Pregnancy

Tea for Two...!

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Have you ever wondered how you can give your uterus a good workout to prep for childbirth? How could a uterus even pump iron? It's not like there are W.O.D's for your uterus???

BUT ...

There is a way to help your uterus have effective contractions! Yep, that's right! Have you ever heard of Red Raspberry Leaf tea? Herbs are quite powerful and can have both positive (and negative) impacts on pregnancy. It is always wise to confer with an herbalist or naturopath regarding any herbal supplements that you would like to consume. But Red Raspberry Leaf tea is one of the few teas that are actually recommended before, during and after pregnancy!

What's special about Red Raspberry Leaf is it is a uterine toner and when consumed it will help you have effective contractions. It won't put you in to early labour, but will help ensure that when your uterus is doing what it does best, it's doing it well! It is also considered to help improve sleep during pregnancy, nausea and leg cramps because of it's high concentration of magnesium, potassium, iron and b-vitamins.

Just as Red Raspberry tea helps us during labour, it also helps us in those early postpartum days as our uterus tries to contract down to it's original size.

Some other teas that have benefits for you and babe include:

Dandelion leaf tea helps minimize jaundice in babe.

Nettle Leaf tea which is high in iron, calcium, vitamin K, and folic acid. Vitamin K helps with postpartum bleeding, and folic acid, as we know from our prenatal vitamins, is vital to our little one prenatally.

Milk Thistle tea a great liver detoxifier, and has been shown to increase breast milk, and is also known to interfere with prostate, breast, and endocervical cancer cell growth.

AND

Fenugreek tea is one of the most common herbs known to help increase breast milk supply. However, it is known to stimulate the uterus and is not recommended prenatally.

As mentioned earlier, it is important to discuss the use of herbs with your chosen health care provider both prenatally and postpartum.

And when you're ready to get your uterus to the 'gym' with a cup of warm tea, you can channel Hans and Franz (this is a special treat for those of you who grew up in the 70s/80s and would stay up late as a kid just to watch Saturday Night Live)!

Single Parent by Choice

Spectrum Single Parent by Choice

Choosing to be a parent on your own is not a decision that is made lightly, from the decision itself, to the act of getting pregnant, to labouring without a partner to parenting solo can make you feel like one of those blow-up punching bags, where you keep popping back up for more punches. Parenting, no matter how you become a parent, will have it's challenges, and it will also have its joys.

If you are considering becoming a single parent, choice mom or parent by choice, Spectrum Doula Collective was created with you in mind! We understand all the questions you had to ask yourself, all the finances you had to sort out and plan for a future with babe, we also understand the decision making behind a known donor versus going with an anonymous donor. We understand the challenges, the judgment, and the curiosity from others which impacted each decision you made. We also understand the process in creating a co-parenting relationship, going through a fertility clinic and grieving the process of conceiving with a partner, or navigating through public and or private adoption options. We understand the ups and downs... we understand the desire to just want to parent.

If you are in the process of deciding whether being a single parent is right for you, we would love to share some of our favourite resources!

Rainbow Health Ontario has some great resources for non-traditional family creations. Here are some of their most relevant materials to journeying into single parenthood, highlighting the pros and cons of each option:

Guide to Choosing a Sperm Donor (Known vs Unknown)
Guide to Coparenting
Guide to Insemination Procedures

Another great resource right here in Toronto is The 519 Church Street Community Centre, which offers a Queer and Trans Family Planning course. Whether you identify as Queer, Trans or a straight single parent-to-be, this course is very inclusive and provides extensive information on all the different options available to becoming a parent. This course might be the most inclusive family planning course out there!

ChoiceMoms.org and SingleMothersByChoice.org are also good online resources and support, full of podcasts, ebooks, and forums to link up with others traveling a similar journey.

The Longest Shortest Time (one of our fave podcasts) has two great podcasts worth a listen: Episode #64 Should I Have Kids? and Episode #66 Momming It Solo.

Finally, CReATe Fertility Centre offers an On Our Own group for singles who are interested in becoming a parent or are a choice parent to share, discuss and explore feelings, and information in a safe and supportive setting. On Our Own gathers the 4th Thursday of every month between 6:30 - 8:30 PM.

*You may want to call CReATe and confirm dates and times with the clinic, in case they change.

We hope that no matter where your journey to parenthood leads that some of these resources came in handy. And if you ever need someone to chat to about the process, don't hesitate to get in contact with us!

And if you have any great resources that you think will be helpful to our readers, let us know by writing a comment, we would love to hear from you...!

Love,

The Spectrum Doula Team

Get Snacking: Ginger Molasses Date Treats

Did you know that consuming six date fruits a day for four weeks prior to your estimated due date can actually improve your chances of spontaneous labour, a quicker first stage of labour, and reduce your chances of needing pitocin to either induce or augment labour!?  According to a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2011) that this is in fact true!

Dates are delicious all on their lonesome, but sometimes it can be fun to mix them up with a little bit of zing! This is a super simple and delicious recipe. Not only does this treat contain dates as the main ingredient, which is high in energy and fibre, but it is also packed with protein, iron, and flavour.

Ingredients

Materials: Food processor

  • 1 cup Medjool Dates
  • 1 cup Raw Cashews
  • 1/2 cup Hemp Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Molasses
  • 1/2 cup Ground Almonds

Place all ingredients (except the 1/2 cup Ground Almonds) in a food processor and blend until it is all mixed. Using a tablespoon, roll the date mix into balls and roll each ball in the ground almonds to cover (you can also use ground cacao, or coconut). Optional: If you have a dehydrator you can pop them in to the dehydrator for six hours (110 F) to draw out some of the moisture. Otherwise, just pop them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks (but they likely won't stick around that long). Enjoy!

Love,

The Spectrum Doula Team