Friday, August 28, 2009

Blooma slideshows!

We just have to give three big cheers for photographer extraordinaire, Tanya Villano. Her photographs are hung up in Blooma's studio, and many of you have hired Tanya to take prenatal portraits or pictures of your beautiful family. We just loooooove her work! She has been with Blooma since day one, photographing our teachers, body workers, and mamas for our web site. Tanya has recently taken some stunning new pictures and organized them into online slideshows (along with previous favorites) that any mom or mom-to-be should watch for inspiration. Thanks, Tanya!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Diapering that cute little bum

Are you contemplating cloth diapers, but aren't quite sure about that whole laundry bit? I felt that way, too, until my husband volunteered to make diaper laundry his "job." I feel lucky to report that 15 months later, I still haven't washed a single dirty diaper. Thanks, honey!

If it weren't for him though, I'd sign up faster than I could blink for the Do Good Diapers cloth diaper laundry service. They actually pick everything up from your house, launder your diapers, then drop them back off to your house. Amazing! And if that means you can spend less time doing laundry and more time with your family, I count that as well worth it. Have you tried Do Good? If so, let us know what you think!

How to know which cloth diapers to use though? That's a question for Blooma's resident cloth diaper expert Liz Abbene, who teaches Enlightened Mama birth and natural baby care classes. She knows every kind of cloth diaper inside and out! Her next Enlightened Baby Care Workshop is Saturday, Sept. 19, 2-5 p.m. Aside from cloth diapering, Liz will also cover the topics of baby wearing, natural baby care, and making your own baby food. Sign up online by clicking on the "Workshops" tab.

(Liz also has a fabulous breastfeeding workshop coming up THIS SATURDAY! Click on the "workshops" tab for more info.)

Alisa, Sarah, and the women of Blooma.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Glucose tests & heart health

Every pregnant woman I talk to seems to dread her 28-week glucose test. Most women do not test positive for gestational diabetes, but those who do may be able to use the test as a predictor of future cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Ugh.

What's more, women who have an abnormal glucose reading, but who are not diagnosed with gestational diabetes (that would be me), also are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the study. U.S. News & World Report reported about the study in a recent article. While this isn't the best news in the world, it is good to know that a funky glucose test could indicate that you should pay closer attention to your heart health as you get older. For more information about women, heart disease, and how to lower your risk, check out the government's web site for women's health. Stay strong and healthy, ladies!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beautiful ads starring YOUR baby?

The lovely Oscar & Belle Organics, which sells 100% organic clothing and gear for sizes newborn-2T, is searching for fall and spring 2010 baby & kid models for upcoming advertising shoots. We know there are LOTS of super cute babies who make their way into Blooma, so, we're just saying... you should really consider submitting your kiddo's picture to Oscar & Belle. Here's how:

First, go to Oscar & Belle's Facebook page. Then upload a picture (just one!) of your kiddo, include what size he or she wears, your baby's age, and some fun info about your baby, like if she's walking, sitting, crawling, or can stand on her own. Good luck!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hope & Hearts Run/Walk

It's a sad fact that many of us know someone, or have experienced ourselves, a pregnancy loss, infant loss, or infertility. Now is your chance to raise awareness and help support families grieving such a loss. Mark your calendars for Sept. 12 and register to run or walk Kaila & Grace's Hope & Heart's 5k to benefit the Missing GRACE Foundation. The kiddies can participate, too, in the Kids Fun Dash. The run/walk will take place at the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.

The Missing GRACE Foundation is a non-profit charity that "offers resources and support nationwide for families that have experienced: pregnancy loss, infant loss, infertility or adoption." The organization also focuses on helping to decrease infant mortality through education and research.

You can run or walk the 5k as an individual or gather a group of family, friends, or co-workers to form a team. You can even create a fundraising site that would be a personal memorial web site for someone you want to remember. If volunteering is more your speed, they definitely need help with planning, advertising, posting flyers, registration and more. You can also donate. Contact Missing GRACE for more information about volunteering or donating at: or 736-497-0709.

