Read this book if: you want a weekly inspirational birth journal to write about your pregnancy or you want to go deeper spirituality into the process from maiden to motherhood. It also has great book, website, movie and music pairings for each week. It’s great to read about previous pregnancies once you become pregnant again to compare your thought processes throughout the stages of pregnancy. If you enjoy the summary, support the author by purchasing the book here. Anni also has an online community, sacred pregnancy university to become an instructor in your community, live and online retreats, and other sacred programs.
“Birth is a natural and normal process”
Journaling is a great way to explore your personal journey of pregnancy. You may find it a very helpful tool to get through the twists and turns you are likely to experience.
Introduction – Welcome to Sacred Pregnancy
Create a Pregnancy and Birthing Support Team and Build your Sisterhood Circle Watch The Business of Being Born documentary by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness
Himalayan Goji Juice (mix 8 oz of goji juice with 1 liter water and sip throughout day) Eat several meals throughout the day and try to eat a little before you get hungry Avoid greasy foods and foods high in fat content
Take 4 or more gelatin caps of powered ginger in the morning and throughout day Important Iron-Rich Foods (if iron deficient throughout pregnancy; RDA is 30 mg) Cook food in iron cast pan
1 tbsp day of black strap molasses
raw pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup) black beans (1 c cooked) almonds (1 c)
beef (3 oz)
millet (1/4 c)
shrimp (3 oz)
raisins (1/2 c)
oatmeal (1 c, cooked)
kale (1 c, cooked)
wheat germ (1/4 c)
Pregnancy Tea Recipes
Red Rasberry Leaf Tea, Oat Straw Tea, Nettles Tea
Last Week of Pregnancy: Fennel Sead Tea, Blessed Thistle Tea, Labor-ade (1/3 c lemon juice, 1/3 c quality local honey, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1 calcium tablet, filtered water to make 1 quart – make ahead of time and freeze to use as ice chips or dink lemonade to restore electrolyte balance and prevent dehydration)
Food Tree (for friends to bring you after the baby)
Note food restrictions, favorite foods and dates for delivery (breakfast, lunch, dinner) Birth Plan Contacts
Week 1 – “Journal – Dive into your story”
Body – not technically pregnant during 1st week since due date is calculated using first day of last period; egg still on path to fertilization, but uterus preparing itself by thickening Baby – Never too early to take prenatal vitamins, eat healthy and exercise
Spirit – Implement physical and spiritual practices that will help you and your baby thrive Reflections – Look at why you want to have a child, what kind of parenting philosophy you have and whether it matches partners, hopes and dreams for this pregnancy, envision birth looking like
Ideas – Cut out caffeine, alcohol and smoking (if you do). Eat foods high in folic acid and begin taking prenatal vitamins. New Chapter Organic Vitamins are whole-food probiotic vitamins. Create journal practice for yourself – a few moments every morning to write down intentions for day and at end of day to write thoughts and feelings ~ will help you deal with your feelings as they arise.
Website Pairing– Conscious Conception and Pregnancy www.consciousconceptionandpregnancy.com
Book Pairing– Conscious Conception by Jeannine Parvati Baker and Frederick Baker
– The True and the Questions by Sabrina Ward Harrison
Week 2 “Sacred Space – Claim your space”
Body – Listen to your body and rest
Baby – Still not technically pregnant, egg on way to fertilization and likely will be set at the end of the week; although you have to wait to find out sex, gender is already determined at this stage
Spirit – Know your strength, know your power and know that you and this baby were meant to be together
Ideas/Reflections – Create a special spot in home to reflect, light a candle. You are creating life. A “pregnancy power altar” can be filled with birth art, mantras, pictures, candles etc. Take time each day to say hello to your baby. When you go into labor, take something from altar to use as a focal point and reminder of your strength as a mother. Inspirational Card Pairing – Motivational/Inspirational cards at altar and pull each time to deepen personal practice. Try Self-Care Cards by Cheryl Richardson
Music Pairing – Book of Secrets album by Loreena McKennitt or Donna DeLory’s The Lover and the Beloved. Play some peaceful relaxing music while you sit at altar.
Candle Pairing – Pure Light Candles www.cleannaturalhealthy.com
Book Pairing – The Smudging and Blessing Book by Jane Alexander
Journal – Sacred Space – Take a picture of your special place and tape it below. Write about the process of setting up this space and what significance the individual items have to you.
Week 3 “Due Date – your baby knows the right day to come; trust the process” Body – You are finally pregnant ~ Congratulations! Due date is typically calculated by first day of last menstrual period. Diet most important – eat proteins so baby can create new tissue. Iron to create extra blood (leafy greens, red meat, eggs and legumes); cook in cast iron pans. Dairy and calcium for growing bones. Lots of water. Pregnancy hormones will begin kicking in so you will start feeling tired; nurturing yourself with good whole foods will make you feel better.
Baby – Will have missed period. Placenta and baby are starting to form. Started as 1 cell by multiplying like crazy; has already grown into millions of cells by week 3! When informed of due date, can determine potential astrological sign of baby, which will help guide in relating to your baby before he is born.
Spirit – Use “Due date” as good guesstimate, but know baby will arrive on perfect day at perfect time. Range of emotions: excited and want to share news but filled with variety of emotions like ambivalence, anxiety and fear. Perhaps wait a few days before sharing the information so you and your partner can have a few intimate moments. Ideas/Reflections – Mark calendar with due date but allow 2 weeks before and after for possibility. Buy separate calendar to mark important milestones and to keep track of midwife/doctor appointments.
Book Pairing – Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, Immaculate Deception II: Myth, Magic and Birth by Suzanne Arms. These will help you learn about what time of birthing experience you may want to experience.
Movie Pairing – Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein. Documentary about birthing in America; shares all birthing options available.
Food Pairing – Lemon sorbet, chamomile and mint teas, ice pops, nuts, cheeses, olives, greek yogurt, kale salad, quinoa
Journal – Due Date – Take a few moments to describe what you felt the moment you found out you were pregnant. What is your due date and what will your child’s astrological sign likely be?
Week 4 “Meditation – Breathe deeply”
Body – Feeling exhausted and a little nauseated; may have tender breasts. Ginger tea or candied ginger can help with “morning sickness.” Himalayan goji juice mixed with a litre of water also helps and is great for headaches and heartburn. Let body rest. Deep breathing goes hand in hand with a meditative mind, so let yourself surrender and be tired. Your body knows how to form a body – so listen to its signals.
Baby – Very small, like a tiny seed. Starting to settle into your body and make a home within growing placenta.
Spirit – Whether this is 1st or 4th baby, introduce yourself to concept of being pregnant. Meditate on birthing options and decide what’s right for you. Several options including home births, birth-center births, or hospital births. Midwife vs OB. Doulas.
Reflections – Meditate to reduce stress so you can have a happy and healthy pregnancy. Meditation can be intimidating but reframe it as being mindful and present while doing daily tasks. Slow down mind, be present with yourself and growing baby and invite the quiet in. A balanced body, mind and spirit will encourage an easier physical experience and will give your baby the gift of growing in peace and tranquility. Try to maintain daily practice, even if it’s only 5 minutes. Start day with a few moments of silence, and see shift in energy in the way your days flow. Will benefit you and your growing baby by reducing body’s stress hormones.
Ideas – Meditation pillow. Ring a bell at pregnancy altar to signal quiet time, set a timer and dedicate time to being mindful and present and ring bell when finished. Nice meditation music. If don’t have time to meditate, play music while engaging in other activities.
Book Pairing – The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh or anything by him.
Drink Pairing – Pregnancy support tea
Music Pairing – Anything by Sheila Chandra, Enya or Susheela Raman
Journal – Meditation – Write about what it was like when you took time to stop and really breathe in your surroundings in a more alert state of consciousness. Remember that meditation is not only sitting in front of an altar in silence, but a state of beging that allows you to be fully awake in each moment. How can this state of awareness help you to maintain a peaceful pregnancy? Breathe deeply.
