Natural Creation

10 Easy “One Hand” Snacks for moms!

I love making sure my clients have quick and easy healthy snacks at their fingertips.  As part of my postpartum visits I enjoy preparing meals for the family, and encourage them to have the ingredients ready for me to make a few snacks to keep ready. The foods I’ve listed below are chosen because they are easy to eat with one hand.  This is crucial when you are breastfeeding or multitasking aka mothering.



1.Energy Balls are at the top of the list.  There are so many variations on this – you can add whatever seeds & nuts you like really!

These are easy to make (no bake), and last a while stored in an air tight container.  Some moms don’t have much of an appetite, so these are a healthy AND temptingly sweet treat I love to make available.


2.Plates of fresh cut veggies and fruit with sliced cheese.  Yes, that simple.  For some reason moms often love the fresh crisp fruits and raw veggie sticks in the early postpartum days, and the cheese provides some protein and fat! Single servings boxed in the fridge make it easy!

3.Nuts and berries.  Anything easy to eat with one hand is great! I pop single servings into tupperware containers and place them by the couch / bed side wherever mom spends time breastfeeding.

4.Breakfast Sandwiches.  I love prepping foods that can go in the freezer.  A package of english muffins, a carton of eggs, sausage patties or ham if you eat meat, and some sliced cheese.  I cook the egg in rounds, and assemble the sandwiches before individually wrapping them and freezing them!

5.Bacon & Egg Breakfast muffins are higher in fat, but also freeze well and have a good helping of protein!Bacon-and-Egg-Breakfast-Muffin-2


6.Oatmeal Protein Cookies contain protein powder.  I highly recommend using a hemp or pea protein powder over whey or soy.

7. Hummus & Pita / Crackers more protein and easy to eat.  Pre-dipping your pita or crackers and plating them before sitting down will make things easier for the breastfeeding moms!

8. Edamame can be enjoyed warm or cold!  So steam (or have someone steam) and season some and ziploc bag them in the fridge for a quick snack!

9. Smoothies might seem a bit obvious, but it’s all about the ingredients!  Mix is up with some coconut milk and pineapple chunks, add your favourite protein powder or kefir and some greens like kale or spinach.  Putting portions in mason jars means you can shake it up if it starts to settle / separate.

10. Rice paper rolls can be loaded with the traditional veggies and nuts etc, or try putting cottage cheese and fruits in there!  A great way to keep things compact and try a variety of flavours and sauces!

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Top 12 For The Doula Bag

I have a great faith in the natural process of birth.  I love supporting a couple in welcoming their new baby – throughout the pregnancy, birth & postpartum.

Achieving a positive birth experience is comes from being educated, and having an educated & experienced support team.

As a doula, and someone that likes to be prepared for anything, I take a range of natural products to aid the birthing mama.

Here is the list of items I pack in my doula bag:

  1. hair ties (for the mama)
  2. hot water bottle (you could also use a microwavable heating pad, but they don’t have a microwave.  I don’t like the plug in heating pads because they are not as easy to move with the mama)
  3. gum/mints
  4. fresh lip balm (for the mama)
  5. battery operated tea lights (candle light is soothing, and these can be used in hospitals too!)
  6. unscented massage oil
  7. essential oils: lavender, jasmine, clary sage, peppermint & whatever else mama might request.
  8. homeopathic remedies: aconite, pulsatilla, caulophyllum, chamomilla, nux vomica, arnica, carbo vegetabilis, kali phosphoricum,&  gelsemium.

  9.  tennis ball (for rolling on the back)
  10. Rebozo
  11. Elle TENS unit
  12. Postpartum Wellness Bath Tea fr making healing frozen pads, and putting in the peri bottle to speed healing.

I should add that for home births I find the Aquaborn birth pool to be an excellent tool.  It doesn’t fit in my doula bag, and can’t be used in hospital births – so that’s for another post!

I welcome any feedback – share what you pack in your doula bag, or what you found most helpful as a birthing mama!

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Chocolatey, Protein Packed Energy Balls

You can never have enough HIGH PROTEIN, healthy SNACKS on hand as a pregnant or new mama!  Keeping protein levels up keeps sugar cravings down!  So here’s it is:


1 cup PB

1 cup raw honey

2 cups oats

1 cup chocolate chips or sunflower seeds

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1 cup ground flax

3 scoops chocolate protein powder


Mix it all up, roll into bite sized balls and refrigerate to set!

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Workshops I’m attending!

I’m really excited to be building on my skills this September.

I am passionate about supporting growing families & providing the best care possible.

Two workshops I’ve been wanting to take are happening the same weekend in September.  It will be an intense, and educational weekend.  The two courses I’m taking are:

When Survivors Give Birth Is a workshop taking place at Mothering Touch in Victoria.  I will develop skills to understand and support women through childbirth that have a history of early sexual abuse and/or other trauma.

Supporting Families Through Infant Loss Is a workshop taking place at Midwifery Supplies Canada in North Vancouver. I will develop skills to support families through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death.

