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Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood - and Trusting Yourself and Your Body Paperback – October 24, 2017
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From the Publisher
Q & A with Erica Chidi Cohen
Q: How is a doula different than a midwife?
A: Doulas are non-medical professionals; they are not focused on the physiological components of the birth experience. They focus on helping the mother and her partner feel safe, and work along side them to implement whatever comfort measures feel in resonance with their birth goals, whether they are at the hospital, at a birth center, or at home. A midwife’s principle responsibility is to mother’s and baby’s physiological health throughout the pregnancy, and during the labor.
Q: What are some of the benefits associated with having a doula? What role does a doula play during pregnancy, delivery, and beyond?
A: I think doulas have the most efficacy in the hospital environment. The hospital is a transient environment, nurses change shifts every seven hours (the average labor is 10-12 hours), and typically OBGYNs only arrive to manage the labor in the third stage when the mother is starting to push. This makes a doula critical; not only have you developed a relationship with the doula during your pregnancy, but they are also present throughout the entire labor. They are a constant which can help create much needed continuity and emotional stability for women and their partners during labor.
Q: Are there any myths about doulas that you can dispel?
A: Yes, working with a doula does not mean you’re having an unmedicated birth. Modern doulas support all birth options and outcomes, even if your choice is to move forward with a epidural or a planned cesarean. Our job is to provide non-judgmental support, and preserve the emotional integrity of the woman and her partner. I believe in flattening the hierarchy around the birth, to me all birth is natural, no matter the circumstances or environment. I focus on tuning into the client and meeting them wherever they are at.
Q: What’s the best advice you give to both your pregnant clients and new mothers?
A: Be gentle on yourself, don’t expect to get everything right. Pregnancy and motherhood isn’t about perfection or competition, it’s about developing flexibility and resilience. Make space for your mistakes and try to embrace them. Lastly, pregnancy can feel very foreign especially your first time around, however try to remember that it’s a normal physiological process and that you have everything you need inside you to do this, even if at times you feel lost or sacred. Trust yourself, tune into your intuition and lean into your loved ones and community for support.
— Excerpted from Mother Mag.
"A great read for the modern parent! It's what I would recommend to my own friends to read"- Abby Epstein, Director The Business Of Being Born
"What a gift to new and expecting moms. You have no idea the mountain and rollercoaster you're about to embark on, but Nurture somehow gives you a peek in and gives you essential information to help ground you."- Catherine McCord, founder of Weelicious and One Potato
"Erica's loving, practical, and judgment-free approach is rich in useful, calming advice. I have no doubt that you'll love having Erica's comforting voice guide you through this extraordinary, exciting journey."-Harvey Karp, MD, FAAP, author of the DVD/book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, and The Happiest Toddler on the Block
"Erica is one of the warmest, kindest women I know, so it's no surprise that Nurture reveals how to take gentle care of yourself during pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood (as you gradually develop what she calls your "mother muscle"). Nurture supports all different approaches-home births, epidurals, breastfeeding, bottle feeding-so you can choose your own path with Erica's reassuring advice. It's like having an expert doula and friend at your fingertips. I'd recommend this book for the nightstand of every expectant mother."-Joanna Goddard, founder of the women's lifestyle website Cup of Jo
"Beyond having a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of all things pregnancy, birth, and baby, Erica Chidi Cohen truly cares about the wellbeing of all mothers, babies, and partners. This book is for everyone-regardless of their birth preferences, background, or beliefs. The knowledge my husband and I gained reading this book has us feeling prepared, empowered, and ready for whatever lies ahead."- Whitney Port, author, fashion designer, and television personality
About the Author
Erica Chidi Cohen is a doula, lactation counselor and trained chef. She is also the co-founder and CEO of LOOM, providing education, services, and inclusive community to the reproductively-curious, pregnant and parenting. Raised in the United States and South Africa by a doctor father and nurse mother, she began her career in the world of contemporary art and public relations, but found herself drawn to helping others achieve their wellness goals. Stimulated but unfulfilled, she decided to act on her desire to positively impact the lives of women and families by training to become a doula. She soon built a successful solo practice which quickly gained national visibility due to her judgement-free philosophy that women should receive unconditional support no matter how or where they choose to birth. Erica empowers people to trust themselves and navigate pregnancy and early parenthood with confidence. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.
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This reads like a modern book for pregnant women, and I like that about it. She touches on the reality most of us new moms face with totally changing our lives to become mothers. For instance, there is a little section written for freelancers, such as myself, and how to prepare for changes ahead with our unique business situations. I love that it's brought to attention that many of us do not get maternity leave and need to get creative with ways to work with the first few months of motherhood.
This article below is what turned me on to Erica's book and message. It's powerful to read even if you don't decide to get this book–though I can’t recommend it enough!