Podcast

It’s important for women to feel powerful, capable and confident during their pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey. After all, our bodies have an innate knowledge of how to do this, we just need to tap into that wisdom.

Today I am joined by the creator of the online platform The Bloom Method, Brooke Cates. Brooke and I are busting myths and dispelling societal stigmas surrounding what it means to become a mother. We’ll talk about ways you can stay connected to who you are during this massive transition, how to let go of some control and trust in yourself and your baby, and strategies for spiritual, mental, emotional and physical healing in the 4th trimester and beyond.

 

Brooke (00:00):

How can we help women to come back to that innate knowing of, your body knows how to birth this baby. That same innate wisdom that your body carries to birth your baby the body also carries to carry your baby.

Dr. Sarah (00:23):

There is a powerful connection between the mind and the body and when women become pregnant, massive shift occurs in both. Brooke Cates is the creator of the online platform, The Bloom Method, and it has redefined the way women take care of their bodies when they’re trying to get pregnant during pregnancy and throughout postpartum. In fact, as you’ll hear in this episode, I first discovered Brooke when I began using The Bloom Method after the birth of my second child, when I was really struggling to feel connected to myself and my body, again. Brooke and I discuss ways women can feel empowered and attuned to their body throughout the transformative process of pregnancy. We address ways to deal with fear surrounding birth. And we offer suggestions for practices like breathing, core and mindfulness exercises, all to help women throughout their pregnancy, labor and postpartum. And while these practices are essential during and after pregnancy, learning to feel connected to yourself and successfully managing identity shifts can be valuable at any point in your parenting journey.

Dr. Sarah (01:29):

Hi I’m Dr. Sarah Bren, a clinical psychologist and mom of two. In this podcast I’ve taken all of my clinical experience, current research on brain science and child psychology and the insights I’ve gained on my own parenting journey and distilled everything down into easy to understand and actionable parenting insights. So you can tune out the noise and tune into your own authentic parenting voice with confidence and calm. This is Securely Attached.

Dr. Sarah (02:03):

Hi, everybody. Welcome! I’m so excited to introduce you guys to Brooke Cates. She’s the founder of The Bloom Method. Hi Brooke. Thank you so much for coming on today.

Brooke (02:12):

Hi, Sarah. I’m so happy to be here. I’m so happy to connect with you and chat all things, movement, pregnancy, postpartum motherhood. We’ll see where we go, right?

Dr. Sarah (02:21):

Yeah. It’s amazing. It’s so fun because the funny story is I took your class when I was after I had my second, my daughter, my daughter was born and I was not prepared for the fact that I was gonna have a C-section with her. So my son was a vaginal delivery. And then when I had my daughter, she ended up being breach. And so I, after many weeks of trying to get her to flip, which was unsuccessful I had a planned C-section and I was pretty bummed about it. And it took me some of my own like work on kind of coping with the fact that I didn’t have the birth that I had wanted to have. And I found your, The Bloom Method when I was recovering from the C-section. And I was like, this is awesome. I, it was like such a good soft landing after what felt like a, kind of a rough, rough birth for me to feel, I felt so like seen and held and like the actual exercises were like so helpful to me. But also just the kind of the vibe was really what I needed at that point. So it’s just funny that like here we are doing a podcast together.

Brooke (03:33):

It is very funny. I feel honored. I always feel honored when women choose The Bloom Method. There’s so much out there in the world today. So I always say thank you for allowing me to, to share in your journey, because this is a passion of mine and clearly me and my team really love this work.

Dr. Sarah (03:50):

Why don’t you share a little bit with people who are listening, who might not be familiar with the blue method, what it is and how you got into this work?

Brooke (03:57):

