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Happy Mama, Happy Baby!

As a pre/post-natal yoga teacher I like to stay abreast of natural remedies that can assist women into a peaceful transition into Motherhood. The process of birth can leave women feeling depleted of energy, blood loss, and general post-partum mood fluctuations.

I like Happy Calm Focused nutritional supplements (HCF) because of its carefully chosen combination of Vitamins and nutrients, which actually help “feed” the brain of a sleep-deprived new mama! The B vitamins help the body to convert food into fuel, which is used to produce energy.

During the post-partum period, hormone level fluctuation a new mother can experience hair loss and brittle nails. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly, not to mention mild deficiency of B3 can cause fatigue and depression.

What makes HCF unique is that it does NOT contain added niacin! I couldn’t believe that I noticed niacin added into my other supplements, which already contain vitamin B complexes. High doses of niacin can be toxic because B3 already is a nicotinic acid so adding niacin can a bit overdose unless your medical practioner has recommended such a practice.

I am a mother myself with a very busy work and family schedule. HCF works for me and I recommend it to my yoga students, family, and friends.

By |April 9th, 2015|General Topics, Yoga|Comments Off on Happy Mama, Happy Baby!

Modern Day Red Tent – Home Birth Story by TJ

As you can imagine I am surrounded by births and hearing birth stories on a weekly basis.  I thought I should start sharing these amazing and inspiring stories here on my blog as sort of a modern day times, Red Tent.  These stories are meant to inspire, motivate, and educate.  Look for the pearl in every story no matter the outcome.  If you have a story you would like to share please send me a personal email: with the subject like “Modern Day Red Tent Birth Story”.

Let’s start this series with TJ’s Birth Story.  This is the birth of her second baby who also was born at home.  I was her doula for the first birth and because she moved away I was not there for baby number 2 although by the sound of her story, her midwife barely got there on time!  And the story begins…



I had my second baby (another girl – her name is Eloise but we call her Louie) about a year ago. I did have another home birth but couldn’t use MaryLou because we were just too far away. I used Sue Wolcott – a midwife in Glendale.

The birth was so quick; the midwife almost didn’t get here in time! 
My water broke in the early morning hours after I went to the bathroom but I just went back to bed since there were no contractions. Contractions were very mild throughout the day so we just went about our business. I even made my husband, Tyler, go to work because I felt just fine. I did drive with him though so that I would be near him in case things started up more actively.

I hung out in Westchester […]

Top 10 Most Important Things to Pack in Your Labor Bag

If you are pregnant and wondering what to bring to the hospital or Birth Center for your upcoming labor & delivery, chances are you have already come across those long lists of what to pack. Sure, the essentials are obvious such as your toiletries, change of clothes, a coming home outfit for the baby…your husband and Birth Partner, duh of course! But, what about a SHORT list of the absolutely most essential things to bring with you that will make a big difference?  I give you a short list of the top 10 most important things to pack in your hospital bag but often get overlooked, so if you are within 4 weeks of your due start packing your bag now.

 Birth Preferences List (Birth Plan) – This is your communications tool about what you prefer for your birth.  Your Birth Plan should be no more than 2 pages long, easy to read, and also include your preferences for baby care (i.e. do you want certain injections, eye ointment?).  Bring three copies with you, which ideally have been signed and agreed by your doctor.  A sample Birth Plan is provided in Posh Push.
 Birth Ball (to aid with labor support) – These are very large rubber balls used for exercise and Pilates. Recommended size for labor is 65 cm.  You want your hips to be above the level of your knees when you sit on it.  You can find an exercise ball at any Sporting Goods store or shop like Target. Please don’t go in asking for a “birth ball” because they will look at you cross-eyed.  Bring this ball with you to the hospital already pumped up and ready to go.
Wear Your Own Labor Gown – […]

By |April 9th, 2013|Birth Rights, General Topics, Labor Tools|Comments Off on Top 10 Most Important Things to Pack in Your Labor Bag

Benefits of Yoga for Fertility

Constant stress can negatively affect our health and wellbeing.  For a woman, the consequences of having cortisol and adrenaline constantly pumping through her body impacts her viability to conceive.  These ‘fight or flight’ hormones, in excess, compromise the ability to get and stay pregnant.

Think of it this way, if you are constantly running from the imaginary Saber-tooth tiger your body has the instinct to survive and stay alive.   In the presence of stress, it is as if your hormones as saying, “Quick, close and secure the doors to the precious ovaries.  It is NOT safe to release an egg here.”  Make sense?

