sharethelove

Share the Love: Central Iowa

I am so excited to announce that I am officially a Share the Love host for Central Iowa! What is Share the Love? I have mentioned it a few times since I returned from MommyCon Minneapolis, but I wanted to wait to go into more detail.

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Share the Love is a National Cloth Diaper Bank. In 2012, Share the Love was created and began in St. Louis, Missouri. The sole purpose of this program is to distribute and provide cloth diapers to low-income families. A study was done, that one in three American families were forced to choose between food, household items and diapers. Jennifer Labit, owner of Cotton Babies, wanted to help change this.

“It feels like yesterday that my family was in this situation,” Labit said.” Ten years ago, I had a $30 weekly grocery budget and a WIC check. My family had to choose between diapers and food. If it wasn’t for a friend who generously sent my family cloth diapers as a gift, I don’t know what we would have done. Her gift helped my family and changed our lives, and I hope Share the Love will do the same for others.”

Since 2012, there have been host sites created in all 50 states across America. Many states have several host sites. To receive diapers, eligible families must apply for assistance. All of the diapers that are donated to Share the Love sites, are donated from other families who no longer need or use their cloth diapers.

So, what can YOU do?

  1. Donate! You can donate any cloth diapers you no longer use. If they need a little tending to, that is okay. We will make sure they get put back into working condition, before they are distributed to families. You can also donate cloth wipes and/or changing pads!
  2. Be a drop site! Do you own a business or work within a business that would be a great place for people to leave their diapers for donation? We are looking for several places in Central Iowa to leave baskets and information about the program. We would provide the basket & materials and would pick-up as often as needed!
  3. Help spread the word to low-income families! Do you know of a great place or organization that we can spread the word about Share the Love? Share the Love is new to Central Iowa and many low-income families may not know of this option. With your help, we can help ease the minds of these families by getting them cloth diapers!

If you can help in ANY of these areas or have questions about the program please contact me at SharetheLove@cottonbabies.com.

 

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Farm Baby Foods – Fresh & Local!

Amelia has sampled some awesome baby food from Farm Baby Foods. She loved it and I loved it because it was so easy to get it delivered to our doorstep.

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After Julie Burroughs, owner of Farm Baby Foods, had her twin girls, she quickly learned that providing fresh and tasty baby food was not very easy. She learned she needed bigger equipment and her commitment to providing fresh, healthy baby food for her girls grew into Farm Baby Foods.

Farm Baby Foods provides Stage-1, Stage – 2, and pouches of baby food. Only all-natural, seasonal, organic produce and ingredients are used to make tasty combinations of baby food.  Julie and the staff of Farm Baby Foods believe that every process of making their baby food is important. They make all the food in their licensed, commercial kitchen. They are Green Restaurant Association endorsed products, freezer safe, and all the food containers are BPA free.

If you have not been won over yet, the ordering and delivery WILL win you over!

  • Go to Farmbabyfoods.com and select “Store”
  • Select which baby food you would like to purchase. Amelia has tried the Apple/Pear and Squash/Carrot/Nutmeg. She has enjoyed both!
  • Select your delivery preferences (YES, it IS delivered to YOU!)
  • Select “Add to cart”
  • When you are finished adding food to your cart, click the cart symbol at the top of the page, and checkout.

That is it! Pretty simple, huh? If you have any questions at all, Julie provides you with a phone number you can call or an e-mail address. She is AWESOME at answering questions and making sure you are happy.

Some other things to know and remember:

  • On all foods, EVERY ingredient is listed
  • You must have a $20 minimum purchase, which is VERY easy to hit
  • You can store the baby food in your freezer for up to 6 months
  • Do not store the baby food in your refrigerator for more than 72 hours of production date
  • What is offered changes often due to what is in season and available

Of course, we are doing an great giveaway, to give you a chance to try Farm Baby Foods for yourself. Make sure you follow all 3 steps to be entered in to win a $50 certificate!!! That’s a lot of baby food!

