Wellness expert Latham Thomas believes radical self-care for all women is the key to badass birthing, whether a new baby or business.  A graduate of Columbia University and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Latham has been featured as a holistic health and lifestyle expert in the New York Post, Elle Magazine, Fitness Magazine, The Examiner, as well as on The Dr. Oz Show, Fox News LIVE, Inside Edition, and CBS News.  Author of the bestselling book Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to a Fabulous and Abundant Pregnancy, named one of the ‘Top 100 Women To Watch In Wellness’ by Mind Body Green, and speaker at Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Conference, Latham is a health advocate for new mothers and businesswomen promoting optimal wellness, spiritual growth, and self-care.  Learn how you can prepare to birth, find support, create boundaries, and project your Mama Glow while birthing your baby or business.

Follow Mama Glow to gain optimal wellbeing and celebrate pregnancy and motherhood. 

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Glow time is a radical self-care practice in which you claim time to mother yourself.

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Badass Birthing

What are the ways we can prepare as expectant mothers or entrepreneurs?

Whether you want to give birth to a baby, business, or partnership, there are three keys for how you can get your badass birthing on:

1) Create healthy boundaries.  Determine where you’re strongest and where you need support.  A lot of us come from a culture of saying ‘yes,’ so it’s important to learn to say ‘no,’ value our strengths, and delegate everything else.

2) Create a sister-circle.  These people are your cheerleaders.  They are people who believe in you, who you can confide in, and will be your accountability partners on this journey.

3) Weed out people and practices that inhibit your progress.  Think about the goals you’ve set for yourself and if there are people who stand in your way with their actions or attitudes.  Think about how you can adjust your circle so that you have a circle of support.

When women first become pregnant we typically keep to ourselves in the early stages.  It’s important to find people you feel you can confide in.  Just like in those early days of pregnancy when you’re cultivating something vulnerable and new, it’s important to have people you can trust to share about your business venture and will support you along the way.  These are all foundational tools to jump-start a badass business.

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A lot of us come from a culture of saying ‘yes,’ so it’s important to learn to say ‘no.’

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In what ways do nutrition and wellness play a roll in badass birthing?

Nutrition, yoga, and overall wellness play a huge role in badass birthing.  What you eat becomes your blood, thoughts, and actions.  You can't save the world if you’re eating Skittles for breakfast.  It's essential to start the day eating a well-rounded meal, packing snacks (I call it pantry-on-the-go) so you don't feel tempted to grab the wrong foods. 

Also, take a moment (whether at work or home) that's reflective and quiet.  It's so important to have what I call ‘glow time,’ which is a radical self-care practice in which you claim time to mother yourself.  Whether you’re a mom-to-be or you’re learning to become the best iteration of you – take time for yourself. 

How important are mindfulness, yoga, and meditation in the birthing process?

Mindfulness and meditation are important components of any creative process.  Quiet, space, and time to reflect allow the subconscious mind to come to surface.  It shuts off the thinking brain (where our ideas are fluttering and flickering constantly) and creates brainwaves allowing us to have 'Aha' moments, deep reflection, and connectivity to what's around us. 

People who are embedded in a creative process (such as working in teams or writing) need time to quiet their minds.  I don't mean completely shut off your thought processes, rather extract yourself from distractions.  Removing normal distractions enables you to find what really moves you.  Maybe it's dance, martial arts, or a spin class where you feel most mindful.  Find out how you quiet your mind so you can transcend out of your thinking brain.

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Weed out people and practices that inhibit your progress.

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What is the balance of self-care, family-care, and career-care?

While living in complete balance is a myth, I do believe in having dynamic equilibrium.  Imagine a tightrope walker with a pole in their handsthat pole is actually throwing them off balance.  The key is not to be in balance (which is really stillness), it's to be able to juggle and respond with agility to anything that comes your way.  

Our lives are designed so that things are constantly in flux.  There's an emergency here, you have to put a fire out there, then kids have to be picked up, then somebody gets sick—it never stops.  You will never have an empty email inbox.  You will never have all of your work completed.  You have to prioritize and decide what's of value to you. 

Another key to self-care is vacation.  I know so many young people who are pushing themselves to achieve and they correlate saved vacation days with excellence.  You need to use your vacation days.  You need to get away.  You work so hard and you’re so committed, but you have to have something to look forward to in the year that allows you to retreat.  You’ll come back to work invigorated, and it will help you step into a more gratifying aspect of your career after you take that time away.  You’ll feel replenished to come back and be your best. 

What are your tips for finding support during our birthing process?

Support is critical along the birth continuum, whether it's a baby or a business.  You need to find your best advocates and support system to help you have a thriving journey.  I recommend finding a mentor or a sponsor.  Mentorship is really important as you’re growing and evolving because you need someone to hold your hand as you’re pushing the envelope for growth.

