pregnancy wellness

Dr. Amy's Favorite Things for Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum

Over the years after working with so many mamas and of course my own children I have come across many products and ideas; some have worked wonders and some not. I would love to share my thoughts about my favorite things that I used and recommend!

PREGNANCY

Pregnancy Support Band: As your baby bump grows you will start to feel pressure on your pelvis. One great way to help ease the discomfort is a support band. This provides support under your belly. My favorite brand is www.babybellyband.com

Chiropractic Care: I highly recommend chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. It helps so much with alignment which can easily be thrown off in pregnancy. Good positioning of your baby is helpful for labor and birth. Regular chiropractic care is proven to help shorten labor and pushing. Dr. Amber Moravec with Naturally Aligned works right out of Health Foundations Birth Center. Of course I love her! She specializes in pregnancy and newborns.

BIRTH

Birth Plan Flexibility: I am a big fan of birth plans. I do like to think more of it a birth preferences. The thing about labor and birth is that it is different for everyone. There are guidelines of what a "text book birth" looks like which is great but everyone IS different. Things come up; things change. Try and keep an open mind and remain flexible for change.

POSTPARTUM

Double Electric Pump: Whether you are a working mama or not, having a pump is essential. Even if you are not working you will want to pump and introduce a bottle for times you are away. If you are going back to work you will want a good pump that is easy to transport. Check out our class PumpTalk 101; it is very helpful for coming up with a plan on introducing pumping. There are many good brands out there but I prefer Medela or Spectra

Hands-Free Pumping Bra: Along with a good pump, get a hands-free pumping bra! That way you can do other things like work on a computer or read a book. Try the Easy Expression Bustier.

Medela Hydrogel Pads: Even with a great latch your nipples will be tender the first few days. The Medela Tender Care Hydrogel Pads are heavenly. They are re-usable and help soothe your nipples. If you have cracked or bleeding nipples please reach out to lactation consultant right away. 

Bottle-warmer: Bottle warmers are a huge time saver. You never want to use a microwave to heat breastmilk or formula; it kills the nutrients and heats it unevenly. You can heat by placing in warm water but that takes a long time. The bottle warm is quick and heats the milk evenly. 

Nursing Tank: Nursing bras are great but nursing tanks are all you need in the first couple of weeks. They are easy and low-maintenance. Bravado has a great one; it is loose and comfortable during postpartum. You will find yourself living in it.

Woombie: I am a big fan of swaddling. When your baby was in-utero they were cozy and warm and didn't have a lot of space to move around. Think of swaddling as mimicking that space outside of the womb. It can be very calming for them and help promote good, restful sleep. I like the woombie because it is very easy to use and the shape of it is comfy for your babe. Swaddling should end by 2.5 months because of the possibility of rolling over.

Pacifier vs Fingers: Pacifiers in my opinion are awesome. Babies love to suck for comfort, it is very soothing. If you are breastfeeding you may find yourself constantly comfort nursing and it can be overwhelming. Pacifiers can help soothe your baby when cranky or tired. It can also help extend sleep. Sometimes parents are afraid of using one and will use their pinky finger to soothe. The problem is, your finger is attached to you! I remember hearing a mom say, "why don't they make fake fingers for babies?!" One popular brand is Avent Soothees.

Stroller with Click-In Carseat: Even if you love wearing your baby, a stroller is essential! Find one that works with your infant carseat. That way if your baby is sleeping you do not have to disturb them. Until your baby is sitting up strollers can be awkward and not very supportive to your baby's head and neck.

Is This Normal?!: Common Questions and Concerns During Pregnancy

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Along with excitement, pregnancy can bring many questions and concerns. Your body is changing rapidly. Each week seems to bring a new change; some delightful and some not! Most of the changes and symptoms are very normal. You may experience all of them or none at all. That is normal too! Below you will find common pregnancy discomforts, why they happen and a tip on how to help alleviate.

Round Ligament Pain: As your baby grows, your belly grows and with that, many women experience round ligament pain. It feels like sharp twinges/muscle pull usually on the right or left side of the lower uterus. The pain is usually relieved within a minute or two. Change positions to help and also massage the area with your hand. Chiropractic care can help if this is something that happens frequently. Also try sleeping with a pillow between your legs, this provides more uterine support.

Leg Cramps: Legs cramps are quite common in pregnancy and can occur in response to carrying extra weight, changes in circulation, or mineral deficiencies. These sudden, painful cramps in your legs may wake you in the middle of the night. Helpful treatments include:  walking daily, stretching your calf muscles regularly, wearing low healed shoes, and eating foods that are high in calcium and magnesium. A liquid calcium magnesium supplement can be great, discuss this with your healthcare provider.