I will post about my experience at these workshops at the end of September.

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Overcoming Postpartum Depression


Self-care and Social Support for Overcoming Postpartum Depression – from Midwife International

“…Perhaps it is surprising that a plan for self-care and social support is considered one of the single most important aspects of postpartum planning. Valuing your emotional health and tending to it can bring great peace and serenity to both parent and child…”

Read the full article HERE

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Ending the Breastfeeding Relationship with My Daughter

I’ll never forget those precious moments, with Ivan along my side – his head resting on Camille’s legs as she lay across my lap – two pairs of beautiful big blue eyes staring up at me as I nourished my babies.

I am weaning Camille.  I am grieving the end of our breastfeeding relationship in a way I didn’t expect to.  She is my only girl, she is my sweet, gentle, loving, thoughtful little girl.

When I birth my babies I feel a sense of grief and a little anxiety about the fact that they are now on the outside.  They are no longer inside me, connected to me, being fed & protected by me.  They must breathe their own air, digest my milk, and be exposed to a little bit of the world.

Now, I am feeling that same sense of grief and anxiety – she is no longer going to receive my antibodies or the unique nutrition my milk provided her.  She is no longer a baby.  She is a toddler, she is moving into the next stage of her childhood and will learn a little more about the world, and exert her will a little more, and become a little more adventurous and independent.

I know she is ready.  I know this because she doesn’t cry for it.  She asks occasionally when she has just woken up or is cold, but other things offered provide her what she needs.  Those are the times she most wanted to nurse.  When she woke up feeling a little groggy or if we’d been out for a long walk in the rain, or she’d gotten cold in the swimming pool, then my baby girl would like the warmth and security of nursing – it wasn’t just hunger that I was abating in these moments.   But it seems she can fill her hunger with food now, she can be warmed in a blanket by the fire quite happily, and when she needs security she hides behind my legs or is reassured up in my arms.

I feel so blessed I’ve been able to tandem nurse Camille and Ivan.  It’s been a truly rewarding experience.

Now it is time for Camille and I to move into another stage of our relationship – I’m excited for what’s to come with this sweet angel, I am so blessed to have as my daughter!


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Labour Pains – what do they feel like? how to cope?

First time moms often wonder how they will  know they are in labour.  What will it feel like? Can it be compared to menstrual cramps?  how can they be sure it’s time?  

The great news is, if you’ve suffered from severe menstrual cramps, contractions are easier to cope with from at least one perspective – you get breaks!  With menstrual cramps, they are continuous unless relieved by medication, heat, aromatherapy, herbal teas etc., but with contractions in labour they are rhythmic and you get to rest in between.  That’s the first thing to remember, and to savour!  Tip # 1 for moving through your birthing time is to RELAX as much as possible.  If you’re not sure if “it’s happening” or not, it’s best just to carry on with a relaxing day and try your best to ignore the sensations.  If you are in the more intense stages and are certain your baby is making its way – take those breaks and focus on softening your entire body and relaxing as much as possible in between waves / contractions / tightenings.  Many women are able to doze off even if it’s just for a minute or two even in the most intense parts of their birthing time.

As far as the sensations being compared to menstrual cramps – most people describe  this sensation for the early labour – or the weeks leading up to labour.  This is most likely associated with the cervical ripening that occurs before the body moves into the birthing time.  When the “real” contractions begin, it is a bit different in that the sensations are usually a tightening all around the baby – so into your back (a little or a lot depending on the woman and the position of the baby), and up as high as your uterus has stretched.  The cervical ripening is associated more with the menstrual cramps sensation because it is lower down in the pelvis.

Often during the contractions there is a tightening all over the belly, and a discomfort low in the pelvis around the pubic bone as your body is pushing your baby in a downward motion with each contraction.  Applying some heat to this area provides great relief. Trying to keep your body relaxed THROUGH each contraction is also very useful.  Remember your uterus is a muscle working hard to move your baby down & out.  Allow your body to expend energy in that muscle while relaxing the rest of your muscles.  As I mentioned before, if you are unsure if its time, relax and carry on as much as possible.  The contractions that should have you calling your midwife or heading to the hospital will get your attention no matter what you are distracting yourself with.  They will feel strong, you will not feel like speaking through them, only breathing and focusing on your body.  Most women prefer a gentle rub in time with their breathing pattern, not to be spoken to unless it’s gentle words of reassurance and encouragement.  Anything out of time or sync with their body usually proves irritating as it is a distraction from the work they are doing.

You can practice for labour by standing with your feet a little more than should width apart, supporting your body with strong legs, but specifically softening your bum & vulva.  Rock your hips back and forth, around in circles and move them in any other ways that feel good.  Belly dancing is a great thing to do to keep your pelvis loose!  Soften your whole body aside from your strong legs supporting you, lean forward with your arms resting on the back of a couch or a counter or some other support if it feels good.  If your partner is around get into a slow dance position and rock your hips with a focus on relaxing your shoulders, your face, your bum and your vulva – you are letting your baby down.  Breathe deeply softening your body with each exhale.  Imagine the tightening of your belly hugging your baby and moving it down – closer to being in your arms.  It is good practice for your partner to support you, move in time with what feels good to you, breathe in time with you if it seems right.  Having someone breathe slowly and deeply with you can keep you on track with it as things intensify.  If we breathe quickly our body tenses, keep it slow and if you feel like toning, keep it low.

