Back to work after baby...


Recently I’ve talked to a few first time mamas about the stress of returning to work. I went back to teaching when my daughter was 4 months old. I cried the whole day before I had to go back. Going back was no doubt quite an adjustment.  After my son was born, I went back when he was also 4 months old. I had just  figured out how to get both kids to nap at the same time and now, once again, I had to adjust to going back to work.

My first day back I spilled 8 ounces of pumped breastmilk all over the floor. I cried tears because there is nothing worse than spilled breastmilk. I read the wrong attendance sheet to my first period class and my supervisor came in during my prep period to have a meeting I was unaware of. Needless to say, it was a rough first day returning to work. However, just like 2 years before, I found a new routine. I enjoyed being at work and at the same time could not wait to get home to my little monsters. Is it hard? No doubt. Exhausting? Absolutely. A few things I have found make it easier when you return to work.

1. Crockpot dinners are your best friend. It’s great to come home and dinner is ready.

2. Amazon is great for diapers so you don’t have to run to the drug store at 8 pm because you forgot to go to Target last weekend.

3. Get organized. Pack your lunch/ diaper bag/ work bag the night before. (I personally struggle with this one, but it makes a huge difference when I do it)

4.  Let something go. Don’t sweat it if your house isn’t perfect, laundry isn’t finished, you need your eyebrows done, etc. Realize it’s impossible to do it all and keep your sanity. Sometimes you just need to call it a day and go to bed. 

5.  Use a calendar to write down important dates / time.  Make sure it’s visible to your spouse. 

6. Hang in there mama. You’re doing great. You’re going to find your new routine just like you did with your new baby the day you came home from the hospital. 


Seven Steps to Creating Your Postpartum Wardrobe...


I wish I had an 8 weeks postpartum photo to share showing my bikini ready body, but sadly I do not. In fact, 18 months after my second baby, I still walk into my closet and a row of pants whisper “We don’t fit you.” Guess what? That’s totally normal and ok. The truth is mamas, your body changes after a baby. My friend who IS back to her pre-baby weight swears her rib cage expanded after two kids.
If you got back to your pre-preggo size fairly quickly, rock on with your bad self. However, if you’re struggling with an extra 15 or 20 lbs like many of us, I’ve got some advice for you. Buy some new clothes! That’s right. Go shopping. Last summer, I came out to the pool in a one piece Speedo because my other bathing suits did not fit. My sister looked at me horrified and said, “WHAT are you wearing?” I said “ Well nothing fits. “ She said “Well then go get some new suits! I'm not looking at an ugly speedo all summer.”

And I did just that. I bought two new tankinis that I loved and felt good in.

Here’s a list of tips for my postpartum Mamas struggling to get dressed in be morning:

1. Find a friend who is similar to your size and ask if she has any pants you can borrow. My best friend Katie and I shared our maternity clothes, but also an “after baby” bin of dress pants.

2. But some staples for work. Two pairs of black pants and one pair of gray should do it.

3. Get a new pair of jeans! Maternity jeans look terrible once you’re no longer pregnant. Old navy has jeans for $25-$30 and have a variety of styles to suit various body types.

4. Get some wrap dresses. Super comfy and will still fit up or down a few pounds.

5. Buy some V-necks, plain shirts that you can dress up or down.

6. Wear whatever you makes you feel like you again- Makeup, heels, fun earrings, etc.

7. Know you’re awesome!  You made a person. That little person loves you , even if your skinny pants don’t.


Why I teach postnatal yoga without babies...


Why I teach postnatal yoga without babies…

Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not in any way against Mom and Baby yoga. I completely support and encourage any activity that brings moms together in community, and if any of my mamas ask for it, I’m happy to direct them to a class. This post is simply about my thoughts and ideas on Spiral Path Postnatal Yoga. 

I firmly believe that after you have a baby, someone needs to take your baby for an hour so you can go to yoga- ALONE. Because even though you’re a mom, you are still a woman, and your body just did this amazing and miraculous thing….YOU MADE A PERSON!  Regardless of how easy or difficult you felt your pregnancy was (as I type this I can hear my sister saying, “Whose pregnancy was easy?”), the fact of the matter is, you are working with a brand new body.  Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start with that. I felt the need for a class which offers support and variations for however and whenever you show up ready to reclaim your practice. This might in be 6 or 8 weeks or it may be in 2 or 3 years. 

