New Report Outlines the Pathway to a Healthy Birth

Just released, a new report by Childbirth Connection outlines just what’s going on with the hormones of late pregnancy and labor and how common interventions, like labor inductions and epidurals, get in the way and most often cause some form of harm to the laboring mother and baby. Though we’ve known intuitively and scientifically for years and years (and years) that the natural process of labor is, for the vast majority of the population, the safest way to birth, the burden of proof is now finally shifting onto the birth interventionalists. Let’s use this information to calm our thinking minds, spring free from the prickly grip of fear and lean into trust; trust in ourselves, trust in our bodies, and trust in the process of birth once and for all.


Comprehensive Report Examines the Science on the Hormonal Physiology of  Childbearing and Its Implications for Women, Babies and Maternity Care

The country’s maternity care system is missing opportunities to provide better care and use resources more wisely by routinely intervening in labor and delivery in ways that interfere with, instead of promoting, supporting and protecting, innate biological processes that result in healthier outcomes for women and newborns.



Here’s the press release and a summary of the new report:

Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care.

Click the image the see it bigger and/or to download the PDF to share!

Pathway to a Healthy Birth


Step 1: Graduate From Nursing School



Yesterday afternoon, a long-awaited moment came: I was pinned as a graduate of the Simmons College School of Nursing! It’s been a long road. Two and half years of full-time, year-round study, 700 clinical hours, hours of reading, prepping for exams, and writing care plans. I have to say, I am so proud of myself. I had to take classes like organic chemistry and pass medication calculation exams. Every. Semester. These requirements scared me out of my wits! But I did it and it was all worth it.

I can’t write a post about graduating from nursing school without a shout-out to my husband and greatest supporter, Matthew Billey of Starleaf Boat Works and 2 Union Wood Craft. He has been by my side this entire time, making me healthy food during long study sessions, calming my fears that I would fail an upcoming exam despite weeks of studying, listening as I described tough clinical days at the hospital, packing me lunches, filling my thermos with hot tea and honey, changing the oil in my car so I could get to class and clinical, filling my washer fluid reservoir so I could see through my windshield, and in general, basically being totally amazing. I honestly could not have survived this program without him. More than anything, just knowing I had someone to come home to, to eat dinner with, to make me laugh, and to nudge my butt out of bed on those cold winter mornings when I had to get up so very early for clinical, was the best support I could ever have asked for. He earned this degree with me (and even married me in the midst of it all). Thank you, Bear. Thank you so much.

Next step, the last step of the “become a nurse” process, is to study and sit for the NCLEX exam, which is the national nursing board exam. I’m planning to do that in late January. When I pass, I will officially be an R.N. and one giant step closer to being a Certified Nurse-Midwife! But first, I’m taking some down time this week to enjoy the pause between and go cut down a Christmas tree from my Grampy’s woods. Nursing pin in hand, the snow is falling and I even talked Matt into joining me for my annual Love Actually screening last night. It’s an understatement to say I’m feeling grateful.

Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend and week as we turn inward and move towards the upcoming Solstice.

om. xo.

Kara, pre-licensure R.N.

A little plug for my Love.

Sweet mamas, have I told you? My husband, Matthew Billey of Starleaf Boat Works and 2 Union Wood Craft, is one heck of a wood worker. Traditional wooden boats, hand-turned candle stick holders, wooden cradle boats, custom SUP paddles, reclaimed, raw-edge wooden coffee tables, built from scratch guitars, beautiful + functional chairs, he crafts it ALL, and by hand. If you live locally, please come visit us at the First Annual 2 Union Wood Craft Holiday Pop-Up Shop (hours above). For more info, please email me ( or Matt ( or give him a call to set up a gallery viewing appointment. World-wide shipping is available for most pieces.

Wooden Baby Cradle Boat

Start ‘em in boats young, Matt says.

Hand-turned Candle Stick Holders

Statement maker, White Oak hand-turned candle stick holders from 2 Union Wood Craft’s “FIRE WOOD” line.


Private Prenatal Yoga Now $50

prenatal yoga

Image from

In effort to keep prenatal yoga accessible to sweet mamas everywhere–well, those on the North Shore at least–I am now offering private prenatal yoga sessions (1 hour in length) for new and expectant mamas at a $25 off, discounted rate of $50 per session.

