Ginger Moon Rises to the Top in Business Plan Competition

 

fedex100finalist

Ginger Moon, a mother-owned, worker cooperative has made it as a finalist in the Fedex Small Business Grant Competition 2014. Out of thousands of entries from across the country, one hundred small businesses were selected as finalists for a chance to win a total of $50,000 in prizes, including a grand prize of $25,000. Ginger Moon was the only worker cooperative in the competition and gathered over 2,000 votes from its community of supporters, allowing it to move on to the next round.

 

In 2011, Alexandra Lopez Reitzes, Janvieve Williams Comrie and Maricruz Badia opened Ginger Moon in order to provide much needed emotional, mental and culinary support to pregnant women, women that had just given birth and wo

men that are nursing.  Today their signature service, Food Doulas is all about mothering the mother, and providing her revitalizing and healing foods during pregnancy, childbirth and nursing.

 

“This is already turning out to be a great year for worker cooperatives. We’re thrilled that Ginger Moon is a finalist in this competition. When one cooperative succeeds, people get inspired, the effects are contagious, and the economy shifts.” Says Omar Freilla, Coordinator at Green Worker Cooperatives.

 

Ginger Moon went through Green Worker Cooperative renowned Coop-Academy in fall 2012.  The academy is an intensive boot camp for cooperative green businesses.  “Ginger Moon is a business that encourages our clients to eat local and organic whenever possible.  We are establishing relationships with local farms and producers.  Ginger Moon is good for all mothers, including mother earth”, says Maricruz Badia of Ginger Moon.

 

At the core of this mother-owned business is motherhood.  Between the worker owners there are six children ranging from 10 months to 11 years of age. “Ginger Moon is changing and challenging how work is done.  For example, we have created employment policies through consensus building principles, these policies are in turn good for each of us as owners, both individually and collectively”, says Alexandra Lopez Reitzes of Ginger Moon.

 

Ginger Moon has been self and crowd funded up until now.  The FedEx Small Business Grant award will allow them to expand services to reach more women by adding a delivery service, ,cooking workshops, and trainings.

 

Winners of the Fedex Small Business Grant competition will be announced on March 26th, 2014.  For more information about Ginger Moon, visit www.ginger-moon.com

 

 

Ginger Moon Top 10 valentine’s day recommendations for Pregnant or Nursing Moms!

 

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1.  Breakfast in bed, with a protein-rich granola cereal accompanied by Maricruz’s Green Tropical Smoothie

 

2. A heaping portion of any of Ginger Moon Signature Dishes

 

3. Chocolate Fondue on tap with the team of Green Worker Cooperatives Co-opoly is for lovers

4. Breastfeeding Class or Baby Wearing Workshop with Uptown Birth

5. Book your complimentary connection call with life coach Britt Bolnick from In Arms Coaching

6. Set up  your Food Doula Services and/or Registry with Ginger Moon. Give us us a call at 917-400-6189 or email us at info@ginger-moon.com

7. Go to a Prenatal Yoga Class or a Mommy and Me class at the Prenatal Yoga Center

8.  Indulge in some sweet treats from Ginger Moon, especially their Yummy Mommy Brownies

9. Get some lingerie and/or maternity/nursing underwear at Brazen Lingerie.

10. Dance! Go out or stay home, put on some music and move that beautiful mama body!

I no longer want a medal …I want support

By Maricruz Badia

Support blog

My ex-husband use to say to me in the middle of our disagreements, “Do you want a medal?!”  I use to get so bothered with that comment.  I was so involved with being upset I couldn’t hear what he was saying or why. Something in my speaking triggered him.  I now understand that my best attempt at communicating came out as a myriad of complaints about what he was doing or not, rather than as a request for support.

But in retrospect back then I did want a medal. Some sort of recognition for all I was handling would have been a good start. I was a new mother, a recent single-mother, I worked full time, I became a new home-owner, and I did it all without having my son’s father or nuclear family nearby.

Back then I felt alone. I needed support and I was so upset I did not know how to turn my new ex-husband and father of my son into apartner. I wished that he were a mind reader and knew what I needed, when I needed it and exactly how I needed it. Yet all I was good at was criticizing him, which in the end turned him off and left me feeling even more alone.

I was not happy either. I was in my late twenties and not withstanding my feminist training I had become the epitome of the mother-martyr.  AND I can’t blame anyone for it either.  I eased into the “I’ll do it myself” role almost automatically. I can hear my internal thoughts as though it was today, “I don’t need your help!”  What is even worse is that I was lying to myself and to him.  I did need help and I did not know how to ask for it.

