Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sacred Pregnancy Movement


Sacred Pregnancy Movement : Happenings

Welcome to our new website! We HEART it soooo...much + hope you fall in love as well! We are so excited to finally be launching our online baby, and hope that you come here for cutting edge information, friendship, career choices, resources, to look at pretty pictures, and mostly to be a part of what we are doing as we attempt to change the pregnancy + birthing conversation. We want you as a part of this movement, and this blog will serve as a way for me to keep you updated on the happenings inside our movement. I will post information on our retreats, updates on events, and give shout outs to our supporters for their contributions, etc. There is so much to check out on this site and I hope you spend a lot of time here, reading through all of our juicy content, making friends in the forum, gathering information on how to become a Sacred Pregnancy Instructor and start your own SP Career, flipping through the magazine previews, watching videos, reading about the Sacred Pregnancy book AND of course shopping our new "Envision This" buying boards! Enjoy your time here and I look forward to getting to know you all in more personal ways, as I do believe that we are called together for this great vision of helping to shift how women experience both pregnancy + birth and this new enlightened call to action is the common thread binding us all together on this noble path.

In deep gratitude, Anni

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rainbow Eating for Babies

By Anni Daulter, Sacred Pregnancy

When feeding your babies and toddlers, keep color in mind. In my book, Organically Raised, I call this rainbow eating. As a new parent, it's often difficult to manage all of the day-to-day details of raising little ones, and so finding easy ways to make sure our kids are getting the nutrition they need, without the stress of monitoring nutritional content of each fruit or veggie, just look at the color! Simply put, you want to make sure your babies and little ones are eating a wide variety of colors as each group organically represents various unique health benefits and will naturally keep your baby in balance. By feeding your baby foods in a rainbow of colors, you ensure that he will have a diet with diverse tastes, textures, and nutrients. It is also a wonderful way to teach her about colors!

 Here is an easy chart to help guide you on this fun culinary adventure!

The White Group:
Includes pears, apples, bananas, cauliflower, and white asparagus- contains high levels of vitamins B&C.

The Red Group:
Includes strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, beets and red peppers- contains high levels of vitamin C.

The Orange Group:
Includes winter squash, sweet potato, pumpkins, cantaloupe and carrots- high in vitamin A. The

Green Group:
Includes kiwi fruit, broccoli, asparagus, kale and spinach- It's primary purpose is to provide energy to the body and many green foods contain lutein (a phytochemical important for eye health) and folate (a water soluble B vitamin).

The Blue/Purple Group:
Includes blueberries, blackberries, concord grapes, and eggplants- high in antioxidants.

Here is a bright and fun, rainbow inspired, recipe for you to enjoy...
Baby Joy's Peach-Raspberry Acai Yogurt (makes 3 servings)

1/2 cup fresh raspberries
 2 yellow peaches
1 tbs ground acai berries
1/4 cup organic plain yogurt
1 tsp ground wheat germ

Cooking Instructions:

1. Wash the raspberries. Steam for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the berries begin to break apart. Press the steamed berries through a fine sieve to deseed, collecting the juice and pulp in a mixing bowl. Scrape all the berry pulp from the bottom of the sieve into the bowl.
2. Peel and pit the peaches. Cut the flesh into 1-inch pieces. Steam the peaches with the acai berries for 8 minutes, or until they are soft. Reserve the liquid from the steamer.
3. Combine the peaches, berries, and deseeded raspberries in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Add the reserved liquid in a scant 1/8 cup at a time as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
4. Transfer the peach mixture to a mixing bow, add the yogurt, and whisk until fully combined. Add the wheat germ. Mix until fully blended.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |
To cap off the week of celebration, I give you a delicious take on these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing.

With purple sprinkles, no less. I added three tablespoons of cocoa powder to the original recipe and voila!  Out came these incredibly rich, indulgent and moist cupcakes – especially the ones that I undercooked just a teensy bit.  They are perfectly delightful with the cream cheese icing – as if anyone ever needed to find an excuse to make cream cheese icing.

Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |

I hope that you’ve enjoyed Purple House Cafe:  Year One as much as I have.  I hope you’ve found yourself experimenting with new and different flavours and concepts in the kitchen, thinking about the stories behind your food, and nurturing those you love by cooking for them.  That’s definitely what it’s all about for me.

  1. 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
  2. 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 4-6 cups powdered sugar
  5. 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and mix until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla and salt.
  2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, using a small amount at a time and continuing to beat until you achieve your desired consistency. Stir in as much cream and compensate with a little extra icing sugar as needed to ensure your icing is as thick and creamy as you wish.
  3. Spread on your favorite cupcakes and enjoy!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Maximizing the Benefits of Your Doula

There are a plethora of good reasons to have a doula in attendance for your birth:
  • Lower incidence of labor augmenting drugs and cesarean section
  • Lower incidence of forcep and vaccuum-assisted deliveries
  • Lower incidence of episiotomy
  • Shorter labors! An average of about 90 minutes shorter, in fact.
Just to name a few! By now you may be saying "I'm sold! I want a doula right now!" Well I commend your impeccable decision making abilities but there are a few things you should consider when deciding who to hire for this very special job. Just like a car is a very helpful instrument for getting you where you want to go, you will get the most benefit if you choose the car whose features best match your families' needs.

Your first task is to determine what resources are available in your community. Some communities may have dozens of doulas to choose from while others may only have one or two. Or you may live in an area where there are no doulas locally, in those cases you can look to outlying communities for doulas willing to travel to you.

What kind of birth are you planning? Whether you are planning a home birth with a midwife or require a scheduled cesarean it's important to find a doula whose experiences and training coincide with your individual needs and goals.

If you aren't sure what your plans or goals are, perhaps you should consider hiring a doula who also teaches a childbirth education course. These doulas often offer their clients discounts to their course. This is beneficial because it can give you the tools you require to intimate your needs to your doula in addition to giving you valuable information for what to expect during this experience.

Evaluate your personal needs. How do you cope with stress? It's important to determine the healthy ways you have been able to cope with stressful situations in the past. Do you vocalize? Move around? Turn inward? Do you find focal points or comforting touch helpful? Do you require a lot of motivation? Even the most inexperienced doula has training in meeting these needs, but discussing what you respond to best with her ahead of time will maximize her usefulness to you. Instead of spending a lot of time during the labor trying everything in her bag of tricks to find something that works via process of elimination, she will know what go-to's to reach for first.

Remember she is a person. Just like you she has gifts as well as shortcomings. She may be very gifted in offering physical comfort measures but be lacking in her abilities to offer quiet verbal support or vice-versa. Two simple questions can help you evaluate whether her gifts match your requirements: "Which techniques do you feel you do best?" "Which do you feel you do the worst?". Don't be concerned that this may offend her, she will most likely be pleased that you are asking these questions. A good doula is just as eager as you are to insure you are compatible.

Maybe you've interviewed a few doulas and you are happy with all of them. You are certain that any one of them would be a good match for you and now you aren't sure which one to choose. It's a good problem to have but it can still be troublesome. You already like them! You may have even bonded with them and you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Sure this is business, but it's also very personal. It's important to remember you are hiring this person to be your doula, not your friend. You won't be shopping or going to the movies you will be rolling up your sleeves and doing serious work. What kind of energy do you feel brings out the best in you? The goal is synchronicity so everyone is their highest self.

Your partner's needs are also an important factor. It's a good idea to bring them in for the interviews. Their input could end up being the deciding vote. Doulas love partners. They want you to have the loving support of your partner and for that partner to feel as though they are an integral part of this experience. Your doula should have the goal of joining forces with your partner and give them the tools to be present for you in the most productive way. You are making memories that can lay the groundwork for your future relationship as parents.

This decision, like all parenting decisions to come, requires a lot of reflection and honesty but as much as it's hard work, it's equally rewarding. By insuring the best for yourself in this time you are insuring the best for your family. Many blessings to you all in your respective journeys. Please know, dear reader, you are in my thoughts and I wish only the highest good for you all. I have every confidence in your capabilities, beautiful mamas. Peace be with you.  

