The Pregnant Patient’s Rights

If giving birth in a hospital or birth center, it’s important to be aware of your rights. With the birth of my daughter I had no idea that I could refuse the many monitors and wires that kept me on my back in bed. I had no idea that I was allowed to walk around freely or choose the labor position I wanted to be in. While you do have the following legal rights, keep in mind that the hospital has their own standard policies (such as wearing a hospital gown) and can refuse treatment if you do not abide by them. It’s best to find out about these in advance so you can be prepared.

Here are some of the most important of your legal rights:

You have the right to choose where you will give birth.
You have the right to be informed of the credentials of those treating you (including whether or not they are medical students)
You have the right to refuse any drugs, tests, procedures or treatments.
You have the right to be informed of the risks/benefits associated with proposed procedures or medications. Alternative options should also be disclosed. You have the right to accept or refuse the proposed procedures and then have the right to change your mind.
You have the right to access to any of your medical records.
You have the right to know why any procedure is being done.
You have the right to birth in whatever position is most comfortable (including ones that free you from the medical equipment).
You have the right to uninterrupted contact to your baby at all times unless separation is medically required (not currently entitled by the legal system but most likely upheld).

Information taken from the pamphlet: The Rights of Childbearing Women

Medicines: Not always the best medicine

With the news Thursday of several children’s medicines being pulled from the shelves I’m reminded of why I pursue a natural life. Many of the medicines available to us are often unnessesary and rarely completely safe. Simple remedies such as a good nights sleep, a cool cloth on the head, drinking plenty of water and eating a whole-foods diet are often overlooked. When medicines are used as a “quick fix” or just to hide symptoms I wonder if we’re really doing ourselves a favor. It’s true that prevention is the best medicine.

Here’s an intersting article to check out:
Statistics prove prescription drugs are 16,400% more deadly than terrorists

Wordless Wednesday: Lake Michigan

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Cheese-Stuffed Collard Rolls

imageToday at the CSA farm I picked up some collard greens. I’ve never eaten collard greens much less prepared them. Thankfully Epicurious came to my rescue! They are an excellent source for finding quality recipes that use whole ingredients. So, for supper I prepared Vegetable-and-Ricotta-Stuffed Collard Rolls with Tomato Sauce. I had to make a few substitutions though to include the ingredients I had on hand. It was SO good! It ended up taking more time to prepare than I hoped but was definitely worth it. Try it out!

Stuffed Collard Rolls (the altered recipe)
Serves 4-6

For the sauce:
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons white cooking wine
1 very large orange (or whatever color) tomato, cut into chunks
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon powdered rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

For the rolls:
20 large collard leaves, washed well
a 15-ounce container of cottage cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 small green pepper, chopped
a 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed and patted dry

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (I forgot to include this but I’m sure it would be quite tasty)

Make the sauce:
In a saucepan cook the onion in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is softened, add the wine, and simmer the mixture for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the sugar, the rosemary, the oregano, the red pepper flakes, and salt to taste, simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it is very thick and the liquid is almost evaporated, and spread it in the bottom of a large shallow casserole or baking dish.

Make the rolls:
In a kettle of boiling water boil the collards for 10 minutes, or until they are crisp-tender, drain them, and refresh them in a large bowl of cold water. In another large bowl combine well the ricotta, the mozzarella, the egg, the bell peppers, the corn, the scallion, and salt and pepper to taste. Cut out the tough center rib and stem one third of the way up one of the collard leaves and pat the leaf dry. Mound 2 heaping tablespoons of the cheese mixture at the top end of the leaf and roll up the leaf, tucking in the ends to form a roll. Make rolls with the remaining collard leaves and cheese mixture in the same manner.

Arrange the rolls in one layer on the sauce in the casserole and bake the rolls, covered, in the middle of a preheated 375 degrees oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the rolls are cooked through. Transfer the rolls carefully with tongs to a platter and keep them warm, covered. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and boil it until it is thickened. Stir in the parsley and pour the sauce over the rolls.

Safe Paint

image This past weekend I painted our living room light-brown. I just love it! This was the first time I had painted since going green so I wanted to choose something less toxic and more eco-friendly. Here’s what I used:
Olympic Premium: Interior Latex Flat
low-odor
no VOCs
Green Seal Certified
Sold at Lowes for about $17 (won’t break the bank)

I’m quite pleased with it and can breath easier (literally) knowing that my family won’t be harmed by fumes and gassing-off. There are other great healthy paints available as well. You can read about them at Ideal Bite.

VOC stands for ‘Volatile Organic Compounds.’ This is one time when ‘organic’ isn’t a good thing. VOCs are known to cause cancer in animals and even sometimes in humans. They can damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. In addition, it can aggravate asthma and cause headaches. VOCs can also be found in things like varnishes, gasoline, vinyl floors, carpets, cosmetics, air fresheners and pressed wood furniture.

Sources:
Environmental Protection Agency
Minnesota Department of Health

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