Trouble Sleeping: Sleep disruptions start early on in pregnancy, usually beginning with having to urinate more frequently during the night. Getting comfortable can be troublesome as well. Along with this, changing hormones can cause your body to have trouble falling and/or staying asleep. Purchase a body pillow, this can help support your body physically. Some other things to try are: take an epsom salt bath before bed, add some lavender essential oil, exercise 30 minutes daily, avoid coffee and eat small meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar level.

Constipation: Hormone changes slow down your bowels and can cause constipation. This is normal in pregnancy but there are things you can do to help. Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day. A good calcium magnesium supplement can help with this too! 

Darkening of Complexion: ‘Chloasma’ or “mask of pregnancy” refers to darkened patches on your face. These dark patches tend to fade away few months after delivery. To try and help reduce the darkening, use sunscreen daily and wear a hat if you are in the direct sunlight.

Bleeding Gums: Bleeding gums are a common complaint in pregnancy. Most of it has to do with hormonal changes. These hormonal changes also make you more susceptible to bacteria in plaque so it is important to keep up with regular dental visits during pregnancy.

Nausea/Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting is common and normal in pregnancy. Again, it is due to hormones. For many women it starts around week 6 and tapers off at week 12. Other women may experience this symptom long after that or during their entire pregnancy. Drinking plenty of water and eating small frequent meals that include protein is a great way to stave off nausea. This is a symptom you should always share with your midwife or doctor in case your symptoms are severe.

Always consult with your provider before starting new supplements during pregnancy. 

Health Foundations Birth Center is a free-standing birth center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Our midwives provide integrative care for our families. We would love to have you come in and learn more about our services! Schedule a consult or tour today!

Cold and Flu Fighting Ginger Soup

This ginger soup in a great way to fight colds and the flu this season! It is a safe way to fight sickness during breastfeeding and pregnancy. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 inch piece of fresh garlic, sliced thin
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup of mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cups of chicken bone broth or chicken stock

Instructions to Prepare:

Combine ginger, garlic and mushrooms in a pot with a small amount of the broth or stock. Simmer until the ingredients are softened. Add the rest of the broth or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 20-30 minutes. 

This soup can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

Enjoy and be well!

 

Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back Pain During Pregnancy

Most pregnant women experience some form of back pain during their pregnancy. Although lower back pain does not typically become an issue until the fifth month or mid second trimester, it can begin as early as 8-12 weeks for some women. You are more likely to suffer from prenatal back pain if you have struggled with back issues prior to your pregnancy. Back pain during pregnancy can range from mild discomfort and treatable at home to acute chronic pain that necessitates treatment from a specialist. If you are one of the 50-80 percent of women who experience some degree of back pain while pregnant, determining the cause and type of pain will help you choose the best treatment approach. You don't have to accept that pain is a normal part of pregnancy

Before identifying the potential cause or causes of your back pain, it is important to differentiate between the two types of pain that are typical during pregnancy. The first is lumbar or lower back pain and the second is known as posterior pelvic pain. Understanding the characteristics of each type of pain will help you determine its possible cause and what you may or may not be able to do to relieve it. 

Lumbar/lower back pain:

  • Is felt at or above the waist in the center of back
  • May radiate in the legs or feet (also known as sciatica)
  • May worsen with prolonged episodes of sitting or standing
  • Feels similar to lower back pain experienced while not pregnant
  • May also cause tenderness of the muscles surrounding the spine

Posterior pelvic pain:

  • Is 4 times more prevalent than lumbar pain
  • Is a deep pain experienced below and to the side of the waistline and/or across the tailbone
  • Can be experienced on one or both sides
  • Can be felt in the buttocks and backs of thighs
  • Does not easily resolve with rest
  • Can be experienced as pubic pain
  • Physical fitness does not lessen the likelihood of onset

Common Causes of Back Pain during Pregnancy:

  • Weight gain: Normal weight gain during pregnancy can range from 25 to 35 pounds. That is a considerable amount of excess weight for the spine and lower back to support. Your growing baby is also putting added pressure on your uterus, blood vessels and the nerves in your pelvis and back.Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, your body produces the hormone relaxin which helps to relax and loosen the joints in the pelvic region to prepare for childbirth. Consequently, this hormone can also cause other ligaments to loosen including ones that support the spine. This can unfortunately lead to instability and back pain. Relaxin also helps breech babies get into optimal position.
  • Posture: Your growing baby bump causes your center of gravity to shift which also can negatively impact your posture. These changes to your posture can often be the culprit of back pain during pregnancy.  Improving posture is one of many reasons to do yoga during pregnancy.
  • Stress: Similar to when you are not pregnant, stress can cause excess tension in the muscles in your back when you are expecting. This tension and stress can cause back pain and spasms.Other often unavoidable actions that may sometimes increase back pain during pregnancy include running, walking, lifting, bending, twisting and climbing stairs.  