Hope to see you on the trail...

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cakes for true birth junkies!

I laughed out loud when I came across these awkward birth-themed cakes. You have to be a true birth junkie to appreciate these! Check out the water birth cake and the "push it good" baby shower cake. I'm definitely a birth junkie, but I can't decide if these are creepy or fun. Maybe a bit of both... what do you think? (Also, are the black censor blocks really necessary?)

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Volunteering = Cheap Yoga!

Blooma's childcare manager extraordinaire, Lindsay Wakefield, is looking for a few good volunteers for the childcare room this fall. Aside from getting to spend time with cute kiddos, you'll also get super cheap yoga in exchange for your work! For every three times you volunteer, you can purchase a 5-class pass for the low, low price of $15. Yes, this spells D-E-A-L!

Interested? Contact Lindsay at

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blooma Book Club: Feed the Belly

Check out my friend and former co-worker, author Frances Largeman-Roth, as she talks to the CBS Morning Show about why pregnant women experience food cravings. (See below.) Then go buy her book, Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom's Healthy Eating Guide. It's full of fantastic, yummy recipes that were created specifically to support a healthy pregnancy. Frances and I used to work together at Health magazine, where she continues to be the food & nutrition editor.

When I was pregnant I craved tacos. Tacos! Rather than swing through Taco Bell, I made a healthy taco salad at home using ground turkey, spinach, salsa, and plain yogurt instead of sour cream. Frances doctored my version and created a recipe for her book in my honor. I'm so flattered! See the recipe here. What do you, or did you, crave during your pregnancy?

Watch CBS Videos Online

Monday, August 17, 2009

When should I start prenatal yoga?

A newly-pregnant mama e-mailed us a great question about when to start prenatal yoga. Jennifer Colletti, one of Blooma's many wonderful yoga teachers, answers below. To join one of Jennifer's classes, check out these times: Mondays at 5:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:30 a.m., Saturdays at 11 a.m., and a week-long outdoor prenatal camp beginning Aug. 17 (today!).

I just found out that I'm pregnant. When should I start going to prenatal yoga classes instead of my regular class?

A: You can start right away! Of course, always check in with your doctor first. It's nice to connect with a prenatal teacher early in your pregnancy, for many reasons. The practice is slightly different than your regular practice and prenatal teachers are well-versed in the best postures to do for your changing body and growing baby. The prenatal practice (although still challenging) is generally a bit gentler on the body than a traditional class, which is important with the hormones increasing and softening the joints in your body.

Another reason to start prenatal classes early-on is to start building community with other pregnant women. It is amazing to connect with other women going through the same process that you are!

If you have had a history of pregnancy complications or a history of miscarriages (two or more), take it easy through first trimester. This is a great time to work on a meditation routine which will help the labor and delivery process. This is a critical time of development for baby, so holding off on yoga or other vigorous activity through this trimester is important. Check in with your doctor, and see if they are comfortable with you starting yoga second trimester.

**A very light yoga routine may be possible first trimester with approval from your doctor, please contact Jennifer to discuss.

Jennifer, Alisa, Sarah, & the women of Blooma

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jasper Michael

July 25, 2009
1:52 am
8 lbs, 4 oz
20 inches long

Mama Lindsay had this to say about her Jasper's birth: Looking back on the birth, it was one of the most memorable and amazing couple hours of my life. It was very short and very intense and powerful, but painful is not a word that I would use to describe it at all and I feel so blessed to have gotten to opportunity to experience it. It was such an enjoyable experience and now I truly realize how birth is meant to be!