Almost 7 years later after many communication courses and personal transformation work, I have improved a lot – today the relationship with my son’s father is built on mutual respect, appreciation, and I would even say love. We are partners in raising our son.

Yet I can’t say I have fully recovered from being the mother-martyr and resisting the urge to do it alone.  A couple of weeks ago, I was arriving home on a hot summer afternoon after spending several weeks at a friend’s house.  I loaded things into and out of my car without help, even though I passed two people I could have asked for support.  I was carrying my daughter in a baby carrier, pushing things in my stroller, and pulling a suitcase.  It was hot and I was heated!  “Why didn’t they offer to help!”

Once I arrived in front of my building a construction worker doing street reparations commented, “You have your hands full today! You know, they made a movie about you!”  His comment took me out of the trance I was in.

“They did?! What movie?” I asked.  “I Don’t Know How She Does It” he replied.  His humor made me smile.  He offered me one of his bottles of cold water.  Although I wanted and need it, I declined it. Thank goodness he insisted, because he reminded me how much I wanted his help and needed that water. In that moment, his acknowledgement and kindness were my medal.

So, now I focus on how to request, accept and offer support.  Through my own journey and through Ginger Moon, I remind myself that people want to help, our partners, friends and family want to help us be mothers and take care of ourselves.  Even strangers want to help.  We just need to know how to request that support.

So our question this week is, do you expect, request and/or accept support? How or how do you not?

Marcy Tardio, CNM: Honoring 25 Years of Midwifery

Marcy with six-day-old Haydée and Birth Assistant Nico (age 5) at a postpartum check up

Marcy with six-day-old Haydée and Birth Assistant Nico (age 5) at a postpartum check up

Marcy Tardio is a Certified Nurse Midwife and homebirth midwife who has been serving families in New York City for over 25 years. Marcy, a groundbreaking pioneer in the 1980s, is now a mentor to countless midwives in her field. Ginger Moon has chosen to honor Marcy because she is also a mentor to us: over the past two years she not only midwifed the homebirths our three daughters, she has also midwifed the birth of Ginger Moon.

Marcy’s very special talent is to mother the mother
: in addition to being an experienced medical professional, she has become for each of us a mentor, an elder, a couples counselor and a friend. Each of these ways that she was present to us during our pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum inspired us to build our business around creating this kind of holistic support, through nourishing food, for each of our clients. Thank you, Marcy, for all you do every day, every year, for every woman you serve. Here are just a few ways that you made the difference for us.

 

Alex 

I knew I had made the right decision to hire Marcy as my midwife when, at her first visit – all of which were in my home – she took time to ask me about whether I had a history of physical or sexual abuse in order to work within my personal needs and boundaries during the pelvic exam. The exam she began by requesting that I choose a lubricant of choice (olive oil, or whatever you normally use) and a place where I felt most comfortable. I have never felt more at ease and respected by a practitioner in my life.

Marcy administering APGAR test on Haydée moments after birth, with Alex, Luis and Nico

Marcy administering APGAR test on Haydée moments after birth, with Alex, Luis and Nico

In this photo, Marcy is administering the APGAR test while newborn Haydée is kept warm, not by an incubator, but by her Papa’s warm and loving arms. On the right you can see my son’s little hand resting on my leg; Marcy is telling him that he was a fabulous Midwife’s Assistant. The moment he arrived home from school, she welcomed him and allowed him the space to take part in his mother’s labor as much as he needed to. He has since told me that the two hours he spent being the Contraction Timer Man and massaging my back and legs made him feel so important and special – exactly how I hoped he would feel about the birth of his sister. This is the essence of what Marcy brings to families: she empowered each of us to be present exactly how we were called to be, and as a result this birth was the day that we re-birthed ourselves into a new family, together. 

Janvieve 

Marcy with Janvieve, Omar and Anayansi Ifé, moments after she entered the world

Marcy with Janvieve, Omar and Anayansi Ifé, moments after she entered the world

When I chose to do a homebirth for my second child, I knew that I wanted to use Marcy as my midwife: she has over 25 years experience, I heard that she was amazing and loving, and she had superb recommendations and was willing to travel to the Bronx, where she was born and raised.

Marcy was very supportive of having the me having the proper support during my birth. During my labor, Marcy her assistant Loretta, my doula Maiysha, my sister friend Maricruz and my partner Omar where present. My two year old son Gibran was asleep, but when he awoke, he was welcomed as an integral part of the support circle! While I have the day present in my memory and my heart, it is really through looking at my beautiful birth pictures that I can honestly appreciate the love, tenderness and care that Marcy took in ensuring that my birth space was sacred. Through the pictures there is a sense of calmness, love, tranquility and such serene feel to it. While I remember the physical and mental space that I was in, I also remember that Marcy created a whole space as a temple to honor me. 

