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The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: How to host a blessingway

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: How to host a blessingway

Posted January 28, 2015

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: How to host a blessingway I’m not that into experiences like Kitchen Teas, Baby showers and the like. My husband and I didn’t throw an engagement party and I was a little unnerved by the whole Hen’s night (which ended up being an incredible experience). I am however, really into experiences that are sacred, respectful and honour the depth of meaning behind the celebration. Which is why I wanted to have a baby shower with a difference – with a blessing. A couple of years ago I helped host the blessing ceremony at a very good friends shower, and having been invited to another Blessingway I was certain that I wanted something similar for my own experience. What is the difference between a Baby Shower and a Blessingway? Firstly, both experiences are about celebration and a coming together of women. However, a Blessingway, which is born from the traditional Americian-Indian (Navajo) culture, is about honouring the mama-to-be and her transition into motherhood. It is also a way to honour the unborn baby as well. Without sounding wanky, it’s a more spiritually minded experience. A baby shower is a more Western celebration that is designed to ‘shower’ the mum and baby with gifts to prepare for the birth, which I believe became popular in the 40s and 50s. BOTH have their place and I can truly see the benefit in a baby shower – receiving gifts from friends for the baby is such a help. For me though, that wasn’t the priority. And I’m also not keen on the ‘games’ that are usually played at Baby Showers. No judgment, but I personally find them a little tedious. How to host a blessingway This is an incredibly personal experience so there are no rules or strict guidelines. What I can do is share what we did and perhaps that will help you come up with your own Blessingway experience. I was so blessed to have one of my oldest friends offer her (newly renovated!) home for our Blessingway. The space was divine, open and spacious. Another friend – my Reiki Healer and beloved soul sister – offered to host the blessing ceremonies. After researching Blessingway Ceremonies there were a few elements I knew I wanted to incorporate: 1. The sharing of food We asked each guest to bring a plate of healthy food. This not only made it easier for my host but it also meant that when we sat down to eat you could really feel the love. Each plate of food was literally buzzing with consciousness. I can’t begin to describe the joy in ‘breaking bread’ with my soul sisters, knowing that our food was high vibe, healthy and stupidly delicious! 2. Meditation + Blessing Opening the ceremony – we were all sat in a circle around a little altar – with a mini meditation and a blessing to me, the baby and each woman holding the space brought on the water works! I was crying within the first minute and I know many of my friends were too. It set the scene, it felt sacred and it simply soulful. 3. The Red String Blessing One long piece of red string was looped around the left wrist of each woman present. As this was done, each of my soul sisters (my mother and sister included) offered up a piece of wisdom and advice to me. And yes, tears were shed. My heart literally exploded out of my chest. My soul stretched out with delight. Words were shared such as “You already know everything you need to know” and “Savour eery single moment” and “I can’t wait to meet your soul baby”… ahh, it still gives me tingles when I think back to how held, loved and supported I felt 4. Prayer Flags I sourced online a kit to create our own prayer flags. I decided that I wanted my beautiful soulies to get creative with me and make a prayer flag each. These featured words of advice, drawings, and messages of love. They are all strung up and ready to be hung in the birthing room – whenever our baby decides to enter this world. I’e also had my nieces create a prayer flag as well. And I know that mid-labour as I look up at these messages I will either smile, laugh or cry… but either way, these prayers will bolster me, encourage me, keep me on track and lovingly call in this beautiful soul-baby. 5. Pampering + adornment Now, I won’t lie, this was my friend’s idea and one I was a little uncomfortable with at first (still have some work to do on ‘receiving’) but in the end, getting a shoulder rub and hand massage from my friends DELICIOUS! At 35 weeks pregnant any form of ‘care’ feels like being wrapped in the biggest embrace. I was also crowned with a stunning flower headpiece and my hand painted with henna. ++ Despite the heatwave, I had the most joyful, sacred and memorable experience. I’m so grateful to each woman that was there who held the space with their love and gave so much from their heart! Hosting a blessingway doesn’t have to be difficult or overly ‘spiritual’ or even fussy. Sacred can still be casual, relaxed and effortless. As mine was! And you might like to combine it with the most common ‘Baby Shower’ – throwing in a few baby-games or even doing a gift registry if that’s what you are after. Your turn: Have you had a blessingway before? Are you interested in doing this for yourself? love + light, Claire Read more