Week 5 “Cravings – dig in, sometimes”
Body – Tired and feeling pregnant symptoms. Hormone levels changing at rapid rates, so need rest and to eat. Cravings are a mystery and not everyone experiences them. It’s okay to indulge a little, here and there. Maintain balance between healthy and unhealthy cravings. Pay attention to cravings because may be deficient in some nutrients. If you crave chocolate, may need more Vitamin B. If you crave ice chips, you may be deficient in iron. Don’t worry about weight.
Baby – Very tiny, size of a bean. Baby’s heart, central nervous system and bones/muscles will start forming rapidly from this point on. ~5 weeks, baby starts forming skeleton. Consider who you want to catch baby at birth.
Spirit – Accept and embrace where this journey is taking you spiritually. Practice saying yes to yourself more often. YES to you!
Reflections – Think about what you are craving; look at patterns and indulge every so often. What was it like saying “yes” to yourself growing up – were you encouraged to say yes to your desires or taught that it was selfish to just do things for you? You may be the type of person who puts the needs and desires of everyone else before yourself. If this is you, push yourself to put you first during pregnancy. As a mother, you will always and forever have a little person wanting something from you.
Ideas – Be creative about cravings; make unhealthy cravings into healthy ones. If you die for ice cream, make a homemade raw agave version or iced sorbet. For chocolate, use dark chocolate that hasn’t been processed. Raw chocolate is super high in antioxidants and is very good for you. Use coconut sugar to sweeten homemade cookies and cakes. If you crave salty foods, try making homemade potato chips with sea salt or kale parmesan popcorn. Practice saying yes to yourself in some way every day. Say “I am growing a baby and I deserve to relax, enjoy the process and say yes to my desires, as long as I am staying healthy and making conscious choices that benefit myself and my baby”
Book Pairing – Practicing Happy by Tim Daulter and ICE POP JOY by Annie Daulter firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Movie Night Pairing – Eat, Pray, Love and Julia & Julia
Food Pairing – Healthy donuts by Rheiana Lenox Alderette (tell her Anni sent you and that you are pregnant and need a great doughnut sent your way!). facebook.com/happydoughlucky
Journal – Cravings – What kinds of cravings are you having, if any? Do you have any great recipes that you have tried during your pregnancy that you want again and again?
Week 6 “Womb – you create life with your body and soul with your energy”
Body – Nausea may be ruling the day and your breasts and nipples will likely be sore and tender. Due to hormonal changes, your breasts are also beginning to grow in preparation for breastfeeding. Remedy for sore nipples – Natural Nipple Cream by Earth Mama Angel Baby. Eat before you feel hungry for morning sickness. Smaller meals throughout day. May not be “showing” yet. As symptoms become more and more real, pregnancy truly begins.
Baby – Baby still small, about the size of a little pea, but body working hard to circulate blood and form more of the body. Baby is busy at every moment of the day. Can’t hear it yet but baby’s heart is beginning to beat ~130-150 bpm, about 2x as yours.
Spirit – Even as early as these days, learning happens as you take time to pat your belly or talk with you baby. Your mood can affect baby’s mood. Your energy feeds your baby’s soul. Use soothing tones when speaking and say good morning and good night. Gently speak to her about how wanted and loved she is.
Reflections – Womb is center of motherhood. Space of protection for growing baby and essence of womanhood. As a woman, blessed with ability to create life. Welcome each step of the process and every changing moment with your whole heart; this will impact your energy and your ability to accept every bump in the road. Keep mind clear during pregnancy as thoughts can affect energy passing through to baby. How will you prepare your womb-like environment for baby after birth? Some cultures stay inside for 1st month with very little visitors so there is time for mom and baby to bond. Try to keep visits short and sweet.
Ideas – Create “Womb birth art” – collage of a circle of women’s bellies and put yours in center. Notice feelings of protection. Honor time: honor womb by thanking it for housing baby. Massage in Earth Mama Body Butter. Create daily mantra for baby like “You are loved and wanted. I am so excited to meet you very soon.”
Music Pairing – This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush (version by Maxwell is amazing too). Play while creating art.
Drink Pairing – Organic Peaceful Mama Tea by Earth Mama Angel Baby
Journal – Womb- Write a declaration to protect your child and your relationship with her as she grows. How will you hand down the privilege of being a woman to your daughter and the respect of woman to your son?
Week 7 “Expectations – every moment, and every birth experience, is meant to be”
Body – Most women feeling sick only lasts through fist trimester. If experiencing true bliss, be grateful and don’t ask any questions. Uterus has doubled in size by 7th week and will continue to grow as time passes, still may not be showing. Interview and pick practitioner.
Baby – Size of a small nut. Taking more shape but web-like feet and hands and just slight indentations of facial features.
Spirit – Be aware of what you “expect” to happen – from what you’ve heard from others, seen happen from friends, read etc. Separate your experience from others as each pregnancy is unique. Take time to talk through pregnancy and birth expectations with partner and birthing support team.
Reflections -“Energy flows where attention goes”– Michael Beckwith. Danger of expectations is that if things don’t go as planned, we may become depressed, angry and frustrated. When we let universe choose path, we can be excited about the many gifts life hands us. What expectations do you have for this pregnancy? As a mother?
Ideas – Meditate on where you gather your ideas from and all messages you have been given about pregnancy and how motherhood is “supposed” to be. Acceptance rock art project: find a beautiful rock that has a flat surface and paint “Acceptance” on it and decorate – serves as physical reminder as flow in life; what is meant to come without resistance or fear. Could be used as focal point during labor. Talk to midwife/OB about any feelings, how pregnancy is going for you in emotional way. May help to hear perspective.
Book Pairing – Zen Ties by John J. Muth and David Pittu and The Boy Who Ran into the Woods by Jim Harrison
Journal – Expectations- Make a list of your expectations around this pregnancy. Where did you get those messages and how can you prepare yourself to be open for what is meant to come? “May we be safe. May we be happy. May we have good health, And enough to eat, And may we live at ease of heart, With whatever comes to us in life” (Metta Meditation by Krishna Das).
Week 8 “Body Image – love your new curves”
Body – Body feeling pregnant and may notice a little bump now. May be feeling a little ill and sensitive to certain smells and foods. If you are nauseated and not eating food, make sure your are taking prenatal vitamin to supplement what you may not be getting. New Chapter Prenatal Vitamins whole-food and organic. Normal to feel cramping as uterus is expanding. Any bleeding should be reported to doctor. May be over being so exhausted now and having a tiny bit more energy.
Baby – More of a human shape; developing eyelids, ears, fingers, toes and size of a blackberry. Body starting to expand more for forming organs and can see forming of a little nose now.
Spirit – Nurturing yourself through beginning weeks of life will bring you a sense of accomplishment.
Reflections – Growing a baby means gaining weight. How do you feel about this new body and how does it relate to your self-image? Ask yourself if you feel sexy and attractive or if you have feelings of being undesirable. Remember your new curves are luscious and full of life.
Ideas – Stand naked in front of mirror and let belly be full and glorious and see what feelings it brings. Wear something that makes you feel sexy and gorgeous that accentuates your new body. Have your belly decorated with a lovely henna design to honor its beauty. Have a pregnancy photo shoot.
Food Pairing – Go out for your favorite meal to celebrate completion of first 2 months of pregnancy.
Book Pairing – A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson
Website Pairing – Proud Body (belly casting and paints) www.proudbody.com
Fun Outing Pairing – A trip to the organic day spa. Try Arborederm if in LA or try to locate one in your area. www.arborederm.com
Journal – Body Image– How do you feel bout your new growing belly and gaining weight? What messages have you been taught about this? Take time to journal about how you see yourself as your baby is growing inside of you.
Week 9 “Romance – celebrate intimacy”
Body – You may not feel like being romantic or opening up that well of connection as you are still getting acclimated to your pregnancy. Your body needs to be touched and held through this process. Keep stress levels down using physical touch from your partner; this will reduce some common symptoms like headaches and anxiety.
