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Health Consulting through Stopping Hormonal Birth Control

Have you recently decided to go off hormonal birth control or are considering doing so?

Wanting some guidance and support through this process?

Want to know more about your options for hormonal rebalancing and non-hormonal birth control options?

Thinking of ending hormonal birth control to start a fertility process and want to know what to expect and how to best manage this new step?

Rosewood’s got you covered!

Hormonal birth control can be an absolute blessing and godsend for many folks for a huge range of reasons. Many are on some sort of regulated hormonal birth control from a very young age and don’t have a good understanding of their “normal” cycles — the good and the ugly.

However, the synthetic hormone replacements in birth control are not the same as those that our bodies produce on their own. You may have been having side effects you didn’t even know were connected to these medications. You may experience a major shift in a variety of physical and emotional systems in your body once you decided to stop taking birth control like :

  • Unusually heavy or light periods

  • Irregularly spaced periods

  • Cessation of periods all together

  • Acne / Cystic acne

  • Changes in mood and appetite — moderate or severe

  • Weight changes

  • Unusual hair growth or hair loss

  • Fatigue or Insomnia

You’re not alone!

Regardless of your reasons to switch away from hormonal cycle regulation, you don’t need to simply accept the changes your body will make in adjusting back to it’s own rhythm. There are ways to ease the discomforts, even if it’s mostly just being informed and supported in what’s going on.

With our extensive intake forms and commitment to non-judgemental one-on-one consultations and evidence-based resources, Rosewood can be a huge help in taking some of the burden and stress off this decision. We work with you on a wide range of holistic fronts :

  • Education on what’s happening in your body

  • Tips on finding high level research and information to help you make the best decisions for YOU

  • Connecting you with compassionate, knowledgable, affordable, and most appropriate care providers to help ease your transition off the pill/shot/ring/IUD

  • Nutritional and herbal counseling

  • Virtual or in-person followups that acknowledge that this is going to be a process spread out over at least many months

Spending a few hundred dollars on personalized consultations around this topic can wind up saving you a ton of money and time you might otherwise spend on treatments, products, wasted time with providers who aren’t supportive, etc., and can help get you feeling stable and supported right from the start. Rosewood doesn’t get kick backs from any product, company, or provider, so our aim is to objectively find a great fit for you through this process. We offer consults by the hour or full 6-month consultation and support packages aimed at personalizing your care to get what’s right for you.

Plastic Free Breast Feeding

I’m on a plastic-free kick lately. Wanting to share so much more with the folks I work with, both expectant families and folks I see about general health care concerns.

Freezing-Breast-Milk-Mason-Jars.jpg

I was here thinking, probably like many of you, that switching to silicone was a good step. However, I got schooled a bit on silicone today by my work pal, Friday Apaliski, The Sustainability Concierge, and she helped me realize a few key details about certain storage options for breast milk. Turns out, glass and stainless steel are still the way to go, from start to finish if you’re going to be pumping, storing, and feeding through bottles. Silicone is a bit better than the thin plastics used in most baby items, but new research is showing how silicone items might also be leeching chemicals (and most silicone-based storage item and bottle have plastic fillers in them) when heated AND when frozen.

Some elements of switching to glass or steel take some effort, but mostly, you won’t notice a difference. Here are a few easy options :

plastic free ice cube storage
  • Stainless steel ice cube trays are more expensive than plastic or silicone, but are much more durable, just as easy (or easier) to use, don’t have any of the harmful chemicals that can get into your precious milk, and will last a lifetime. An investment in two trays should cover a good supply of milk and will carry over to freezing prepared foods for your baby when they’re eating solids or just as regular old ice cube trays. See the advice below on grease pencils for labeling…You can buy stainless steel ice cube trays for milk storage on Life Without Plastic and the Plastic Free Shop and probably loads of local stores.


