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From the Jamaica Observer

“Technology has increased now in such a way that every pregnant woman can
book into a hospital and give birth with trained doctors and midwives. It is
against the law to give birth at home or an institution without the presence
of a trained midwife or without taking the newborn to a hospital. Mothers
even have the option of avoiding the long hours of labour pain with the
introduction of epidurals that make delivery more comfortable.”

How frightening and sad that this has happened, Once again, patriarchy has staked it’s claim over the bodies of wimmin. I’ll have more later, but it’s 5 a.m. and I have early pregnancy insomnia and a cough.

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Firstly, thanks go out to Jenny Hatch for responding to my Brewer Diet post. In my opinion, her knowledge is top notch on the subject, and I value it and am so thankful that there are other wimmin out there, like myself, who are not going to make apologies for the way she lives her life, births and nourishes her children. Kudos to you, sister in spirit!

Here is what I have eaten today and I will show the checklist on my Brewer chart to give an example of how simple this method of eating is, as well as how nourishing and filling and wonderful-even as a vegetarian!

Today:

Breakfast-

orange juice (1 1/2 servings)

Kashi Autumn Harvest (2 servings in one bowl) cereal with non bgh organic skim milk (one serving)

Snack-apple shared with Zoe. It was green and I like salt on green apples. MMMMM

Lunch-

1 banana

one open faced wasa bread sandwich with vegetarian turkey, green zebra tomatos and cheese with a bit of mayo.

1 serving of cottage cheese

3 extra cheese slices

Brussels Sprouts with butter and salt

1 serving of milk

Snack-baked potato with butter, salt, pepper

water through the day and I haven’t planned dinner yet.

So I have gotten in 4 servings already of dairy.

1 protien

3 grains

2 fruits

1 potato

salt and butter

water to thirst

Do you know how simple dinner is going to be!? Plus I have gotten my folic acid and my Herbal and Multi prenatals as well as my last dose (YAAAAAAAY!!!!) of that ridiculous antibiotic that gave me the horrifying yeast infection.

Just wanted to demonstrate how simple of a plan this is to follow. I’m probably going to have an oragne this afternoon yet and just for fun a fudgcicle because it is a warm and humid day. It’s another dairy and my chocolate fix wihtout going nuts on a chocolate bar.

The important thing, and I think Jenny toughed well on this, is avoiding the refined sugars and garbage that so many people ingest daily-even pregnant wimmin. I want to second what she said also-If you haven’t been a vegetarian, and a GOOD one, before getting pregnant, don’t start now. It will not benefit you or your babe.

World Health Organization and all the info they have on breastfeeding. LOTS of great things on this page and it’s NOT JUST ABOUT BABIES AND TODDLERS IN THIRD WORLD PARTS OF AFRICA! (pssst…..that’s why they are called the WORLD Health Organization, not the AFRICA Health Organization.)

From the site:

“Q: Up to what age can a baby stay well nourished by just being breastfed?

A: Infants should be exclusively breastfed – i.e. receive only breast milk – for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. “Exclusive breastfeeding” is defined as giving no other food or drink – not even water – except breast milk. It does, however, allow the infant to receive drops and syrups (vitamins, minerals and medicines). Breast milk is the ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; breastfeeding is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers.

WHO recommends that infants start receiving complementary foods at six months (180 days) of age in addition to breast milk. Complementary foods should be given 2–3 times a day between 6–8 months, increasing to three times a day between 9–11 months with one nutritious snack. Between 12–24 months of age, three meals should be given and two additional nutritious snacks can be offered between meals, as desired. These foods should be adequate, meaning that they provide sufficient energy, protein and micronutrients to meet a growing child’s nutritional needs. Foods should be prepared and given in a safe manner to minimize the risk of contamination. Feeding young infants requires active care and stimulation to encourage the child to eat.

The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to full use of family foods is a very vulnerable period. It is the time when many infants become malnourished, contributing significantly to the high prevalence of malnutrition in children under five years of age worldwide. It is essential therefore that infants receive appropriate, adequate and safe complementary foods to ensure the right transition from the breastfeeding period to the full use of family foods.”