Baby – Around 1 inch long and starting to look more human. Nurture baby by caring for your relationship with your partner. Most people it’s okay to have sex, but check with practitioner if you have special situations. Baby’s sex organs are likely formed by now, but not able to find out until about 13 weeks or after.
Spirit – Hormones are raging. May not feel particularly romantic, but staying connected to your partner is critical. Honor the fact that the two of you created this little life growing inside of you and that this baby came from the love that you share for one another. Spend quality time with your lover and share this experience with them. Your partner wants to be included; the more you share, the stronger your relationship as you hit rough patches.
Reflections – Relationship changes as more focus on baby. Keep relationship fresh with excitement as you share this journey together. Was this a planned, conscious pregnancy or a surprise? How has the news affected the relationship with your partner? Has it brought you closer? Make sure to keep talking throughout this process. Even though your partner is not pregnant, they may feel the same symptoms. Your baby will end up right between the two of you almost every night, so make sure to take time now to appreciate each other and lay the foundation for a healthy relationship after baby Ideas – Dates: Go out at least 1x a week with partner. Dinner and a movie, walks on the beach, picnics in the park, yoga on Saturday mornings followed by a nice breakfast, a day spent at home reading and eating together in bed, shared bath with essential oils, ask your partner to give you a massage and end it making love.
Home Movie Pairing – The Notebook, Before Sunrise, Shakespeare in Love, Like Water for Chocolate
Music Pairing – “You are Amazing” by Josh Kelly; “Just Want You Around” by Lauryn Hill; “These Arms of Mine” by Otis Redding
Journal – Romance- What is the romantic connection between you and your partner now that you are pregnant? Is there any difference? What would you like to be different and how can you encourage more romance between you?
Week 10 “Birth Art Expressions – design your birth experience”
Body – Constipation this week – natural remedies: increase fiber and eat more whole grains like millet, quinoa, pasta and breads. Raw fruits, especially kiwis and prunes and raw veggies good too. Don’t skip meals ~ eat small portions before you feel sick and that will help calm your stomach and give you energy. You may not want to eat at all, but remember this is fueling your baby’s growth.
Baby – Size of a strawberry and forming bodily features. Critical development phase is over and now time for rapid development. Forming fingernails and vital organs are creating lots of red blood cells. Baby can kick around and is now forming little elbows. All baby’s limbs can bend.
Spirit – Being forced by body to slow down allows you more time to spiritually connect with yourself and baby. You may not consider yourself creative, but you are making life. One of the ways to enjoy a sacred pregnancy is by making birth art. No matter how many children you have, each one will be unique.
Reflections – Express pregnancy through some type of artistic expression – a painting, picture, collage, clay to mold a figure of courage to be with you at birth (or any form that feels right). Can be transformative and healing. Can be done alone or with a partner; can be something fun together that also serves as a heartfelt gift to your baby later in life.
Ideas – Buy set of watercolors and paper and free form paint by choosing colors that speak to you. Cut images out of old magazines or words that express what you are feeling about becoming a mother. Develop a “collage of inspiration” and have it present at birth. Buy beads and create a special necklace that you can wear at birth. Should be weaved with intention when beading; say a mantra such as “I am strong and join with all women who have birthed before mea and I will birth this baby easily!”
Music Pairing – Bon Iver- “Skinny Love”. Anything by Ray LaMontagne
Website Pairing – Dirty Footprints Studio www.dirtyfootprints-studio.com
Playtime with Your Inner Muse www.shop.artizencoaching.com Tamara Laporte (willowing) www.willowing.org
Journal – Birth Art- Name your art piece. There is power in calling something that you have birthed by its own name. Take some time to journal about your experience with forming your birth art and maybe use this space to draw a sketch of it!
Week 11 “Exercise – stay strong for birthing”
Body – Regular exercise can reduce aches and pains of pregnancy. ~11 weeks, may have “round ligament” pains around abdomen as body makes room for baby. Regular stretching and prenatal yoga could help tremendously. Regular routine helps you get more sleep, reduce headaches and prepares you physically for birth. Daily Kegels also great. Yoga can also be a great way to connect with other pregnant mamas and gain sisterhood support. Exercise releases natural endorphins in your brain (like while having a baby) and gives extra energy.
Baby – Finally looks like a little baby. Finger and toenails forming and baby works out everyday – rolls around, stretches, plays.
Spirit – Start a daily mantra that reaffirms you are strong enough and brave enough to birth your baby. Let partner know what you may be struggling with. Work through journal to get through any issues. Maintaining positive interactions with people reduces physical pains and infuses your pregnancy with joy.
Reflections – What is your relationship to exercise? A prenatal exercise practice should be done with purpose and the intention to create a strong birthing body. Keep your baby in your thoughts as your prepare your body to bring him into the world.
Ideas – Look up local yoga centers to see if they have prenatal classes. Take long walks in the park, around your neighborhood or the beach. Helps bring baby down later and can spark labor at end of pregnancy.
Video Pairing – The Divine Mother Prenatal Yoga Series with Anna Getty
Prenatal Yoga with Shiva Rea
Book Pairing – Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation by Gurmukhi Kaur Khalsa. She also has prenatal yoga DVDs.
Fitness Pairing – Cindy Crawford’s A New Dimension DVD with Kathy Koehler
Yoga with Jessica Jennings of MaYoga at BINI. Or find a prenatal yoga class in your area. mayoga.com
Blooma (yoga/wellness education) www.blooma.com
Journal – Exercise- What is your exercise routine? How is it impacting your moods and feelings of exhaustion?
Week 12 “Mindful Eating – nourish your body, mind and soul with mantras and whole foods”
Body – Belly bump is showing, hungry all the time and hormones a little out of sorts. Eat good, whole, fresh, organic foods that have been minimally processed, such as salads, whole-grain breads and soups. Herbal teas, veggies and fruit packed smoothies, organic proteins, and supergreens like kale are great baby-growing foods. A well- nourished mama is a well-fed baby.
Baby – Baby is hungry too and working hard to grow and gain weight. Her umbilical cord is fully formed now. Everything you eat your baby eats too. Looks like a baby now and has fully developed brain. Early stages of yawning and sucking.
Spirit – First trimester is completed after this week – Congratulations! In celebration of tail end of first three months and hopefully the end of nausea, rejuvenate body, mind and spirit with trip to your favorite restaurant to soothe your soul. Look into food traditions that have been passed down to you and see if you need to make conscious adjustments. Reflections – Knowing where food came from is a priority. What has your relationship with food been like throughout your life, before and after being pregnant? Have you spent time finding best foods for pregnancy and what to avoid? Every bite feeds baby and he is developing preferences. Create patterns now that you want to pass along to your child; it’s never to late to start! Buy locally from a farmer or farmers market, a co-op or local CSA. Make kitchen a sacred space where no arguing is allowed so no negativity gets into food. Food awareness and healthy choices are traditions worth handing down. Ideas – Ring mindfulness bell before cooking, when sitting to eat and relaxing after finished meal. After having a baby, remember family mealtime can be a special way to connect with children.
Book Pairing – The Organic Family Cookbook by Anni Daulter. 100 Days of Real Food* by Lisa Leake (* I added)
Food Pairing – Anni’s Nurturing Roasted Tomato Soup and Rustic Garlic Bread: 8 lg beef tomatoes, 1 whole head of garlic roasted, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp cracked pepper, 1 tsp tarragon for tomatoes and 1 for soup, 1 pat of butter, 1 lg yellow onion chopped, 1 tsp oregano, 1 container vegetable stock 16 oz, 2 vegetable bouillon cubes, 1 handful kale chopped, 1 tsp pepper flakes, 1 lime, 4 slices of your fav rustic bread turned into toasted garlic bread. Oven 350 – cut tomatoes in half and garlic head off, sprinkle w olive oil salt, pepper, tarragon. Roast 45 min on parchment paper. Add butter to lg soup pot. Add chopped onion, tarragon and oregano. Brown onions. Add roasted tomatoes, garlic, vegetable stock, bouillon cubes, kale and red pepper flakes. blend soup in blender. Serve immediately with wedge of lime squeezed right before eating.
