My friend, Kate Varsava, Halifax Birthworker, Wombyn’s Summit Leader and Musician prepares for her own birth in the company of her beloved friends, yogis and fellow birthworkers. I was so inspired by her tale of being honoured with care, love and beauty that I asked to share her Instagram post with you.
“Yesterday my house filled up. Yesterday I was filled up.
From my bath, filled with warm water, rose petals, and lavender oil, where I was receiving a massage from the loving maiden hands of my sweet friend‘s daughter, I could hear the joyful chatter of wimyn gathering and organizing themselves. I was adorned with a gorgeous fresh flower crown made by my sister, had my hair fixed up, put on my precious jewels…when I emerged from my room, drawn by singing voices, I found my kitchen full of food, my living room full of flowers and ladies (and baby daddy), and my whole house full of beautiful, buzzing, nurturing energy, beaming faces, radiant beings.
I was passed a cup of Guatemalan cacao, sat on a thrown, and treated like a queen. Tender recollections of how we each met, supportive expressions of a belief in me to enter the role of mother, a showering of love to wash me in confidence and fill my heart beyond measure. A feast of the most nourishing foods, a dance party, gifts of herbs and plants and salves, potions, candles, and sacred objects…it was the most dreamy day I could have imagined.
I feel like the luckiest womyn in the world to have community to hold me so, to have a coven sister to organize everyone (I love you so much marapanacci), to now have a freezer full of meals for my postpartum, fresh flowers in every room, art to decorate my birth room, and a heart so full full full ?? Thank you, thank you, thank you to all you gorgeous wimyn and all you ladies sans IG ??
I truly believe that if all wimyn were treated this way by loving community: held up, made to feel strong, cared for, and trusted through their pregnancies and motherhood (our whole lives actually), the world would change, humanity would change, we would all be better off, healthier, and happier.”
The reason being surmised is that the frosty weather, time off over the holidays and the urge to merge just seems to take us when we’re not working so hard at our day jobs. Perhaps we get a little free babysitting thrown into the mix, with extended family, and the next thing we know, we’re due in late August or September.
Our blogs are focused this month on “The Pill” and also “Where Do Babies Come From.” You may be surprised that there’s a new thing or two to learn since grade 10 health class. We aim to bring you the latest truths that often exploit the party line on health and sexuality.
Jeff and I are getting ready to head over to Cancun early February to spend some time seaside with our son Jordan. He’s flying down to meet us from Ottawa and we’re excited to take him snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, the second largest barrier reef in the world. We also want to show him the spawning centre for sea turtles on Isla Mujeres.
Cozumel has a handmade chocolate factory that we love and the hot chili chocolate is mindblowing. We will rent a ragtop beetle from another era … okay from when I was a kid and tour the island. There’s a restaurant with mind-blowing ceviche and you can wiggle your toes in the sand while eating and watching the waves crash on the shore. I love to swim there after a late lunch.
Our hope is that you’re all keeping warm, or perhaps escaping to a hotter spot, too, this Winter. Either way, if you’re due in September, we’ll know that you created your own heat wherever you are.
My hope is that this missive finds you well and enjoying the last weeks of summer.
Early morning fog burning off the Kennebecasis River
It finally warmed up and stopped raining here in Maritime Canada and we made it into the brackish waters of the Kennebecasis River for many swims. Building our Tiny House and clearing our land of many fallen trees and brush has been a big job. You should see us working together with the chainsaw and axe to get our Fall/Spring supply of wood to cut and dried before the season. We’re both much fitter and leaner from all the physical work!
Casa Pequeña both inside and out
We’re expecting six loads of clean fill in the next few weeks in order to start working on leveling the hill that we’re on for our food forest. We’ve already got some raspberry bushes, lavender, mint and wild roses planted. I’m (Ally) in seventh heaven with being able to craft my own land into a rejuvenating ecosystem. The plan is to have enough flowering plants and fruit trees in order to sustain a number of hives of bees. It’s a work in progress and we’re learning much about permaculture principles.
This week, the solar array is being installed. We’ve been doing most of the work ourselves with the help of our friends, however, we’ve found an electrician who works with her carpenter husband to get the solar panels mounted on the roof and the battery, charger and inverter installed.
