Category Archives: Pregnancy

Updates from the Baby Birds Farm

Hi friends! It’s been a while since I checked in. We have been busy this summer with Papa Bird growing his artist representation business (Burd and Co.) and me continuing my private practice in peripartum mental health (Abigail Burd, LCSW). Little Bird has been taking dance lessons, Baby Bird is sprouting teeth and eating everything we eat, and both girls are learning to swim (a good skill to have here in San Diego.) Last weekend we snapped a rare family photo at a friend’s wedding.

bird family

I wanted to share some recent articles of mine that have been published elsewhere, plus an interview that turned out great.

First: How to Keep Your Relationship Healthy After Baby explores my top 6 tips for healthy relationships on the website for my psychotherapy private practice. Useful not just for postpartum couples, but for any relationship.

strong relationship after baby

Next: I was interviewed by a writer friend. You may remember Gill’s excellent writing from this post. Her website focuses on well-done, in-depth interviews. I was honored she chose me. I guess she has always been curious about what therapy is like from the point of view of a therapist and she raised great questions.

Interview with Gill

Next up: A fresh salad idea featuring Strawberries, Salmon and Green Pickled Strawberries was featured on the Ergobaby Blog. You might remember the strawberry pickles from this post. I am still an affiliate of Ergobaby and use their carriers daily.

strawberry salmon salad

Finally: I launched a monthly newsletter for my private practice. You can read the first edition here. Next month will feature 6 daily habits for staying healthy and balanced. If you have any interest (or just want to support), please subscribe here:

Subscribe to the Abigail Burd, LCSW Monthly Newsletter

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More Ways to Stock Up On Food Before Baby Comes

Hopefully you saw my recent post on The Best Meals to Freeze Before Baby Arrives. I had so many ideas that I wrote up a follow-up post for the Ergobaby Blog. Please hop over there to read up on my favorite way to nest: with food! My article on Stocking Up On Food Before Birth is now live.

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Click on the image above to read about:

  • Easy high energy snacks
  • Making double to freeze
  • Freezing meals ready to cook
  • What ingredients to stock up on
  • and more!

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The Best Meals to Freeze Before Baby Arrives

The first few weeks after a baby is born are the most wonderful, most difficult, slowest, and fastest time ever in the life of a family. Many families feel as though they struggle just to keep breathing. Cooking should be the last thing to worry about. Take out can be great. But nothing is as nourishing as a home cooked meal. Freezing precooked meals can be the best of both worlds when preparing for baby’s birth. Drawing on my experiences before and after the birth of my girls, scouring the interwebs, and picking the brains of some of the best food bloggers and recipe developers, I have created a list (or round up) of the best meals to freeze before baby arrives.

best meals to freeze before baby arrives


Both Maggie of Mama Maggie’s Kitchen and Laura of Family Spice recommend soups as freezing well.

Purple Sweet Potato Soup

1. Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Laura has a delicious (and beautiful) recipe for purple sweet potato soup.

2. Clam Chowder 

Maggie’s Clam Chowder will freeze well.

3. Beet Borscht

Borscht can be made with beef (which, along with the greens, is good for replenishing iron) or vegetarian, is affordable, and can help with losing baby weight. Enjoy it chunky or pureed, as in this photo.

Beet Borscht

For more soup recipes, click here.


4. Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Defrost this, or a classic basil pesto sauce, frozen in convenient one-ounce ice cubes, and add some freshly boiled pasta. Step it up with a few shrimp.

red pepper pesto

5. Ragu

Lisa is a New Zealand-born food blogger, living in Italy. She shares authentic Italian recipes on the aptly named, Italian Kiwi, and this Ragu, a tomato sauce with ground meat, is no exception. She explains why you should never order Bolognese in Italy and why this recipe may not be her husband’s 95-year-old grandmother’s secret recipe, but how it holds it’s own.


6. Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

Bri shares a delicious recipe for Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas. This is very similar to how I make it, too.

salsa verde chicken enchilada

7. Pomegranate Lamb Moussaka

I made a double batch of this recipe before baby was born and was able to defrost and reheat the frozen one in time to bring along to the last session of our hypnobirthing class. (We also brought 7 day old Baby Bird.)

Pomegranate and Lamb Moussaka

8. Lasagna

Debbie Anderson from San Diego Momma shares, “I’m invoking The Pioneer Woman here…but this lasagna truly is the best ever and freezes well and is amazing and I love it and totally make it.”


9. Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken Thighs

A dear friend of mine brought us a fresh batch of this recipe after Baby Bird #2 was born. It was delicious. And according to comments from Brenda of the Sugar Free Mom, it will freeze well, too.

10. Curry

Azlin is a veritable encyclopedia of world cooking. I asked her about the best food to freeze and she recommended curries. She has several on her website, but handpicked this Massaman Curry, a mild Thai curry. She states that it is one of the milder ones, in case any new moms are worried about too much spice.

