Valentine's Date Night with In Home Personal Chef

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Valentine's Date Night with In Home Personal Chef

This #valentinesday Doulas of Capitol Hill is bringing the date night to you. Between February 10-16 we are offering an in home personal chef #datenight. One of our amazing team #chefs will come to your home and prepare a 4 course meal (and clean it up!) all under the comfort of your own roof. Space is very limited and we are booking now. Booking is not limited to DCH clients or even parents. All couples are welcome! For more information email us info@doulasofcapitolhill.com
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2019: Better Climbing

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2019: Better Climbing

Each year Doulas of Capitol Hill chooses a single word to be a guide for the year ahead. Our year for 2019 is “Better.”  

We identified three specific ways in which we can be “better” than we were a year ago: Communicators, Cooperators, and Climbers.  We chose these three target areas because they are also areas in which three year-olds are making strides in their development, and in February 2019 our company will turn three!

Today we focus on the last of our three areas of improvement: Climbing.  

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When we thought about three year-old’s we know some of them can be quite daring and can be scaling furniture, or at least the heights of the playground. We thought of our climbing skills in terms of setting goals for the year ahead.

 Here are some of our big goals:

  1. We are so happy to offer a diverse team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) as well as Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) among our breastfeeding experts to serve Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland. In 2019 we have set the goal to be in-network providers under several health care plans, so that our clients have an easier time getting the support they deserve.  Currently, our clients receive a superbill which they can submit to their insurance for reimbursement. We’re also collecting data on who has successful reimbursement through HSA and FSA as well as for insurance, in a post-support questionnaire.

  2. Our next goal is about helping our clients have more information to make their selection in choosing a birth doula or postpartum doula.  We already have our 20 Point Profile, which is an awesome way for people wondering “how do I choose a doula?” This year we plan to feature a different team member each month on our Team Member Spotlight. We find these interviews are a great way for people to read more about the strengths, personality, and qualifications of the person they will choose for this momentous time in their lives.  In the past we’ve featured Emily Smith, Nicole Bruno, Ashley Woolsey, Kaely Harrod, and Kim Hawkins. We hope you’ll stay tuned for more Team Member Spotlights throughout 2019!

  3. Let me tell you, doulas love acronyms.  Every single doula training or childbirth class we know (including group classes with Nested) teaches the acronym B.R.A.I.N which stands for Benefits. Risks. Alternatives. Intuition. do Nothing. This is a fantastic tool for parents to use during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum around decision making. For 2019 we have set what we feel are S.M.A.R.T goals around the number of clients served in and around the Beltway, as well as those who follow us on Facebook and Instagram around the world.  S.M.A.R.T stand for Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. And Timely. Hopefully, by having the experience of 3 years under our belts, we’ll reach all of our 2019 goals!

Thank you to all of our clients, community, colleagues, and those cheering us along for your support throughout the years! Here’s to a BETTER year ahead!



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January is National Blood Donor Month

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January is National Blood Donor Month

January is national blood donor month. According to the American Red Cross, winter is “one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs.”

The holidays and weather factor into this, but it’s also flu season and seasonal illnesses are at a high. This is why, if you find yourself healthy in these winter months, donating blood is of utmost importance. 

Blood transfusion in pregnant and postpartum women is a common occurrence. The two main reasons for blood transfusion are postpartum hemorrhages and severe anemia. 

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  • According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, postpartum hemorrhaging is responsible for 25% of material morality. 

  • The average amount of blood loss after the birth of a single baby in vaginal delivery is about 500 ml or 1,000 ml in a cesarean delivery. Any loss above this is considered a postpartum hemorrhage with varying levels of severity. 

  • Women who loose 1500-2000+ ml of blood have extreme hemorrhaging and need blood transfusions. This means the woman has lost 25-35% of her blood volume. 

  • About 5% of women suffer from postpartum hemorrhage and that number is more likely with a cesarean birth which account for over 30% of births in the US. 

  • According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, anemia during pregnancy is responsible for 15% of maternal mortality.

  • Anemia during pregnancy is quite common and can usually be treated with extra iron supplements or change in diet. However if anemia isn’t addressed during pregnancy it can become severe causing loss of blood or preventions of clotting during labor or postpartum and may require a blood transfusion. 

  • According to The American Red Cross, one person can donate around 470ml of blood at a time. This means, often, and in severe cases, one person may need blood donated from several people to save their lives. 

