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The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Birth Planning and Preparation.

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Birth Planning and Preparation.

Posted December 16, 2014

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Part 4 – Birth Planning and Preparation. I am so excited to share today’s post with you – we are diving into Birth Planning + Preparation with the divine Lauren Falconer from The Life Pod. This incredible woman is not only my Prenatal yoga teacher but also the guide and host at the Calm Birth workshop I recently attended AND now my Doula. If you are wondering what a Doula is don’t worry, as soon as you click PLAY I’ll be getting right into that with Lauren, as well as chatting about Calm Birth – what it is and why it’s a great idea. But first, before you hit PLAY let me explain to you why this is one of my favourite segments within The Pregnancy Wellness Guide. I don’t quite know how to explain this but I have this very strong feeling that my personal spiritual journey – an inward, self-reflective pilgrimage towards surrender – has been divinely guided towards the transformational moment that birth is. I see ‘surrender’ as a powerful lesson that I am meant to truly embody and also teach. But I now see that surrender has been tugging at my skirt-tails in preparation for birth. Every time I think of birthing this beautiful soul I literally get choked up. Yep, I’m talking glazy eyes, often tears and a feeling so overwhelming I often don’t know how to comprehend it. Is it fear? Is it anxiety? Is it excitement? Is it joy? It’s a bit of both… however, the more OPEN I have become to the concept of birth (birthing this baby AND birthing a mother) I have started to zero in to the ‘hero’ emotion that courses through me… and that is love. I know this experience is going to crack me right open and I cannot WAIT! There is a part of me – I call it the shadow, the darkness – that truly understands that in order to seek out and live in the light sometimes I have to go through trying times, immerse into great challenges, or even literally work through pain and struggle. Perhaps it’s that part of me that comes alive whenever I think of ‘birth’. So what does this all have to do with Birth Planning and Preparation? Well a lot… you see, despite this feeling I’m no fool. I know I am still ‘human’ – ladled with limiting self-beliefs and physical limitations. So, the more I can do to emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually prepare myself for this experience, then heck, I’m doing it! Part of that is ensuring I am educated and enlightened in a way that resonates with my heart, but also to ensure I have a team the resonates with my intentions too. I’m not ‘stuck’ on one birth vision… I’m not so foolish to think that I can ‘control’ any of it. But I have seen, time and time again, that when a woman prepares herself she can move through any experience with positivity, and presence. So, to help you understand part of my birth planning and preparation I chatted to the divine Lauren Falconer. Some of the topics we cover are: Calm Birth – what is it, why it’s a powerful and important tool and how it can help. Doula/Birth Assistant – what is a Doula, what role do they play, how can a Doula truly assist and what does a Doula actually do? Without further adieu here is the audio interview. CLICK HERE TO PLAY (or right click to download and take Lauren and I on your walk or as you travel to work!) BTW – occasionally the call drops out for a second, so when that happens just let it play on – it doesn’t affect the flow too much. ++ Your turn: Did you have a Doula? What do you think about hiring a Birth Assistant? What’s your opinion on Calm Birth? Share your story below! Love + light, Claire xx Read more