Katherine is a wife and mother of two as well as a doula and dedicated birth and breastfeeding rights activists. She is an admin for local online natural parenting support groups, and a local chapter of Human Milk 4 Human Babies global network. To keep up with the work she is doing you can "like" her on Facebook:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

7 Lessons in Laziness for Happier, Healthier Moms

We all know at least one incredibly lazy person. The person who is so lazy that it's almost a super power! You wonder how they do it. How do they manage to find ways to stay relaxed when clutter piles up around them, or how do they get the TV remote from across the room without ever getting up from the couch? You'd be impressed if you weren't too busy shaking your head at the laziness. What can moms (probably the busiest people on planet earth) possibly learn from the common couch potato? Surprisingly, a lot! Being "lazy" doesn’t have to be what we all imagine as a couch potato. What if we turned lazy into relaxation…the kind of relaxation all moms should be entitled to! Here are a few tips from the laziness handbook that can make life much easier after your baby is born:

1.) Build your own nest. Stake out a place in your home that you find most comfortable, preferably somewhere near a source of entertainment (i.e. TV or computer) and/or vacant electrical outlets for your mobile device(s). You'll be spending a lot of time there and that time will go by much slower if you're bored. Somewhere in-between your kitchen and bathroom is ideal. This way the people who live with you have to walk past you to get to the kitchen. This gives you lots of opportunities to ask someone to get you a snack or refresh your drink, you know, since they're already up. *wink* Be sure to have plenty of comfort items (blankets and pillows) and of course, snacks and drinks in addition to any baby items you'll need to have within arm's reach.

2.) Dress for success. Successful dressing for a postpartum mom requires two key qualities: comfort and boob access. Pajamas and active wear have consistently led the pack in those areas. You may have been warned as a young girl (and more recently during pregnancy) to not use motherhood as an excuse to "let yourself go". Ignore it. You're beautiful and, hello! You just had a baby! You deserve to spend your postpartum weeks snuggled in a cozy cocoon of fleece and flannel.

3.) Hunker down for the long haul. Limit all non-essential travel to the bare minimum. Make sure that if you go anywhere that it's worth the effort of packing a diaper bag, dressing yourself and your baby, getting the car seat properly installed and buckled all while taking frequent nursing, diaper changing and potty breaks (after giving birth you may find that you need to pee more often than before). If it's to visit family, ask them to come to you. If it's to run basic errands, first find out if your partner or a friend/family member can do it for you. If you need to purchase something but you can wait a few days to get it, try ordering it online instead. If you find yourself getting cabin fever and you just want to get some fresh air, ditch the diaper bag and put your baby in your sling or stroller for a walk around the neighborhood.

4.) Work smarter, not harder. There will inevitably be moments when you feel like a lot of things are piling up and there aren't any windows of opportunity to get them done. You're going to have to improvise. This is when babywearing becomes extremely handy. A ring sling or wrap can be put on quickly and allows you to cuddle your baby hands-free while you take care of business. Go to the bathroom, restock your various nest supplies, police your area and handle any small chores around the house that may be nagging at you.

5.) Put your blinders on. Unless you have a maid or very dedicated friends and family who are willing to come by day after day to help with housework, it's going to pile up. There's not much you can do about it without a huge fuss, and it's not likely to be worth the effort. It will horrify you how quickly the fruits of that labor can spoil. And contrary to conventional thinking, your success as a mother is not based on how much your house looks like the pages of "Good Housekeeping". Forget about the dishes, the dust, and the laundry for now. It's not going anywhere. But your baby is only a baby for a short time. This brings us to...

6.) Make hay while the sun shines. Soak up every beautiful moment with your child. It's okay to let an opportunity to do dishes or laundry pass you by in favor of an extra hour of baby cuddles. Breathe in the new baby smell, and enjoy their gummy grins and sleepy giggles while they last because these moments are fleeting. Plus, when you look back on this time in the future it's not like you're going to kick yourself for not doing more housework.