Yeah, so it found me and I, you know, looking back, I got into it because I saw a disconnect. I saw a disconnect with friends, family members, women, of course, all women women I was working with where ultimately when they would make the choice to step into motherhood through pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and then the rest of motherhood that continues. It was almost as if it defeated them. And with all of the various messages that I was receiving from these women and these stories that kept, I kept hearing whether it was, I have lost my body during pregnancy. I’ve lost my sense of self, I’m terrified of having a really painful birth, birth is going to be horrible. Just give me the drugs. It seemed so disempowering to me. And I went, no, this is, it was like this intuitive feeling of this is not right. We are mothers. We are goddess’s claiming the most epic thing on the planet. We are stepping into, we are life-givers. This should be the most empowering moment of our life. And it’s as if society has built these narratives and these stories that disempower us, what does that do to our journey? What does that do to our motherhood experience? What does it do to our children? And what does it do to the sisterhood of community that we create just by being mothers, women together, sharing space. And so that’s kind of this very wide umbrella, right? But it was this continuous messaging and these narratives that I was hearing and seeing, and I went well, that’s if I wanna have kids, that’s not how I wanna feel. And so it started out as I’m gonna help redefine this. I wanna give women their power back. I want them, I want to be part of the catalyst that helps women reclaim their power moment. They decide, I think I wanna have a baby so that, that can even start preconception. And interestingly enough, for me, this was all happening within myself, far preconception from having a baby, I was just still dating my husband. We weren’t even talking about marriage and I just leaned into it. So it actually started with more of a birth and postpartum focus. Wanting to help women not feel so broken postpartum and not feel like for lack of better words, they had to lose a part of themselves to gain this new version. Which absolutely I’m a mother now there is, it’s almost as if you do you step into this new version of yourself and you’re looking back at this old version of yourself, but it was deeper than that.

Brooke (07:05):

It was, you don’t have to be broken. You know, there’s still this messaging nine and a half years later around, you’re gonna get diastasis recti and most women believe due to the mainstream narrative that diastasis recti means that your core is broken. You know, there’s all this negative terminology around the mom bod and this mom pooch, and you’ll never feel comfortable in your body. Again, you’ll pee your pants. You may have, you know, pelvic organ prolapse where literally your bladder and other organs can come out of your vagina. You may never jump on the trampoline with your kids. Jump squats, out of the question. If you like lifting weights during or pre-pregnancy, you can’t do it during pregnancy and you definitely won’t be able to do it. Post-Pregnancy, it’s just this narrative of once you step into choosing to be a mother through pregnancy and, and, and birth you’re, you’re not just transformed in this spiritual way. It it’s like physically, you’re just, you’re broken. And I went, no, this is, this is not okay. So with Bloom, we really wanna redefine that. We wanna break the stigma. And ultimately I wanna teach women that by shifting tiny little things, the ways that you connect with your body, your potentially lack of intentional movement and exercise before you find bloom turning every fitness class, you do every hike, you go on, every run around the park with your child, whatever you are called to do to move and celebrate your body. That it is intentional. And when you pivot tiny little awareness pieces of your body, whether it’s preconception during pregnancy or postpartum, it changes everything. Diastasis, while the abdominal separation does happen in all pregnant women, our bodies were designed to have our abs separate. And when we do things in a way that supports that separation, we actually don’t have to have an injury postpartum. We don’t have to pee ourselves. And if we do pee ourselves, and if we do have an injury based separation, we can heal that and address that too. So it’s really this calling back of being empowered taking a different spin on movement. I talk about redefining your relationship with fitness and movement and realizing that pregnancy is actually a time that can make you stronger than you’ve ever been in your entire life. You have a natural, screw the dumbbells put ’em down. You have a natural changing, weighted vest that you wear every single day. So how can you and your baby, I talk about the dance a lot in birth between you and your baby, but how can you and your baby like form this team during pregnancy? And you say to yourself, I’m not gonna feel broken. I’m stepping into the unknown.

Brooke (10:09):

I’m stepping into something that has been given to me, the ability to create life, carry life, and give life. And I can still want to move my body. I can still move my body the way that I choose to move it and not be confined to this box. That for so long pregnant women and still today are, there’s a large portion of women that are confined to a box. I mean, you still hear it. You know, you’re getting a box out of your, out of your trunk and someone walks by and you’re 34 weeks pregnant. They’re like, oh, let me get that for you. No, I’m fully capable to carry a box. And that’s just an example. If you like CrossFit, do CrossFit, but make tweaks to it, pivot, protect your pelvic floor, protect your core. And chances are, we can not only empower you in this spiritual, mental, emotional way through what we do, but because we are movement fitness based most of the time, I don’t guarantee this to women because it’s all about how you show up, right? And everything in life. But if you show up determined, you’re gonna be more connected to your body and you’re gonna be, and you’re gonna get better results postpartum than you ever got pre-baby period.