We’ve compiled a list of places local to the DMV to donate. If you know of others please drop us a comment or an email!

American Blood Centers- Washington, DC

American Red Cross- Locations in Alexandria, DC, Fairfax, Ft. Belvoir, La Plata, Quantico, and Rockville

INOVA Blood Donor Services- Locations in Alexandria, Annandale, Centerville, and Sterling.

National Institute of Health- Bethesda.

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2019: Better Cooperation

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2019: Better Cooperation

Each year Doulas of Capitol Hill chooses a single word to be a guide for the year ahead. Our year for 2019 is “Better.”  

We identified three specific ways in which we can be “better” than we were a year ago.  We strive to be Communicators, aim to be better at Cooperation, and intend to better at Climbing.  We chose these three target areas as they are also “milestones” reached by three year-olds and our company turns three in February.

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Today, we will share the ways in which Doulas of Capitol Hill plans to be better at Cooperation in 2019.

1. We’ve started 2019 out with a large team of birth doulas, postpartum doulas, placenta encapsulators, and lactation consultants. We value having a big team because it means more choices and options for our clients.  Doulas of Capitol Hill, and our sister company Doulas of Prince George’s County, can be a one-stop-shop for all things pregnancy, birth, and baby-related. You want an expert by your side and we are honored to be invited into your story!

However, a challenge to any group as it grows is continuing to be in relationships with one another where we are known and our differences are celebrated.  We need to have spaces created for us where we can be authentic, where assumptions are left aside, and non-judgmental listening is made a priority.  

To address this challenge we’ve launched our 5 Star Mentor program!  

The 5 Star Mentors are a select group of doulas who are know for their experience level and leadership qualities. They will facilitate small groups of 3-5 other professionals, meet regularly, learn from each other, connect as a community of professionals, and receive mentorship, when needed.

One of Doulas of Capitol Hill’s Three Guiding Principles is “Grow the Profession.” 2019 will be a year for us to become BETTER at COOPERATION, so our professionals can grow together!

2. The 5 Star Mentor program benefits our professionals, yes.  But it also benefits our clients in two ways.. First, each of the small groups will be hosting one of our quarterly DCH Village meet-ups. These are in-person events we hold for our clients to hang out with other parents.  Some of examples of past DCH Village get-togethers were wine and painting at Wine & Design in Alexandria, picnic at the Winery at Bull Run, cry-baby matinee at AMC Courthouse in Arlington, Brewery get-together at Biergarten Haus in DC, Baby Bar Takeover at Boxcar Tavern in Capitol Hill, and our Snowflake Diaper Drive to benefit the DC Diaper Bank.  

We know our clients choose the birth doula or postpartum doula to invite into this intimate time in their lives with a mix of experience, personality, and trust.  

For expectant parents for whom experience is the primary priority, the second way this 5 Star Mentor program benefits clients is that we’ve made it easy to identify the most seasoned doulas on our team, showing who the 5 Star Mentors are at the top of their website bios.

3.  The third way Doulas of Capitol Hill will continue to focus on COOPERATION in 2019 is with our Affiliates and Partners, who are other local business we love and who love us back!  

Shout-out to Nested, who offers all our group childbirth classes at their offices in Chevy Chase and at the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington, to Emily Souder of Nesting Space LLC, author of Birth Story Brave, and Concierge Physical Therapists, our long time affiliates offering in-home physical therapy to clients throughout the DMV.  

We’re happy to continue our affiliation with Motherhood Tabutiful, Lavender Retreat, Heidi Daniels the DC Birth Photographer, ICAN of NOVA, and Washington Pediatrics.  One new affiliate we recently joined up with is Fran Darnell of Dynamic Core, who offers her Dynamic Mama Pilates and coaching series at Rooted Pilates in Capitol Hill. Stay tuned for some new affiliates to join us this spring and later in the year as well!  

We believe when people support each other, incredible things happen.  

Doulas of Capitol Hill has an amazing group of skilled women who are passionate about the work we do supporting families. Author Paulo Coelho said “when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” We couldn’t agree more!




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2019: Better Communication

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2019: Better Communication

Each year Doulas of Capitol Hill chooses a single word to be a guide for the year ahead. Our year for 2019 is “Better.”  

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In February of 2019 the company will celebrate its’ third birthday and with that came some reflection on what milestones and abilities three year-olds are reaching.