 7.) Delegate! Recruit a team to help you and direct workflow to them. Don't force yourself to do a job you don't really have the time or energy to do if you can get someone else to do it. Remember, you're not a burden, you're a boss! How often do you see the CEO scrubbing the office toilets? Never, we assume, because they have bigger fish to fry. So do YOU. You are CEO of Mom Inc. and you need to recruit people in your circle to help you grow your business. Choose wisely. Anyone who would judge you or undermine your authority need not be confided in. Ideal candidates are people who are aware of your value to their lives and will help you because they feel privileged to know you and to be a part of this journey with you.

This may all sound like common sense, but it's easy to get caught up in the minutia. You deserve to have a beautiful postpartum experience, and your child deserves to have your full attention, uninterrupted by the little tasks that you may feel obligated to keep up with. When you give those up, you will learn how little work it takes to do a good job. And most importantly, always remember that you are amazing!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Family Togetherness Through Music

Life can get pretty busy. As parents we are always zipping and zooming about doing our best to keep our homes running smooth and our little (or not so little) ones happy and healthy. With all the hustle and bustle, it is extra important that we slow down and take the time to be in the now as a family.Spending quality time together helps to create a strong and positive bond and can be filled with fun.

With three children in our house, ranging from 20 months to 7 1/2 years old, it was hard – at first – to find a family time activity that each one of us could be a part of. Then we started “Family Song Time”.

Family song time is all about bringing a joyful noise into your home. The only hard and fast rules are that everyone be involved and everyone have a good time. Each of us picks out the instrument that calls to us out of the musical instrument basket. Once everyone has their instrument it’s time to rock out! It doesn’t matter who starts playing first. Sometimes we let dad create the beat on his Djembe and we each add our own piece to his beautifully complex rhythms. A fun game is rhythm follow the leader.

For this game we let the little one set the pace. He is a lover of beats and can hold a rhythm like a champ. Each of us adds our little twist; sometimes a funky toot on the horns, a jazzy strum on the guitar, or playful words repeated from parent to child (or child to parent) in silly or sweet tones to our combined musical instrument offering. If it feels right, it can be fun to create a family theme song by making up one silly verse about each family member. Here is a fun little ditty I created for my little crew…

Silly Willy Monkeys 
I love my Loki; he’s a silly willy monkey. He likes to eat chocolate sauce on his yummy artichokie. I love my Bodhi; he’s a super duper monkey. He can roar like a dragon but blows bubbles instead of smokey. I love my Azure she’s a precious funny monkey. She wears a rainbow as a hat so she will always be lucky. I am a lucky monkey mom. I love my silly willy monkeys.
Making it Happen… *For the little ones (2 and under) maracas, tambourines, hand drums, or just about any rhythm instrument is great. *For the preschool/ kindergarten group (3-5 years) kazoos, pentatonic harps, pianos/ electric keyboards, and xylophones are excellent choices. These instruments make beautiful tones without the need for any major skill and are more challenging and satisfying to the growing abilities of this age group. *For older children (6 and up) let them grab a hold of more complex instruments. Stringed instruments, such as guitars and ukuleles, can be plucked or strummed very creatively. Wind instruments such as wooden flutes are also wonderful for creating more complex sounds. If your child is taking music lessons, this is a wonderful opportunity for them to practice improvising with a group. *For us parents the sky is the limit! It can be super satisfying to sit and help the baby or the youngest in the room; but don’t be afraid to break away and grab an instrument of your own. If you plan to create fun and zany lyrics for the song, it can be your job to write the words down as they spontaneously are thrown into the “music soup” pot.
If your family is constantly on the move, worry not. Family song time doesn’t need to be long or strictly scheduled. It doesn’t even have to be at home. You can keep a container of simple instruments in the car and create sweet music together while on the way to practices or errands. Making songs in the car beats channel surfing the radio or digging through CD’s/ Mp3’s trying to find music everyone agrees on. If you don’t have travel instruments then it’s time to get creative. Dry beans sealed into toilet paper rolls, makes a mini rain stick or maraca. You can even use snacks as instruments. Shake that granola or tap a beat on the Tiffin; and when you’re done, your music becomes your meal. Just a note on safety, if your little one is in the flinging stage of life, keep a soft rattle in the car so maracas aren’t whizzing by your ears as you drive. Remember, the most important part about family song time is that you all have fun together. Let your heart be your guide.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Making Pregnancy a Richer Experience

