Learning begins before birth

In the following 2011 TED talk, science reporter, author, and mother Annie Murphy Paul discusses the latest scientific evidence gathered from the fields of biology and psychology suggesting that some of our most important learning about the world happens before we are even born.

An emerging field known as Fetal Origins posits that what we experience in the womb can be a significant predictor of our health and well being for the rest of our lives.  Some of the most interesting stories Paul shares in this talk involve maternal nutrition and emotions, particularly in the third trimester, and how these have a lifelong influence on baby.

Far from using this information to cast blame or judgment on expectant mothers, the speaker hopes this fascinating area of discovery will help us promote greater health in future generations.  We’d add to that the hope that it may improve the quality of women’s experiences in pregnancy and foster greater care and support of pregnant mamas, not only for the wellbeing of their babies, but for the mamas too.


Pregnancy and infant loss support resources

babyfeetLosing a child—be it involving miscarriage, preterm labor, abortion, birth defects, stillbirth, or the death of a baby—is one of the most difficult life experiences we can have.  The hope of having a healthy child is one shared by every family—when a child is lost, it is simply devastating.  While similar to the grief we meet in other losses, the grief of losing a child is unique in many ways.  The loss of a baby at or before birth can be particularly isolating and not well understood by others.  Many of us suffer in silence and bear the weight of this overwhelming grief behind closed doors.

The intensity of perinatal loss is not governed by the length of the pregnancy or the child’s life—each time a fetus or baby does not survive and thrive is a monumental loss of life, a life just as important and cherished as any other.

If you or someone you love experiences such a tremendous loss, its important to find support and resources to assist with coping and grieving.  Unprocessed losses can adversely impact a woman or family’s future.

In that light, we have compiled some resources here.  These are intended as a starting point and are certainly not meant to be exhaustive.  If you know of additional online or local resources, we’d love to hear about them.

We wish peace, healing and hope to all those who have experienced perinatal loss.


Ella’s Halo—a non-profit organization providing comforts of home to babies and families during extended stays in Twin Cities NICUs.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep—a non-profit offering free remembrance photography

Faith’s Lodge – a retreat in the North Woods that provides a place where parents and families facing the serious illness or death of a child can retreat to reflect on the past, renew strength for the present, and build hope for the future.  Families who have lost a child, age 20+ weeks gestation through 19 years, within the last three years may check-in to Faith’s Lodge Tuesday through Saturday and may stay from one to five nights, once per year.

Various MN support groups – this is a listing of many support groups available in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota

Compassionate Friends – this national non-profit, dedicated to helping every bereaved parent, sibling, or grandparent, has many local chapters with resources, including support groups, for Twin Cities and Minnesota families.

Shoshana Center – located in Saint Paul, Dr. Deb Rich specializes in caring for women and families, including through the experience of perinatal loss.

Kenwood Therapy Center – located in Minneapolis, this center offers an array of services to help clients re-author life’s narratives and cope with life’s difficulties and transitions.

Suzanne Swanson – a Saint Paul psychologist specializing in pregnancy, birth issues, postpartum, loss/trauma, and mothering. 651-221-9709

Krista Post – Located in St. Louis Park, psychologist specializes in infertility, pregnancy & infant loss, birth trauma, postpartum issues, parenting. 612-296-3800

Earth Mama Angel Baby—herbal support for mamas who’ve lost a baby

First Candle—a non-profit offering grief counseling, and many resources to parents and professionals

MISS Foundation – caring for families experiencing the death of a baby or child at any age and from any cause.

Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope—bringing awareness to infant loss: many resources here.

StillBirthDay—an online information and support resource, also connects families with professionals training in birth loss

Glow in the Woods—written by survivors of baby loss

Still Life 365—an art project for those grieving babies

Lactation Suppression and Lactation after Infant Loss—Helpful articles on lactation suppression following loss of baby

Resources for Family and Friends

10 ways to support someone who’s just lost a baby

How to help a friend—Glow in the Woods

Cards for grieving families


Evening with Grandma! Great Class in October

Health Foundations is excited to host another evening of moms and grandmas, led by the fabulous ladies of Welcome Baby Care.

Join us on October 14 with your mom and/or mother-in-law!




This class for expectant mothers and their own mothers or mothers-in-law takes the grandparent class a step further!  Designed to educate “grandmothers-to-be” on up- to- date maternity care, birth practices and infant parenting, it is also designed as the first step in building bridges of love, understanding and communication between expectant mothers and the grandmother-to-be.  Learning takes place in an open, non- lecture format, facilitated by a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and Certified Lactation Counselor. This fun and unique class educates and empowers and builds on the bonds of shared motherhood and love.

Monday, October 14, 2013

6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Classes held at Health Foundations 

Cost- $65 for Mom and 1 Grandma

$15 for each additional Grandma

Click here to register.


FREE Postpartum Class Next week

Join us next Tuesday October 1st from 10 to 11 am for a free 1 hour class in which we will discuss posture, strength, and flexibility changes that occur during pregnancy and after delivery. We will demonstrate correct alignment for standing, sitting, bending, lifting, nursing, and pushing strollers to protect joints from strain or pain. Participants will also be led through exercises including breathing to restore ribcage position, correct abdominal strengthening, gluteal exercises, kegels, and stretching of tight muscles. Please come in comfortable clothing and feel free to bring your baby.

Instructors: Gayla Pleggenkuhle PT, PRC & Laurie Xiong, MPT have both had extensive experience working in specialized physical therapy treatment of pelvic floor and post partum musculoskeletal issues for over 15 years. They work at New Heights Physical Therapy in Mendota Heights. www.newheightsptmn.com

Class will be held at Health Foundations and is free!

Volunteers needed!

We are so grateful to the wonderful community of women and families around us.  Health Foundations has so many wonderful events happening throughout the rest of the year and we would love your help! Thanks so much for considering!

To make it easy, we have created sign ups for the following volunteer opportunities.  Just click on the link to learn more:

Birth and Baby Expo

The Twin Cities Birth and Baby Expo will be held on October 12, 2013: This event is so much fun and very busy! We will have Health Foundations Staff there as well.


Pillow Sewing

Our upstairs studio is feeling a little bare without pillows! We would LOVE to have pillows by September 23 at the latest. We have a very important conference and birth center tour happening that week.


Thank you in advance for your help! We love this community!

Welcome to the Health Foundations blog

A blog is born!

Greetings and welcome to Health Foundations’ new blog!  We are thrilled to create this virtual gathering place—a space for you to gather information, support, and resources during the childbearing year and beyond.

Here we will offer:

  • information about preconception, pregnancy, birth, babies, postpartum, and parenting
  • news about community and Health Foundations events
  • birth stories
  • insight from experts in the birth world
  • recipes
  • pictures
  • and much more

This blog is for and about YOU—our amazing Health Foundations families—we invite you to share with us your birth stories (and pictures!) as well as other stories about your birth and baby adventures.

We also welcome feedback—what would you like to see shared here?  What are your burning questions about pregnancy, birth, and new parenthood?

Please feel free to contact Jaime at Jaime@health-foundations.com with your questions, stories and feedback.

Thanks, come back and visit us again soon!

469755_10150978476250734_504943501_oPhoto by Gwendolyn Waite Photography