September Lil’ Berry & Yoga Peach Schedule

September is National Yoga Month!  Join Lil’ Berry for classes and check out Yoga Peach for more yoga!


7-7:45am Yoga sculpt & tone
9-10am Prenatal Yoga
7:30-8:30pm Vinyasa yoga


7-7:45am Yoga sculpt & tone
9-10am Prenatal Yoga


10:30-11:30am Yoga sculpt & tone
11:45-12:45pm Prenatal Yoga

Details:  Classes are $10 and located at 1100 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA  19146. Please bring a mat, towel and bottle of water.  For information regarding the classes please email yogapeachblog at gmail.com or call 702-480-8829.

additional yoga classes may be scheduled for small groups or privately.  Please contact yogapeachblog at gmail.com 


Bump of the Week

Morning, Lil’ berry /Yoga Peach,

If it hadn’t been for yoga, this pregnancy might not have felt so amazing. I am due in three weeks, and feeling fantastic! I feel that cultivating a strong practice has helped me to combat morning sickness early on (I was REALLY sick and even lost weight the first trimester), avoid physical aches and pains, swelling and excess weight gain, as well as manage my emotions more efficiently. My OB, co-workers and friends comment on my huge energy levels this far along in the pregnancy (working 30+ hour weeks as a massage therapist and teaching yoga)…I put it down to yoga! Plus, having a deep internal awareness meant feeling my baby move sooner than most (at 14 weeks)!




Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPS)

photo via everychildisablessing

Just a few weeks ago a childhood friend of mine reached out to me near her final weeks of pregnancy. She shared her experience with Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPS) and the remedies she seeked out and found helpful.  A very special thank you to Rose for sharing her information and suggestions with fellow readers.

Please note that I am a professionally trained Birth Doula. I am not a medical doctor and these suggestions do not substitute as medical advise.  We suggest seeing your care provider to learn more about PUPPS and offer this mama’s suggestions as guideline to use at your own risk.

Hi Keli,

Say as a Doula, I was thinking you might want to check out and share Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPS). It’s a chronic hives-like itchy condition that pregnant women get very rarely. I’m one of the lucky ones smile It’s absolutely awful, but I’ve figured out some really excellent natural ways to deal with it.

My doctor immediately wanted to put me on Prednisone. Which I was like “oh hell no,” so I researched the crap out of it. Basically it goes away after birth, BUT it is also because your liver is over taxed.  This can happen from just the stress of the pregnancy, a poor diet, or in my case I got poison ivy, and my my hormone levels just made the production of histamine go into over drive.

So what i’ve been doing is Dandelion Root Capsules and they have cleared the hives up, 2 caps three times a day….Also, I use Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap which smells gross, but helps with the itch. You can get it at GNC or online.  I’ve also been doing acupuncture for liver support and lots of clean eating (you don’t want to detox your liver, you want to strengthen it).  Calms Forte is also good!  If you have a client or know someone with PUPPS, tell her those things can help.

Can’t wait to read your new blog!  Rose



Natural Home Birth Story

Dear Lil’ Berry,

So there I was in the hallway of our home on Vine Street…Andrea looked at me like…whoa…I think I’m pregnant. Looking back, that pregnancy scare was probably a miscarriage. She wasn’t actually pregnant. It kind of was a good thing. We were both in school and not planning at all to have a family. I was in grad school for counseling. Andrea was in massage therapy school. We went on vacation up in the mountains after that with some surprising sadness that she wasn’t pregnant. So, here we are, coming off of a freak-out moment that we’d be parents and then feeling kinda sad that she wasn’t actually pregnant. It was wild for us. Andrea had this sadness I’d never seen in her. It wasn’t this debilitating sadness…but it was one mixed with the fear of not being able to have children if we waited too long. As a husband and a counselor in training, I wanted to be able to  make it all better. Andrea said, “I think I want to have a baby!” And I said, “Of course! Let’s have a kid.” I laugh when I read that now because of what I was actually saying yes to. I had no clue.