I will announce a winner on Sunday, April 26th on my Facebook Page!

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Exciting News!

I have been holding in some exciting news and it is finally official!

DSMParentownership

 

Midwest Mom & Wife now owns Des Moines Parent. Have you ever checked out Des Moines Parent? It is an awesome blog that was created and developed by Thomas Brogan, to keep parents up to date with fun events and activities in Central Iowa. I am so excited I get to take over and continue to do the same!

Midwest Mom & Wife will continue to have awesome information about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, natural parenting, and more! While, Des Moines Parent will have all the fun events and activities to do an see in Central Iowa. There is an event calendar of Des Moines Parent, which is an awesome resource, that lists dates and times of fun things to do. Check it out!

During this transition and I learn to juggle TWO blogs … blog posts may slow down a bit for the next couple of weeks. Do NOT worry though, I will return with awesome posts and information for you.

Make sure you visit and subscribe to Des Moines Parent and also “like” Des Moines Parent on Facebook.

Local Doula Spotlight: Blessed Bean Birth & Belly

In celebration of World Doula Week I had the privilege to interview one of the many doulas, in Central Iowa, Michelle Conkling. Michelle’s doula business is Blessed Bean Birth & Belly and has been a doula for almost two years. Below, you will find some basic questions of why she became a doula, her education, and why she enjoys it so much!

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Why did you want to become a doula?

“Before my daughter was born, I didn’t even know what a doula was. After she was born, I started to read a lot because my birth did not go as planned and ended in a c-section. I joined a local ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) group and doulas kept coming up. The more I read about doulas, the more passionate I became about the idea. I wanted to support women through this very important time.”

What program did you use to become a certified doula? How long did it take you?

“I certified through the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA). There are many organizations now that certify doulas but I felt that ICEA and DONA had the most name recognition. I also liked that I could go back and certify as a post partum doula, a childbirth educator, and a prenatal and postpartum fitness educator all under one umbrella. There are eight books you need to read through ICEA on topics of birth to breastfeeding to postpartum depression. After I completed the reading, I attended a doula training workshop – this was an intense, hands on, two days full of information, workshop. I also attended a childbirth education class. And then I jumped in to attending births. You need three births to get certified – I am a volunteer doula through Mercy West so that helped a lot. I have subsequently attended additional training on VBAC’s and on utilizing a rebozo for labor support (a rebozo is a traditional Mexican shawl that can be used to apply pressure to the hips or support the belly.”

What is your favorite part of being a doula?

“I am continually amazed at the strength and power that women have during birth. And there is always the part when the mother gets to see her baby for the first time. It is a privilege to be a witness to both.”

Why should every pregnant woman hire a doula?

“We spend so much time and money planning our weddings but often we don’t give equal consideration to planning our births. Now granted, there are many things you can’t control during birth. But it is worth the time to educate yourself not only about the birth process but creating a support team around you – that support team includes your medical providers. One in three births in this country end in a c-section and those stats are very true in Iowa. We need to start asking our medical care providers tough questions about evidence based care long before we are in the middle of labor – questions about inductions and c-section rates. Having the continuous support of a doula has been shown in numerous clinical studies to result in shorter labors, reduces the need for Pitocin and c-sections, and reduces the mother’s need for pain meds and epidurals. The continuous support that a doula provides is invaluable!”

Do you have children and did you use a doula for your birth?

‘I will absolutely be using a doula for my next birth!”

What differentiates you from other doulas in the area?

There are many great women offering doula services in the Des Moines area. I really think it’s important for women (and their partners) to meet with several doulas to find the best fit for them. My role is to not only support the expecting mother but if she has a partner, help him or her best support the mother.

How many births have you attended?

“I have attended 15 births.”

How much do you charge? What type of packages do you offer?

