Friday, July 31, 2009

Let's hear it for curvy hips + thighs!

Well this is about the best news I've heard in a while: love your thighs! Apparently girls start storing omega-3 fatty acids in their hips and thighs once puberty hits, according to a recent study. Psychology Today wrote about the study, explaining that those fatty acids compose much of the human brain, and is important during the third trimester of pregnancy, when your baby's brain is rapidly developing. If you're nursing, baby continues to draw from these essential fatty acid stores, and your own lower body weight loss continues until the child stops breast-feeding.

Watch out for a thick waist though. While the study showed better cognitive ability in kids born to moms with curvy hips and thighs, waist fat apparently "increases brain-harming inflammation and is low in the fatty acids." Eek.


And here's one more tidbit about omega-3s. A different study, published in the journal Epidemiology, showed that pregnant women who ate less than three servings of seafood per
week were more likely to be depressed, since omega-3s help boost your mood, too.

You may be wondering though, about all the fuss you've heard in the news (especially if you're pregnant) about mercury in fish. Mercury is a neurotoxin that can impair fetal brain development, so it's true that you need to watch your seafood intake a bit more closely in this case. Still, you can consume some low-mercury seafood in moderation, experts say. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is good for your health to eat seafood low in mercury, twice a week. These healthier choices include:
• salmon
• canned light tuna (bye-bye yummy albacore tuna!)
• shrimp
• catfish
• pollock

Now I know what I want for lunch today: grilled salmon over a spinach salad. Mmm!


Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some birthing inspiration

Earlier this month I posted a link to part 1 of a blog by a mom who decided to birth naturally her second time around. Heather Armstrong, known as "Dooce" in the mama blog community, actually makes a full-time living from her blog. So you'd better believe that her writing is mighty entertaining. Dooce recently posted part 2 of her birth story, which is actually the birth story of someone else, just weeks before Dooce gave birth. Clearly, the experience left an impression on her, writing that witnessing her friend's birth left her “so inspired, so touched to be so close to something so primal and raw and vulnerable.” That pretty much sums up how we doulas feel every time we're in the presence of women like you! Meanwhile, Dooce leaves us hankering for part 3!

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lunch + a movie — this Friday!

If you're about to have a baby, or if you already have a newborn, there is one movie you MUST see. I watched the "Happiest Baby on the Block" a few weeks before giving birth and we used the baby calming tips from this movie for months after our son was born. Few other tips worked as well as these for soothing baby and saving my sanity—seriously!

Blooma is showing this movie for free, during lunch time Friday, from 1-3:30 p.m. Bring a brown bag lunch and convene with other mamas (have your partner meet you here, too!). You'll learn great tips
for soothing and calming your little one. Kids are welcome if they can sit and watch.

The screening is free, but please reserve your spot by registering here (click the Class Schedule tab) or by calling Blooma at 952-848-1111.

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Beautiful belly pic


Emily, a Blooma mama who recently gave birth to a little boy, e-mailed us this beautiful picture of her belly and we just had to share! She took this shot just two hours before her labor started. Hello, gorgeous belly!


Monday, July 27, 2009

New rules for inducing labor

Pretty much every woman knows someone (or a few women, or a lot of women) whose labor was induced. Maybe your labor was induced. The point is, inducing labor has become fairly common.

In fact, the rate of labor induction in the US has more than doubled since 1990, according to the American College of Obstetricians (ACOG). In 2006, about one of every five birthing women was induced. Last week ACOG released new guidelines that labor should not be induced, without medical reason, before 39 weeks gestation or without proving that the baby’s lungs are fully developed. That’s because inductions are associated with a higher risk of C-sections, longer hospital stays, and higher costs, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Several local hospital systems have already implemented ACOG's new policy, including Fairview and HealthEast.


One author of ACOG’s new guidelines told the Chronicle that induction has “really become an epidemic,” and that she hopes the guidelines lead to a reduction in the rate of inductions. You can read more about ACOG’s new guidelines in this
Houston Chronicle article.