The view looking up from the Kennebecasis towards our densely treed property
We’ll be putting in the 120 amp wiring ourselves as our friend, Marla, worked for Bell Canada in Toronto and wired houses and offices with fibre-op for decades. Thankfully Diane is keeping the front lines at Arcanum in toe as we’ve literally been jumping in our clinic seats after a quick hosing off in the shower!
We’re pretty excited as later this month, our children are coming for a visit with their partners. It’s been 3 years since were all together and we can not wait to spend the week together. There will be a good ol’ lobster boil, bonfires and sausage roasts for sure!
We’re heading up to the Tiny House for the evening. Jeff has promised to play his classical guitar for me as the sun goes down. Life is so good!
We’re all trying to balance so much! Often times, it’s not just the business, home life and kids to keep organized, and on a schedule, often times we’re having to be responsible for the collective consciousness for the entire household. Consider how often you’re asked, “Ok, so what’s next?”. Or “You should have just asked me to do that and I would have gladly helped you out.”
So many women I serve, and some men too, will cite extreme exhaustion. Not only for the actual tasks they perform at the office or at home, but because they also feel like the CEO of operations. This unexpected job description often surprises us out of nowhere. Who put me in charge anyway? Where was that written? How do I exit this role without the whole damn ship sinking?
How did the job of knowing what’s next fall on me? I’d never asked my husband, “What’s next?” in over a dozen years of marriage. How is it that as a reasonably intelligent woman I always felt my corpus callosum log-jammed every time? Perhaps my lesson was to learn how to engage with my own instincts and activities, leaving intellectual management to other individuals. That, actually would make sense.
In those moments, I definitely know I could use help. The first thing would be to take the task-manager role off my shoulders. When was this bestowed on me? Please supply a two page answer single spaced while I dress this roast of bison and finish prepping the potatoes. Perhaps you’ve lived this too.
While the offer to help is, in itself, an act of generosity, it can annoy the living daylights out of a Mom in a Sepia state. How many CEO’s of multinational companies can think on the spot of the detailed activities to be executed by a worker who barges into his office while he’s on the phone and also in the midst of forecasting the budget for the next annum? You see it, right? It doesn’t happen. At the very least, you make an appointment or see a more junior manager. Perhaps your spouse might ask one of the kids. Ah, not a bad idea, a kid will always tell you precisely what to do to serve them.
I recall feeling totally burnt out in the early stages of my marriage. In fact, I had the feeling that if one more person asked me what they could do, I might run my laser eyes clear through their guts while launching enough swear words at them to burn off their eyebrows. They’d grow back, right?!
I once recall trying to prepare supper while nursing an infant on the breast, with a toddler pulling all the pots and pans out on the floor, stirring a pot of rice pasta with the phone in one ear speaking to the guy rescheduling to come service the dishwasher who I had stayed home all day waiting for. It was a Friday.
At that moment, my husband walks into the kitchen having just arrived home from the office, and wants to know what he can do. The first answer that popped up to the fore is, “no clue” and then, “isn’t it obvious?” or to silently turn back and offer a tear of frustration into the pasta. This gesture alone can create a ton of animosity and then spouses wonder why dinner conversation is a little stunted and the weekly sex is dwindling.
I spent years stuffing my feelings down and taking Sepia regularly until my breast finally swelled with a 1.5 inch tumour. Among this, and other dynamics, I’d say this phenomenon cost us the marriage. It wasn’t until these very same issues started to crop up in my second marriage that I began to “get it”. The whole family plumbed solutions to help relieve me of the burden of doer and decision-maker. At the time, I was running a household, half a business, part of the farm, a kids’ camp (in the summer), writing a book and doing postgraduate research. Brutal, I know!
The summation of this post is that we finally did solve it with some creative problem solving. It took a team effort, but you can read that article here.
When the kids were still at home, we had a couple of systems that worked well as we had two busy practices, both of us were doing postgraduate research and we had a farm to also run. Basic stuff had to get done, but I was unwilling to be the sacrificial lady lamb in the equation. Jeff, also, would not allow this to happen to me, either, so we developed some basic systems.