Website Pairing – www.foodpractice.com www.motherbees.com (Amazing Food Delivery)
Journal – Mindful Eating– What are your favorite recipes and foods that you are enjoying throughout your pregnancy that you may be able to pass down to your own child someday?
Week 13 “Radiant Glow – hold your belly in gratitude”
Body – Your body nurtured your baby through the most critical gestation period. May now get “round ligament” pains and belly may itch. Lavender oil is soothing and helpful. Show off your bump and that glow! Enjoy the attention ~ you deserve it!
Baby – Resembles a baby. External genitalia have formed so possible to tell sex. Eyes moved closer together and now has fingerprints. 3 inches long, size of a potato and can kick, bend and suck thumb.
Spirit – You feel better and are now glowing. As you plan ahead, gather birth plan thoughts. Start early so even if doesn’t go as planned, you will be comforted by your efforts. Pregnant women have an inner glow that shines through and radiates with positive energy. Growing a baby offers a women the opportunity to be part of Mother Nature’s mysteries.
Reflections – Look at yourself deeply and notice how your energy flows. Are you able to see your own “glowing” energy? Do you feel more spiritual connected now? Bringing positive balance to your life will increase ability to have an amazing pregnancy that will lead to an easier birthing experience for you and your baby.
Ideas – Pregnancy photos that document journey through pregnancy; try in nature where life energy is abundant ~ will help you to see how you and your baby are a part of the overall life force of the universe. Explore your deeper spiritual self by learning practices like meditation or yoga or by reading various ideologies that have always held your interest.
Book Pairing – Joyful Birth: A Spiritual Path to Motherhood by Susan Piver
Journal – Radiant Glow- Take time to journal about what it is like to be pregnant and how different you body is now that you are growing your baby. Write down how it feels to see that “inner glowing” that only shines through a healthy pregnant mama, and journal about your spiritual connection to this special time in your life.
Week 14 “Bonding – deeply connect with yourself and your baby through spirit”
Body – Feeling more energized and sporting a slight bump. As you begin to show, experience feels more real and allows you to bond with baby. Prevent uncomfortable symptoms rather than deal with them: drink a lot of water (3 quarts per day), eat high fiber and protein foods to help with energy, stamina, and constipation. Fluids help prevent dehydration, headaches and various infections common in pregnancy. Make a pregnancy tea and label “mama tea only” and drink every time you open fridge.
Baby – Size of small grapefruit ~ 3.5 inches. All organs developed and looking more human. Baby obtaining all sustenance from placenta and is gaining weight so more weight for you.
Spirit – Connect to your baby, your higher self, your divine spirit. Get to know yourself again as you change over the years, mark them so you are open to flow of life. Becoming a mother is a redefinition. Even if 2nd or 3rd child, each time you become a mother, you are redefined once again.
Reflections – A baby and mom have a connection like none other in the universe. You are the sole source that sustains you baby and your body is made to grow, birth and feed a baby. In the moment you hold your baby for the first time, time stops and everything in the world is perfect. Your instinct kicks in and you instantly know what to do. Reflect on how you feel about you baby – are you connected or are you struggling to feel bonded? Some women don’t bond until birth and that’s okay. If you have other children, take time now to prepare other children – read books, consider letting them name and consider philosophy on family bed and breastfeeding, which both promote bonding.
Ideas – Read about cosleeping and breastfeeding and talk to practitioner about any concerns. Spend time every day talking with belly and let baby know he is loved. This practice is meaningful as you go down the road to actually holding you baby in your arms.
Kids Book Pairing – Baby on the Way by Martha Sears, RN and William Sears, MD Welcome With Love by Jenni Overend
Jessica Added: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding Cosleeping by
Journal – Bonding – Are you feeling bonded to your baby already? If not, do not be frustrated with yourself. Take the time to write about your feelings of connectedness to this baby.
Week 15 “Partner Energy – honor the divine in all parents”
Body – Many partners experience “sympathy symptoms” which are very real so acknowledge. May have food cravings, gain weight and even struggle with insomnia. Talk with partner about how they are feeling. This week may have sleep struggles so try implementing a relaxing routine before bedtime by doing nighttime meditation, drinking a soothing a pregnancy tea, or getting a light massage from your partner.
Baby – Able to pick up sounds as hearing is developing now, so spend time talking with partner so he knows your voices. Keep it calm and loving. May also feel kicks now, but won’t be big for a few more weeks.
Spirit – Shift focus to partner every so often. Each of you are in this together and each needs a space to vent, process and learn.
Reflections – Many partners do not know what to do to help mothers through birth, what is most helpful is communication. Provide specific instructions so that you feel supported int he ways you need. Start thinking if you want others present at the birth, whether you want someone taking pictures of videos or if you want it to be an intimate affair.
Ideas – Ask partner to write a letter to baby expressing how he/she feels about her arrival. Encourage partner to journal about becoming a parent and have a discussion about any fears. Ask partner to write a list of all your strengths and keep that on pregnancy alter and at birth. May turn into an art project.
Music Pairing – “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray La Montagne
Book Pairing – The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
BabyProofing Your Marriage by Stacie Cockrell
Journal – Partner Energy – Take the time to write about how this pregnancy is affecting your partner and speak to the ways in which you have included him or her in this process. Allow your partner to write in this section.
Week 16 “Sexy Mama – you are a sexy goddess ~ believe it!”
Body – Orgasms will not hurt baby and feel good to both partners. The only times you should worry about sexual intercourse are if you start bleeding or spotting, your water has broken or its painful. Making love will help with leg cramps.
Baby – Size of a pear and her heart is pumping ~25 quarts of blood each day. Has eyelashes and building strong bones so keep calcium intake high. Well protected in placenta and won’t be hurt by sexual intercourse.
Spirit – Having sex during pregnancy is as important as maintaining emotional intimacy between you.
Reflections – Do you have any sexually related issues you need or want to work on? Working through this now will allow you to pass along healthy information to your own children. If you have experienced trauma, talk to a psychologist because birthing a baby can bring back memories you may not want to recall.
Ideas – Make love with your partner as much as you can – while you can (will be busy after baby) ~ it will make you a stronger family unit.
Music Pairing – “Beautiful” by Me’Shell Ndegeocello and “Sexual Healing” by Ben Harper
Book Pairing – Sexual Healing by Peter A. Levine
Journal – Sexy Mama- How is your growing belly affecting your sexual connection with your partner?
Week 17 “Joyfulness – celebrate that you and your baby are perfect in this moment”
Body – Celebrate all that’s happening in your body. You are feeling pretty good as long as you are drinking fluids, eating well and sleeping at night. Breasts are getting larger and preparing for milk – the superfood that will nourish your baby. Are in “easiest” part of pregnancy. Energy bouncing back and queasy period has passed. So feeling good and expressing gratitude shouldn’t be hard to do. Revel in body’s strength to carry this baby and pay reverence to this gift.
Baby – Has chosen YOU! Baby has reflexes, can swallow, blink and suck. 5 inches long and could fit in palm of your hand. You are perfect for each other.
Spirit – This soul chose you and your partner for parents. What can you learn from one another? The more joy you infuse in this parenting journey, the easier it will be. Reflections – Enjoy that your body said yes! You have been gifted with a baby. Enjoy it this week!
Ideas – Write a letter to your baby letting her know how happy you are to become her mother. Write a letter to your own mother letting her know how you appreciate her bringing you into the world; if mother is deceased, bury the letter in a place that reminds you of her. Live in gratitude for this baby. Do birth art where you paint “I am grateful” and leave on pregnancy altar for daily reminder.
Music Pairing – “I Give Thanks” by Kathryn Moscow or any happy tunes by Ingrid Michaelson
Journal – Joyfulness- What are your favorite things about being pregnant? Can you list them and let your baby know the joy she is bringing you?
Week 18 “Nurturing Yourself – indulge in pampering yourself- oh, c’mon, just do it!”
Body – Indulge in a little extra nurturing for mama’s body and soul. Soak in bath. Read a book.
