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Sweet Me Photography + Giveaway!

I am so excited to announce that Midwest Mom & Wife is teaming up with Sweet Me Photography!

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Sweet Me Photography offers in-home and affordable newborn photography. There are photographers available all over, but just recently Sweet Me Photography has came to Des Moines.

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Why am I so excited about this? As a mom, I know how important those first photos are of your precious baby. But, as a postpartum doula, I know how important it is for you to rest, recover and bond with your newborn. Sweet Me Photography provides boutique sessions in the comfort of your own home. No need to pack up all sorts of baby necessities and no need for you to be up moving around. Let the Sweet Me photographers take care of it all. They bring lighting, heating, props, outfits (but if you have your own, you are more than welcome to use it!), blankets, and backdrops.

Go take a shower, get some rest and let the photographers capture some wonderful photos. Every Sweet Me photographer is also trained in baby safety, so you can rest assure they are properly taking care of your newborn.

Because Midwest Mom & Wife has begun an amazing partnership with Sweet Me Photography we are offering a giveaway! One lucky winner will win Sweet Me Photography’s package one valued at $350! And there is moreANYONE who enters for the giveaway will receive $25 off any package of their choosing, just for entering!

Giveaway will end Sunday, October 2nd! Make sure you share with all your expecting friends!

Enter here!

5 Reasons You Should Try Acupuncture

Five Reasons You Should Try Acupuncture

When I get asked what my career is and I reply that I’m a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner a common response is “Cool! Tell me more.”. I love these moments as it’s an opportunity for me to educate an individual about the amazing benefits of acupuncture.

5 Reasons You Should Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been performed for thousands of years, but has only gained popularity in the United States since the 1980s. The fact that as the years go by, the number of people using this form of holistic medicine is growing exponentially is an indication of it’s effectiveness and depth of health conditions it can treat. As acupuncture has become more mainstream, the amount of research studies and clinical trials have increased only further proving it’s efficacy.

There are a number of amazing benefits to regular acupuncture care. The following explains just some of the reasons why you should add it to your health regime:

1) It treats the root cause of your symptoms

We take an over-the-counter pain reliever or NSAID for our muscle tension and headaches, an anti-histamine for our allergies, birth-control pills for our menstrual cramps and an anti-diarrheal for our IBS. These medications, though, are masking your symptoms and not treating the root cause of why you have the symptom in the first place. They may be a temporary relief, which at times is necessary, but when a condition becomes chronic, the issue lies in the person’s body constitution. That’s where acupuncture and Chinese Medicine come in. It treats each individual uniquely, based on what their body needs and what traditional diagnostics are showing. By treating the root cause of a health condition, the individual’s health stabilizes and their body becomes more in balance.

2) It reduces the body’s stress response

Your stressors aren’t going to disappear with acupuncture, unfortunately, but your body’s response to potential stress will be reduced. Acupuncture helps to relax the sympathetic nervous system, which kicks in to high gear when we are in “fight or flight” mode. We need our fight or flight response when we are in danger, but do we need it sitting in traffic or at our job each day? Daily activities will be more enjoyable when we are in a more relaxed, coherent state.

3) It can balance your hormones

Monthly irritability, mood swings, food cravings, cramps, sound familiar? These are all signs of hormone imbalance, all of which acupuncture can help to correct. By increasing circulation to the ovaries, uterus, hypothalamus and pituitary glands, acupuncture can treat the underlying cause of these unenjoyable symptoms. It is also effective at helping the liver remove toxic estrogens from your body, a common cause of hormone imbalance.

4) Better sleep

When our sympathetic nervous systems don’t feel the need to release cortisol all night long, the body can more easily go in to “rest and digest” mode and sleep soundly through the night. Our bodies heal and repair when we sleep. If we don’t sleep, we don’t heal, period.

5) Improved digestive function

In my opinion, Chinese medicine is one of the best forms of therapy for digestive imbalance. If digestion is not functioning properly, other body systems will be affected. By bringing circulation of fresh oxygen, nutrients and hormones to the digestive tract, the system can rebuild and begin to digest our food and fluids efficiently. Signs of an out-of-balance digestive system include constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, upset stomach, heartburn, immune system weakness, such as seasonal allergies, and much more. When the digestive system is working properly, food and fluids are turned in to blood and energy which result in more energy and a stronger immune system.

If you are experiencing any of the unfortunate symptoms listed above, consider treatment of the underlying cause of your health concern. By tailoring acupuncture treatments to your needs, the body is the ability to heal and flourish.

About the Author

View More: http://alycarroll.pass.us/stephanieStephanie Braunwarth is a board-certified Licensed Acupuncturist with a special focus in womenʼs health, fertility and nutrition. Stephanieeducates her patients about the importance of treating the underlying cause of a health condition and encourages them to take an active role in their health.

