Amanda and I met in prenatal yoga class in Williamsburg in NYC when I was pregnant with Felix and I immediately adored her. Amanda is a woman who radiates kindness and love. And I wish you could hear her laugh because she lights up a room and you cannot help but smile right back at her warm face. I was so glad that I met her when I did because Felix and her son Conor were born just a few weeks apart and she became one of my go-to friends to discuss all things baby and new mama worries. Amanda was also crucial in my process of forming a supportive community of wonderful new mamas in our neighborhood in Brooklyn. She's just that kind of woman that we all wish we had in our lives.
Over the years of coaching women, I have noticed that so many women think of "healthy," purely as "physically healthy" and many even equate if with being skinny, toned, eating a certain (often restrictive and very controlled) way or exercising a lot.
Throughout my own health journey, I have come to redefine what "healthy" means, because there was a time in my late 20s when I "did all the right things": I was at my thinnest, I was exercising constantly, BUT I was tired, my period was non-existent and, I often felt irritated with anxiety looming just around the corner on most days.
I'm writing today with so much deep, sparkly, mama bear love in my heart as I glance over at my sleeping little son who joined my husband, Felix and me on Father's Day last week.
Meet Hendrix Rasmus Johan Zwickson. Born on June 18th, weighing 7lbs 14oz, he came into this beautiful world healthy, fast, and with a veracious appetite (see photos below).
Just like with Felix, the first week is so wonderful and so new and also a bit strange: you feel like you should know or recognize the person who has been in your belly the last 9+ months and yes, in some ways you do. And yet -at least in my experience- when I first looked at Felix and then last week, Hendrix, I realize that I actually don't know them yet, that they are not familiar to me yet, that I still very much need to get to know this new person.
Let me ask you a serious question -and I want you to take a moment to think about it before you jump to an answer:
Are you walking your own talk?
When you think about what you stand for, what advice you give your friends, what you share on social media, do you really embody your own advice?
Are you in integrity with your own principles, value and philosophies?
I'm not asking this question to question you or the integrity of your word, but I am posing this question, because in all honesty, walking your own talk is really freaking hard.
I wanted to write this post this evening and share with you a little story that explains why you haven't heard from me in a little while.
Two weeks ago, I started having really severe upper abdominal pain along with nausea that sent me running to the bathroom multiple times. I tried to relax, breath deeply and thought that maybe I had eaten something bad. At 2 am the pain became worse and I started to panic that maybe something was wrong with the little baby boy growing in my belly.
I called my midwives and they told me to come into the hospital right away.
Have you ever wondered what everyone is talking about with "tuning into the moon"?
I don't know if it's just me, but I feel like there has been a significant increase in the last year in women especially being interested in connecting with nature, the earth, the elements, and yes, the moon.
I believe that the reason for that is because life is becoming ever more busy and technology allows (and sometimes forces) us to move faster each day. As a result, people feel more rushed and less rested, they get sick more often, and they feel less connected to themselves and the immediate experience of their very own existence.
Did you know that roughly 60% of women suffer from diastasis recti after pregnancy (some studies even suggest numbers closer to 90%)?
How about that up to 50% of women who had a seemingly uneventful birth, experience a change in their urinary control (yup, that means that >50% of women who have given birth are more likely to wet their panties during normal activities like jumping, running, sneezing...).
A quick reminder that enrollment for Well Mama closes TONIGHT, so if you've been thinking about coming along and learning how to take excellent care of your body and your hormones as a mom, and get top notch expertise on how to take charge of your life and your relationship as parents, then come on over and get your spot here.
There are 4 questions that many of you seem to wonder about that are keeping you from signing up for Well Mama, so let me answer them for you in this post
I vividly remember walking along the East River in Brooklyn when I was pregnant with Felix, my first son. I felt a profound sadness wash over me that day that I couldn’t explain. I had been living in absolute pregnancy bliss for the better part of the last months.
After a little while I realized, that in my heart, I felt the grieving process begin:
The grieving process of my life before motherhood...
I remember standing in front of the hospital on a busy avenue in the middle of Manhattan. Felix was 2 days old and tucked into his car seat, while my husband and I were waiting for an Uber to take us home to our apartment in Brooklyn.