When compared to two year-olds, who are notoriously marked as “terrible,” three year old’s seem to be light-years ahead in their abilities. Not YOUR two year-old, of course, but all the others!  

We identified three specific ways in which three year-old’s are “better” than they were a year ago.  They are better Communicators, they are better at Cooperation, and they are better at Climbing.

Today, we will share the ways Doulas of Capitol Hill plans to be better at Communication in 2019.

  1. In January 2019 we have added to our client evaluation form a survey of our clients success rates getting reimbursed by their health insurance for services.  Additionally, if they had success, or lack of, with payment or reimbursement through a Health Savings Account or Flex Spending account to pay for doula services or to pay for lactation support, we want to know! Is my doula covered by insurance?  And can I pay for my doula with my HSA or with my FSA? These are questions we know people are asking, so we’re making it our intention to get some answers!

  2. As a team we are going to be communicating Better as well, by adding in a weekly behind-the-scenes Zoom call for our professionals to communicate together about the challenges and the wins we experience in supporting families through pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the newborn period.  

  3. And lastly, we plan to see some new and unfolding ways of communicating with our clients by continuing to add things to our Client Portal, which is a password protected page on our website created exclusively for our clients, past, present, and future.  The Client Portal is a special collection of resources combined with DCH and our Affiliates and Partners. We can’t unveil all the goodies 2019 has in store, but one we are excited to give a hint about is a Birth Affirmations Printable. When our Birth Affirmation Printable is released we’ll be sure to practice good COMMUNICATION and let you all know!  

We want everyone to know that BETTER doesn’t mean that things were bad in the past.

It’s just an acknowledgement that we’re still learning and improving in the ways walk out our Three Guiding Principles: Support the Family, Build the Community, and Grow the Profession.  As always, we welcome your comments and feedback how we can be BETTER!



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Team Member Spotlight!  Meet Kim Hawkins

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Team Member Spotlight! Meet Kim Hawkins

Kim Hawkins is a birth doula, postpartum doula, certified lactation counselor, placenta encapsulator, and childbirth educator. Kim is also a 5 Star Mentor with DCH. She has been with Doulas of Capitol Hill since our launch in 2016.

Kim Hawkins is a birth doula, postpartum doula, certified lactation counselor, placenta encapsulator, and childbirth educator. Kim is also a 5 Star Mentor with DCH. She has been with Doulas of Capitol Hill since our launch in 2016.

  1. When did you find your Passion, or when did it find you?

    I knew I liked health subjects way back in high school when I found Anatomy class absolutely fascinating! That continued throughout college as I got my degree in Kinesiology and began to work at government fitness centers in 2007 when we first moved to DC. Fast forward to the birth of my first child and a career switch into Public Health policy. As I began to hear more and more about how the biggest differences being made in health was when there was one-on-one support,  my love of health, birth and support all combined in a huge AHA moment of my life. I wanted to work in a field I knew would bring joy and fulfillment into my life. I love seeing parents change from being nervous about what to expect and then settle into their parenthood journey.

  2. What makes you proud of yourself?

    I am proud I am showing my kids that work can be exhausting but incredibly rewarding. My favorite birthday card was one from my daughter telling me she loves what I do. It was reaffirming that even though this job sometimes takes me away from them at odd hour, it’s worth it. I’m proud that I work on teaching them you shouldn’t depend on other for your own happiness and having resiliency in life is important. I’m proud that some day they will see you’re never too late to follow joy and passion in your life. I’m also proud that I am always wanting to learn and continue on a path of creating authenticity in my life.

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3. What do you love about your life?

What I love about my life is it’s always teaching me new things. Growing and stretching can be painful but getting on the other side can be rewarding. I of course love my husband and children, parenting is hard and humbling work but the moments of pure joy can sustain for a while. And I love wine. And coffee. I’m a cliché but there is a reason they exist!

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I can’t even remember! I think they always involved some type of service (teacher, nurse, etc.). I also look back and realize there wasn’t a lot of discussion of what options were available when I was a little girl. I hope to keep changing that conversation with my kids.

5. Tell me about your favorite book or movie.

I am a huge reader, always have been, and while my ability to find time to read has changed over the years there is still nothing I love more then going to a book store and buying books. My all time favorite book is “I Know This Much is True” By Wally Lamb. I have re-read many books over the years (shout out The Baby-Sitter’s Club books all through my childhood - the Disney Cruise is their best special book and I am Dawn FWIW) and this is one I try to read every year or two. Since becoming a parent I’ve noticed I read books and watch movies through different eyes and books and movies I either re-read or watch have changed them for me. For example, in Home Alone I now just think how annoying Kevin is and feel the panic of the mom in the movie!