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Movement + Bodylove

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Movement + Bodylove

Posted December 12, 2014

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Part 3 – Movement + Bodylove Honestly, before I was pregnant (and I’m talking years ago) I would’ve thought I’d be the girl who would stubbornly insist on exercising in the same way I always had, despite the changes in my body. Being a yogi – that is my main form of movement – I’ve tried every style of yoga under the sun. That is until I really honed my own personal ‘home’ practice. BTW: If you would like to do the same check out my recent post on Starting a yoga practice at-home. Today though, well and truly on the home-stretch to birthing this bub, I attribute the much more nourishing, soul-satisfying and body-loving movement practices I’ve been enjoying during this pregnancy to that home-practice. Why? Well it taught me how to be INTUITIVE. Being Intuitive is EVERYTHING when you are pregnant Have I mentioned yet how freaking mind-blowing the changes that unfold in your body are? Well if not, read that sentence again. They ARE! You have the hormone relaxin course through your body softening your pelvis, your joints and even the valve that keeps your food DOWN. Progesterone is slowing down digestion so baby can absorb more of the good stuff. It’s also causing membranes to swell (hello stuff nose) and helping you store extra weight to grow bub but for breast feeding down the track. There is more blood pumping, your heart rate is going faster, your breath is shorter (squashed lungs) and on it goes. Now I’m not telling you this to scare – most of it is manageable. But I am share this to really drill home how much more vulnerable your body is. It’s doing a BIG thing – building and growing a human being is a miracle. And because of this miracle your need to move and breathe in a way that always feels good and supportive. Let me say this loud and clear: This is not the time to be pursuing and reaching new exercise goals. There is no need to run further, lift more weights, push harder. Soften. Surrender. Nurture. You get me? Accept that your body will change (I’ve put on 10kgs!) Accept that things will look and feel different. Accept that it’s all part of this divine process. Despite everything I just said, pregnancy is not a license to blog out. Countless studies have proven that movement and exercise during pregnancy is vital for the long-term health of bub and for your strength and recovery. You would never enter a marathon without training, right? So the same goes for pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Now this is where your intuition comes into play. The key to striking the balance between Softness + Surrender with Inspired Action is to use your own body and mind as your navigational system – your guidance. How do you feel? What would support you best? What is your body craving You must embrace movement + exercise during your pregnancy in a way that feels supportive – that helps you maintain good health and that ultimately makes you feel really freaking good. If you are a runner, and it still feels good to run – then RUN. But do not take it up just because you are pregnant. Same goes for anything else. I would say Yoga + Swimming are probably the two things you can safely start if you never have before. And please note that everything you do requires modification. There is NO way that my yoga practice looks anything like it did before. It’s much more fluid and less dynamic. I don’t practice deeper backbends and inversions only come out every now and then. Arm balances just don’t feel right. There is so much I CAN do – physically my body still is able to lift into a crow pose or a backbend – but mostly I don’t do them because they intuitively feel ‘wrong’ in my body right now. They feel damaging, harsh… and luckily I am not so attached to the ‘poses’ that I can’t go a few months without them. For me my ‘movement routine’ has looked like this: 1 x Prenatal Yoga Class per week 1 – 2 x Barre Body Classes per week 3 x Personal yoga practices (at-home, at the park by the beach or using an online video) + Regular walking + swimming I’m going to break it down for you here: Prenatal Yoga I’ve been attended Prenatal Yoga with Lauren at The LifePod. But I’m sure you can find many options in your area too. Now, it’s not that the sequence in Lauren’s class isn’t something I could do on my own – as a yogi and teacher sequencing is something I’m comfortable with. But it’s the energy held within the space that is so vital. Being in a room full of women, going through the same thing (in their own personal way) and who are willing to open, connect and explore… well that is why I keep going back. Not to mention that Lauren facilitates the class with so much love and respect for each of our journey. The room is flooded with her understanding, compassion and appreciation for pregnancy. She invites us to dig deep yet to be soft, to grow, yet to be present and still… She cultivates inspiration, motivation, passion and release (emotionally and physically!) Prenatal Yoga is a beautiful way to enter yoga if you’ve not done so before. It also will carry you through the journey in the most loving way. I’ll be sad when Prenatal yoga is no longer part of my week!   Barre Body Barre Body is a Barre studio founded and directed by my bestie – Emma Seibold. The classes I attend are a hybrid of Yoga, Pilates and Barre work. And I love them! They provide me the dose of dynamic energy, strength work and power that I need to stay fit and strong. I, of course, can’t do […] Read more