I had just given birth for the first time about 48 hours earlier and was wearing my loosest pair of sweatpants, walking carefully with the thick post-birth pads in my underwear that would be my best friend for the next 2-3 weeks.
Even though my birth went differently from what I had envisioned on my birth plan, I was beaming of new mama pride. Raz, my husband, and I looked at each other with so much love in our new parent eyes and then jokingly asked: Are they really just letting us go? Are we really on our own?
I have a super special announcement to share with you today... I feel giddy and excited and to be honest, I still cannot believe that this is actually coming together before my second baby boy is joining us in June.
Today, I am announcing that my brand new group program called Well Mama is live and open for enrollment.
Well Mama is an easy-to-use, beautifully crafted, 8-week online group program for pregnant women and new moms who want to flourish physically, emotionally, and spiritually in motherhood and in life!
To tell you the truth: Well Mama is all I have been dreaming about, thinking about, manifesting and desiring to create for the last year and it is finally here :)
I want to talk to you about self-shaming today, because I have worked with women and moms in all kinds of capacities over the years and I know how much self-shaming is going on.
I've seen and heard it all, trust me.
Women who are trying to conceive and have had a hard time, shame themselves for being "infertile" and often even believe that maybe they don't deserve to be moms.
Women who are currently pregnant and not feeling well or gaining weight quicker than others, shame themselves into feeling "fat, ugly, and tired" (these are not my words).
New moms shame themselves for having a hard time breastfeeding, for having "saggy skin" and not losing the pregnancy weight as quickly as they thought. They shame themselves for being a working mom or being a stay at home mom (we cannot do it right, can we?), being unproductive, being an angry wife, having a baby that isn't a "good sleeper," or feeling like a "hot hormonal mess" (again, not my words).
Did you know that 30% of the population is suffering from thyroid issues and many of these people don't even know? Plus, did you know that women are vastly more affected than men and that the thyroid massively impacts your fertility, the development of your baby in utero as well as how you feel postpartum?
This is huge, right?
I had the tremendous pleasure to interview my friend and colleague Jamie Greenwood on one of the toughest topics for pregnant women and new mamas: how to continue to honor your own body while it may not feel so great, while its shape is changing completely (& forever), and while it may feel exhausted from building and then caring for a newborn.
This interview is so full of information, tips and compassion from two women who are pregnant themselves right now (Jamie is about to give birth to her first and I am half way through my second pregnancy).
Yes, we're having another baby :)
I am currently in my 20th week, which means that we have officially crossed the half way point and everything with our second SON (yup, looks like we're going to have a house full of rebellious boys) looks healthy and wonderful so far.
The three questions I've been getting the most are these:
1. Does Felix understand that he's getting a sibling?
2. Were you trying to get pregnant?
3. How is your second pregnancy different from your first?
So excited to be featured on MingBodyGreen with a post for all new mamas: 10 Tools New Parents Can Use To Fall Back In Love.
Why am I writing to you about money today? Aren't we supposed to talk about health, happiness, hormones, fertility, pregnancy, motherhood?
What's going on?
Here is why: As a women's health & life coach I help my clients create hormonal and emotional harmony so that they can create whatever it is they want.
The concept of fertility, in my definition, reaches far beyond the quality of our eggs, and way into the depth of your existence. Leading a FERTILE LIFE means living a life in physical vibrancy and emotional resilience as well as in happy relationships, equipped with a positive self-image, and leading an empowered, value-based lifestyle.
About 1 week ago, I woke up at 4 am at my father's house in Switzerland.
I was jet lagged. Felix had just fallen asleep again but I found myself wide awake, lying in the comfort of my family home, staring into darkness, thoughts wandering through different periods of my life, re-living and re-feeling certain experiences in my life.
I oddly find myself grateful for the quiet morning hours I am gifted when traveling abroad and being jet lagged. Somehow they seem like the quietest, most undisturbed times these days. They also always allow for deep reflection and space to feel.
My thoughts wandered to you and I began to think about what I wish for you in 2017.
What do I wish for YOU -women who have signed up to follow my emails, my blogposts, and, to a much smaller extent, my own journey as a mom, a wife, a woman who dedicates her professional life to coach other women on how to make life richer and on how to intentionally create hormonal and emotional balance in order to become a mom (may the focus be on life before pregnancy, during pregnancy, or after our little loves have arrived).