By A Collective Group of Green, Granola, & Hippie Moms

“What is a Crunchy Mom?” you ask. There are many definitions, as this includes a group of moms who somewhat refer to ourselves as neo-hippies. Crunchy moms pride ourselves on many beliefs that often include homemade food, home births, attachment parenting, homeschooling, organic diets, extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping, and overall a more natural way of life. Crunchy moms don’t necessarily commit to every belief stated above, but love to share fabulous tips on raising children in a way that is best for each individual family. Here are some of our favorites!

1. Amber Teething Necklaces – Wearing amber teething necklaces can help babies with teething pain as well as sleep problems, colds, fevers, skin rashes, and diarrhea. This is a Europian baby teething remedy that is recognized by allopathic medicine and is a natural alternative to drugs. You can find these on Amazon, as well as, Lizzie’s Herb Shop in Kernersville, Sweet Pea in Mount Airy, and Rolly’s in Winston-Salem,

2. Baby Wearing – There are all types and brands of baby carriers out there! Worn babies will often grow better, learn faster, and cry less! Plus, parents who wear their babies can be hands-free to get things done while also staying close to and nurturing their children. A great resource right here in the Triad is the group, Triad Tot Toters. They meet twice a month and can help you choose the perfect carrier while also teaching safety tips and meeting a great community of moms. Another great group located in Winston-Salem is Cozy Up Baby.

3. Cloth Diapering – This has become easier and easier over the years. There are many types of diapers from which to choose, but all will help our environment. Here are some tips on choosing the right cloth diaper for you and your baby.

4. Support – Getting a great support network is key. Join some groups online, hang at the playground and keep an eye out for other moms like yourself. Be ready to strike up a conversation and get to know people! Other moms who believe in natural ways of life can be great resources. A few local groups you can join on Facebook are Triad NL/AP Forum, Triad Tot Toters, Cozy Up Baby, Triad Crunchy Goodness, Piedmont Triad Kinda Crunchy Moms, and Home Birth Community of Central NC. If you know of more groups, please add them at the end of the blog by commenting!

5. Research – Do your research when it comes to parenting and what is best for your family. Here are a few great website resources we have found:

6. Birthing – We highly recommend home births, water births, or birthing centers. Again, you can find a lot of research on these topics by visiting the websites above. Locally, we love Natural Beginnings Birth Center and Women’s Birth and Wellness Center. Please note that most hospitals in our area will also allow midwives and/or doulas to actively participate in your birth.

7. Doulas – Doulas are amazing. They will schedule prenatal meetings (this may include meeting with your obstetrician or midwife), they will offer support in you knowing that you will never be alone, they ensure a calm support system, and of course will work with you for aftercare once the baby is born. Local groups we recommend are Piedmont Doulas (mention Triad Moms on Main to receive $75 off  any birth doula package or $100 off any postpartum package of 20 hours or more), Natural Baby Doulas, and Piedmont Doula Association.

8. Placenta Encapsulation – This is the practice of mothers ingesting the placenta in pill form after it has been steamed, dehydrated, and ground. Those of us who have tried this believe it to have numerous health benefits. It can also help decrease post-partum depression.

9. Menstrual/Diva Cups – This is a more natural way to handle your period each month. These are reusable, bell-shaped menstrual cups that you insert into your vagina to collect your menstrual flow. They prevent leaks, while also saving you money in the log run, not to mention the fact that it avoids the use of tampons! You remove the cup every 4 – 12 hours and empty the blood into the toilet, wash the cup, and insert again. Your cup can also be sterilized in boiling in water.

10. Skin to Skin Contact – Out of all the ideas that crunchy moms share, this practice can be one of the easiest for ANYONE to try. No matter how crunchy or non-crunchy you may be, this is a simple task that will benefit you and baby for years to come. Many studies that show that mothers and babies should be together, skin to skin (not wrapped in a blanket) immediately after the baby’s birth, as well as later on. This can result in happier babies, as well as temperatures & heart rates being more stable and normal.

Most of all, be comfortable with your own parenting and don’t judge yourself or others. What is right for someone else may not be right for you, and vice versa. Follow your heart and be the best parent you can be!

What are your favorite “crunchy mom” tips? Please share by commenting below.