11. Beer Braised Pot Roast with Herb Dumplings

Laura reports it freezes well and it just looks delicious!

beer braised pot roast with herb dumplings


Don’t forget the first meal of the day! A big dish, ready to go, can be a blessing, especially when extended family is in town and you don’t feel ready to face a busy, weekend restaurant. A frittata will freeze and defrost well, as well as one of these French Toast/Bread Pudding hybrids.

pumpkin french toast

12. Pumpkin French Toast Bread Pudding

13. Zucchini Bread French Toast Bread Pudding

14. Banana Brûléed Bread Pudding

(Add the Brûlée after reheating.)

15. Frittata

What else would you add to this list? Please share in the comments and feel free to share a link.

All Lined Up…

It has been a little while since I posted. We have been busy! More on that below. Seeing all of our pretty green and brown eggs lined up into rows made me happy. (Our hens had stopped laying for a little while during the winter.)


Happily, I feel like a lot of other things are getting lined up over here at the Baby Birds Farm. I went back to work, Papa Bird started a new business, and I started a small private practice, focusing on maternal mental health.

In other news, my last post, on using the Bar Method to Prepare for Birth, had its fifteen minutes of fame. My local studio, Bar Method San Diego, shared the post on their Facebook page. That was nice, but not totally unexpected. Then, within  24 hours, other studios around the country and the National Bar Method page (with 20,000 followers) also shared the post. Here’s to all the happy Bar Method mamas! Hope they are encouraged, if I could have an easy, unmedicated birth, they can, too!

ps. If you aren’t following Baby Birds on Facebook, click here and do so now! If you already “like” the page, but don’t see a lot of my posts in your feed, you may have to like and comment on a few posts to let Facebook know that you want to see more of the posts. (FB is weird like that.)

How I Used the Bar Method to Prepare for Birth

Using Bar Method to prepare for unmedicated, intervention-free birth

Baby Bird’s Birth Part Five: How I Used the Bar Method to Prepare for Birth

First, what is the Bar Method? And does it involve alcohol??

Sadly, no booze. But these exercise classes (popular with Hollywood-types for creating long, lean dancers’ bodies) do create a natural high.

I started going to Bar Method classes before my wedding in 2010. My body type is naturally on the thin side, so I passed 30 without having much of a workout routine beyond occasional yoga and dance. But with my wedding approaching, I wanted to tone my arms and improve my posture. I definitely met my goal of more toned arms and straighter posture by my wedding. But then I kept going! My husband laughed at me when we were both home jet lagged after our honeymoon and I went out our first day back to take a Bar class!

My results included toned arms, better posture, tighter lifted butt, strong slim thighs and core strength. Basically all the things every woman wants. I’ve been heavy into yoga before but these results are above and beyond.  The crazy thing is that it takes just a few Bar Method classes to get how to do the exercises but you will ALWAYS be trying to perfect them. So, the more you go, the harder it gets. The class is very challenging, literally shaking and exhausting your muscles, but it is actually low to no impact. Many of the exercises are like physical therapy. I used to have chronic knee problems, but the strengthening has cleared it up.

Bar Method Bride

Wait, you can do Bar Method classes when you are pregnant?

Yup! When I was pregnant with Little Bird #1, the owner of the San Diego Bar Method in Point Loma, Allison (herself a two time Bar Mama), offered a workshop on prenatal modifications. I also attended a class taught by Bar Method founder, Burr Leonard, at the Solana Beach Bar Method while pregnant.

For this second pregnancy, I again used the prenatal modifications. For example, after twenty weeks, you no longer lay flat on your back. Modifications are gradually added as your body changes. Care is also took to not squeeze the baby too much by overworking the transvers abdominus, or “girdle muscle.” To know more about Bar Method pregnancy modifications check out this page.

And how can the Bar Method help prepare for birth??

This pregnancy, after learning in Jolie Cash’s Hot Mama Prenatal Yoga, how sustaining an interval of intensity can prepare for contractions or surges, I rejoiced that a Bar Method class is ALL intervals! Each thigh exercise gave me the mental preparation to face contractions without fear and with the confidence that they will pass. I wrote more about this realization and how it inspired me to try for an all natural, medication-free birth here.

My first pregnancy, I stopped attending Bar Method around 35 weeks and switched to solely using prenatal yoga for exercise. This time I was still going strong at 39 weeks, and only stopped going because I had gone on maternity leave at work and did not have childcare to go work out.

Finally, as part of my hypnobirthing preparation, I was instructed to practice different breathing techniques for relaxation and surges. Allison laughed at me one class when I appeared to be taking a break during a difficult exercise. I smiled and explained how it was the perfect opportunity to practice breathing and focusing.

Bar Method Birth

A note from Mama Bird: This is the fifth post in a series on birth. I had an amazing experience and am now passionate about birth education and choices. I believe that all kinds of births are awe-inspiring miracles and life-changing experiences. I don’t believe that one kind of birth is necessarily better than any other. But I do believe that the current American medical system does not educate women and families on all the options that are available. Please check back for new installments in this ongoing series, which includes our birth story. Use the subscription box to the right if you would like an email notification when new posts are published.


Part One: Why I Pursued an Unmedicated, Intervention-Free Birth
Part Two: The Surprising Birth Story of Baby Bird #2
Part Three: The Birth of Baby Bird #2 from the Eyes of Our Doula
Part Four: How My Mama Tribe Helped My Pregnancy
Part Five: How I Used the Bar Method to Prepare for Birth