If you’re pregnant and want to learn more about induction—the risks, the potential benefits, and how it’s done—here are a few good books to check out:

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, by Henci Goer
The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin
Pregnancy, Childbirth & the Newborn, by Penny Simkin

(Psst: We sell some of these books at Blooma!) And for the record, we know more than a few full-term pregnant mamas who have gone home from one of our prenatal yoga classes only to spontaneously start labor soon thereafter!

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thank you

We were touched to receive a letter from one of the mamas who attended the Prenatal and Postnatal Bootcamp that Jennifer Colletti led earlier this summer.
Hi Sarah,

I really loved Pre-Natal Bootcamp. I hope you continue to offer those classes - I'd be very excited for a baby and momma bootcamp!

The weekend before Bootcamp, I had had a very emotionally difficult few days right after my belly dropped and I had all kinds of worries and frustrations.

The first day of Bootcamp started out humid and I almost didn't want to go, but I was determined to allow myself to have a week of yoga just for me. Jennifer's positive, peaceful introduction invited us to discuss what was going on in both our bodies and minds so I told her how the last weekend was really difficult and how my belly had "dropped." She reassured me that the hormones involved in moving the uterus down into my pelvis can often make women feel a great deal of emotions. This reassurance before we moved into the poses was just what I needed to have a calm and centered practice.

Pre-natal bootcamp was really a pivotal point in my pregnancy, where I gave myself permission to take gentle, yet active care of my pregnant body. By the end of the week, I was breathing easier and had more energy than I had felt in months. Jennifer varied the practice - one day had extensive breathing and meditating while we listened to the breeze in the leaves above and the birds singing and distant people starting their morning routines, the next day we had an energetic walk to get our blood moving and another day we spent a great deal of time in standing poses. At the end of the week, I was wishing it wouldn't end! Thanks Jennifer!!!

And thanks Sarah - I'm so thrilled to have found Blooma for this pregnancy!

Michelle
Michelle, thank you so much for sharing such kind words about your experience with us.

Love,

Rose, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Minneapolis Picks tags Blooma!

Thanks to the super cool site, Minneapolis Picks, for choosing Blooma as this week's Fit + Fabulous pick! (See #3) They call us a "one-of-a-kind pregnancy haven" and a "beautifully serene oasis."

If you haven't been to Blooma yet, come see for yourself!

Love,
Alisa, Sarah, & the women of Blooma

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mindful Motherhood

There was a great article in The Huffington Post recently about "mindful motherhood," written by Cassandra Vieten, author of a book also called Mindful Motherhood. She refers to scientific research about mindfulness to demonstrate her point: that being aware in the present moment helps you attune to your baby, be aware of her communication style, and react positively to her emotions and needs. Your baby is always in the present moment! Shouldn't you join her there?

Practicing mindfulness during baby's first year of life is especially important, Vieten says, since it helps lay the groundwork for the mothering style you will grow into as your baby grows, too. It also communicates to your child from day one that you are mentally and emotionally there for her when she needs you to be.

For me, practicing yoga helps me be mindful throughout the rest of my day. That certainly filters into my mothering style (at least I strive for it to). Of course, I can get distracted by the phone, e-mail, etc., too.

Sometimes I definitely have to stop and remind myself that even though my baby can't communicate with words yet, he is still very aware of everything I'm doing, and he deserves my full attention—not my partial attention. If I try to sneak in a quick e-mail check during our together time, he is quickly attuned to it and lets me know with a few appropriate whines. He's right; being with him is a joy. Why would I want to take my attention away from him when he is growing up faster than I ever could have imagined?

So I make a vow: my computer time is best left for his nap times (like right now).

Want to rekindle your own dedication to mindfulness? Choose a class or workshop that helps bring you back to center and sign up now.

How else do you bring mindfulness into your parenting? Leave a comment and let us know what works for you. See you in the studio!

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Get enlightened!

Moms, dads & caregivers, there are still a few spots left in this Sunday's Enlightened Baby workshop! Join Liz Abbene, founder of Enlightened Mama, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. to learn safe, natural ways to promote health, bonding, and happiness in your new little one. Sign up now!

Topics include:

Cloth Diapering—Thinking about cloth diapers, but not sure where to begin? You’ll learn about the benefits of using cloth diapers, how to use and wash them, check out different types, and practice diapering those tender baby bottoms.

