How do You Retreat, Exactly?

The First Forty Days is based on Five Insights or common themes that are found in traditional postpartum care around the world: Retreat, Warmth, Support, Rest, and Ritual. These five insights are timeless, remaining just as relevant to the modern new American mother as they were to a mother in 1950s China or 1920s India. While each insight is applicable to every mother’s experience, some may seem a bit strange at first. Take Retreat, the first Insight. Unless you’re retreating to a week of yoga in Costa Rica or a month of meditation in an ashram, youRead More

Why Doulas Matter

As our book continues to make it’s way into the world, spreading its message of focused care for the new mother, I find myself considering the impact that birthing professionals have on a new mother’s experience. Like doulas.

I think of my own doula, who played such a key role in all three of my births. I know it was her presence that gave me the strength to sink deeply into the wild, unpredictable, sometimes frightening process of my births. If you asked me to define “doula,” I’d pass on the technical definition, instead keepingRead More

Oatmeal Gets a Makeover

I’m super visual, so food always wins extra points with me if it pleases the eye as much as the palate. But oatmeal? The beige, mushy stuff is so stubbornly unattractive, that I almost gave up until I remembered … mason jars! I decided to parfait the bejesus out of these oats, layering the oat mixture (enhanced with tapioca and chia seeds) with bright fruit and nuts. The result was toothsome—two kinds of oats equals more strengthening iron and extra chewiness—and so, so tasty.

I suggested this recipe to doula superstar Lori Bregman as anRead More