Soup -A winter warmer for newborn days

Pumpkin, Coconut & Lime Soup

Pumpkin, Coconut & Lime Soup

During the dark, cold days of winter life can become a little bit dull. The bright greens of summer salads are a distant memory and cucumbers are selling for $5 each in the supermarket. And if there is a newborn in your home it can be even harder to make nutritious family meals when most of your time is spent nurturing your littlest addition.  However, if you have a hoard of pumpkins (or can find a cheap one at the grocer) then you are in luck! I stumbled upon this delicious soup from the New Zealand Gardener Garden Diary 2018 magazine this week. As I had the amazing Amy from Newly Born popping by for lunch, I flagged the great looking chickpea croutons and detailed cooking instructions, and just threw the whole lot in the slow cooker (except the coconut cream which I placed it in a jug on the table so people could drizzle their soup for a little piece of decadence!). It turned out to be a total winner, and was so quick to make. 4 hours on high, a quick puree at the end with the stick blender and presto -Lunch was served.

Pumpkin, Coconut & Lime Soup

Ingredients

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

2 stalks lemongrass chopped (or 6 lemon tree leaves)

Thumb size piece of ginger chopped

4 cloves of garlic chopped

Zest of 2 limes

1 cup coriander, plus extra for serving

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 x 400ml tin coconut cream

2 tablespoons olive oil

1.5kg pumpkin, peeled, cut into 3cm cubes

350kg kumara, peeled, cut into 3cm cubes

1 1/2 cup vegetable stock

 

Method

Put chilli, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, lime zest, coriander, turmeric and salt into a jug, add a few tablespoons of the coconut cream and, using a stick blender, process until a paste is formed.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the paste for 5min over a medium heat. Add the pumpkin, kumara, remaining coconut cream and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30mins or until the vegetables are soft. Puree using a stick blender, then serve garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, coriander, and chickpea croutons.

 

Ingredients chickpea croutons

2 cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained

4 tablespoons olive oil

8 cloves garlic, minced

Zest of 2 limes

1 red chilli, deseeded, minced

1 teaspoon salt

Method

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Dry chickpeas in a clean tea towel, or put them in the oven for a few mins. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, lime zest, chilli and salt and pour over chickpeas, mixing well to coat each one. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for an hour or until crunchy. Give them a good shake/stir from time to time to make sure they cook evenly. This makes more than you will need to garnish the soup so store what is left in an airtight jar.

 

Recipe from New Zealand Gardener Garden Diary 2018, June. 

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Wow, life is a miracle!

Ever wonder what life is like on the inside for your womb baby? Take a quick look at this incredible video by Daily Medical Mysteries. This little bubba has been born via caesarean section with the caul (amniotic sac) completely intact! It's truly amazing to witness how baby beautifully fits inside a Mama's womb. 

Making an informed decision about Vitamin K

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Pregnancy is a really exciting time. A creative, bonding and blossoming time. But it's also a time where families need to make a lot of decisions, including decisions about the health and well-being of their child. One of those decisions will be whether or not their newborn will receive a Vitamin K injection at birth. To keep this in perspective, in the grand scheme of life it is a small decision. After all, it is only one vitamin. However, it is important that this decision is an informed one because it contains risks and benefits for the newborn.

When making an informed decision during pregnancy, BRAN is a very useful tool. This can be used when you discuss your options about a medical decision with your LMC or when doing your own research on a topic. When choosing whether or not your baby will receive a Vitamin K injection, this is what BRAN may look like:

-Benefits. What are the pro's if our baby receives a Vitamin K injection?

-Risks. What con's come with giving our newborn an injection? What risks does the product itself have? Can very high doses of Vitamin K negatively impact on stem cell transfer? Which babies are most at risk of Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn (HDN)?

-Alternatives. What are our choices? Would oral Vitamin K be suitable for our newborn?

-No/nothing. We have the option of declining a Vitamin K injection. Or perhaps we might need to ask for more information and time to help us make an informed decision.

The most important thing to remember is that this is your decision. Don't take your ability to make informed decisions about your newborn's health and well-being for granted. Spend time doing your research and ask your LMC for information on Vitamin K. Then feel proud that you made the best decision you could at the time, with the information you had. What more could you ask of yourself than that?

Here's some good articles to get you started on your decision making journey:

Vitamin K: An alternative perspective by Dr Sara Wickham

Vitamin K Video Series by Evidence Based Birth

Code of Health & Disability Services Consumer Rights

Back to the Wild Giveaway

Back to the Wild Mum & Baby Deluxe Gift Box

Back to the Wild Mum & Baby Deluxe Gift Box

To celebrate The Birthing Room's launch of Online Antenatal Classes this week we are giving away a beautiful gift pack from Back to the Wild to one lucky family-to-be! The lucky winner will receive:

1 x 65gm Sunscreen
1 x 65gm Nappy Rash Barrier Balm
1 x 30gm Kawakawa Balm
1 x 30gm Stretch Mark / Scar Reducing Balm
1 x 30gm Baby Chest Rub
1 x 15gm Nipple Balm (Can be used as a lip balm also if not breastfeeding)
1 x 80gm Goatsmilk & Chamomile Soap
1 x Info sheet
1 x Gift Box

Valued at $47 and made from natural ingredients this is sure to bless your socks off!

