Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Drugs in Labor: 5 Good Reasons Not to Use Them

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Why would anyone not want to use drugs for labor? Today in the United States 90% of laboring mothers use drugs. Drugs are used primarily for 3 reasons; for induction, C-Sections, and comfort. Compared to the 1970’s there is a 25 % increase in inductions, 25% increase in C-Sections, and an 50% overall increase in the use of drugs for labor. The national U.S. cesarean section rate was 4.5% and near this optimal range in 1965 when it was first measured (Taffel et al. 1987). There is no question that drugs are overused in today’s birth setting. There are times when drugs are necessary and beneficial but let’s take a closer look at the benefits of not using drugs for labor.

 

1. Side-effects and Risks– Every drug has risks and side-effects. Both mother and baby are at risk when drugs are administered for labor. Some side effects include; fetal distress, depression of the infant respiratory system, grogginess in mother and baby, unresponsive baby, colicky baby, spinal headaches, lack of feeling in mother, postpartum back pain, decreased bonding and in extreme cases death, to name a few. There are also many longer term effects of drugs on babies which have been identified and are still being studied. Some babies fare well even when their mom’s take drugs in labor. But some babies do not and no one knows which babies will react negatively to the drugs so why take a risk of your baby being one that does not do well? Most people reason that pregnant women should not take drugs while pregnant because the drugs can get to the baby and have negative effects. When a woman is in labor there is no difference in how the drugs get to the baby and the risks involved. So shouldn’t the same logic apply?

 

2. Interference with the Natural Process– Our bodies are designed to give birth without the use of drugs and interventions. When a woman is in labor her body produces natural hormones like oxytocin and relaxin which help reduce pain and increase tolerance. When a woman is scared, anxious or upset the fight or flight response kicks in and blocks the release of the natural hormones that are helpful thereby increasing pain and discomfort. When drugs are given to a laboring woman, this also interferes with the body’s natural ability to produce the helpful hormones. As a result drugs can slow labor and cause the use of additional medications and interventions as well as lengthen the time of labor.

 

3. Pain has a Purpose– Many women who have natural births without the use of drugs don’t do it to be a martyr as some may think. They usually do it because they want to engage in the birth experience and they want what’s safest for them and their babies. When no drugs are used a woman is most likely to be fully aware, alert and engaged in the process. She can feel her body and what it is telling her. Our bodies are very intelligent and know what to do in labor. When we are in touch with our bodies we intuitively know what positions to be in, when to change positions, what we need for comfort or to keep labor moving, and most importantly we know when something is wrong. Abnormal pain can signal a laboring woman that something is not right. When she has taken drugs, she no longer has the ability to be in touch with her body’s signals. Our bodies only give us what we can handle so even though labor can be painful or uncomfortable, we are made to handle it. Women have been doing it for many decades.

 

4. Engage in the Process– The use of drugs and interventions takes us away from our birth experience. When we can’t feel our bodies because of anesthesia we can’t fully engage in the process. We don’t know when or how to push when it’s time. We aren’t able to walk around and help the labor progress naturally. We can’t feel the baby progressing through the birth canal and making an entrance into the world. All of this helps with bonding once the baby is born. Drugs also interfere with mental clarity. It is more difficult to make critical decisions when there is lack of mental clarity, which can affect the baby and the woman negatively. Women who use drugs in labor typically remember less about their birth experience than women who don’t use drugs in labor. When drugs are not used, a woman is able to fully engage in the physical, mental and emotional process of giving birth.

 

5. Become Empowered– You’ve heard the saying “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” right? Even though it’s unlikely that we’re going to die in childbirth, sometimes we feel like we might. It is the really tough and challenging times in life that make us stronger as humans. Once a woman has given birth naturally, she usually comes to understand there isn’t anything she can’t do. That is empowering! The use of drugs can take away the empowering experience of giving birth.

 

While there are circumstances where drugs for labor can be beneficial, there are many more reasons not to use drugs in labor. In most cases, the benefits of not using drugs outweigh the risks. To have the most empowering, engaging, natural and least risky birth experience leave the drugs for when they are truly necessary. You and your baby will be glad you did.

 

Justine Arian is a Birth Empowerment Coach, Childbirth Educator, Doula, and Mother. She works with individuals, couples, and groups to empower them in having their ideal birth experiences. Justine was transformed by her own birth experiences. She sees childbirth as natural and every woman as capable. Contact Justine at, www.thepregnancycoach.com.

