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My Atlanta-based pregnancy team

Pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period are incredibly vulnerable, raw and transformative times for birthers. Now is not the time to settle with substandard care. You should feel supported, safe and free to be honest about your questions and concerns. If you aren’t happy with your provider, find a new one. And if you have… More

9 baby registry MVPs

When I first pulled together the baby registry for our first child, I spent hours researching the best products and reading blogs like this one. Once our baby arrived and we had a chance to put everything to use, I realized there were gaps in the list and things that would work better for our… More

Thoughts on empowering our daughters

A distinct memory from my childhood came to me yesterday…as often happens now that I’m a parent. I was in an a high-school-aged-female Bible study, and the two female teachers were showing us how to respond when men in our church hugged us inappropriately (too closely). Their advice was to aim for a side hug… More

2 tips for navigating colic & a word on tongue ties

Doesn’t that picture just leave a knot in your stomach?! Our daughter was born with a tongue tie, lip tie and cheek ties which basically means that the soft tissues in her mouth restricted her mouth movement and ability to latch. Although it sounds straightforward, it was fairly difficult to diagnose and determine treatment options;… More

My birth story with Aurelia

For Aurelia’s birth, we planned to deliver at home. I had absolutely nothing against hospital births; I simply thought that I would be more relaxed and comfortable at home. Some people find comfort around doctors and clinical settings because they feel safe there. I’m an empath and very sensitive to sounds, lights, loud voices, cold… More

Morning sickness tip that worked for me this week

I recently wrote about the wonders of acupuncture for preventing morning sickness. Seriously, it’s changed my life and made the first two months of my current pregnancy so comfortable and pleasant. Compared to my last pregnancy and the horrible all-day sickness I had for the first trimester, that’s nothing short of a miracle. At an… More

Sweet Water Lactation Tea

This recipe is from Ysha Oakes, Ayurvedic cook and doula. This Ayurvedic lactation tea helps promote digestion, hydration, lactation and rejuvenation. I drank it throughout the day for the first two months after childbirth for lactation support. 2/3 tsp fennel seeds 1/3 tsp fenugreek seeds (I found mind at Banyan Botanicals.) 2 quarts water Directions:… More

Healing herbal bath tea for postpartum

Herbs can be incredibly effective at reducing inflammation, soothing perineal tissue and healing tears after a vaginal birth. The blend I’ve chosen below is made up of beautiful and fragrant blossoms that are uplifting, soothing, healing and antiseptic. A fresh bath can be taken once or twice daily for three to five days after a vaginal birth. (If… More

For partners: how to prepare for labor

For most people, labor is hard work. It also can be incredibly powerful and transformative, particularly if both the birther and her partner feel present, prepared and supported. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know that I’m a big advocate for empowered births, and a partner’s role in enabling an empowered birth… More

Pregnancy timeline for health and wellness

When I was pregnant with our first child, I created a “pregnancy by the month” note in my phone where I kept a running list of classes, books, wellness activities and other milestones so that I could consolidate all of the things I’d read from 100 different sources in one place. Looking back, it was… More

Postpartum on a budget

Postpartum care is so close to my heart. Many cultures – particularly non-Western ones – are steeped in the tradition of offering postpartum care. This support of new mothers focuses first and foremost on healing her. Through emotional, physical and spiritual support, she becomes empowered to step into her new role and offer the best… More

Pregnancy on a budget

Everyone talks about how expensive babies are, but my partner and I found that actually we were spending more money starting with pregnancy. I’m seven weeks into my second pregnancy and have been giving a lot of thought to where we spend our money and where we can find cheaper alternatives this go round. Two… More

Festive non-alcoholic drinks for NYE

If you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, breastfeeding or not drinking alcohol for some other reason this New Year’s, you can still enjoy a festive beverage to celebrate. Below are a few of my favorites. Ginger Turmeric Sour I love this GOOP recipe because it includes two flavors I always crave during pregnancy: citrus and… More

A case for color

I’ve always been interested in color theory, the notion that colors in your environment can affect your mood, behavior, sleep and memory. Once I got pregnant and started reading more about a baby’s development, I became even more interested in the link between a baby’s eye sight development, cognitive development and color. Each of the… More

My pregnancy nighttime routine

Nighttime sleep doesn’t always come easily, especially towards the end of pregnancy. I’d never struggled with insomnia until the end of my third trimester. So, through trial and error, I created a nighttime routine to help signal to my body that it was time to rest and to make myself as physically comfortable as possible.… More