Click here to enter.

Special thanks to Back to the Wild

Terms and conditions:

Entries close Tuesday 10th April at 10pm (NZST). Entries can be made via the click here button, or The Birthing Room's Facebook page. The winner will be selected at random. Prize will be posted to a New Zealand address only. Participants enrolled in The Birthing Room's Online Antenatal Classes automatically go in the draw. This prize cannot be exchanged or transferred to cash. To be eligible to enter, subscription to The Birthing Room must be maintained for the duration of this campaign.

10 Easy Steps to Get You Started on a Positive Birth Journey!

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The Birthing Room Online Antenatal Classes launch this week! And to celebrate we are letting you in on 10 easy steps you can take to begin a positive birth journey.

#1 Choose your lead maternity carer (LMC) wisely

Will your choice of midwife or doctor help you achieve a positive birth experience? Dr Sarah J. Buckley (author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering) explains in her book an easy test of an empowering health care practitioner:

  • Do you come away from every appointment feeling even happier, or at the least less anxious? If so, this is a great sign of an positive birth partnership.
  • Do you come away from every appointment feeling negative, more afraid or more anxious than before? If so, it maybe time to consider a change.

#2 Be careful what you read

Just as a sign of a great LMC is that you come away from each appointment feeling even happier and less afraid, a sign of great information about pregnancy and birth is that you come away feeling the same. This helps fill your whare tangata (the womb world of your baby) with the love hormone oxytocin, and keeps stress hormones low.

Many popular antenatal and newborn parenting books promote strict newborn routines, which undermine natural newborn attachment, health and well-being. Two recent research studies showed books such as these actually negatively impact maternal (mother) well-being and self confidence, and increase the likelihood of postnatal depression and feelings of stress. So choose carefully! Look for pregnancy books, movies or YouTube clips which empower you and do not make you feel afraid.

#3 Find your village

Imagine having a group of like-minded friends, who are having babies at the same time of life as you. Through every life stage (pregnancy, newborns, toddlers, choosing a preschool or kindergarten, starting school) they are right there with you, and know what you are going through. Essentially you are doing life together!

Unfortunately, finding these people isn't as easy as it sounds, especially if you are living in a rural area. That's why we've created online village groups just for you as part of our new Online Antenatal Classes! Not only will you find amazing like-minded parents-to-be to chat with and ask those questions that only they will understand, you'll also find a group of friends to do life with.

#4 Be knowledgeable about your baby's position

Sure your baby may be head down, but did you know that this is only a tiny bit of the big picture? Your baby's position at the end of pregnancy can influence if you go "post dates", how fast dilation occurs, the length and intensity of labour, how high your risk of complications and intervention and more! We think this is SO important for you to know that we have included OODLES of information on Optimal Foetal Positioning in our new Online Antenatal Classes.

#5 Make informed decisions

Your rights as a health consumer are very important for you to know. Just because they exist in NZ doesn’t necessarily mean they will be practiced. Research suggests “that women’s perceived control over decision-making in childbirth is surprisingly low and that maternity care providers’ (providers) understanding of women’s legal rights in maternity care is poor.” (Powell, Walker & Barrett, 2015). In order to make informed decisions, you need to know what your rights are, and the right information. Often expectant parents are loaded down with pamphlets and information sheets that contain medical terms and statistical data. Research shows most expectant parents can't make informed decisions out of this. You need information that is truthful, informative and makes sense to you. Making the best decisions that you can at the time with the information that you have, helps you feel more positive about your birth experience.

#6 Hire a doula

If you do not have the perfect support person to journey through birth with you and your partner, why not consider hiring a doula? A doula is a professional birth companion to helps you set up a positive birth atmosphere from the get go of labour. Research shows doulas:

  • Reduce the need for medical pain relief
  • Reduce the likelihood of medical intervention
  • Help families have a more positive birth experience!

Not sure how to find a doula in your local area? Check out this list from Doula Lydia.

#7 Reduce your risk of complications

Although it is still possible to have a positive birth experience when complications arise, it's definitely easy when they don't! So if you are hoping to avoid any unnecessary complications, incorporate the following into your pregnancy:

  • Regularly exercise
  • Eat lots of REAL food (nutritionally dense, wholefoods!)
  • Regular massage therapy... OK, so I don't have a lot of research to back that one up, but hey! There has to be some perks to growing a whole little human, right? Massage therapy does help you release oxytocin, and oxytocin helps your baby grow well, so that's got to count for something!

