The Mindful Mom-To-Be: A Modern Doula's Guide To Building A Healthy Foundation From Pregnancy Through Birth by Lori BregmanThe Mindful Mom-To-Be: A Modern Doula's Guide To Building A Healthy Foundation From Pregnancy Through Birth by Lori Bregman

The Mindful Mom-To-Be: A Modern Doula's Guide To Building A Healthy Foundation From Pregnancy…

byLori Bregman

Paperback | August 4, 2015

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Strengthening your own foundation is one of the very best beginnings you can give your child. In The Mindful Mom-to-Be, doula and pregnancy coach Lori Bregman guides you in your journey toward motherhood by empowering you to find what works best for you and your baby. In addition to concrete, prescriptive health information, including nutritional advice, natural remedies, developmental milestones, and techniques for labor, she offers simple and enjoyable spiritual and emotional exercises to help you prepare for motherhood. As Lori explains, you're not just birthing a baby; you're birthing yourself as a mom, too.

With month-by-month advice, comprehensive checklists, and customizable birth plans, this is your indispensible, holistic companion for pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
Lori Bregman is the founder of the Rooted for Life pregnancy coaching program, a complete body, mind, and spirit support system that helps women through fertility, pregnancy, birth, and into motherhood. She blogs for,, and at her own blog, She lives in Santa Monica, CA.
Title:The Mindful Mom-To-Be: A Modern Doula's Guide To Building A Healthy Foundation From Pregnancy…Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.41 × 5.47 × 0.82 inPublished:August 4, 2015Publisher:Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/RodaleLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1623363012