Baby – Baby is taking it a little easy on you, just in time for pamper-me fest. Baby’s bones are starting to harden and her senses are starting to develop so one day she’ll be able to experience the nurturing.
Spirit – You are caring for another so care for yourself ~ you deserve it! Allow partner to do more.
Reflections – Just say yes to yourself this week. After baby comes, it will be all about the baby.
Ideas – Take long bubble baths with sweet-smelling essential oils such as lavender and grapefruit while burning your favorite candles. Make homemade sugar scrubs for your face and feet. If you can afford, get a professional pregnancy massage. Stay in bed for a day watching movies and eating with partner and throw in a lovemaking session. Music Pairing – Bon Iver, Ray LaMontagne or Patti Griffin
Indulgence Pairing – Greenpad Living Soaps www.greenpadliving.com
Journal – Nurturing Yourself- What are the ways in which you pamper yourself? What really makes you tick and feel good? Do you indulge in these things often? If not, why not?
Week 19 “Fear – Love is stronger than fear”
Body – If you haven’t been pregnant before, may be afraid, but don’t give fear any energy. If reading pregnancy books, might discover every little detail of what could go wrong but trust that the universe will guide you and this is your path. Women have been birthing babies since the beginning of time and know how to do it, instinctually. Even if you didn’t have anyone at birth besides you and baby, your body would know what to do. Trust your inner knowing – you can do it!
Educate Yourself – Society has set birth put o be a scary event that requires massive procedures, surgeries and interventions. Educate yourself on the different options. It’s your body, your baby and your birth. Create a birth plan. Women being tricked into thinking things like elective C-sections are okay; far less complications with breathing and nursing when birthed through vagina and recovery is harder. If you are healthy, a natural drug-free birth is doable – just focus your energy ~ you can do it!
Reflections – What are your fears? Get them on paper. Are you afraid of giving birth? Where have you gotten your messages about pregnancy, birthing and motherhood? Check out The Red Tent movement if you are feeling alone or call places like Belly Sprout or The Sanctuary in LA. Join Sacred Pregnancy community online. Join Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein’s My Best Birth Community. There is support out there – just look it up.
Ideas – Research what works best for you and your family and write a birth plan. Make a list of your fears and burn them with lots of sage to mark transformation of fears into strengths. Make an “I can do it” sign to place on pregnancy alter.
Music Pairing – Love is Stronger than Fear” & “This Is Who I Am” by Aradhana Silvermoon
Book Pairing – Red Tent by Anita Diamant; Creating Your Birth Plan by Marsden Wagner
Journal – Fear – After journaling your fears, write how you can replace them with power and strength. Use this space to start jotting down notes for your birth plan.
Week 20 “Forgiveness – I am brave enough to forgive”
Body – Halfway there! May start feeling baby even though less than 1 pound. Can decide if want to know baby’s gender or keep it a surprise.
Baby – If getting ultrasound and baby is in correct position, will be able to tell sex (at times they are wrong).
Spirit – Being a parent means having to forgive yourself a lot because you will mess up – a lot! Be able to forgive children when they mess up too – it is a teaching! We all fall down but its how we get up and the words we choose that matter most.
Reflections – Work on power of forgiveness so you can welcome child into your home in pure light and love. Look at own childhood and think about what you’ll do the same and differently. Breastfed vs formula, comforted or let baby cry to sleep etc. What do you need to forgive from past? Trauma as a child, a divorce etc
Ideas – Make a forgiveness tree – each leaf has a line. Give earth your tears – find a rock to write the trauma on and throw it as far as you can ~ do not turn around and look back.
Journal – Forgiveness – Do you have childhood memories that need forgiveness? If so, what can you do to clear those cobwebs? Are you willing to release the past to start fresh with your own child?
Week 21 “Movement Within – I can feel you and I am connected to you”
Body – Feeling symptoms and may see some stretch marks – try massaging Vitamin E oil and increase Vitamin C intake; usually hereditary. May be extremely hungry all the time – eat foods rich in protein so you can feel full for longer.
Baby – is moving, playing, getting tastes of all you eat ~ help shape her palate. Size of a pear.
Spirit – baby moving helps you feel more connected – her way of letting you know she is there
Reflections – Fun to include other children feeling baby move to get connected to baby as well.
Ideas – Play games – tap on belly on one side and then the other side and see if she responds; can also do with flashlight. Journal about when you first felt baby movie.
Journal – Movement Within- What was it like to feel your baby move for the first time? Did it make you feel more connected to the baby?
Week 22 “Trust – honor nature’s process”
Body – You look pregnant and are probably feeling emotionally better as hormones are balancing out. Cravings may be subsiding. Keep feet up for a little each night.
Baby – may be kicking like crazy. Length of banana and can respond to sounds so talk to baby more.
Spirit – Inhale trust, exhale fear. Since morning sickness has passed, time to focus on preparations for yourself, the birth and the baby. When you let nature work how she is supposed to, things work out beautifully.
Reflections – Look deeply within to see how you believe in yourself and the mysteries of the universe. Meditate on how you deal with trust vs fear. Remember to believe in yourself and the universal plan that all things happen for a reason.
Ideas – Think about times you have trusted yourself vs times you have not ~ what was the difference? Practice trusting – starting with small things like the way you are eating is making your baby healthy and strong and that your birth will be painless and filled with peace and love. Create a trust wheel ~ draw a circle and write who and what is allowed in; anything else needs your permission.
Website Pairing – www.trustbirth.com
Journal – Trust- Take time to write about what you are having trouble trusting in regard to your pregnancy. Are you concerned that you will not be able to let go during birth and have faith in yourself to birth your baby? Journal these thoughts and remember to believe your intuition!
Week 23 “Baby Girl – my daughter will one day be a purposeful woman”
Body – Focus on loving your body this week, the fact that you are woman and can have a baby. Many woman cannot. If feeling moody or emotional, feel grateful for this. Gaining weight like crazy and possible struggling with sleep. At night, allow mind to meditate about becoming a mother to a baby girl.
Baby – May feel Braxton Hicks, but don’t worry about them. Baby ~8 inches long and super pink.
Spirit – Spend time contemplating life with a little girl. Make a vow that Barbie will not be her ideal ~ vow she will love and cherish her body because you will teach her that the models int he magazine are pretty but imperfect.
Reflections – Have you wondered about what kind of mother you will be to a little girl vs little boy? Spend time this week thinking about sleeping arrangements – cosleeping vs crib. Do you have a preference of boy vs girl? What is your relationship to other women like? What messages about being a girl did you get growing up? How will you help her cross over her life stages and rites of passage? Will you mark those and help her know what honoring girlhood is all about?
Ideas – Write a poem to your daughter ~ pass alone woman wisdom and tell her how she is entering a sacred tribe of sisters and to be proud of being a girl. Make her a necklace you will give her on a special, random day – where you can tell her about the pregnancy and birth and how you are honored to have had a daughter. Research sleeping options for you and baby; don’t have to decide until baby comes ~ listen to your instincts. What will your first words to baby be? Write them down so you won’t forget upon meeting her.
Music Pairing – “Soul Sister” by Cree Summer and “Daughters” by John Mayer
Book Pairing – Raising Girls by Steve Biddulph
Journal – Baby Girl– How do you feel about the potential of having a daughter? What is your relationship to other women like? How do you see yourself parenting a little girl?
Week 24 “Baby Boy – my son will be kind, caring and full of life”
Body – Focus on bringing life to a baby boy. Boys tend to be bigger at birth so you may be hungrier and should allow yourself a few extra pounds. How do you feel about people touching your belly? Take unsolicited touches with a grain of salt and be grateful they are reaching out to bless you.
Baby – Weighs just over 1 pound and can deposit fat in body. If born premature now, might be able to survive. Able to suck hand or thumb if he chooses to and lungs nearly developed
Spirit – Spend time contemplating life with a little boy. You are blessed with the responsibility of raising this boy into a good man. How does your partner feel about having a son?