 

Attachment Parenting

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

What is Attachment Parenting?

There are a lot of different philosophies out there about how to raise your children.  One of more popular parenting philosophies that’s been publicized in the past few years is attachment parenting.  Many people don’t understand exactly what it is.  Attachment parenting is when the parents try to form a close, special bond with their children.  This strong relationship with their parents is said to help a child develop strong, healthy, secure relationships in the future.

While there are many ways to develop these strong bonds with young children, Attachment Parenting International, a major proponent of this philosophy, has released a list of 8 ideals for attachment parents.  It is important to realize that these are something to strive for, not something most people totally achieve without certain challenges. The ideals they give are:

* Preparation for Childbirth.  This involves educating yourself so you can be an active participant in your pregnancy and delivery.  An active parent should take classes and strive to make important decisions early.  A mother should also try to keep stress on the baby low during pregnancy.

* Emotional Responsiveness.  This is probably the most important philosophy in attachment parenting.  It involves being aware of and fulfilling your child’s emotional needs.  It stresses comforting your baby when they cry instead of letting them “cry it out” on their own.  A parent should develop the ability to interpret and fulfill your child’s needs by spending quality time with them.

* Breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding is not only the most nutritious diet possibly for babies; it also promotes bonding between the mother and child through closeness and also hormonal reactions.  Attachment parenting encourages breastfeeding until the mother and the baby are both ready to stop.  It also advocates breastfeeding behaviors even if you’re bottle feeding your baby.

* Baby Wearing.  Wearing your baby in a sling can have many positive benefits.  It allows your child to feel safe and secure, stimulates their neurological development, and helps stabilize their biorhythms.  It also brings a sense of closeness between the wearer and the baby.

* Shared Sleep.  Sleeping in a bed with the parents can make a child feel safe and secure at night because their needs are being met.  If a baby has to cry for a while before a parent arrives, it can shatter their feeling of nighttime security.  With co-sleep, mom is always there to respond to needs immediately.  It also make breastfeeding easier and further strengthens that bond.

* Avoiding long separations from your baby.  Try not to be away from your baby for too long.  This can emotionally damage a child and the bond you have with them.  If long absences are unavoidable, try to find one consistent caregiver who will treat your child as you normally would, ensuring continuity of care.

* Positive discipline.  Attachment parenting stressed forming a strong bond with your child which helps them to trust you.  If they have this trust, you can guide them to make good choices by making them yourselves.  You should keep this trust by trying to understand and empathize with your child’s point of view.

* Balance your family life.  This involves not only being there for your family, but also being there for yourself.  Someone who has a solid support structure and cares for themselves will be better equipped to care for their family as well.

While at times it may be difficult to follow all these ideals, if you strive to reach at least some of them, you will likely have a happy, independent, and well adjusted child. It may not be the easiest or most convenient way of raising children but there is plenty of support out there today for those wishing to increase bonding by parenting in this manner. If you would like support I recommend  seeking out a local Attachment Parenting (AP) group online for support and community.

Birth Control- Does it Really Exist?

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The answer is yes and no.

I’m not talking about contraception.  I am speaking to the idea that we can control birth. Actually birth itself can’t be controlled. No one has any way of knowing what is going to happen in the birthing time. The birth process is inherently intelligent and when undisturbed takes its own course and happens the way it is meant to. It is only when interference occurs that the process and outcomes are altered and “controlled”.  You’ve heard the saying “nature knows best”, right? What if birth is not meant to be controlled? What if there is something bigger going on ?

If birth is not meant to be controlled, does that mean we give up our power?  No. In fact it’s quite the opposite. The true power is in the surrender. We take charge of and influence the things we can, and let go of the rest.

There are 2 things which you do have control over:

1) How you prepare yourself

2) How you respond to circumstances

So what does that mean?

Just because you don’t control birth doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare your mind and body. In fact, it is essential that you prepare yourself for this unique life-changing event. By preparing mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually you are dramatically increasing your chances of success. You can hope for better health outcomes for yourself and your baby, increased bonding, less fear, more comfortable and shorter labor, more satisfaction with your experience overall, and  more.

