Esali Birth, a holistic perinatal education and doula support organization, will be using funds raised from the 2018 Esali Mother’s Day 5k to provide families of the Mid-Ohio Valley with free postpartum doula care. This continuation of postpartum care for a new mother allows her body time to heal helping to prevent postpartum mood disorders in mothers and fathers as well as time to reflect on the birth experience and move forward into early parenting with confidence. Families can apply for postpartum doula care by registering at where arrangements can then be scheduled.

“The six weeks after birth are a critical time period for mom’s ability to establish breastfeeding, heal emotionally and physically from their birth experience, and transition into a new phase of motherhood. Most parents are not only left 24-48 hours after their birth to begin this new life transition on their own, but mothers are also routinely not being checked again by their provider until 6 weeks after the birth. Our culture often expects a family to quickly be back on their feet with house work and even out of the home jobs within weeks of birth,” says Danielle Bergum, Doula and Perinatal Mentor with Esali Birth.

Approximately 50 hours of postpartum doula care are available on a first-come first-service basis through Esali Birth for mothers in their three-month postpartum time period. Postpartum doula care can range from light house work and meal prep to breastfeeding support, babywearing guidance, and entertaining siblings while mom, and dad, rests and rejuvenates. Postpartum doula care is beneficial for women that have experienced both a normal vaginal birth as well as cesarean and pre-term birth or perinatal loss. At this time, postpartum doula care through this program is limited per family; however, families can schedule addition postpartum care through standard doula services as desired.

Esali Birth provides education, doula support, and full mentoring to families in the Mid-Ohio Valley and online. Esali Birth seeks to enhance the knowledge of options available to childbearing families as well as the human rights individuals have during birth and beyond. Empowering parents to make informed decisions about their health and well-being is our focus through confidence-building education, awareness and support.

# # #

If you would like more information about the Esali Birth Postpartum Doula Care Program, please contact Danielle Bergum at 304-482-4729 or email at

Not everyone can hire a postpartum doula, nor has the family and friends able, willing or experienced to help during the postpartum weeks.  Often, Dad must return to work within a week and Mom is left alone at home.  Even with two parents home, taking care of one child, let alone multiple, can be an overwhelming task.  Reality is, we just weren't meant to do so much on our own, despite the number of years the western world has been putting independence on a pedestal.  Unfortunately, our culture is seeing the results of dispersed families, loan and credit card living, and lack of real community for the basic tasks of daily survival.

Nevertheless, this is our reality and tips to help us make it through the early parenting weeks and months are incredibly helpful.  Preparing for postpartum can be super easy when you start around your 36th week of pregnancy.  This gives you plenty of time to make freezer meals slowly while also getting you ready for if baby comes a little sooner than you might expect.


12 Tips for Prepping Postpartum Meals

  1. Keep postpartum meals wholesome.  It is easy to make heavy casseroles and comfort food, which often freeze well, and then not feel nourished when you need well balanced nutrition for optimal hormonal balancing and breastfeeding nourishment.  Comfort food is filling and yummy, and there's nothing wrong with this now and then - but remember to keep most of your meals nourishing and digestible to support a healthy milk supply, and emotional well-being.  Eat food blends that cover all the colors of the rainbow, especially green.
  2. Double up postpartum meals.  One of the easiest ways to prepare postpartum meals is to simply double your recipe for any meal and freeze half.  This allows very little extra time spent prepping additional foods.
  3. Single serve frozen postpartum meals.  It is common to freeze a big dinner for the whole family, but remember that Mom may be spending a lot of time alone in the house and may not need to heat up a whole meal - not to mention the extra time needed to thaw a larger meal.  Freeze breakfast or lunch burritos that can be warmed up when you want something a little more than a sandwich but don’t want to thaw out a whole dish.  If you’re a smaller family, get 3-4 meals out of your leftovers by packaging them in separate (disposable) containers.  This takes us to our next point.
  4. Thaw your postpartum meals the night before.  Once you have your calendar made, it will be easy to know what you're having and remember to set your meal in the refrigerator for faster cooking the next day.
  5. Meal Calendar Planning for postpartum meals.  Make a calendar weekly (or even for the first 6 weeks) of at least dinner options so that you don’t have to use energy to think about a wholesome meal which means you also save time (and likely money) when making a grocery list and shopping.
  6. Love your crock pot for postpartum meals.  Crockpots are great for large pots of soup, casseroles, whole chickens and vegetables, and leftovers.
  7. Splurge on organic and preservative-free processed foods. Everyone loves pantry items for convenience, but don't let convenience trump quality.  Spend some time canning your own soup or spend a little extra on higher quality brands in the health"ier" food sections to be sure you don't get bogged down with clogging chemicals when you need to feel your best.
  8. Make snack platters and fill bottles.  A great job for the birth partner, or anyone stopping by to help, is to prep the snack platters by opening any packages, washing any produce, and getting things ready to go for quick eating throughout the week.  Make a fruit and cheese tray.  Prep a veggie and fruit tray.  Do this every 2-3 days so you always have something fresh to eat while Dad is away, or when not even heating the freezer meal is an option.  Don’t forget to fill up reusable water bottles that can be tossed anywhere without spilling and placed at all the nursing places throughout the house.  These quick prep options also encourage mom to get out and get some sunshine and social time as the weeks go by because packing healthy snacks takes only seconds for you and any siblings.
  9. Keep snacks and drinks reachable.  If you have older children that aren’t quite at the independent stage, prep snacks for you and them at a reachable height.  This means they can go into the pantry or the refrigerator and easily grab healthy snacks and foods for themselves without your help for those marathon nursing sessions.  Don’t forget to include your own snacks at this height so they can bring you food or drinks when getting up is a little difficult.  Don’t forget items that they can make themselves to occupy their mind and hands, too, like lunch meat and cheese, roasted chickpeas, peanut butter, or pesto which makes an amazing dip or sandwich spread.
  10. Use an eCalendar planning service for postpartum meals.  Don't forget baby showers, blessingways, church groups, and any other network you're affiliated with for their desire to help postpartum.  A simple online web search will provide you with many options for meal calendar sign up aps and services to share.  These not only allow date sign-ups, but also provide options for take-out, gift cards, and sending meal boxes by mail for loved ones far away to lend a hand (not to mention house cleaning and yard work).  You can alternate these between your freezer meals and you can save your meals for when the help stops.  Don’t forget these postpartum help cards to hand out when you write your baby shower thank you notes.
  11. Cool meals completely before freezing.  Don’t forget to let your meals to be frozen completely cool before packaging to reduce sogginess when reheating and prevent thawing out foods when you put them in the freezer.
  12. Be conscientious about food storage.  Disposable trays are wonderful when avoiding the extra task of cleanup during postpartum but unfortunately these options are often limited to aluminum (which is a neurotoxin) or BPA or other chemically-lined paperware.  When possible, use glass for storage.  Bake in glass dishes and then store in something else, and where you’re able reheat in glass.