6. How do you like to be told you’re doing a good job?

  1. By being directly told I am doing a good job!

  2. Hearing from clients, whether it’s a week or years later on how they are doing is very humbling to know I was there when they became a family.


7. Who is your role model and why?

Women who keep fighting to find their path and stumble along the way but persevere. It’s hard work and never ending but seeing others keeping to fight help inspire me to not give up my goals and dreams.

8. If you had any superpower, what would it be?

To be able to finish my to do list every day! So freeze time? Work at super speed?


9. How would you describe your (doula) style?

I use humor to help get through parts and honesty I feel goes a long way. Women in labor don’t want to be placated or lied to, they want honestly and authenticity as they go through the humbling experience that is giving birth to your child. Even when a mom is not able to fully communicate how she feeling or what is going on I’m always remembering she is herself and it may be deep inside but speaking to her directly and honestly the entire time is important!

10. Describe yourself in 5 words

  1. Honest

  2. Authentic

  3. Funny

  4. Nurturing

  5. Fiery (my mama bear can come out fiercely and quickly!)


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2019 Will Be BETTER!

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2019 Will Be BETTER!

By Ashley Woolsey, Social Media Manager

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In September, Laura Macone, clinical social worker and therapist in Alexandria, came to an #ICAN meeting. When touching on the subject of #postpartumdepression she asked the question “could this be better?” This question stuck with our founder, Emily. Not just for the subject of #PPD but with all things related to motherhood, family, and even with our agency as a whole. Emily has chosen the word “better” to be our word for 2019 in an attempt to ask herself, our doulas, and our team, “could this be better?” It is a non judgmental question, which has always been one of the things we pride our agency on being. It isn’t saying things were, or are bad. It’s just asking, “could they be better?”

And what does that mean for our agency moving forward? If the answer is a simple, yes it could be, then how can we, not necessarily fix it, but change it in a way that is more efficient and overall, well, better? In the weeks to follow we will try to break this word down a little more and let you all in on how we intend to make our agency a more improved and overall better experience for everyone involved. Because we are in the business of helping families and we consider you all a part of our Doulas of Capitol Hill family. So lets make 2019 better for all of us! 

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Team Member Spotlight! Meet Kaely Harrod

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Team Member Spotlight! Meet Kaely Harrod

Kaely Harrod is a birth doula with Doulas of Capitol Hill and our sister company, Doulas of Prince George’s County since 2018. She is also an accredited La Leche League Leader since 2014.

Kaely Harrod is a birth doula with Doulas of Capitol Hill and our sister company, Doulas of Prince George’s County since 2018. She is also an accredited La Leche League Leader since 2014.

  1. When did you find your Passion, or when did it find you?.

    I found my passion for helping women as a college student. I now support all birthing people in an non-judgemental way, but my passion was birthed from an inherent desire to help women specifically. I often dreamed of how to meet needs that were gaps in women’s lives, whether that was encouragement, health and nutrition, housing, abuse healing, and trauma care, etc. Out of that desire, I began assisting friends in various ways as there was the need. It didn’t birth anything organized until I decided to become an accredited La Leche League Leader in 2014. After entering the world of postpartum care I found that this specific season of pregnancy, birth and postpartum care was a specific passion that fit perfectly within my passion to help and encourage women. I find great fulfillment from offering support and encouragement to people in this phase of their lives. It is a beautiful thing to be allowed into this deeply personal and vulnerable time and given a space to participate, strengthen and advocate.

  2. If a kid walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?

    Be kind to everyone! No matter who they are! Even if they are not kind to you. Kindness is always worthwhile and needed more than ever. Someone else’s meanness does not need to dictate your level of kindness.

  3. What makes you proud of yourself?

    I am proud of my faithfulness and loyalty to other people and myself. I am true to who I am and consistent in what I can give in my relationships. If I’m your friend, I’m your friend and I’ll be loyal and faithful in that relationship. It’s something that’s easier for me to give to others than it is to give to myself, so I’m a work in progress on that front. But I am getting a lot better at giving myself loyal love in my desires and passions and preferences without judgment or shame. That means a lot to me, so it’s something I’m very proud of in myself.

