Lori Bregman , the renowned doula, life coach and healer always felt a deep desire to work with moms-to-be and new moms. It was a life-changing personal experience that finally propelled her to support women on their journey from fertility through pregnancy and into new motherhood.
Lori, the author of, The Mindful Mom to Be , has trained with healers around the world in order to blend spiritual coaching, healing and intuition into her Doula practice. She truly believes that in order to experience a healthy and happy pregnancy one needs to look at all aspects of their life.
We recently sat down with Lori and asked her some questions for our Woman Up series – a collection of inspiring femmes that live large, work hard, fall often and always get back up.
The one thing I hear the most is that moms-to-be and new moms just don’t have time to take care of themselves and also for many working mothers out there, they feel they can’t take additional time for working out, etc. because it takes time away from them spending time with their kids. How do you approach these situations?
First of all, if you are completely depleted and have nothing to give, what kind of energy are you showing up with for your kids. Taking time for yourself doesn’t have to mean hours. Every once in a while, go into your bathroom, take a few breaths, light a candle and come back out. It’s hard to be your best self when you are completely depleted. You just have to make time. I have clients that wake up earlier and go for a run or do a bath ritual when their kids go to sleep . I love the app YogaGlo , which is great for on-the-go workouts. You can also just lay in your bed and read a book There are ways to relax. You have to fill your cup back up first. I love the saying “You can’t serve from an empty vessel.”
I had two births last week and I was up all night long. This weekend I was a shell of my former self. I had to make the time to recharge. It’s not selfish. It’s an act of self self. When you take the time for yourself, you’re showing your children that you love yourself enough to take care of yourself so you can show up better for them.
You mention in speaking about your healing journey that you would take one step forward and two steps back. Falling back into old habits is often seen as a sign of weakness or failure. What did you learn from the healing journey that you went on?
Change is a process. Pregnancy is a process. Life is a process – and we need to stay present in that process. There are so many people that say they just want the baby. As women we often go into the fantasy. My teacher taught me, “let yourself have the fantasy but bring yourself into the present reality.” Allow it to unfold, keep showing up and be open to what works out. When it comes to pregnancy, I do believe in divine timing and that there is something deeper going on. I had one couple trying for their second baby and their energy was really separated on the topic. I encouraged the woman to work on bringing their energy back together, working on their deeper relationship and that in time her husband would talk about having a second baby—which did happen. There is so much more going on than just having the baby.
What is the biggest misconception or myth about pregnancy that you come across?
Pregnancy is normal, natural and there is no one right way to do pregnancy or do birth. I can take five different women that are each five months pregnant and they will all look completely different. I’ve not seen any two women that were the same in my sixteen years of doing this work. That being said, no two couples, families or children are the same either. You can look at others and be inspired, but don’t compare. Find what works best for you.
Many women dealing with infertility think they can never have kids or think their only option is IVF. What is your understanding of what causes infertility and what is your approach with your clients?
I’m not a medical doctor and there are times when I do send my clients to go to a fertility doctor and I work with a lot of them. One of the things I always look at is their lifestyle. Stress is a huge factor, especially for women. We need to understand that we are operating a lot like men these days. We feel we have to be strong and we are working really hard. So I work with my clients on softening their energy, looking at their stress levels, incorporating yoga and meditation , certain supplements , looking at their food and cleaning up their diet. I also work with a lot of acupuncturists who favor warmer foods. I have a great warm Fertility Smoothie at Beaming Cafe as well. It’s exploded all over the internet.
I look at this process like a gardener looking to plant a precious seed. You want to get that soil nourished and fertile. That is the base that holds the seed so it can grow.
I also always carve out at least a 6-month window for this work because it takes the pressure off. This way they don’t feel like every month they are not getting pregnant. I definitely talk about divine timing as well. Sometimes because they are ready, doesn’t mean that the baby is ready to be born. Sometimes I will do a visualization, fertility yoga or intuitive coaching with them. It’s so personalized. One of my clients needed to open her creative channel, her second chakra, and I encouraged her to write this children’s book she had been wanting to. After she did, she got pregnant. I help my clients to see where their energy is blocked and support them in releasing it.
What are some things you would recommend to any mother-to-be or mother that will set her up for a healthy, happy life?
Focus on yourself. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.
Stay present, when you find yourself worrying about the future, focus on the present and the fears will take care of themselves. Know that this is one of the most miraculous times, this will be your only first pregnancy, next time will be different. There is a miracle happening inside of you. Just take it in. Be in the journey. Don’t be so quick to get to the other side because you are shaping a being.
Stay off the internet. During this time your body is going through tremendous change and you can stress yourself out for no reason by researching every little symptom. People can drive themselves crazy, but babies are actually much more resilient than we think.
Create a bubble of peace as your baby is growing. There are certain people we feel really good around, some we don’t. Certain places that make us feel good, some that don’t. In pregnancy you go through this major purging period called nesting. You get rid of all the things in your life that don’t serve you anymore in order to make space for this new life. Nothing new can come in with yesterday’s junk, so evaluate your relationships, where you are you spending your time, clean your house, make energetic space in your life. Let things go that you are hanging onto that you don’t need.
What are some of your favorite healthy foods/treats?