How I blended a mother blessing with a baby shower

Mother blessings, or blessing ways, are a Navaho tradition that acknowledges the transition of a woman into a mother. It’s a sacred ceremony that celebrates and blesses this rite of passage. The purpose is to support a woman emotionally and mentally for birth and beyond. I first heard about mother blessings in my postpartum doula… More

The secret about morning sickness I wish someone had told me

The morning sickness I experienced with my first baby was debilitating. I woke up feeling sick and progressively felt worse throughout the day. I I couldn’t eat, keep down my prenatal vitamins or stand the smell of anything, including unlit candles. You get the picture. That was a year ago. Since then, I started seeing… More

Foods to avoid postpartum

Birth triggers a lot of big changes in the body, including shifts in the digestive system. That’s why cultures around the world, Chinese, Indian and Persian to name a few, have fed traditional foods to women after childbirth for centuries. These foods are easy to digest and nourishing to facilitate healing, comfort and improved breastmilk… More

Foods to favor postpartum

After the delivery of a baby, a mother’s digestive power is often diminished, and her digestive system is very delicate. Feeding her the best foods prepared in the easiest-to-digest ways will help ensure that she’s able to process the nutrients she needs to heal and produce milk (if she’s breastfeeding). The following suggestions are time-tested… More

Gifts to honor a pregnancy loss

In my experience, there’s so much silence around pregnancy loss and miscarriages that most people don’t know how to support women who go through them. After my miscarriage, responses ranged from blaming me for not taking care of myself to “at least you could get pregnant so quickly!” Other people immediately changed the subject without… More

Postpartum recovery from tearing and what worked for me

Tearing, the dreaded “T” word that seems to come up during every conversation about childbirth. But it’s by no means a necessary evil of labor. In The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth, Genevieve Howland states that “anywhere from 40 percent to 85 percent of women delivering vaginally will experience some level of… More

A note on co-sleeping

Co-sleeping, or children sleeping with one or both parents, is one of the most controversial topics we’ve encountered as new parents. When I was pregnant, we had no intention of bed sharing with our baby. We planned for her to sleep in a bassinet in our room so that we could have the comfort of… More

Gift guide for expecting moms

It’s that time of year! Below are the best products I used during (and after) pregnancy, plus a bonus gift idea that I regret not getting while I was expecting. Happy Holidays! This pregnancy pillow helped support my growing belly and aching back and hips during my last two trimesters. And after the baby is… More

The #1 tool that helped me sleep during the third trimester

It’s no secret that sleep towards the end of pregnancy can be challenging. Frequent bathroom breaks, a kickboxing baby, backaches, racing thoughts and any number of other distractions can all work against your ability to rest. For me, a pregnancy pillow helped up until a certain point. During my last month, I got out of… More

For partners and caregivers: 5 ways to support a new mom

A new mother is in a state of tremendous transition for at least the first six weeks postpartum. She’s recovering physically from labor and delivery. Her hormones are dramatically shifting. She might be processing fear and/or trauma from childbirth. She’s learning how to breastfeed, which many women attest is the hardest thing they’ve ever done.… More

The art (and gift) of resting postpartum

Around the world, traditional cultures have honored a strict rest period for new mothers for centuries. Ayurveda adheres to a 42-day postpartum window of care for moms. In the Chinese culture, mothers stay inside and rest for 40 days. These traditions encourage women to heal, bond with their baby and make the sacred transition into motherhood… More

The 4 best pieces of advice from my midwife

I’m a big believer in the midwifery model of care for pregnancy and childbirth and have so much to say about how empowered and genuinely cared for I felt during my own experience. During each of my monthly appointments with my midwife, I met with her face to face for an hour. She got to… More

3 tips for introducing a new baby to your dog

My husband and I have a four-year old Husky named Kona who, to our knowledge, had never been around babies or small children when we adopted him. We weren’t exactly worried that he would be aggressive towards our new baby, but we also wanted to set ourselves up for success. So towards the end of… More

Summer clothes that got me through the third trimester

When I got pregnant, I was determined to not buy an excessive amount of maternity wear. For starters, I was pregnant during COVID-19, so I rarely left the house. I also felt wasteful buying clothes that I would potentially only wear for a couple of months. I decided to look for clothes that weren’t designed… More

9 healthy habits for pregnancy and childbirth

One of the most important decisions during pregnancy is where you plan to deliver. When I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t give much thought to it. I automatically assumed that I would give birth at the hospital where my OBGYN practiced. During the first couple of weeks of my second trimester, my husband… More

5 things that helped me recover from my miscarriage

I experienced a miscarriage in July 2020. My husband and I got married earlier that year, and we were thrilled that I was pregnant. I was 10 and a half weeks along when I lost the baby. In the week that followed, I processed a lot of emotions. During that process, I created this list.… More

