Archive for the ‘Bradley’ Category

Getting your office ready for business?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

New mama? Looking for a way to add some extra income while still being able to flex things around LIFE? There are so many options! You’ll want to pick something that resonates within you. I believe you’ll know it when you see it! For me, it was finding a product line that was super practical, money-saving, time-saving and wellness-promoting… with the silver lining of being much better for our Earth, too! I don’t know what will be your niche, but you’ll likely want to get your home office set up. Here are a few items that have been helpful in my journey.

I’ve found it’s much more economical & time friendly to do my own laminating. You’ll want to find a good, reasonable laminator if your biz benefits from some lamination from time to time! :) Here’s an example: AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator

Then just purchase lamination sheets & you’re off & running! Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches 8.9 x 11.4 Inches 3 mil, 100-Pack (TP3854-100)

Privacy is uber important when running a business! Your customers will appreciate and expect that you shred any documents with sensitive information. Fortunately, with technology, the amount of paperwork is decreasing, but you’ll know if this might be a good thing for your specific business: AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Strip-Cut Paper, CD, and Credit Card Shredder

In my business, I’m still a bit old-fashioned and use some printed items, so a stapler has been helpful (and they’re super reasonable, too!): AmazonBasics Stapler with 1000 Staples – Black

Another office item that has been super helpful has been a good printer! I have really liked ours! HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One Printer

Remember printer paper! Hammermill Paper, Premium Multi-Purpose Poly Wrap, 8.5 x 11, Letter, 97 Bright, 1 Ream (105910) Made In The USA

Again, this sounds frivilous, but we’ve found that an amazing scissors is amazing to have! Give the Fiscars Forged Scissors a try if you’re not thrilled with what you have around the house! Fiskars 8 Inch Forged Scissors

I do quite a bit of mailing in my business, so this has been a very worthwhile office investment!Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging Tape, 1.88 Inches x 54.6 Yards, 3 Rolls of Tape with Free SB-200 Dispenser (3850-3-FPD)

Along the topic of mailing, I have found that these envelopes are sturdy and get my packages to their intended destination with no tearing! Quality Park TYVEK and Tear-Resistant Envelopes, 10 x 13 inches (R1582)

So you know what I really, really try to avoid at all costs? Standing in line at the post office!! So I have become a whiz at mailing things from HOME!!!! It has saved me so much in TIME (a.k.a. money!) and my sanity! The DYMO twin turbo printer can print postage for you, as well as printing labels FAST!!! DYMO Desktop Mailing Solution w/LabelWriter Twin Turbo PC/Mac, 71 Labels/Min

If you were in my office, you’d quick realize that I’m a big fan of these cubbies for keeping myself organized! Horizontal or Vertical 8-Cube Bookcase,Room Divider and Storage Cabinet with 8 Fabric Bins with Handles, Easy Assembly and Solid Construction by O’nin

Those, combined with a nice Hon Filing Cabinet, help keep me organized! Hon 510 Series Ltr-size 4-drawer Vert. File w/Lock-4-Drawer Letter File, Vertical, 15″x25″x52″, Light Gray

Laminated Luggage Tags: Sparco Luggage Tag Laminating Pouch – 2.5″ Width x 4.5″ Length x 5mil Thickness – Pre-trimmed – 100 / Box – Clear

Laminator: Scotch Thermal Laminator Combo Pack, Includes 20 Letter-Size Laminating Pouches, Holds Sheets up to 8.5″ x 11(TL902VP)

Clips to use with the laminated luggage tags: 200 Lanyard Hook Craft & Hobby ID Card Key Chain Parts

Fuzzy Dice: Soft Plush Hanging Dice One Dozen Pair – Bulk by Fun Express,Assorted Colors

Glo Germ Powder 4 Ounce

Escolite UV Flashlight Black Light, 51 LED 395 nM Ultraviolet Blacklight Detector for Dog Urine, Pet Stains and Bed Bug

TOPS The Legal Pad Writing Pads, 5″ x 8″, Jr. Legal Rule, Canary Paper, 50 Sheets, 12 Pack (7501)

I’m sure there are many other helpful items, but hope this list helps you get thinking about the space you’re building for your home business!! I wish you great success! Blessings!

Fabulous Ring Slings- an essential for new parents!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

A while ago, I did a blog entry about some of my favorite baby carriers, but it’s now buried deep in my blog, and with me having a newborn again, I frequently get asked where I got my ring sling… so I thought it’s worth doing a “re-blog” on the subject!  :)

I believe that a good baby carrier is an essential for any new parents, and there are SO many options available that it can often be overwhelming!

