I have spent many many hours trying to think of a way to share the lessons I have learned from more than 20 years of parenting and a decade of serving families as a traditional naturopath and herbalist. I simply do not have time to effectively answer every single question that I am asked in person, and sadly many who WOULD ask me a question don’t even try because I can be hard to reach by telephone unless you are a midwifery client.

I think I have found a way to solve this that is affordable, convenient and thorough. I’m going to only send you this email/post once – and I won’t be bothering anyone again with the information. Just click “delete” if this doesn’t help you. That’s all I’m after: helping people reach their healthcare goals however I can!

I am publishing a free weekly health newsletter that you can sign up for it here.

And I have a 10 lesson eCourse available now called Family 1st Aid. For more information on that CLICK HERE.

I wish you all the best – and hope to hear form you all soon!



Natural vs. Un-natural

“The intrinsic intelligence of women’s bodies can be sabotaged when they’re put into clinical settings, surrounded by strangers, and attached to machines that limit their freedom to move. They then risk falling victim to the powerful forces of fear, loneliness, doubt , and distrust, all of which increase pain. Their hopes for a normal birth disappear as quickly as the fluid in an IV bottle.” ~Peggy Vincent -The Baby Catcher

Such truth here in this quote: birth can be “painful”. But the pain is NOT like stubbing one’s toe or breaking a leg, etc. It is a normal pain (and yes, there is such a thing). Much different than that of an injury, easier to cope with and rhythmic rather than startling and sharp. Contrast this to the normal interventions one receives in a hospital: IV “HepLock”, epidural needle, episiotomy, un-natural position for birth… etc. etc. etc.

There are very real emotional AND physical consequences of placing a woman outside of her familiar space while she is bringing forth her child.

Touching me touching you…

“Our culture may be changing, but our evolutionary need for touch remains the same. Babies’ brains are designed to expect closeness and proximity — to be held for their safety, psychological growth, physical growth, mental growth, to aid and stabilize their physiological processes and keep their immune systems strong. Touch is not an emotional fringe benefit. It’s as necessary as the air we breathe.”
~James McKenna

I was at a family event yesterday and saw two mothers. One mama carried her baby in a Moby Wrap, tucked safely inside, sweet and snug as a bug. She had a diaper bag on one shoulder, and her toddlers hand held on the other side. They both looked content and happy. The other mother carried her baby in one of those big bulky infant carrier/carseats. Neither looked happy or content. Baby was screaming loudly, mom’s posture was twisted to one side – loaded down with diaper bag on one side and carseat+baby on the other.

I can’t say enough about how different the mother’s AND baby’s appearance and demeanor are when using a carrier versus a carseat. Try it! The benefits of wearing your baby are far-reaching, both physically and emotionally, developmentally and relational.

Our Services

Dar a Luz Women’s Care offers homebirth services in these areas and private birth suites at our lovely freestanding center in Sedalia,Missouri. We also offer monthly classes including newborn care, breastfeeding, childbirth and sibling preparation. Our Mama Club meets monthly as well and explores a new topic with guest speaker each time! Call for a visit and come see us!


Dar a Luz Women’s Care is pleased to also offer well-woman care as well as thyroid, non-hormonal fertility education and whole-woman nutritional support.

Rant or Rave?

I just have to put this out there – to the universe, families I serve, etc. etc.

BIRTH BELONGS TO WOMEN and FAMILIES. It does not belong to midwives, obstetricians, anesthesiologists, etc. etc. etc. I get so tired of hearing about all the hoops pregnant and birthing mothers are made to jump through – “You must do XYZ at weeks 1, 2 and 3. And of course an ultrasound at 20 weeks to confirm dates and make sure baby is ok. Oh, and the quad screen. Of course you’ll want that.” FEAR, fear… FEAR.

Poor mother is sitting  there stunned, shocked, frightened, bullied… certainly with a continual onslaught of emotional and physical affronts during her pregnancy she will experience some – SOME – hiccup in her labor or birth. If we treated animals this way while pregnant entire species would die out and become extinct.

Sigh. Remember Mama: you are the ONLY PERSON ultimately responsible for your womb-baby. You carry her, you feed and nourish him. You ALONE birth this person into the outside world. Choose carefully those whom you would invite on your journey.

Get your art on…








My tween daughter says this all the time, in reference to my choice of clothing. I don’t know what she’s talking about for sure, but I think it has something to do with my mostly drab and boring wardrobe. That’s not, however, what I’m referring to!

I’m hosting what I hope to be the FIRST annual art show here in Missouri to benefit Missouri birth centers and out-of-hospital midwives. SO… GET YOUR ART ON!

If you are a midwife, doula,mother, father, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa… you get the point… and have created or think you might want to create a piece of art to commemorate one of “those” moments in the mother-baby-birth world, PLEASE consider participating. The art may be shown only and returned, offered for sale, or donated for auction later that evening.

(which is free of course complete with those fancy-schmancy tiny finger cakes that taste good but are much too small?)

And here’s the FUN part (I get to get a new dress for this!!!! Errr…. wait a minute… maybe that’s not such a….):

A formal, black tie event will follow the public art viewing! The evening event promises to be full of fun, probably at my expense 🙂 , and ticket sales will benefit what I hope to be the beginning of a free-standing birth center in the Warrensburg/Sedalia area (look for an announcement later on this!). The art auction proceeds will benefit my wonderful preceptor/friend/midwife extraordinaire Rachel Williston of A Mother’s Love Birth Center.

Tickets to the event are going to be little over-priced, like any decent fundraising event is, but will be worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY if you want to see options for birthing women in our state broadened and every woman served by the Midwifery Model of Care! I promise you the food will be amazing, hormone-free, locally grown fare, and there is talk of some fabulous door prizes as well.