And(!) now, instead of just 5 friends, you can add up to 9 friends at this rate. That’s just $5 per mama! Even with 5 mamas, it’s just $10 a class.

If you haven’t found the right prenatal yoga teacher for you, the class times offered don’t fit into your schedule, or you are simply looking for more personalized instruction, private sessions could be a great option for you. Please email me at or give a call at 978-471-9122 to set up a time for weekly, bi-monthly or monthly classes.

om. xo.


SweetMama Back to Treetop Yoga for Two Classes This Weekend

Yogis! The heat is here so let’s make its acquaintance, shall we? This Friday and Saturday I’m covering for the lovely Hayley Haberman at Treetop Yoga in Gloucester. We have a Friday afternoon vinyasa flow to help you transition from your busy week and an early-morning option on Saturday for a loving little hot yoga kick in the pants. Or, really get your practice on and join us for both classes!

Friday, June 20th, 5-6 PM, Vinyasa Flow Hour (just $10!)

Saturday, June 21st (Happy Summer Solstice), 7:30-8:45 AM, Hot Power

Hope to see you there!

An In-Hospital Newborn Bath Done Right, Full of Presence & Peace

Wouldn’t the world be a different place if we always handled newborns with this much care and intention? This video stops me in my tracks every time I watch it. The wild and immense potential to make peace manifest by being present to each other is so real, as evidenced here. Notice how your body feels when you watch.

Baby bath video

(Sorry about the ad at the start of the video (hey, it’s YouTube), and sorry I couldn’t figure out how to input the video right into the post!)

SweetMama Takes a Hiatus

Hello, all. This is the official announcement that the SweetMama Prenatal Yoga class at Harbor Yoga in Gloucester will no longer be meeting after Monday, April 21st. It’s been so lovely teaching in this beautiful, cozy space. Sadly, my summer schedule for nursing school is super full and I don’t want to spread myself too thin. I hope my Fall semester will allow a little more wiggle room so we can put this class back on the schedule after Labor Day. A heartfelt thank you to HY director Chris Crotty and the Harbor Yoga sangha. I’ve loved every moment of being on staff at HY and look forward to continuing to be a part of this community as a student.

If you’re new to my blog or even to Cape Ann and you haven’t taken a class at Harbor yet, pregnant or not, I highly recommend it. For information on classes, teachers, workshops, and to sign up for the newsletter, please visit

Two *FREE* Online Mama & Woman-Centered Summits Coming Up This Spring

First up: The Mom Conference, April 7th-14th

The Mom Conference!

Click the image to register!

This is a week-long online event created by Moms for Moms. I learned about this conference when an email from Chris Kresser of Health for the 21st Century and creator of The Healthy Baby Code popped up in my inbox. Chris is a licensed acupuncturist and integrative wellness practitioner from California. The Healthy Baby code is an excellent resource for couples struggling to conceive (Chris and his wife shared in that struggle, which is what led to his creating THBC) and for any Mama who wants to refine her diet to eating the most nutritious foods for herself and Baby all the way through pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond.



Next up: The Second Opinion Series: The Thyroid Sessions, May 4th

Thyroid Summit

Click the image to register!

Oh the thyroid. Such a tiny gland and it controls oh so much in our bodies! Your thyroid hormones control:

  • metabolism
  • growth
  • body temperature
  • muscle strength
  • appetite and,
  • the health of your heart, brain, kidneys, and reproductive system!

Those are some pretty important functions. And, yes, it says reproductive system. Did you know hypothyroidism is a main cause of infertility?

Thyroid health is of personal relevance to me. About a year ago, I had my routine physical at my PCP and I asked to have my thyroid checked. My paternal grandmother had hypothyroidism and I know two of my aunts have been diagnosed with it. I suffered with dry skin and dry hair my whole life. I tended towards fatigue, tiredness, and depression. I also just had an intuitive feeling that everything was running a little too slowly.

When the results of my blood test came back my doctor’s note said everything was within normal limits. But when I saw the results of the test for myself, I knew I was on the very low end of normal. Much of the research tells us that under-active thyroid can manifest in a multitude of ways, not just low TSH which is what the standard test checks.

Have you ever wondered about your thyroid? Most mainstream docs don’t give the thyroid its due attention. And they don’t consider all the ways under- or over-active thyroid can show up on a blood test. That’s why I’m thrilled that Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness is bringing us this FREE online thyroid series!