Tag Archives: Pregnancy

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.

How My Mama Tribe Helped My Pregnancy

mama tribe on night out

Baby Bird’s Birth Part Four: How My Mama Tribe Helped

What is a “mama tribe”?

Shortly after Baby Bird #1 was born, a lovely young mom in a breastfeeding support group (the real life “Boob Group“) shyly approached me about forming a playgroup. We were almost all new moms, and thought it would be good for our 3-month-olds to get to together at the park and each other’s houses for baby playdates. Little did we know that it was really for us.

baby playgroup in the park

I remember one potluck lunch playdate at my house, early on, when I nervously asked if I should open a bottle of wine. Because what would these responsible mothers think of me if I suggested daytime drinking?? Needless to say we really bonded from that point on! At a certain point we dropped the pretense of our babies and went out to eat at fun restaurants, for roughly monthly nights out, or “babyless playdates” as I like to call them. We have an ongoing group message on Facebook that has morphed from organizing playdates to a very supportive place to share. There have been times when I was stressed to tears because I was pregnant and had a toddler. Calling my husband at work only frustrated him. Typical guy, he felt bad not being able to “solve” anything, which only made it worse. (“It’s not about the nail.”) But messaging “the mamas” made a world of difference.

Find Your Mama Tribe

My dear sweet friends seem to be on the same page as me. This does not mean that we all parent the same, but that we have a complete and unconditional acceptance of one another. We have individually had challenges, losses and setbacks, but mostly lots of fun. Oh yeah, our kids have fun, too.

In addition to our small group, I have found an extended mama tribe online through a few Facebook groups. Out of a 1,000+ local moms, someone else is sure to be up nursing at 3am and can answer a random question, of which I have many. Thank you village!

babyless playdate with mama tribe

More on finding a “Mama tribe”:

Finding Your Mama Tribe: Mamas Need Other Mamas on The Badass Breastfeeder [A blogger also named Abby, from whom I borrowed the banner.]

Beth Woolsey on the Huffington Post: An Open Letter to New Mama Me.

Top 5 Qualities to Look for in a Mom Friend on The Joy of Caitlin.

A note from Mama Bird: This is the fourth 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


Updates and News

Hey all, I’ve got a few quick updates!

1. I’ve joined theboobgroup.com as a regular blogger. My first post, on Breastfeeding While Pregnant, was published this week.

Breastfeeding While Pregnant

2. Next, if you read my post on Our Baby Centered Approach to Introducing Solids, you may have seen that I recently joined a taping of the Boob Group podcast on “Breastfeeding and Introducing Solids” as a panelist. The podcast is now live and available here or through the podcast app on your smart phone.

Introducing Solids

3. And congratulations to Tamara, winner of our giveaway of three of our favorite natural morning sickness remedies! Although her selection was random, I was happy our winner is someone who can currently benefit from some relief. I hope at least one of the products helps her!

Win a Morning Sickness Prize Pack!

Mama Bird’s Big List of (Mostly) Natural Morning Sickness Remedies

First, an announcement: I’m pregnant again! I’ve shared about baby chicks, baby goats and now a brand new (human) baby bird is coming.

Next, a proclamation: I hate feeling nauseous and throwing up! The good news is that I learned a lot of natural morning sickness remedies (and a few not so natural) my first go around. I had it pretty bad and now consider myself a bit of an expert. The next day after my positive home pregnancy test, I jumped on Amazon and ordered a few provisions.

18 (Mostly) Natural Morning Sickness Remedies

Not a fan of being sick, either? Here is a list of all of the remedies I have tried and found helpful. They are roughly in order from more natural to more intensive. Please remember that I am not a physician and you should always consult your own midwife, doctor, or care provider regarding your own particular health.

  1. Preggie Pop Drops. These are little sour candies. The company also makes lollipops, but I find them too big. The drops can really help you get to the place where you are ready to eat something else. They are also good to have stashed in your purse, diaper bag and desk at work.
  2. Crackers. Keep them on your bedside table. Eat them when you wake up in the middle of the night and upon first waking. My first pregnancy I liked water crackers, but this time I like Hawaiian soda crackers. (I have heard that there is something about baking soda that settles the stomach.)
  3. Psi Bands!!! These are bracelets that push on a pressure point on your inner wrist that directly reduces nausea.  Crazy, but they really work to take the edge off. On bad days, I wore them nearly the whole day and took them off to sleep. Sea Bands are a similar concept but look a little like an ace bandage.

  1. This may sound gross, but if you are for sure going to throw up, eat something that isn’t so bad coming up, like applesauce. My first pregnancy, I could guarantee vomiting at least once in the morning throughout weeks 8-16, and this helped it go a little easier.
  2. Fresh Ginger. You can make tea, add it to smoothies…
  3. Ginger Candy. There’s ginger hard candyginger chews, ginger gum, and crystalized ginger. Spicy, but effective.

