Happy Friday! Are you ready for a MAJOR #Supermomma alert? My holistic pregnancy coach, Lori Bregman, has a new book coming out that is a MUST-READ for all supermommas and supermommas-to-be.
Lori is the founder of the Rooted for Life Pregnancy Coaching Program a complete mind, body and spirit support system that helps women throughout fertility, pregnancy and birth as they transition into new motherhood.
Her new book, The Mindful Mom-To-Be, guides you in your journey toward motherhood by empowering you to find what works best for you and your baby. Her book includes nutritional advice, natural remedies, spiritual exercises, techniques for labor, and other valuable information for mothers-to-be. Lori is passionate that you aren’t just birthing a baby, you’re birthing yourself as a mom, too! The Mindful Mom-To-Be is released August 4th (which you can purchase here for preorder.) I am also excited to announce that I had the opportunity to write a forward in the book!
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lori and asking her some questions about being a doula, the benefits, and her new book! Enjoy, supermommas!
o Why did you decide to become a doula?
I have always been drawn to working with pregnant women, as well as new moms and children. When I was studying all types of healing work, I always thought “how can I gear it towards helping women during pregnancy?” At the time, I was specializing in prenatal massage, yoga intuitive healing and spiritual coaching. Someone told be about being a doula and suggested training to me. I trained and it was a natural progression to the work I was already doing with the moms to be.
o What is the role of a doula?
In modern times, a doula is someone who assists, coaches, supports, educates and nurtures a woman and her partner throughout the pregnancy, birthing process and afterwards. It’s surprising how many people there are that don't actually understand exactly what a doula's job is. I've had a few people ask me if doulas just do water births at home. Not necessarily! Doulas can help you birth your baby at home, at birthing centers, in hospitals, with or without pain medication — even if you have a C-section; a doula can help wherever or however you choose to have your baby.
o So, more specifically, take us through everything a doula will do for the mother and partner during birth.
Many things. Each doula has their own unique gifts to share and bring to their work, In general, they help prepare and educate both you and your partner for birth. They help create a unique birth plan that supports your wishes while staying with you nonstop during the birthing process. They become a coach and guide to talk you through any emotional blocks or fears that might come up for you in birth. Doulas create a sacred, safe, protected, and peaceful space with their energy, candles, aromatherapy, and music. They provide encouragement, reassurance, and support you in your birth choices without judgment. They help put you in birthing positions that are good for optimal fetal positioning. During birth, they give massages, visualization, meditations, breath work, energy work, and movement to help with pain management and comfort. And lastly, they are an advocate for the mother and her partner and can help facilitate better communication between the mother and her caregiver.
o What are the benefits?
Having a doula reduces the possibility of Caesarian section, minimizes the time of labor, reduces the need for pain medication and epidurals, reduces the need for a vacuum, calms anxiety/depression, helps with confidence. There is also an option for a “post partum” doula, which will be with you after birth, which have so many benefits. They provide breastfeeding and bonding support, help with chores and errands, cook, support sleep by helping with baby, share information about baby care, infant massage, and care for mother.
o For women trying to become pregnant, what can they be doing health-wise to ensure ultimate fertility?
Start reducing the stress in your life by carving out time for self care. In my book, The Mindful Mom To Be, I have people make a list of 10 things that nurture, relax or make you feel good. This can be as simple as buying fresh flowers, curling up with a yummy cup of tea, reading a juicy novel or going for a walk in nature with your dog. Also, watch the projections from others. I call them “faith killers.” They are the ones that project fear onto you. Focus on yourself! Just because your friend Judy had something negative happen does NOT mean that it will be your path. In the first chapter of my book, I talk about how healthy mom = healthy baby. A great time to start is pre- pregnancy. Just like a farmer nurtures the soil before planting a seed – the healthier the soil the more vibrant the seed. Eat whole foods and eat as organic as possible (GMO and hormone free!) It’s also important to get rid of all toxic cleaning products. Start drinking filtered water out of glass bottles unless you buy BPA free plastic. Use paraben and phalate free body and beauty products. It all comes down to this question: “Would I eat or drink this if I were pregnant?” If not, then don’t. Begin to act and live as if you already were!
o In your book, you mention the importance of keeping a sense of calm and peace during pregnancy by meditation. Why is this important for baby and how can women implement this into their daily life?
During pregnancy, your baby is as much part of you as your internal organs are. The foods you eat and your energy can affect your body and organs as your baby is simmering in your energy. It’s impossible to be calm 100 % of the time, especially in the world today. For many women, we live full lives, which leaves little time to unplug, quiet the mind and drop into the present moment. Pregnancy is such a miraculous time that goes by so quickly. You can also use this time to develop and lock in a connection with your baby within. You don’t need hours to set aside. All you need is a few minutes a day to do some simple breath work and visualization. Try placing your left hand on your heart and you right hand on your baby. Start to feel all the love, joy and excitement you have for this baby and your expanding family. Let that love energy grow bigger and bigger expanding way outside of you a few feet to the front, sides and back of you and then extend that energy for miles and miles around you. If you want, you can give that loving joyous energy a color like green or pink. Next, breathe all that love into your heart through your nose and as you exhale, breathe through your nose as you push that love energy through your breath down to your baby as you shower them will all your love. Another simple baby bonding meditation you can do is rub my belly butter on your belly, taking the time to really feel your baby and body use this time to give gratitude for your body being able to make and carry this child. Also, for this baby choosing you to be their mommy! You can even sing them a song, read them a book or just talk to them as your words and energy hold a certain vibration that they can feel. The more you talk to them in utero, the more familiar your voice will be to them. This is something you can use as a priceless soothing tool during fussy times when they arrive here on earth.
o As you know, I suffered from morning sickness. For all the moms-to-be dealing with this symptom, what are some healthy ways to help combat?