  • If you want to store milk in glass jars in the freezer, you have to buy glass jars that run straight up and down. This means 12oz jam jars, pint jars, and 1.5 pint jars only. One case of any of these should suit you. Hopefully, you’ve picked some up for homemade broth and quick pickles to help fight off GBS in pregnancy so you already have some, but if not, you can find them at most hardware and grocery stores and all over the place online (I suggest NOT Amazon, if you can help it). Friday suggested putting the jarred milk in the freezer with the lid off till it’s frozen to ensure it can easily expand without cracking the glass. She used to mark the flat part of the lids with a grease pencil with the date of pumping. You can use any type of glass jar, including this Mason Bottle, if you are leaving the milk in the fridge.


  • You can fit your glass bottles right on to your breast pump! No need to pump into plastic and fiddle with transporting it into something else, unless you are freezing what you are pumping. Easy-peasy. No need to ever purchase ANY plastic bottles for babe. Here’s the rundown of the Best Glass Bottles according to The Bump. Ideally, you can switch away from plastic nipples, too, like these natural rubber nipples from EcoViking.

Image via Friday Apaliski

Image via Friday Apaliski

Well, there they are…just a few easy steps and for the same cost and ease as the plastic alternatives. I’m happy to help you set up this plastic-free system through some postpartum consultations or through a separate consultations focused primarily on how to have a plastic-free, environmentally considerate, and healthier plan for postpartum. I can do these in-person in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley or online anywhere. You can also check in with Friday if you want someone to do your green baby registry for you! How cool is that?

If you want more information on why you should switch away from plastics for your baby’s milk storage, check out these links :

 

Many of the items mentioned above can be found at Life Without Plastic. Follow the link above to shop the plastic free store.

WE ARE ON FIRE -- What to do about it

These fires raging through CA have my mind drifting harder than ever into how to reduce waste.

As someone who meets with 10+ new people a week in interviews, consultations, doula prep sessions, postpartum visits, meetings with colleagues, networking events, etc., I realize I’m in a special position to make suggestions that might make a difference. Even if every person I meet with doesn’t make some sustainable switches, or if they don’t go full in on making a change, I am not an all-or-nothing person. When you look at the real numbers, having even just a few folks at a time convert aspects of their life to more environmentally friendly options can make a difference over a lifetime. Those people, too, now can help others make meaningful changes by showing how it can be done. That kind of organic ripple effect really excites me and encourages me to keep going.

Here is my list of a few simple, but impactful ways we can make greener choices in our lives.

1. Reusable menstrual products

One of the biggest ways we can start to effect change is by moving away from disposable period products. The average person who bleeds will go through nearly 300 pounds of period products in their lifetime. That’s not even including the amount of resources and energy used to make these products and properly dispose of them.

There are loads of good options here :

  • Soft menstrual cups

  • Flannel pads

  • Period Undies

  • Sea Sponge

Many of the companies that make these items are also woman owned, progressive, local, environmentally conscious, world conscious organizations, too, which can’t be said about most of the larger companies that make most menstrual products.

If nothing else, switching to organic cotton menstrual items is better for the environment and your health.

2. Ditch the wet wipes

The wipe industry has expanded beyond baby wipes into everyday / every flush items for adults. It’s boomed in the past five years into a $2.1 billion dollar industry. Many of them are made by companies with horrific environmental records, making up some of the worst pollutant offenders around.

Though many wet wipes are now made out of wood pulp instead of plastic, that’s not a universal practice. And that’s mostly for wipes labeled “flushable” and marketed to adults, not babies. In addition to the wipes going down the poop pipe, baby wipes and disposable diapers generate 7.6 billion pounds of trash annually, making them the 3rd largest consumer product in landfills and 30% of all non-biodegradable waste.

You can make your own wet wipes super

easily following this guide from the Wild Minimalist.

If you really need to get a cleaner booty, you might want to look into some of the more accessible bidets available now. These little gadgets often pop right on to your toilet and don’t need elaborate pipes and setups like traditional bidets. You could even consider using these to move away from toilet tissue and wipes altogether!