ISBN - 13:9781623363017


Read from the Book

Month OneHEALTHY MOM, HEALTHY BABY"A house must be built on solid foundations if it is to last. The same principle applies to man, otherwise he too will sink back into the soft ground and become swallowed up by the world of illusion."--Sai BabaIf you ask any mom-to-be her greatest wish for her children, the first thing she'll say is, "I want them to be healthy!" Of course, some circumstances surrounding the health of our children are beyond our control. But there are many things you can absolutely do to make sure your children are healthy from the moment you find out they're coming into the world. During pregnancy, your baby is as much a part of you as your internal organs. By eating healthy foods, exercising, and destressing, not only will you feel better physically and emotionally, you'll also create a solid, healthy foundation for both you and your baby.Women who adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles throughout pregnancy generally have fewer risks and complications, straightforward births, and an easier time bouncing back postdelivery than those who don't. When I say "healthy lifestyle," I'm talking about balancing the food and supplements you consume, exercising, and managing stress. And this lifestyle doesn't have to end once you give birth--by shifting your habits, you'll feel better for life.It's never too late--or too early--to establish a healthy routine. During the first month of pregnancy, you may not even realize that you're pregnant, so it makes sense to take stock of your prepregnancy lifestyle. Note the foods you've been eating, whether you're mostly active or sedentary, and how stressed-out you feel on a daily basis. Evaluating your lifestyle now will help you to create a healthy environment for yourself and your children in the future. The better care you take of yourself during pregnancy, the better care you'll be taking of the baby within you. Your baby is dependent on you to make choices that best support her growth and development. Changing less-than-ideal eating and lifestyle habits during the first month of your pregnancy lays the foundation for the months (and years!) to come. This chapter explores why mind/body health matters for you and your baby."The greatest wealth is health."--VirgilYOUR CHANGING BODYAre you really pregnant for 10 months instead of 9? If you've just found out that you're pregnant, your doctor probably did the math to arrive at a due date 40 weeks away. Caregivers calculate your due date from the beginning of your last menstrual cycle, since it's difficult to pin down the actual date of conception. So for calculation purposes, you're "pregnant" before you even conceive.The first month of pregnancy is an exciting yet fragile time, one with a lot of questions, concerns, and the beginning of many strange physical and emotional feelings. You may not feel overly sick or tired just yet, but that doesn't mean there aren't major developments going on! Many women experience subtle symptoms of pregnancy in the beginning, while others don't even notice. Early symptoms include:• Missed period• Tender breasts and nipples• Aversions to certain foods or smells• Mood swings• Cravings for certain foods• Tiredness and general fatigueAt this point, there's more happening in your uterus than anywhere else in your body. You may not be feeling any pregnancy "symptoms" by Week Four, but there are lots of ways to connect with yourself and your rapidly growing baby-to-be."CALLING IN" YOUR BABY"The deeper the roots, the higher the branches."--UnknownSit in a comfortable position in a quiet space where you won't be disturbed. Place your hands on your lower belly and begin to breathe in through your nose, feeling your breath in your belly. Do this for 4 slow counts. Exhale for 4 slow counts as you allow your whole belly and body to relax and soften. Do this deep-breathing cycle three times.Next, imagine a baby--your baby--and slowly begin to deep-breathe again. Breathe in while picturing this baby, again breathing through your nose and into your belly. While you are breathing, visualize becoming pregnant with this child. As you exhale, relax and soften your body, allowing your body to receive this baby. Again, repeat three times.Begin to see yourself with your baby. Imagine the child and what it would be like for you and your partner to be together with this baby. Envision and, more importantly, feel your life with this child. Notice how you feel being her mother, having her in your arms, close to you. Name that feeling (joy, love, bliss, etc.), breathe that feeling into your heart, and exhale anything out that might be blocking you (for example, stress, doubt, or fear). Allow this positive feeling to flood over you as you let go of disappointment, sadness, or worries.See your baby in your arms and from this loving place in your heart talk to her, telepathically or out loud. Tell her (as you feel this energy) how much you can't wait to be her mother; show her what her life with you will be like, let her know you are ready for her to "Come home to me now," that you are open and ready to receive her and can't wait to hold her in your arms. Show her all you have been doing to prepare and ask if she needs anything from you. You might hear something or you might not. Keep talking as long as you need to, and end with "Come home to me now. I am open and fully ready to receive you into my heart and into my life."Next, cut out inspirational pictures of couples, families, and babies and glue them onto a tall, glass-encased white candle or large piece of paper. Add pictures of yourself, your partner, dog, parents, or perhaps places you love. Place objects that are meaningful to you around the candle or sheet of paper (crystals, goddess statues, baby clothes) like you are making a baby altar.Place a few drops of scented oil into the top of the candle and light it. Let the candle burn all the way down.After you do the visualization from the calling-in ritual (above), write a heartfelt letter to your baby. It's never too early to start communicating with your baby, even through words on paper. I also suggest starting a baby book, journal, or scrapbook--something to collect your keepsakes, photos, and memories of meaningful moments of your pregnancy and birth. Start the book with this special letter. This will be something to share with your child as he grows to show how much he was loved before he was born.Writing a letter to your baby-to-be can be the first connection you make with the tiny person inside you. It doesn't have to be a long letter, just something from your heart that speaks to you and your child about the journey you're both about to embark on. Engage your partner, too, and you'll both have a chance to express your thoughts to your new addition.WHAT TO EAT FOR THE FIRST MONTH"Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."