One of the key factors to consider when choosing a mentor is to look for women and men you look up to—not who you want to become, but who have aspects and qualities you want to embody.  Another option is looking at the landscape of online resources and books available.  There are tons of educational assets out there, and when you go online, you can make very specific searches to find leadership trainings, support groups, and retreats.  You want to find someone or some program that allows you to thrive, grow, and catapult you to the next level based on your needs.  It's about finding what serves you.

Watch Latham's bSmart interview here!

Support is critical along the birth continuum, whether it's a baby or a business.

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Role Model Mamas

How can we build our careers and companies as mothers? 

We can build our careers and families at the same time.  I built a business when my son was really small and it was a business that was inspired by my pregnancy and his birth.  His nap-time was my dream-time.  It's when I would write down my business goals and ideas.  It was when I would take phone calls and talk to people to get inspiration, but also give me guidance along the path of entrepreneurship. 

We have to believe there’s a different possibility that lies ahead of us.  There are some things we can't see because we don't see it in most workplaces, but we have to envision for ourselves what it is we want and believe in what can't be seen yet.  I created something that didn’t exist, so I had to have faith and apply my skills to get people on board to believe in the idea and get behind me. 

You have to believe in yourself first.  If you don't believe in yourself first, you can't commit other people to jump on board with your vision.  Have the vision and then start to rally people to support you in that.  Whether that's inside the workplace or at home planning what will become your future business, get people on board to support you. 

How should we prepare financially before getting pregnant?

The best way to prepare is to find people who are your seniors in this process and ask them questions.  None of us have it all together, but we can definitely answer questions, and a lot of us can provide a lens into the experience.  Ask dads where they stand and how they're juggling things.  Ask moms what you want to know.  Ask a lot of questions and see what resources are available to you, particularly where you live, so that you can make the best choices for yourself and map out the best plan while also giving space for the unknowns.  There's something to be said for a little spontaneity every now and again, but you do want to have money saved in the bank.  You want to make sure you have preparations in place like you would in any other aspect of your life. 

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It's so important for us to be validating our dreams.

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What is the right amount (and affordable) childcare for our babies?

Finding the right childcare is about mapping and figuring out what makes sense for the trajectory you’re on.  Building your career and having a baby at the same time can be challenging, but it can also be really rewarding if you have the right assets for support in place.  There are some creative solutions to help such as childcare cooperatives.  Parents will come together and swap days for when they will watch the kids.  People can then organize their schedules around meeting the needs of the cooperative as their schedules permit. 

It's also important to look at your values.  Is it important to be a CEO or is it important to start a family?  In what order does it have to happen and are you going to allow yourself the permission to start a family and pursue that path of becoming the head of your company?  It's a dialogue you have to have with yourself and it has to be constant. 

Who are the working mom role models you admire?

Debra Lee, the CEO of BET Networks, is an incredible mother.  I've seen her in the most challenging situations during productions, events, or giving speeches, but I've also seen her show up as mom.  She's very committed to her children, and I love to see people who are equally committed to business as they are to family life.

Also, my mom is really great.  She raised two girls as a single mother and she committed herself to the goal that we were going to attend boarding school, receive an Ivy League education, and have a good life.  And she provided that.  She fought for it and she defended us the whole way through adulthood.  My mom is somebody who pushes for me and is committed to seeing me succeed.  If it weren't for my mother's vision, and her believing in me before I could really believe in myself, I wouldn't be where I am today.

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The only fulfillment you have comes from expressing who you are and allowing what's within to come out.

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How can we be smart like you when birthing a baby, business, or creative project?

Gloria Steinem says, ‘Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.’  It's so important for us to be validating our dreams.  At a really young age, most of us can recall instances where we had our imaginations trampled, or ideas we thought were really great denounced, and probably by people who we love.  It’s important to restore this ability to dream.  Our ideas, visions, dreams, goals are the same.  If every girl and every young woman feels the power of her dreams and knows that the sky is not the limit but the view, then she can do anything.  She could really do anything in this world.  

Be disruptive.  Be yourself.  If you’re not somebody who is quiet and follows the rules, then you have to be the person that's inside you.  The only fulfillment you will have in life comes from fully expressing who you are and allowing what's within you to come out.  The light inside you is unrelenting.  It's not meant to be in darkness.  It's meant to be cultivated in darkness and birthed into light.  

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If every young woman feels the power of her dreams, then she can do anything.

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Spotlight on Latham Thomas

Neighborhood: Chelsea

Occupation: Women’s Wellness Expert + Author

Women I Admire: Garance Dore

Ultimate Accessory: Scarf and sunglasses

Favorite Store: Diptyque

Go-to Outfit: Navy blazer, crisp white button down, skinny paige denim, scarf, pumps

Must-have Shoes: Louboutin So Kate pumps

Signature Scent: Vanilla Oil

Beauty Essential: Thuyen La Don Spa celebrity facial

Travel Destination: India

Current Craving: Sunshine

Best Advice: Mind your business

Favorite Quote:  'Dreaming is after all a form of Planning' ~ Gloria Steinem

De-Stress Technique: Meditation and sex too!

Favorite App: Uber

University: Columbia University

 

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