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Free Movie Night at Mojo:
"Laboring Under an Illusion"
Jan. 14th, 2010 7-9pm at More Mojo, 1347 Church St., San Francisco
Free Popcorn!

New Breastfeeding Circle at More Mojo
Every Friday from 10:30am to 11:30am
Free for WCT clients, minimal fee for others
Drop-in to meet with Lactation Specialist, Michele Mason and other new mamas

BAHC Potlucks:
Jan. 16, 2010 11-1:30pm,
Cindy's House in Berkeley,
3024 B Fulton St.
Feb. 13, 2010 11-2pm at Maria's in San Francisco, 206 27th St.
BAHC Vaccination Panel
"How do you decide?"
March 21, 2010
SF Waldorf School

Welcome December Babies:

Sawyer Lark, Florence Mary,
Maximus Martin


Martin's Magical Miso Soup


  • 2 tsp dashi granules (or 1/2 cup bonito flakes)*
  • 2 pieces kombu
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp miso paste (yellow, white or red)
  • 1 (8 oz) package silken tofu, diced
  • 2 green onions, sliced diag. into 1/2 " pieces
  • 1/2 sheet nori, torn into chunks (optional)

 In medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine dashi granules, kombu, and water*, bring to a boil.  Strain out kombu, then reduce heat to medium and whisk in the miso paste.  Stir in tofu.  Separate the layers of the green onions, and add them to soup.  Add nori if desired.  Simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.  Makes 4 servings.

 * If daishi granules are not available, heat water and kombu until boiling, then add 1/3 cup bonito flakes and strain out kombu and bonito after 45 seconds of boiling.


Vegan Chocolate Decadence Cake

It's Vegan and low cholesterol too!

  • 3c flour
  • 2c sugar
  • 1/3c cocoa powder
  • 1t salt
  • 1t vanilla
  • 3/4 c canola oil
  • 2T. white vinegar
  • 2t baking soda
  • 2c hot water
  • 1c nuts
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips

Mix all together. Put in buttered and floured 9x12 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Woohoo!

There are two places where I would love for you to help me out:
Yelp  and The Birth Survey
Both of these are review sites that will help women understand about my practice and the value of midwifery care. If you have a moment, please write up a review under Wisewoman Childbirth Traditions and Maria Iorillo.

Writing Workouts to Keep Mama Sane, Centered, and Creative
Compose your Mommy Memoirs. Vent your Mama Mania.  Get your birth or adoption story on the page.
Mama-logues is freeing and fun.   Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned writer, our creative writing exercises will get your ink flowing.  Purposeful writing is a powerful and accessible tool for finding clarity, creativity and balance. Perfect for creating lasting memories. Great for Mama Bloggers, too! Come unleash the power of intentional writing.
For mothers of all ages!  
Babes in arms welcome. Mama-logues… because motherhood is a wild ride, crying for expression!

  SF Writers and Actors Studio 149 Prospect Avenue in San Francisco 94110
Wednesdays 11:30 - 1pm 
Jan. 20 – Feb. 10
New Recession Rate!   $100 for 4 classes.
Saturday Workshop 10 - 1pm  
Jan. 23rd
 FMI or to sign up call 207.205.0636
or email Suze @ suze.m.allen@

    2009 was unexpectedly an eye of the needle year for me. By mid-year, I knew that big changes were happening and I started to feel the squeeze of transformation. I had my personal ups and downs with the MAMA campaign (up when I garnered a $25,000 grant from a major donor, down when the ACNM publicly and decisively blocked our efforts to get into the health care reform bills). I had my moments of midwifery doubt when the recession seemed to creep through my door. I was thrown into the vortex of mystery and fear and hope when little Estelle was snatched up by (supposedly) GBS sepsis. (And by the way, for those of you who were wondering--- Estelle belongs to Jenna and Dan Lebowitz!)
    The squeeze got tighter and tighter.
    But then, Estelle got better and was discharged before Christmas! (Forget Santa, she went straight to Wavy Gravy!) Business picked up and I finished up my duties on the MAMA campaign. I passed through the eye of the needle and reached the other side knowing what is truly of value in my life.
    For it truly was a year of questioning my value, my self-worth, MY midwifery. Questions had arisen such as: Is this true? Am I worthy? Can I go on? At the end of the year, I had lunch with a client. She gave me a priceless gift -- she told me that I was of value to her, that her birth was one of the most important moments of her life and that it was absolutely perfect. Without knowing what she was doing, she pulled me through to the other side, through the eye, into the truth.
Follow Up from December:
  • Thank you to all who sent Xmas cards, I adore them!!
  • I was at a dinner where two women were passionately discussing the Kale recipe from the October newsletter.
  • Tara's Twins are two (born at home 4/29/07)!
  • I spent a wonderful Solstice in Paradise with some of my favorite midwives: Janice Kalman, Jan Perrone and Ellie Oberton. We were joined by long-time midwifery supporter Carol Schrammel and her husband Mark.

