Book Review: Taking Charge of Your Fertility

Before I had children, my husband and I discussed me getting off the pill, not so we could have kids, but so I could quit taking hormones, as I had done for three years straight.  I knew that taking hormones wasn’t good for my body and that oral contraceptives have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

At that time, I didn’t really know any other methods of birth control except abstinence (which wasn’t going to happen), and condoms.  As you might guess, this situation is what led to my being pregnant with our first baby.

I was (and am) thankful to have him, but I was not quite ready to have another right away, so I started looking at natural birth control methods that actually work.  Now don’t laugh.  I know we all know some family with a dozen or so children who were using the rhythm method of “birth control.”  That is not my idea of birth control!  There had to be something better, right??

Well there is!  I was fortunate enough to read Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler.

OH MY GOODNESS!  Why the heck didn’t they teach us this in sex ed all those years ago?  I learned an awful lot about my own body that I had never known before.  Weschler writes, in practical terms, how easy it is to prevent or achieve a pregnancy without the use of hormones or other drugs, simply by observing your body, and knowing your cycle (not the typical 28 day average, I might add).  This book is incredible!

Women need this book.  We need to teach it’s lessons to our daughters.  Weschler teaches you in simple terms about your anatomy, your monthly cycle (which is more than just 5-7 days of bleeding) and gives you an easy system for tracking your cycle to either achieve or avoid pregnancy without the help of doctors or ovulation kits.  I was totally blown away by this book, and it really helped me on my journey towards whole-person health.

Ms. Weschler takes the book one step further by providing you with her website, TCOYF.com, where you can track your cycle online, or print off charts for your use at home, as well as providing up to date fertility information and community forum.  All in all, Taking Charge of Your Fertility is highly recommended.

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Cloth Diaper Review: Fuzzi Bunz

Fuzzi Bunz diapers are the diapers I originally bought when I had my first baby.  I did not try any other diapers before buying them, but simply invested in them based on friends’ recommendations and online reviews.  Now days, parents have the option of buying a fitted diaper from Fuzzi Bunz called the Perfect Fit (they come in preemie, small, medium, large, petite, etc.) or a One Size, that has many snaps like the Rump-A-Rooz to fit from birth to 35 pounds or so.  When I bought my Fuzzi Bunz they didn’t make the One Size, so this review is specific to the Perfect Fit style of Fuzzi Bunz.

Also note that I know a bit more about these diapers than the others I reviewed, since I’ve used them on two babies now, and the others for only nine days total.

Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Fit

These diapers are another pocket-style Continue reading

Cloth Diaper Review: Kushies Classic

During the nine day study I participated in, the other type of cloth diaper I got to try was the Kushies Baby Classic diapers.

Kushies Baby Classic Diapers

These diapers are an All-In-One (AIO) cloth diaper.  That means that there are no inserts like the pocket diapers.  Essentially, they are the most like disposables in the ease-of-use category.

Kushies are made up of 8 layers Continue reading

Cloth Diaper Review: Rump-A-Rooz

A few months back, my youngest son and I participated in a infant feeding study.  During the last nine days of the study, we were required to collect stool samples from every diaper he wore.  The study provided cloth diapers that had been washed in a special soap for these nine days, so I had the opportunity to try a couple of different brands of cloth diapers (besides my own, which I could not use during the study).  I thought I’d offer up a review of the diapers we tried, in case it helps other parents decide what kind of diapers to go with.  One of the diaper brands provided in the study were Rump-A-Rooz.

Rump-A-Rooz

These diapers are a pocket style diaper, meaning that the diaper its self it made up of two layers: the outer one being water proof, and the inner one, meant to wick moisture away from your baby’s bum.  There is an opening between the layers (the pocket) where you can put in various absorbent inserts, adjusting for your baby’s individual needs. Continue reading

Using Cloth Wipes

If you already cloth diaper, it seems only natural that you would use cloth wipes, right?  Well, I know many moms who don’t always start out that way.  For some reason it just seems weird to us.  Maybe it’s because we are so used to wiping our own bums with toilet paper, or maybe it seems messy, or maybe it just doesn’t occur to us.  But using cloth wipes makes cloth diapering so much easier.  Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s better for our babies bums.  And it makes it much simpler at the changing table too… only one diaper pail instead of one pail for the diapers and a trash can for the wipes. 

Recently I read a post on the Simple Organic blog by Megan of Sorta Crunchy.  The post is called “How to Make and Use Cloth Wipes.”  I loved it and thought I would share a few tidbits here.  Make sure to click the link to read the full post. 

Why switch to cloth wipes?

 1. If you are cloth diapering, it is simply so much easier to switch to cloth wipes as well. The wipe can be tucked into the dirty diaper and goes through the diaper laundry.

2. Disposable wipes sold commercially contain ingredients that provide cause for concern. Recently I looked over a package of one popular brand’s “sensitive” baby wipes.  Amongst the ingredients were potassium laureth sphosphate, malic acid, and tocopheryl acetate – all of which score as “moderate” hazards in the Skin Deep cosmetic safety database.

Even more alarming, however, was the inclusion of methylparabenan ingredient which has been given a score of 10 by Skin Deep – the highest possible level of concern.

And bear in mind these are wipes we are using to clean the most sensitive and delicate skin on our children’s bodies.

Pretty compelling reasons to switch, right?  But what about storage?  Well, I keep three baskets on the shelf of my changing table.  One for diapers, one for inserts, and one for wipes.  Then I just squirt water on a dry wipe at each diaper change.  I use the peri-bottle that I got postpartum.  I don’t use a diaper solution, but many moms do. 

Here are Megan’s suggestions on the subject.

How do I store cloth wipes?

Used cloth wipes can go right in with dirty cloth diapers.  For those no longer cloth diapering but interested in using cloth wipes for the family, check out Crunchy Chicken’s suggestions on cloth wipes set-up.

For clean wipes, there are two different approaches – keep them in a wipes solution or store them dry and wet as you go.

If you like the convenience of pre-moistened wipes, you can re-use a disposable wipes container. Fold the wipes and soak them in a solution you’ve prepared.  I preferred to keep stacks of dry wipes with the diapers and then used  a squirt bottle filled with wipes solution to wet them as needed.

Where do you get them?  Can you make them?  Well, Megan covers that too in her post, but they can easily be made from old or new material, terry cloth, flannel, fleece, whatever really.  You can buy wipes on etsy or where ever they sell cloth diapers as well.  My wipes are square and when folded in half fit into one of those plastic wipes containers.  Handy for the diaper bag.  I get three or four wet, pop them in the container and hit the road.  Once you start using cloth wipes, you will probably never go back.  And once you’ve done that, who knows what else you might be comfortable using cloth for?