Stephanie serves patients at Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic in Des Moines.

Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic

Exciting News!

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

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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.

Campbell Recreation Area

Monday was not only free ice cream cone day at Dairy Queen …

It was gorgeous out! It was in the 80′ s and we checked out Campbell Recreation Area in Clive.

Campbell Recreation Area

Campbell Recreation Area is located at 12385 Woodlands Parkway. It is nestled back into a residential area. It is a huge park (34 acres), with lots to do!

There are two different playground available to play on. One is smaller for kids under age 5 years, although if you are older than 5 years, you are okay to play on it.

There is a larger playground for kids over 5 years. Monte who is only 3 years spent most of his time playing on this one. There is lots of climbing and a few tall slides.

The park had a large open air shelter with several picnic tables. It was a nice place to sit, cool off and have a snack. There are grills available too. You can rent this shelter here for different events.

If you are interested in grilling and gathering in a shady area a little ways from the park, there is a small gazebo available with tables and a grill. You cannot rent the gazebo.

My favorite part of the park was the large open fields. There is plenty of room to play football, catch, roll around, kick a ball, etc. Bring a large blanket and have a picnic!

This park is not only perfect for children, but it’s for adults too! There are three adult softball fields, two sand volleyball courts, a basketball court AND three tennis courts.

Greenbelt Bike Trail also goes pass Campbell Recreation Area and there are detours off of it that lead into the park.

This is another park you can plan a day to spend at! Make sure to check it out this Spring and Summer!

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.

Firetrucker Brewery

I have a personal goal to go visit and try all the awesome local breweries that are popping up in Central Iowa. I recently had the chance to visit Firetrucker Brewery.

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The atmosphere was fun. There is a stage area, where live bands can come and play. The night we visited David Watson was playing and he was great! There is a HUGE patio. I am excited to visit again when the weather is consistently nicer. They have a huge area to park bikes and are not far off from the Ankeny Bike Trail. This will be an awesome place to stop for a beer when you bike ride.

Of course, the beer was great! I started the evening off with the Tropical Burn. It was good. It is an IPA, but not like your typical IPA and I actually enjoyed it! It is a fruity type beer with mango, pineapple and grapefruit aromas. The mango sealed the deal 🙂 I also tried the Ladder 317 which is a Irish Style Cream Ale. I started my St. Patty’s Day celebration early!

My favorite part (besides the awesome brews) was the artwork displayed throughout the brewery. Every few months Firetrucker rotates a different local artist into the brewery, so they can display their artwork. I love how much the brewery supports other local people! Right now, VAN HOLMGREN is on display! Check it out!

Breweries do not tend to cook their own food. You can bring in whatever food you like and most nights they set-up delivery with restaurants in the area. The night we were there they had a limited menu from Okoboji Grill. We ordered our food and it was delivered to us! It was also included in one tab, so we were not paying two different tabs. It was very simple and convenient!

Make sure you get a chance to check out this laid back brewery. If anything, grab your bike and ride to check it out!

Make sure and follow Firetrucker on Facebook here to keep up to date with events, music, artwork and more!

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Rhockett Retreat 2015

Have you heard of Rhockett Weaving or the Rhockett Retreat?

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If you are a babywearer you NEED to check it out. Rhockett Weaving is owned and operated by Rhonda Brackett. After she fell in love with babywearing and discovered it was a necessity in her life, she began creating her own signature style wraps. She also takes custom orders, if you are wanting something really special.

This April, is the very first Rhockett Retreat. This is a place where people come together, who love wrapping as much as you! There will be good food, henna from Alternative Artistry, babywearing yoga, babywearing art, campfires & s’mores, and MORE!

There will be classes through out the the three-day, two-night event including weaving, dyeing fabric and learning different wrapping instructions. You can also check out some awesome local vendors such as Finnabug Bags, Starbright Baby, and Alternative Artistry.

The Rhockett Retreat is being held …

Friday, April 24th through Sunday, April 26th

You can come by yourself, you can come with your little one OR you can bring the entire family. Not everyone needs to attend all the fun classes, but there will be no child supervision provided. There is also a charge for each additional person, to cover room and board.

This years Rhockett Retreat is being held in Ogden, Iowa. You can choose to stay the entire time or drive for only the day on Saturday and/or Sunday. You can register here for whatever option you choose! If you register for the entire retreat you will receive a FREE swag bag!

To help get everyone excited about this fun babywearing retreat, we are doing a GIVEAWAY!

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One lucky winner will win a waldorf inspired babywearing doll created from Rhockett Weaving scraps!

OUR BABY SHOWER

The contest begins TODAY and will end Friday, March 13th! I will post the winner on my Facebook page. Good luck!