#8 Choose an empowering birth place

Remember the Tupperware Shape-O? If not, don't worry, you're about to become a parent. You'll soon be very familiar with it! The idea is to fit the right plastic shape into the right shape cut out. Choosing to birth in a place that does not match your birth philosophy and plans is like trying to get the triangle through the square. It might not be the right fit for your family. Choosing a place where you feel safe, secure and empowered can make all the difference to how you feel about your birth.

#9 Prepare spiritually and emotionally for birth

Families are often really good at preparing physically for birth, but birth is not just a physical event! It is a spiritual, emotional, cultural, family life event! Preparing for a baby can be compared to the whare (house) in the Māori health model Te Whare Tapa Whā. There are 4 pillars of wellness that make the house strong. They are physical, mental, spiritual and family health. So we've included information about emotional and spiritual preparation for birth and traditional Māori birth practices as part of our new Online Antenatal Classes to help make your birth as positive as possible!

#10 Be as educated as possible

When it comes to preparing for your birth, you don't need a "How to give birth" lesson. Every female body is born with the knowledge of how to birth a baby! Our new Online Antenatal Classes are all about helping empower your family with knowledge, helping you develop trust and faith in the amazing ability of Mama to birth your baby, as well as equip you with information to make informed decisions. Our course journeys with you right from the start of pregnancy, all the way through to when baby is 3 months old. How cool is that?!

Like to find out more about having a positive birth experience?

Start with our FREE online mini course Optimal Cord Clamping & Care of the Placenta As a bonus, if you are registered for this course you'll be the first to hear of the launch dates for our new Online Antenatal Classes. So sign up today, and either whip through this little beauty while waiting for your Online Antenatal Classes to begin, or tuck this course away for later in your pregnancy safe in the knowledge it is all yours, and start your journey towards a positive birth experience with our first trimester session in The Birthing Room's Online Antenatal Classes.

Just want to join our newsletter so you can find out course launch dates? You can do that below!

 

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AVAILABLE NOW! FREE Course!

Screen shot enrolment Optimal Cord Clamping

Optimal Cord Clamping & Care of the Placenta

Out now! The Birthing Room's FREE mini course "Optimal Cord Clamping & Care of the Placenta". This is such an important topic, we are GIVING AWAY this course so that no family misses out. This quick course is an essential piece of knowledge for all expectant families because:

  1. It will help your family make informed decisions about your birth
  2. Having control over decision making helps you have a more positive birth experience
  3. Optimal cord clamping improves newborn outcomes

This course is suitable to do at any stage of pregnancy. So what are you waiting for? Enroll today!

 Click here for more information

FREE online course: Optimal Cord Clamping & Care of the Placenta

Photo credit: Human Birth Project

Photo credit: Human Birth Project

The Birthing Room's FREE online course on Optimal Cord Clamping & Care of the Placenta is almost here! Our subscribers will be the first to receive this awesome mini course next week!
 
Topics include:
-Making an informed decision about if and when to cut the umbilical cord
-Your choices about the birth of your placenta & what to do with it afterwards
-Maori tikanga (traditional practices) for iho & whenua (cord & placenta)
 
This FREE mini course includes video tutorials, PDFs, quizzes, downloadable birth plans, and videos of families sharing their own experiences. Both expectant families & health professionals are welcome to take this FREE course.
 
Please share about this course on social media and help us spread the word on this important topic.
 
And finally, make sure YOU don't miss out! Subscribe asap by clicking the link below.

SUBSCRIBE

Like more space to birth your baby?

Photo credit: Human Birth Project

Photo credit: Human Birth Project

Want extra space for your baby to move down in labour? Labouring and birthing off your back (i.e. upright, hands and knees etc.) allows your Rhombus of Michaelis, the kite shaped area in your lower back, to open up like a butterfly giving baby an extra couple of centimeters! That's a lot when you consider a baby's head usually moulds to 10cm or less during birth...

Like to find out more about making space for baby in labour, and how to help baby begin labour in an optimal position? You'll find lots of great information on these topics in The Birthing Room's new Online Antenatal Classes! Due for release in March 2018!

A day in the life of The Birthing Room…

Cat

Today the cat and I are hard at work creating a segment on Optimal Foetal Positioning for The Birthing Room's new Online Antenatal Course. I think the cat has optimal cat positioning sorted 😉

Make sure you have subscribed to The Birthing Room's Quick Kōrero to find out the latest goss on our upcoming classes and to receive special pre-release deals! The next Quick Kōrero comes out tomorrow, so sign up fast!

To join Quick Kōrero click here

Happy New Year!

New year 2018

2018 is set to be the best year yet to have a baby in New Zealand with the release of The Birthing Room's Online Antenatal Classes! If your family is expecting a baby in 2018 be sure to subscribe to our database so you receive special pre-release deals! To subscribe click here