3. Adios, paper cups

This might seem like a no-brainer at this point, but we still have a massive problem with to-go waste. According to Carry Your Cup, American’s are the leading consumers of coffee globally and toss out 25 billion non-recyclable styrofoam coffee cups per year and 5000 paper cups PER DAY! According to one study of Portland alone, roughly 50 million paper cups are used in just that one metro area alone per year.

I had a pal who would bring her own glass or steel containers to restaurants if she wanted to take things to go. This might not be where we all are quite yet (wouldn’t it be cool if we all thought this far in advance and were this environmentally thoughtful?), but we seem to mostly be jumping on the reusable cup wagon, so let’s keep going!

If you stop into a local coffee shop and aren’t taking your cuppa out in the world, make sure you ask for a mug. It’s amazing to me how many places still put everything in a paper cup, even if you are staying in. If you are heading out with you java, make sure you pack your reusable cup with you when you head out the door. Ideally, you’re not using plastic containers, especially not for hot drinks (Who wants to put all that plastic directly into their mouths?). Stainless steel coffee cups are ubiquitous at this point and it’s worth having a few of them for your hot and cold drinks to go. Best to make sure you’re ditching the plastic caps in favor of full stainless steel, too — they last longer, are better for the environment, can withstand high heat cleaning, and won’t seep horrible chemicals into your body when the hot liquid passes through them. Ew.


4. Stop Amazoning everything

Sorry friends, but stop. Or, at least cool it so we can cool the planet down a bit.

This is a multi-layered issue worth looking into :

  • Transportation took over from power plants in leading the way in pollutants

  • Much of the items on Amazon are made and shipped from China, where production pollution is the highest

  • Much of what you are buying online is made of thin, poor quality plastic, which leeches toxins easily and has a short life overall

  • Diverting money away from major corporations that cause much more damage than any individual is the most crucial step in slowing global climate change. When you shop on Amazon, you are moving money away from local shops, even local box stores, which provide more hours and benefits to its employees (minus WalMart, which is a major offender on both fronts)

  • Amazon is a major contributor to rising package waste with one-item-at-a-time shipping

  • The design of online marketplaces is geared towards buying more in general, generating more shipping and more waste

I find this issue to be especially important to communicate to the new parents I work with. It’s incredible how much they purchase when they’re sitting on their phones with new babies in their arms. Especially for exhausted and stressed families, they are so vulnerable to purchases that promise to help ease them through a rough patch, but many of the gadgets and gizmos of infancy targeting new parents range from senseless to unsafe, so it’s best for your wallet and the environment to not get sucked in.

I know I’m being a total buzz-kill on this issue and that few, if anyone will listen, but as Amazon becomes the place where more and more we are buying everything from birthday gifts to our weekly groceries, it’s worth looking into how big of an impact all this shipping and packaging and one-click plastic consumption is having as we are LITERALLY ON FIRE all across California




5. Eat less meat AND less soy and almonds

milk almonds soy environment

I’m likely not going to say much that’s new here about the environmental impact of meat production and consumption so I’m not going to even bother. It’s a huge issue and we need to all be more aware.

I do want to note that the meat alternatives also have a huge impact on the environment that we need to also pay attention to. Almond production is huge here in CA and is a massive consumer of water and other resources. Switching from meat to very processed alternatives like almonds and soy (much of which is grown commercially without good environmental considerations) is not necessarily the best option.

I also feel the need to note the hormonal issues around eating a lot of commercially produced meats and soy products. It’s an issue in water sources, as well, with agricultural waste runoff dumping loads of xenoestrogens and other harmful chemicals causing infertility and early periods directly into our waterways. An overload of soy can also alter hormone levels.

One option is to remove meat from a few meals a week to whole plant meals. That means not replacing the meat dish with a processed alternative, but simply a meal with all proteins made from the whole plant.  This will cut down on processing resource usage AND packaging, hitting the environmental issue from many angles.

If you are continuing to eat meat, more local, organic, and grass-fed is the best way to go here, for sure.


