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New World Library Unshelved

New World Library Unshelved

Positive news and inspiring views from the New World Library community

Thursday, May 11, 2017
Before she was a beloved pregnancy blogger, certified birthing doula, and childbirth preparation educator, author Bailey Gaddis met her own pregnancy by buying a bunch of books — which, for the most part, made her even more confused, insecure, and scared.

Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood is her way of giving pregnant women and new moms a better option. Adopting the principles and philosophy of feng shui, the Chinese system of cultivating inner and outer harmony, this book guides women to their balanced center and supports them in tapping into the primal energies brought forth in the birthing experience. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book. 

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The most zealous of all the sperm has nuzzled into your waiting egg, and it’s all systems go. Your body (and mind, and spirit) are now pooling their reserves of building blocks to create a new human. How do you feel about that? Thrilled? Terrified? In denial? Whatever your answer is, it is perfect. Pregnancy is the epitome of change, and it’s your prerogative to completely freak out (in a good or bad way) over this development. It’s strange to have a brand-new person growing inside of you! It’s extraordinary! It is an everyday miracle in a global sense, but a cataclysmic shift in a personal sense. You are allowed to break down, whatever that looks like for you. There’s no time when it’s more socially acceptable to “lose it” than when you find out you’re pregnant. And by losing it, you just might find all of it. 

Pregnancy can trigger an identity crisis. You are no longer the person you thought you were, but you are not yet the person you will become. It’s a time of awesome transition and change, which is always scary. Becoming a mother doesn’t mean you stop being yourself — your fun Self, your carefree Self, your sensual Self. What it does mean is that you have the unique opportunity to become the person you truly want to be, the person you’re meant to be: a woman who experiences herself as centered, whole, and stronger than she’s ever been before, your true Self. During this time, your feng shui, composed of the energy connecting your mind, body, and spirit, is shaken up in the great cosmic maternal martini shaker — and you don’t even get to have a drink! But once the head spinning slows, you will find that you have more resources, more resilience, and more creativity than ever before. 

It’s All Connected 
Because you are a holistic being, your mind, body, and spirit are designed to work together in a state of dynamic fluidity, constantly realigning around your optimal balance point. When you bring awareness to this connectivity, you allow powerful change to happen. 

Pregnancy is a profound chapter of life, for sure, but it’s not the whole story. What pregnancy offers is a chance to get your holistic house in order so you are beautifully prepared for the rest of your life. Now is the time to find your joyful and courageous core. Now is the time to connect with your authentic and best Self.

Eating fried bacon–wrapped pastries for breakfast but thinking happy thoughts won’t optimize your holistic connection. Doing an hour of yoga while focusing on the stressful tasks you have to do afterward won’t optimize your holistic connection. Removing your partner’s action figure collection from the bedroom while panicking about your future ability to breastfeed won’t optimize your holistic connection. What will optimize it is becoming grounded in your experience, learning to express your needs, and finding the right kind of support. 

Releasing the Fear
“The agony of childbirth” is one of the most pervasive messages in our culture. The first image of birth I was exposed to was a sweaty, red-faced woman, screaming PG-13-rated profanities at her partner while nudging a human out of her vagina in a comical movie. It was hilarious, and horrifying. I’ve never seen one scripted birthing image in the media that doesn’t contain terrified men, yelling — and needles, so many needles! The births that are featured on reality shows are often flush with trauma and “excitement.” Anxious voices, screaming, and tears sell, I guess. Peaceful companions, gentle births, and intact perinea are “boring.” 

The frightful cousins of these traumatic birth images are the harrowing sagas many women relish sharing about their excruciating forty-hour births, emergency C-sections, and bruised babies being yanked from tiny vaginas. Our society is a cultivator of childbirthing fear. Fear that we’ll grow a child who is not brimming with health. Fear that our bodies will forget how to birth when the time comes. Fear that we’ll make a critical mistake and dismantle our optimal birth. 

This fear can turn a self-assured, courageous, and intelligent woman into a quivering mess. In addition to the external bombardment of fear, that little bratty voice within, the inner critic, loves to repeatedly ask, “How the hell is that going to squeeze out of this tiny hole?” Knowing that countless other women have accomplished this feat helps a bit, but the thought still lingers that those other vaginas were somehow...better at this. 

There is another way. There is a healing room within you that holds space for the opposite of fear — hope, courage, and empowerment. These forces are much stronger than fear; they just need some encouragement from you to come forth. When fear of childbirth is exposed to the light of reality, it begins to fade. This opens the door of possibility for your experience to be flush with joy, relaxation, and happiness. And fun! Believe it or not, pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood can actually be fun.

In the end, when I got over the initial terror of it all, I had a really fun pregnancy. But I did not wake up one morning with a sudden gusto for this process. I had to do heaps of fear-release work before I felt at ease with the prospect of a big head with a long body attached coming out of my body. So I invite you to meditate on the notion that when you release the fear, the possibilities will rush in.

Spiritual Intention and Introspection 
Women used to place as much focus on the spiritual intentions of their pregnancy as we now place on combing through baby-stuff reviews. Navajos honored the divine feminine power of the pregnant woman with a ceremony called a Blessingway, which inspired what many now call a Mother’s Blessing. This Blessingway celebrated the woman’s rite of passage into her new identity as a mother, and set the intention that with the growth of the baby came the growth of the mother’s spirit. 

In “Navajo Ceremonial System,” Leland C. Wyman explains that “Blessingway is concerned with peace, harmony, and good things exclusively ...for good hope, for good luck, to avert misfortune, to invoke positive blessings....Thus they [Blessingways] are used to aid childbirth.” Blessingway ceremonies, which would often span “from sundown of one day to dawn of the second day after that,” often consisted of chanting and prayer, and as Wyman explains, “there is a ritual bath in the forenoon, sometimes drypaintings made of variously colored cornmeal, pulverized flower petals, and pollens strewn on a buckskin or a cloth substitute spread on the ground, with more songs and prayers. The final night is taken up with all-night singing.”

You may not be up for a forty-eight-ish-hour ceremony. But your spiritual life is important right now. When you purposefully pay homage to the miracle of pregnancy, you take back your power. You no longer feel like a victim of circumstance, especially if your pregnancy was unplanned, like my own was. Set the intention that the being who is meant to come to you will, and trust that your baby is choosing you for a reason. Cultivating this trust can be especially beneficial for parents of children who come into this world with special needs. 

Instead of focusing on your identity as changing, think of it as expanding. As your belly grows, so does your place in the world. 

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Bailey Gaddis is the author of Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood. As a childbirth preparation educator, birth doula, and hypnotherapist who works with pregnant women and their gorgeous offspring every day, Bailey is fairly certain that “new baby smell” is the most enticing aroma on Earth. Visit her online at

Excerpted from the book Feng Shui Mommy. Copyright © 2017 by Bailey Gaddis.  


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