Dr. Sarah (11:21):

Right? And like, I think what’s resonating with me so much about what you’re talking right now is like, you are taking this idea of like owning your, owning your identity and staying connected to your body. And you’re, you are through The Bloom Method, like applying it to, you know, functional movements and fitness and like physical health. Right. And what I do, which is totally not fitness related, is it’s the same stuff, right? Like I work with parents to help them own their identity, stay connected to who they are as a human being pre pre-birth during birth and once they have children. And that is so much about this, this attunement, this permission to take up space, this permission to have power this permission to be like, not at the whim of the external world. Like being pregnant, for example, isn’t something that happens to us or to our body. We can also think about being pregnant as this, as this experience that we are participating in at all times. And, and that it’s a connected thing. And I think, yeah, you talk about the fear that I, that I so it’s like, I don’t wanna sound like too alienating of men ’cause I know dad listened to this podcast and I love how the dads that listen to this podcast. But I also think that narrative comes from the male role in the birth story of our country. Right. It was these male doctors that were telling women that they couldn’t handle this because they didn’t think that women could handle this. But before those, that sort of Western medicine role women were, we’ve been giving birth since before the time, you know, since the time of man, like we’ve been doing this, we are very capable of doing this. It is not scary. It doesn’t mean you can’t feel fear. That’s a normal feeling, but the actual act of being pregnant, caring a baby giving birth, that baby is not, it’s not scary in that it’s not existentially a threat to you. Yeah.

Brooke (13:38):

Yeah. And the fear is real because even if we take it off of the birth, you know, our customer service team, they, they know they see this all the time. We get emails all the time that are, I’m terrified that my abs will never be the same. There there’s fear around so many things like my body changing. And so women tend, you know, there’s a percentage of women that tend to like almost go overboard with being compulsive about exercise because they’re scared of losing their body, when all of that fear is okay. And, and any fear in life, we, we, I believe we need to look at it, lean into it and just alchemize it. We need to shift it. Right. And it’s the same thing with birth. Like we have tools, there are tools and techniques out there that can help us literally alchemize fear and shift it in any situation. Stress is the same way we can kind of put stress and fear in a similar box, but it’s and I love what you said about the male role in birthing. That was something that I kind of dove into in my earlier piece of leaning into this work, this calling and and did this whole deep dive on basically the history of childbirth.

Dr. Sarah (14:55):

Yeah.

Brooke (14:56):

And it was fascinating and also made me angrier than potentially I’ve ever been. I mean, it was, it was infuriating. But also so powerful to be able to step back and kind of see where the disconnect happened. So that it’s like a, it’s like solving a problem, right. How can we help women to come back to that innate knowing of your body knows how to birth this baby. And, and there’s always a big “and” right. And you’re choosing you chose to be on this planet when you did. So in the 21st century, you do have access to an epidural. You do have access to choose a cesarean birth, which it is not the easy way out. That is also another narrative where I’m like, how did this become, this is, that’s not the easy way out. It’s actually much more child postpartum for a cesarean. You know, this, you could speak about this. I’m sure for a whole podcast episode. But so I think it’s understanding that what you were speaking about with like the male roles coming in, in this Western medicine, OB GYN space. How can we bring the women back to that inner knowing of, we can do this. And when we talk about the fear and, and what is it that we’re fearful of, if it’s, if you’re not fearful of birth and you can crush birth and you know, your body supports it. Awesome. But what if your fear is showing up as, but I’m terrified that my abs are gonna be separated and they’ll never be the same, that same innate wisdom that your body carries to birth your baby. The body also carries to carry your baby. And I think we forget that in our modern society, we think that we need all of these external things to carry a baby, to birth our baby, etc. To be a mom, right? How many moms think they need all of these things to be at their house? Amazon has to deliver it to my house before my baby is here. It’s not true.

Dr. Sarah (16:58):

Yes. Oh, you are speaking my language there. Cause I feel like I talk about this all the time, which is like, you don’t need all the stuff. And in fact, less is so much more in parenting. Like my favorite toy for a baby is, when a baby’s born is like a mat and a napkin, the peaked napkin. Because it’s so easy for them to turn their head towards it and see it. It’s easy for them to reach and accidentally make contact with. And then it gets tangled in their fingers. And it’s like, you don’t need all these crazy bells and whistles. It’s over-stimulating one for and two, it really reinforces this sort of intrinsic innate embedded narrative that like, I can’t do this by myself. I need all this extra stuff. I need all these extra gadgets. I need all these extra contraptions or I, you know, because embedded in that is a belief. I not enough, my baby and I are not enough together. We need all this stuff to entertain us and to it’s like, no, your kid is phenomenally good at finding ways to play and phenomenally good. It’s showing you what they need. And you are actually, if you trust yourself and your kid phenomenally good at being able to give your child what they need, all that extra stuff is really can be a distraction and can be unconsciously reinforcing the fear that we aren’t enough.

