Archive

Practical advice for grandparents from a new mom

When I first had a baby, I asked everyone I knew for advice about navigating the relationships between me and my parents and my in-laws. I was surprised by how dramatically those relationships changed, practically overnight, after my husband and I became parents. We were no longer the children…our child was. Expectations changed too. For… More

The early days of parenthood: All I See is You

The following poem on parenthood is one of the most beautiful, raw literary pieces I’ve come across. It’s an excerpt from the All I See is You poetry book by Jessica Urlichs. I’ve returned to it often over the past couple of years, and it makes me sob every single time. For me, nothing has… More

We had babies 14 months apart. Here’s how I prepared.

My babies are 14 months apart. When I was pregnant with our second daughter, Camille, I struggled a lot with how such a monumental change would affect her older sister Aurelia. After all, Aurelia was herself still a baby. I had faith that my husband and I would eventually figure out how to raise two… More

Holiday gifts for toddlers

My husband and I try to be mindful about the types (and amount) of toys that our daughters have access to at home. We’ve been fairly minimalistic in our approach, particularly regarding how many toys are available at any given time. (I have a toy and book rotation in place so that they only have… More

A whimsical nursery edit: part 1

From the very beginning, I never put much thought into our nursery. I think for the same reason that we didn’t name our daughters until a day or more after they were born, I thought we’d always decorate their room once we got a better sense for who they are and what they like. But… More

Discovering divine love…in the bathroom

Something profoundly changed within me last night. My husband usually gets our oldest daughter, Aurelia, bathed and to sleep while I make dinner. Last night, he was working, so I did more of the bedtime routine and shared such sweet, tender moments with both babies. One of my favorite things to do is draw one… More

Remembering your future and other wisdom from Dr. Joe Dispenza

I’ve been in a bit of a spiritual slump lately and decided to read Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza for inspiration. I first heard about the book during an interview with the author on The goop Podcast, which I’m ashamed to say was several years ago. I found an old list of books to… More

My birth story with Camille

I always heard that childbirth rarely goes as planned, which was certainly the case with our first baby, Aurelia, and it turns out our second child’s birth was equally unpredictable. I’d wanted to give birth to Aurelia at home but after 24 hours of labor I was dehydrated, exhausted and not progressing, so I decided… More

Favorite books for a 9-month old baby

I read to our daughter pretty regularly from the very beginning, but only recently has she started showing a real interest in books. She’s nine and a half months old now, and about a week ago, she actually started “asking” to be read to. (As an avid reader, my heart melted on the spot!) Not… More

What I learned from our first trip with baby

My husband and I recently took a short three-day trip to the beach with our daughter, who is nine months old. We stayed in Seagrove, Florida, which is about five and a half hours from where we live in Atlanta. Considering the longest we’ve been in the car at any given time is two hours,… More

Reframing your parenting challenges

This week, my husband has been away on a work trip. This marks the first time he and I have been apart since February 2020, and the only time I’ve been home with our daughter for an extended period of time without him. I’m spoiled in a big way. I won’t lie; leading up to… More

A bonus tip for introducing your baby to your dog

Several months ago, I shared 3 tips for introducing a new baby to your dog. They worked so well for us when our daughter was born, and I’m so thankful that we spoke to a professional dog trainer in advance. Last week, we went on a road trip to the beach, which was the first… More

What’s the origin of your fear?

Yesterday, I had my 15-week prenatal appointment with my midwife. During every appointment, she goes through a checklist of questions related to my physical and emotional wellbeing. This time, when she asked about how I’m doing emotionally, I paused. I told her about the anxiety I’ve felt related to violence in our area, particularly gun… More

Parenting as a catalyst for personal growth

Topics related to personal growth and parenting have been on my mind a lot lately: how we’re raised as people pleasers, how to recognize childhood trauma and ways that postpartum healing is as emotional as it is physical. Digging deep to explore your psyche, separate your true self from learned behaviors and heal old wounds… More

30-day writing challenge: manifesting your goals

Several years ago, I was in a job that made me very unhappy, and the message I kept getting from the Universe was “have faith and quit.” I knew that was the right approach, but I was stuck on the question of what I would do with my time once I quit. I wanted to… More

Celebrating your whole self

Imagine this scenario: a 10-year old girl has curly hair that she loves. She’s the only person in her class with curly hair. It’s the one way she feels unique and special. It’s a major part of her identity. It’s the one thing about herself she wouldn’t change. Then one day, her grandmother comes to… More

How we’re raised as people pleasers

I’ve written before that I’m a fan of Gretchen Rubin and her podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. You might know her from her book The Happiness Project, which is one of those classics that I revisit periodically. Several years ago, Gretchen wrote another book, The Four Tendencies, that examines what motivates people. She outlines four… More

Learning & development toys for newborn – 7 months

As I’ve written before, I regret not including more learning and development toys on our baby registry before my daughter was born. It wasn’t the end of the world, but as a first-time mom, I was really surprised how quickly she was ready to engage with her environment, and I felt a bit unprepared. The… More