Unfortunately, stress is a part of everyday life.  Thus, a woman (and men for that matter) would greatly benefit from the practice of  Yoga.  Yin classes like Prenatal and Restorative Yoga brings a fresh supply of oxygen to the body and also calms the mind to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.  Yoga also allows the mind and body a chance to recover from being overloaded by the ‘flight or flight’ mode and thus enhance the hormones of fertility and conception as well as maintain a healthy pregnancy.

At YogaWorks, we have a full schedule of classes for prenatal yoga, restorative, Iyengar and Hatha yoga, which would be appropriate for women trying to conceive.

By no means do I suggest doing yoga is the one and only tool to assist with fertility, but rather it can be used effectively in concert with other modalities such as acupuncture, herbs, proper nutrition, and sometimes the assistance of fertility medical treatments.  No matter your journey through conception, the benefits of yoga are countless.

I hope to do a series of follow-up blogs hi-lighting specific yoga poses, which are beneficial for […]

By |March 11th, 2013|General Topics|Comments Off on Benefits of Yoga for Fertility

Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth – Natural Pain Relief

Hoping for a more natural birth?  Here is How: A sneak peek into my doula-bag-o-tricks and you’ll find my stash of Aromatherapy.  Yes, not only does the flowery, fruity, and earthy smell mask the creepy smell of hospitals but pure essential oils (EOs) can actually affect a birthing mama mentally, physically, and emotionally without the use of pharmaceuticals.  Woot woot!
Aromatherapy is a method of treatment in which pleasant smells are inhaled thus stimulating the limbic area of the brain, releasing neurochemicals into the bloodstream and promoting relaxation in the body.  The right combination of smells can stimulate the body’s production of endorphins (the body’s own analgesic) and decrease the feeling of pain.

Essential oils are not synthetic but rather are derived from plants and flowers.  Essential oils can help you relax. Take a whiff of Lavender oil and notice how your facial muscles melt like wax and your breathing slows into a calm and rhythmic breathing pattern.

Although a variety of essence oils can be used for labor and birth, my personal doula favorite is Lavender essential oil. Lavender can be put directly onto your skin. It can be used alone (neat) or in combination with other oils. Spearmint or Mint EO scent is good if you are feeling nauseous however it cannot be placed neat on the skin without a carrier oil because it can cause irritation.

Essential oils can be mixed with carrier oil such as vegetable or nut oil (try extra virgin olive oil, jojoba, apricot kernel, wheat germ, sunflower, almond, or avocado) and placed in your bathwater or a diffuser to create a relaxing atmosphere. You can burn your favorite scents using a vaporizer to scent the air or put a few drops […]

By |February 26th, 2013|Doulas, General Topics, Labor Tools|Comments Off on Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth – Natural Pain Relief

Cord Blood Banking: Are We Steeling Babies Blood?

I recently read an awesome article by one of my favorite childbirth blogs called Midwife Thinking’s Blog.  The topic was called “Cord Blood Collection: Confessions of a Vampire-Midwife,” posted February 10, 2011.

It was well-timed since I just received an email from a Representative of Pacificord- Cord Blood Collection.   Funny how they got my name and email? What was most interesting is his offer to give me (as a Doula) a $50 referral fee for every client I sent to them and booked an account.  Wow!  Now, I know this type of thing happens at doctors’ offices but this is the first time, as a doula, I have been approached and been offered CASH for referrals.

I am aware of doctors and hospitals receiving incentives for selling/recommending drugs or childbirth interventions but have never heard of doulas being approached. What happened to the doulas helping to be the Guardians of gentle birthing for moms and babies?  I have to admit, for a quick second I thought, “Hmmm, who do I know that I can refer?”  Then I quickly snapped myself back!  But with such a generous referral incentive you can see how tempting it could be to pass along the Pacificord brochures.

Read The Midwife Thinking’s blog to learn more about the process of cord banking and the affect on baby.  When you learn how much of the baby’s own blood volume is taken (about 1/3)  it makes one really think hard about this topic of cord banking.  The midwife further states, “I am not saying cord blood banking shouldn’t be an available option. All I am suggesting is that parents need adequate information before they make a decision to withdraw a significant amount of their baby’s blood volume. They need to be able […]

Big Baby BS – Fetal Macrosomia

It breaks my heart and also frustrates me to hear women time and time again share with me the fear that has been implanted in their minds by their doctors concerning the size of their babies. Knowledge is power. Let’s have a discussion today about “the Big Baby Bullshit.” I put this term in quotes because I did not coin this term but ran across some website a few years ago dedicated to this topic.