If you would like an invitation to the evening’s event, please drop me a line at birthbeautifully [at] gmail [dot] com with your postal address and I will get one in the mail to you pronto!

Click HERE for a flyer and entry form if you have art to share… and come on… EVERYBODY has a little art in there! So get your art on and share it with the world!

Gunnarr’s Blanket

(Gunnarr has the traditional Scottish spelling and is pronounced “gun-er”.)

I began an afghan for Gunnarr before he was born. Of course we didn’t know if “he” was a boy or girl so I chose a lovely green color – organic cotton – a lovely yarn and a challenging pattern for my knitting skills. Certainly doable though. I’d been knitting for a couple of years and knew all of the stitches.


It just wouldn’t come together. I tried and tried, frogged and frogged… and only NOW, with his 9 month birthday looming, is it nearly complete. It was quite a journey, but of course, so was his pregnancy and birth. I’ll blog about the pregnancy another time, but for now will talk a bit about his birth.

I had the MOST lovely home labor I could have dreamed of. Predictable labor pattern, totally what I wanted with my husband at hand, in the water, candles.. music… got the 10 cm and felt like pushing after about 6 hrs. I couldn’t believe how fast it was going! 🙂

And I pushed. And Pushed. And PUUUUSSSHHHEEDDD. Nothing. Changed positions, used homeopathics, contractions hard and strong… the little fellow wouldn’t budge.

Now, of course we hasn’t a little fellow at all. 🙂 He weighed 10 pounds and 8 ounces and was 23 inches long! But I’ve seen 10+lb’ers be born slick as a whistle, easy and in a state of bliss… it just wasn’t happening for me.

6 hours later, Gunnarr plugging along just fine, he was born surgically in our local hospital. He was fine, I was devastated. Even though I made the decision to transport, even though he was ok and so was I (physically) it really REALLY hurt.  A few months later I attended a butter birth… big baby whose mother I now call my friend… and she had MY birth. And it hurt again.

Then today, as I am finishing up Gunnarr’s afghan…. it suddenly started just falling into place… the last few stitches, the edging… all of it. And it hit me: “This doesn’t look exactly like I envisioned it but it still is a nice little blanket!”

Sometimes crap happens. Sorry for using that word, if it offends anyone. But it does. And it’s messy, and it stinks, and well… who wants it? Not me! But it happens. So we clean up the mess and move on. And once in awhile, something beautiful turns up in spite of it. 🙂

Weed Woman

I earned that title from my little brother. I guess he noticed that I’ve always been draw to plants, the outdoors, herbs… I recall standing at our back porch and seeing “elephant ears” (as we called them) growing along the foundation of our house. Mother was madly hacking at them, a “weed” she called them. It wasn’t until years later that I learned they were the marvelous burdock. Plantain, lobelia, Queen Anne’s Lace, mullein,  chickory… all “weeds” with healing properties that grew in our back yard.

When I was 15 I got my first paying job – at a greenhouse. I had to nearly bribe the owner to give me a try… he didn’t think I could muscle the bags of dirt that would need unloaded weekly. He gave me a try, I earned the job and then some, not knowing until the end of the first week if I was staying or not. The paycheck was a welcome bonus.

And so today, I still find myself turning toward the plant, the herb, the essential oil: to make tinctures, salves, food. And nearly every herb my family needs for common ailments can be found in my own backyard. Why not schedule an herb walk in YOUR backyard? Find someone who knows herbs, and ask them to show you. You can learn with field guides, as I did, but it is much easier to recall names and uses if someone tells you in person.

Here is a Missouri Guide from the University of Missouri Extension Office to get you started.

Salt in pregnancy

I’ve been recently compiling a few more resources on salt intake during pregnancy. There simply is no science to support the idea that REAL, WHOLE salt should be reduced or eliminated during pregnancy NOR that doing so will decrease swelling.

Here is a great handout on SALT in pregnancy (not to techy). It is from the UK with some US sources. has a lovely section on salt to this tune:

What’s Up With Salt?

Sodium is an extremely important component in your diet and yet many women still get misguided advice to not eat salt while pregnant. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stopped recommending salt-restriction to pregnant women in 1974, when it was finally acknowledged that this was not only not beneficial, but was potentially harmful!

Sodium works together with protein (albumin) to maintain a normal circulating blood volume. A pregnant woman needs additional sodium to help support her expanding blood volume. Additional sodium goes to the baby and to the expanding breast and uterine tissues also.

Commonly, friends and family will offer advice to cut back on salt if you are experiencing swelling. This is not a healthy solution to this problem (if it really is a problem) and can in fact cause problems. The correct response to swelling is to increase protein and fluid intake. You may even need additional salt if it has been hot or you have experienced increased perspiration. The general rule of thumb is: Salt your food to taste.

And this is my all-time favorite article on the salt-myth because it includes some discussion (often lacking) about the importance of the TYPE of salt you use. Thank you Maryn!!!

The Mama Club

I am BEYOND excited about this newest happening!!! It looks like we have both a venue and a lovely group of moms willing to jump in and begin to create a community to support motherhood in our our backyard!!! Woot! Woot!!!

The Mama Club is an inclusive group dedicated to creating community for mothers. Whatever kind of mother you are, we welcome you! It is my hope that we can learn from, share and support one another while re-creating a local sisterhood like the ones our great-grandmothers enjoyed.

Click HERE for a copy of our flyer and contact information. We hope to see you soon!

You can also “LIKE” The Mama Club on Facebook and be updated with events and our schedule.