  4. What do you love about your life?

    I love that I have a loving husband who is my biggest fan ever and best friend. He supports me in all my dreams and passions and sees things in me that I can’t see in myself. He’s also just loads of fun and my favorite person to talk to! I also love that we have 3 fun kiddos that are a part of our mix.

  5. What did you want to be when you grew up?

    I wanted to be a ballerina or a firefighter! :) As a child, I remember my mom telling me that I could probably do both of those as neither requires typical 9-5 hours!

  6. What are your top three values?

    Honesty, Integrity, and Loyalty.

  7. Tell me about your favorite book or movie.

    “Favorites” are a thing that changes for me kind of often, so right now I’m loving The Great British Baking Show. I have also gotten my children and husband into it, which is super fun. I also really enjoy watching Master Chef Jr! Those kids are hilarious!

  8. How do you like to be told you’re doing a good job?

    I like to be told specifics about what was/is good. So let’s say I’m teaching my children (I’m a homeschooler as well as a doula!), and someone wants to tell me I’m doing it well. I would prefer to be told something like “I see your child(ren) acting empathetically toward others and I know that is a result of your teaching! Keep doing that! It’s slow going, but it’s taking hold!”  Rather than just saying “your kids are so smart!” Or something more generic like that.

  9. Who is your role model and why?

    My role model is my mother. She has faced many struggles and is persistent and strong in the midst of and in spite of them. I have seen her grow and develop as a mother over the years and that has been a learning opportunity for me, too.  She’s a consistent support to us all as adults now while still doing what she loves! She is also my biggest encourager in homeschooling outside of my husband. If I’m ever doubting my work with my children I can call her up for a quick pep talk that changes everything. Since we share that passion for encouraging others she is a role model for me in that as well!

  10. If you had any superpower, what would it be?

    I’m the kind of person who can’t just answer this quickly. Many of my friends can say “Flying” or “xray vision” immediately when asked this. However, I find that there are so many pros to all kinds of superpowers, that it’s very hard to choose! I think the most practical for my life would be to teleport! Or time travel! Don’t hold me to that, though, as it may change depending on my season of life. :)

  11. How would you describe your (doula) style?

    I would describe my doula style as relaxed, supportive and taking my cues from my clients. I tend to want to learn a lot about who my clients are and how they operate in order to meet them in that space and not try to force them into my world of operation. I have the knowledge base to support and comfort in a variety of ways, but I want to match those comfort measures with who my client is and what they value in the birth!  

  12. Describe yourself in 5 words

    1. Fun, Honest, Loyal, Loving, and Encouraging.

Kaely, bottom right, with all of her siblings!

Kaely, bottom right, with all of her siblings!

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Winter Root Vegetable Agrodolce Recipe

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Winter Root Vegetable Agrodolce Recipe

The holiday season is filled with so much joy and celebration. But we know that it can also bring on a lot of stress and heavy comfort foods. For the months of November and December Doulas of Capitol Hill is celebrating how to have a healthy holiday season. One of the ways we want to encourage you to participate in the holidays, while minding your health, is by providing some easy and delicious recipes.

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Chef and postpartum doula, Vanessa Fowler, is sharing a warm and colorful root vegetable based dish with us that is a perfect mix between comforting and healthy!



Winter is here and staying active & healthy is still very important. As a chef and doula I work with clients to maintain a balance of staying healthy for themselves, their newborns, and the new changes coming. Along with maintaining my own self health. I try to cook seasonally. Winter brings us citrus and root veggies and abutment use of the stove so roasting and braising gets us into the kitchen, warms up the home, and feeds us well.


This is taken seasonal winter veg and roasting it, then topping it with that great sweet and sour sauce known as Agrodolce (agro-(sour) dolce-(sweet)), this sauce is commonly found in either your Chinese/Asian food or Italian.

As a chef I get asked the question “what kind of food do you cook”? Well I am French trained so I always have French foundations but I cook comfort foods that fall into the Italian & Asian category.


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Real Food for Pregnancy: A book review

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Real Food for Pregnancy: A book review

Real Food for Pregnancy should be on every must-read list for all newly pregnant people, or those trying to conceive.  The author, Lily Nichols, covers all of the bases on what to eat during pregnancy and what to avoid, taking time to explain the nutritional evidence for and against specific foods. More than that, Real Food for Pregnancy goes beyond food and tackles exercise, common pregnancy complaints and conditions, how to avoid toxins in our modern world, and even after baby is born and into the “Fourth Trimester.”  The book makes a compelling case for optimizing prenatal health through nutrient-dense foods, through a Paleo-ish diet, providing a refreshing, research-backed approach that is both referenced and an easy read for the expecting person.

