Childbirth, Pregnancy

5 Essential To-Dos Before Getting Pregnant

Why wait until pregnancy to soak your Self in tender loving care?

By taking steps now to nurture the health of your body, and overall life, you can infuse your eventual pregnancy with heightened vitality and a more peaceful and appreciative energy.

Following, are actions you can take to begin preparing your Self for the epic journey into motherhood you are hoping to begin.

1. Prep Your Body

Make your body the optimal vessel for new life by phasing out habits like drinking, smoking and heavy caffeine use, and…

  • Begin taking a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid
  • Eat organic fruits and vegetables (if possible)
  • Limit your intake of fish that is high in mercury
  • Just say no to processed foods
  • Under the supervision of your care provider begin a moderate exercise regime, if you don’t already have one
  • Up your water intake
  • Replace chemical-laden cleaning agents with organic alternatives (like vinegar, water and baking soda)
  • See your dentist
  • Schedule a preconception visit with your medical care provider who will look at the landscape of your health and fertility and make any needed recommendations to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy and birth (and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion!)

Phew! It’s a lot, but so worth it.
2. Nurture Your Romantic Relationship

A strange side effect of preparing for pregnancy is that romance is quickly pushed aside to make way for “the business of becoming pregnant,” and the woman begins treating her romantic partner like a business partner.

Ensure that you stoke that love, and don’t infuse too much business into “business time,” by going on regular dates (where you don’t talk about ovulation or pregnancy tests), write each other love letters, or do other activities that remind you why you’re wanting to create a whole new person with your current person.

3. Assess Your Finances, Then Plan Accordingly

Yup, making, baking, birthing, and raising babies costs money. First, take a good look at your health care coverage and determine if it will adequately cover your prenatal care needs, making sure you understand how much your deductible is and what types of care providers and birth facilities are covered. If, for example, you have your uterus set on a birth center birth, but you’re only covered for a hospital birth, you’ll need to consider what you’d have to pay out of pocket for that birth center care.

Next, take a look at your assets, monthly bills, and the income of both you and your partner – are there any adjustments that need to be made to ensure you’ll feel secure when baby arrives?

A major consideration is your employment. Do you work from home? Do you work in an office that offers paid maternity leave? No paid maternity leave? How will your work, and the attached income, mingle with a new baby? It can be overwhelming to chew on all these financial logistics but it’s better to do it now, than when you’re submerged in pregnancy hormones.

4. Massage Your Mental Wellbeing

Your body isn’t the only aspect of your health that needs nurturing: your mind will be a major player in a successful conception, gestation, and birth, so it’s essential to give it the care it needs.

If you feel that you have, or are at risk of developing, a mental disorder it is best to consult with your medical care provider and receive recommendations for mental health specialists. If you feel that your mental and emotional state is stable, but you would like to explore the inner workings of your mind, you may want to consider the services of a hypnotherapist, meditation teacher, or other type of alternative specialist.

5. Make a List of Dreams, Then Dive Into (Some of) Them

While your life will blossom in ways you didn’t even think were possible after you have your child, there will also be new limitations placed on your life. For example, it will be trickier to pick up and travel at a moments notice, go all-in with starting a new business, or read those one hundred books in one year after baby is born.

Make a list of all the dreams you would like to see come to fruition then rate them, with the items at the top being dreams you want to make happen (or at least begin pecking away at) before Baby is born, and the rest being actions or experiences you would be happy to explore with your little one in tow.

An added benefit of this exercise, and the attached dream-fulfilling actions, is that it can help to distract you from the stress of waiting for that positive pregnancy test, which may actually help you get pregnant.

So, go ahead and start checking off these boxes then . . . ready, set, toss that birth control!

Childbirth, Pregnancy, Press

Bringing Harmony and Balance into Motherhood

Today, I’ve invited Bailey Gaddis, author of the book, Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood – to join me for a dialogue about what it takes to create a balanced and harmonious experience as a mother. Her book was recently published by New World Library and is already receiving rave reviews.

Before she was a beloved pregnancy blogger, certified birthing doula and childbirth preparation educator, Bailey Gaddis met her own pregnancy by buying a bunch of books — which, for the most part, made her even more confused, insecure, and scared. So by adopting the principles and philosophy of feng shui, the Chinese system of a connected inner and outer harmony, she wrote her own book – one that guides women to their balanced center and supports them in tapping into the primal energies brought forth in the birthing and motherhood experience.

Here’s what she had to say on the topic of balance and harmony in motherhood.

Read more on Moonlight Muse

Childbirth, Pregnancy

How Does A Doula Help Throughout Your Pregnancy? The Benefits Are Real

*Quoted as expert in article.