Treatment for Back Pain during Pregnancy: 

  • Alternating hot and cold compresses: Try starting with icing your back three times per day for twenty minutes each time. After two days, switch to applying heat to your back three times per day for twenty minutes each time. Never apply heat to your stomach during pregnancy. 
  • Exercise: Moderate exercise during pregnancy will strengthen your muscles and increase your flexibility. Try taking a brisk walk or going for a swim.
  • Practice good posture: Give a little extra attention to sitting up straight and keeping your shoulders back rather than slouched over. You can also try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees to alleviate stress placed on your back from your growing belly.
  • Reduce stress in your life: Essential oils are a great way to reduce daily stress, but If you are feeling a considerable amount of emotional stress that is taking a toll on your back, consider talking with a trusted friend or family member or seeking professional counseling.
  • See a chiropractor: Chiropractic care is a great, safe and natural way to reduce back pain and other physical discomforts common during pregnancy. Health Foundations works in partnership with Dr. Amber Moravec at Naturally Aligned Family Chiropractic to provide relief from pain during pregnancy and labor through regular chiropractic care. 
  • Try acupuncture: The Chinese medicine practice of acupuncture has been found to be successful at alleviating lower back pain during pregnancy among other prenatal physical discomforts. Health Foundations offers community acupuncture with Jenna Niggeler every Wednesday evening from 6:00pm - 8:00pm - call the office at 651.895.2520 to schedule an appointment.

Other simple measures that may help prevent and alleviate back pain during pregnancy include:

  • Wearing flat supportive shoes
  • Squatting rather than bending over to pick things up
  • Tylenol when approved by your care provider

When to Call Your Care Provider:

Although back pain during pregnancy is unfortunately very common, you should call your doctor right away if you experience severe or increasing pain or pain that comes on quickly that is accompanied by rhythmic cramping. These symptoms may indicate rare but serious complications such as pregnancy related osteoporosis, septic arthritis, vertebral osteoarthritis or preterm labor.

Back Pain during Labor:

Lastly, it is not uncommon to experience back pain during labor. Back pain that may be indicative of labor will be persistent, rhythmic, and increasing in intensity and it will not be resolved by changing your position or activity. If you believe you are in labor, contact your care provider to determine the appropriate next steps. 

Back pain during pregnancy is an unfortunate but often manageable condition. Determining what factors may be contributing to your pain can help you figure out what changes you can make to your lifestyle and what treatments you can seek for relief. To learn more about coping with back pain during pregnancy or chiropractic care and other wellness services, contact Health Foundations for a free consultation with a midwife and for a tour of our Birth Center.

Getting Sick When You’re Pregnant

Sick while pregnant

Between morning sickness, swollen feet, and fatigue, pregnancy can often leave you feeling less than 100 percent. Nothing is quite so uncomfortable though as getting sick while you are pregnant. 

Unfortunately, because pregnancy hormones actually weaken the immune system, you are more likely to catch that cold or virus that’s been going around than your non-pregnant peers. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce your chances of getting sick by taking a few simple measures in your daily life. For these suggestions, and to learn ways to cope and when to call your doctor, continue reading.

Prevention: 

With more than 200 viruses out there that can lead to the common cold, it’s no wonder we have trouble avoiding illness. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do while pregnant to protect your health and the health of your baby.