--Michael PollanFood is a major focus during pregnancy. It serves as the basis for your baby's growth and survival. Eating a well-rounded, balanced diet full of organic, hormone-free, genetically modified organism (GMO)-free whole foods is ideal, especially during pregnancy. Each month, as your body and baby grow together, I'm going to highlight specific food groups and types of food to focus on. This doesn't mean you should stop eating other healthy food groups you've already incorporated into your diet. The growing list of foods I will provide offers a wide variety of healthy and tasty options for you during your entire pregnancy.Did you know that what a woman consumes while pregnant shapes her child's palate later on? Studies from the Monell Chemical Senses Center have shown the food that mom eats flavors the amniotic fluid, which in turn is swallowed by the fetus. Babies are actually "tasting" foods! You have the opportunity to teach your baby to love healthy foods before he's even born (which is a lot easier than teaching a toddler).There is a common misconception that "eating for two" during pregnancy means you need to consume a lot more food. Not true! While pregnant, you need to consume only 250 more calories per day than before pregnancy. Chances are, if you're eating a typical American diet, you're getting way more than the daily calories you need, even with a growing baby. Instead of worrying about eating enough food, focus more on the food's quality. The healthier you eat, the better you will feel and the stronger your body will be to support your pregnancy and labor. You can shift your awareness simply by asking yourself these two questions: How is this food feeding me? How is it fueling my baby's development?EATING HEALTHY ON A BUDGETEating healthy does not have to mean breaking the bank! Follow these tips for balanced nutrition on a budget.• Grow your own garden. Even if you can only grow herbs like basil, oregano, and parsley or a few vegetables, you'll save money on seasonings (and your food will taste better than anything packaged).• Buy foods like beans, grains, nuts, and pastas in bulk. They're less expensive when you buy more at once, and they keep well in a dry pantry for a long time.• Prioritize what's most important to buy organic. Look at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Web site, which lists the "Dirty Dozen," the fruits and veggies that absorb the most pesticides and so should be eaten organic.• Shop at local farmers' markets and buy produce that is in season. These foods tend to be less expensive because they are at their peak of production.• Buy generics. Stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have their own brands, which are generally less expensive and taste just as good. Many other grocery stores have their own organic brands, too.• Eat out less. Browse the cookbook shelf to find recipes that excite you. Turn on some music, set a pretty table, and enjoy the process of cooking and dining at home.• Plan out your meals for the week ahead before you go food shopping. Make a list and buy only what you plan to prepare for the week. This will cut down on fresh food that spoils before you can use it and impulse buys that you really don't need.Here are my top tips for building a healthy nutritional foundation for you and your baby.Eat as Organic as You CanOrganic foods are certified to be free of any chemical treatments. Pregnant women and children are the most vulnerable to these toxins. The Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), updated in 2014, measured pesticides and other chemicals in the bodies of Americans every few years. Results of the study consistently show that pesticides cross the placenta and can be absorbed by the fetus during pregnancy.Growth hormones are found in cattle, poultry, and eggs that don't come from organic farms. Growth hormones have been linked to certain cancers and can alter hormone production, which, according to a study from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, can lead to early puberty in girls and cause development and reproductive problems. Organic foods might cost a little more, but can you really put a price on your family's health?Eat for FuelWhole foods (nonprocessed, fresh, high-quality, nutrient-rich foods) are filled with a ton of healing properties. Take bananas, for example. These sweet, simple fruits are both high in potassium and rich in iron, which can help your nerves and muscles function properly as well as help carry oxygen throughout your blood. Their serotonin boosts mood, fiber helps battle constipation, and alkaline properties help neutralize stomach acidity from heartburn or ulcers.When we see how food really feeds us, both physically and emotionally, our relationship with food and eating will change. Food truly is fuel to get your body to move, grow, feel, and heal. My intention in teaching you about the healing properties of foods is that when you eat, you'll connect with how this food is doing something not only for your body, but for your baby, as well. After working with me, lots of my clients develop a new relationship with food. I see them eat completely differently than they used to and even feed their children with the intention of doing something positive for their lives.Increase Your Intake of Vitamins, Minerals, and SupplementsA good prenatal vitamin helps to ensure that you and your growing baby are getting a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals each day. It's best to start taking one a few months before trying to get pregnant, but don't worry if you didn't. However, as soon as you find out you're pregnant, finding a prenatal vitamin is essential. I prefer food-based (nonsynthetic) vitamins, as they're the most natural form and are easier to digest. One prenatal vitamin a day, however, won't give you the extra boost of many vitamins and minerals that will help prep your body and baby for growth. Here are some vitamins and supplements I think are essential to take during pregnancy.Vitamin D (up to 4,000 IU a day): Most prenatal vitamins contain around 400 IU of vitamin D. A study from Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) explains that increasing your vitamin D intake up to 4,000 IU a day can reduce your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure), and premature birth.Did you know that vitamin D is known as the "sunshine vitamin"? The body produces it naturally when exposed to sunlight. Believe it or not, an easy way to get extra vitamin D while pregnant is to go outside around noon and sit in the sun with your belly exposed for 10 to 20 minutes. I also like vitamin D drops, especially for those who hate swallowing pills. Place a few drops on your tongue, and you're done for the day.Vitamin E (400 to 600 IU a day): In the book For the Childbearing Year, Susun Weed, an herbalist and director of the Wise Woman Center in Woodstock, New York, explains that taking vitamin E throughout the first trimester helps the embryo adhere to the wall of your uterus and has been shown to help prevent miscarriage. Stop taking vitamin E after the third month to prevent abnormal adhering.Probiotics: These healthful, "good" bacteria live in your colon. When "bad" bacteria form in your gut, causing diarrhea or a yeast infection, probiotics replenish the good bacteria and help restore your belly's balance. The most popular probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt and other cultured foods. (Look for the phrase "live and active cultures" on the label.) Probiotics can be found in pill or powder form or in dairy products such as kefir or yogurt, which can be added to smoothies or cereal if you don't like to eat dairy alone.

Editorial Reviews

“We love Lori! We worked with her throughout the pregnancy and birth of our daughter. The Mindful Mom-to-Be is just like having Lori by your side, supporting you throughout your journey into parenthood. Read this book now!” —Kristen Bell and Dax Shephard“I feel so blessed to have had Lori on my pregnancy journey and by my side for the birth of my son. She made me feel so relaxed and ready for birth, dismissed all fear, and helped me focus on LOVE!” —Kelly Rowland“The Mindful Mom-to-Be offers an empowering approach to pregnancy and childbirth that will help you find your own authentic path.” —Jay M. Goldberg, MD, OB/GYN