Every week we had a white board on the fridge and the four of us would divvy up the chores to be done that week, listed for each day. We also had laundry-folding parties where everyone would meet in the living room, the clean laundry spilt out of the baskets onto the floor and then everyone would help sort by pitching undies, shirts, pants etc. at each other until it all got distributed. Great hand-eye coordination and memory work with this one! Each person had their own basket to fold (or gather) their clean clothes into and then put them away in their drawers or closet.
If the kids needed help, they would ask as we buddied up when one child was smaller and more challenged with the task at hand, but they were generally part of the sorting party by the time they were 4 and running the washer and dryer by 12. Sometimes their clean clothes lived in that basket until they got to the bottom, but it had to be kept in their closet. It was their choice as long as it was “put away.”
The other thing that helped a lot is that we had a shared grocery/general shopping list app on our phones divided into categories like “market,” “grocery store” or “hardware store.” If stuff needed to get on the list, like ‘cheese’, the child had to use our phones to load it on there or it wouldn’t get bought. Over time, they both got better at spelling these items … but often either Jeff or I would be standing in the grocery aisle laughing ourselves silly as Jordan got good at writing items like, “monkey balls” or “penis pickles.”
When they were in their teens, they had the same shared list on their own phones and then when they drove, they also did the groceries. Yay! We helped to grow them into these shared roles from the time that they were little. They were also taught how to manage bills, make payments, and budget accordingly. Now, we’re showing them how to invest in ways that yield solid returns.
The idea was/is to make it fun, there was always some joking around, and the burden was never all on my shoulders to be the Queen-pin of our domestic operations. We also divvied up the cooking and everyone took a night or two preparing supper for the family. We ate a lot of the same things and our crock pot got a lot of use. Sundays, we’d get some music on, Adie would often bake (her Scottish shortbreads are to die for), I’d prepare one meal, Jeff another and Jordan would be designated sous chef or dishwasher. The key was that we worked together at all of it … including mucking out the stalls in the barn. It built a sense of teamwork and belonging. A dull knife and a carrot can keep a toddler busy for quite awhile!
In our practice, we see a lot of women chronically in a Sepia state (the careworn mother) or Cancer state of mind (rescuing others to the exclusion of self). It is important to activate the health and well-being of our essential selves so as not to default to this program often wrought by our fore-mothers. Trying to work full-time and/or homeschool and then also deal with all of the responsibilities of hearth and home (or farm) can start out as protracted stress and then become, over time, Sepia or Cancer states qualifying you for more aggressive treatments. Is it time to wake from your resignation?
Here’s the original article, by Lisa Wade, that this blog was inspired by ….
I’m pretty sure that I posted this excerpt before but it is worth sharing again….the facts are startling…at the moment of birth babies are being denied their full blood supply (approx 1/3!) This is the very blood that mothers work so hard to grow for their babes only to have it trapped in the placenta at the moment of birth. And most doctors (and maybe a few midwives too) don’t even understand why and how the placental transfusion takes place. I was at a hospital birth recently and when mother requested delayed cord clamping the doctors said “ok but we’ll have to keep the placenta lower than the baby so he doesn’t get too much blood” Say what?! ~ Lisa LeBlanc, Birth Keeper (Moncton, New Brunswick)
“The Necessary Question of Infants’ Human Rights at Birth: Are There Vampires in the Birth Rooms?
To parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, families, midwives, doulas, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and legislators: We are birth keepers. It is our responsibility to ask the next question concerning human rights in childbirth. As birth keepers, it is we who are given the sacred responsibility to protect mothers and their incoming humans, the newborns, at birth and as they grow, for they are the future earth keepers.
Are we allowing our health providers to rob our babies of their full potential of health, intelligence, immunity and longevity at birth?
According to the American Red Cross, blood donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old in most states and weigh at least 110 lbs (50 kg). In Germany, children under the age of 18 are not eligible to donate blood. Blood donations are generally no more than 500 ml, which is 1/10 of the average adult blood volume. Clearly, newborn babies do not fit these criteria for donating blood.
At the time of birth, up to one-third of each baby’s blood supply is traveling from the placenta via the umbilical cord to the baby. Calling this blood “cord blood” is doublespeak and creates intentionally ambiguous language that is meant to fool parents into misunderstanding. The fact is that the blood present in the umbilical cord at the time of birth is truly the baby’s blood.