I know what a stick in the mud this post can be, but it is important for us to start making some serious changes in our daily lives. The impacts of our waste are not long in the future, they are right here at our front doors.

I am happy to bring an environmental focus to any consultations I am apart of, and would like to recommend my friend and collaborator, Friday Apaliski aka The Sustainability Concierge, who will come and do an environmental walk-through of your home and help make some big time changes that could save you money and help reduce your carbon footprint.


You don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater and go live in a tiny home in the woods to make a difference! Small steps, done in community, will help make lasting change.  


Here are some shops to check out instead of Amazon:

Package Free Shop

Preserved here in Oakland

@moonundies for handmade period underwear made in San Francisco

tonlé a low-waste, handmade shop in San Francisco

Luna Pads

Wild Minimalist

Life Without Plastic




Pumpkins for Hormonal Health

Let it be known, I love pumpkins. All of them. In every way I can get them. I don't even care if the pumpkin pie spice stuff is all over them or not, I just love pumpkins. 

Imagine how excited I was then to learn about how helpful pumpkins and their seeds are to some of the struggles I've been facing with my hormonal health. They hit so many of the points I was trying to address -- including mood, skin health, normal cycles, digestion -- and I was more than ready to slap more squash and seeds into my meals. 

You might already have figured out that pumpkins can be great for your skin due to their bright orange hue. That's the Vitamin A, one of the powerful nutrients responsible for immunity and skin health. You might not have known that squash varieties of all colors also pack in a good deal of Vitamins C and E, which are both helpful for maintaining skin health and a strong immune system. 

Wait, though! Don't toss the seeds! Squash seeds are super high in Zinc, which if you're struggling with hormonal acne, can be a tremendous help. You can take the ones from your baked squash or buy the shelled yummy kinds (sometimes called pepitas) to have as a snack alone or mixed with other nuts and dried fruits and sprinkle them on top of cereals and salads.

Pumpkin is also really high in fiber, which can play a two-part role in hormonal health, especially if you are struggling with estrogen dominance or PCOS. Estrogen can build up in the body for a number of reasons (stress, diet changes, environmental factors, changes in birth control, age, medicines), which can cause a host of uncomfortable and even dangerous symptoms. Acne along the jawline and mouth, increased hair growth on face and head hair loss, weight gain ... these are often the things folks start complaining of first when dealing with estrogen levels rising. It's not that pumpkin and it's seeds alone will cure you, but adding such high zinc and high fiber foods to your regular diet can help keep your digestion in peak form, which will help move the excess estrogen out of your body so it doesn't recirculate in the liver and cause some of these issues. The seeds can offer an extra bonus -- they strongly help regulate insulin absorption in the gut, which can be a huge issue in folks with PCOS. 

Squash is also one of those veggies which contains a good deal of iron, which is ultra important for vegan and vegetarian folks and those of us who menstruate. Combining squash with high Vitamin C foods like leafy greens, red peppers, and tomatoes will help further the absorption of the iron in your pumpkin dishes. 

Here are some ideas for how you can get more squash and seeds into your diet:

  • Pumpkin smoothies

  • Squash Curry

  • Granola with Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin Yogurt (make sure it has actual pumpkin in it and not just the spices)

  • Squash Ravioli

  • Pumpkin Risotto

  • Pumpkin Soup

I often buy 3-4 winter squash in one go and bake them all at once in a few different ways. Some are baked whole for longer so I can scoop the softer pulp out for soups and and sweeter dishes (and my dog loves eating the soft skin after -- good for his digestion and skin too!). Some I pre-slice so their ready to add to salads and sandwiches. I cube some along with sweet potatoes to have in stir fry or as a side dish for a main course. I try and process the seeds at the same time, rinsing the pulp off and baking them with a tiny bit of salt to have as a snack I just leave out on my counter to munch on throughout the day. 

Squash, even organic and local varieties, are hardy and prevalent in most areas and so they also tend to be fairly inexpensive. Hurrah!