Thoughts on Birth, Babies,

Breastfeeding, and Beyond


Have You Met NORA?

Sunday, February 04, 2018


If not, let me introduce you!

 NORA is an infusion we recommend to our pregnant clients, made from a blend of nettle leaf, oatstraw, red raspberry leaf, and alfalfa. This delicious infusion will help keep you hydrated, nourished, and may help with some common minor discomforts of pregnancy. We recommend drinking a quart daily, beginning in the second trimester of pregnancy and continuing while you are breastfeeding.

 Stinging Nettle Leaf (Urtica dioica) is one of the most nutritious plants, containing calcium, potassium, protein, beta carotene, trace minerals, iron, and vitamins A, C, D, and K. It is used as a blood builder to treat anemia and promote circulation, to increase milk supply, and decrease menstrual bleeding or bleeding after childbirth. 

Oatstraw (Avena sativa) is one of my favorite herbs. Not only is it very nourishing, it is calming and mood-stabilizing. Prepared as an infusion, it provides protein, is high in B vitamins (except B12), calcium, magnesium, and contains all macro- and trace-minerals in high amounts. Plus, it has a pleasant, mellow taste.

 Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) contains vitamins C, E, B2, B3, calcium, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. It is used to tone the uterus and ease uterine spasms. It is said to make uterine contractions more effective, and to increase breastmilk. It also promotes healthy bones, nails, teeth, and skin.

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) contains a wide variety of minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, potassium, silicon, and trace elements. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and protein. It is said to cleanse the blood, aid in blood clotting, alleviate allergies, aid with digestion, promote healthy bones and teeth, help with headaches, and soothe sore joints. It is nicknamed “the father of all foods.”

To make an infusion, mix 2 parts Nettle and Red Raspberry Leaf to 1 part Oatstraw and Alfalfa. Place about an ounce of the herb mixture in a quart Mason jar, pour boiled water over the herbs, cap tightly and let sit at least 4 hours to overnight. Then strain the herbs and drink over the course of the day. Add a little honey, if you like.

Deb generously provides NORA to all our homebirth clients. If you want to order some for yourself, all these herbs are available online through Mountain Rose HerbsFrontier, or even on Amazon.

What If You're Not Happy To Be Pregnant?

Tuesday, January 02, 2018


The holiday season, full of joy and celebrating, is typically the time of year when we get the most calls from moms who have received a positive pregnancy test, full of excitement, hope, apprehension, anxiety, and questions. 

I understand that not everybody feels joy or excitement about that positive result. 

If you are not happy about your positive pregnancy test, I want you to know that it’s ok to feel that way. You are not a bad person because you have those feelings. You are not alone. I hope you will reach out and talk to someone.


Don't Throw Out Your Turkey Bones!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Right now the media is full of recipes for leftover turkey. What all can you do with leftover turkey? It’s endless! You can find recipes for turkey enchiladas, turkey quesadillas, turkey chili verde, turkey stir-fry, turkey soups, turkey casseroles, turkey tetrazzini, turkey spaghetti, turkey... 
But I want to give a shout out to the bones. Don’t throw out the turkey bones! They can make a very nourishing broth to be used for illnesses or recipes that call for broth.

Your Due Date May Be Like the First Day of Fall

Friday, September 22, 2017


Many of my friends have been anticipating the first day of fall for weeks now. My Facebook newsfeed has been overtaken by pumpkin spice memes, pumpkins, hoodies, football, bonfires, boots...and TODAY is the long-awaited first day of fall!
 Except nothing resembling "fall" is happening outside.

Is Water Birth a Safe Option?

Monday, July 31, 2017


Another question we are frequently asked is, "What do you think about waterbirth? Is it safe?" 
The short answer is yes, we believe waterbirth is safe, based on our experience, along with the current literature. We have seen that immersing in a tub of warm water benefits laboring mothers by helping them relax, helping them to get into comfortable positions, making it easier to cope with contractions, and decreasing their perception of pain. If our client chooses to stay in the pool to birth the baby, we have not seen any increase of adverse outcomes for the baby in our practice. 

Healthy Chocolate Milkshake

Monday, July 24, 2017


It seems like I am on a never-ending quest for healhy snacks. Not just healthy, but also delicious--I want them to be more enticing than the less-healthy snacks I crave. And kid-approved, too. Oh, and let's not forget frugal...keeping enough snacks to satisfy all my hungry mouths during the summer can amount to a nice chunk of change.
Yes, such a snack exists.
I present to you...healthy chocolate milkshakes.

Why Hire an Apprentice Midwife?

Saturday, May 6, 2017


An apprentice midwife is a midwife-in-training and practices under the direct supervision of an experienced midwife. I am permitted by the health department to practice midwifery under the supervision of Deb Phillips, LLM, CPM. I am also working toward the credential of Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), which is awarded by the North American Registry of Midwives. I am at the phase of my apprenticeship where I am stepping into the "primary" role, with Deb assisting and supervising. While I am seeking my own clients, Deb will be present with me at prenatal visits and births until I am licensed, and even beyond that, as needed. Midwives typically attend births in pairs.

World Doula Week

Friday, March 24, 2017


In February of 2017, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued an opinion statement on approaches to limiting interventions during labor. Among their recommendations and conclusions was that continuous one-on-one emotional support by support personnel (doulas!) benefits laboring women. 

My Journey to Becoming a Lactation Consultant

Sunday, February 26, 2017


I wanted to become a Lactation Consultant, not to convince the world to breastfeed, not to wage war on formula feeding (I'm thankful formula is there when we need it!), but to support those who struggle, to help find a solution to those struggles if a solution can be found, and most of all, to be the one who listens. 
If you need breastfeeding support and you are looking for a lactation consultant in central or south Arkansas, call or text me at 501-436-8525.

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Arkansas Blossoms Birth Services
P.O. Box 550
Sheridan, AR 72150

Paula Ross of Arkansas Blossoms Birth Services is an RN, IBCLC, and apprentice midwife with Deb Phillips, LLM, CPM. She is honored to provide professional service with a warm, nurturing touch to growing families in central and south Arkansas.

Specializing in home birth, water birth, unmedicated childbirth, lactation/breastfeeding support, childbirth classes, and placenta encapsulation within an 85 mile radius of Sheridan, AR (including the Little Rock metro area, Bryant, Benton, Malvern, Hot Springs, Arkadelphia, Pine Bluff, White Hall, Star City, Dumas, Monticello, Rison, Redfield, Camden, El Dorado.)

"Let all you do be done in love." 1 Cor. 16:14
© 2016-2018 Arkansas Blossoms Birth Services