I don’t believe all ring slings are created equal- with the little differences being very important.  I like the adjustability and versatility of ring slings, and have found them very convenient to breastfeed my baby when I’m out and about.  While some parents prefer non-padded slings, I’ve found the lightly-padded slings to be much more comfortable for me.  But keep in mind:  there are some padded slings that are not as adjustable as others.  I also like a pocket on the open tail of a sling.  Perfect for tucking in a diaper or small blankie or toy, or for turning inside-out and tucking the rest of the sling into so it will fit compactly into your diaper bag.  **Please remember that it is your responsibility, as a baby wearer, to practice safe baby-wearing techniques, and to always check the stitching that holds the rings and the integrity of the fabric before each use to ensure your baby’s safety.

Here are some sling websites to check out.  (These are some lightly-padded ring slings that I’ve personally tried and liked quite well): -much baby wearing info available here! – cute designer fabrics & matching baby hats, diaper pouches, blankets

Best of luck finding that perfect carrier for you & your baby!  The benefits of wearing your baby are numerous.  If the first carrier isn’t the perfect match for you, don’t despair.  There is likely another one that will work for you.  See my earlier post about the Beco Butterfly II carrier for older babies…  :)

So grateful for amazing blessings in our lives!

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Happy Spring!  :)  For those of you who are new to my Purely Born blog, I taught Bradley classes in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Sioux Falls, South Dakota areas for about seven years.  And now, with my Norwex home business flourishing, I have chosen to pass the baton to new teachers in the Cedar Rapids/ Marion area, John & Sarah Halsrud.  The Bradley Method classes are so amazing and empowering– I congratulate you for seeking them out!!  They will not only make a difference in your birth… but in your life. I have been so incredibly blessed to impact many babies & families through my Bradley classes.  Call Sarah and John today! Email them at: or or phone them: 319.545.2393.

Within our busy, modern lifestyles, we’re constantly trying to find the somewhat elusive “wellness”, “balance”, and “simplicity”.  I know with a household of busy little guys, a full-fledged home business, and simply coordinating around schedules, achieving these three can sometimes be challenging.  I have been so blessed that Norwex provides me a way to be home with my children during the day, while still making an excellent income that really makes a difference for our family!  In fact, we don’t usually talk money, but when I replaced & surpassed my full-time PT income, I realized to a whole new extent what a gift this business can be.

Give me a call if you’re also at the place in your life where you’d love to be home with your children, while still contributing to the family budget!   605-271-1814


Sonya Eckel

New Teachers in the Cedar Rapids area!

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

OK- a quick update to this post— John & Sarah will now be teaching Cedar Rapids Bradley Method classes in Marion, Iowa.  Please contact them at the emails below to find out their current schedule and details!  :)

I’m super excited!  John and Sarah Halsrud will now be teaching in the Cedar Rapids area (located between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City)!  Here is their contact information.  Email them at: or or give them a call: 319.545.2393.  They are planning to begin a series on November 16th- contact them directly for the class details and upcoming classes!!  :)

Welcome Sarah & John!  We’re excited to have you taking the Cedar Rapids Bradley baton!

Perfect New-Mama Gifts

Friday, July 30th, 2010

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for that perfect gift idea!  Those of you who follow my blog know that I’m crazy about Norwex cleaning products, as they provide a super-effective way to clean and eliminate chemicals, while saving bucco time and money!  All things that every new mom needs!  (For more details on the Norwex products, visit

And now I’ve recently discovered Thirty-One Gifts- a fun thing to combine with Norwex for the perfect New Mom gift!  If you haven’t yet heard of 31 Gifts, check it out here:  They are fun and reasonably priced (& easy to personalize, too!).  I discovered this company when I was searching for the perfect diaper bag/ Mama-of-Four purse!  And the Cindy Tote fit the bill.  A Norwex baby towel set or Antibac Baby Body Cloths with some Organic Shea Butter are the perfect diaper bag stuffers/ baby gifts!  I also find that the baskets & bags are a fantastic solution to better organization…. another thing that most moms are grateful for!  These help you to establish “a place for  every thing” in your house-  a key to getting & staying organized!  Check it out!  :)  Happy gift-giving!