  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a diet rich with nutrients and vitamins helps support your weakened immune system to stave off germs and illness.
  • Get plenty of rest: Try to stick to a routine bedtime and waking time every day and nap when you are able. Sleep can often become more challenging when pregnant due to discomfort and frequent urination. Do your best to set yourself up for sleep success! 
  • Exercise regularly: Most women who have normal pregnancies can safely engage in moderate exercise throughout pregnancy. Exercise has been shown to flush bacteria from the lungs and airways that may cause colds and viruses. It also can cause changes to the body’s white blood cells and antibodies positively impacting the immune system.  
  • Wash your hands: Washing your hands regularly can prevent illness and the spread of germs to others. This is particularly important when you are pregnant.
  • Take your prenatal vitamins and probiotics: Vitamins and probiotics are not only good for your baby but for your immune system too.
  • Reduce your stress level: High levels of stress can lead to increased cortisol levels which in turn can negatively impact your immune system. Take care to ensure you are not only physically healthy during your pregnancy but mentally as well.
  • Avoid contact with sick friends and family
  • Get your flu shot: The CDC recommends that all pregnant women get a flu shot. This will not only provide protection for mom but also for baby for up to 6 months post birth.

How to Get Better:

In the unfortunate event that you do catch a cold or the flu while pregnant, there are steps you can take to ease your symptoms that are safe for you and baby.

These include: 

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking your vitamins regularly

For congestion, try: 

  • Using a humidifier
  • Taking a hot shower
  • Breathing hot vapor mist
  • Using saline nasal drops
  • Elevating your pillow when sleeping
  • Menthol salve on your chest or your under nose
  • * Some cough suppressants are thought to be safe for the fetus after the first trimester of pregnancy. However, always check with your doctor or midwife before taking any over the counter medication.*

For a sore throat, try:

  • Throat lozenges
  • Ice chips
  • Hot decaffeinated tea with lemon and honey
  • Gargling with salt water
  • Hot chicken soup
  • For sinus pain, try hot and cold compresses on the sinuses. 
  • For fever and aches and pains, Tylenol is safe to use in moderation during pregnancy after the first trimester. As with all prescription and over the counter medications, check with your doctor or midwife before using.

When to Call Your Care Provider:

While most women will experience at least one harmless cold throughout pregnancy, there are a few health circumstances that warrant a prompt call to your care provider. These are circumstances that may pose a risk to you or the baby and need immediate attention.

  • You have severe vomiting or cannot keep food or water down for an extended period of time.
  • You experience chest pains or pressure.
  • You have a fever of 102 degrees or higher.
  • You are unable to sleep for an extended period of time.
  • You have vaginal bleeding.
  • You have difficulty breathing or are wheezing.
  • You experience confusion or dizziness. 
  • You notice a decrease in fetal movement.
  • Your fever is unresponsive to Tylenol.

Fortunately, for most common colds and viruses your baby is well protected in the uterus and is not affected by your discomfort. It is still important however to take good care of your mental and physical well-being while pregnant so that you can be strong and healthy for your growing baby. With some extra care and a few preventative measures, you can reduce your chances of illness during your pregnancy considerably. For questions about prenatal health and all other pregnancy-related issues, contact Health Foundations to schedule a free consultation with a midwife and a tour of our Birthing Center. Here’s to your health!

Interview: Sarah Longacre of Blooma

SLongacreBloomaSTPWe recently had a chance to catch up with the lovely and phenomenal Sarah Longacre, owner of Blooma, a fantastic Twin Cities birth hub offering yoga, fitness, education, wellness and more for pregnant and new mamas and their families.  If you haven't heard of Blooma or been to one of their amazing classes, we recommend learning more about their many, many class offerings and workshops.  Read on to hear what Sarah shared with us on her business, the benefits of yoga during pregnancy, her advice for mamas, and much more.  A big thanks to Sarah for taking time out of her busy life to chat with us!

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Name: Sarah Longacre, owner of Blooma, yoga instructor, and birth doula extraordinaire

Hometown: Minneapolis

Current Hometurf: Minneapolis

Family: Married (Brian) with two step children, Levi (7) and Phoenix (4), and a baby due Fall 2013

How did you find your way into yoga?

I’ve been practicing yoga ever since my college years at Arizona State University.  I continued my personal practice through my 20s and I started integrating yoga into the births I attended as a doula.  I began attending births in 2000 in Portland, Oregon.

How did you incorporate yoga into the births you attended?

Really just the basic, basic fundamentals of yoga—mind, body, and breath—having breath be the foundation of a mother’s birth.  And then from there it is physically getting out of bed and moving and stretching and using really easy, gentle, basic poses to help moms open up space not only in their physical body, but also in their minds and hearts for the birth of their baby.

Can you tell us how Blooma came to be?

So I had been teaching prenatal yoga in half a dozen yoga studios in Minneapolis and I started realizing the priority of prenatal yoga for many studios was just not there.  You know, it’s challenging—you are working with an audience, a special population, that has a very short span of time and the turn over rate is extremely high.