All over the world, in nearly every single medical institution where babies are born, newborns (usually weighing only between 2 and 5 kilos or 4.4 to 11 lbs) are being denied up to one-third of their blood volume. This happens when the umbilical cord is immediately clamped and cut by the doctor or midwife moments after the baby is born. Parents are encouraged to donate their baby’s “cord blood,” which in actuality is the baby’s blood. Although it may be a generous gift for someone who needs a transfusion, this precious blood supply is meant for the baby and should not be given away or sold.
At the moment of birth, newborn infants have a blood volume of approximately 78 ml/kg, which means about 273 ml at an average weight of 3.5 kg. This is the diminished amount of blood that almost all newborns are left with when their umbilical cords are immediately clamped and cut.”
— Robin Lim
Excerpted from “The Necessary Question of Infants’ Human Rights at Birth: Are There Vampires in the Birth Rooms?” Midwifery Today, Issue 116
Our baby, Seamus is our “opps baby”. The pregnancy was a bit of a surprise since we weren’t trying and both of us are 44. We both have been in treatment with our Heikunstler (and I am a Heilkunstler in training) for over 15 years, eat organic and try to live a healthy lifestyle so getting pregnant easily should have been no surprise since fertility and health go hand in hand.
My pregnancy was routine and uneventful and I did remain active throughout it – down hilled skied until I was 20 weeks, biked until 30 weeks and hiked until 35 weeks, this was on top of taking care of my two other boys (13 and 8 yr olds) and a female Newfoundland puppy. My last baby was born at home, and I planned a home birth for Seamus as well.
I went overdue, a new experience for me as both of my other boys were born at 39 weeks. As I approached 41 weeks with an OP position (posterior) I started taking homeopathic remedies to help turn my baby, along with seeing my acupuncturist and chiropractor. My labour started (literally) with a splash when my water broke all over our family room floor at 10:30 pm on a warm summer night. I called out to Doug but he was putting our youngest to bed and didn’t hear me, so my oldest son, told him my water had broke and I needed some towels. He ran downstairs with our “good” towels which I refused to use and frustrated him since he wasn’t concerned about what towels we used – he did go up and get different towels. He seemed more panicked than I expected and when I asked him what was going on, he replied that the last time my water broke, I had delivered within 15 minutes. Once I explained to him that I had been in active labour for a few hours then, and that this was the start of this labour, he settled down and we both laughed about the misunderstanding.
We put our boys to bed, who wondered if the baby was coming soon and we told them that it could be hours yet. At 11:00pm, I called my midwife and as there was no active labour pattern, she told me to try and get some rest and call her when labour had established itself. Doug and I chilled out in our bedroom – it was a wonderful restful, intimate time as we chatted and relaxed. Contractions started at 11:30pm (it should be noted that we were so relaxed that Doug dozed off while timing the first few contractions. LOL) and by12:30am they were becoming uncomfortable, so I asked my midwife to come and got into my tub to get some relief.
Our midwife and doula arrived at 12:45pm and my contractions were 3 minutes apart and were lasting 1 minute. At this point things went fast, and got blurry as I quickly dilated (my midwife did not do any internal exams – she usually doesn’t do them as she can usually tell how quickly a woman is dilating by observing her). I can remember feeling some fear as my contractions got more intense and asked Doug to write out a paper remedy for aconite which took care of it instantly. My doula and midwife were amazing using comfort methods between contractions such as ice cold cloths on my shoulders, giving me ice and water (at this point I wanted nothing to eat) and lots of encouragement, especially when I hit transition and decided that I didn’t want to have a baby after all. LOL. Doug was a rock star went things got tough for me, helping me in and out of the tub, keeping me reassured when I felt I couldn’t do one more contraction, and letting me squeeze whatever parts of him I had a hold of during contractions. I had assumed a half squat in my tub and it was suggested that I move around more but after changing positions, I quickly realized that I had naturally assumed the best position for me and quickly went back to it and stayed in that position until I was fully dilated – a great example of my body knowing what is right for it when left alone to follow its own guidance.