When you understand the process, generally know what to expect and feel like an active participant, you can transform your experience. Of course the #1 goal always is to have a healthy baby. Everyone wants that, yet it’s the process, the journey and the experience itself that have the potential to empower a woman to realize her own strength and transform her . Giving birth in full awareness can wake a woman up to how powerful and amazing she is.

In addition to preparing, the other thing you have control over is how you respond. Accepting that many things are out of your control, especially in a hospital setting, can free you from that false perception of control. In any given moment you have a choice. We all do. You can choose your thoughts and beliefs and you can choose your response.  Obviously not easy to consciously choose your reactions, especially while in labor but you can make up your mind before going into labor that you will let go and accept what is and what has to be. I’m not saying just go along with whatever is being done or suggested, definitely not!  I am saying let go of false illusions of control about the way it has to be. Know that if you have done everything in your power to prepare yourself fully and make the best decisions possible, then you will be best served by being with what comes up in the moment and letting go of everything else.

By letting go of the illusion of control and by being flexible enough to adapt to real changes, you are decreasing your chances of postpartum depression, negative feelings about yourself and your experience, including guilt, anger and shame.  Many women have these feelings when they end up giving birth by C-Section or experience other interventions. They feel victimized, traumatized and disillusioned by their birth experience.  No one plans on a C-Section unless of course they plan one, yet 1 in 3 women will give birth by C-Section.  There are plenty of things you can do to avoid an unnecessary C-Section, yet there are times when C-Sections are necessary and beneficial. Knowing the difference and knowing you did everything in your power to avoid an unnecessary C-Section, can be peace of mind if one becomes necessary.

If you prepare your mind and body through education and exploration, consciously choose based on what options are best for you, actively engage in the process, get strong support and then let go of the need to control, you are setting yourself up for the best chances of success. Can disappointment still happen? Sure, but such is life and in the event that it does, you will be better equipped to deal with it.

What are you willing to do to prepare yourself for the trials and tribulations of life? Birth is a great training ground to form new beliefs and gain new tools to use as a parent and for the rest of your life. What will you commit to now in preparing yourself fully and then letting go?

When you set an intention and put it in writing, it is more likely to happen. Let me hold the intention with you. Please share your intentions in the comment section below.

Your Right and Responsibility

Monday, April 4th, 2011

I’ve heard so many people say they do what the doctor says because, ” they are the expert”.  When I first became pregnant I thought that way too. I figured I’d do what everyone else does, listen to the doctor and go to the hospital and have my baby. Thank goodness I was raised in a family who taught me to ask questions.

Through my own process of exploration during my pregnancy I learned a few things. I learned even more when I became a Certified Bradley Teacher and Birth Doula.  One of the most important things I learned that I like to share with my clients and students is to never just accept something because someone says it’s so, even if they are an “expert”. Shoot, don’t even take my word for it. Do your due diligence. Educate yourself, ask questions, get answers and go within.

Here’s the reality. Doctors are trained to practice medicine and do surgery. Obstetricians  are not trained to view birth as a safe and natural experience. If they were trained to see birth as natural and normal, there wouldn’t be much for them to do. They are trained to look for the potential emergency waiting to happen and sometimes they inadvertently cause it through unnecessary intervention. It’s not totally their fault though. Because they practice in medical establishments (hospitals) and administer medical procedures (interventions) they do see many abnormal births and emergencies thus THAT becomes their normal. Because most women give birth in hospitals with doctors, that view has become the norm but is not normal.

Birth is natural, normal and safe. Sure emergencies happen and not all pregnancies and births end happily but life is not perfect. Even the most perfectly designed process like procreation is imperfect. Such is life. While things can go wrong by nature, many more things can go wrong with unnecessary interference.

All interventions pose risks and benefits and it is your job to understand what they are so that you can make an informed choice on your baby’s behalf. Unfortunately, true informed consent, where you are get all the risks and benefits for both sides, just is not happening. Thus the burden falls on you the consumer to ask questions and keep asking until you get the answers you need to feel confident as the responsible party for you own health and that of your baby.

Now I don’t want to sound anti-doctor because I am not. In fact, there are some amazing doctors whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with and get to know over the years.  And what makes these doctors stand out from the rest is their ability to bring a different perspective to the table. They are able to see beyond the limits of the scope of their training and use logic, reason and perhaps even heart, to guide the way they practice medicine. They know when intervention is necessary and when to let nature take its course.  They mostly trust the normal process of birth. They know how to engage their patients as active participants in the process of their own birth experience.  They actually want their patients to be informed and don’t feel threatened when questions are raised.