I really hate the old wives tale about giving babies younger than 6 months a bottle of really watery formula and rice mixture so they will sleep. Rice turns to sugar. Why would you feed that to a baby you are trying to help to sleep. Further more, ‘sleep-training’? I’ll have something on that soon I am sure, as we are a bedsharing family and sleep is a need not a habit. That’s all I will say about that for now.

There is zero reason a baby younger than 6 months needs anything other than human milk. Sure,Mama, you might be excited to see your babe eat solids for the first time, but trust me, HECK, trust WHO, your baby can wait and so can you. Cherish how little they are. Babies don’t keep. Stop rushing and just cherish. Cherish each moment you have your baby at your breast. They will thank you for it with or without words.

Please watch this. It is absolutley amazing. Babies have the instinct to nurse and know what to do without help. This reaffirms my opinions about formula feeding-ESPECIALLY out of convenience. that may sound cold and judgemental and maybe a little callous (keep in mind I KNOW there are wimmin who CANNOT nurse their babes for very specific reasons regarding health or supply) those who do not and think its because they couldn’t-I firmly believe they did not do it long enough to know. There in no reason every child shouldn’t have breastmilk either from their mother or from a milk bank.
Oh and KUDOS to KYC on the formula from the hospital ban!

There is a great sound bit about HIV and Breastfeeding over on NPR. Go Listen. It’s quite interesting!

As many of you know, I am a Witch. I serve no particular pantheon as I don’t think I need to. I am basically your run of the mill, Eclectic Green Witch. I thought I would share with you the many number of Goddess figures from around the world and across traditions that are patrons of mothers, motherhood, maternity and babies.  A lot of wimmin, including myself, turn within a lot during pregnancy and especially during labor. I adore that I can call upon a myriad of deities and saints to aid me in strength, peace and endurance. Presently I have my altar dedicated to Demeter and The Blessed Virgin to guide me and give me peace and strength through my pregnancy.

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Demeter- The Goddess of Harvest
Demeter is known for many things in Greek Mythology. Pertaining to motherhood, Demeter’s story can be compared to the old empty nest syndrome. The story of her daughter Persephone having to spend most of the year in the underworld with her husband, has Demeter missing her daughter so much, she creates winter. However, she is so happy at her return, she made everything bloom again.

Haumea- The Goddess of Child Birth
Polynesian goddess Haumea supposedly taught women how to give birth by pushing out their baby between their legs. Folklore says that prior to this revelation, babies were cut from the womb. Haumea is said to have given birth to many children, including Hi’iaka who created the hula dance.

There are stories that state that after her death, Haumea was reincarnated into a young woman, and mated with her children and grandchildren to create more life from her own death. Haumea is also considered a goddess of vegetation.

Renenet- The Goddess of New Babies and Soul Names
The Egyptian goddess Renenet is said to be responsible for creating the baby’s desire to feed from its mother’s breasts-so one could say she is the goddess of breast-feeding.

Perhaps more interesting, Renenet is also responsible for helping new mothers learn their baby’s soul name. The soul name is said to be the baby’s true name, which will protect it, and hold the framework to the child’s personality traits. Renenet is usually showed with a lion or serpent head, as those animals are associated with having divine powers.

Maia- The Goddess of Rebirth
Maia is the namesake for the month of May. Maia is the oldest of seven daughter from the Greek god Atlas. She is said to be responsible for making everything turn green again in the springtime. She is also known as the grandmother of magic, as her son Hermes founded it. In fact, it was like magic how Hermes was born. Zeus visited Maia in her sleep and she woke up, ready to give birth to Hermes. Hermes invented the lyre and panpipe. Known as a genius god, he was also credited to inventing medicine, letters and astrology.

Heqet- Fertility Goddess
Heqet is the Egyptian Goddess of fertility. She presided over childbirth and trained her servants to help her, as midwives. Heqet is associated with the fruitful Nile River and is often depicted with the head of a frog.