I started pushing at ~2:35am and started to lose control for a moment with the tremendous forces urging this baby down. My midwife quickly reminded me that this was a big baby and if I didn’t go slow, I could tear. I listened to her and put every effort into relaxing and letting my body move the baby on its own. At this point I was lying back in the tub and Doug was supporting my upper body. As Seamus was moving down, I could feel my hips shift slightly to accommodate him and within 10 minutes he was crowning. He had turned during labour from OP to OA (I had been doing paper remedies of Kali-carb throughout labour to help him turn) and once his head was out, I took a two-minute break while waiting for the next contraction – my midwife said he was rotating his shoulders underneath the public bone during this time. This seemed like a long time for Doug who initially worried about our baby’s head being out under water for such a period of time, but my midwife assured him, that baby was fine and was being given oxygen through his cord. I didn’t want to push anymore at this point (not that I had done a lot, as my body had done most of it without any effort on my part), but my last contraction took over and with one push, Seamus was born at2:50am.
He gave a little cry and quickly settled on my chest. Heated towels were put around him while we relaxed in the tub waiting for the placenta to detach. The cord stopped pulsating after 15 minutes so Doug cut it and my placenta was delivered 15 minutes later (actually I stood up and after the smallest of pushes it fell out). I had no tears from the delivery which was great seeing that he was our biggest baby weighing 8pds, 7 ounces. Seamus was peaceful and alert after the delivery and Doug and I spent the rest of the night/morning relaxing in bed with our new baby (I did a paper remedy of arnica to help me with my recovery).
My recovery was very short as all soreness had left within 24 hours of the birth (I also took birth remedies after the delivery), and all bleeding at stopped 4 days after delivery. I had my placenta encapsulated and started taking the capsules 5 days after birth. Breastfeeding is going well, and I’m feeling great. ~ By Lisa Power
Lisa asked me to point out to you the paper rx written on paper and laying on her chest in the photo above for those of you in the know. <wink>
I was not a conventional parent. I actually never once corrected my children’s spelling or pronunciation or reading unless they asked me to. I did read aloud constantly in the evenings, played music or sang, though, and if they were interested, they’d choose to engage by listening, participating, or asking questions. I would engage with activities that I loved and then often they would just join in. I left it entirely to their volition. I did not want to be a false authority in their lives; however, I did display my own profound love for literature, art, music, science and nature.
I felt that just because I gave birth to them did not give me the right to lord some nefarious sense of seniority over them. I also never counselled them to say thank you or treat others with respect. It actually never became necessary to do so. They just naturally treated others the way that I did. I took my personal accountability to my children very seriously. The golden rule was my ‘Modus Operandi’ (MO). I knew enough from my studies in human behavior that the gestures I used in treating others would form the ethical center in my children.
When my kids were small, we hosted older children from around the world. At the time, I was doing a four year medical degree, was a single mom, and I needed the monthly allowance paid from the organization that sponsored these foreign students in a significant way. It also meant that I had another pair of eyes and loving hands in the home if I needed to run to the store or drop a child off for swimming lessons. It was a win-win situation.
We had a beautiful young girl from Madrid live with us for the summer. Her mother had been killed in a bombing in the Madrid subway. We loved on her … a lot! She became part of our family and she adored my son and daughter. I still have images of them playing with Rachel in the water at the beach while I reveled in their joyful antics.
We also hosted a more challenging senior student from Varacruz, Mexico, who chose to smoke in the house during the minus 30 degree winter after I’d asked her several times not to. She also came home hours past the organization’s set curfew on weeknights. Despite this, we looked after her, fed her, loved on her, and learned all about her home, how to make molé poblano, and how to say phrases in Spanish while she lived with us.
When my children were older, I launched a program called “Camp on The Farm” at our home. We had other homeschooled kids, Montessori children, and Waldorf children come for several weeks to join my children in the hay mow, hanging out in the fields and 200 acres of wooded trails just below our property. It was a paradise! The camp attendees got to spend time with the ducks, chickens, sheep, rabbits, turtle, cats, dog, and horses. Even if it rained, we had a 7,000 square foot barn full of hay to play in. We had a summer kitchen full of crafts, including beads, paints, paper, and coloured pencils for use during more quiet afternoons while littler ones were napping. My children were our farm’s ambassadors. I bought all the supplies and my children were cared for by counsellors at little cost to me, while I was serving patients in clinic and working on my postgraduate thesis.