When you hand over your power to your doctor or other care provider you are buying into the idea that “your birth experience doesn’t matter.” You are giving them the authority to treat your birth experience like they do all the others and not give you the individualized treatment you and your baby deserve. Is that okay with you?

I want you to know that Your birth experience does matter. You and your baby are the only ones who are going to live with it, good or bad, for the rest of your lives. No one else.

I’m not suggesting you become an expert in birth by any means, or not listen to your doctor or others. What I am suggesting is that you own your birth experience by educating yourself, asking questions and getting helpful answers that will support you in making the best decisions possible for you and your baby.

Had I gone along with what I thought I would do in the beginning of my pregnancy, I would have never had my beautiful and empowering home birth experiences. I probably would have never become The Pregnancy Coach, Childbirth Educator and a Doula empowering families in their birthing time, and would not be writing this today.

It’s your birth experience, your body and your baby.  It’s your right and responsibility. Will you own It?

The Key to Coping with Labor Pain

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

The key to labor is your ability to relax.

For many of us, relaxation doesn’t come easily. It is especially challenging when there is pain or discomfort present. But it is worth learning to relax and being able to do it in labor, in order to experience less pain, and be able to cope better.

Why is relaxation the key to coping with labor?

–Our bodies instinctively know what to do in labor and when we relax, we help our bodies do what they are made to do.

–During labor, our bodies release oxytocin, a hormone that helps us in labor. When we are relaxed and feel safe, our bodies release hormones that protect us and help with the natural process of labor.

–When we are scared, tense, or overly anxious, our bodies respond with Fight or Flight and produce adrenaline which can create more pain and stop the good hormones from protecting us.

–When we realize pain has the purpose of signaling when something is wrong or letting us know how labor is progressing, then we can relax and deal with it.

There are 3 types of relaxation:

1. Physical relaxation has to do with what your body is feeling. Massage is one good technique to help achieve physical relaxation. There are many others.

2. Mental relaxation has to do with what you are thinking about. Guided imagery is a powerful mental relaxation technique.

3. Emotional relaxation has to do with how you feel about what is happening.

Feeling supported through your physical environment, along with encouragement and verbal support from a good coach, can go a long way in accomplishing mental relaxation.

Each type of relaxation has different techniques, and all 3 go hand in hand and are important in achieving optimal results.

Relaxation for labor takes practice:

·         Concentration is required. You must actually concentrate on relaxing and not simply watch T.V. or fall asleep.

·         One size does not fit all. Try various techniques to see what works best for you.

·         Practice often and in various situations. Practice every day and try to relax while riding in the car, standing in line, and in many other situations, not just while lying down.

The number one thing you can do to prepare for labor is learn to relax. Try out different relaxation techniques and practice them often and in many situations. If you are able to achieve relaxation easily in practice, you will be better equipped to relax in labor. And that is the key to experiencing less pain and allowing labor to progress normally and naturally.

Leaping, Learning and Letting Go

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

As 2010 comes to an end, you might be thinking about the year ahead. If you are like me you are constantly looking to the future without slowing down long enough to reflect on accomplishments and lessons from the past. We are either living in the past, present or future. Where do you spend most of your time? How has it been working for you?

I have been participating in a mastermind group for the last 6 months which has been very powerful in terms of my personal growth and spiritual evolution. In our final session we shared our leaps, learning, and letting go for the past 6 months. It was very powerful to recollect all that has happened in 6 months. I was able to see how far I had come and what I had let go of. Some of my biggest breakthroughs were letting go of the need to be perfect or get it exactly right which enabled me to finally launch my Birth Empowerment Coaching Program after holding onto the idea for more than 2 years. Also, letting go of self-judgment and criticism and releasing the questioning of the value of my work has allowed me to move forward in big ways that are allowing me to live my life purpose more fully and show up more completely and authentically.

By reflecting on my wins, challenges, and lessons of the past year, I have opened up myself to soar in 2011. Will you join me on this journey and step into your greatness and higher expression of your life and self? That is my wish for you because each of us has great potential that we are not currently owning. Imagine if each of us were to own our personal power and really make a difference in the world in a way that only each of us can because of our personal life experiences, knowledge, uniqueness and interests. I envision major world shifts occurring as a result of you and I and each of us stepping into and claiming our power.