Brooke (18:25):

Absolutely. And it’s the exact same thing with movement. So when, so I created the foundations, the roadmap of this methodology that makes up The Bloom Method. Working with one on one women. So for four and a half years before taking this shift into more of a group fitness realm, I worked one on one with pre and postnatal women. And they would all show up with different things, right? We’re also unique in our body’s needs and desires. And it started to hit me that like, this can be a lot more simple. We don’t need all of these external things to get through pregnancy and postpartum in this safe way to protect our body because our bodies do a lot of it just naturally their own. And then if we can bring these really simple tools and we can have these tools in our tool belt, almost like I used to think of it as like a prescription for movement, for pre and postnatal women. But I wanted to simplify it. I wanted women to stop feeling like, well, when I’m pregnant, I have to follow this set of rules. And then there is this whole other set of tools for the toolbox during birth and then postpartum. And then I’m done with it. Once I get to a certain part, postpartum quote unquote, and then I just go back to normal. And I forget all the things that I learned for movement during pregnancy and postpartum. And if I get pregnant again, I’ll pick it all back up. And I went, no.

Dr. Sarah (19:48):

So much work!

Brooke (19:49):

So much work. And come on, we there’s so much already going on. Why drive yourself crazy? So I went, no. And so I started really diving deep within myself, within studies that were out there. And ultimately what I was seeing with my clients. So many of these women were willing to be my Guinea pigs. And it was incredible to watch. I would be like, let’s, this is your issue. Let’s test this, let’s test this. And what they would, it was, it was phenomenal. It was mind blowing. So ultimately what we’ve done at The Bloom Method is we’ve created this almost this set of blueprints. And it’s really simple. We have these foundational core and pelvic floor techniques that all stem from one thing. And that one thing is diaphragmatic breath. And from that diaphragmatic breath, I’ve built upon that. So I’ve, I’ve built this blueprint that stems from the breath, which is so phenomenally supportive in so many ways, physically, emotionally, spiritually, that it and of itself is the foundation of a strong core, a healthy pelvic floor, a healthy mama mindset, mindfulness connection with your child. De-Stressing it goes on, on and on and on. So I built this blueprint and then we take this blueprint and we teach it to women. And we say, I don’t care where you are. If you wanna teach it to your husbands, awesome. Teach it to your husbands, cuz they’re gonna benefit from it too. You learn it, you implement it in whatever stage you’re in. And then when you get to the stage that you were able to implement it, and let’s say, you, you join the app postpartum and you get pregnant again. You’re gonna take that exact same blueprint and apply it to pregnancy. In fact, it’s it’s as if we’re giving you a gift, we’ve wrapped it in the pre and postnatal pregnancy wrapping paper. But it’s really, it, it will up level and change your relationship with the way that you move your body forever. Whether you’re washing dishes and choosing not to lean and dump all your weight and you’re core into the counter as you’re washing dishes and you notice to have better posture, better breath. Or you’re in a fitness class and you’re moving with more intention.

Dr. Sarah (22:07):

Yeah. And I’d even go so far as to say it might help you with parenting because, and this I’m literally just re making this connection right now, because the thing is, you talk about diaphragmatic breath in the context of functional movement. And it’s incredibly important for that.

Brooke (22:21):

Yep.

Dr. Sarah (22:21):

But you also alluded to the fact that it’s not just, it doesn’t just exist for the benefit of the body. It exists for the benefit of all kinds of things, including your mental wellness, your nervous system and your attunement to another human being. So yourself and others. And so like I use diaphragmatic breath in my work with parents when we talk about co-regulation when our kids having a temper tantrum and we wanna help them regulate their body, what do we have to do? Well, first have to take deep diaphragmatic breaths. We have to calm our nervous system, which is probably in sympathetic arousal. We’re probably in fight or flight. When our kid is kicking and screaming and thrashing around on the floor, we are probably also feeling like sympathetic arousal, fight or flight. And before we can help them calm their body down, we have to calm our body down. We have to be able, and I think diaphragmatic breathing is probably one of the fastest and most effective and accessible ways to kick that sympathetic nervous system into gear to say, you think to yourself, this is safe. This is a normal, appropriate, healthy behavior. It doesn’t feel good to witness this. I have to calm my body down so that I can help my child get back to that calm space. And so like, you know, if you have a handle on diaphragmatic breathing and how to use it very accessibly and be noticing when your body needs that. It is certainly gonna help you when you have toddlers, it’s gonna help you kind of all throughout parenting from a parenting angle because it helps what you’re doing in your body to regulate your own nervous system is co-regulating for your children.