When I was in my early 20’s, I taught a postnatal class with babies. Even then my version of it was to teach a class for moms that they could bring their babies to, but the class was still simply about the moms. The babies mostly slept in their carriers or if someone needed to step out with one, nobody minded. If a baby was fussy, I would just hold the baby while I walked around teaching. More than a decade later, now in my mid-30’s with both of my businesses completely centered around caring for moms pre- and postpartum, I see even more of a need to focus on the mom. I feel like postpartum care is where as a society we are really dropping the ball. Women get all of this care and attention while pregnant, and then are sent home with a new baby and may not always have enough support in place. Teaching my postnatal class without babies is my way of giving women permission to do something just for them. An hour to yourself can go a long way, especially when you're adapting to a new baby; and as my mom always says, "Someone needs to mother the mother."  One of my mamas recently told me that her husband noticed a positive shift when she took time to come back to class. My sister claims that we make her a better mom by giving her support and breaks. Having a baby is an incredible and all encompassing transformation and the transition to motherhood doesn’t end with birth.  In a society where we expect moms to hop right back into life, work, relationships, and exercise routines, I want to send the message that hey- it might take a little while and you know what? It SHOULD. You should have space to adapt, to process, to regroup, to find out what being a mother really means for you.

Our postnatal class gives moms that space, to simply be the women that they are, to re-acquaint themselves with their bodies, minds, and hearts, to have time to connect with other women, to be shown modifications and variations of postures, to be able to express their feelings without judgment, and to be supported physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Oh and also, I love being able to see my mamas between pregnancies! 



The strength you find...

IMG_6783 copy.jpeg

CJ Lewis wrote,  "A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong!"

A good friend, also a midwife, gave me this quote on a plaque. It resonates with me in so many ways.  It is about accepting that yes, life can be hard sometimes. It is about knowing that in the challenges the universe presents we can choose to grow stronger or we can wallow in our own self-doubt and judgments.

For all the pregnant woman I am blessed to be connected to the message is clear. Women have the strength, they were born to birth and mother their children, it is in their genes;  but it is in accepting the challenges along the way that they truly grow strong. Carrying, nurturing, and birthing a baby requires great strength and endurance but even if a woman perceives herself as not strong she will have her baby. However if she embraces the entire journey and accepts that it will have ups and downs, that it may not be a straight line, she will be empowered  and transformed by the birth.

I have raised four children and lost one more. Each birth taught me something different.  Each child in their formative years and on into adulthood has also challenged me. For example, each one of my children was very different with different needs, personalities, and strengths. I learned that when my girls came to me with a problem, they wanted me to “fix it.”  My boys just wanted me to listen. My teenage son stopped me dead in mid sentence when he said to me “I don’t want you to fix it. I just want you to listen.” I recognized that when I allowed my eldest child to decide on her own, she would always go in the right direction. I also found that my eldest son would never choose the way I hoped so, therefore, needed more forceful direction if it was an issue of safety. My second daughter was so difficult at 3 that I read every book on child development. It convinced me her behavior was very normal and she ultimately morphed into the easiest child at 4 and ½ and stayed that way all through school. Finally, I learned that sometimes if you try to push your children too hard, they will just push back harder. You have to let go and allow them to learn their own lessons. When my youngest son was in high school I could not get him to take grades seriously, so I said to him I cannot want this more than you want it for yourself.  He told me that was the most important thing I said to him.

In some ways each experience has made me the strong woman I am. When there were health issues, I learned that the more “experts” you spoke to, the more you could make an informed decision. When there were no clear answers, I learned to let go and trust there was a reason. I have taken these lessons and embraced them to enable me to give the support to pregnant women and new mothers that possibly someone without the same challenges would not be able to give.

I always say birth is not easy because motherhood is not easy!  Birth requires great strength but motherhood asks for 100 times that strength in accepting that our children will teach us the lessons we need to learn; and that it is not always easy but it is incredibly fulfilling. We continue to grow with each stage and through the journey, we are transformed into mother and eventually wise woman.