There are many healthy ways to combat. Taking B6- 25 mg every 8 hours is one of them. Some other options include walking or exercising to release some of the extra hormones, wear a motion sickness wristband, get acupuncture, and eating a little something like a protein and a carb every 2 hours to keep your blood sugar levels up. A brown rice cake and a piece of organic cheese are both good options. I also have a great “Morning Sickness Juice” I like to make for my girls. Here’s the recipe:
Lori B’s Morning Sickness Juice –
- 3 organic apples
- 1-2 piece of organic ginger
- 3 stalks of organic celery juice
- Half a lemon
Cut up apples, ginger and celery. Place in juicer and juice. After, squeeze in the lemon juice and drink every morning.
o What are some of the must-have foods and nutrients for mindful moms-to-be?
Here a few of my must-have favorites:
-Organic pasture-raised eggs: High in protein (which helps promote healthy tissue growth, the building block of the body), omega-3 fatty acids (for healthy brain development) and choline (for healthy muscle and nerve function)
-Beans and lentils: Legumes are a great source of protein as well as folate, which promotes healthy DNA. They are also high in fiber, which helps ease annoying pregnancy constipation, as well as rich in iron for healthy blood.
-Avocados: Rich in good, healthy fats, they are full of omegas, which aid in optimal brain development for your baby and help ease depression and sharpen memory in the mama-to-be.
-Asparagus: High calcium for strong bones and teeth , magnesium for healthy nerves but it’s also super high in folic acid, which can help prevent certain birth defects.
-Organic Greek yogurt: High in protein and calcium. It is also a great source probiotics, which are essential for maintaining a healthy gut.
o What should be avoided?
Make sure all your meats are farm raised, organic and hormone free. This goes for dairy, as well. Try to eat organic, whole foods (I talked about this above,) cut back or completely cut out coffee, no soft unpasteurized cheeses, sushi, and deli meats. Also avoid fish high in mercury such as swordfish and tuna. And it should go without saying but NO smoking or drinking.
o What's the importance of a birth plan? And at what point should one be in place?
A birth plan is a great way to educate your self on your choices and options. If you don’t know your options, you wont have any. Most hospitals will just do protocol. A birth plan isn’t locked in stone. It’s basically stating your wishes for the way you would like to be treated, your birth to be handled and your baby to be treated as well. I always say educate yourself on all your options by doing your research and then do what feels is right for you and your family. Go over this plan with your doctor and make sure they are on the same page as you. When you get to the hospital, make sure you give to your nurse. I don’t really do a major birth plan when doing a home birth with midwifes since there is no medical intervention going on But I do have a birth plan set in place just in case of the need to transfer to a hospital.
o For new moms who plan to take the holistic and natural route to childbirth, what should they expect?
There will be a lot of people projecting their views and ways onto you by telling you their story. And that’s just it. It’s their story. They are not you and their experience may or might not happen to you. So first, watch projections from others. Stand strong in what you believe in and what you feel is right for both you and your baby. I have nothing but respect, compassion and a nonjudgmental disposition for anyone who chooses to get an epidural. To me, its empowering to make, carry, birth, nurse and mother a child alone--with or with out medical intervention! With that said, I do believe in the natural process of birth. As women we are designed to create, make and birth babies. If you do want to go all-natural, the best advice I could give is to find a birth team that supports your wishes. A liberal doctor or a midwife, someone who will give you time to have your baby and airs towards the more naturalistic side instead of more medical based. I would labor at home as long as you can. Learn comfort measures such as breathing, meditation, hypno-birthing partner massage, labor positions and definitely hire a birth doula. I would clear and do some healing work for any fear around birth. Use water (bath if water hasn’t broken) and get in shower. It’s heaven and a natural epidural. Also, pain is in your head. Your body doesn’t know pain until your mind does. Rewire your thinking around it by knowing that the more intense the contractions are the closer you are to the end where your baby will be waiting. These waves are just your body doing exactly what its meant to be doing. Create a vision board full of pictures that inspire you with birth affirmations to empower you.
o In The Mindful Mom-To-Be, you talk about embracing your authentic self. How can this be beneficial for pregnancy and beyond?
Like I said above, EVERYONE and their mother is going to be projecting their views and ways onto you. If you don’t know who you are and what you stand for, you will get carried away in confusion and fear. I also believe your child chose you to be their mother and you have certain gifts and authentic ways about you that this child needs for their growth. We all have different qualities about us that make us who we uniquely are. When you can accept and embrace your individuality, it will easier to support and celebrate your child in theirs.
o What fear do you hear the most from new moms-to-be and what is the most important advice you give to them?
The biggest fear is the fear of the unknown. I think birth is a great example of this as it’s the ultimate adventure date. You can’t predict birth; nobody knows if your water will break or you will have contractions. You also can’t predict if you will go on your due date, 2 weeks earlier or a week late. Or if you will have a 5 hour birth, a 2 day birth or if you will push for 15 min or 3 hours. In a way it sets you up for motherhood, as each child is unique and a new part of you will be birthed that you never have experienced before. You become a mother. It’s best to educate yourself, read, prepare. Go with what you are drawn to and FEELS right to you! This is your gut instinct. Trust yourself that you are the perfect mother for this child and allow the time post birth to really connect and get to know your baby. You got this, mama!
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.