Tora Mattie

July 31, 2009
3:15 PM
8 lbs, 6 ounces
21 1/2 inches long

Mama Michelle says: Hi Blooma Family, Just wanted to announce that Tora Mattie was born on Friday, July 31st at 3:15 pm at home, after 36 hours of labor but only 30 minutes of pushing! (Whew - I was exhausted!!) She's perfectly healthy at 8 lbs, 6 ounces, 21 1/2 inches long - my beautiful VBAC baby! Amazing coincidence that my mother was in labor with me for 36 hours and birthed me at 3:15pm! My midwives - Jane Kirby and Tracey Lapointe and their apprentice Autumn were AMAZING, never doubting my ability to birth this little girl. I was madly in love with my hubby as he was Daddy Doula extraordinaire. Big sister Sierra is ecstatic.

Good thoughts to all expecting VBAC mommas - you can do it!

Emmett's Homebirth

Homebirth is not just something women in the movies (a la Orgasmic Birth or The Business of Being Born). Erin recently had a beautiful birth at home and was happy to share her experience with the Blooma community.

Congratulations, Erin! Welcome, Emmett!

Avery Jane

August 12, 2009
5 pounds, 14 ounces
19 inches long

Mama Catie says everyone is happy and healthy and had these first photos of Avery to share.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Keep your sweet babe rear-facing a bit longer...

My husband and I were literally about to change our 15-month-old's car seat from rear-facing to front-facing last weekend when I heard the news: keep babies rear-facing until at least age 2. Even our pediatrician updated her web site to promote the revised advice. (Previously, the word was you could turn the car seat around at age 1.)

In case you haven't heard about the new
American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, check them out. According to the AAP web site, "toddlers are more than five times safer riding rear-facing in a car safety seat up to their second birthday."
As much as I know my son would prefer looking forward, I'd rather keep him safe!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hugs to community-based doulas!

We loved this recent Huffington Post blog (by Jane Fonda) about the effectiveness of community-based doula programs. These doulas offer all the wonderful support of traditional doulas, but go even further. They usually work with women who cannot afford doula services. Sometimes these mothers-to-be are teenagers, sometimes they suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, and sometimes they have only their doulas to rely on for prenatal and birth support. These doulas go above and beyond to help women who need emotional and physical support during their labors and deliveries!

Jane writes, "If we as a nation are to break the cycle of poverty, crime and the growing underclass of young people ill equipped to be productive citizens, we need to ... help those who have already given birth so that they become effective, nurturing, bonding parents." She believes that community-based doula programs can be part of the solution. Programs that do this kind of work here in the Twin Cities include Everyday Miracles and the Doula Program at the American Indian Family Center. If you know a pregnant woman who could benefit from such services, please pass along this information!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Protect that sweet baby skin

It's too beautiful to stay inside all summer, but how is a mama of a newborn supposed to adequately protect baby's delicate skin from the harsh sun since you're not supposed to slather sun block on babies under 6 months old?

I recently saw these cute car seat covers and thought they looked like the perfect sun-protecting solution.
I wish I had found these when my baby was a newborn! They're made of SPF and UV protection 40-50+ fabric — perfect for shielding baby's skin during walks around Lake Calhoun or during your own outdoor yoga/meditation session while baby naps. Happy getting outside!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fertility news + massage special!

Not to make judgments (or admissions) on anyone's sex life out there, but there are very few women I know who have sex every day. Apparently though, if you’re trying to get pregnant, daily sex might help increase your luck—and not just by upping your statistical chances.

Find out why in this USA Today article. (Hint: daily sex really
does help your guy!)

We know that getting pregnant isn’t always as easy as we want it to be. If you’re actively trying (or about to start trying), consider supplementing your hard work with fertility acupuncture or a Maya abdominal massage at Blooma. You can learn more about these and other wellness services on our web site. Book an appointment now by clicking here, and then clicking once more on the "appointments" tab (upper left side of the page).

Here's another bonus: the wonderful Deborah Savran is offering an
August special of $15 off her Maya abdominal massages! That means they're just $70 each. I can personally attest to the relaxing and healing power of Deborah's hands. Her massages are pure bliss!