Brooke (23:59):

Absolutely. It happens in the womb. I I’ve talked about it for years with moms, it happens in the womb. You can start to help your babies as they’re developing in your womb to regulate their system on a cellular level, by tapping into diaphragmatic breath throughout your day. So you literally both can regulate into that parasympathetic nervous system. It can help with pain. It is, diaphragmatic breath is our body’s natural epidural period. Do I look down on any woman who chooses an epidural? Absolutely not, but know that you have natural pain medication. You have a tool that you can use it. It’s, it’s an absolutely incredible tool. And from a movement functional space, if we, if we take diaphragmatic breath and look at it in its relationship with the core and pelvic floor you know, in the mainstream fitness world, which we, I really try to keep Bloom out of that space because we’re really trying to help women redefine what the mainstream fitness world has done to women over the years. But when you look at it, when you look at the core women, typically women who work out consecutively expect or hope to get certain aesthetic based results from core workouts. If they do not have a diaphragmatic practice, there is a very strong possibility that their core will never be as strong as they want it to be. Their core will never be as healthy as they want it to be. And they will never see the core results that they desire. And I often try to tell women just because you see a woman with this aesthetic, so-called six pack eight pack. It doesn’t mean that underneath that aesthetic, there is a whole mess of dysfunction that will hide. There is a highly likely chance that that will show up when that woman gets pregnant or when, as that woman ages postpartum. So diaphragmatic breath and having this beautiful practice with breath work, and understanding how it moves in your body is the foundation of a strong core.

Brooke (26:15):

So we take that and we teach women how to feel their abdominal workouts. Girl you’ll feel that core fire more than you’ve ever deeper than you’ve ever felt. And I’m not saying that you’re, I also don’t wanna anyone listening to think that you should be, diaphragmatically breathing in a core exercise. That’s actually not what we teach. But everything that we teach can be drawn back to that diaphragmatic breath has to be the foundation. And when you can look at the foundation, when I look, this is the way I look at it. When what I teach women starts with a foundational piece that is so profound and provides them with empowering, an empowering tool that can help them in so many ways of their life. That feels so good to me because I’m not just helping you with your movement practice. If you have gas, diaphragmatic breath can help you move gas. If you’re nauseous, it can help shift the nausea. It helps digest your food. I mean, we literally could go on and on about how powerful it is. So it’s start there. Anyone who’s listening it’s yes. We tie it into movement and kick your button and exercise, but you’ve got to be able to, to scale back and almost start new rebuild this foundation that the fitness industry just has glazed over. And it’s all about instant gratification, pain and sweat.

Dr. Sarah (27:49):

Right. And, but also like, it goes back to what I think we were talking about before about, you know, how, you know, women have sort of been displaced in the narrative as like not the owners of this, like we it’s our body, we are powerful, we are very capable. But I also think what that speaking to is like a confidence and a trust in our body. And I think that kind of aligns very much with this idea, like in parenting too, right? Like, and in just maternal mental health in general, right? Whether it’s physical health or mental health, we need to sort of trust in ourselves that we can cope with things that we can do. These things, that things can be difficult and we can still do them. And I think one of the ways that we get to that sense of confidence and trust is to know the foundations, right? That’s what I teach too, is like, if you understand how the brain and the body work, and if you understand attachment biology, like the biological drives of attachment. So our children are hardwired to form these like, like these strong connections with us, from birth as a way of like creating a chance of survival. If we understand these sort of basic drives and the way that our brains bodies are communicating to each other, through our nervous systems, right, and mirror neurons. Then when our kid is doing something, that’s stressing us out or that we’re having the thought, what is going on, what’s wrong? Why is this happening? Right. Those words freak us out. And they put us in a state of fight or flight, right. It’s harder to have that like confidence when you, when you say what the heck is going on, what’s wrong.