Babywearing—Your baby loved being carried for nine months, so why stop now? The benefits of babywearing are numerous for everyone. Check out different styles of baby carriers, various positions, and learn how to make wearing your baby a wonderful part of parenthood.

Natural Baby Care—
You want the best for your baby, inside and out. Learn basic baby care, with a focus on keeping things as natural as possible, just as your baby wants.

Infant Nutrition—Mealtime with baby is the messiest fun you’ll ever have! Learn how to provide healthy meals for each stage of your baby’s development. We’ll discuss how to make your own baby food, a timeline of introducing new foods, and ways to make feeding your baby fun and easy.

The Enlightened Baby workshop is open to moms, dads, and anyone who cares for baby. Expectant families and new families with babies are welcome. For more information check out www.enlightenedmama.com.

See you on Sunday!

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fun stuff for active families!

I just learned that REI has a page on its web site that's full of great resources for active families. Pick up helpful tips about taking your kids hiking, camping, kayaking, and more.

Local REI stores (there are three in the Twin Cities!) also hold some wonderful free workshops for kids and families. Check out the Passport to Adventure program, which gives kids aged 5-12 an adventure journal and inspires them to connect with the natural world. The PEAK program also teaches kids about "Leave No Trace" principles and brings games and activities into the environmental learning fun.

Of course, if you're loading up on outdoor gear and tips for nearby hikes or canoe trips, you have to check out local favorite, Midwest Mountaineering. While you're out on the trail, take a picture of yourself, your family, or your kids in tree pose—and e-mail us the photo at Alisa@Blooma.com! Happy summer exploring!

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Infant massage class just for dads!

Dads: I'm teaching a special edition of Rub-a-Dub infant massage just for you, this Saturday, July 25, 2-3 p.m. You may use your class pass or drop in. (Moms, if you have a pass, you may sign up your partner under your name). Sign up here.

If you're not familiar with infant massage, here's why you should consider signing up:

In one study, fathers who gave their infants daily, 15-minute massages before bedtime were more expressive and showed more enjoyment and warmth with their babies than fathers who did not participate in infant massage. That comes from a 2000 study published in the journal
Early Child Development and Care. You can learn more at BabyLovesMassage.com.

More than that though, healthy touch is essential to giving your baby a sense of peace and security in the world
and it's fun! Infant massage is great for both babies and dads.

For babies, infant massage can also help:
• relieve baby's gas, constipation, and teething pains
• promote deeper and longer sleep
• enhance neurological development
• boost the immune system
• improve blood circulation
• improve sensory awareness

Benefits for parents include:
• one-on-one quiet time promotes bonding and relaxation with baby
• helps ease stress of working parents who must be separated from their children for extended periods of time
• increases parents’ confidence in their abilities to read baby’s cues
• regular massage helps parents to unwind and relax
• enhances communication and builds respect between parents and baby

Discover a new way to connect with your little one at this upcoming Rub-A-Dub infant massage class geared especially toward dads! All you need to bring is your baby (3 weeks to pre-crawling), a blanket for baby, and a toy or two if baby is old enough to need a bit of extra entertainment.

Tell your other dad friends, too! Hope to see you on Saturday.

- Alisa
(and Sarah & the women of Blooma)

Monday, July 20, 2009

LOTS of prenatal classes with Sarah this week!

OK sweet yogi mamas, I am teaching lots this week! Come and play with me—and bring a friend!

• Tuesday 9:15 & 6:00
• Wednesday 9:30 & 7:00
• Thursday 9:15 & 6:00
• Saturday 9:30
• Sunday 8:30 & 10:00

Sign up at Blooma.com now!

Love,
Sarah

Sunday, July 19, 2009

From epidural to au naturel... one woman's story

In case you haven't heard of "Dooce," she's a mom blogger in Utah who writes with serious sass, a foul mouth, and oh—did I mention she's hilarious? She has a 5-year-old daughter and a wee one who's just about a month old.

In one of her most recent blog postings she compellingly tells the very, very beginning of her youngest daughter's birth story, writing about how, in her opinion, women who choose home birth and natural childbirth must be just plain nuts. (It gets better, keep reading.)