By Anni Daulter

When you look back on your birth experience or reflect on stories you’ve heard from women in your life, how many times can you remember the word ‘sacred’ coming up? Have you ever found yourself wondering why one of life’s most broadly accepted mysteries, or miracles, is so often treated by our modern culture instead as a matter of panic or, more mundanely, a matter of business?

Pregnancy is, in fact, deeply sacred: spiritual, meaningful and life-changing for mother + child, father + family.  The world over is full of ancient ritual that honors this; first with the pregnant mother, recognizing her experience as a rite of passage and honoring its proper elevated place in her life experience. The family is also given space and community support during this time, across the globe and well into the past. A new soul joining the family, whether it is the first or fifth to arrive, is a seminal, unique event in life. For these + so many more reasons, pregnancy is - and should be - a time of reflection, introspection, connection and deep love. That experience deserves to be honored, even in our hectic, technology-driven fast-forward world.

There are as many ways to honor pregnancy as there are women in the world, but also, there are some powerful rituals that we see more than once when we survey birth across cultures and time, and they speak as powerfully to women today as they seem to have spoken for motherhood all along. They take effort – on the part of the mama-to-be and her community, too – but the beautiful part about that is that everyone benefits from the exponential blessings that effort produces.

Often the first and most important step – one that should be sustained once begun, if possible, though pregnancy and birth – is the simple act of sitting with other women. Sitting with women whose stories you can hear and feel is invaluable. From a young woman still dreaming or even fearing her childbearing time to an honored elder mother with years of wisdom earned hard from experience, their stories can and will enrich your own relationship with yourself and your baby during your pregnancy. We can learn so much by listening, by simply circling with others who understand and hearing what they have to say. This in itself is a kind of sacred communion among women, a sharing of memories both fresh and ancient as the earth, and it does nothing less than turn the very soil of your soul, enriching it with each person’s love and intentions for you, as you plant seeds and dreams and plans for your future as a mother and the future of your precious baby. This practice is valuable for all who participate, no matter their place in the life cycle or place in their path, for everyone lends something to one another that cannot have been given elsewhere.

Another practice that sadly often goes unnoticed for many modern women is that of a Blessingway or Mother Blessing ritual. Many of us are fortunate to be given what is often called a “baby shower”, but so often, this event focuses on the coming baby and its needs, not the needs or wants of the mother. Both deserve to be witnessed + honored during this sacred time, and it is nice to take a different set of hours for each, so that everyone’s attention and energy can be focused, if only for a little while, upon the mother bearing the child. This can be as simple a ceremony as asking friends and family to gather and share their wisdom with you to as juicy + delicious an experience as you can handle; since each of these experiences in your life is full of rich, unique time for memories you will always cradle, we say go for broke in the juicy + delicious departments. Invite your community sisters to share their wisdom, but also allow them to share their love: let them honor you with a foot bath and scrumptious salt-rub massage, essential oils, flowers and whispers of your strength and beauty. Soak up the admiration they feel for the sacred time you are living in, and let them bestow you with gifts and adornments. Relish it. If you have never allowed yourself to let down and feel glorious in all your sexy-goddess-gorgeousness in all your life, now is the moment. There is nothing in the wide world more luscious + beautiful than new life, and it is shining through you. That is sacred indeed!

Another oft-neglected but oh-so-important + delicious part of the process of bringing a new life into the world is letting yourself surrender to the fact that you are going to need to accept the help of those who love you. Especially for so many independent and fiercely capable mamas, this is a critical time: both mama + family must be willing to accept any help that their community is kind enough to offer. When someone asks what they can do to help, give them a job! Believe their sincerity; they want to help you or they would not ask. In the process of giving in to the mountain of need there can be in a tender baby’s newborn days, many people are deeply humbled and find themselves forever moved by acts of love they never expected, often from unexpected sources. This is a time of love; why not let the love on in?

Are you a mama craving a deeper drink, a richer experience, a more spiritual way to approach pregnancy + birth support? Sacred Pregnancy, a movement based on the book of the same name by Sacred Movement Visionary Anni Daulter, might just be the answer for you. Sacred Pregnancy has been sharing its vision with passionate birth workers all over the world since last year’s publication, and it is only possible to describe it by saying it is catching on like fire. Women everywhere are hungry for the wisdom and support of other women, and Sacred Pregnancy offers this to every mother, bringing Sacred Pregnancy Classes to cities across the US, Australia, Canada + the globe. Visit to find out more. If you feel pulled by the call of the sacred for all women, or if you are simply looking to get into a deeper connection with yourself, your baby and your family during this amazing time in your life, Sacred Pregnancy is already for you. We’re here waiting. Join us!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Crestone Colorado Retreat

August 8-11, 2013
Highlights and Testimonials
The Sacred Pregnancy Retreat we had at my center Creative Birth Choices recently was an authentic & heart felt journey which one could only pray for once in a lifetime! Surpassing all expectations of my goals for my center here in Colorado, it brought women from around the country here to gather together in the genuine beauty of reflection of the mountains. I feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing circle of Sisters through the Sacred Pregnancy Training! All women should re-learn the wisdom & knowledge to honor & hold space for one another in such an amazing time of their lives. Whether still having babies or not, as woman, we are uniquely encoded to remember easily the ancient paths of our ancestors, we can and do through what Anni Daulter brings to our table, through her Sacred Heart of all Hearts, she embodies the wisdom to share with all women how we can gather & remain in the Sisterhood for strength and support! Love you Anni and hope your journey from here and until we meet again is full of Love & Truth. - Zuki Abbott

I started my Sacred Pregnancy journey not knowing how much it would truly open my eyes and enrich my life. I worked so hard to join this movement and came into a room full of happy faces and welcoming arms. We held each other’s space as we did the work through the amazing retreat. I arrived at class daily with an open heart and mind. The retreat in Colorado has truly changed how I look at myself and I have found a group of sisters that understand my path. Sacred Pregnancy is a movement that all women should travel! I am ready to start this movement in Oklahoma City to enrich and empower the women, the way it has done for me. I hope to continue to change the way birth and postpartum care is provided in my community. Until I see all you sisters again may your journey be filled with love and light! - Kandace Beck

I was immediately drawn to the Sacred Pregnancy Movement because of course pregnancy should be regarded as sacred. It's about growing a life in an amazing body, which is a blessing and a miracle. And all women should know they are welcome into this sisterhood, and that journey should be honored! When I arrived at the retreat I was not completely aware of what to expect. I had seen pictures from some of the other retreats across the country, and of course they looked fun and all the women looked so close. I was still apprehensive about opening up and getting so close to a group of women I had never met before. Because let's face it - women can be mean to each other! But that is not at all what I felt when I walked in those doors. Being warmly hugged and genuinely welcomed by these women, was my first impression. And as the days wore on I felt myself naturally open up more and more. The things I learned during this time were definitely eye opening and refreshing. I learned more about myself and my passion for taking care of women during their pregnancy, and feel extremely confident implementing my new knowledge in the care of myself as well. Women need to feel empowered in everyday life, and especially in pregnancy. They need to be reminded to have the confidence to make choices for themselves and their families. I think the way we treat women during this transition from maiden to mother sets the tone for their paths thru motherhood. We should honor this life giving ability and the women carrying and caring for our future. That's what this journey has meant to me. I am blessed to be a part of this movement, a part of this sisterhood. - Crystal Swanson

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Welcome to Sacred Whisper tester!

Here we test our new Sacred Whisper ideas before implementing them across the platform.