The book starts out by telling us what is “Real Food” saying “in a nutshell, real food is made with simple ingredients that are as close to nature as possible and not processed in a way that removes nutrients.”  

We all know the old adage of “eating for two” but the author encourages us to “think quality over quantity,”  by focusing on macronutrients like protein, healthy fats, and vegetables.

I had an Ah-ha moment when I learned that folate, derives from the word “foliage,” meaning that dark leafy greens are a major source of an essential nutrient packed into every prenatal vitamin.   However, in prenatal vitamins it’s the synthetic version, folic acid, which can be harder for the body to process, especially the 30% of the population with the MTHFR gene mutation.  Deficiencies in folic acid can lead to birth defects and can impair brain development, making it so important for the whole population of pregnant people to get enough folate if their bodies aren’t great at processing the folic acid in their prenatal vitamin.  

In this book you’ll also get sample meal plans and several recipes!  One of my favorites was Lily’s Electrolyte Replenishment Drink, a recipe that is great for the first trimester, when many people experience dreaded “morning sickness” that often lasts all day.  This drink is also good for labor, when the body may be taking a break on digestion, but the energy needed for birthing a baby increases.

As a birth doula and postpartum doula in the DC metro area, my clients often come to me for advice and resources to guide them to a healthy pregnancy.  They tell me their doctors don’t give them much in nutritional guidance other than to avoid alcohol, too much fish with mercury, and to take prenatal vitamins.  But pregnant people are some of the most motivated individuals and are willing to learn new tools to lead a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their babies. They want to know how to avoid unnecessary and sometimes scary interventions during labor, and one of the best ways to do that is to stay low risk throughout the pregnancy.  If the end goal of pregnancy is a healthy baby and a healthy (and happy) mom, then this book will help get you to that rewarding end!

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1. Nichols, Lily. (2018). Real Food for Pregnancy: The science and wisdom of optimal prenatal nutrition. https://realfoodforpregnancy.com/




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Prioritizing Self-Care During the Holidays

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Prioritizing Self-Care During the Holidays

Emily Souder, LCSW-C, MA, MSW

Start the slow cooker at 8 am. Schedule flu shots for the littles. Order a birthday gift for the neighbor’s little girl. Clean up goldfish crumbs. Work on that business project.

Sound familiar? This is a pretty typical train of thought for me when I’m running through my mental to-do list. Carrying this mental load around is exhausting. Yes, a paper list helps, but there are still a lot of things to juggle! This list is just on a normal day, but during the holidays, the tasks stack up in a way that just doesn’t happen during the rest of the year.

Get napkins for the preschool party. Order school photos. Return boxers to the store because you bought boys’ boxers for your husband (oops). RSVP to the work happy hour. Make brownies for the neighborhood party. Do we need to send out holiday cards? Do I have spinach in my teeth?

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The topic of imbalance of emotional labor between moms and dads has been making its way around the internet, and with good reason. We carry so many of the unspoken, behind-the-scenes tasks around with us, and it’s frustrating! Even when we have supportive, present partners, it can feel that we are thinking of things that aren’t even occurring to them, and that can feel lonely. We start to think that if we don’t show up in this way, our world will fall apart. It’s scary to let go.

Let’s try something on together. What if we were able to help counteract the effects of this labor imbalance by prioritizing self-care?

Self-care looks different for everyone, but it can include setting boundaries, delegating tasks, making it to that yoga class, and saying no to the holiday happy hour.

This season, I created a free holiday challenge for moms called Rock the Hustle & Bustle specifically for this reason. Moms can benefit from their own space to practice (and it does take practice) making their wellness a priority this holiday season so they can show up for their families in a healthier, more compassionate, more energized way. We don’t have to feel depleted after the holidays!

Here are some things to consider about the holidays and caring for yourself:

  1. Missing out won’t kill you. It might be uncomfortable, but think about this: by missing out on that thing, what are you getting to participate in? What are you saying yes to by saying no?