She writes, "Up until about the 30th week of my pregnancy I hadn't given labor much thought, only that I was going to ask for the epidural two days before contractions started. I'm not kidding, that was the extent of my birth plan."

Many women decide to do just that. But curiously, just weeks before her labor, Dooce somehow jumped from give-me-pain-meds-NOW to deciding to hire a doula and plan for a natural childbirth. She said the change of heart came surprisingly from a book she had planned to hate.

Of this book, called Your Best Birth, Dooce writes about how it initially made her crazy amounts of angry, even calling the book's writers "hippies" who must "smell like patchouli." But then, something about it got to her.

Now she writes: “If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, GO READ THAT BOOK. From now on when someone asks me what is the one piece of advice I would give to a pregnant woman, it will be: GO BUY A COPY OF THAT BOOK.”

I personally haven’t read it yet, but my intrigue has been upped even more by Dooce's posting. Have you read it? If so, let us know what you think. Leave a message here or e-mail me at alisa@blooma.com.

Meanwhile, I can't wait for the rest of Dooce's postings about how her birth turned out. She does refer to it as a "sacred and spiritual experience," so I'm guessing it went pretty well. Plus, her new daughter Marlo is just plain beautiful. Congrats, Dooce!

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Charity golf tournament for Jenny's Light

Hi Blooma families,

Jenny's Light, an important non-profit that aims to be a source of hope, awareness, and support for women (and their families) suffering from perinatal mood disorders, including postpartum depression, is holding a charity golf tournament. The tournament is Aug. 10, 2009 and we encourage you to sign up!

Blooma believes in the mission of Jenny's Light and is a proud supporter of this event. Along with golf, there will be a silent auction, raffle, and cocktail hour. Even if you're not a golfer, there are plenty of sponsorship opportunities. Visit the Jenny's Light web site for more information, or contact Randy Gibbs at 952-994-1804 or randy.gibbs@jennyslight.org.

Jenny's Light was formed after the tragic death of Jenny Gibbs, who grew up in the Twin Cities, and her one-month-old baby, Graham Gibbs. More about their story can be read here, in an open letter from Jenny's father.

Let’s get together and show what a strong, supportive community we have for mothers!


Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Support for VBAC moms

I received a wonderful e-mail last week from a woman named Anna, who birthed her baby through a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) in May. She wrote:

“I just wanted to thank you for recommending that VBAC meeting at Blooma to me … I attended a couple of them and found them to be very helpful, and the overall support at Blooma was wonderful! I believe it helped contribute to my successful VBAC… I would also never attempt birth again without a doula!”

Congratulations, Anna! We’re happy that Blooma has been part of your journey and hope we will continue to be. Here’s a picture of Anna's adorable daughter, Adele. Check out all her gorgeous hair!

The VBAC workshop Anna spoke of is led by Blooma's Anne Gustin, and there’s another one coming up Sunday, July 26, 6-8 p.m. Anne says the moms who come are both pregnant and not pregnant; in either case women are coming to learn more about their VBAC options. You can sign up for this powerful and informative workshop here. (Click on the Workshops/Ed. tab in the upper right corner).

Here’s what VBAC workshop facilitator Anne has to share about the gathering and VBAC moms:

Women who choose a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), embark on a journey like no other. These women have amazing strength, courage and faith.

Through their pregnancies VBAC moms need to spend time addressing fears and doubts that arose because of their previous Cesarean birth and learn ways to protect themselves emotionally from the influence of others' fears and doubts. They face adversity from the medical community and often feel unsupported in their choice for a natural birth.


A key tool for fighting the adversity is education—education on the facts about VBAC births and the natural process that occurs. VBAC moms not only work hard to educate themselves, but also to educate their spouse/partner.


More than anything, VBAC moms need support, encouragement and to connect with other women about their journey. Blooma offers a space in which to do that. Since Blooma began offering VBAC Workshops and Chat sessions in Sept. 2008, 31 women have attended. Those who attempted a VBAC were successful.


We are thrilled to see the impact of the workshops. I am personally inspired and filled with joy for Anna and all the other Blooma moms who have had the strength and courage to choose the birth that is best for them and their families, and to experience birth the way it was intended. Congratulations!!!


