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September, 2014
Celebrating 8 years of Bella Vie families!
We had a great time at this year's family picnic celebrating 8 years of Bella Vie families! It was an exciting evening of fun games, great food, and warm smiles. To top it off, we had perfect weather! Thank you to all of those who came out. We're already looking forward to next years event! 
Back to school Immunity Boosters for Kids!
It’s that time of year again. Back to school. Our happy, healthy, sunshine-getting (vitamin D!), berry eating (anti-oxidants!), kids are going back to their (germ infested) schools just in time for cold and flu season!

But don’t fear! Just because schools are known to be cesspools of bacteria, doesn’t mean you have to give up the fight. Also, not all bacteria are bad! Many bacteria actually work with our own bodies and can be beneficial to us. Some good bacteria help to control the population of other potentially harmful bacteria by competing with them for space. Even the so called harmful bacteria provides some benefits. Moderate exposure to those pathogenic organisms on a regular basis provides stress to our immune systems therefore strengthening them in the same way that exercise strengthens our muscles. Antibiotics and anti-bacterial soaps and gels mess with those positive effects and we don’t want to “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” as they say. Rather than vaccination and avoidance,the focus should be on encouraging healthy lifestyle and dietary habits.

So let’s talk about some habits and natural ways to boost immunity and work with bacteria to keep our kids healthy and thriving throughout this lovely Oregon fall.
  • Avoid sugar and processed foods
  • Eat healthy snacks between meals to keep up with kids quick metabolisms
  • Encourage outdoor exercise and play (even in the cold and rain!)
  • Basic hand washing with soap and warm water, no need for antibacterial soap or gel
Natural Immune Boosters and Cold Remedies
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D is good for general health and wellness, it assists with the absorption of calcium and phosphorous as well as fights infection. A few drops of Vitamin D in its liquid form in your children’s morning beverage can make up for the lack of sunshine in Oregon fall and winter.
  • Probiotics – Good for the immune system and for keeping the stomach and gut working right, probiotics help boost the power of good bacteria. It comes in a flavorless powder form that you can mix into food or drinks, but is also readily available in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kraut, pickles and kombucha!
  • Elderberry Syrup** – It’s anti-inflamatory and anti-oxidant qualities make elderberries a super immune booster and also a great treatment for cold symptoms and respiratory distress.
  • Always consult your pediatrician with any questions or for age appropriate dosage information
**Make your Own Elderberry Syrup!
Ideally, as an immune booster and a preventative measure for colds, a child should take 1 tsp/day of elderberry syrup and an adult should take 1 tbps/day. Double that if you’re treating a cold. The problem: It works, but it can get expensive. The Solution: You can make your own at home!

  • 2/3 cup black elderberries (find them on or at
  • 3.5 cups of filtered water
  • 2 T fresh or dried ginger root
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp cloves or clove powder (optional)
  • 1 cup raw honey (local, raw honey has the additional benefit of helping prevent seasonal allergies!)
1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)
2. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. Remove from heat and let it cool enough to be handled. Pour through a strainer or cheese cloth into a glass bowl.
3. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
4. When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.

You are invited to our Birth Story Circle on Thursday, September 18th at 7:00pm. 

Hello's and Goodbye's
Lauren Stum has just finished her clinical apprenticeship at Bella Vie as of last week. You will see her around finishing up her final postpartum visits over the next month or so. You may also notice her growing belly as she is due with her fourth baby in late winter! She is planning on taking a little time with her family and then will start a small practice. Lauren has offered both staff & clients her great service and heart while working at Bella Vie. She will surely be missed!
Rose finished her one year residency at Bella Vie and is now heading back to the east coast. She is taking a job as an RN while she awaits to find her place as a Certified Nurse Midwife. We wished her farewell after she got married here in our very own orchard! It was a beautiful ceremony and we are all so glad to have been a part of her special day. We also just got word that Rose and Jimmy are expecting, and even heard whispers of Rose coming out to Bella Vie for the birth of her baby! Although only time will tell of the practicality of that happening. If it works out, we would love to have them! We very much appreciate the time & love Rose gave while at Bella Vie, and know that many of you do as well.
Dana Johnson has been a wonderful apprentice here at Bella Vie. Her passion for midwifery and safe birth for mothers and babies is palpable. She is currently taking a leave of absence from her journey of apprenticeship. We wish Dana the best and hope to see her soon. 

Sherri Clark is a new addition to the Bella Vie team as the Office Manager. Sherri hails from Nebraska and moved to Salem in May of 2013 with her husband and son. Sherri has been in management for the past 5 years. Her management experience has been in the natural foods industry doing everything from customer service training, marketing, personal relations, staff education, and managing all store operations. Sherri also has done a variety of jobs including being a preschool teacher, a missionary, a stay at home mom, and she is a trained birth doula. She has a diverse set of administrative skills. Her passion is health, knowledge, family, and mothers. She is delighted to be at Bella Vie to support the Birth Center with her skills and administrative touch. Her hobbies include cooking, gardening, music, beach-combing, health research, and spending time with her family.

Dani Stormes is our newest apprentice midwife! Her interest in midwifery was sparked by hearing the tales of transformative homebirth experiences from women in her community. At 22, Dani set out to become a certified doula. During her training, her eyes were opened to the state of birth in modern medicine, and from that moment she knew she wanted to be part of facilitating more women and family-centered birth experiences. Dani served as a doula for 4 yrs before beginning her midwifery schooling at Midwives College of Utah. She is now excited to study alongside the midwives and senior apprentices at Bella Vie, and looks forward to serving families while continuing on the path to becoming a midwife. Dani is driven by the belief that "Peace on Earth, Begins at Birth" and hopes that the loving and compassionate care midwives offer will help the world for generations to come. In her free time, Dani enjoys facilitating women's circles, singing, making herbal remedies, riding her scooter, practicing yoga, dancing, gardening, and nurturing friendships.
“Beyond the Blues” You truly are not alone!
Depression and Anxiety does not discriminate!
It can begin in pregnancy and surface anytime within 12 months after delivery.

Let’s get together to learn and support one another in these challenging times.
Bella Vie Birthing Center Group Meetings will be Wednesday October 1st at 6:00 p.m. as well as Wednesday October 8th at 10:00 a.m.

Please join us weather you are just wanting to be educated on this topic or especially if you are not feeling like yourself and need to talk!
To stay connected, consider joining our Bella Vie Family Page on Facebook. 
Copyright © 2014 Bella Vie Gentle Birth Center, All rights reserved.

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