Tip: Prepare Meals for the Week in Advance

Planning ahead can make life less stressful when preparing for baby, after baby arrives, or once you have a family in general. Sunday is a perfect day to get a head start on the week and plan some meals or snacks that are easy to eat.

Pulling out my slow cooker or instant pot isn’t typically what I find myself doing at 11pm on a Sunday night… But recently, I bought a HUGE box of Steel Cut Oats. So I wanted to get creative with some different ways to eat them. What I love about steel cut oats is that they have a slight crunch to them and taste slightly nutty. It’s very different than traditional rolled oats. But Steel Cut Oats have a lot of benefits over the traditional oats. And for those of you who need to be gluten free, I’ve been lucky enough to find gluten free steel cut oats too!

So, last night I decided to prepare breakfast for the next few days – Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal.

I found the recipe over at The Merry Gourmet – a very cute foodie blog. Here is The Merry Gourmet’s recipe for Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal. Tomorrow morning I plan on topping mine with berries and almonds. Then later in the week, I think I’ll treat myself and top it with some sliced bananas and almond butter (one of my favourite ways to enjoy oatmeal).  If you are looking for more ideas on how to top your Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal, visit the Oh She Glows blog for more ideas (and another variation on Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal).

This is a easy, nutritious, and fun meal that is perfect for the whole family. Plus, by topping your oatmeal with the ingredients of your choice it makes it a breakfast that everyone will enjoy!


Have you ever tried steel cut oats?  How do you like them compared to traditional rolled oats or quick oats?  What recipes do you use them in?



Essential Oils for Childbirth Book – Review & Giveaway

I rEssential Oils for Childbirth Book Coverecently I had a chance to review the book Essential Oils for Childbirth: Using Aromatherapy to Reduce Stress, Alleviate Anxiety, and Lessen Pain with any Birth Plan by Michaela Boldy, RN.

This book is a user-friendly reference guide to educate expectant mothers about the various the health benefits of essential oils, which can be used to improve their childbirth experience. This book has easy-to-understand information on how to safely use essential oils during pregnancy, afterbirth for recovery, as well as extra information for using aromotherapy to benefit your baby and your whole family.

About the Author
Michaela Boldy is a Registered Nurse, a Certified Aromatherpy Practioner, a Certified Infant Massage Instructor, and a Mother to 4. After the author successfully incorporated aromatherapy into her own childbirth, she founded Michaela Boldy Aromotherpy – specifically selling the two labour blends that she had created and used for her own labours.  She was successfully able to introduce the use of aromatherapy by midwives and doulas in the San Franscisco Bay Area. As a result of a small trial, aromotherapy was found to be very effective promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety during childbirth, both of which are very important for labour and childbirth.

Essential Oils for Childbirth has 8 Chapters to help you feel confident to use essential oils to ease your pregnancy and childbirth.  The information that it provides is research-based and includes information about various studies and personal experiences throughout. Don’t have any knowledge about essential oils or aromatherpy? No problem! This book is perfect for people with no background or some existing knowledge. It is also great for mothers, partners, childbirth professionals, or health care professinos.

You will learn about what aromotherapy is, how essential oils work, how to choose quality oils, different ways to use them, along with safety precaustions. Essential Oils for Childbirth also has bonus information about baby massage, little extras to make your baby happier, and even a chapter with research data on how aromatherapy may help to lower the number of c-sections. Essential Oils for Childbirth teaches mothers and partners to use different essential oils to enhance the birth experience, while offering a variety of easy to create recipes you can make yourself for labour and beyond.

Through my experience, I know that many expectant mothers report some level of anxietty and fear during their pregnancy and during childbirth itself. I’ve seem that aromatherapy can be an easy to implement comfort measure for mothers, regardless of their birth plan or birth circumstances. As a birth doula, I have my own list of favourite essential oils that I pack in my on-call bag, most of which are included in this book! I love that this book covers questions that parents often ask about what essential oils are safe / not safe, as well as how to use essential oils safely, which makes it easy even if they don’t have a doula.

Overall, I found this book an easy and quick read. This is a book that I will be proudly adding to the Bean Family Wellness Library.