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Eating your own placenta

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Eating your own placenta

Posted January 20, 2015

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Part #7 – Eating Your Own Placenta Did that title grab your attention? Have you already heard of (and perhaps chosen to) consume your own placenta? Or is this so foreign and totally whack that you don’t even want to read on!? Well, surprisingly consuming your own placenta has become alot more palatable over the last few years. And yes, PUN intended. It is now becoming more popular and common to ‘eat’ your own placenta… and it’s now much easier to do. You’re probably not surprised to hear that this is something I hae chosen to do… but before you freak out I won’t be cooking up my placenta with some diced onion and garlic. I’ll be encapsulating it and taking it daily, post birth. Rather than me pretend to be the ‘placenta’ expert I’ve called on Erika Elliot from MotherBirth to do some explaining for you! Firstly let me introduce Erika. Erika Elliott began her professional life as a birthworker in 2005 when she founded MotherBirth.  The MotherBirth service provides loving support, contemporary knowledge, traditional wisdom and a decade of experience supporting Sydney’s birthing community. Erika is dedicated to supporting families as they find their way during pregnancy and birth. Erika is a mother, doula & childbirth educator offering calmbirthⓇ weekends and Birthing from WithinTM classes. Her qualifications also include prenatal massage therapy, birth photography, post natal doula support, birth story healing and placenta encapsulation. I was lucky enough to ask Erika a few questions on Placenta Consumption that I hope will really help you understand WHY this is such an important health practice and something that I can’t wait to try. Obviously I’m completely new to this too, so I will provide an update in the post-partum months of my experience, but I figure there is no harm (considering I grew the placenta in the first place!) Why do you recommend women ‘consume’ their placenta? What are some of the benefits (mental, emotional, physical?) Firstly, I would like to say that nothing benefits a new mother more than continued one on one support at home as she recovers from labour and birth and as she begins to integrate all that is required of her as a primary carer of new life.  Unfortunately, in our culture, most of the time this is not possible as family may not be close by or the art of caring for the mother as she cares for her baby is not in the familial tradition. When this continued one on one care is not possible, or even if it is, the placenta capsules are a way of powerfully boosting the new Mothers’ system as she turns her attention to the tasks at hand. “Baby blues” is a common occurrence –80% of mothers experience it in the first days and weeks after giving birth. Because it is so common, nothing is typically done about it until it may worsen into a diagnosis of postpartum depression, at which time anti-depressants may be prescribed. Antidepressants, like almost all drugs, are passed to the baby through breast milk, and mothers who don’t want to expose their babies to these medications are often faced with the decision to either stop breastfeeding or struggle with depression. Women suffer through the baby blues almost as a rite of passage to motherhood – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Placenta consumption has been reported for decades to help stop the baby blues and diminish postpartum fatigue. Some women have cooked the placenta in a stew, mixed it into a smoothie, or even taken it raw to tap  into its powerful effects. For many who feel squeamish about this or want to reap the benefits of  their placenta for more than just a day or two, there is another option; encapsulation. What is Placenta Encapsulation and what can it provide? Placenta encapsulation is the transformation of a nutrient dense organ into powerful, palatable food as medicine for post pregnancy and birth recovery. Powdered placenta has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for  centuries. In the early postpartum period, placenta capsules can provide: Faster milk production due to the high levels ofhormones including prolactin Shorter postpartum bleeding due to oxytocin and urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII Energy boosts thanks to the high iron content A sense of well being from the natural progesterone and cortisone content A possible reduction in or total elimination of post partum depression due to the many hormones at play but specifically the corticotropin-releasing hormone which drops significantly after the birth of the placenta Reduction of pain due to oxytocin which has an opioid like effect Historically, have human beings ever consumed their placenta? Is this a lost tradition or a relatively new one? We have no evidence of women consuming dehydrated, encapsulated placenta historically, but there is documentation of women consuming their placenta raw, immediately after birth, or cooking it and eating it as a meal.  I believe this form of encapsulating pure placenta is a relatively new one which is growing in popularity incredibly quickly.  I have been encapsulating for just over 4 years now, and this part of my business is one of the busiest! Have their been any tests/studies to prove the validity of this practice? There is no evidence based, scientific study out yet, although I have read that the results of one study are due out around May 2015.  As with all things, science and evidence based information can be helpful, but we are also at will to connect with our intuition and turn our attention to other mammals and what they do with their placentas.  For me, the evidence lies with the Mothers’ I work with. Do you find that most hospitals/birthing centres are willing to help with proper care/handling of the placenta? Yes, absolutely.  I also provide the couple with a sheet of information for themselves and their caregivers as to how the placenta needs to be handled immediately after birth so it is […] Read more

