The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama: Redefining the Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Journey

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama: Redefining the Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Journey


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An inclusive, holistic, evidence-based guide for pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum journey—created for modern moms by the experts at the Motherly online community.

Pregnancy isn’t just about creating a baby. It’s also about the powerful transformation we go through on the journey to becoming “mama.”

We created The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama to coach and inspire you each step of the way. This is the pregnancy book we wish we’d had when we first became mothers—a mama-centered guide that doesn’t just focus on your baby’s needs, but honors and coaches you through this profound life change.

Here’s the most important thing to remember: you are a phenom, and you are going to rock this.

And you don’t have to do this alone. At your highest highs and your lowest lows, there is a village of professionals and peers to traverse this path with you.

This book won’t bog you down with demands, give you more to be worried about, or tell you what to do. It’s impossible to know exactly what to expect during your pregnancy—after all, you are your own amazing woman with unique dreams, experiences, and needs. Instead, we’ve filled this illustrated guide with the best knowledge, wisdom, and support we have to offer, including:

• Getting pregnant—planning, conception, fertility challenges, and finding the right care provider and birth strategy for you
• Pregnancy month by month—how to understand, nourish, and support your own body and your baby’s health throughout your pregnancy
• Giving birth—everything you need to feel empowered and prepared through the four stages of labor
• The “fourth trimester”—helping you heal, process your experience, and thrive in the super-important and often ignored postpartum period
• Tests and complications—no scare tactics, no intimidation; just good, well-researched information about the ways you can best prevent and prepare for challenges
• Partners, friends, and family—our best tips for your whole support team
• The many faces of mama—adoption, surrogacy, fostering, and the beautiful variety of motherhood experiences
• Answers to the most common questions mamas have about finances, maternity leave, baby gear, relationships with family, nutrition, fitness, and much more

Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, whether you’re still deciding about pregnancy or have an unplanned baby on the way, becoming mama involves your body, mind, emotions, lifestyle, relationships, schedule, spirituality, worldview—and most of all, your heart.

This is an unprecedented time to embark on the journey of motherhood. You are part of a new generation of women elevating empowerment in all its forms. The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama was made for you—a loving and supportive embrace of your unique motherhood journey in all its power, complexity, and beauty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683643555
Publisher: Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/14/2020
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 156,763
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Jill Koziol is the CEO and cofounder of Motherly. She resides in California. For more, visit

Liz Tenety is the Chief Digital Officer and cofounder of Motherly. She resides just outside of New York City. For more, visit

Diana Spalding, MSN, CNM, is a certified nurse midwife, pediatric nurse, and mother of three. She has BA in anthropology from Emory University and both a BS in nursing and a master’s degree in midwifery from New York University. In addition to caring for thousands of pregnant women, Diana has worked in pediatric oncology, and has served in several professorial and advisory roles in higher education settings. Diana is the Digital Education Editor at Motherly and the founder of Gathered Birth, a motherhood wellness center in Media, PA.

Table of Contents

Dear Mama ix

Welcome, and How to Use This Book xi

Part I Getting Pregnant 1

Chapter 1 Deciding to Have a Baby and Preparing to Get Pregnant 3

Chapter 2 The Extraordinary Anatomy of Pregnancy and Birth 21

Chapter 3 How to Conceive 35

Chapter 4 Miscarriage and Loss 51

Chapter 5 Finding Out You Are Pregnant and Your First Weeks of Pregnancy 71

Chapter 6 Choosing a Birthplace and Provider 83

Part II Pregnancy Month by Month 95

Chapter 7 Month 2, Weeks 5-8 97

Chapter 8 Month 3, Weeks 9-12 113

Chapter 9 Month 4, Weeks 13-17 127

Chapter 10 Month 5, Weeks 18-22 141

Chapter 11 Month 6, Weeks 23-27 157

Chapter 12 Month 7, Weeks 28-31 175

Chapter 13 Month 8, Weeks 32-35 191

Chapter 14 Month 9, Weeks 36-40 209

Chapter 15 Beyond 40 Weeks 223

Chapter 16 When Pregnancy Is Hard 229

Part III Giving Birth 233

Chapter 17 Going into Labor 235

Chapter 18 First Stage of Labor: Dilating and Effacing 245

Chapter 19 Second Stage of Labor: Pushing 253

Chapter 20 Third Stage of Labor: Giving Birth to the Placenta 265

Chapter 21 Fourth Stage of Labor: The First Hours of Motherhood 269

Chapter 22 Pain and Coping Techniques 281

Chapter 23 Interventions 299

Chapter 24 Cesarean Births 309

Chapter 25 Birth Plans 321

Part IV The Fourth Trimester 331

Chapter 26 Self-Nurturing and the Fourth Trimester 333

Chapter 27 Postpartum Physical Recovery 347

Chapter 28 Your Baby and Bonding 363

Chapter 29 Breastfeeding 387

Chapter 30 Pumping and Bottle-Feeding 405

Chapter 31 Postpartum Love and Village and Returning to Work 413

One Last Note from Diana 423

Welcome to #TeamMotherly 425

Symptom Checker 429

Tests and Complications 451

Writer's Acknowledgments 485

Notes 487

Illustration Credits 523

Index 525

Contributors 547

About the Writer and Authors 553

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