Nature's Mothers Blog

Childbirth, Parenting and Other Passions

Elderflower bubbly June 25, 2011

Filed under: Community life on the farm,Parenting — naturesmother @ 9:42 am
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It is that time of year! Everything is blossoming and fruiting frantically, and there are not enough hours in the day to do all that needs doing!  I did, however, get around to making some elderflower champagne, and this is how:

Ingredients:

8 heads of elderflower (preferably picked when fully open on a sunny day)
1 kg of sugar (I used unrefined demerera sugar this time – slightly better for you than white sugar)
2 unwaxed lemons (only organic lemons-or your own- are unwaxed)
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
10 litres cold water

Method:

  1. Peel lemon rind of thinly with a potato peeler
  2. shake insects of elderflower heads and put in bucket
  3. add lemon rind and the juice of the 2 lemons
  4. add sugar (gently) and apple cider vinegar
  5. pour water over and stir
  6. Stir twice a day for a week, and then bottle (plastic fizzy bottles work best – if you use wine bottles store them somewhere where explosions won’t do much damage – although they’ve not exploded for me yet!)
  7. Can be drunk anywhere from week 2  and up to a year, and is only slightly alcoholic but very tasty!  Enjoy!
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New baby alpaca! June 20, 2011

Filed under: Birth,Community life on the farm — naturesmother @ 6:32 pm
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Oh, how lucky we are to live on the farm!  Yesterday, the first baby alpaca of the year was born.  A beautiful, strong, long legged rose grey boy cria, who looks similar to his stud male dad, Max. His name is Carthvean Dianthus!

Usually alpacas choose to give birth on sunny days, but there’s not been many of those around, and today was really rainy, so good thing it was yesterday!

Being greeted by all the other girl alpacas

Trying to get up…

Erin & Julie get to welcome baby

Wobble wobble wobble…it took about 30 minutes for him to do what it took Ayla & Erin about a year to do!!

Love…

Katya the llama on guard!

 

10 top reasons to breastfeed


Well, here it is.

  1. Breastmilk provides perfect infant nutrition.”Human milk is uniquely superior for infant feeding and is species-specific; all substitute feeding options differ markedly from it. The breastfed infant is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short and long-term benefits.”
    American Association of Pediatrics
  2. Breastfeeding reduces mother’s risk of breast cancer. Research shows that if mum breastfeeds for 2 years, her risk of breast cancer is reduced by 50%, but even breastfeeding for a few weeks reduces risk.  Prolonged breastfeeding also reduces risk of uterine and ovarian cancer in mum. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
  3. Breastmilk is designed to boost babies immune system, preventing illness and diseases:
    Formula doesn’t give any of these benefits. Breast milk gives babies antibodies from the mother to help fight disease and so breastfed babies get sick less. Williams in Breast-Feeding Best Bet for Babies says “About 80% of the cells in breast milk are macrophages, cells that kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Breastfed babies are protected in varying degrees from a number of illnesses including, pneumonia, botulism, bronchitis, staphylococcal infections, influenza, ear infections, and German measles. Furthermore, mothers produce antibodies to what ever disease is present in their environment, making their milk custom-designed to fight diseases their babies are exposed to as well.”
  4. It’s convenient and easy once mum gets the hang of it…no making up bottles in the middle of the night, sterilising, or lugging formula and bottles around with you when you go out.
  5. Breastfeeding helps shrink the uterus after birth
  6. You burn calories by breastfeeding, helping you lose pregnancy weight (provided your diet is good)
  7. It’s FREE!  If you need to express milk you can usually pick up a good second hand pump for less than £10
  8. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) And postnatal depression in mum
  9. It is bonding, decreases behavioral problems in children & increases intelligence.
  10. Research shows that the following illnesses are less common later in life in those who had been breastfed compared to those who hadn’t:  asthma, eczema, diabetes, leukemia, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholestrol later in life.

 

Make your own calendula or comfrey oil/cream June 19, 2011


Calendula (Pot Marigold) is well known for it’s healing properties. It has anti-viral, anti-genotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties, and is used to treat nappy rash, skin irritations, acne, bites and rashes.  You can buy calendula cream from a health food store, or you can make it, pure and for much cheaper.

What you need:

  • Pot Marigold flowers (easy to grow in pots or your garden)
  • A few used but clean jars
  • Almond oil – you can get food grade almond oil from Indian supermarkets, or buy online (if nut allergy you can use olive oil)
  • Beeswax (optional)

Directions:

  • Dry the marigolds completely, out of the sun  (We tie ours up above our woodburner for a few weeks)
  • Pull the petals off and stuff  as many of as you can into a clean, dry jar
  •  Cover with the oil and tighten lid
  • Keep in a cool dark place, give it a shake or turn it over onto it’s lid every couple of days
  • When oil has gone a brilliant orange, it is ready to use.  No need to take petals out if you don’t want to.
  • Label and enjoy!!!
If you want to make a wonderful cream, melt a little beeswax, and add oil. It should be just soft enough to get your finger into when it cools. If it’s solid, you need more marigold oil.  Works better than any calendula cream I’ve ever bought.
You can do exactly the same with comfrey leaves, making sure they are properly dry.  Comfrey is a perennial herb with loads of amazing properties. It used to be known as ‘Knitbone’, as it was used traditionally to heal fractures.  It helps to repair broken tissue and is also commonly used on acne, eczema, skin ulcers, wounds, hemarroids, bunions, sprains, nappy rash, burns, etc. The list goes on.
 

What’s next best to breastfeeding? June 7, 2011


Here is a really useful blog on

Resources for Moms Who Choose Not To or Can Not  Breastfeed

Formula milk is fourth best.  A lot more informative than my previous rant, although written in the USA.

Here are some resources for the UK:

Eats On Feets – donate & receive breastmilk Facebook group

Find your closest support group here 
Real baby milk – charity
 

 
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