Mothering the mother


Mothering the Mother

 “The health of every family begins with the mother.

She is the tree from which the healthy fruit must come “

   Juliette De Bairacli levy

From the moment a woman even contemplates wanting a child she begins to enter into her mothering role.  Her heart expands and she begins to look beyond herself.  It is the single most important role and often the most difficult one that women have.  I have been delivering babies for over 30 years and am always in awe of watching a mother see her baby for the first time. She is almost always overwhelmed, scared, excited, and completely in love with her baby.  I never get tired of delivering a baby and seeing the pure love pouring from a new mom as I place her baby in her arms.

When talking to pregnant women, we often focus on the pregnancy and birth and fail to consider the first 6 weeks postpartum. My daughter Kendall, who has 2 children, reminded me of how challenging this time can be.  The mother has just willingly signed up to be awake for days on end, to endure physical pain after childbirth, while simultaneously loving this new person with her entire being and then questioning, is she doing it “right"?  Often, the new mom wants her own mother to come help her. After my first granddaughter was born, my husband told me Kendall would want space to be with her baby. I thought that was wrong, but agreed. The first night home with her baby, Kendall called me crying to please come over because she needed help.  I looked at my husband, said some form of “I told you so” and drove over to her house.

The job of a mother wears so many “hats." They are constantly loving unconditionally, serving as a role model, instilling confidence and compassion, providing discipline and structure,  usually the chief cook and housekeeper,  and of course meeting everyone’s physical and emotional needs. It can be exhausting.  As a mother of four children, I can certainly speak from experience.  One of the key phrases in our house was “Where’s Mom?” For there is a certain comfort, only the mom can provide.

Only since my mother passed last year, did I truly recognize the power of the maternal bond, especially between mothers and daughters. I was blessed to have my mother for 58 years. She nurtured me, supported me, and helped me raise my children.  She was my best friend and listener. In later years I spent a great deal of time caring for her. But when she passed, I realized the void of being “motherless."  She was the person who always accepted me for who I am, loved me unconditionally, and told me I was doing a great job. Now trying to fill her shoes and assume her role as matriarch, I truly know the importance of the Mother!

Individually and as a society I would like to remind all of us to support all new mothers by encouraging them to trust their instincts and their intuition. They will know their baby better than anyone. To help new mothers in the physical , bring them food, offer to clean, take their other children. Remind them of the amazing work they are doing.  And to support all women, as we move through the stages of our life, without criticism or judgement, recognizing the nurturing bond we all share.

With love,


It's a long nine months...

In the past few months, I have had a few first time pregnant friends talk to me about being pregnant. The consensus being the same for all of them. Pregnancy sucks. There I said it. Pregnancy is awful. If you were one of the people who walked through nine months looking and feeling amazing, then this particular blog is not for you (and the rest of us hate you). For starters, most of the time you feel sick as a dog, for the first few months. It's like being hungover all the time without the fun night before and the only thing you can tolerate is Gatorade and crackers. Then usually somebody comments, "Gatorade probably isn't good for the baby?" Oh yea? Well it's the only thing the baby tolerates so stop talking. Not to mention, pregnancy migraines, carpal tunnel, swollen feet, weight gain, acne, etc.  Oh did I mention, you can't take Advil while pregnant? You can have Tylenol which basically has the same effect as eating skittles when a full blown migraine comes on. Put all that together and you have a pretty miserable nine months to survive. 

I was talking to a friend and she was expressing how crappy she felt and said she felt fat and uncomfortable. I commiserated but I said, "When this baby comes, you won't believe how much you love your baby. You won't care about anything else except your baby." A few weeks after her birth, she told me "You were right. I can't believe how much I love my baby." 

Two things I am sure of:  Pregnancy is really hard. It is the first of many sacrifices you will make for your baby. The second being You will love your baby more than anyone/ anything in your life. You really can't imagine until you hold your baby for the first time. 

So hang in there pregnant mamas. You're going to get through this. You are going to get to the Finish Line with the most precious gift the world has to offer.


FullSizeRender (2).jpg