We pulled out the goalie with the thoughts that we’d just see what happened. It wasn’t but a few weeks…bam…preggo. As the good vegetarian fixed gear riders that we were, the thought of going to the hospital for something that is a natural part of life didn’t feel right to us. I already had skepticism for the medical model based on my professional work in counseling. Did I agree with medicine? Not entirely. But what were the options? None of our friends had been pregnant or had kids. We just didn’t know until we ventured into a hippie store on Colfax Avenue there in Denver. In the back was a book shelf with all sorts of heal yourself style reading material, and there on the shelves was a book called “Gentle Birth Choices” by Barbara Harper. Andrea picked it up, read parts of it in the store, bought it, took it home and proceed to tell me stories from the pages. There was no turning back after reading the sections on the history of birth in the medical model.

At some point we looked for midwives, and by that the time sickness began. Oh, the sickness. Andrea lost weight. She was puking in the mornings…the day…the evenings…the night. Smells became overly vivid for her and the sense of overwhelm in our house grew to a maximum and stayed. When Janet, our first and only prospective midwife, came to the house, she came to our back room bedroom and sat next to Andrea in bed. Janet sat there with a sense of concern and care that meant the world to us, and without question we decided she was exactly the person for the pregnancy and birth. Janet would come over routinely and sit in the rocking chair of our front room while we drank tea and reviewed our options for birth. To Andrea and I, having her there became a familiar and welcomed activity in life. We all became friends and are still to this day.

Here’s something that might surprise you: As a counselor in training, I found that I was resistant to hearing information from my wife because I thought that it would make me look like I didn’t know what I was doing. That is interesting to me now. I “had” to hear the info from other people in order to “believe” it. I think I am mostly over that now, because I talk to other guys about birth and it feels good to know that I am helpful, and that they, too, experience something similar. I think we want our wives and partners to think we are super smart. “Yeah, I know, honey.” It’s wild. Ego.

We did some prenatal classes that weren’t exactly geared for our decision to homebirth, so we didn’t continue those classes. We learned from Ina May Gaskin’s books….Andrea read them and told me stories…and we learned tons from our midwife, Janet. By the time baby was ready to come, we were ready as we could be. I got the tub ready and in the front room right where Janet would rock in the chair. The labor was the better part of an entire day and Sacha came out with both fists up at 3.07 in the afternoon on Friday, May 8, 2009. Andrea moved out of the water and into the birth chair to birth him while I supported her from behind. Andrea’s arms were around my neck. I hadn’t eaten in a while and it got to be a bit much for me after a half hour of this position, so I ask the midwife’s assistant to go in the fridge to get the chocolate pudding I had prepared earlier. I thought she’d come back with a bowl and a spoon. Nope. She came back with a heaping spoon that she lopped right in my mouth. Andrea, the one who wasn’t eating anything for, like, 9 months, pointed to her head. Midwife’s assistant came back with another spoonful, and then Sacha was born within five minutes. What a great day. The hormones coming off of Andrea all day were absolutely and blissfully intoxicating. I would take deep nostril inhales behind her ear for routine “fixes.” It was awesome.

Our experience of birth has inspired Andrea and I to start a blog called Empowered Papa where we support dads in getting involved. There just wasn’t anything geared for dads that we found during our research in pregnancy. So, now I teach childbirth ed to dads through 1:1 and ongoing support through the website. I am now a certified therapist and work with families through difficult transitions. I also speak and work with the gentle birth movement and just got back from speaking at the DONA conference in Cancun. Wow. That was rough. Beautiful sandy beaches. Luxury resort. Gawd. But somebody had to do it!

I will be putting out a new class in Sept/Oct that teaches doulas special counseling skills so that they can make deeper impacts with their clients. The class is called Get Him Onboard!

I love the Yoga Peach / Lil Berry name and the stuff I’ve seen you do. Thanks for providing a way for me to share my story.

Much love.  Joe

That’s the room where he was born.

 Here’s us now.


A baby’s love


Essential Ingredient: The Doula

via DONA International


Stay tuned!

A new blog is being born!

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