When they were even older, I was hired as the Medic for another kids’ camp. My kids got to come along at a significantly reduced cost. The children of this camp were the kids of LGBTQ families. Kids of gay parents are not a shred different than my kids, as they all loved the same things; swimming, hiking, doing crafts, and roasting marshmallows over the fire. My children did learn compassion for those children, though, when they discussed their challenges at school due to bullying, coming from homes with two moms or two dads.
Incidentally my kids’ godmothers have been together for over 20 years. We lived with them for a year on their farm when we moved to a different province. They’re probably still closer to them than even to their own extended family. My friend of 30 years can fix just about anything, build a shed, make a soup to curl your toes, milk a goat with her eyes closed, and is the go-to person if a goat kid is sick on the peninsula she lives on.
When my children were in their later teens, they chose to educate themselves entirely out of their own volition. They chose 3 major avenues of study and I supplied their well-versed and loving mentors, as well as purchasing the supplies for these streams of exploration. I was available for any queries or challenges that came up for them and to supply a lot of food in the fridge when they were hungry. As teens, they’d sleep in until noon just about every day, wake up and eat their fill! The astral phase of development requires a lot of sleep, rest, and reflection. Later, they’d respectfully ask for the keys to the car to go to their riding, trampoline, or parkour sessions. I trusted them implicitly. I still do.
My son was worried at one point about being “school” educated and so he enrolled for grade 10 at the local high school. He not only maintained a 99% average all year, he was tutoring most of the other kids in his class. He suddenly realized one day, that he was not earning his teacher’s salary or even getting “dental benefits” (his words) and so he quit less than a year later thinking the whole system inane. He cited that school was a complete waste of time for him and that he learned much more on his own.
My daughter, at 16, chose to go to Art College for a year. She, nervously, had to write an entrance exam in order to get in. After 48 hours of study, she wrote two days in 2 hour sessions each. The guidance counselor let her know that she’d aced the test with perfect scores in all areas of English, Math, and Science.
At 18 my daughter has been working to train Olympic level horses. She is an artist, calligrapher, avid reader, and musician at heart. She is still unfolding herself, looking for that perfect form for her ultimate fulfillment. She plans on studying veterinary sciences in the not too distant future. I’ve been told myriads of times how amazing my daughter is, not just with horses, but with her peers and the other children learning to ride at this caliber.
At 21, my son is a trampoline acrobat, instructor, and runs a staff of 20 at a facility in another province where he moved to work. My cousin’s daughter attended a birthday party at the facility one day last year. She did not know my son since she was still a toddler when they’d met prior. That night she told her dad that she’d met this “amazing guy” at the local trampoline facility that day. She said, “He bent down to look at me in the eyes when we were talking. He helped me to use the trampoline safely, and you could tell he really loved what he does. Unlike the others there, he took the time when I asked how to do the front flip he was doing when I got there. I don’t know how to explain it, but he’s not like anyone that I ever met before.” Her father asked his name and she replied, “Jordan”.
Needless to say, I was often unsure of myself. I didn’t know too many other parents, at the time, who parented this way. I received a lot of criticism from their father, his family, and the community we lived in for even homeschooling them.
No one ever asked me why I parented them this way, or allowed them their head and the reins, with regards to their education. It is fair to say that I protected my children like a mother bear sure of one thing; if I had gone about raising them any other way, my ethical centre and MO would have pulled me up short. Also, they would have tortured me in retaliation. I knew that strict parents just create sneaky children. My profound love for them just couldn’t look or feel any other way. I was riding the impulse of inspiration. I treated them the way I wanted to be treated. I gave into my instincts, said fuck it to the societal constraints. I don’t have one ounce of regret! My children are entirely self-governing, resourceful, deep-thinking, creative, loving, and healthy. I’m so proud to be their mom.
After being cured from the cancer miasms using Heilkunst Principles, I made it my vow not to rescue others to the exclusion of myself and perpetuate children with the same cancer state of mind that I’d suffered with. I was also determined not to become a false authority for my children or others. I knew that love of self, acts of self-exploration through autonomy, creativity, and individuality were part of the “anti-cancer” state of mind.