Looking for a few postpartum meal options?  Check out these recipes:

  • Apple Squash Soup - Wonderfully nourishing to the immune system and an excellent cool weather comforting meal.
  • Wild Rice Casserole - Casseroles are both easy to make and filling, and this one is doubly nourishing without all the heavy starches typical of casserole dishes.
  • Nettle Lasange - Twist up your lasagne dish with nutrient packed nettles - great for nourishment for the whole family, and for breastmilk.  (Don't have fresh nettles?  Sub 1/2 the amount the recipe calls for with dried nettles and a little water to reconstitute and blend in your sauce).
  • Broccoli Parmesean Vegetarian Meatballs - Excellent for a meatless meal, a snack, a side dish, or a main course.
  • 10 Crockpot No Cook Freezer Meals - Here is a great list of meal prep without the need to cook-ahead and all it requires is opening the bag and pouring in a crockpot for an easy peasy fresh dinner.  Excellent for the postpartum doula bag, too.


What was your favorite postpartum meal?


Well, hello there!  While we've seen a lot from each other through "Esali Birth," I wanted to take a moment to say a personal hello from me, Danielle from the Mid-Ohio Valley, and share a basic service and price list for all of you looking for perinatal support through the childbearing years in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

If you're new to Esali Birth you may not know my story which I love sharing throughout the many times we may meet on your journey.  Mostly, I am a modern gal living in rural WV that loves to intertwine instinctual, historical, knowledge with only the most beneficial parts of our modern world.  I wear many hats in my family and life and love the diversified options I have in this beautiful world.  I also love supporting families during the childbearing years from the most basic loving hug to the scientific ins and outs of childbirth.  Whatever you need in this moment is what I strive to provide.  Sometimes that is advice, sometimes it is research, sometimes it is nutritional guidance, and it is always understanding of your personal journey which is ever changing.

My services range from pre-conception counseling to childbirth education and doula support.  I have a variety of herbal blends available and custom blends that can be created for your specific needs from soothing foot soaks and beverage tea blends to body balancing while transitioning from medicinal birth control and perinatal support.  See my service menu below for a basic list of options in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

While I do require services be paid in full, I provide my NPI number and guidance for my clients to submit claims to their insurance to help cover doula education and support fees upon request.

Want to learn more?  See me chat with Marilee Marrow on Moms Everyday and visit my Support Page.  Find me on Skype @esalibirth for my online [free] "Office Hours."

Have questions?  Get in touch!

Hey, Momma! Yes, Dad, you're included! Cheers! You've got this! I know you have questions
and concerns.
Let's get those fears released
so you can simply enjoy pregnancy.
From family health and wellness
to "Doula 101" tips
everyone is included in an Esali Birth class
and webinar options make distance a non-issue.

Taking a babymoon and wanting to limit visitors and overstimulation?  Ever just wanted your friends and family to know exactly how to help you postpartum?  Are you a first time mom and not quite sure what you'll need?  Know what it feels like when those calls and visitors stop coming after 2-3 weeks?