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: The books I’ve loved

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: The books I’ve loved

Posted January 14, 2015

Welcome to The Pregnancy Wellness Guide – Part 6 – Books and Education In the very early weeks of this pregnancy I didn’t really feel moved to read too much… in fact, that feeling has remained somewhat. But let me explain because I do have a few books to recommend. I didn’t feel called to dive into a lot of information written by experts on pregnancy, childbirth etc.  There was something within me that felt that, at that particular stage, too much information might actually get the better of me. It was almost like the only oracle and guide I needed was this baby and my body. And to this day I still see that as the foremost source of knowledge and information. Intuitively, every woman out there, knows what’s going on in their own body. When you tune in you are able to sense what’s right or not. Despite that, I love to read and I love learning… so I did get my hands on a few books that resonated with me. And since then, that pile has grown. Some are more spiritually minded, others are much more practical, but I’m using them as a resource, a back-up, a way ‘in’ when something feels cloudy or confusing. But if, at any point, anything I’m reading makes me feel anxious or stressed then I quickly put that book down and explore WHY. Am I resisting something truthful that this book is presenting, or is this book saturated in fear, that I don’t wish to buy into? The books I want to share with you today are not necessarily books that I’ve been told are ‘the best’… I know there are 1000000000 books out there that will tell you everything you need to know about pregnancy, motherhood, babies etc. But for me, I have gravitated towards books that give me a sense of confidence, trust, connection and most importantly knowledge that what is unfolding within me and the next stage of motherhood is one that I will figure out and I WILL get better at, day by day. I also should mention here that some of these books I’ve not yet finished, but I dip into – certain chapters satisfy certain queries. Other sections might be aligned to how I am feeling at that particular time. The one piece of advice that I personally think is important here is this: find the balance between getting educated and armed up with knowledge with learning and knowing too much. Sometimes a little ignorance is bliss, as long as you are instead firing up your own inner wisdom and intuition – use THAT as your main source of knowledge. Remember this. You literally have the wisdom of the ages – generations of woman who have birthed and raised children – threaded within your soul. You’ve got this. BOOKS I’VE READ + LOVED (Some of these have found me, been passed on or recommended by friends – trust that the books and resources you are meant to discover will show up!) v Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives – Deepak Chopra  Anything Deepak and I’m in… he creates a level of understanding on both the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental planes that I connect with and just ‘get’. It’s a perfect blend of advice and tips with spiritual and holistic perspective Parenting with Soul – Sally Collings This book isn’t hard to read and if you’ve been on this spiritual path for a while it’s simple an affirmation of how to take the way you lie into parenting. If you are relatively new on this journey then I think you’ll find this quite an easy yet eye opening book. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin This woman, Ina May, is the most incredible Midwife, Pregnancy and Birthing advocate. You MUST read this book. (Yep, that’s an order). The stories of birth are positive, inspiring and damn-right encouraging. They frequently move me to tears. Not to mention that Ina’s insight and advice comes from HUNDREDS of birthing experiences. Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful – Gurmukh By far my favourite book so far. Pregnant or not, this is one incredible guide. It’s permanently by my bed and I dip into it for reassurance. It wraps me in a warm hug of truth – that if I can grow this baby I can birth it. And if I can lie a conscious, spiritual life, I can bring that into this pregnancy and beyond. Not to mention the Kundalini meditations threaded through eery chapter. Love! Also a HUGE must for you beautiful mamas out there. Birth Skills – Juju Sundin with Sarah Murdoch I found this book interesting as the perspective on birthing is a little different to the Calm Birth mentality, but yet still supportive and really important to understand. It focuses more on active, moment-based techniques to work through the stages of labour (pain, contractions, transitions etc). The natural way to a better pregnancy – Francesca Naish + Janette Roberts Informative. Jam-packed. Natural/Holistic Focused. It has a wealth of natural-based knowledge which I found useful, but sometimes overwhelming. However by dipping in and out I’ve been able to get guidance when and how I need it. Baby Love – Robin Barker Honestly, I haven’t yet tucked into this one much but it’s more of a bible of knowledge. Recommended to me from a few friends who have said this book really helped alot with the first three months of baby’s life. The Child Within the Lotus – Margaret Stephenson Meere Being slightly obsessed with Chakras and Energy systems I was super eager when a friend recommended this book as it works through developmental stages of your baby via the development of the Chakras, from base to crown. I really love knowing the connection between the different stages to how the energy system is activating. Baby on board – Dr Howard Chilton This book came to me by my guides. Someone mentioned his name on some random facebook post, and […] Read more