Marcy and her Birth Assistant, Gibrán (age 2), prenatal check up

Marcy and her Birth Assistant, Gibrán (age 2), prenatal check up

My postpartum visits where very similar. So fresh in my mind, they remind me of two girlfriends leisurely catching up on the bed with a new baby in the mix (and yes my two year old joined in all the visits, where Marcy made sure he felt he had an important role to play). This feeling of friendship, sisterhood and support did not end with the birth of my daughter. About a month after my birth, I mentioned to Marcy via text message the need that I have to go dancing. Within minutes I received “I’ll be at Salsa Mania at Dancesport Studio today 5pm-9pm”. Wow, I thought – the support continues!

Maricruz 

Marcy was an outstanding midwife. The pregnancy of my daughter was a challenging period of my life. Physically I was in great shape, but the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy were complicated. I chose to have a home birth because I wanted to birth in a mother-centered supportive environment void of hospital protocols and unnecessary interventions. I chose to birth with Marcy because from the beginning her treatment and regard were much like that of a close relative. In her presence and under her care I felt totally supported, empowered and, I have to say, loved.This was exactly what I needed at the time. Whenever I needed a resource to support my well being she provided a referral to an excellent practitioner. From my doula, to childbirth classes, yoga therapist, naturopath, herbalist, and more. 

The beautiful thing is that her respect and regard as our midwife extended to my entire family, and at that moment in our lives we needed practitioners that would support our development as a new family. Marcy stepped into that role with grace and ease. 

Marcy and her Birth Assistant, Loretta, with Maricruz, her son Omar (age 9) and newborn Amari Nur, moments after birth.

Marcy and her Birth Assistant, Loretta, with Maricruz, her son Omar (age 9) and newborn Amari Nur, moments after birth.

During my birth I wanted to be surrounded by people who would remind me, “You got this!” when I reached the point when I was convinced I could not go on. On the day of the birth, under Marcy’s and her assistant (and my doula) Loretta’s guidance my sister Sylvia, my friend, kindred spirit and business partner Janvieve and the baby’s grandmother maintained a safe and supportive space where I was empowered to birth. Although my daughter’s father was out of town, with the support of this amazing circle of women, I never experience anything missing! 

The amazing thing was that Marcy was not there to deliver my baby but rather to reassure me, and everyone else, that I had everything I needed to deliver my baby. Inside this amazing space I was empowered to successfully cross the wall of fire every woman goes through when bringing life forth. It was the most amazing, self assuring and empowering experience of my life. 

 

Marcy, you are a mentor to us – as mothers, and as supportive, holistic allies to all of our clients. Ginger Moon has evolved into a one-of-a-kind business because of your inspiration. We hope to make each woman we work with feel as nurtured as we did with you. Here’s to you and how you change the world, one birth at a time.

To find out more about Marcy Tardio, CNM, go to her profile on nychomebirth.com or email her at marcenu@verizon.net.

Mothering the Mother

By Maricruz Badia New mother receiving support

Ginger Moon is committed to providing services that truly impact and support the livelihood and well-being of new mothers.  Our work is very personal to us. Our experience as mothers is what informs who we are, what we do and the services we offer the most.

In our previous post, Every Woman Needs This, we wrote about the type of support and care Ginger Moon believes women should have during their births. Today we want to share Ginger Moon’s vision for the type of care and support new mothers should receive AFTER they give birth.

In many other countries around the world there are traditions that dictate the role and care that a women receives following the birth of a child.  For instance in the Spanish speaking Caribbean there is a tradition referred to as cuarentena or puerperio, this period is regarded as essential for the well-being of the new mother and baby.  This postpartum tradition dictates a period of approximately 40 days or 6 to 8 weeks during which the mother focuses on acclimating to nursing and caring of her newborn, her nutrition and well-being, while others in the family or community take care of cooking, cleaning and the other children, if there are any.  The mother is usually cared for by other women with a regiment of special foods and herbs so that she can fully recuperate from birth.

The Ginger Moon Food Doula service was inspired by this tradition, and by our own experiences mothering in a time when cuarentena is not really practiced, and new mothers are expected to go back to work and/or her daily routines shortly after giving birth.

Ginger Moon believes that in order to thrive after giving birth, mothers should:

  • feel fully supported by a community of family, friends or other mothers, so that she can enjoy caring for her newborn and for herself
  • feel comfortable to ask for help AND know that others want to provide support; they just need to be asked
  • have access to wholesome organic foods and hydration throughout her pregnancy and after giving birth
  • have ample time to recuperate from birth and focus on her newborn and herself
  • be reassured that she “got this”; she has what it takes to care for herself and her growing family

Recently two of us in Ginger Moon gave birth to our second child.  Having our families far away meant that in order to receive the type of care and support we believe women should receive after giving birth, we had to create alternatives through our communities of friends in New York City.