Reflections – Spend time this week thinking about whether you will circumcise little boy. To date, there is no real medical reason. Make sure you make wishes known in birth plan. What is relationship with own father? Did you have brothers; are you used to boys? How do you feel about a muddy, messy house? If you have to have a clean home, may want to work on that now.
Ideas – Write a poem to your son – pass along your hopes and dreams for him. Make him a necklace you will give him on a special, random day when you tell him about your pregnancy and birth and how honored you are to have a son. Research circumcision. Music Pairing – “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding
Book Pairing – Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph, I Love Dirt by Jennifer Ward
Journal – Baby Boy- How do you feel about the potential of having a son? What is your relationship to men like? How do you see yourself parenting a little boy?
Week 25 “Love – the most perfect word in every language”
Body – Kick your feet up every day. Do a pregnancy massage if you can. Back likely sore as front weight is heavier now and places pressure on your back. Practice good posture, do Kegels and get lots of warm, soothing baths.
Baby – Almost done with 2nd trimester. Rate of survival if baby premature pretty good. Pretty developed by now and spending these last weeks gaining weight and filling out those lungs
Spirit – Do you remember falling in love with your partner? The amazing euphoria new love brings? Wait until you hold baby for first time. She needs to be center of universe so she knows the world is a safe and loving place and she feels good about joining. You can never give your baby too much love.
Reflections – Each child brings new love to the family. If you are scared you will not love baby after he/she is born, don’t worry, you will (sometimes not instant). Love yourself. You are doing an amazing feat.
Ideas – Write a love letter to yourself this week! Encourage yourself to work through any places you feel stuck
Movie Pairing – Babies documentary and Shakespeare In Love
Book Pairing – Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney; I Love You So by Marianne Richmond
Journal – Love- Write a love letter to yourself!
Week 26 “Earth Energy – we are all connected”
Body – May have trouble remembering stuff; its temporary. Ask Mother Earth for help in giving you balance – stand on earth as much as humanly possible and soak up her energy
Baby – A big kicker – may have trouble sleeping. Still plenty of room in uterus for baby to move. Adjust sleep position so more comfortable. Baby ~2 pounds now and can blink. Spirit – Sign up for birthing classes. See if any Sacred Pregnancy birthing classes in your area. Hypbirth, Lamaze, Bradley method etc
Reflections – Take a day trip to experience nature – give up a day of “regular” life to help clean up – pick up trash on beach, water garden, take pictures of fields of flowers – give back in some way. We want a healthy planet for our babies to grow.
Ideas – Spent time with Mother Earth – touching trees, collecting leaves, and walking. Find a rock from favorite nature spot, decorate, keep on pregnancy alter and bring to birth. Collect leaves and glue in journal.
Website Pairing – www.sierraclub.org
Environmental Action Pairing – Plant a tree in honor of your baby (can do this if save placenta too)
Journal – Earth Energy- Draw a picture of a nature spot that reminds you of being grounded, a place that you can draw from when you need a quiet place in your mind to visit, perhaps during your labor.
Week 27 “Air Energy – our thoughts are powerful”
Body – May be short of breath as uterus is expanding and pressing on ribs making it difficult for lungs to expand. Keep breath conscious and practice breath meditation to calm mind and regulate mood
Baby – Can suck thumb and eyes are finally opened. Can respond to light and dark and kicks are stronger now that living in less fluid. Start figuring out maternity leave if working.
Spirit – Create a breath practice to quiet mind and gain perspective. Deep breathing will help with giving birth.
Reflections – Air reminds you that mind has power to shift thoughts and moods. The pregnant woman has the challenge to reform her thoughts and create her pregnancy and birth just as she wants it. When you allow yourself negative thoughts (I’m not strong enough), change it and think uplifting thoughts and see how it makes a difference ~ words have tremendous power so choose what comes out of your lips. Be honest and process any feelings you are having so you can step into motherhood clear of mind and heart.
Ideas – Burn sage to cleanse space and mind. Give yourself positive messages every day. Burning incense like sandalwood or Nag Champa can bring thoughts to a positive space. Do regular breath meditations every day ~ will help in challenging times.
Music Pairing – “Bright As Yellow” by The Innocence Mission
Journal – Air Energy- What are the thoughts that have you up at night in regard to becoming a mother and giving birth? Lay them out here in all honesty so that they can be worked through. Even if they are irrational…write them, claim them, and release them.
Week 28 “Fire Energy – I can focus my will to manifest what I want”
Body – Entering 3rd trimester now so getting in prep mode. Sciatic issues may arise ~ a sharp pain that shoots down back of your leg starting under buttocks; occurs if baby is positioned in a certain way. Rest, ask partner for massage and ask baby to move a little. Gather fire energy or chi; rest now so you are ready when big day comes.
Baby – is settling into his birth position this week ~ hopefully head down and feet up. 2.5 pounds, blinking and getting into REM sleep patterns. Keep in mind when laboring and going through surges, you are working together.
Spirit – You are getting close, Mama! Use element of fire to burn away and last fears so you can make room for focused intentions. If you want a natural birth, say it to the universe, write it down, intend it, and have it!
Reflections – Don’t play with fire ~ metaphor for life. Ring of fire during birth – so close. Watch a flame and watch its steadiness which offers heat and light.
Ideas – Light a candle on pregnancy altar every day ~ will keep you focuses and bring ideal pregnancy to reality. Have candles lit at birth ~ can be a nice focal point. Ask sisterhood circle to light candles when going into labor.
Journal – Fire Energy– Are you confident that you know what you want for this pregnancy and birth? If you are not, take the time to get clear and journal about your confusion. When you are ready to really direct your will and intention,t he universe will be ready to hear it!
Week 29 “Water Energy – water is woman, embrace the flow”
Body – Always go to water – when pregnancy aches and pains. Healing and soothing. Helps itch belly, swelling and hemorrhoids. These go away after baby is born.
Baby – lives in and can breath water. Water is supportive, warm and comforting for baby just as it comforts you when body aches. Baby weighs ~3 pounds and responds to light and sound.
Spirit – Spend time close to ocean, lake or pond or take extra baths. Water is cleansing and represents flow of feelings. Watch ocean, stand under waterfall.
Reflections – Don’t play with fire ~ metaphor for life. Ring of fire during birth – so close. Watch a flame and watch its steadiness which offers heat and light. Baby is living in healing waters. Submerge in warm tub when laboring or going through “surges” ~ even if have hospital birth, can begin at home and some hospitals have. Can help a lot!
Ideas – Gather water from your favorite place – ocean, lake or herb infused bath and pour it over head. Try laboring in tub.
Website Pairing – www.waterbirth.org
Video Pairing – Rick Lake and Abby Epstein’s documentary More Business of Being Born
Journal – Water Energy- Have you considered laboring and birthing in water? What are your thoughts on this and are there any feelings relating to this process that you feel you need to cleanse at this time?
Week 30 “Nesting – gather, cleanse, knit and fold”
Body – may experience swelling ~ a true sign of needing to slow down and put feet up.
If excessive ice chewing, a sign of low iron ~ eat some iron rich foods or supplement with Floradix liquid iron and/or blackstrap molasses.
Baby – is starting to see and distinguish light from dark. Taking up more space so amniotic fluid will be lower. Drink coconut water ~ great for balancing pH levels and keeping your nourished.
Spirit – Nesting “instinct” but go slow and enjoy these last few weeks. What baby really needs is a well-rested mama. You will be surprised at how very few things you really need to buy.
Reflections – Spend time with mother talking about preparing for baby.
Ideas – Emotional nesting: releasing fears about becoming a mother and replacing them with trusting your instincts – put in candle and burn and let it blow out itself; after burns write new wishes.