Please take some time to reflect on your past year. If you keep a journal now would be a good time to refer to it. Perhaps you have a planner or another way to jog your memory about the year. It’s so easy to forget, especially when we don’t make a conscious effort to reflect. Maybe breaking it down by months would help. But before you begin, make sure you take some uninterrupted time to get quiet and write down your answers to the following questions.

1) What leaps, wins and accomplishments have taken place this year?

2) What did you learn over the past year that will help you going forward?

3) What did you let go of this past year that didn’t serve you? What would you still like to release?

Please journal about your responses and if you feel like it, shoot me an email with what came up for you or even better leave a comment on my blog. I love to hear about other people’s experiences on a similar journey, and by sharing it deepens the experience and connection. Stretch yourself and allow yourself to be supported by sharing with me and a like-minded community here on a path to personal growth. I always take the time to read and respond.

Once you have done this exercise of reflection, you will be positioned to powerfully set your intentions and goals for the coming year. If you would like to get on track with your vision and goals and would like some support, please go to my website http://www.themamacoach.com and sign-up to receive my Special Report on Visioning and Goal Setting. If you are already subscribed to my newsletter Metamorphose then send me an email and I will happily send you my Special Report.

Here’s to a powerful New Year for each of us!

Mamasummit 2010 Kicks Off December 1!

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

If you’re pregnant you might already be imagining how great it’s going to be connecting with other moms to talk about babies and motherhood OR When I was a new mom I loved being a part of play groups talking about babies and motherhood. Some of my friends preferred to connect with other moms via message boards and forums…
Connecting with other moms is a crucial part of motherhood and everyone prefers to do it in their own way. On December 1, Mamasummit 2010 will be bringing 12 speakers together to enlighten (and humor!) participants.
As a speaker at Mamasummit, I am excited to be able to share with you my take on Birth Empowerment and to open up the conversation with you in a more personal manner.

The other ladies that I am speaking with are absolutely amazing.  They are speaking on a variety of topics, from pregnancy, being a new mama, to being a momprenuer. The list of speakers  includes:

* Crystal Di Domizio
* Carley Knobloch
* Alexis Neely
* Mary Oscategui
* Arie Brentnall-Compton
* Kerrie Ann Frey
* Jennifer Powter
* Lara Galloway
* Dr. Trina Read
* Lori Walker
* Dr. Patricia Hort

The event kicks off on December 1 but you can get yourself registered here:
http://www.marketerschoice.com/app/?af=1273497

P.S. – The event also has a Facebook fan page, which you can visit here:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/MamasummitwwwMamaSummitcom/
158490347520793

Birth Empowerment or Not?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010


Recently I’ve been polling people to name my new Birth Coaching Program. The two choices are Birth Readiness Coaching or Birth Empowerment Coaching. While I have been overwhelmingly getting Empowerment as the preferred name, the Readiness voters have alluded to the idea that Empowerment sounds too strong or that it implies we don’t have power. My point in offering this program is that we are powerful and are meant to be powerful in birth yet too few realize this due to many factors. So I came up with this list of factors that I believe take our power away in the birthing time.

We give our power away when we:

  • believe birth is a medical event that we need to be rescued from
  • place 100% confidence in Doctors and hospital procedures rather than in our bodies abilities and the perfectly designed process of birth
  • listen to the negative birth stories of our friends, relatives and others and accept them as our truth
  • shape our view of “normal” birth around what is portrayed in the media
  • focus on the negative
  • don’t educate ourselves and get the facts about birth
  • choose or fail to choose based on fear
  • think we don’t have choice
  • don’t listen to or trust our intuition/inner knowing and use it as a guide
  • don’t actively engage in the process
  • care more about what others think than what we know to be true for ourselves in our hearts
  • believe we are meant to suffer in birth
  • fail to prepare mentally, physically and spiritually
  • don’t believe we are powerful

I’m pretty sure now that I will name my program Birth Empowerment Coaching because it directly addresses all of the above factors that take our power away. Empowerment and peace is the new paradigm I am aiming for when it comes to birth. The old paradigm of fear and control is OUT.