First, allow me a moment to celebrate a few September births from my yoga class:

Amy ‘s story: “Hi Patricia! I’m the short blonde girl who usually sat in the back corner. I was scheduled for a planned c-section because the doctor said I would have a huge baby.  But, I went into labor on my own on Friday August 31st (water broke at 12:50am), I dilated all the way to 10 cm by Saturday night at 9pm but he wasn’t coming so they wheeled me in for c-section at 1:30am.  On Sunday morning, September 2nd, Baby boy, Everett James, was born at 2am and weighed 7 lbs, 14 oz.  Doctors were way off thinking I was going to have a 10 lb baby!”

Another Yoga Mama who declined her doctor’s recommendation for induction/Cesarean for suspected big baby:

Liza’s story: “Hi Patricia! This is Liza from Yoga class. I’m the girl with glasses that sits all over the place and brings non-pregnant family members to learn yoga moves with us. My daughter Lillian Marie was born on Thurs, Sept 27 after twelve hours of non-medicated labor – four at home, eight at the hospital. I used multiple music playlists, lots of dancing and moving, a yoga block, and partner stretches to get […]

By |November 2nd, 2012|General Topics|Comments Off on Big Baby BS – Fetal Macrosomia

Pregnancy and Pelvic Organ Prolapse

I want to talk about pregnancy and organ prolapse today.  I have a guest blogger who has written a great blog about what this condition is, how to repair it and more importantly how to prevent it from occurring.  Now some of you might be thinking that if you are having a C-section that this does not apply to you.  WRONG!  Pelvic prolapse can occur even if you are not pushing your baby out. No matter your birth plans, during pregnancy your pelvic floor is affected by the extra weight of your baby.  Please keep reading this post and reply with your experience of either preventing it or what you did to help repair it.

Pregnancy and Pelvic Organ Prolapse by Elizabeth Carrollton, Drugwatch

If there is one thing a woman is not thinking about during pregnancy, it is probably Pelvic Organ Prolapse. However, almost 50 percent of all women will be diagnosed with Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP). This is because pregnancy, childbirth and menopause are leading causes of POP. Women’s bodies undergo a profound metamorphosis in the nine months it takes to create human life. Unfortunately, the stretching of the connective tissues and muscles in the pelvis can leave a lasting effect.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Once a woman’s connective tissues and muscles have been stretched to accommodate pregnancy, they are never quite the same. Combine this with decreased estrogen levels during menopause, which causes a further thinning and weakening of pelvic tissues, and POP is often the result.

At its mildest, POP is asymptomatic, meaning a woman won’t have any symptoms, but it may be noticed by her doctor during a pelvic exam. At its most dramatic, the uterus or bladder can begin to collapse and descend into the […]

By |October 28th, 2012|General Topics|Comments Off on Pregnancy and Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Orgasm in Labor?

Yes, this can happen!  Read a few birth stories where mamas confess to this occurring.  FInd it here in my new book called Posh Push: Modern Girls Reveal Secrets to  More Natural Birth available as Kindle download on Amazon TODAY!

Follow us on Face Book and Like us: Posh Push and Twitter @poshpushbook

By |October 8th, 2012|General Topics|Comments Off on Orgasm in Labor?

Posh Push: Modern Girls Reveal Secrets for a More Natural Birth

Must-read Guide That Reveals How Labor Can Be Faster, Easier and Even Luxurious
LOS ANGELES, Calif., October 05, 2012 – Women everywhere have questions about childbirth.  “Am I prepared to have an enjoyable, comfortable childbirth?   Could I have a natural birth experience without drugs?” Now these women can find all the answers, secrets and more in the new book, Posh Push: Modern Women Reveal Secrets for a More Natural Birth, now available on Amazon:

This fabulous new book offers support and helps build confidence in modern women who strive to have a more natural childbirth. The book is packed full of insider tips, gems of wisdom, and stories from modern mothers and birth experts to help women achieve a more natural labor, with ease and comfort.  Posh Push celebrates a more natural childbirth as beautiful, attainable and for every woman that wants it.  This essential guide will prepare women in mind and body to optimize their pregnancy and birth environment.

Natural childbirth is an increasingly popular trend.  We see many celebrities choosing to have natural childbirths and sharing their stories in the media.  Now, chic, modern moms everywhere like Alison, Johanna and Tiffany, featured in Posh Push, are sharing their revealing birth stories in rich detail and answering “Why would anyone want a natural childbirth?”

Written in a fun, informative format, the authors ask, “Where are all the worldly stiletto wearing women who want to birth their babies naturally?” Co-authors, Patricia Grube and Sara Smildzins found them and the stories these women share exclusively in Posh Push will have pregnant women everywhere saying, “I want that too!”  For women that are […]

By |October 7th, 2012|Birth Rights, Doulas, General Topics, Homebirth/Midwives, Labor Tools, Yoga|Comments Off on Posh Push: Modern Girls Reveal Secrets for a More Natural Birth