CAPPA Postpartum Doula Training

World Doula Week is fast approaching!

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I had never heard of a doula until after the birth of Monte and I definitely wish I had the support of a doula with his birth. When I discovered I was pregnant with Amelia, I knew I needed and wanted a doula. The women in the Des Moines area are very lucky with the amount of doulas that are available to help with birth.

During World Doula Week, I am looking forward to sharing with you the awesome resources we have in our area, why you need a doula for your birth, what is involved to become one and an AWESOME giveaway 🙂

For now, I want to focus and share with you an awesome opportunity coming to Des Moines.  Midwest Mom & Wife is hosting a CAPPA Postpartum Doula Training! If you are wanting to become a postpartum doula or are interested in increasing your skills and education, in this field, this is for you.

CAPPA is a pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum organization.

“Since 1998, CAPPA’s mission has been to offer comprehensive, evidence-based education, certification, professional membership and training to childbirth educators, lactation educators, labor doulas, antepartum doulas and postpartum doulas worldwide. CAPPA is proud to provide new and expectant families access to these professionals here. Cappa is a non-profit organization headquartered in the USA, with branches worldwide.”

You will learn:

  • Scope of your Doula Practice
  • How to support parents
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Baby care techniques
  • Calming & soothing techniques
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • SIDS/Back to sleep campaigns
  • Listening & communication skills
  • Record keeping & contracts
  • Creating & Marketing your business
  • Networking soultions

This whole workshop is going to be AWESOME 🙂

The After Baby Lady, from Michigan, is a certified CAPPA instructor and will be leading our Postpartum Doula Training.

This event will be held May 30th & 31st in Des Moines, Iowa. Location is to be determined! Please share and spread the word!

Please print, post & share the flier!

CAPPAPPDOULA

YMCA Preschool Programs: Tumble Tots

I love the YMCA they have so much to offer! I cannot wait until they build the new Northwest YMCA so all of their awesome resources are a bit closer to home.

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YMCA has some awesome classes for different ages, that you must register for. I decided to sign Monte up for Tumble Tots because he absolutely loves running around, climbing, and bouncing. This class ended up being perfect for him!

YMCA Preschool Programs

Tumble Tots is for ages 3 to 5 years old with an accompanied adult. It is slightly structured, but not too much. Monte likes to do his own thing and does not have much patience, so the fact that there is not much structure, is nice.

Tumble Tots always opens up with stretching, which the instructors make lots of fun! They have the kids act like animals, pretend they are in space, and other scenarios that get their imaginations rolling. They also sometimes do “sit-ups” and running around the gym (Monte’s favorite). Afterwards, the kids are free to run around to the different stations and play. The instructors walk around and help at each station. They show the kids different things they can do.

They have a trampoline.

A balance beam to walk on.

A spring board to jump from.

Tunnel to crawl through.

They also have tumbling mats, a bar to swing and hang from, and mats to help you learn how to do a cartwheel!

Tumble Tots is a 4-week class and it is $15 for members, $35 for non-member.

Tumble Tots and other programs/sports the YMCA offers are a perfect way to introduce your toddler to new activities and sports. It is very affordable and the classes last a short-period of time. If they are not interested, then you know that it isn’t the way to go, before spending a lot of money for a long term program/sport.

They also offer:

Tiny Tumblers 18 months – 3 years

Fun & Fit 3-5 years

Kids in the Kitchen 3-5 years

Music & Movement 2-5 years

Tiny Chefs 18 months- 3 years

Moving with Music 18 months – 3 years

 I highly recommend checking out all the classes the YMCA has to offer. Not only do they have classes for toddlers, but they also offer classes for grade school children and adults! Check out here for their online registration where you can search for a class and register all online!

Every Family Rocks 2015!

We checked out Every Family Rocks! this past weekend and well, it ROCKED!

Monte and the entire family had a blast! Not only was the entire Science Center open to roam through, but there was also live music, crafts, jugglers, balloon animals, face painting and more!

Every Family Rocks! is a family fun event and concert for all ages. This event benefits EFR Employee & Family Resources. It was free for Science Center members, $8 for ages 2-12, $13 for Adults & $8 for Seniors.

There were some awesome bands and singers. I loved all the upbeat music and all the movement, from all the kids! Everyone was dancing and hula hooping around 🙂 Artists included:

Monte loved the Sparkle Hula Hoop dance, balloon animals and magic from Jonathan May, and trying all the different instruments available from Rieman Music Interactive Music Booth.

There were also some great craft stations such as a DIY yarn streamer and animal rocks.

We had so much fun and Monte was definitely exhausted after we left! We are looking forward to next year’s Every Family Rocks!