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Meditation + visualisation

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Meditation + visualisation

Posted December 19, 2014

Welcome to The Pregnancy Wellness Guide Part 5 – Meditation and visualization. Before we get going, if you haven’t already do check out the other posts in this series – there is a lot of juicy information in there for mamas-to-be, or even for you to file away in the future if motherhood is not yet on your radar. Welcome + Bonus Tips Supplements + Nutrition Movement + Body love (including a 50 minute Prenatal Yoga Class) Birth Preparation Audio Interview Today we are jumping into my favorite topic – Meditation + visualization – and I’ve got a little BONUS gift for you below. So keep on reading. If you’ve spent anytime around these traps you’ll know that I do bang on a lot about meditation. And to be honest, I won’t be shutting up anytime soon. Not when I have experienced and regularly see my clients experience such profound shifts and subtle transformations in mind, body and soul. Meditation, visualizing, affirmations, positive thinking – it really does set the wheels of change into motion. Our sub conscious mind, the part that we aren’t aware of but is actually controlling pretty much everything, is that part we really want to affect. When we can reprogram our sub conscious mind – clearing out limiting beliefs, crushing fears and emotional blocks – we can create a whole new landscape for ourselves – new opportunities, experiences, possibilities open up. Not to mention that, to me, meditation is a soothing balm. It’s medicine for the mind-body-soul. When I’m exhausted I choose a meditation that I know is going to rejuvenate me. When I’m anxious I choose a meditation style that will create stillness and calm. When I’m resisting something, or caught up in fears I go for something that will help me process and clear out. It’s just like choosing the right supplement or medicine to heal an ailment, except it’s a hell of a lot more natural! With that being said, it makes A LOT of sense that we tap into the powerful healing and transformational qualities of meditation and visualization during pregnancy – in preparation for birth and the journey into motherhood. Today I’m going to share a few ways to do that with you. ++ Meditation – cleanse, clear and connect To me, during pregnancy and even into mother hood, meditation is the perfect tool to cleanse the mind and body, to clear out anything that we don’t need and no longer aids us and to connect inward – with our own soul, our own true self AND with our beautiful, growing bubby. Recently I launched a new meditation offering: Reveal Your Inner Radiance – (mini) meditations to makeover your mind, body and soul. There are 3 programs, each featuring 7 days of meditations + a journaling guide. Each program focuses on a different need or theme. You can purchase them individually or buy all 3 as a bundle package of 21. Deeply Relax + Let Go Make Peace + Heal Find Joy + Inspiration These meditations really do create the space for you to cleanse, clear and connect on so many different levels. My one wish for you during your pregnancy, birth and into motherhood is that you are able to let go of whatever it is that gets in the way of you being completely open and surrendered to the transformation. If we are in resistance – controlling and fighting back – we create such a miserable, heavy experience. It’s in the openness, willingness and surrender that we find peace and JOY. These meditations will soothe you, cradle you, cleanse you, inspire you, invite in beauty, connect you with your baby, bring in love and joy and give you clarity and contentment. You’ll radiate from within. Some of the feedback I’ve received has been so encouraging… especially when I hear from mums who are meditating with me in the lead up to their babies birth… “Thank you for your meditations! I was doing them before my baby was born and I’m sure that they really helped me have a (relatively) easy and empowering labour!” “I had such a mental shift in just that little 10 minutes. I feel confident and excited and just good on the inside.” “Your meditations are so heart-felt and have been helping me get back into a meditation practice, which I seem to have lost somewhere along the way. It’s been so easy to implement these meditations into my life and I feel blessed to have found you! These have been a great tool to get back into meditation and start my day on a calm and centered note”. And guess what? You are in luck! The Reveal Your Inner Radiance meditation series is currently on SALE for Christmas!   CLICK HERE if you’d like to download and start meditating!   ++   Now, any other way of meditating is also just as amazing – if you are already practicing a particular style, then don’t stop – keep you practice up and make it a priority! Whether it’s mantra meditation, mindfulness or vipassana – it’s ALL perfect.   Visualization – affirm and manifest I find that visualization is an important practice to actually feel more empowered – you feel calmer and more centered when you are clear about what you want to manifest. And when you’ve spent time absorbing and focusing in on what you truly desire, then you are going to feel more content, confident and secure. These visualization techniques will really help you to begin the process of manifesting. Truthfully the experience probably won’t unfold EXACTLY how you envision it, but you’ll probably get a hell of a lot closer than if you just pull the wool over your eyes and ‘pretend’ that it’s not happening or that you are not fussed by what happens. Take the driver seat. Own this journey and story for yourself. Navigate this mothership in the direction you want to go. There’s nothing wrong with being in-control! But […] Read more