Nudges from angel numbers

When I began my spiritual journey, I awakened to the fact that there is a majestic fabric of wisdom and love connecting all of us with one another and with nature. I opened myself up to receiving information from my surroundings and got so much more present in my daily life. One of the most… More

5 methods for manifesting positive change in your life

Manifesting is the act of bringing something into your life simply by focusing on it. It’s also referred to as the law of attraction; you attract into your life what you think about and believe to be true. Anyone can do it. In fact, we’re all manifesting our life into reality all the time, whether… More

Postpartum healing isn’t linear

Before we had our first child, I became fascinated with the postpartum period: the personal transformation that’s possible if you’re nurtured, allowed enough space to sit with the changes and probably most important of all, open to surrender. Cultures around the world have recognized this critical juncture for centuries and emphasize the need to “mother… More

Validating your trauma

The term “trauma” gets thrown around a lot in the context of personal growth. When I first started on my journey, I believed that trauma resulted from a catastrophic event or unhealthy environment…that it was reserved for victims of extreme suffering brought on by poverty, physical abuse or being raised by a parent battling addiction.… More

Patterns in relationships & breaking free from “your type”

I spent 15 years dating men that were “my type” with the hope of discovering my soulmate. But I uncovered my childhood trauma instead. Throughout my 20s and early 30s, I shared with my girlfriends how downright uncanny it was that so many of the guys I dated were basically carbon copies of each other.… More

Parenting for highly sensitive people

Last week, I wrote about a new commitment to reimagine my every day rituals to better meet my needs. One of the three pillars of this goal is my spiritual practice. I want to say at the outset that I’m going to be very honest here, and my intention is not to complain but to… More

A friendly PSA on clean beauty and pregnancy

I’ve used clean beauty and personal care products for years. Once my partner and I decided to try to get pregnant with our first child, I committed to using clean products, including cleaning and other household products, exclusively. During my current pregnancy, I’ve gone a step further by educating myself and becoming more selective about… More

Pregnancy recipe: leafy green soup

Leafy greens vegetables like kale, spinach and collards are packed with vitamins and minerals (vitamins A, C, K and E along with iron, fiber, calcium and folate) that pregnant moms and babies need. This soup is one of my favorite ways to consume a ton of vegetables in one meal. It’s easy to make and… More

A healing visualization: expand your heart & reduce anxiety

In January, a six-month old baby was shot and killed by stray bullets at 3 p.m. on a Monday in Atlanta, about 30 minutes from where we live. Gunfire erupted when two adults got into an altercation outside of a grocery store. The baby was riding in the car with his mom, and their car… More

How to get out of your head and into your body

For the most part, we live in a society that rewards thinking, logic and analysis…living exclusively in our heads. The upside is productivity and progress, but at the risk of over analysis, anxiety, burnout, exhaustion, and worst of all, living a life full of things we were “supposed” to do, but that leaves us entirely… More

Parenting choices and repeating patterns

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we show up as parents based on what was modeled for us as children. As I look around at the people closest to me, I see example after example of either parents trying to replicate their own childhood or parents desperately trying to create the exact opposite… More

Reinventing my rituals

I read an interesting article recently on the impact of COVID-19 on our rituals, from weddings and birthdays to coffee breaks with co-workers and morning commutes. Humans and societies thrive on rituals to mark the passage of time and celebrate milestones. In losing that aspect of our lives, we’re missing out on monumental occasions but… More

Advice & resources for an evidence-based birth

When I was pregnant with our daughter, I started researching standard of care practices in prenatal care as well as labor and delivery. My research started with curiosity about ultrasounds, and from there, I really started questioning everything. Into my second pregnancy, I’m still doing research and finding new information all the time. My biggest… More

Gift for mom to honor a rainbow baby

I’m not a huge fan of the term “push present,” a gift given by a loved one marking the occasion of “pushing” a baby into the world. But I love the sentiment of honoring the birth of a baby and mom’s transition into motherhood. My husband and I agreed that I would look for something… More

2 great resources for your child’s learning & development

Since our daughter was born, I’ve become very interested in how to keep her engaged throughout the day and the best way to support her cognitive growth based on where she is developmentally. I’ve found two really incredibly helpful resources: Busy Toddler – Susie Allison’s parenting philosophy is that you shouldn’t spend all your time… More

Beautiful blessing for a baby girl

My cousin read this poem to close my mother blessing when I was pregnant with our daughter, and there wasn’t a dry eye by the time she finished. You could incorporate it into your baby shower, birth announcement, needlepoint or calligraphy artwork for your nursery, religious ceremony…the opportunities are endless. I adore it so much… More

Postpartum recipe: vegetable & rice soup

The warm bone broth and well-cooked vegetables in this soup make it both incredibly nourishing and easy to digest for new moms. Serves 4. 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling 2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced 2 small parsnips, diced 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced Salt and freshly ground pepper,… More

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 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 to… 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