How I Survived Hyperemesis Gravidarum

I recently read the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting baby number three. It’s her third pregnancy with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). Reading about it has me thinking about my experience with HG.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

A wise mother of three once told me every pregnancy has at least one discomfort. During my son’s pregnancy I had sciatica pain in my lower back. With my daughter’s pregnancy my morning sickness continued the entire pregnancy. I recall even wondering, “maybe its twins this time.” As a childbirth educator I knew HG was more common in twin pregnancies. I had no idea then I was predicting the future. My doctor diagnosed me with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. He also assured me I was not pregnant with twins. I laugh now even thinking about it.

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The Mama Method with Lauren Weisman

Today I have an interview with The Mama Method founder Lauren Weisman, a maternity fitness expert based in Los Angeles. Her method blends relaxation, yoga, barre, ballet, pilates and cardio, to guide you through pregnancy and birth with strength and confidence.

The Mama Method

What is the Mama Method?

The Mama Method is my movement arsenal specifically designed for pregnancy and new motherhood. I started my business because I found that there was a real need for individualized pre and postnatal fitness programs. Especially during a first pregnancy or as a first time mom, there are so many questions that arise surrounding healthful movement modalities. I love that I get to guide my women toward feeling their best in this hugely transitional time.

What inspired you to focus on supporting pregnant women and postpartum mothers?

I have always been interested in birth, motherhood and helping women. As a young child I remember asking my mom to repeat my birth story frequently. As a teenager, I volunteered at a women’s’ center. I took a course in college called ‘Feminism and Fertility’. There were probably many other hints along the way that the dots might connect in this capacity. When I moved to Los Angeles six years ago, I trained as a doula with DONA’s Debbie Lavin. I knew guiding women through such a pivotal moment in their lives would be a part of my work. Combining this skill set with my history as a dancer, fitness and yoga teacher created the Mama Method.

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Mother Us Spotlights: Mutter Belly Oil

Mutter

There are debates about the efficacy of belly oils for preventing stretch marks, but it doesn’t hurt to hydrate and moisturize your skin during pregnancy. Mutter is a Berlin based maternity skincare company inspired by a conversation between Ralu and her mother.

Mutter OIls

Last year while we were on the beach, I asked: “Mom, how come you don’t have any stretch marks on your belly?” And she said: “Remember the little bottle of olive oil I always have in my bathroom cabinet? I used that. Pretty much every day. Nothing fancy, you see. Very simple, yet very effective. I’m still using it as my daily body moisturizer – it’s all natural and does the job.”

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Interview with Sarah Smith :: Call The Midwife

Sarah Smith is an English midwife, doula and mother of one. Recently she worked supporting women through births in Los Angeles, where I was fortunate enough to make her acquaintance.

Now back home in England, Sarah is focused on enjoying her toddler son and choosing happiness. I’m delighted to be able to share this interview and hear her point of view on motherhood and asking for support.

 

SarahSmithMidwifeInterview

What brought you to your work as a midwife?

I always find it hard to answer this question because it wasn’t a defining moment or anything in particular. All I can say is becoming and being a midwife has always been something that has felt very instinctual to me. I knew I wanted to be a midwife since I was about 14, and since then have never questioned it or looked back.

Did your approach to midwifery change after becoming a mother?

As I became a midwife at quite a young age, and therefore before I had my son, I always felt that maybe some people wouldn’t take me seriously being young, as well as not having children of my own yet.

Since having my son,  I suddenly felt like I’d earned my stripes, almost like a bit of an initiation and my confidence as a midwife grew enormously. I feel my connection to women now is stronger because of having been through the experience myself, and I feel my empathy is now much greater.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe you need to have children in order to be a good midwife, there are plenty of midwives without children who are fantastic midwives. But for me personally, I know this helped me on many different levels.

What do you wish every mother could experience or know before her own birth?

I wish for every woman to feel a sense of empowerment, in whatever way that might look for her. I would love every woman to know she has a choice and a voice in her care.

Did you have postpartum support after the birth of your son?

I had limited postpartum support, due to various different things, but I wish I had had more support and helping hands around me. I learned the hard way about doing too much too soon!

It’s all about sleep when you’re a new parent, any tips to share?

Everyone says it, but it’s so true, rest when you can, and don’t worry about the little things. Build a network of support around you, so that they can take care of you, so that you can take care of your baby.

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