Sar-Akka
A story from Scandinavia says this goddess helped open the womb of women in labor. It is said that Sar-Akka also created the fetal flesh, and also could even predict the future of the newborn.

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  • Artemis was the Greek goddess who ruled over the hunt and over women in childbirth. Her Roman name was Diana.
  • Demeter was the Greek goddess who made all things grow. Her Roman name was Ceres.
  • Gaea was the Greek goddess of the earth. Her Roman name was Terra.
  • Hera was the Greek protector of marriage and women. Her Roman name was Juno.
  • Hathor the goddess of love and mirth, protected children and pregnant women. She embodied the sky and was often depicted as a star-speckled “Celestial Cow,” or just with a cow head or cow horns.
  • Danu was the goddess of the earth. She was mother of many important gods, as well as mother of the Tuatha De Danann, a mythological race of people who had great and magical powers.
  • Ixchel was the goddess of the moon and the protector of pregnant women. She was often depicted as an old woman wearing a full skirt holding a serpent.
  • Freyja was the goddess of love and fertility. She was very beautiful and enjoyed music and song. Fairies were among her most beloved companions.
  • Frigg was the goddess of the sky, marriage, and motherhood. It was believed that she knew the fate of each person, but kept it a close secret.
  • Inanna was the goddess of love, fertility, and war. Sometimes called “Queen of the Sky,” her symbol was an eight-pointed star. Inanna was also queen of all beasts, and counted the lion as her special companion.
  • Ninhursag was the goddess of earth and mother of the gods, as well as the creator of all plant life. When she was pleased, the ground was fertile and the seasons were rich. But when she was angry, fields would be barren.

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Protectors of Children – Japanese Buddhism & Shintoism
Patrons of Motherhood, Fertility, and Easy Delivery

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St. Elizabeth

St. Margaret of Antioch

St. Silvia of Rome

Blessed Virgin Mary

Have more to add? I would love to have you share them! It matters not the tradition, I believe we are all on the same path, just calling it different things. Please share who you pray to or look to in your spirit to guide you, give you peace and strength.

 From experiences of not only my own, but of those I know and those I have read and heard about, I have ZERO doubt about the impact that nutrition plays in our overall health and wellness. Combined with good dental care, chiropractic care, herbal and holistic medicine and vitamin therapy, I strongly believe white coats won’t be needed. Along with that, I believe in vegetarianism.

I do my best to adhere to the Brewer Diet though I am not really a meat eater. I do not like red meat and actually have a tough time getting it down if eating it to be polite when served someplace other than my home. I get my proteins elsewhere and sufficiently. In the past ten years, I have, for the most part, (about 7 years of the past 10) maintained a very healthy, well balanced lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. I birthed two babies as a vegetarian (I ate chicken, however, when pregnant with Zoe and I think I had two hamburgers, but I craved them for some strange reason,) and both of them remain very healthy vegetarian children with the exception of fish on occasion.

The Brewer’s Diet is an excellent diet for getting everything one needs when pregnant to keep oneself healthy and grow a healthy baby and can easily be adapted to a meatless diet.

My first pregnancy, I knew NOTHING about health and natural wellness and nutrition. I gained nearly 70 pounds. I lost it all plus some, but I still gained WAAAAY too much weight. With Zoe, I am unsure how much weight I gained, as I UPed the second half of my pregnancy and we do not own a scale as I care not what a number is. I probably, if I had to guess, gained about 30-35 pounds with her, which I lost most of before becoming pregnant with Sprout. I was a marathon runner then, at peak physical condition for myself, vegetarian and drank A LOT of water. Very healthy. I did not, however adhere to this diet.

I am attempting this diet this time around (BTW, a diet is how you eat, not trying to lose weight) and I am curious what it’s results will be. Does anyone have any experience they might like to share? I know of one UCer who does the Brewer’s Diet (Jenny Hatch) and she has success with it, so Jenny, if you happen to read this, please share your insights on the Brewer’s Diet!