SUPPORT FOR MAMA: Jen Chandlee  of Homegrown Babies, left, assists Maxy Scott with breast-feeding techniques and education. Photo courtesy of Homegrown Babies

Celebratin­g National Breastfeed­ing Month

August is National Breast-feeding Month, and Asheville abounds with breast-feeding services for new and expectant mothers. Kimberly Rush, an Asheville lactation consultant, mentions some of the many resources: “We have La Leche League, breast-feeding support groups and many other ways to support and provide information.” Cheryl Orengo, director and educator at Start from Seed, notes that Mission […]

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Looking for solutions to Asheville’s obesity problem

Earlier this month, survey company WalletHub marked Asheville as one of the “Fattest Cities” in the country. Asheville ranked No. 43 among the 100 most populated U.S. metro areas for obesity levels, weight-related health problems and environmental factors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, reports that the South has the second-highest regional rate […]

BIRTHDAY GIFT: Brad and Corina Cassinova use the support of Chama Woydak of HomeGrown Babies.  Photo by Destinee Blau Photography, courtesy of HomeGrown Babies

New birthing center highlights Asheville-area services

Although New Dawn Midwifery closes at the end of March, safe and supported birthing options abound in the Asheville area, including hospitals with obstetricians, hospitals with midwives and the WNC Birth Center, which is set to open this spring on South French Broad Avenue. Professionals across the region continue to advocate for education and support as the keys to making choices during childbirth. […]

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New Dawn Midwifery unexpected­ly closes after 19 years

After 19 years of providing Asheville women with pregnancy and gynecology services, New Dawn Midwifery is closing. Jan Verhaeghe, founder and president of New Dawn Midwifery, is retiring. “We are making referrals for providers, and we are offering care up through March 31. We have enjoyed every client in our practice,” Verhaeghe says. The center offered prenatal […]

TEA AND SYMPATHY: Casey Larkin, right, of Blue Ridge Healers Without Borders, offers free herbal tea and remedies to the Asheville public in Pritchard Park. Photo by Katherine Terra

Free and low cost health care as a basic human right

Caregivers and organizations in Western North Carolina — including community health centers, acupuncturists and herbalists — are helping people without insurance receive the care they need. Indeed, many providers say access to health care is a basic human right. People in every corner of the state should be covered and have access to care, says Benjamin Money, CEO and president […]

WALKING THE WALK: Ellen Stallings, left, community wellness educator at Park Ridge Health, and
Katherine Schuen, wellness manager, walk a trail together  during a 15-minute wellness break at work. Photo courtesy of Hal Alexander of Park Ridge Health

WNC employers create healthy workplace options

Workplace health initiatives are cropping up in Western North Carolina. Large hospital systems such as Mission Health and Park Ridge, as well as business owners and organizations like the Western North Carolina Medical Society, are starting to think “inside” the box: They’re creating in-house wellness programs that help employees lose weight, lower stress, get more exercise […]

Stress busters

A rain stick creates a soothing ambiance as the students settle onto the props at Asheville Community Yoga. An African kalimba evokes a delicate higher tone while the didjeridoo sends a strong, fluid sound around the circle. It’s Friday afternoon, and Robin and Corey Costanzo’s restorative yoga with didjeridoo meditation class aims to help people […]