Alisa, Sarah & the ladies at Blooma

Friday, August 7, 2009

Birthing virtually

A Hawaii news station aired a story recently that's a great reminder to be thankful if your partner can be present for your labor live and in-person. I, for one, would have had an entirely different birth experience if my husband (and doulas) hadn't been present! But Shannon Wilterdink, whose husband is stationed in Iraq, gave birth without him there. So she did the next best thing... she invited her husband to watch the birth virtually.

"Alex Wilterdink is a marine, stationed in Iraq. When his wife, Shannon, went into labor, she logged onto Facebook and told his friends to wake him. Then as Shannon gave birth, Alex watched the entire experience via web-cam," reported KGMB. We're glad Alex got to be there, even if only through the Web!

If you're pregnant and have a partner in the military who will be stationed elsewhere when you're in labor, you don't have to birth alone. An organization called Operation Special Delivery provides doula services to women in this exact scenario. Go doulas!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Healthy summer salads

OK, so this post isn't exactly pregnancy- or parenting-related, but the content does come from a very famous mama named Gwyneth Paltrow. Plus, I'm a foodie and anything about delicious, healthy meals gets me all excited.

In case you're not familiar with Gwyneth's blog, GOOP, she writes about an array of topics, from healthy eating and parenting, to travel and eco-friendly clothing. Today her blog was all about summer salads. Refreshing, healthy, and tasty, I can't wait to try one or two of these. I'm especially craving this cold, soba noodle salad. It's a perfect, healthy summer meal (I bet your kids will like it, too), especially topped with grilled chicken or tofu. This cool dish is just right for a beautiful, warm summer day like today! Check out the recipe, and others, here.

Love, Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blooma Book Club: A Life's Work

There are so many fabulous books out there on pregnancy, birthing, and motherhood, that I plan to write occasional posts called "Blooma Book Club" with thoughts, reviews, and information about great books you might want to snuggle up with.

A friend in my mom & baby playgroup (born from an ECFE class) recently sent an e-mail about a book called "A Life's Work - On Becoming a Mother," by Rachel Cusk. Unlike many of the more humorous mommy memoirs, this "dissects the process of new motherhood from a psychological and emotional perspective," says Publisher's Weekly.

Cusk writes with searing honesty about the changes in her life, while sharing personal insights any new mother can relate to.
I love this quote from the book: "Birth is not merely that which divides women from men: it also divides women from themselves, so that a woman's understanding of what it is to exist is profoundly changed. Another person has existed in her, and after their birth they live within the jurisdiction of her consciousness."

If you pick up this book (or if you have already read it), let us know what you think of it!

Love, Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Coming up: Prenatal Bootcamp!

A repeat performance of Jennifer Colletti's fabulous, outdoor bootcamp is coming up in the form of gentle, outdoor yoga for both prenatal and postnatal moms.

The class runs Monday through Friday, Aug. 17-21, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. each morning, at Lake Harriet. Childcare is available at Blooma, too ($20 per child for the whole week!). The class is geared toward pregnant moms, those just getting back to working out after giving birth, or those who simply want a gentler yoga practice.

Imagine practicing yoga and breathing deeply in a beautiful setting, allowing the mind, body and spirit the chance to absorb your outdoor surroundings.

Here's what one mom had to say about the bootcamp Jennifer taught earlier this summer:

"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 ... 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!"

Sign up now (under the Workshops tab, $100 for the week) and plan to enjoy all that the breeze, the sun, the grass, and the trees have to offer you each morning!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Monday, August 3, 2009

The great pay divide

Well this is more than a little bit irksome: "Women suffer a `devastating' impact on their pay after having children, a new study has found." The study, completed by the Fawcett Society, took place in the UK. Read more about it here.

I don't know if the same holds true for women going back to work in the U.S. I certainly hope not. I'd love to have a discussion about this ... please leave a comment if you'd like to share your thoughts or experiences!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma