake up in the morning and start pouring out your delicious infused water!

If you are really craving a fruit juice and eating the fruit is not what you want, can you juice the fruit you are craving, or you can blend it into a smoothie so you can add some other goodies into the smoothie: yogurt, flax seeds, soaked chia seed, soaked goji berries...what ever you can blend and drink for nutrients and hydration.

Another option that involves water is to drink fruit-based, caffeine free teas.  You can make your own teas by steeping fresh fruit (we like to use peaches, apples, oranges, or lemons as they are in season), or you can buy loose leaf teas from a tea shop or in bulk at a health food store.

One of our students asked about using Red Raspberry Leaf Tea last night.  It is a tea made using what it sounds like - the leaves from the raspberry plant that grows the little berry that we know and love.

Here is what I found from a few sources:

From the medical perspective, here are some excerpts from WebMd:
Red raspberry is a plant that is the source of a widely eaten, tasty, sweet berry. However, red raspberry fruit and leaf have also been used as medicine for centuries. The therapeutic use of raspberry leaf was first described in 1597 in a book called “The Herbal,” or “A General History of Plants.” Today, red raspberry leaf and fruit are still used as medicine.
The chemicals in red raspberry might have antioxidant effects and help relax blood vessels. They might also cause muscles to contract or relax, depending on the dose and the muscle involved. This is the theory behind red raspberry’s use in easing labor and delivery.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY SAFE to eat red raspberry in food amounts during pregnancy. Red raspberry leaf is POSSIBLY SAFE for use in medicinal amounts during late pregnancy, but only under the direct supervision of a healthcare provider. Red raspberry leaf is commonly used by nurse-midwives to ease delivery. Don’t take it on your own. The concern is that red raspberry might act like the hormone estrogen, and this might harm the pregnancy.

From the herbalist’s perspective:
Earth Mama Angel Baby e-book, “A Comprehensive Guide to Herbs and Breastfeeding”:
Red Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus), though not a traditional galactagogue, is a richly nutritive uterine tonic herb, high in minerals that are helpful for good milk production and useful to strengthen postpartum and breastfeeding women.

Here are a couple of other resources: 

Check THIS site for a comprehensive list of benefits from the herbal use of red raspberry leaves.

Click HERE to read about ideas for use in pregnancy.

While red raspberry leaf tea has definitely been known of and used for a long time, please take the time with your care provider to evaluate whether or not drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is right for you.  If you decide it is, find a reliable source for the tea.  You probably want peace of mind in your pregnancy and postpartum that you are getting all the benefits, without introducing toxins into your system from possible pesticides used to grow commercial raspberry crops.

I hope this list gets you thinking about some new ways you can enjoy your water.  Whether you stick with plain water, or finally take the plunge and try out water with cold or hot infusions of flavor, drink up!  Even though we are in the desert and it’s cooler during the winter months, your body still needs ample hydration to stay healthy.

What are some of the ways you add flavor to plain water?

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

More Homebirth Secrets

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 7:32 AM Comments comments (28)
Here are two more herbal therapies we used in preparation for our homebirth.  As I commented in my first post about the things we did differently as a result of our choice to have a homebirth, I have no idea why these are not more widely used in pregnancy.  The only idea that has occured to me since then is that since these are not pharmaceuticals, there is no money to be made from promoting them.
Herbs have been used as “medicine” for countless years.  As such, I must put on my Bradley® instructor hat here and say that these worked for our family; each family must do their own research and decide if any of these herbal therapies are suitable for them.
Red Raspberry Leaf
The most common way to use this herb is to make a tea and drink 2-3 cups per day.  I learned about it from our first doula, who recommended I drink a tea made from Red Raspberry Leaf in the third trimester for uterine toning.  I wasn’t sure about using herbs since the FDA regulates none of them.  Since then, I have learned to do research and trust my source if I am going to use herbs, especially during pregnancy when everything we consume passes on to the baby.
“Most of the benefits ascribed to regular use of Raspberry tea through pregnancy are traced to the nourishing source of vitamins and minerals found in this plant and to the strengthening power of fragrine - an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself. Of special note are the rich concentration of vitamin C, the presence of vitamin E and the easily assimilated calcium and iron. Raspberry leaves also contain vitamins A and B complex and many minerals, including phosphorous and potassium.”
Red raspberry also turns out to be a source of calcium, and some mothers find that it helps with milk production.
Read more about red raspberry leaves here

Polly-Jean Five-Week Antenatal Formula
This was another recommendation from our midwives.  Not having used herbal therapies like this in our other pregnancies, Bruss and I decided to trust their expertise and take the herbs.  The following is an excerpt from  I have commented on the benefits below – they are in the purple text and NOT from the website:
"Polly Block, a midwife, writes in her book, Polly's Birth Book--Obstetrics for the Home:

"We have found the Polly-Jean Formula--an herbal combination that gravidas begin taking five weeks prior to anticipated date of delivery--to be a boon to the home birth movement. It assists in the following ways:
  • Much easier labor and delivery – ours was easier in the sense that the active phase was very short…if you have read our homebirth story, you already know that our early first stage was almost two days long.
  • Longer and easier labors for women who tend to have precipitous births – I wish!
  • Shorter and easier labors for women who tend to have long labors – if this made my labor shorter I am very grateful.
  • Bigger dilation before discomfort arises – yes!  I could feel my cervix popping open with the easier contractions; our active phase of labor (late first stage-transition-pushing) was only about three hours out of the 44 total hours of labor.
  • Minimization of postpartum bleeding when taken in conjunction with the “Good Program” (the “Good Program” is spelled out in Polly’s Birth Book) – I don’t know what the Good Program is since I didn’t read the book; I have not lost a lot of blood in the past, and there was definitely very little blood loss with our homebirth.
  • Shorter periods before lochia stops – we found this to be true; the period of postpartum bleeding was much shorter this time – I was also taking my placenta pills, so that may have factored in as well.

Other formulas on the market have helped many mothers, but over the years midwives have found that these formulas did not assist enough in preventing hemorrhage in women with borderline anemia, the Rh-negative factor, and other conditions. We found that when pennyroyal was included in the formula, bleeding continued to be heavier than it should be. We also found that black cohosh seemed to increase the normally stepped up production of estrogen, adding to the hemorrhage problem. Jeannne Johnson and I eliminated both these herbs when we developed our formula.

The Polly-Jean Five-Week Antenatal Formula tends to create a balance in the stepped-up hormones toward the end of pregnancy.  Over the years women have reported that they have found no better 'female corrective' than the Polly-Jean formula, pregnant or not."
  - Except from
As I researched for this post, I found that the Polly-Jean Five-Week Antenatal Formula contains a blend of herbs that lend the following properties: uterine stimulant, uterine toning, hormone balancing, anti-nausea and anti-vomiting, galactagogue (increase milk supply) and pain relief.
Allow me to reiterate that as a Bradley® instructor, and as a consumer and research driven mama, I strongly suggest that you do your own research and decide if either of these herbal therapies are right for you.
Our midwives at Freedom and the Seed have an herbalist in their office.  If you have any questions about using herbal therapies for pregnancy, postpartum or for breastfeeding support, you can start by calling Juliana Soderberg at 602.482.5544. You can also visit her website at

What has been your experience with herbal therapies for pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding?
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.