Sonya Eckel

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sioux Falls, South Dakota




  Ready to have more TIME with your little ones?  Norwex allows me to stay home with my children while earning a full-time income.  I would love to help you start a business that can truly change your life… as well as the lives of others.  Call me if you’d like to learn more.  605-277-7570

For all things a season…

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I can’t believe how quickly summer is going!  We just welcomed our fourth son, Samuel, into our family on the 16th of July!  He’s such an incredible gift, just like the other three!  :)  We had a wonderful home birth experience- my first water birth!  As always, we thank our incredible midwife, Kathy Deol, for all of her expertise and support. 

But with our growing family and a successful Norwex business to fill my schedule, I am needing to let something go.  So I am hoping to pass the Bradley baton to someone else here in the Cedar Rapids area so we can continue to get this incredibly empowering information into the hands of more expectant couples!  So stay tuned and check back at the site–I’ll keep you posted!  :)  In the meantime, you can contact the Iowa City teachers, Kara & Marcus

All the best to you during your pregnancy and wishing you a beautiful birth experience!

Do you know the benefits of doula support?

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Doulas- Finding your Match
What a wonderful addition to your natural birth!

As a Bradley Method® Childbirth Educator, I’d like to briefly cover why doulas can be such an excellent adjunct to Bradley Method® classes when you are wanting to birth your baby naturally.  I’ve had several couples in my classes who choose to work with a doula.  They have been very grateful for the extra pair of hands, encouragement and expertise!  Here’s what Elisa, mother of Isla, has shared about their birth experience with the combination of Bradley® classes and an excellent doula:

They say that the only things we fear are the things we don’t understand and nothing proved that more to me than labor. One of the most asked questions to pregnant woman (behind “When are you due?” and “What are you having?” of course) is “Are you nervous?”.  I never was. People thought that was funny, but it was true. I was never nervous or fearful of what was about to happen. The Bradley classes had prepared me so well on what would happen during labor, I only felt excitement. I understood the process of labor, therefore I wasn’t afraid of it.

If the Bradley classes were our best investment in preparing for childbirth, our doula, Jun-Nicole Matsushita was our second best! Having Jun-Nicole freed my husband to concentrate on coaching me and using what we learned during Bradley classes, not worrying about things that needed to be done. When I look back, I am amazed how Jun-Nicole was steps ahead of us during labor-getting what we needed next all ready. When I wanted to be in the tub, it was filled. When I thought I should eat something, there was food. All of this happened without us knowing and allowed Micah to never leave my side. Neither one of us worried about anything during labor, it was all taken care of before we realized it needed to be done.”


One very important thing when choosing a doula is to interview several to see who is the best fit.  Just like hiring your caregiver (doctor/ midwife), you want to be sure that this is someone who you are excited to have as part of your birthing team!  Another good idea is to ask each doula if you can call some of her past clients as a reference.  It’s also very powerful to talk with other new parents who have experienced a birth much like what you are hoping for– here is where you will get some of your best referrals and recommendations!


In the majority of “Bradley Method births”, the father plays the key “coach” role.  And in other Bradley births, another person close to the mother takes the “coach” role.  Many couples seek a doula who does not interrupt this important “mom-coach” relationship, but rather is that perfect extra pair of hands in the background helping the process to flow as naturally as possible!
Why use a doula? 
(Adapted from

A doula provides continuous non-clinical support to a woman and her coach during pregnancy, birth, and the early weeks of parenting. A doula at your side during labor is focused solely on you and your partner to provide emotional support, practical assistance, and a calm, consistent, objective presence. Part of a doula’s role includes suggesting appropriate comfort measures such as position changes, performing light massage, and assisting with guided relaxation. She may make suggestions to help your coach best support you, while yet allowing him/ her to fully experience the birth as a loving participant. Throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period your doula can help you understand basic terminology, procedures and medical practices to further your efforts to make informed decisions. Your doula should be part of a whole team, where each member has a special role to play in supporting you for your birth.

Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth. Review.” 2007. The Cochrane Collaboration. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. “Results: Sixteen trials involving 13,391 women met inclusion criteria and provided usable outcome data. Primary comparison: women who had continuous intrapartrum support were likely to have a slightly shorter labour, were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth and less likely to have intrapartum analgesia or to report dissastisfaction with their childbirth experiences…. Authors conclusions: All women should have support throughout labour and birth. “Social Support by Doulas During Labor and the Early Postpartum Period.” Hospital Physician, September 2001. Bruce A. Meyer, Jane A. Arnold, and Debra Pascali-Bonaro.