But I felt very strong that there needed to be a place, a center, for women—not only to come and get education on yoga, but also education on childbirth and wellness.  And really connecting with others.  And at that time, in 2007, there were no birth centers or out-of-hospital childbirth education courses except for a few Bradley classes in churches and whatnot.  There was the amazing Childbirth Collective but, what the Twin Cities really needed with a home, or hub, for all of the resources women need during pregnancy.

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So we opened the doors of Blooma in October 2007 (this year we will be six!).  Our first location was on the edge of Minneapolis and Edina (44th and France). We were there for five years and we literally grew out of the space.  We just needed more and more yoga space and more childbirth education.  Our classes were growing.  The childcare we have at Blooma is one of our biggest perks.  Between all of those things, we knew it was time to expand and change locations.  Really what it came down to was looking at the demographics of our clientele and they were coming more from southwest Minneapolis as opposed to Edina.

We also used to offer classes out of Health Foundations’ amazing upstairs gathering space, but grew out of that as well.  So in 2012, we opened two new studios—one on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis and another on Selby Avenue in Saint Paul.  We also serve mamas in Shakopee at St. Francis's Hospital—we love to have the support of a local hospital!

What services does Blooma currently offer to pregnant women and new moms?

In terms of yoga, we offer prenatal yoga, BYOB (Bring your Own Baby) yoga for postpartum mamas and their babies, Vinyasa yoga for everyone, Barre classes for everyone and yoga for tots, kids and teens.  We also offer New Mama groups, which really support and provide community for new mothers as they make this huge transition into motherhood.  We also have baby weigh-ins and childcare offered during many of our classes.  This summer we’ve been offering yoga camp for kids.  We regularly hold special yoga workshops.

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In terms of childbirth education, we offer classes and workshops in Bradley Method, Birthing from Within, HypnoBirthing, and offer our own courses titled "The Blooma Birth Class," "Blooma Again, Childbirth Refresher," and “Blooma's Birthing Intensive for Couples”.  We hold workshops on diverse topics, including but not limited to VBAC, breastfeeding, postpartum, prenatal nutrition, and more.  We rent space for Mother Blessingways and offer personalized coaching for pregnant women and their partners/labor support.

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As far as wellness, we are proud to have many amazing practitioners offering acupuncture, chiropractic, massage (including Mayan Abdominal Massage), and belly + body art.

What are you most excited about when it comes to Blooma these days?

I’m hands-down most excited about our childbirth education.  We have the most incredible doulas that teach our classes.  And the thing I love most is that these doulas are at births every single day.  These women are literally out on the “front line” helping women at their births.  So when they teach childbirth education, they are teaching from such a real place and such a place of passion, and trust and intelligence for and about birth.

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Unfortunately, one thing I see way too much is women and families coming into childbirth education who are really full of fear.  I believe our teachers are so passionate about birth that they teach in a way that is so full of knowledge, but also really respecting every parent’s unique needs.  And parents do have such personal, individual needs.  It is hard to teach the masses as many hospitals do—you know they often have 20, 30, 40 couples in each class.

And so I am really very thrilled about our childbirth education.  We have a team of educators and classes coming up this fall that I feel very strongly are the best available in the Twin Cities.

What are some of the benefits of yoga for pregnant women and new mamas?

The physical benefits are unparalleled—when you are talking about your body changing and growing (gaining anywhere from 20 to 60 pounds) our bones, our ligaments, everything is adjusting and there is not a better way to learn how to strengthen, but also soften and breathe into, the places where we are feeling these constraints.

In my own pregnancy, at 30+ weeks, I can tell you I have never felt better physically in my whole life, but I have never needed yoga more in my whole life until now.  I’ve known the power of yoga, and I know the power of birthing, but until this part of my journey, I’ve never been so 100% sure that prenatal yoga is the best physical activity for pregnancy.

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While these physical benefits are huge, to me, one of the biggest benefits that people don’t often talk about is coming together in community.  With all the pressure moms have in 2013 in being mothers—from how to give birth, to cloth diapering, to "do we breastfeed?"—the pressure that is put on women to raise children a certain way!— to "do we go back to work?", to "what do we have to give up?"—it’s a very scary time and it’s a very isolating time.  I felt like I was the only pregnant woman on the planet during the first 15 weeks of my pregnancy because I felt like no one else could be experiencing what I was going through

Until I go to Blooma.

