I signed up for the Facebook community of Amsterdam Mamas while I was still pregnant. As any expecting mom I was scared, curious and researching everything I could like crazy. The internet can be a scary place, especially if you look in the wrong place...and barely any of my friends have kids...I find this community very helpful when needing a quick answer to a specific question, or would like to hear about someone elses experience. From a group of 7000+ mamas and papas, you can get 70 opinions within 3 minutes from asking a question. On the forum, there are friendships, laughs, complaining, as well as arguments and differences in opinion. Its pretty real :)
I recently attended my first AM event, the Spooky Buggy Parade at the Vondelpark - my little girl's first Halloween in her life. I could not help myself and not dress her up! It was fun, and I can't imagine any better baby friendly event in Amsterdam. From the posts I have seen online, I know for sure that this community makes a huge difference in the lives of many Amsterdam expats, and brings people together :)more >>
Me and my little girl had a great time at our first post-natal / baby yoga class. Natasha, the founder of Joyful Yoga, is a warm and lovely teacher who loves working with babies, and mommies! The Joyful Yoga studio is spacious yet intimate, with a natural feel; the large windows allow for lots of day light to flow in. There was enough space to park multiple buggies safely outside the practice area. The class was by no means intense - rather a peaceful bonding experience between mommy and baby, with delicate yoga elements, finished off with a soothing coconut oil massage for baby (by mom) and for mom, by Natasha. Some babies were more into stretching, while others were more into napping :) Overall, a great experience! Thank you Natasha for creating this warm environment for us to work out and relax...more >>
101 Verloskundigen Praktijk Johannes Verhulststraat
I had to give 101 top scores here! I had a simply wonderful experience when guided by all the lovely ladies at 101, throughout the 10 months of my pregnancy!
At first, I was a bit lost, not knowing how to find a midwife in Amsterdam. The system is totally different than in other countries, and even elsewhere, I have never experienced pregnancy. In most countries, my pregnancy would have been guided by a obgyn at a hospital. In the Netherlands, I have not visited a doctor even once throghout the whole pregnancy! After all, its not a disease :) Kudos to the natural Dutch system here.
Olijf, Mariëlle, Judith, Elsemieke, and Sophie were all very friendly, accomodating and full of knowledge. They all spoke really good English. I had the opportunity to meet with all of them, in preparation to have one of them assist during the birth of my little one. In the end, I could not give birth at the bevalcentrum as planned, and was assisted by an OLVG widwife (who was also great btw). Linda was always very sweet, helpful and welcoming. Great team!
The location is great and I enjoyed cycling through the Vondel park to my appointments, even at 39 weeks pregnant! The practice is small, but nice and they even offer free coffee, tea and water, even though I did not consume any coffeine during this time. Lots of free pregnancy magazines available. I felt at home there, and regret that I must now visit the Consultatiebureau insead.
Overall, I would recommend 101 to any expecting ladies.
Special thanks to Judith for her many home visits and to Olijf for her brilliant, natural approach, sharing her personal experiences and sense of humor of course :)
I will certainly be back, if I find myself pregnant again...more >>
The Alchemist Garden is a special place in Amsterdam. Not only will you find beautiful raw food and vegan dishes, but the staff and founders are completely "into it". Here you can learn about food, nutrition and health during readings and workshops, but also throughout the week, by speaking to the staff. They organize many events, and often offer lovely organic produce at almost wholesale prices. You can also stop by for the salad bar, a smoothie or some fresh fruit / veg juice and/or a wheatgrass shot.
In addition, there is a whole section offering healthy, clean products like superfoods, teas and natural cleaning products. During the warm months, there is a great outdoor terrace where you can enjoy food, drinks and do some people watching. Stop by for advice on buying raw food equipment, like dehydrators, slow juicers and more.more >>
Active Health Center
I followed several classes at The Active Health Center during my pregnancy. Lillith, the instructor is a truly gentle and lovely teacher. She made us relaxed, and very aware. Apart from pre-natal yoga, we learned a lot about pregnancy in general, birthing and anti-pain techniques. Each class ends with a session of all ladies introducing themselves and their babies, and the option of asking questions and sharing experiences. I think these classes are great for learning, meeting other moms to be and getting used to the idea of motherhood. I will soon follow the birth classes, a 3 time workshop teaching about the birth, designed for both mommy and daddy :)
All classes are in English, but the participants are a mix of international and Dutch. Great location and nice surroundings...
The Soulsister Vitamins
I came across The Soulsister when researching places to be invited into the first edition of InLivin', the book. What struck me first was the beautiful design. The shop was just opened a few weeks earlier, and the finishing touches were still being added. The shop is very modern, with a clean design and a good display of all products.
I had a chance to meet with the owner, and learn about how she got to open this lovely shop. She was very knowledgable, friendly and had years of experience in supplement advice. The shop's location was ideal, and the products are as natural as they can get...
A few months after discovering The Soulsister, I learned that a family member has been diagnosed with cancer. I switched to research mode to figure out what else could be done apart from the dreaded chemotherapy that was advised by the oncologist. I simply could not believe that the doctor gave absolutely no advice on nutrition or lifestyle changes that could help battle this nasty disease.
I read about the raw food diet, cleansing and other lifestyle changes, and I knew that would be the way to go. I read about Curcuma extract, Wheatgrass powder, Colostrum and many other supplements that support the immune system or could help fight the cancer cells, without devastating the healthy cells (like chemotherapy and radiotherapy do).
I wanted to learn more, and wanted to get the best quality products that could help. I came back to The Soulsister and told her the whole story. We spent some time talking about how hopeless the medical industry is, and how horrible it is to have no other option but chemotherapy.
I asked for the supplements I read about online, but soon learned that there are many more that could be essential to the treatment.
Miranda advised me to try Colibiogen, an oral solution used for cancer patients in Germany, and Salvestrol in capsules (expensice, but seems so worth every cent!).
It has been 6 months since my family member started taking all supplements I gave him, in addition to switching to being a vegetarian and mad fresh juice-lover! We decided that targetting the immune system is the most important, considering that the doctors were still insisting on chemotherapy...I did not like the chemo at all (and nor did he, it made his body feel really ill), but I am no doctor to take the responsibility of taking him off this only known cancer cell killer...
We asked the oncologist to "OK" all the supplements, and she actually did not ever hear of most of them, but said "they look promising", try them alongside chemo.
Just recently, during a routine checkup, the oncologist said: "your cancer is in regression. I can't believe I am saying this, but I'm starting to believe in your daughters "seaweed" and pills more than in my medicine. I would like to take you off chemotherapy, for now..."more >>