 Here are some suggestions Ginger Moon recommends so that you can experience yourself supported after giving birth:

Be willing to ask for support & accept the support and assistance of others
During my pregnancy I worked full time, completed two business development programs and cared for my 9 year old.  That did not leave me much time to prepare the home for the baby.  My girlfriends and I planned a pampering day to take place during my 38th week.  Days prior, a friend visited me at home and realize everything I still needed to do to prepare for the baby, so she suggested that instead of going to get pedicures I request for my friends to help me organize my house, so I did. Twelve of my friends showed up at my house during the planned date and carried out a massive organization effort.  It was a day-long event.  Little did I know I was actually nesting-hard and would give birth the following morning!

Create a Mother Support Calendar
We suggest you request a close friend or relative, that will be good at following up with others, to take on this effort.  The less you do the better! Surrender control and allow others to take care of you!!! 

    1. Make a list of the type of support you will need before and after you give birth.  You can include things such as cleaning, cooking, organizing baby’s room or area, assembling baby’s gadgets, holding and burping newborn, caring for other children, giving you a massage, etc. Be creative.  Do not leave anything out.  If you do not know what to include ask other mothers and people who know you well.
    2. Determine when in relation to the baby’s birth you would like assistance with each item on your list.
    3. Enlist support from your friends and family with each item. Make sure to gather contact information for each person.  Let them know with what and when you project to need their support.  Remind them that your due date is an approximations of when the baby will be born, so someone will call them to reconfirm when to come after you give birth.  Think outside the box; reach out to other mother’s in meet up groups and virtual communities. We have seen perfect strangers participating in virtual mother-communities providing life changing support to other mothers! Remember, people want to support, they just need to be asked!
    4. After the baby is born reconfirm the date and time when you will receive support. Avoid doing this part, you will already be busy with your newborn. This is a great task for your partner, a close friend or a relative. We recommend you spread the support during as long of a period as possible. Schedule only one person each day.  If someone will be coming to stay with you for a couple of weeks, schedule anyone else to come after they leave.

Prioritize proper nutrition
Request that others bring you foods that you like and adhere to your postpartum, nutritional and lifestyle needs. Store these prepared meals in your refrigerator and freezer, so that you can easily access them, warm up and eat. Remember, if you are nursing you will need to consume approximately 400 additional calories each day!
Ginger Moon Food Doulas provide home cooked meals to new mothers, tailored based on your palate and unique needs after giving birth. 

Prioritize proper hydration
Constantly drink water. Hydration is essential for nursing mothers and to support your optimal well-being.  Keep water bottles next to your bed, baby changing station, nursing chair, kitchen, etc. Have the people that come in to support you refill them constantly. Every time you are by one of these areas, drink! Challenge yourself to how quickly you can finish each bottle.

Rest!
Think of yourself as a toddler who will have a tantrum if they do not take their nap. Your body is already experiencing a massive physical and hormonal shift, you have a new baby to care for; rest is your best friend.  You probably heard this before, but we can’t stress it enough, nap when your baby sleeps! The more rested you are the better equipped you will be.

Ginger Moon is committed to mothering the mother.  We believe that together we can cause a paradigm shift and give birth to a culture where every mother is fully taken care of so that she can thrive at caring for herself and her expanding family.

We want to hear from you. How was your postpartum experience? How do you think new mothers should be cared for and regarded?

Making connections and getting over those potato chips

Potato Chips

"I get overwhelmed, frustrated, and end up getting a headache, a neck and back ache and I grab the quickest snack around"

On the average day in my life, I wake up tired.  I am mother to a 17 month old son, and I choose to be a full time mom, with a part time job, and Ginger Moon a new mother worker owned cooperative.  I have a really amazing supportive husband that also works from home and shares the responsibility of childcare, to whom I request countless massages because my neck and back constantly hurt from not working out as I did and from the weight that I have not yet shed from my pregnancy.  I also breastfeed on demand.  On the average day, I set myself up to do dozens of tasks that I barely get to touch because my son wants my undivided attention all the time, and then I get overwhelmed, frustrated, and end up getting a headache, a neck and back ache and I grab the quickest snack around (potato chips, crackers and cheese, etc.).  That is the average day. [Read more…]

Ginger Moon at Urban Babywearing Babywearing Party!

Come taste some of Ginger Moons delicious and healthy food tomorrow at the Museum of Motherhood Urban Babywearing’s Babywearing Party!