Dr. Sarah (29:37):

That is the antithesis of a confident, trusting statement, right? A confident, trusting statement might be like, I understand what’s going on here. This makes sense. I can handle this. Right. And you can apply that same framework to parenting a child and understanding, you know, what’s the foundations of how they move through the world and what motivates their behavior and what motivates their affect. And that allows me to then respond to my child’s behavior and affect with this confident, calm energy, cuz I’m like, I understand what’s happening here. And I trust that we can work through this. It’s the same with the body. Right. If you can say, I understand breath, I understand how to connect my core muscles in a way. And I’m like, I am not in any way, like a trainer or anything. I’m like, you know, this was basic for me. And I like really liked what I did in The Bloom Method was that I was like, I don’t have to be like an athlete to do this. I’m really just kind of, for me, it was about connecting to my body and connecting to my breath and feeling kind of reconnected to my body after a period of time where I was feeling like, I kind of like, wasn’t trusting my body. I had like, you know, so when my daughter, when I found out my daughter was breach, I had a really hard time kind of reconciling that with myself. And I went like three weeks of like intensive, like desperate moves to get her to flip. Like I tried chiropractic and I tried acupuncture and I did moxibustion. My husband was like lighting incense by my toes. And everyone was like, what the hell are you doing? We had a, like went to the hospital and had an inversion and cephalic version or whatever, which was not successful.

Dr. Sarah (31:26):

And I was like, feeling so defeated going into this C-section and which is really a look back on it now being like, like I missed out on being able to be really sort of centered and present in the last couple weeks of my pregnancy. If I had just been able a say to myself, this is what needs to happen right now. And trust my kid and trust my body and feel more confident that this is gonna be okay and I’ll be able to handle whatever comes our way. I don’t think I would’ve had so much distress going into that. C-Section I don’t think I would’ve. And I had postpartum depression afterwards and I don’t think it was exclusively because of that, but I think it certainly was not didn’t help. And I, you know, I this idea of trusting ourselves, trusting our bodies, trusting our kids and our babies, even before they get here. Like I found out after she was born from my OB that performed this cesarean she was like, there was no way that she was ever gonna flip, because she was so wedged into your pelvis, that there was nothing you could have ever done to flip her. And I didn’t, you know, like that was very important, I think, for me to hear, cause it was like, I, and I could have taken that and beat myself up for having freaked out about it or I could have. And I think fortunately, I was able to hear that as like permission giving and like I could release it. I’d be like, you know what, this is exactly what had to happen. Had I, you know, lived in a different era and not been able to of that C-section both of us probably wouldn’t have made it, you know? So it’s like, you kind of have to like that trust and that confidence that comes with sort of saying, like, I know enough about my body, that I trust that it can do what it needs to do. And also I’m willing to, you know, bring in help from like medical professionals when I need it. Cause I’m not gonna try to like birth a breach baby alone in my kitchen, you know. I’m going to go to the hospital, I’m going to do that, work with the people who need to help me. But like, I can trust that like my body can also do this. And I think that’s where like kind of our two worlds very much overlap.

Brooke (33:39):

Yeah. It’s actually really beautiful to see all of the connections with your work and my work, because it is. And when you, when you talk about, we really need to start listening to ourselves, like whether it is with our children, with our partnerships, with our friendships, with the way we present ourselves with the world. And then of course, with movement and our physical body, you know, that has, that’s always been something that I’m big about. And it, it continues to come up a lot over the past two years and where we are as a kind of in the world right now. But that, that inner compass, the, the ability to, to turn up that inner compass so that we can listen to ourselves and we can know who we are, the decisions that we are making. Do they feel good to you? Does trusting X, Y, and Z, whether it’s your kid acting a certain way or your body doing something physically, do you feel in your body that that is your innate yes. Then that’s your, yes, that’s your truth. That is the path you need to continue walking down. And, and we don’t have to have all of the external voices, which we live in a world right now, where there is a lot of external voices being put onto, well, this is what I believe. And it feels good to me. Well, that’s not what you should believe because it’s not what I believe you shouldn’t have, you shouldn’t have a home birth. That’s I don’t think that’s safe, but that’s where I wanna birth my baby or, or the opposite is you should have a home birth. That’s where your baby deserves to be born, but that doesn’t feel safe to me. I that’s not my intrinsic yes. My intrinsic, yes is I feel safe in a hospital setting. My partner feels safe knowing that we and my, our baby is going to be cared for in a medical setting.