When I go to Blooma, and I get on my yoga mat, when I look around at all the other women in our classes, I see women who absolutely have the same fear, the same excitement, the same challenges in their marriage, and challenges in their own hearts, and I realize that I have a tribe, that I have sisters, and that I am not alone.  And that, in itself, is worth stepping onto your mat.  It is worth coming and taking a deep breath in a circle of other women.

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Whether you take a class that is mostly talking or more of a movement based class, Blooma is a place for all women to come and connect with their breath, their body, and their community.

What are your favorite poses for pregnancy these days and what are the benefits of such poses?

{Laughs} Hands-down, savasana!  Resting pose at the end—I mean, to me, it's like birth—that feeling women get towards the end, after all the hard work...“I just want my baby in my arms!” in yoga it's similar—“I've worked so hard, I just want to lay down and relax!”  I say this half-jokingly but I also think it is so important to take the time to relax, especially in pregnancy.

But personally, for me, I love standing poses—I love warrior poses.  Because warrior and goddess poses make me feel bigger and larger than life, they open up space for me to extend and expand, but also really get grounded.  Getting grounded is key, I think, in pregnancy to having a sense of being in the present moment.  To get super grounded to the earth through your legs and then open up your heart to the sky—those poses have become so beneficial to me in prenatal yoga.  So it’s a good balance of standing poses, and yeah, I SO look forward to the end of my yoga practice when I am soft and curled up and I can feel my baby—there is just nothing better than that.

And for postpartum mamas, what are some juicy poses?

Definitely heart-openers—we spend so much time as new moms hunched over—whether we are breastfeeding or bottlefeeding, carrying baby, etc.  So poses that lengthen out the side body, draw the shoulders back and engage the core, help to lift the heart in a way that moms need more than ever.

Do you have any advice for expecting mamas? 

The biggest advice I have—and I feel like I have said this before but I mean it now more than ever—to be so loving, and so kind, and so gentle to yourself.  The pressure that is put on pregnancy and women—it’s huge.

One of the big things for me in my first and second trimester is—you know, people would say to me “Oh my gosh, are you so excited?! Are you so excited?!” and “This is such a blessing, this is such a gift” and it didn’t feel that way to me.  Because I was really starting to wonder, “How am I going to do it all?” And I was already mourning the loss of the life I have known.  And that is when I am called into the present moment and to trust that this child 100% chose me, this child wants to be with me and this child was given this opportunity to come into my family.  And I get to learn. I get to learn from my baby—I get to learn so much. 

Overall, I think that we don’t teach ourselves to love ourselves unconditionally.

I feel nothing but compassion for the pressure that women feel.  I can be in a class of 30 moms and ten of them couldn’t be more excited about being pregnant—they’ve been waiting and trying for years.  Another ten of them, they are scared out of their minds.  And ten of them, they go in between.  And there is nothing wrong with any of that.  I taught just this Saturday and half my class was in tears because they couldn’t even wrap their heads around: “What is it like to be a mom??”  And I am not just talking about first time moms, for some this could be their second, third, or fourth—and you know, they need the yoga more than anyone.  And many of them know the importance of stepping onto their mat to take care of themselves.

The other thing I would say is not to feel intimidated by yoga.  A lot of women are coming to yoga in pregnancy or even in postpartum for the very first time, which is awesome. So many women are intimidated, they think they have to be a certain way or look a certain way or be able to do certain poses—but I just want to break that myth down—you don’t have to be decked out in yoga name brands and look perfect throughout the entire class.  Here at Blooma, you know, we are all about crying babies.  It’s important not to feel ashamed or discouraged from coming onto your mat after having a bad day—that is actually when you need it the most.

And for some moms in the postpartum, they don’t love being a mom, they don’t know if they chose the right path and they are struggling with their relationship with their child—and how normal is that?  But we don’t talk about that.  We DO talk about that at Blooma.

At New Moms group, this is a key place, because there is more talking and sharing.  And this is a place where it's okay for new moms to say, “I am scared” or “I feel alone” And if you do BYOB yoga before that, you open up a place in your body where a lot of that energy may otherwise get stuck.

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Any other advice you have for new mamas?

I would say New Moms group is the best place to start, especially after a C-section or otherwise difficult birth, for mom’s that aren’t ready yet for physical movement—New Mom’s group is a wonderful resource.  And, hey, come back in November and I’ll give you more advice for new moms.

Do you have anything else to add?

Yes! I want to extend a BIG thanks for the Birth Community of St. Paul and Minneapolis. My staff of 60+ and I could not be here without all of the unconditional love and support they give… and I pray we give it right back to them!