“My fee is $600. I don’t offer different packages – I do offer a bellycast to clients if they are interested in that. I can work with people on payment plans and take Paypal.”

To celebrate even more Michelle has been gracious enough to give away one FREE belly cast! A belly cast is a plaster cast of a pregnant woman’s belly. It is a beautiful keepsake you can keep for years to come and show your children. This is one, of the many, unique things Michelle offers to all her clients.

Follow these rules to be enter into winning a FREE belly cast! I will announce a winner Sunday, March 29th on my Facebook page.

Belly Cast Giveaway

 Happy World Doula Week!

Kids in Harmony, LLC: Music Therapy Services

The kids and I had a chance to check out Kids in Harmony, LLC this week at the Urbandale Public Library. They were offering a special preview class for the kids due to Spring Break. We had lots of fun singing, dancing, and playing with egg shakers.

Kids in Harmony is owned and operated by Shelly Peterson who is a board certified music therapist. She has a lot of experience working with children and adults that have special needs. She also works with children who may not have any specific special needs.

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She focuses on communication skills, academic skills, fine & gross motor skills, emotional development, sensory, social skills and music skills, in a playful environment.

Right now, Kids in Harmony is offering classes Friday mornings at Courage League Sports in Urbandale. There is one session approaching fast, starting March 27th through May 8th (no class April 3rd). Classes will be held 9:30-10:00 am for children ages 1 through 6 years of age with an adult. It is $66/child for one 6 week session. They do offer sibling discounts also. Click here to register.

Make sure to follow Kids in Harmony on Facebook here.

Hike It Baby

I want to share an awesome group, I learned about these past couple of weeks …

Hike It Baby!

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I learned about Hike It Baby from another local babywearer in the Babywearing of Central Iowa group.

Hike It Baby all began in July of 2013 and has EXPLODED since then. It all started when one mother, Shanti Hodges, from Portland, Oregon, asked a group of other women if they wanted to go hiking with her. Week after week, more and more women joined. As the numbers increased, Shanti decided to create a website and newsletter to keep everyone in touch with each another.

Shanti created this group with the main focus to get moms (even dads) and babies out into nature. The hikes also help minimize postpartum depression, allows you to learn more about your city, meet other people who have the same interests as you, and give you some exercise.

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By word of mouth, and social media, several moms AND dads volunteered to lead hikes. The number of hikes that were lead weekly and daily, grew and grew! At this time, there are 40-80 Hike It Baby lead hikes across America. Each location has their own Facebook group, where leaders plan hikes and everyone who is in that area can talk and plan.

I absolutely love babywearing and to hear that an activity like Hike It Baby exists, makes me so happy!

Hike It Baby is completely free. It’s free to lead and it’s free to hike. It does not take much to become a leader. You can wear your baby, you can push them in a stroller, or if they want to hike along with you, they can do that too!

Right now, the Hike It Baby 30 challenge is taking place during the month of November. The challenge is to hike 30 miles in the month of November. Every 10 miles you hike, you are entered into a giveaway and there are some AWESOME prizes to be won! You can register for $10 to be officially part of the Hike It Baby 30 challenge and have a chance to win prizes OR  you can do it on your own, without registering, but you will not win prizes.

There are several levels of the challenge if you really want to challenge yourself even more. Such as hiking on only dirt trails all 30 miles, or you can walk around anywhere in your city as long as you hit the 30 miles. Amelia and I signed up for this challenge. Since it has been getting colder, it has been hard to get out and hike/walk, but there is still time! I know we can do it!

There is still time to sign up for the Hike It Baby 30 Challenge and if you belong to the Babywearing of Central Iowa Group, there are a group of women who are planning some hikes to meet this challenge. If you have not joined Babywearing of Central Iowa, read this to find out how!

As of now, there is no official Hike It Baby group in the Des Moines area. After the Hike It Baby 30 challenge, there has been talk of one being created! So, keep your eyes and ears open!