Accessing The Power of Gratitude

Monday, September 6th, 2010


The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. Right? And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

•  Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

•  Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

•  Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

•  Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

•  When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

•  Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

Is There Life After Birth?

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Becoming a mom is one of life’s most precious gifts and a great opportunity for personal growth. For most of us, having a baby completely changes our identity. It is a big transition from being all about “me” to completely caring for and meeting the needs of a totally dependent life. Often times the “me” gets lost even after the transition has been made. We lose that connection to our old selves and our old identity and sometimes question “who am I now?”

Being a mom is amazing. It allows us to truly know what unconditional love feels like. Motherhood creates many opportunities for personal growth. Every challenge, if we allow it,  can be seen as an opportunity to become the person we would like to be, the parent we had always envisioned being. We all know being a mom comes with ups and downs, just like life does.  But is being a mom enough?

Do you have the feeling you are here for a reason? Are you fulfilling your life purpose? Do you know what that purpose is? For some becoming a mom does just that yet for others becoming a mom is a platform to step into something even bigger. Not that being a mom isn’t huge yet I’m talking about being part of something greater than self and truly making a difference.  The kind of difference that feels so good it fills you up and feeds your soul. So are you making THAT kind of difference? I recently heard a saying, “the 2 most important days in life are the day you were born and the day you discovered why you were born.”

What is that thing that if you had more time, energy or money you would pursue with all your heart? What are you passionate about? What difference do you want to make with your life? I believe we are all here for a reason. Each of us possesses unique talents and abilities that set us apart from others. There is something that only you can do because of your unique life experiences, training, perspective, etc. I also believe that within each of us lies a great passion for something. Many people never figure out what that is or do anything with it because we don’t put focus on it. When we get really clear about our unique strengths, interests and values, we can then become clear about our life purpose and unique contribution. Maybe you haven’t identified your purpose yet but you feel compelled to do something greater with your life. Whether you know or you just have a feeling, you are being called to step forth and play a bigger game.

I know you are probably saying “when do I have time to make THAT kind of a difference?”  For many, finding balance is one of the greatest challenges, especially for moms. We constantly are attending to our children’s needs, our partner’s needs and then if there is any time left it usually gets spent on household stuff or something else certainly not on ourselves, let alone on fulfilling a purpose.  Can you think of a mom who seemingly has it all together; she cooks, cleans, is the PTA mom, volunteers and pursues her passions? Or some version of that? How does she do it? How do some women find the time to do all these amazing things? It’s all about getting clear.

Imagine knowing exactly what you are here to do and feeling very passionate about it. Would anything stop you from doing it? Sure we all have the negative self talk (gremlins) or stories we tell ourselves and we all have potential barriers to fulfilling our life’s purpose, but  when we are very clear about what we are here to do, we can put structures in place that will support us on our path to success. We aren’t meant to do it alone. You know the saying “it takes a village” right? Well, in order to be successful we need help. We must see reaching out as a strength and not a weakness. When we are able to gain the right support, anything is possible. I know this first hand. That is why I became a life coach and why I have a life coach too.

Whatever you are passionate about whether it be childbirth, the environment, the elderly or something else,  you can make a difference and I am calling you forth to step up into your true calling. Don’t be afraid to play a bigger game because when you are aligned with your values and purpose, your priorities will shift to align too and things become effortless and joyful and that is when you know you are on the right path. The negative self talk always rears its ugly head when we are up to something big because gremlins like the status quo. The closer we get to our goal, the more likely the gremlins show up and try and block us. The good thing is the gremlins are in our mind and we get to choose who is in control. If we stay the course, the gremlins always back off. So it’s about keeping focus and creating the support and structure to keep you on track with your goals.

Creating real balance and fulfillment is about saying “Yes” to what matters and letting go of the rest. It’s about setting priorities based on your  most meaningful values. It’s about stepping into your higher self for the sake of creating positive and lasting change.  Hopefully this one truth will help take some pressure off.  It’s really not about you, it’s about your gifts. What gift would you like to give to your community, the country, the world? How would you feel if at the end of your life you did not make use of your special gifts?

You are an amazing mom and you owe it to your family and yourself to step up and play a bigger game. You are already cultivating the most precious gift you have received in your children. Now what is the gift you will leave for the generations to come? There is life after birth.

For more information visit www.thepregnancycoach.com and www.themamacoach.com