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

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide

Posted December 02, 2014

Welcome to The Pregnancy Wellness Guide! As a coach I have worked with hundreds of women supporting them to find health, to heal, to find balance, to cultivate happiness and to live in wellness. Personally, living in wellness is not a negotiation for me. It is just how I choose to live and it is how I navigate through the world and life. What can I do here to ensure I am nourished? How do I nurture my body better? Will this support me or detract from me? So that being said… I am no expert in pregnancy, birth or motherhood, but I sure know a thing or two about wellness! Which leads me to introduce you to The Pregnancy Wellness Guide. A series of blog posts, audio clips, interviews and more where I’ll be sharing what I have been doing throughout my pregnancy. Watch the video to find out more on my Pregnancy Wellness Guide. You’ll also learn 4 feel-good tips you can dive into today! CLICK PLAY I hope you can see this as what it’s intended to be – a guide. NOT a rulebook. Because the one and only rule that does apply during pregnancy is that you are THE BOSS. However, if some of what I am doing might help you on your journey, then my job is done. Your body, your intuition, what feels right/wrong/or otherwise – that’s the only rule that matters. As I mention in the video, here is some of what we’ll be covering off in the Pregnancy Wellness Guide: 1. Supplements + Nutrition 2. Recommended Books 3. Movement + Bodylove 4. Meditation + Visualisation 5. Birth planning + preparation 6. Postpartum Lots of  juicy info to support you ladies – whether you are a soon-to-be mama, planning it in the future or onto your second (third, fourth?) bubby! Oh and any men out there reading – there is nothing hotter than a MAN who CARES about (and is involved) his woman during her pregnancy. So the more you know, the better! Now it’s over to you. I really need your help. Comment below and share with me: Any burning pregnancy questions you have (that I might be able to answer/include in the guide) Anything you feel is important to share to other ladies regarding pregnancy. Just a side note: we are going for POSITIVE stories and sharing. Even if your birthing experience didn’t go ‘as planned’… please, whatever you share, do so from a positive, affirmative place. I do not want this space to spread fear + doubt (p.s if your comment does, I will delete it). Thanking you in advance. Stay tuned. More to be released soon. love + light, Claire xx   Read more


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