With Love,

Anne Gustin
(and Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma)

p.s. - Feel free to share your own VBAC story, or questions, by posting it here or e-mailing it to alisa@blooma.com.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Trust Birth

I love this bracelet I just found on Etsy! It reads "Trust Birth." This would make a perfect blessingway gift, a pre-labor gift to yourself, or a thank you gift to your doula, favorite labor & delivery nurse, or caregiver. (Check out the water birth blessing beads, too.)

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Choices in delivery

Today's Star-Tribune ran a story called "Definitely Not Your Mother's Maternity Ward" about how hospitals design their maternity wards to help win your business. The story has stirred up quite a conversation among those commenting on the Strib's web site.

What is most important to you when making a choice of where to birth? Let us hear from you!

Love,
Alisa, Sarah, and the women of Blooma




Friday, July 10, 2009

Blooma Blossoms!

Blooma welcomes the latest Blossoms!

Emily welcomed her son, Fritz, on June 26. "Emily ROCKED IT!!!!!" says her doula, Sarah!



Bridget, Tom, and big brother, Liam, welcomed Lucille Dee on July 1 at 1:21 a.m.; 7 lbs, 10 oz



Rachel, Tim, and big sister, Flora, welcomed Theodore Ely on June 25 at 5:37 p.m.; 8 lbs, 2 oz


Miryam, Mara, and big sister, Rayzie, welcomed their little one earlier this week on July 6 at 7:28 a.m.


Welcome! Mamas, send us photos of your Blooma Blossoms! We love pictures with
you in them, too. That way your friends from prenatal yoga class can recognize who your new, sweet baby matches with!

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Beyond the baby blues...

It’s a given that we all love our babies and children to the moon and back (and beyond). But let’s be honest: the transition to motherhood and the adjustment to caring for a new baby isn’t always easy. Sometimes it can be downright overwhelming. New moms can feel confused, lonely, and vulnerable.

Know that you don’t have to experience these emotions alone, and that there are plenty of resources in the Twin Cities (including Blooma) to find help, feel heard, create community, and get support.


I’ll admit that I was one of these women. Starting at 8 weeks postpartum, I was inconsolably depressed, though sprinkled in were really good days, too. Yes, I sought out counseling. I had to. It helped, along with getting out of the house, meeting other new mothers, breathing deeply, and practicing yoga.


If you’ve experienced postpartum depression or “baby blues” and want to share a word of encouragement for new mamas, leave a comment and let us know what helped you. If you want to learn more, read on.

Last month, Blooma staffers Sarina LaMarche (that's her, in the photo) and Amber Kay attended the Beyond the Baby Blues conference in St. Paul. Here are a few things Sarina passed along from the conference:

• 50 to 80 percent of new mothers experience the “baby blues,” which are gone by day 14 after baby’s birth

• 10 percent experience something deeper and more lasting Postpartum depression (PPD) can emerge three to 14 months after baby’s arrival and can include negative self-talk about themselves or the baby, lack of interest, and difficulty making decisions
• 22 percent experience postpartum anxiety (PPA), anxiety that includes intrusive thoughts and an inability to be reassured

Myths of motherhood:
• Motherhood happiest time in your life

• That it is instinctual and seems easy to everyone else

• You are bad mother if you aren't happy, can't breastfeed, or if caring for the baby is hard

If I say “I am unhappy” it means I don't love my child
I need to be a “perfect” mom
Asking for help is a sign of weakness

Research suggests that women can find incredible power through connecting in groups pre- and postnatally. Blooma strives to provide options to make this happen. This includes Personal Renewal Groups and Moms' Nights Out (led by life + wellness coach Sarina LaMarche) and classes like BYOB Yoga and Yoga For You.

If you’re a new mom in need of support (or if you have a friend who you think needs help), ask any of the Blooma staff for resources. You can also click here to learn more about the postnatal workshops offered at Blooma.

Other wonderful resources include:

The Parenting Oasis, a local center where you can go with your kids to relax, play, meet other families, have lunch, and participate in social and educational opportunities.
Postpartum Support International
Postpartum Support MN
Jenny's Light
MedEd PPD

Thanks for this information, Sarina.


Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stylin' mama celebs

OK, so I won't name names, but apparently there are more than a few women at Blooma who confess to love celebs. News on hip celebrity moms and pregnant celebs—even better. If you're one of those secret (or open!) hoarders of all things People and US magazine, check out the latest round-up of celeb moms-to-be and new celeb parents. We won't do this too often, just an occasional celeb candy fix.

• Pregnant supermodel Gisele B√ľndchen sets a good example by practicing yoga every morning, according to People.com.

Sarah Jessica Parker and hubby Matthew Broderick welcome twins born via a surrogate.

• Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo is nearing the end of her pregnancy and bares her cute pregnant midriff after a workout.

• And of course, the 7-months-along American Idol star Jennifer Hudson belted out "Will You Be There" at Michael Jackson's memorial earlier this week. If you missed it, you can watch a clip of her performance (and her beautiful blossoming belly), here.

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

WCCO airs story on home birth

In case you missed it, WCCO aired a story recently that followed a family during their home birth journey. "It's not some hippie thing people do. It's a research-based decision," mama Angela Hunstiger told WCCO about her choice to birth at home with a certified professional midwife. Blooma supports all kinds of informed birth choices, whether it's at home, in the hospital, or at a birth center. Watch Angela's story online here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dads need support, too!

We noticed that the Birchwood Cafe (yum!) posted something on its Facebook site about a group called Minnesota Dads at Home that gathered there yesterday. What a great idea! If you are a dad who stays home with the kiddos, or know someone who does, you may want to check out this group.

And, like any parent who spends the bulk of their time with their kids, surely you're always on the hunt for fun things to do. So mark your calendar for a date with Blooma!

We love it when dads come to class. Check out one of our interactive parent-baby or parent-child classes like Yoga for Tots, Yoga for Kids, BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby) Yoga, or Rub-a-Dub Infant Massage.

Need some solo time? Call ahead to arrange for childcare while you take a Yoga For You! or Fusion For You! class. Childcare is just $5 for the first child and $2 for each additional child.

See you soon, dads!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cross-country love for Blooma

We love shout-outs to Blooma — from wherever you may live. Here, yoga teacher Amy Metry shows off her gorgeous round belly while wearing a long-sleeved Blooma t-shirt in San Francisco.

Yep, she's got just a few short + sweet weeks left until meeting her little one. Amy, we're blowing a cross-country kiss to you and that babe of yours!

Blooma moms, let us know your favorite way to show some PDA for Blooma. Have you sent Blooma goodies to someone out-of-state? Bought yourself one of our hip, new tank tops? (Psst: they're just $26 and come in turquoise, plum, grey and brown!) Check them out!

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

The
New York Times' "Motherlode" blog marks the holiday with a story about a portrait photographer and a recent subject of hers: a very pregnant fighter pilot.

Many women struggle with how to approach their career when pregnant and after baby is born. But flying F-16s takes the mother/work balance to a new level.

"Flying fighters while pregnant, and while breastfeeding, was impossible, due to the G-force that the flying would exert on her body," the
New York Times writes.

Check out the gorgeous pregnancy portrait of Major Stephanie Kelsen in her uniform. The story, though, focuses on the lessons learned by the California photographer, Shlomit Levy Bard. Her sentiments benefit us all:

"Looking at the photos of her round belly popping out of a flight suit reminds me that it’s ok to embrace who we are at any given moment — even if pieces of our identity seem as contradictory as a pregnant fighter pilot," Bard tells the
Times. "Most important is accepting ourselves fully, and that we be present in whatever we are doing."

Happy 4th, everyone.

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Friday, July 3, 2009

Let's talk about... placentas.

This article is HA-lariously written and an engrossing read, though I know some people will be just plain grossed out, too.

It's a Time magazine article, written from a husband's perspective about his wife's choice to keep the placenta after birth and hire someone to dehydrate it, grind it up, and "turn it into capsules to help ward off postpartum depression and increase milk supply." (There's also an informative and entertaining video, put together by the story's writer, as the placenta is prepared.)

Yes, there are people who offer this encapsulation services right here in the Twin Cities. What do you think? Is this something you would consider doing?