Website Pairing – ecobabyplanning.com; greenhugs.net
Products: aden + anais organic swaddle blankets (she has a list of mostly organic suggestions but pretty expensive products), nose frida nasal aspirator, exergen temporal themometer, breastmilk freezer storage bags if getting pump
Cleaning Tips: Don’t use antibacterial spray, soap, wipes with Triclosan. Use Clean Well line. Can buy at Bini Birth. Earthworm family safe cleaning products. Booklet laundry detergent. Rocking Green Soap. Cover dishwasher tablets. Make own green cleaning products: ratio for using vinegar to clean is 1 cup to 2 cups water or heavy cleaning use straight vinegar (smell disappears when drys). Use glass spray bottle. For bleach, use baking soda or lemon; for disinfecting use vinegar; for killing germs, use lemon or essential oils like tea tree oil. For conditioning wood or leather, use olive oil. For toilet – add vinegar and baking soda to toilet bowl, let bubble, don’t flush and leave overnight; next morning, use bowl brush to swipe and flush. All Purpose Green Spray: 1 tsp castile soap or plant based liquid soap and 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar with 2 cups water in spray bottle (Dr. Bronners). Order birth kit for home birth.
Hospital Packing: picture ID, insurance card, birth plan, toiletries, sanitary pads (try Glad rags), they provide at hospital too; bathrobe, loose sleeveless nightgown, warm socks or slippers (they provide nonstick socks), camera, call list, cell phone charger, comfy nursing bra, organic maternity underwear, journal and pen, yummy receiving blanket or organic swaddle blanket, going home outfit with hat
Journal – Nesting- Write about your release ritual and whether or not you feel “mother- nested” now. Also use this space to make those lists!
Week 31 “Adornment – decorate your belly with pride, love and humility”
Body – probably pee a lot and belly is so big lying on side is uncomfortable so use a body pillow. Get lots of rest so you can birth with energy. Keep fluids up because body is producing blood cells like crazy and need to maintain increased blood volume; drink coconut water to increase alkaline levels and keep water plentiful
Baby – ~3.5 pounds and gaining .~5 pound a week. Kicks start to feel more like swimming and squirming. Introduce baby to sisterhood tribe.
Spirit – Entering waiting period so release anxiety and fill up with your sister strength. Write on a piece of paper “I am the strength of all women who have ever birthed a baby and I am ready to join that tribe” Having affirmations around the house feeds your subconscious
Reflections – Adorning belly with paint, henna or jewels marks transition from being pregnant to readying self for birth. Belly casting parties. Blessingways. Reflect on how you feel about others hosting an honoring circle for you.
Ideas (don’t read – give to your girlfriends)- Adornment ritual or blessingway where mama doesn’t do any work and has sisters in a circle to support her as she prepares to birth her child. A power necklace to support her during birth. Send out invites, decorate space with comfy pillows, rose petals, warm-water foot soaks, decadent treats. Ask each mother to string bead on necklace. Flower crown. Light candle blessings for her. Brush her hair. Massage her.
Website Pairing – www.bellyvita.com
Book Pairing: Mother Rising
Journal – Adornment- What was it like to be nurtured by your tribe of women? Do you feel full of their positive juju after the ritual? Write about the power necklace.
Week 32 “Blessingway – go to the bowl with your tribe, for your baby”
Body – in home stretch and feeling it! Pee a lot and feel light headed, almost like you may faint. Blood tends to pool in lower limbs, resulting in low cranial pressure which makes you feel dizzy
Baby – ~4.5 pounds and may be turning into birthing position (head down) so pushing on abdomen more. Baby’s lungs still developing. Not as many kicks because not as much room. Skeleton is developed and bones are there but harden later.
Spirit – Honoring and thanking baby for coming is great way to prepare for arrival. The more joy you infuse into pregnancy, the easier the birth and smoother transition into motherhood.
Reflections – Hold blessingway instead of baby shower, which honors family and includes everyone. What if you want to do these non-traditional ceremonies but your partner or family doesn’t?
Ideas – Have everyone add blessing to a salt bowl and bead necklace similar to above. Ask them to bathe in salt bath when mama goes into labor.
Herb Pairing – www.mountainroseherbs.com
Book Pairing: Mother Rising: The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood by Yana Cortlund, Barb Lucke and Donna Miller Watelet
Journal – Blessingway- Who attended your blessingway, and what were the special moments about it that you would like to remember to pass down to your child? Perhaps have them write a little blessing here for the baby to hear later.
Week 33 “Naming Ceremony – names fulfill destinies”
Body – fingers, hands and wrists may start to feel tingling and numbness. Tough to sleep so make sure you use body pillow and drink plenty of fluids at day (slowing at night to avoid bathroom).
Baby – ~4 pounds. Baby gaining weight, getting pink and finishing development. Brain grows so rapidly during this week that head will increase quarter of an inch.
Spirit – Choosing a name makes this whole thing real. If having trouble finding a name, consider might not be ready for baby- so take notice, thank the fears and release them. Reflections – A name is personal, political, spiritual, artistic, identifying. What is your relationship with your own name? Do you like it or feel like you should be named something else? In many cultures they wait until baby is born, have met child, meditated and asked universe. Choose a name with purpose, intention and meaning; a person’s name carries energy and should be given with care and thoughtful meditation.
Ideas – Meditate and ask universe for guidance. Look back at family tree. Names from stories that have meaning to you.
Journal – Naming- What are your lists of names for both a boy and a girl? What are the meanings of the names and why have you chosen them?
Week 34 “Visualization: Your Perfect Birth – create your own birth experience” Body – still have room to grow. Might not be as hungry but keep having frequent snacks. Baby is pushing more on bladder so urinate more. Can start feeling surges. Sleep may be more difficult.
Baby – very close to being born and is pretty big weighing over 4 pounds but might not birth him for 6-8 weeks. Most likely in position ~ can ask positioner to check.
Spirit – Pull together birth plan ~ visualize the birth you want – who you want present, what to do during surges, who will remind you to stay focused, breathe and relax. May feel nervous and excited as due date approaches but this is time for grounding and centeredness. Mind is powerful so visualize a painless birth, short labor and healthy baby. Investigate hypbirth mediations.
Reflections – What does birth sound like? Smell like? Visualize in head until it becomes second nature.
Ideas – Write down exactly how you want birth to go and review as you prepare for birth. Choose a mantra that will take you to your “perfect birth” scene.
Book Pairing – The Creative Visualization Workbook by Shakti Gawain; Spiritual Midwifery for birth stories
Audio Pairing – Hypbirth Series
Journal – Visualization: Your Perfect Birth– Take time to write down your own visualization scene to manifest your perfect birth. Be specific and speak to every aspect of this sacred process and how you want it to go. Use your power to create the birth you want!
Week 35 “Empowerment – you are all woman and that means all-powerful”
Body – focus on finding your voice and breathing. Breath work critical and becoming empowered enough to advocate for yourself requires that mother voice of yours. May be so big its hard to breath and huge meals are too much so eat smaller, more frequent. Baby – growing ~1 ounce a day and lungs are almost fully developed. Grab a car seat and install ~ will make it more real.
Spirit – To be empowered is to be uplifted and supported. When you breath in say “I am powerful” When you breath out say “I can do it”. Say affirmations and mantras out loud so you can hear your voice claim your power.
Reflections – Being empowered means knowing your rights – knowing your body, spirit and baby and trusting all will work harmoniously at birth. Also allowing others to help when you need it and expressing your needs by putting birth plan in place. May want to hire a doula to advocate for you (call BiniBirth for help). Simple and short mantras plant a message in your unconscious so you can pull it out during birth.
Ideas – Write a birth manifesto ~ make a few vows to yourself. Do birth art and create a collage of images that represent empowered to you – place at birth altar and consider having at birth; frame and give to child. Make or buy an empowerment necklace to wear at birth. Rose quartz represents love. Cowry shell represent opening body to birth. Tiger eye for protection. Baby’s birth stone a nice choice.
Movie Pairing – Every Mother Counts documentary by Christy Turlington
Music Pairing – “ I Am the Water” by Aradhana Silvermoon
Journal – Empowerment- Write down your birth mantra so that you know what it is and what worked for you when you are practicing your birth breathing.
Week 36 “Sisterhood – gather your tribe”
Body – Time is near and body knows it (evn if mind doesn’t). Eat healthy power foods, rest and relax. Meet with practitioner to make sure all is in order for birth.