  1. Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale. Start by sipping just a little.
  2. Eat like a toddler. Really the secret is to keep food in your stomach. Frequent, small meals are the way to go. At the peak of morning sickness, I ate something every 30 minutes. This time around, I snack whenever I feed Little Bird a snack (usually the same thing), and it works out. Also, snacks and sweets are good to get you to the place you can eat, but the goal is to eat a mini balanced meal. Protein and complex carbohydrates are especially important in making you feel good again.
  3. Humor your cravings and aversions (as long as they aren’t totally unhealthy or unsafe.) Pregnancy likes/dislikes are fickle, but for the most part, go with them. Can’t get enough fresh watermelon? Great! My first pregnancy, after days of not wanting to eat anything, I found that I could eat fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. I then ate them four days in a row.
  4. Going for a walk outside. Yup, the last thing you probably want to do. But getting outside and getting the blood flowing can help. Other gentle exercise, like yoga, could help, too. I like to stay very active during pregnancy, typically with Bar Method, but first trimester is definitely a time to find balance with gentle, easy exercise.

  1. Coca-cola. I know, not very natural. But my mother is from the South and gave us a little bit of coke when we were sick and it strangely can settle the stomach. (Like the ginger beer or ginger ale, start by sipping a little, a whole can would probably make me feel worse from all the sugar.) If you are worried about GMO corn syrup, try a Mexican market. The coke sold in bottles is usually made with cane sugar. You can also buy the mini cans instead of 12oz ones.
  2. Vitamin B-6 was recommended by my doctor. I personally didn’t find it super helpful. A fried of mine found good results with a shot of B-6, which is usually a much larger dose.
  3. Soothing teas. I personally didn’t find tea appetizing, but others find pregnancy teas soothing. A Facebook friend suggested drinking it iced. I found making my Red Raspberry Leaf tea iced for the third trimester vastly improved the taste. Here is a recipe.

This next section are remedies that you may want to tell your doctor/midwife you are using, just to be sure that they aren’t contraindicated in your particular case.

  1. Acupuncture. Chinese Medicine has been the single most helpful remedy for both of my pregnancies. When selecting a practitioner, find one who specializes in OB/GYN. For my first, even after morning sickness subsided, I continued going regularly for all of those pesky, but normal, pregnancy symptoms throughout the entire term. If you are in San Diego, I recommend Eti Domb, L.Ac. (You can also read in this post how it helped naturally induce my full term baby.)
  2. Along with acupuncture, Chinese Herbs have been used for millennia. It has always seemed strange to me that western medicine  says to avoid herbs of any kind during pregnancy, while still prescribing heavy pharmaceuticals. Their answer: there hasn’t been enough studies to prove the safety of herbs. Well, turns out there is plenty of peer-reviewed evidence published. It’s just in Chinese!! I have been amazed by the benefit I’ve received from herbs given to me in conjunction with acupuncture. Many of the ingredients are not that scary: ginger, licorice, orange peel, cinnamon, date…  (I tend to be a rule follower and dutifully informed my doctor of everything I am taking. At first the doctors got into a tizzy that licorice could raise my blood pressure, but since mine remains 100/50, they have grudgingly approved of the tincture.) If you want to consult with someone, Eti is available by phone for those outside of San Diego. My friend Ahlea also consults locally and by phone on pre- and postnatal nutrition and herbs.
  3. Two over the counter medications that I did not try, but that my doctor recommended are Benadryl and Unisom (especially in combination with B-6). I didn’t try them out, but it might be worth discussing a trial of one or both with your doctor before trying a prescription.

And if all that fails and you are interested in talking to your doctor about a prescription, here are my thoughts on a few medications I have tried. Remember, I am not a doctor, just offering my own personal reviews.

  1. Zofran (Ondansetron) is prescribed for nausea and vomiting associated with surgery, cancer and Hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme morning sickness marked by dehydration.) In my case, I was given a pill that dissolved in my mouth and tasted like mint and artificial sweetener. It worked like a miracle but had a catch, the next day after using it I invariably suffered from painful constipation. Thankfully, this pregnancy I have only had to use Zofran once, but during my first, although I treated it as my last resort, I did have to use it regularly in order to function at work. I also used the smallest amount possible, and often found a quarter of a pill helped. Although I tried not to use it, sometimes simply having it in my bag with me eased the anxiety that I wouldn’t be able to get through the day. For other nursing mothers: my doctor (and my own research) indicated that Zofran is acceptable to use while breastfeeding, but obviously do your own research and use caution. (Thankfully I managed to always keep myself hydrated and nourished and did not have to go to the ER. But for those that do, Zofran is often given IV, along with fluids.)
  2. Phenergan (Promethazine) is also prescribed for Hyperemesis gravidarum. It is  an antihistamine and is very sedating. Its use is NOT recommended during breastfeeding.  I did not like it at all. Even a quarter of a pill knocked me out completely in a “drugged” kind of way. I can’t imagine anyone being able to use it while caring for a toddler. But everyone reacts differently!