5 suggestions for an empowered birth

When I found out I was pregnant, I did the only thing I knew to do: made an appointment with my OBGYN. I waited anxiously until I was seven weeks along so that I could go in for my ultrasound to confirm that I was pregnant. During the appointment, I asked my doctor — who… More

Mantras in unlikely places

One of my favorite podcasts over the years has been Happier with Gretchen Rubin. You might know Gretchen from her book The Happiness Project, which is one of those classics that I revisit from time to time. It’s the kind of book that you vow to read every year but never do. Luckily for me,… More

Surprising personal care products that are no-nos during pregnancy

I’m currently 17 weeks pregnant, and over the past few months, I’ve done a ton of research about what I should and shouldn’t be doing to protect my baby. Admittedly, I’ve been pretty frustrated that the care from my doctor has focused so much on testing and risks — which might be because I’m 35… More

5 festive fall rituals

Fall is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. Sweater weather. Hot apple cider. Pumpkin bread. Fall foliage and that crispness of the air. Cozy socks (who am I kidding?! those are year-round staples). Since we won’t be traveling or going out and about as we normally would because of the pandemic, I’ve… More

The best lemon recipes to try this summer

When I think of summer, I imagine myself rocking on a front porch listening to ocean waves and drinking lemonade. I don’t think that particular fantasy has ever actually happened, but regardless, my association between the long, lazy days of summer and lemons is strong. Over the past couple of months, I’ve tried all of… More

A refreshing summer luxury: floral beauty water

Over the past year, I’ve become fascinated with the medicinal and healing benefits of plants and how they can play a bigger role in my overall wellness. The spark of interest led to research which eventually led to buying a few high-impact flowers and herbs to experiment with. So far, I’ve made salves, elixirs, and… More

Summer crafting: lavender wands

I absolutely love a good seasonal craft. A couple of months ago, I happened to run across a reference to “lavender wands.” I immediately Googled the term and read everything I could find about their history and how to make them. That same day, I bought a lavender plant and began patiently waiting to harvest… More

5 ways to spring into summer

It’s SUMMER! Because of COVID-19, vacations and days at the beach aren’t an option for everyone (at least not in California at the moment). Because we’ve barely left the house since March, I haven’t felt the season change or the passage of time. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to embrace summer, connect with nature… More

The postpartum paradox

For most women, the first weeks after ushering new life into the world are arguably the most difficult times they will face. Physically depleted. Emotionally raw. Exhausted. Vulnerable. Scared. Yet this is when we ignore mothers the most. At least, that’s the case in Western countries. We do a marvelous job of supporting women during… More

The act of releasing: Letting go of the pelvic floor

The pelvic floor is having a moment. People are talking about it more openly and it’s being addressed in fitness magazines, in yoga classes and maybe even prenatal workshops if you’re lucky. But truly, it deserves so much more attention. I feel so strongly about this topic because: I’ve struggled to find useful information. There… More

Color Magic for everyday life

Almost a decade ago while I was living in Carmel, Calif., I took knitting lessons from a lovely Welsh lady named Dawn. During one of our many therapy sessions lessons, she told me that she’d noticed a pattern among people coming into her shop. She said that nine times out of 10, the color yarn… More

How to create a bedside self-care center for new moms

According to the Ayurvedic tradition, the first six weeks after childbirth is a critical window for both mom and baby. This postpartum window is a time for rest and support. Activities should be minimal, quiet and gentle. Surrounds should be soft, warm and cozy. The intention is to create a nurturing, pleasant environment for the… More

Not sure what to plant this spring? Grow your own medicine cabinet!

I love springtime. I love the blooming flowers, warmer temperatures and the collective awakening from winter. I always feel really inspired to grow flowers or put in a window box or over-commit to a high-maintenance house plan (this year it was a Fiddle Fig Tree). But choosing what to plant can be really overwhelming, especially… More

4 cozy drinks that are good for the soul

Regardless of the time of year, one of my favorite nighttime rituals is a warm beverage right before bed. It helps me feel nourished, and depending on the strains of the day, can help with my emotional state as well. Here are some of my favorites: 1) Ceremonial Hot Chocolate by Heng Ou is inspired… More

Want better sleep? Try these 6 lux nighttime rituals

It’s my firm belief that a nighttime routine should be indulgent, nurturing, relaxing and easy to maintain. Your routine should feel like a beautiful splurge at the end of your day, but also manageable to stick to… not just another item on your to do list. For people who struggle to fall asleep, a nighttime… More