Though you may choose not to eat your placenta post birth, many cultures do consider it a sacred thing. Some cultures (and many westerners) bury it outside so the placenta returns its nutrients to the soil and roots the child's spirit to its homeland. Some plant it simultaneously with a tree. Some women keep their placenta wrapped in bags, in the freezer, never quite sure what to do with it, but unwilling to throw it out. It's probably safe to say though, that most placentas are disposed of in a hospital's red biohazard bin.

Whatever you do—or don't do—with your placenta after birth, you have to admit that it IS a miraculous thing. It's a wild concept to actually grow an entirely new organ, for the sole purpose of supporting life. Then, when our babies are born and they no longer need it, our bodies dispose of this short-lived organ. What you do with it next is entirely up to you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blooma OPEN this weekend!

Blooma is happy to share that we will be open during the upcoming holiday weekend, with the exception of two class cancellations: BYOB on Saturday and BYOB Crawlers on Sunday.

Begin your 4th of July this Saturday with any of the following classes:

8 a.m. Early Bird Yoga For You! with Kim Bosanko
9:30 a.m. Prenatal Yoga with Sarah Longacre
11 a.m. Prenatal Yoga with Cori Levin

Reserve your spot now and you'll be sparkling from the inside out.

Love,
Alisa, Sarah & the ladies of Blooma

Welcome to the Blooma blog!

Today we’re relaunching the Blooma blog, and we’d love for you to think of this blog-o-sphere as an extension of the community you’re a part of when you’re at Blooma in person. Welcome!

Since Sarah Longacre opened Blooma in October 2007 with her loving arms, talent for inspiring moms and moms-to-be, and cadre of gifted teachers and body workers, I have come to feel a special affection for Blooma. (We hope you feel that way, too.)

First I came as a newly pregnant mama who found a nurturing, supportive community where I learned to embrace my blooming belly and made new friends. Sampling the various prenatal classes gave me the chance to figure out which teachers would challenge me (sometimes seriously challenge me!) and which would give me a relaxing wind-down at the end of an intense day. I also adored my prenatal Maya abdominal massages (and that awesome massage table with the holes for my belly and boobs that actually allowed me to lie face down—bliss!).

After my son Graham—now 13 months old—was born, we hurried back to Blooma, looking for familiar faces. In our BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby) classes, Graham and I reconnected with mamas I’d done sun salutations next to when he was in my belly. We also got to admire my prenatal yoga friends’ beautiful babies who were on the outside now. We shared stories, new mama woes, and some of us began to meet outside of class, too. It’ll be just a few more months until we’re ready for Tot Yoga, and meanwhile I’m back into my own yoga groove with Yoga For You! classes. Not all cities have a place like this and I am grateful that I can boast otherwise.

As a birth doula and certified infant massage instructor, I’m into all this mama + baby stuff anyway. But when I was pregnant, and now as a mother, I came to appreciate even more what Blooma offers to my family. My husband has come to partner workshops with me, and my mother-in-law has practiced with me side-by-side, learning how to do simple yoga poses with her grandson at home. I’ve since trained with Lisa Bergley, developer of YogaBonding, and now teach BYOB at Blooma on alternating Mondays and Saturdays. I teach an occasional infant massage class, too. If I haven’t already, I hope to meet you soon!

Please subscribe to the blog, too. I’ll be blogging regularly about everything mama- and family-related including:

• upcoming Blooma workshops + classes

• the latest pregnancy + parent-related health news

• links to hip, funny, or informative parenting stories
• pregnancy + parenting blog postings (send me your own blog links!)
• guest blogs from Blooma teachers and body workers, midwives + OBs

• postings from Sarah and other doulas, who will share their favorite tips + tricks
for labor
• "Blooma Bookclub" reading recommendations

• and of course we’ll keep you in the loop with the ever popular “Blossoms” updates: photos of Blooma babies (and preferably their mamas, too) as they make their grand entrance into this big, beautiful world.


So that’s a little something about me, your Blooma blogger. I’d love to learn about you, too. Leave a comment and tell us what Blooma means to you—we’d love to hear your thoughts!


Love,

Alisa, Sarah, & the women of Blooma