I was blown away when I heard back from Celebrity Doula Lori Bregman (within about 20 minutes!) after emailing to ask her if she would do this Q&A. Not only do I love her book The Mindful Mom-to-Be, but I truly admire the work she does as a doula, life coach, and healer with over 15 years experience, and a client list that includes Molly Sims, Kristen Bell & Dax Shepherd, Jillian Michaels & Heidi Rhoades, Kelly Rowland, Jessica Biel, Heidi Klum, and many more. I'll be giving away a copy of her book to one lucky winner who signs up for my Prenatal Yoga and Birth Prep Mini Class series, but I urge every expectant mom out there to check it out! It is a relatively quick read, yet filled with helpful month-to-month information about your growing body and baby, nutritional advice, natural remedies including yoga poses to help with pregnancy-related discomforts, techniques for labor, and even spiritual and emotional exercises to help you prepare for motherhood. Read on for the Q&A with Lori discussing The Mindful Mom-to-Be.
Angie: I found your book so awesome, in that it is kind of part “what to expect” in pregnancy, birth and beyond, and part spiritual, self-help guide to empowerment for the whole woman. It’s just a refreshing, unique approach, that I think will be so helpful to expectant and new moms, because as you say “you’re not just birthing a baby; you’re birthing yourself as a mom too.” Can you tell me a little about how you came to write this kind of book?
Lori: I have been supporting women throughout pregnancy and birth for 15 years or so. there is so much focus on the baby but I watched these moms-to-be go through so much not just physically but emotionally and spiritually as well. I created my pregnancy program called Rooted for Life that helps create a solid foundation from which both baby and mama-to-be can grow... my pregnancy coaching program became my book blended with my doula practice, blended with my background in healing.
A: You write a lot about embracing one’s authentic self and cultivating one’s own intuition to find what works best for them and their baby. I think this is such important advice, especially since so many women are bombarded with other people’s opinions about how they should give birth or mother their children. Do you happen to have any suggestions for warding off well-meaning advice givers?
L: BEWARE -Everyone has an opinion or a projection when you are pregnant or a mom ... but there is no one right or perfect way to parent or mother your child. Like I said, I have been doing this for 15 years and have worked with all types of women ... none of them ever had the same birth experience, pregnancy, relationship or child, so my best advice is to really take the time to know yourself and who you are, and stand strong in your truth. You can always shut someone down by saying "thank you for your opinion, but I'm going to do it my way." Stay off the internet and watch comparing yourself to others. Remember although others might be the same type of person you are, you are one of a kind and have your own individual strengths and weaknesses, path, and purpose within that realm.
A: I love the portions of the book on being present and having an attitude of gratitude. I think these practices are super important all the time, but especially during pregnancy- a time when a lot of moms find themselves looking to the future, or struggling through discomforts. Do you keep a gratitude journal, or what exercises do you find personally helpful in maintaining your focus on the present and what you are grateful for?
L: I have a morning ritual that I do to ease me into the day. I get up, light some candles, put some classical music on, feed my dogs, make coffee and get back into bed. When there I journal, read a page or two in a spiritual book, do an inspirational Instagram post, eat, and then do some form of exercise. Today I did yoga/ meditated and walked my dogs. Every night before bed I transition myself to sleep. I give gratitude for my day, do some clearing breath work where I breathe in something positive and let go of something negative, take my minerals, probiotics and fish oils, and climb into bed. My daily transitional rituals help set the pace for my day and my sleep. When I don't do this I am frenetic.
A: I think it is fantastic that you incorporated a section on postpartum healing and the 40 day rule, as I think often the focus shifts almost entirely to the baby post-birth, and mothers tend to sacrifice self-care during this time. Do you have any additional advice for new moms on how they can “fill their cup first”?
L: I always try and lock this way-of-being in during pregnancy, because often post-birth self care goes out the window. But you don't have to have a lot of time to do a little something for you. It can be as simple as having fresh flowers in the house, eating a healthy nourishing meal, taking a relaxing bath, or doing a five minute meditation. It's hard to be patient, present, and compassionate when your cup is totally empty. These little things you do for you everyday will add up and keep your cup from getting drained. Make a list of 10-20 things that nurture you, give you joy, bring you peace, and make you happy and feel good. Write them down, and put the list out somewhere that you can see it as a daily reminder to do something for yourself.
A: What’s next for you? Is there anything you’re especially inspired by lately, or new projects you’re working on?
L: I have a pregnancy online course coming out in May on yogaglo.com that Im super fired up about. I am also working on a product line, in nutrition school, writing my next book and of course helping lots of sweet babies come into this world!!!
Thanks so much to Lori for taking the time to chat with me! Check out her website to learn more about how she helps "birth healthy and happy babies, mindful and empowered mothers and people too.” You can also find her inspiring posts on Instagram and follow her on Twitter.
Written by Angie Traska of Align Doula Services, providing intuitive, attentive doula support that aligns with you. Looking for doula support or lactation counseling in the Madison area? Contact me here.