Baby – considered full term at the end of this week. 6 pounds. 18 inches long. Baby can come between now and 43 weeks. He is just gaining weight.
Spirit – Birth has always been supported by a woman’s tribe. Get plans/bags in order for home birth, birth center or hospital birth.
Reflections – Make a list of your own tribe women. Who do you trust to support you through motherhood? Connect with your mother and hear your birth story. Even if physically alone, you have other women spiritually connected. If don’t have a sisterhood, build one or connect with an existing one. Join online Sacred Pregnancy community and look for a circle in your area.
Ideas – Make a lunch date with a special woman in your life to bask in energy of divine female. Learn how you came into the world or talk with another relative to gain interpersonal perspective. Invite several women over for a special circle where you are honored and showered as you enter this step of birthing. Have a sleepover. Create your birth call tree. Decide if you want a woman present at birth or a doula. Connect with Bini Birth.
Book Pairing – The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and the Red Tent Movement
Website Pairing – www.mysticmama.com
Fun Outing Pairing – Go see Motherhood, the Musical!
Journal – Sisterhood- Take time to journal what you may have discovered about the time when you were born and how that affects you today. What might you want to explore more deeply to prepare you for this birthing experience and who is your sisterhood? Name them!
Week 37 “Surrender – close your eyes and bring your focus within”
Body – may be having more Braxton Hicks. Every contraction you has does something. May experience “bloody show” where mucus plug comes out and you have slight bleeding; this does not mean you are in labor but are getting close. Water may break – if it does, call practitioner Contractions or “surges” are beginning of labor. At first, may be able to carry on with daily activities. Once they come every ~10 min, bring focus to the birth. May want to start laboring in warm tub or on birthing ball. Use in between time to make sure you have all you need.
Baby – can join the world at any time; is now full term.
Spirit – 5 stages of labor: 1)early; 2)active; 3)transition; 4)delivery of placenta and 5)recovery. Each stage requires a level of surrender.
Reflections – Once can no longer chat and are in labor, ready to surrender. Find that safe place from your visualization and listen to music that comforts you. Can have a special song playing for baby’s arrival. If we are afraid, we tense up. Need to relax. There is a such thing as a painless birth if you believe and ride each surge as a wave breathing into them and pushing down rather than tensing up. Do not resist – push into the surge rather than pull away. Use breath and voice awareness to keep you focused. Ideas – For home birth, make sure supplies in place. Set up birthing altar with symbols of strength that will serve as focal point during labor. Get phone tree ready so they can light candles or take salt bath.
Journal – Surrender- What does it mean to you to completely surrender to your body and trust the universe?
Week 38 “Surges – ride the waves and let your body do the work it’s meant to do”
Body – You are now in active labor – every surge does something and has a purpose. They thin your cervix aka “efface”. Surges 205 minutes a part and last ~60 sec. Take each one complete as an accomplishment and know end result is pushing out baby. At home or birth center birth, you can labor and what you like – in tub, shower, birthing ball, walking, sitting, lying down. Some hospitals are progressing too. Consider gravity- baby pushed out lying on back is not the best; standing, squatting or birthing in water is more effective. Rest between surges
Baby – in full working mode during active labor, moving her way down birth canal Spirit – you will know when you are in active labor because nothing else matters. Pull out breathing techniques, meditations, visualizations, mantras, and calling in of sisters who have birthed before you. No shame in an birth; a natural birth is not always possible. Be in the moment and be present with your birth and do what you need to. Reflections –If you have emotionally prepared, you will have an easier time than if unprepared.
Ideas – Remember each surge moves you closer to meeting your baby. Have your partner tell you when each one starts and ends so you can gauge each one. Stay away from updates (having practitioner check) to see how far alone you are.
Journal – Surges- Can you ride the waves of these surges? What are your fears around this process?
Week 39 “Birth – call upon your inner strength to get the job done”
Body – ready to complete the cycle. Moving into transition as you hit 8-10 cm dilated and are almost entirely effaced. Longer surges, 60-90 seconds each coming every ~2 minutes
Baby – working just as hard as you are to move through birth canal to meet you. May feel burning when you crown, a sign that baby is almost there.
Spirit – Baby is very near; although you may feel exhausted and overwhelmed, this is the time to bring out your warrior goddess. Roar, yell, laugh, play, be silent, moan, do whatever. Maintain short breaths so oxygen goes to brain and you are not lightheaded. Breathe into the surges and don’t pull away. Ride them like a wave.
Reflections – Your body has the knowledge of birthing imprinted into your bones so all you have to do is show up and trust. Honor this sacred experience.
Ideas – Placenta pills (even if you deliver in hospital). Birth photographer or friend. Warm, healthy soup after giving birth (vegetable soup with kale great iron boost)
T-Shirt Pairing – Sacred Pregnancy Tees www.tinytwist.com or sacredpregnancy.com; organic and part of portion supports woman being able to birth how they want
Journal – Your Birth Story- You did it! Plain and simple, your body held the knowledge to help you create a new little life, and YOU stepped into your full womanhood, pulled form your deepest self and birth your baby. Welcome to the tribe. Please use this section to tell your birth story. Take a few quiet moments to document your journey through the last hours of your pregnancy and what you remember about the birth itself and how you felt those first moments you held your baby. This process is important for your transition out of pregnancy and into motherhood. It will allow you a treasured keepsake for years to come. Some questions that may help you get started are: What time did you go into labor and how did you know you were in labor? What did the surges feel like and who was there supporting you? What was the setting like where you were laboring? How did you manage the surges? How long were you in labor? What were the thoughts going through your head during the laboring process? Did you feel empowered during the process? How long did you push before your baby came out? Were there any complications? What time was your baby born and how much did your baby weigh? Post baby’s first photo.
Week 40 “Rite of Passage – you are a mother now and forever; congratulations”
Body – you have birthed your baby and are holding a sweetie in your arms. Body has worked harder that it ever has and needs recovery time. Body needs sleep, good food an comfot. Normal to be sore – soak in sitz bath. Peri-bottle next to toilet instead of wiping. Large sanitary pads (will bleed heavily for a few days; keep towels or sheets on bed).
Baby – is already hungry! Breastmilk doesn’t come in for a couple days but is drinking colostrum, filled with antibodies that help build her immune system. No other time in baby’s life when they will get better nutrition than now. Breastfeeidng also helps uterus go back into place and helps you lose weight naturally. Baby will sleep a lot these first few weeks. Cosleeping is great. Keep house peaceful but not too quiet.
Spirit – Be proud of yourself ~ you brought a new life into the world! First weeks can be emotional as hormones are still out of whack. Keep taking preantal and placenta pills if you wish.
Reflections – You have made journey from maiden to mother. Consider having small hibernation fest. Try to limit visitors for a while so you can bond. Partner also needs alone time with baby.
Ideas – Consider wrapping belly with postpartum wrap (in many cultures done first 6 weeks after birth). Get food tree going (don’t worry about cooking or cleaning).
Music Pairing – Best lullaby CDS – It’s a Big World by Renee and Jeremy; Lullabies by Jewel
Journal – Rite of Passage- Now that you are holding your baby in your arms, how do you want to welcome her or him to the world? Take a moment to write down who were the first visitors and what those first moments of your meeting was like for you
binibirth.com newchapter.com/prenatal nordicnaturals.com pregnancyawareness.com birthsanctuary.com naturalchildbirth.org
waterbirth.org homebirthvideos.com thebusinessofbeingborn.com doulashop.com homebirthkits.com birthingfromwithin.com justineserebirin.com alisastarkweather.com baby-welcoming.com sacredpassageways.com birthbalance.com babysbytheseaboutique.com SacredGardenMaui.com
Greenhugs.net Attachementparenting.org Healthychild.org Holisticmoms.org Lalecheleague.org Earthmamaangelbaby.com Bellysprout.com Thinktwice.com Sloomb.com
Naturebaby.com Innovativebaby.com Novanatural.com
Econutssoap.com Ecobabyplanning.com Facebook.com/happydoughlucky Motherhoodthemusical.com