Brooke (35:32):

We need to start trusting ourselves in all areas of life, because this is something that this is very much an attitude of me in life in general. I know who I am. And yes, we all ebb and flow with versions of ourself. When we do our shadow work, we’re always shifting and changing and honoring that. But at the end of the day, I know who I am. I know that I listen to myself. I know I have a good heart. And when people judge you or put other things, external things on you, that you don’t resonate with, well, this is how I see you, but that’s not who I am. We just have to start realizing or your belief system isn’t okay. But that is my truth. That is my belief system. We have, have to be able to just step back and go. We’re just not in alignment. And that’s okay. I don’t have to give into your belief system because your belief system, your inner compass is isn’t in alignment with my inner compass. And I think that’s where we have to get just as people is, is honoring in everyone. And it comes back to movement, birth parenting. We are all gonna parent different. We are all gonna move our bodies differently. We are all gonna birth differently. And when we can start to look at one another and just say, I see you, I honor you and you are living your truth. You are walking in your truth and you are doing the best that, you know, how that’s, when we all win. It’s when we all win. So, you know, we could talk about, you know, a lot of things that come up with my work that people wanna talk about is of course, exercise, what should I be doing?

Brooke (37:10):

What shouldn’t I be doing for exercise? Ask your body. What, what do you wanna do? What feels good to you then? Can you pivot that to support what your body is currently going through? And we can ask ourselves this in various ways of life. It doesn’t have to be pregnancy and postpartum. You may, I right now have a shoulder injury. So there are things that do not feel good. And I could push through that and ignore that inner knowing of my body. Push through it and injure myself more. Or I could take a step back and pivot the way that I’m, that my movement practice looks to support my injury. It’s the same with pregnancy. We need to have, for example, more of an emphasis on awareness with our breath, the way our core is connecting and engaging with all these different movements that we’re doing, as it continues to expand and grow, we need to be more aware of our pelvic floor due to the weight that the baby is placing on the pelvic floor, all the while, preparing our bodies for birth, whether that’s a cesarean birth or a vaginal birth. And then we get to rehab all of that, right? And eventually get back into this normal. So it’s all just this journey that I think you said it so beautifully taking the conversation to this space of, we don’t need so many external tools. It’s the reason I created the method in the first place. Simplify, simplify, give a gentle blueprint and then listen to yourself, ask yourself what you wanna do. It’s why on our app at this point. 3 and a half years after launching the app and we will continue to evolve, we constantly listen to our moms and what they want. We have everything from five minute core classes, five minute leg and upper body classes to birth prep classes that train women physically, mentally, and emotionally for birth in a fitness class sense, bar classes, boxing, hitt, yoga.

Dr. Sarah (39:15):

It’s evolved since I took it two and half years ago.

Brooke (39:18):

It’s evolved. Well, we do it all because women deserve it. All women deserve to know that you can move your body. However you want to move your body. And the way you move, your body can be different on Monday and Wednesday and Friday, it doesn’t have, have to look so linear. You don’t have to do a group fitness class. If you don’t love group fitness, great. We have self-guided workout circuits that you can take to the gym. And we’ll just tell you what to do. We just want women to be empowered in their bodies to be able to take a minute and pause you probably talk about the pause a lot with your parents. I feel like.

Dr. Sarah (39:57):

Yes.

Brooke (39:58):

The ability to pause and listen, but maybe we need to ask ourselves, what are we listening for? Are we pausing to listen to external? Are we waiting for external validation, external help? And sometimes that external help is needed. That’s why you and I exist, right? Sometimes we need to provide guidance to go back. Here are some tools, here are some external tools, but can you take those tools and go back to that inner knowing?

Dr. Sarah (40:27):

Yeah. And I think that’s always like a good sign too. Like if you’re trying to figure out who’s your person, cause okay, there is so much noise. There’s so much noise, especially on social media. It’s like, everybody’s got some sort of thing that they’re trying to teach you, but if it’s too much. So like, I always tell parents like pick a few voices that align with you, pick a few voices that you trust and just like, let that be enough. Let that be like your guidance, tune out. You can’t follow 20 different movement. People, you can’t follow 20 different parenting people because you’re gonna get overwhelmed. Even if they’re all fantastic. It’s just too overwhelming. Go find the people that speak your language. That make you feel good. And who don’t tell you that you need them for the rest of your life, right? That aren’t saying like, you are dependent on me to do this because the people who tell you, you actually could do this without me. I’m just gonna give you a little bit of what you need to be able to feel confident to do that. Those are the people you can trust. Those are the people who really want you to be able to take this external stuff and make it internal and then go be on your own with it.

