When I first found out I was pregnant, I remember feeling clueless. Becoming a mom for me was something I’d always wanted to do—but it was like learning a new language. So I reached out for support. I looked to other moms for advice, I read, and I relied on my holistic pregnancy coach, Lori Bregman, to help guide me through this life-changing transition.
(photo credit: Gia Canali)
I’ve known Lori for years and let me say—she’s a godsend. Pregnancy and becoming a new mom can come with a lot of new feelings that can be pretty confusing. Am I doing this right? Is this normal? Trust me, we’ve all asked these questions. Lori helped put me at ease not just as a new momma for my child but also for myself as a whole.
Her book, The Mindful Mom To Be, is a must-have for women of all stages of life: wanting to get pregnant, pregnant, and post birth. Her main focus is on making this transition as peaceful as possible. Here are 7 tips, along with a message from Lori herself, that have helped me through and after both of my pregnancies:
Over the years, I've worked with hundreds of pregnant woman from all walks of life. Within this experience, I’ve learned that no two mothers are the same or have had the same pregnancy, child, birth experience or family dynamic. Some have an easier time with the transition into motherhood than others. It doesn’t mean that they love their child any more or less--it just means that transitions, paces, journeys and the integration process are different for everyone.
Here are a few ways to make the transition into motherhood more peaceful:
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
We all have different paces we move, levels of coping, and different gifts to share. Just because so-and-so lost her weight in a month, or your friend's baby was sleeping through the night, or your sister had the easiest time with breastfeeding doesn’t mean that will be your experience. When you realize you're comparing yourself and your baby to others, simply become aware that you're doing it and pull your energy back to you. Stay focused on who you are and on getting to know your baby.
Surrender to the Process
Post-pregnancy is a time of integrating this new you and new baby into your life. You're finding your way so it’s a process that shouldn't be rushed. You need to allow it to unfold at its own natural pace. I have seen some women rushing to get back to what was or rushing quickly to the other side in their new life. When you can stay and drop yourself into this present moment to figure it all out, it allows you to connect and bond with your baby. It also helps you understand they way they tick so you'll come out on new territory a lot more ready and prepared. For some, this process can last a month while for others it takes a year. You’ll get there at your own pace. And so will your baby. You can’t rush the process! The gifts and all the lessons are found in the journey.
It's Just Temporary
Everything right now is in-between what was and what will be. Your body is in-between pregnancy, what is was and will be. Your hormones are all over the place and your baby is here as well as in-between worlds. Your relationship with you partner is shifting as you learn how to integrate this little miracle that you both created into your life. And to top it off, your sleep is sporadic. Good news: this is all just temporary and not how your life is going to be. It's just how it is right now, which is all part of the transition.
Prepare Ahead of Time
My dear friend Heng Ou of Mother Bees has an amazing book out called, The First Forty Days: The Essential Art Of Nourishing The New Mother. In this book, Heng provides pages of nourishing recipes you can pre-make ahead of time for post birth, as well as how to set up a support system during this magical and vulnerable period. I also give a ton of meaningful life tools in my book, The Mindful Mom To Be, that will help you birth yourself as a mother.
There is No Such Thing as Perfect
There is no perfect person or way of doing anything. However, there is a right unique way for you. Use this time again to find what FEELS right for you, your family and your child. Read books, talk to people you respect, try different things, and create your own authentic style of doing parenthood that supports who you and your partner are, as well as who your child is.
This is key! Surround yourself with positive people who nurture you and are supportive. Hire a post-Partum doula to come care for you so you can better care for your baby. It’s sad but in today's modern world, many women find it weak or hard to ask for help. This is a time to definitely reach out to others for support! People love to help and by allowing them to, you're actually giving them the gift of being of service.
Also, I highly recommend reaching out and getting extra support from a lactation expert. Often, your baby will latch beautifully at the hospital or after birth but as time goes on or when you go home, things might change. This can be a big cause of stress for new mamas. My go-to girl, Linda Hanna, is the founder of the breastfeeding support website, Mahmee. Even if you don't live in LA, this is an invaluable resource for new mothers everywhere.
Rest and Recharge
I know, I know. How can I rest and recharge when I have a new baby? I love using the metaphor of when you're on an airplane and they tell you to first put on the oxygen mask so you can better assist your children. Your new baby is 100% dependent on you. This is often a time where one forgets about themselves and everything becomes about the baby. But if you don't take care of yourself, you won't have anything left to give. Self-care is crucial! Nap when your baby naps, delegate chores by allowing others help you, get outdoors to feel the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air. It’s also important to limit your visitors and set boundaries. Put an outgoing message on your phone and emails, saying you just had a baby and it might take you some time to get back to them. Eat healthy. Nurturing foods like oatmeal, salmon, and steamed vegetables, as well as easy-to-digest stews and soups are great for post-birth.
Stay tuned for post-birth recipes from Lori Bregman right here on MollySims.com. Also, make sure to grab a copy of her book, The Mindful Mom To Be.
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.