Do you want to own a copy of this book? Visit your local bookstore or purchase your copy online on Amazon, or enter the giveaway below!

*GIVEAWAY*

Essential Oils for Childbirth Pregnancy Winnipeg Review & Giveaway

What can you win?
One winner will receive a paperback copy of Essential Oils for Childbirth by Mechaela Boldy, RN.

*Winners will be required to pick up their prize in Winnipeg, Manitoba (St. James area); shipping is not available.*

This giveaway will end February 12, 2019 at 12:00 a.m. CST.  Open to residents of Manitoba only.

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Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review. Receiving this item did not in anyway affect the information that I shared in this article. All the opinions in this article are my own.

Improving Sleep for Your Baby with White Noise

I used to be a ‘bad sleeper’. That is, before kids. After kids, sleep definitely changed, and my definition of sleep has changed with it. But because I seemed to need it more than before, falling asleep wasn’t as big of an issue as it used to be. Instead, my kids getting to sleep became the primary issue. But, I quickly realized that somtimes, things that helped me get to sleep before, would help my babies too.

As a doula and a childbirth educator, sleep is a topic that frequently comes up with parents before baby arrives and after. It is one of the biggest changes to routine that parents experience after the birth of a baby.  When babies are born, they are nocturnal and often don’t sort out their days and nights until at least 3 months, but often 6-9 months after birth. Which means your sleep routine will be changing too. In addition, they are also used to the comfort and safety of the womb. Knowing that can help us to figure out what will help to calm our babies after birth.

Photograph by Imagery by Bean (www.imagerybybean). Imagery by Bean Specializes in Maternity, Birth, Baby, and Family Photography in Winnipeg and Rural Manitoba.

When teaching prenatal classes we talk about the 5Ss, which is a system founded by Dr. Harvey Karp, author of the popular book ‘Happiest Baby on the Block’. The 5Ss are a simple system of 5 ways to help calm your baby whether they need to sleep, or just need to be calmed and comforted to a happier level again.  It’s a system, and a book that I highly recommend to new parents. If you are looking for more information, you can learn more through his books, on his HappiestBaby website, or on his YouTube channel.

One of the 5Ss that we discuss is Shushing or Shhhhhh-ing. The Shushing or Shhhhh-ing is a type of white noise that helps to mimic the muffled sounds that babies hear while they are in the womb, which can help them feel more safe and secure once they are born. This is something that you can learn to do yourself to provide white noise anytime and anywhere.  Why would you want to do this? Because, white noise like this is a well known/studied way to help calm babies, children, and even adults as well.

What is white noise?

Furthermore, white noise is essentially background noise – other examples aside from what I’ve talked about above include: the sound of a radio station with no music but static instead, the sound of the dishwasher (or a washing machine), the sound of a vacuum or a fan, or the sound of a car (which most experienced parents will tell you often puts a baby right to sleep).
There are many options listed above that you already have available to you to provide white noise.  To get a break from ‘being’ the white noice machine, some people like to buy special white noise CDs or actual white noise machines. Some items for babies like bouncers or swings often have sounds built in – many are music or nature sounds, but some offer white noice options as well.

Do you find that white noise helps to calm your baby, older children, or family as a whole? What other types of white noise have you found effective?

Save $20 on a Prenatal Childbirth Class with Bean Family Wellness

Winnipeg Prenatal Class Promotion - Save $20 off with code LITTLEBEANS20

Winnipeg Prenatal Childbirth Class Promotion – Save $20 off with code LITTLEBEANS20 – Valid April 18-25.

Bean Family Wellness is hosting a special promotion April 18-25, 2018 on Prenatal Classes. Just in time for Spring and Summer babies!

Details:
Register between April 18 – April 25, 2018 to save $20 off your choice of prenatal class. Your class can occur at any time in the future.

This promotion includes: Group Prenatal Childbirth Classes, Private In-home Prenatal Childbirth Classes, and Refresher Childbirth Classes.

To register, visit and use coupon code LITTLEBEANS20: https://www.beanfamilywellness.com/winnipeg-manitoba-childbirth-class-register/

This promotion cannot be combined with any other offers, promotions, or gift certificates.