In summary, doula support can also result in:

  • reducing the length of labor by 25%
  • reducing your chances of having a cesarean birth by more than 50%
  • reducing mothers’ requests for epidurals by 60%
  • reducing mothers’ requests for other pain medications by 30%
  • reducing the need for oxytocin augmentation or use of a vacuum or forceps by 40%
  • a higher incidence of breastfeeding success
  • a mother and partner who consistently report high levels of satisfaction with their birth experiences.

(In my Resources section, you’ll find the Iowa City Doulas link- to date, I’m not aware of a comparable link for all of the Cedar Rapids doulas- please let me know if you know otherwise!) :) I wish you the best in finding that perfect doula match for your birth!)  Also nationwide, you can find local doulas at

Happy cleaning!

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I’m super excited about my latest discovery!  A company that offers simple, effective, environmentally-friendly, family-friendly products…. that *really do work*!  NORWEX.

In class, we talk often about removing chemicals from our homes and being cautious about what we’re cleaning with, to protect our growing babies.  However, the problem has always been that the “safe” cleaners aren’t always the effective ones… not to mention that they’re expensive!  I have countless number of partially-used “natural cleaners” that aren’t worth beans!  Vinegar & soda are always a good way to be “green”, and that’s what I was largely using, however they don’t always do the job, either.  So when I heard about Norwex cloths recently, I was skeptical.  But once I started using them, my skepticism quickly vanished.  These things really work- they WILL save you time & money. And the company stands behind them with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee!  Here’s the company website:

Because the Norwex mission, “to improve quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning”, resonates deeply with me, I’ve become a consultant.  As a gift to each of my customers/readers, I’m offering a free gift with your first Norwex phone order when you mention that you read about Norwex on my PurelyBorn blog!  You can check out my Norwex website for more info:   :)  Happy Cleaning!

Heads Up! Breech Research

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Heads Up! Study on Breech Pregnancy and Birth

If you gave birth to a breech baby, or if your baby was breech at some point during pregnancy, Stand & Deliver would like to invite you to participate in a research study. Please share this announcement with others who might be interested in participating.

Research goals:
Breech research is often aimed towards health care providers and tends to focus on maternal and fetal health outcomes. This research explores women’s experiences and feelings about carrying a breech baby; their decision-making process when discovering that their baby was breech; their care providers’ recommendations and protocols for breech birth; and the birth options available to them, from vaginal breech birth to elective cesarean section. The researchers will present the results at the Second International Breech Conference in Ottawa, and also hope to submit an article to a peer-reviewed journal. Participation is confidential.

Who can participate:
All North American women who have had breech pregnancies or births are invited participate in an essay-response survey, which takes approximately 15-30 minutes to complete. They are interested in participants who had breech pregnancies (breech babies who turned head-down before birth), and would also like to hear from women who have given birth to breech babies, whether vaginally or by cesarean section; with midwives, physicians, or unassisted; at home, in a birth center or in a hospital. The researchers welcome input from both singleton and multiple (twin, triplet, etc) breech pregnancies and births.

How to Participate:
To take the survey, please visit the Breech Pregnancy and Birth Survey.

About the researchers:
Dr. Rixa Freeze has a PhD in American Studies and focuses on childbirth and maternity care. She blogs at Stand and Deliver. Julie Searcy is a PhD candidate at Indiana University with interest in the cultural discourse around birth.

Please contact them at

Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Ointment

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Today I’m writing a review of one of my favorite diaper rash ointments– Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy & Prevention

We use cloth diapers, and in general, that alone has helped to dramatically decrease diaper rash occurence.  However, when a dirty diaper doesn’t get noticed right away, and the skin starts to get irritated, I find that Grandma El’s Diaper Rash and Prevention Remedy works wonders.   And, unlike many other diaper rash creams, Grandma El’s is safe to use with cloth diapers! 

It is a patented, natural and preservative-free, soothing and healing ointment that can be used for prevention and treatment of diaper rash.  It creates a skin-softening, protective barrier to prevent urine and stool enzymes from coming in contact with baby’s skin, while still allowing the skin to breath (therefore speeding the healing process). 

Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy and Prevention is intended to:
-prevent skin breakdown.
-promote healing through promoted growth of new skin collagen.
-soothe and soften baby’s skin, making it more comfortable.
-allow sking to “breathe” while still protecting.
-stop/reduce redness, itching, pain, & soreness.

Grandma El’s is available on Grandma El’s website, and at and, just to name a few.  If you’re seeking a safe and effective diaper rash ointment, I’d encourage you to give Grandma El’s a try!  (Update:  Now receive $3.00 off your purchase at Grandma El’s website by entering the coupon code:  “purelyborn”.)