Brooke (41:37):

Yes, that is such an issue with the fitness industry as a whole. And it’s, I love that you’re saying this because I have said this for years to people, is that, first of all, I don’t look at other people in the fitness industry as competitors, even if they do pre and postnatal work like us, because I have my unique gifts, they have their unique gifts. You said it a minute ago. You, you don’t, you, of course you can make the choice to follow 20 movement people, 20 parenting people, but you are, you are going to feel inundated with information and you will not be able to compartmentalize that to honor yourself and to make use of it the best that you can.

Dr. Sarah (42:18):

Right. It’ll just end up feeling like noise.

Brooke (42:20):

Absolutely. But knowing if you’re one of those people, that’s like, oh, but I always have to be doing, I have to like know the cutting edge of everything. So I wanna follow all these people. So I don’t miss anything. Pause and trust that you may follow these three people for a period of time. But as you evolve, those people’s voices are going to have served their purpose for you for the time they served their purpose. And then you will find your next set of voices. That is the way we evolve. It’s the beauty of it. I succeed. We succeed as a team, in my opinion, when women come to us for their, their pregnancy motherhood postpartum season, and then they go back to doing what they did before they ever thought about getting pregnant and they feel stronger, they feel more connected to that piece of movement. That’s when we’ve succeeded. Not when I hoard them.

Dr. Sarah (43:18):

Right. Yeah. No. And I think, I mean, when I, I always tell my families that I work with. I’m like the goal is for you to graduate. The goal is for you to get what you need, internalize it, and then not need this anymore because you, you now own it inside of you. You’ve found the you’ve really, I believe most parents actually have it already. They just need to kind of unlock it and learn how to trust it. And that your kids kind of already have it. And we need to find out how to unlock it and learn how to trust it, that our kids will show us what they need, that you don’t need somebody to tell you what your kids need, that your kid will tell you what they need, but we just need the tools to decode what our kid is telling us to have meaning to inform our parenting in that moment. But you need some foundational knowledge to get there and to feel that confidence and then you’re, you should be good. Like, I want people to feel like the whole point is to be kind of self contained. And I feel like you, you do that very well in the work that you do. And I’m curious too, like if people are listening to this and they wanna like, oh gosh, this is speaking my language. Like, how can people find out more about your work? How can they work with you? How can they find you?

Brooke (44:30):

Yeah, well, we’re on Instagram as is everyone today, right? Such a thing. We are @thebloommethod on Instagram, so tons of free stuff support, education, etc., We kind of do it all on Instagram. And then we also offer a week free trial on the app. So you can find us on your, in your Google Play on your Android, and your iOS app. Or on our website. I tend to send people to our website to subscribe because Apple and Android can be kind of punks on that free trial. They don’t like to give it away. It’s a, it’s a weird 3rd party thing. But you can for, you can check out the app for a seven day free trial. There’s tons of information on the website as well, because again, we are a method that’s rooted in education and we can’t empower women if we’re just telling them what to do all the time. I, we have to empower them with education and tools so that they can use it far beyond their time with Bloom.

Dr. Sarah (45:31):

Yeah. That’s amazing. Thank you so much for coming on and talking with us about this. I think that this is a very helpful tool for anyone who’s like expecting or, you know, planning a second or a third and wanting to do it a little bit differently this time around. I found you after my second. And I was very grateful cuz I didn’t have that my first time around. And so yeah, I’m, I’m really glad that you were able to share this with us.

Brooke (46:00):

Thank you. I’ve enjoyed talking to you so much. I’ve loved the parallels that have come up between the work that we do in the world. It’s really beautiful to really see all the parallels of all the work that we’re all doing right now. So it’s good to chat with you.

Dr. Sarah (46:22):

After seeing so much of Brooke on my computer screen, during my postpartum journey, it was really fun to actually get to have a conversation with her. I hope that you can walk away from this episode, feeling inspired to deepen your connection to your own mind, body and spirit. I don’t know about you, but for me, when I first became a mom, I relied so heavily on other moms who were a few steps ahead of me for help, support or even just connection. It made such a huge difference for my mental health to have these resources that I could turn to. And the opinion of moms that I trusted was something I really valued a tremendous amount. So if you have a friend who’s pregnant or in the postpartum phase, and you think this podcast episode might be helpful to her, I encourage you to hit share and send it off to them. Believe me coming from a fellow parent like yourself, it will hold an amazing amount of weight. And even if they don’t have time to listen to the whole thing, cuz I’m looking at you, fourth trimester parents, I feel you! Just knowing that you’re thinking of them can have a really big impact. So thank you for listening, your support and kind words have meant the world to me. And until next week, don’t be a stranger.


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