My postgrad thesis yielded a book entitled, Unfolding The Essential Self: From Rage to Orgastic Potency. Which describes the research that enabled me to fully become my essential self after discharging my rage at the suppressive workings of 2,000 years of patriarchy. This book comes with a bibliography full of resources for those wishing to live out of the same principles.
Jordan has other reasons for being so remarkable that you, dear reader, may not know of. Hundreds of patients have been cured of their own diseases since he brought me to this system of medicine. You can listen to Jordan’s and my story for yourself for FREEhere.
There can be a variety of reasons that a mom will orchestrate the timing of stopping breastfeeding. In some cases, she will feel that it is “just time,” or that she needs to reduce feedings in order to head back to work, or the babe is now deriving more and more nourishment from sippy cup and solids. In the best case scenario, baby initiates the cessation process. My own time to wean came when my daughter could systematically undo my blouse buttons and I just intuitively felt that she had everything she’d needed from me in the way of physical and emotional nurturing. It was instinctual. It was time to let go.
Sometimes the transition to stopping breastfeeding can occur earlier under less desirable circumstances such as chronic mastitis (although we have remedies for this!) or because not enough milk is being produced (we have remedies for this too!) and mom has to supplement baby’s feeding from other sources like raw goat’s milk (goat’s milk has a smaller molecular structure than cow’s milk and can be easier to digest for baby) from a reliable source or implement Weston Price formula. Trying to get pregnant may be another reason that a mom will commit to the process of stopping breastfeeding.
Rudolf Steiner modelled Waldorf education after an organic unfolding of the human spirit illustrated by his pedagogy that allows for the teaching of human history at the time our human physiology is ready for it. For example, before a child’s milk teeth fall out, their abilities to conceptualize can be harmed with forced reading, math or science. Also, children at the age of ten are ready to unfold the Greek epoch in their microcosmic cellular memory of our human consciousness. He also suggests that babes who are breast-fed beyond fifteen months also start to pick up on the mother’s karma and disease heritage to a degree that may limit their capacity for full autonomy, freedom and sovereignty later on. This is derived from his extensive medical lectures for young Doctors.
All that being said, when your baby is ready to wean, stopping breastfeeding, is really an intimate decision taken between mom and babe. As your beloved child starts to sit up on his own he may develop an interest in other people’s solid food as early as six – eight months or not until closer to a year or even more. Slowly introducing cooked egg yolk, liver, avocados, puréed fruits and vegetables and salmon and a sippy cup with healthy raw goat’s milk (pasteurized milk has been linked to allergies and can contain unwanted pathogens and antibiotics) can be a good way to start transitioning your babe off the breast and gradually stopping breastfeeding.
Ideally, with ample time and support from our partners, you can slowly scale down feeding slowly by 1-2 per week depending on your baby’s individual needs. At 14 months, I was still able to lovingly provide my babe’s nursings first thing in the morning upon waking, evening when I got home and dropped the groceries on the kitchen floor while Dad prepared supper and then again at night-time before bed. Cold turkey weaning is never recommended due to the emotional and physical shock for both mom and babe. It takes time for your milk supply to abate and for baby to adjust to solid foods without promoting digestive colic, constipation or emotional distress.
Also, moms have found it best to provide that new sippy cup in a new location like a high chair or on demand from the floor, or a low-level coffee table, so that babe doesn’t confuse the usual rocking chair, where the nursing position would have been assumed for nursing, with the new regime of stopping breastfeeding. If you need a leg up, we have homeopathic remedies that can help with weaning naturally.