Doulas aren’t medically trained, so they can’t provide medical advice, but there’s still a lot they can do to support your pregnancy — including helping you understand the advice your doctor gives you.

Bailey Gaddis, C.Ht, HBCE, of Your Serene Life, tells Romper that she offers two prenatal appointments lasting one-to-two hours. During this time, she helps new moms write their birth plans, and discusses any concerns they may have about labor. She helps moms prepare the house for baby, provides hypnotherapy (one of her specialties), and acts as a “sounding board” when moms have issues with their medical care provider. One of Gaddis’s major goals is to reduce anxiety, which is important, because chronic stress can negatively impact your pregnancy. She explains:

Childbirth, Pregnancy

Doulas Are F*cking Awesome

*Quoted as expert in article

Tracey O’Halloran had one C-section and didn’t want another, so she found a hospital that would respect her wishes — and a doula, Katie Prendergast.

Once labor began, Tracey says, “I was in full-blown freakout pain and fear … She encouraged me to get on top of the wave and ride it out and reminded me this was all normal and my body was designed to do this. I don’t know if the pain became more manageable or I became better at managing, but that was a game changer.” Katie rocked Tracey and her husband together in the midst of her contractions. She kept Tracey’s husband from chattering at her during contractions. “So many little and bigmoments, even to the gentle suggestion of using mineral oil when baby’s head got a little stuck,” Tracey tells Scary Mommy. “I am so, so so thankful.”

Tracey had it right: Doulas are amazing.

Read more on Scary Mommy!

Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy, Press

Inspired Conversations with Linda Joy

Curious about what’s it’s like to navigate the emotions of an unplanned pregnancy? Or, many of the other wonderful/crazy/confusing/transformative challenges of the journey into #motherhood? Tune into to my interview on the Inspired Conversations with Linda Joy radio show today at 2pm ET here, #pregnancy #childbirth#fengshuimommy

Inspired Conversations_Bailey Gaddis


Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy

How to Prepare for a Baby – The Essential To-Do List

Preparing for a permanent resident in your life that you’ve never met can be tricky, but doing nothing to prepare is even trickier. While there is no way to ensure you won’t be popped with surprises during early motherhood, there are ways to set yourself up for greater success, satisfaction, and sanity before your wiggly little person makes their grand entrance.

To kick off your preparations, complete the following to-dos before The Day:

  1. Create Your Baby Zones.

Babies have a sneaky way of taking over every square inch of your house if you don’t designate specific areas wholly devoted to your noisy cherub. For example, set up a changing zone in one room of your house (or two if your home is spread out) and an always stocked and organized diaper bag you can grab for on-the-go changes (like blowouts so messy it’s best to bring the supplies to baby.) In addition, consider setting up play zones, feeding zones, sleep zones, dressing zones, and any other zones you think your baby will need.

Read more on Nanit

Childbirth, Pregnancy

Here Are All Of The Additional Costs C-Section Patients Have To Deal With

*Quoted in article as expert

If you’re pregnant or wanting to become pregnant you may have already envisioned your child’s birth. For some it may be a medicated birth at a hospital, or a drug-free water birth. For others a C-section, either planned or unplanned, may be medically necessary. My first C-section was not planned and there were two things I was shocked about: the recovery time and the cost. No one told me how much more expensive it was. It’s important to know all of the additional costs C-section patients have to deal with so you don’t have to be surprised like I was.

Generally speaking, C-sections are only performed for health reasons related to the mother or the baby like breech position, multiples, or past abdominal surgeries. But it’s hard not to notice the obvious increase in C-sections this country has seen recently. According to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG), C-section rates in the United States were at the highest levels ever in 2009, with more than 1.3 million C-section deliveries (32.9 percent of all births) performed. With C-section rates on the rise many are questioning if they’ve all been medically necessary, especially considering the risks and costs to pregnant women.

Read more on Romper

Childbirth, Pregnancy

Ride the Wave: Floating Through the Centimeters

Special thanks to Bailey Gaddis for sharing her transcendent birth story with us. Like many mothers, she was desperate for labor to start after she passed her due date. But once things got started, cervical dilation measurements played a major role along the journey: from determining if it was time for admission to the hospital to causing her doctor to decide to break her bag of water to determining that her dilation was too far advanced to get an epidural.  Read on to see how she harnessed her inner strength throughout her birth experience. You can find the full story in Bailey’s book, Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood, available on Amazon. Inspired by her beautiful story? Check out her website, Your Serene Life, where you can learn about hypnobirthing and childbirth classes.

Read more on Dilation!