Every woman will want to move into different positions at different times to cope – follow what feels right for your body.  Do what feels right for moving your baby down.  Trust your body & your baby.

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Decongestant Chest Rub

I’m reposting this from last year! I pulled out the chest rub I made last year, and used it on all the kids & myself with this nasty cold we’ve had.


As promised – the recipe for a natural remedy for chest congestion.  My 5 yr old was coughing all night long, so first thing in the morning I set to making this chest rub to help clear things up and help him sleep:


  • 1/2 cup of avacado oil (or any base oil you have handy)
  • 4 tsp beeswax
  • 15 drops peppermint
  • 10 drops rosemary
  • 15 -20 drops eucalyptus
Combine the oil and beeswax in a pyrex jug, place the pyrex jug in a pot of water on medium heat on the stove .  Heat until all the beeswax has melted.  Mix thoroughly, add the essential oils, mix thoroughly again and pour into a clean dry glass jar or salve tin.  Allow it to cool, rub on chest as needed!
My son and nanny both LOVE this rub.  I do NOT recommend using this for babies, I didn’t use it on my daughter as she is only 8 months and too young for these potent essential oils with.  I would not recommend using this on yourself if you are breastfeeding and/or co-sleeping with a baby for the same reason.


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Cinnamon Bread Recipe

I have to keep my recipes somewhere – so I thought I’d share!

You could easily add raisins for cinnamon raisin bread, but my husband hates them so I leave them out :)

Add the ingredients in the order listed.  If adding raisins wait until the machine has blended these ingredients first, and then add them in the kneading phase

1 1/3 cup warm water

1 tsp bread machine yeast

2 1/2 tbsp sugar or honey

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp oil

1 1/3 cup white flour

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

I set my bread machine for “normal” / white bread

I came up with this recipe when I was craving cinnamon buns, but didn’t want that much sugar (and didn’t have the energy to make them..) and my family LOVES it!


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1 week in

It’s been one week since we welcomed our 4th, and last child.  Ivan was born at home.  It was a perfect birth for me, and I will write a more detailed birth story when the time feels right.

Leading up to Ivan’s birth I was nervous about how our 18 month old daughter would respond to another baby in the house – someone that she had to share mama’s milk with, a little being that required so much of her parents.  So far things have been great!  We talked A LOT about her sharing mama’s milk, and telling her the baby would come out of mama’s tummy soon.  She participated at all the midwife visits – listening with the feta-scope to the baby, palpating my belly and helping measure the fundal height.  She seemed to really understand that we were checking on baby – and equally now, she seems to understand that the baby came out!  I am just waiting for her to grab her stethescope from her doctor’s kit and lift up my shirt to listen to baby as she did throughout the pregnancy, but so far she seems to be clear that there is no baby in mama’s tummy any more   It really astounds me how much children can understand at such a young age!

Babies 18 months apart.

1 week in to 18 months apart!

The first weeks after a baby’s arrival are emotional to say the least.  Everyone experiences a different range of emotions, concerns, and joys.  For me my heart swells bigger than I can ever imagine.  My first I loved so deeply, I had no idea I was capable of such love, as his siblings were born I was amazed at the way my heart’s capacity for love just continued to expand.  I feel so much love for my new baby, as well as for my older babies, and memories of their births and first weeks of life come flooding back – I find just remembering their birth and newborn stage gives me extra compassion for whatever difficulties they are experiencing at their current stage.  Suddenly I have the empathy for them as a baby as well as the difficult 5 yr old I’m struggling to understand at times.  I love this reminder, I love how it impacts my parenting.

As I lie with Ivan curled up on my chest I am overcome with love, and with some sadness too.  This is the last baby I will birth, all of my children are out.  I always have an acute awareness of how protected my babies were in my belly versus how vulnerable they are once out and in the world.  I also feel a pang of grief that I will not experience pregnancy, birth, and the newborn stage again.  I feel I am finished – pregnancies become increasingly uncomfortable, and difficult the more you have, and I’ve had amazing birth experiences – I couldn’t ask for more.  But that feeling of holding your newborn – nothing can compare to it, and I don’t know if anyone could ever feel “done” with that.  It prompted me to dig a little deeper into WHY it feels SOO amazing.  It’s not that we love our children any less as they get older – in fact if anything we love them in several more ways as we learn about them and get to know them.  I think for me just the fact that I can hold them curled up on my chest for hours is a big part of it!  If I could hold my 5 yr old like that I would.  It was tough cuddling my older babies while I was pregnant, but now without the belly in the way I can snuggle them all up on my lap!

I’m off to hold each one of them tight.


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