Usual reasons for transitioning:
Mom going back to wor
“It’s time”, in terms of maximum benefit being achieved
Sometimes the transition is forced before desired, due to reasons of employment, or sometimes other reasons the mother is having a hard time breastfeeding (chronic mastitis, for example)
Trying to get pregnant – There is evidence that breastfeeding does decrease a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant
Signs the baby maybe ready for transitioning
can sit up on their own
a growing interest or curiosity in other people’s food
satisfied and not asking to nurse
Gradual elimination of number of feedings per day, without reducing the amount of cuddling/emotional connection
Don’t give the new sippy cup (or whatever) in the same location that the breastfeeding was normally done
Most folks don’t know this but if a child is potty trained under duress, it can cause a whole host of mental/emotional issues later on. Holding the breath, contacting muscles, unexplainable fears and terrors later on are some of the negative effects of forced potty training. It is best if you can allow your child to self-initiate this process naturally as much as possible. I knew an awesome caregiver who allowed all the little boys in her care to pee outside or in a big aluminum juice can set in the middle of the kitchen. Most of them would be running around freely, naked from the waist down and they loved the sound their urine stream would make on the sides of the juice can. She would praise them lovingly for a joy that they already owned for their accomplishment.
Kids don’t moralize that “pee or poo” is considered dirty, bad or awful. In fact they don’t have the maturity of the ego to understand why something that was naturally inside their body, part of them, is suddenly deemed yucky just because it is now in a diaper, in the tub or on the floor. The best parents I know don’t shove their limited way of looking at the world onto their babes prematurely. Kids work on the model of “ownership” and success so it is best if you can make this a win-win process for them as it will pay off in the long run.
If you get down on your hands and knees and imagine what it would be like to be a sixth of your present size and what it would be like to fall into the toilet, potentially not being able to get out, you’ll be off to the store to buy a suitable potty. Babes do best if they are permitted to wander and explore at their own pace around their own potty. Allow them to follow both parents into the washroom when you have to go, too. Special books with images of little kids making “poo poo” or “pee pee” in the potty can have a wonderful effect on cultivating the idea in your child. Allow them to choose whether or not the book resonates with them, as this is a safe indication of whether or not they are ready for the idea. If they seem inclined to sit on the potty while reading to themselves or while watching a favorite movie, provide them with praise and loving attentions such as, “What a big boy you are! Good job, buddy!” It is a mighty big decision for a child to separate from their own urine or stool. We rarely understand the magnitude of this decision. A consistent approach between the parents and caregivers is crucial.
If things are not going well and you suspect your caregiver may be forcing the issue, you will notice potty training anxiety such as:
being scared of the flush of the toilet when you use it.
Feeling pushed, or having been punished for a previous potty attempt will be illustrated as shame.
A history of painful bowel movements from constipation.
holding of breath / tightening of muscles.
I was shocked and upset to see my own son spontaneous stop using the potty after a DPTP (Diptheria, Polio, Tetanus, and Pertussis) shot. He would go behind a large plant in the hall screaming out, “Don’t look at me!” He would clench every muscle in his body, which seemed very counter-productive to the aim, as he attempted to “hold on” to his excrement. Although he was wearing a pull-up and encouraged to “let go” using any means that pleased him, it was the beginning of a nightmare so extreme that he was hospitalized 7 times for constipation, once being put under general anaesthetic to have the impacted stool manually removed. Later my son was labelled as “ADD” and then “Autistic.” Thankfully, we were able to resolve the underlying cause with a systematic approach called Heilkunst medicine. At the time of writing this, he is a thriving 21 year old man without an ounce of residue from this nightmare we lived when he was just a babe.
Potty training anxiety summary
general tips about healthy potty training
follow the timing and rhythm of the child (they usually start showing an interest anywhere between 18 months and 30 years; tends to be on the earlier side for girls); Will also vary with different personality types of children
allow the child to feel “ownership” about the process – have their own potty (rather than the large scary toilet).
Special toys or books that are only used when sitting on the potty
Encourage feeling of pride in accomplishment (“big boy / girl”)
Potential causes of anxiety about toilet training:
Scared of the flush of the toilet
Feeling pushed, or having been punished for a previous potty attempt
Inconsistency from the parent or caregivers
If the child has a history of painful bowel movements from constipation
explore this with an orgonomic lens
parents who need the child to be “pleasing” and follow expectations of potty training
holding of breath / tightening of muscles
nat-m in parents / family ambient
example of a couple who lost a previous baby, and were still carrying the grief into the next pregnancy
learning how to use various muscles to have a bowel movement is a process and takes time, related to overall health of child and successfully moving through each stage of development without other blockages or interferences (emotions, miasms, etc.)