  2. We can make choices. If the neighborhood party feels like a source of stress, can you pick up a store-bought dessert instead of making one from scratch? Can you skip it and stay in for a cozy movie night with your kiddos?

  3. Others are practicing it too. There are other moms and parents finding their way alongside of you, and reaching out and making connections with others can be a way to feel energized by friendship and to even have a reality-check partner when you wonder if you’re taking on too much.


So what do you think? Is it time to try something a little different this year? It might feel funny at first, but the benefits will have you feeling so glad you gave it a try.

Emily Souder is a licensed clinical social worker, life coach, mama, and writer in Maryland. She helps mom entrepreneurs who are feeling lost in the demands of motherhood and out of touch with themselves achieve clarity, focus, and empowerment using intuition-informed guidance, mindset work, and skill building. She is married to her best friend (so cheesy, but so true!), has two littles (ages 1 and 4), and is on her own path of rocking her authenticity.



Website: www.nestingspacellc.com

IG: www.instagram.com/nesting_space/

FB: www.facebook.com/nestingspacellc/



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Eggnog and Eggnog Quick Bread Recipe

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Eggnog and Eggnog Quick Bread Recipe

The holiday season is filled with so much joy and celebration. But we know that it can also bring on a lot of stress and heavy comfort foods. For the months of November and December Doulas of Capitol Hill is celebrating how to have a healthy holiday season. One of the ways we want to encourage you to participate in the holidays, while minding your health, is by providing some easy and delicious recipes.

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Today Vanessa Fowler, chef and postpartum doula, is sharing a little bit of a treat to kick off our December.


What better way to kick off the season then with eggnog and we aren’t just going to drink it but we are going to eat it too! This eggnog recipe is a classic but with a nice warm winter twist (Brandy) plus a tasty bonus (Grand Mariner). My family loves bread and this season is all about baking so I figured why not eggnog bread but without yeast making it quick bread!


Both are tasty as is but are very versatile as well!


If you choose to skip the Grand Mariner I still want you to add a drop of orange flavor. You can do so by adding one teaspoon of orange zest to the glaze of the bread!


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Tips for Dealing with Carpal Tunnel During Pregnancy

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Tips for Dealing with Carpal Tunnel During Pregnancy

Staying Healthy for the Holidays includes taking care of your body physically. Today our wonderful affiliate and friend, Katie Bayer of Concierge Physical Therapists shares with us tips for dealing with carpal tunnel during pregnancy.

According to  this study from 2015, 4% of the normal population suffer from carpal tunnel but that number increases to an average of 35% of people during pregnancy.

From Healthline.com “carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. The median nerve runs from the neck, down the arm, and to the wrist. This nerve controls feeling in the fingers.

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway made up of tiny “carpal” bones and ligaments. When the tunnel is narrowed by swelling, the nerve is compressed. This leads to pain in the hand and numbness or burning in the fingers.”

In this video, Katie will give tips on reducing pain during daily activities, simple stretches, and tips for sleeping.



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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pomegranate Salad

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pomegranate Salad

The holiday season is filled with so much joy and celebration. But we know that it can also bring on a lot of stress and heavy comfort foods. For the months of November and December Doulas of Capitol Hill is celebrating how to have a healthy holiday season. One of the ways we want to encourage you to participate in the holidays, while minding your health, is by providing some easy and delicious recipes.

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Today we have another one of Doulas of Capitol Hills amazing chefs, and postpartum doula, Muriel Vanderpuye, on the blog sharing a healthy recipe with you. A warm brussels sprout and pomegranate salad.

Muriel shared, “my children just decided they wanted to choose a healthy lifestyle and traditional African food was no longer welcome in my home.

As a mom I had to make some changes and I bumped into this recipe, I tweaked it a little and we just love it.

The Brussels sprouts vegetable comes from the cabbage family very popular In Belgium and I believe the reason for its name, Brussels. Brussels sprout is quite controversial either you love it or you hate it but this recipe made me fall in love with this unique vegetable.

The first time I tasted a sprout was in culinary school in England. It tasted quite bland with a little bit of a bitter aftertaste. Last year I found this recipe online and added some personal touches.

I love the taste of caramelized outer leaves with the toasted crunchy pecans with sour/ sharp pomegranate seeds and of course the sweetness of the honey all mixed together. This dish should be served warm

Healthy, delicious, inexpensive and easy to make. My kids just love it and I hope your family will too!”

Here is a link on tips to help peel a pomegranate

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