I wish everyone a hopeful and inspirational new year.
Maria A. Iorillo, LM, CPM


by Jennifer Okonsky

I had a beautiful vision of birthing my first child at home... but at 31 weeks and 6 days I ended up at the hospital with bright lights, hospital paperwork, ultrasounds, monitors and medications to stop a labor well under way. This premature birth happened anyway and a month long hospital stay for my little girl ensued. The wonderful news of course, is that Ella Marie, born at 31 weeks 6 days was a healthy 3 pound 10 ounce little girl. However, remaining in the hospital was necessary until she was able to hold her own temperature, gain some weight and develop her suck and swallow reflexes in order to eat on her own. There was some other bits and pieces that happened along the way that did not make the hospital stay as simple and easy going as gaining weight and holding her temperature, but I will not describe those specifics here. My purpose for this article is to provide some tips on surviving a prolonged hospital stay. 

I believe we can all agree that a hospital stay of any length is more than anyone would like.

Having little Ella remain in the hospital for a month was not easy, but putting into practice the below tips sure did help us survive the month.

The below tips are not new ideas. They are simple, but they will make a difference. They are not in hierarchical order as it is best that one tries to follow them all.

  • Eat well. Fresh fruits and vegetables, protein. Stay hydrated. Stay away from fast food. You may feel tempted since it is quick and easy, but it will slow you down in the end.
  • Rest when possible. There is always a lot going on, and you will be exhausted, but at least get an hour of down time for yourself each day.
  • Fresh air, no matter how cold or warm, get out and get some fresh air, even if for 15 minutes.
  • Listen to your friends/family who want to support you and help you out in anyway. This means letting them bring you a home cooked meal, picking up your other kids from school,  doing a load of laundry, or cleaning the bathroom.
  • Ask for help...People want to help.
  • Stay informed and be a part of the decision making regarding your child's care. Don't feel you are not knowledgeable enough, ask questions, be a part of the health care team. You are the child's primary care provider. Feel comfortable with what is happening and understand it.
  • GET involved with the care. Do as much as you can. Being a participant in your child's care helps emotionally and physically.
  • Talk with friends and family, verbalize the excitement of gaining weight, the first bath, the last dose of antibiotics and verbalize your fears, worries. Cry if you need to.

You may not be able to be at the bedside 24 hours a day, so do what is feasible for you, accept that is what you can do. You can always phone in and check on how things are going. I was fortunate enough to live close to the hospital and be able to put on hold other obligations, so my schedule was free to be at the bedside most of the day and night. However, for some families, that was not the case. But what was evident was that having a schedule was helpful for those families, the child, and the health care providers.

An important lesson I  learned was that, I did not need to be a perfect mother before Ella came home.  I did not have to have her breastfeeding exactly 10 minutes on each side, sleeping and eating on an exact schedule. I just needed to provide her a calming and loving environment, keep her warm and fed. I could work on being a 'perfect' mother later. And most importantly, to remember that she was coming home. She was going to get a discharge order at some point and the hospital stay will be a chapter in history. And so, it happened 1 month later, Ella was discharged home and the next chapter in Ella's life could begin.

Today, Ella is 14 months old, staying warm, eatings lots, walking on her own, developmentally on target and weighing in at healthy 20 pounds.


We survived the hospital stay...  Feel free to email me with any questions:


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Contact Info:
Maria Iorillo, Licensed Midwife ~ 415-285-9233 ~
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