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Supplements + Nutrition

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Supplements + Nutrition

Posted December 09, 2014

Welcome to The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Part Two – Supplements + Nutrition When I first found out I was pregnant, I was in Thailand with my beloved, on our belated honeymoon. We didn’t quite make a ‘honeymoon’ baby, but unbeknownst to us, this little soul had come into being just beforehand. You can head over HERE to read about the team I first called upon, almost immediately, whilst still in Thailand, after seeing those two little lines show up on the pregnancy test. Now one incredible woman that I consider VITAL to me team of support is Naturopath Tanya Goldie from Dove Cottage. My spiritual mentor, Belinda Davidson, first put me in touch with Tanya last year. During our work together, Belinda had picked up on a few non-threatening health concerns (serotonin deficiency + digestive troubles) that Tanya and I had been working on. In addition to my health, it was clear to both Belinda and myself that I was going to become a mamma soon! The energy of this child was literally attached to my own… I could sense it so intensely. Because of that, Tanya had given me a couple of supplements to start taking to prepare my body, just in case I fell pregnant. FYI: This simply included a tweak to the herbal tonic I was taking for my serotonin issue, as well as Royal Jelly, Spirulina, Folate and Iodine. We also put my husband on Silymarin for liver detoxing and a Zinc Supplement. It wasn’t long after (maybe a few days) that I started these supplements when Tanya emailed me to say, “Conception will be very easy for you…” That sentence filled me with both relief and anxiety, all at the same time. She wasn’t wrong. I (blessedly, gratefully) fell pregnant easily. I’m not going to call this pregnancy an ‘accident’… but it wasn’t exactly planned! So as soon as I found out, I shot an email off to Tanya to get some guidance. Her response: “Remember, everything you eat and consume makes up the DNA of your bubby”. Being a woman dedicated to the health of vitality of my own body, this reply came through to me loud and clear. It BOLDED and UNDERLINED the last 6-7 years of my own wellness journey, as if to say, you know how you care for your body and consume only the best? Well, now it’s even more important! As soon as I was on home soil I had a session with Tanya to make sure I was armed up with the right knowledge – what to take and why! + Before I go on, please note that I am not suggesting or recommending you blindly take and do what I have done for your own pregnancy. You MUST seek out your own expert advice and it must be in relation to your body, health and history. + Tanya and I have touched based regularly throughout this pregnancy to ensure I am getting enough of the nutrients and supplements for bub but also for my own health. Pregnancy throws up a whole host of various ailments … Tanya’s guidance has been vital in keeping me healthy and balanced. Someone once said to me that I needn’t worry about taking a bunch of ‘fancy’ supplements whilst pregnant – the baby will get from me what the baby needs. That might be the opinion of many but to me that is complete and utter crap. The baby WILL take, and take, and take… but if I am not feeding myself the right stuff (nutritionally and supplementary) the baby might be taking the WRONG things and  we will both become severely depleted. My health is vital not just during the pregnancy (for me and bub) but AFTER, so I can be a strong, alive and present mum. So here is an outline of the supplements I’ve been taking so far. Use this as a guide only and explore options for yourself. SUPPLEMENTS First trimester: A B6 Supplement + Liver Detoxer to help my body process the 400+ hormones flying around! B6 made a HUGE difference to the all-day-sickness (as did eating every 2 hours). Folate, Royal Jelly and Spirulina for Energy, Iron and Sustenance. Folate is a MUST if you are planning or just fallen pregnant. Iodine for bub’s development and for many of my body’s important functions! The Iodine has dramatically healed the fibroids I had in both my breasts by the way! Indigestion + heartburn: Slippery Elm tablets (this has been my life-saver!) Second trimester: I stayed on the Royal Jelly and Iodine. In addition we added in a new Iron supplement (with co-factors so it doesn’t cause constipation) and a B12 spray. I started on Zinc and Fish Oil at 12 weeks – for the baby’s brain development and for the baby’s skin! These are also helpful to prevent post-natal depression and stretch marks. Win-win. Every evening I also take Magnesium, Calcium, Slippery Elm and a powdered probiotic (which I have been taking the whole way through!) The magnesium + calcium have helped me sleep better and completely healed the restless legs syndrome I was starting to get – as the baby sapped my mineral stores my body started to show signs of it. These supplements completely sorted that out. For a period of time I was experiencing a lot of congestion and sinus irritation/mucous. This is a common side effect to pregnancy. Progesterone is released in such high dosages and does all sorts of weird things to your body – sinus problems being one of them! Taking a homeopathic remedy until it cleared really helped – this was a tissue salt from Dr Schuessler. Third Trimester: I’ve just entered the home-stretch of this pregnancy and this is what my ‘supplement’ kitty looks like now: Magnesium + Calcium (reduced dosage) Iron Royal Jelly B12 Zinc Iodine We’ve replaced my probiotic with a new strain Sb Flora Activ. This is designed to help prevent Strep B (an infection many […] Read more

Claire Obeid

Hello there, I’m Claire

What am I about? Oh-so-much. A soul-centered and heart-driven life. Inside-out wellness. Shadow work (from the darkness comes the light!) Truth-seeking. Leaning into the joy of life.

Read more about My Story