So there you go! More than enough ideas to at least start with.

Enter a giveaway of a prize pack with my favorite remedies here!

What worked for you? please comment and share morning sickness remedies that you recommend or would like to try.

Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Affiliate, meaning qualifying purchases made through links in this post, any post, and in our Store, are fulfilled by Amazon and may result in a small percentage as a referral fee being paid to Baby Birds Farm. Your price will never go up because of that, in fact, you will automatically get the lowest price Amazon offers. Purchasers are strictly anonymous, and we are never informed of who makes purchases or what they buy. If you do buy something I’ve featured, or even just do your general shopping of anything on Amazon, we appreciate your support!

Ticket Giveaway: Your Natural Baby Fair!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Your Natural Baby Fair and by New Mommy Media who are providing the free tickets and prices. All opinions are my own.

Win 2 tix to Your Natural Baby Fair --Free

Last year Baby Bird and I ventured out to Your Natural Baby Fair. As it so happens, I won my ticket by commenting on the San Diego Breastfeeding Center’s blog. Even though my family will be out of town this year, I was thinking about sharing about the fair anyway, as it is something I really believe in. When I was recently offered the opportunity to pass on some free tickets to my readers, I figured this is a perfect way to pay it forward (or is it pay it back?), in gratitude for my free pass last year!

This year’s fair features Dr. Sears, the author of the Vaccine Book, as the keynote speaker. The fair has grown, supposedly doubled, and is in a new location. Even if you are not in San Diego, please consider entering the contest, as there is also the opportunity to win a subscription to a New Mommy Media podcast.

Scroll down to the bottom to enter!

The following information (in blue) was provided by Your Natural Baby Fair:

Your Natural BabyFair partners with local businesses to reinvent the traditional baby fair by focusing awareness on natural supports and holistic health from before your baby is born through childhood. Parents, practitioners, experts and families are welcomed to learn the latest trends of creating a healthy and nurturing environment for the whole family.

We are excited to announce our keynote speaker – Dr. Sears, MD FAAP, Author of the newly revised and updated “The Vaccine Book.” Dr. Sears will be speaking on Vaccine Decisions for Pregnant Women, Infants, and Families.

Our online and live auction the day of the fair will be benefitting the Protect our Children Now Campaign to demonstrate the results of Vitamin D health for pregnancy and children brought to you by GrassrootsHealth and the DAction Network.

This event is for anyone who is interested in learning more about all things supportive for fertility, pregnancy, birth and baby. Whether you are a practitioner, expert, parent or someone interested in learning the most recent trends in health and wellness for you and your family, we will have something worth your while!

  • FREE goodie bags for the first 200 to arrive
  • THREE classrooms filled with educational presentations by local and national experts in the fields of fertility, birth, bonding, health and baby care
  • A room full of vendors,  shopping and demonstrations (sign language, food making, chiropractic, kids fitness, music, baby-wearing, cloth diapering and more!)
  • Kids’ entertainment, including face painting, kid’s classes and HULLABALOO!!!
  • ONLINE AUCTION to benefit the Protect our Children NOW and GrassrootsHealth
  • A great event for both practitioners / professionals and families!!
  • ARRIVE EARLY! Our first presenters start at 10:00…doors open at 9:00am… Registration will begin at 8:30am.


When: Saturday April 27th 9am to 4pm
Where: Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina 1380 Harbor Island Drive


This year Your Natural Baby Fair is expanding its reach with LIVE broadcasting from the event via New Mommy Media, which produces three podcasts that cover topics new and expecting parents want to know more about in a dynamic panel discussion with a new episode released each week. 

Mama Bird here: New Mommy Media is the group that produces the podcast I recently was a panelist on–which I mentioned in the post on Introducing Solids.

Please submit a question for Sunny Gault of New Mommy Media to ask of one of the amazing speakers:

SearsDr. Bob Sears will deliver the keynote: Vaccine Decisions for Pregnant Women, Infants, and Families.

Penny Simkin will talk about The First Hour After Birth: What Parents Need To Know.

Carole Baggerly’s talk is titled: Vitamin D for LIFE Protection–Pregnancy through Maturity.

AND if your question is chosen you may end up asking it LIVE either at the event or via phone!

In the comments below pose your best question to one or all three of the experts, please indicate to whom your question is directed. If one of your questions is chosen, you will receive a one year subscription to the New Mommy Media podcast program of your choice, Preggie Pals, The Boob Group or Parent Savers and also win a ticket to attend the event PLUS the opportunity to ask the expert your question LIVE on air!

IN ADDITION Natural Baby Pros and New Mommy Media are awarding 2 tickets to a random winner, so submit your questions and get your bonus entries to increase your chances of winning!

Win free tix to Your Natural Baby Fair!

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