This can be quite a tough culture for the childbearing and parenting years.  Most families would welcome the visitors if they knew just what to do.

Check out our new printable cards.  Print on card stock, flip and print again.  Repeat.

Coordinate times to visit by adding dad's (or your main support person's) phone number or e-mail so they're able to filter calls.  You'll feel much more rested if you aren't spending hours on the phone retelling your birth story and talking all about the baby to everyone who wants to get in touch.  Cut.  Then hand them out to everyone who tells you the classic "let me know if/how I can help."

[button size="large" color="theme" link="" tooltip=""]Click Here to Download[/button]EB Postpartum CardsPin


Best Perinatal Articles

I’m consistently referencing a list full of articles that I find to be the most fascinating and helpful during the perinatal stages (on top of my blog, of course, lol). I wanted to start a list for myself, rather than just bookmarking, and decided a blog would be the best way to share this with others – and for future reference. I will continuously update this as I find new, impressive, articles – and if there are any that you love, please message those to me and I will review and add as I see fit! Enjoy and happy learning!

Family and friends often want to be a big part of the postpartum period to get to know the newest little one. In many other cultures, family and friends in the community are a large part of the postpartum period to allow mom to get to know her baby and rest after birth. In the American culture, a lot of friends and family have be accustomed to wanting to visit with the new baby, playing, holding, and feeding. This cultural difference can make a big difference in the postpartum period for families. It is very important that postpartum help is of a positive manner and mom is not spending her time entertaining guests or dealing with a fussy baby from overstimulation.

belly binding wrap

Postpartum Belly Binding

Bellybinding helps to comfortably position your uterus, and supporting tissue, through involution (the uterus going back to it's pre-pregnancy size) after the birth of your baby.  Traditional Malaysian style Bengkung Belly Binding (which is different than using a corset) supports from the ribs, over the abdomen, and to the pelvic girdle, for full support in a flexible way that allows your muscles to regain their strength and your lungs to expand for full breathing.

Postpartum Belly Binding provides you with:

  • Abdominal Support
  • Organ Guidance
  • Decrease chance for diastasis recti
  • Confidence and strength when maneuvering after birth

Basic Belly Binding


  • Custom-made muslin bengkung style belly wrap
  • 1 Postpartum visit (beginning within the first three days postpartum, and completing within the first week postpartum - must be discharged from the hospital before this can begin):
    • Light touch abdominal massage
    • Belly wrap and demonstration to your partner to continue wrapping for the first week postpartum
  • No herbs are included in this package

Full Belly Binding


  • Custom-made muslin bengkung style belly wrap
  • 3 Postpartum visits (beginning within the first three days postpartum, and completing within the first week postpartum - must be discharged from the hospital before this can begin):
    • Light touch abdominal massage
    • Belly wrap and demonstration to your partner to continue wrapping between visits, and after the first week postpartum
  • Healing herbal blend for an abdominal poultice (enough for 5 days postpartum)

How Belly Binding Works

How do I schedule postpartum belly binding?

I will need to be notified of your desire for belly binding a minimum of 4 weeks prior to your baby's estimated birth date.  Sooner is better as I can only accept a certain number of clients per month.  This provides me with time to create the custom wrap, and order any herbal blends from quality sources, as well as place you tentatively on my schedule.  I require a $100 non-refundable down payment.

How do we setup the date to begin postpartum belly binding?

I prefer to be notified at least two days prior to beginning this service so I can fit you into my schedule as quickly as possible after your birth.  If you can give me a heads up when you're in labor, that is valuable.  Calling is preferable to messaging.

If you birth at home, this treatment can begin as early as the first 1-2 days after the birth if you are a current labor doula or birth assistant client.  It is preferable to begin after the first 24 hours.

If you birth in a facility, you must be discharged from the facility.  Due to the nature of hospital policies and routines within the first few days after birth, I am not comfortable providing this service until families have arrived home.  This is usually day 3, including labor doula clients.

What measurements do you need to make the custom wrap?

In order to provide you with the best support postpartum, these wraps are custom made to your measurements.  These measurements are best taken with some baby weight on you, as the wraps are used during the postpartum period when you are not yet a pre-pregnancy size.  There is not a specific time to take your measurements, this estimate just allows me to get within a size range.  (Dress or pants size does not help, because everyone's torso is a different length and we all gain various amounts with each pregnancy).

E-mail the following measurements with your name and your baby's estimated birth date to with Postpartum Belly Binding Measurements in the subject line:

Height - Measure the distance between the underside of your breast, to the widest part of your hips

Waist: Measure the circumference of the widest area of your waist

Insurance Reimbursement

My doula services, including antenatal doula mentoring, labor doula, and postpartum doula care may be reimbursable by your insurance company.  Fees are required to be paid in full and you must submit your own claims; however, I will provide my NPI number and supporting information to help you with your claim submission.  In many cases, a well-written letter explaining how you believe doula support reduced costs for your birth, as well as persistence, will provide you with a reimbursement.  Please contact for any questions.



Tell me your story. I'd love to help you have a happy healthy birth!

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