How to Start (and Grow) Your Young Living Business

How I got started with Young Living

I honestly never take on things like this (The Birth Hour keeps me plenty busy!) but the YL team that I had the opportunity to join (and that you can join too!) is so fun & full of knowledge that I couldn’t resist joining them after watching so many friends move up through the ranks all while having a blast!

I’ve been actively using the oils in my daily life so much (especially during my pregnancy) that it only made sense to get on board and start sharing my experience. And to be totally frank, working solo on the podcast was getting a little isolating and I am loving having a group of friends both online and locally to share mutual goals with.

I’m a terrible salesperson and had no desire to become one but through our team’s free mentorship program I learned that it’s really all about sharing rather than selling. That I could do! I was using the essential oils and products so much throughout the day that I simply started sharing more of my day with friends in my daily life and on Instagram.

The other cool thing is that you don’t have to pay anything up front or keep any stock of products, all you are doing is sharing your referral link and helping people get their starter kit so they can experience all of the most popular oils while also getting their own access to the wholesale prices of 24% off everything Young Living makes!

My first new members were my friends and family that would come over to my house and ask what that amazing smell was or where I got the awesome hand soap in the bathroom etc. Everything I had learned in the mentorship was pretty spot on—the people that love you and already trust your taste will be interested in the things your are using and loving! I was hooked! 

With a Young Living business you can:

  • Get your products paid for
  • Be your own boss and have more time with your family
  • Earn up to six-figures a year (You will see so many REAL examples of this on our team! Truly inspiring!)
  • Work alongside an amazing community of women leaders and entrepreneurs
  • Earn an income that is a direct result of your own efforts and hard work
  • Grow real wealth and residual income through the well established business model of network marketing

If you are passionate, team spirited, self-motivated, and looking to make a real change towards financial freedom, our community would love to welcome you to the team! We have all the resources and tools you need to start growing your very own Young Living Essential Oil business including graphics and photos free for you to use, premade oils classes for you to teach, ebooks, ongoing trainings and education, and best of all, a vast community of support and friendship. Honestly, my favorite part—it’s truly so much fun to work alongside these women and celebrate each others successes no matter how big or small!

The Business Opportunity with Young Living

Have you fallen in love with Essential Oils and now you want to share with others? With Young Living you can turn that passion into a real income! Our team’s primary mission is to give you the tools and education you need to succeed on your wellness journey with essential oils but we also recognize that making healthy changes in your home doesn’t come for free! Investing in high quality tools such as essential oils, non-toxic household items, supplements and vitamins takes money.

We equip each of our new members with resources and tools including an online mentorship, and tons of guidance from those who have been right where you are. The beauty of a Young Living business is that it’s designed to foster a community of support. That means that when you decide to grow your business with Young Living and enroll as a distributor, you get free and unlimited access to all of our team resources and community support groups and anyone that you enroll under you will get the same!

What makes Young Living different than other MLMs?

OK, yes I was turned off by the idea of joining a network marketing or multi level marketing business because of all of the horror stories I’d heard. At the same time, I had friends in my real life that were seeing huge successes with their Young Living Businesses! A couple of people on my upline showed me their actual paychecks so at least I knew the money was real right off the bat. Even though I trusted them, I wanted to make sure and do some research of my own.

So the big concern with MLMs is that they are a scam or a pyramid scheme, right? Since the only startup cost was to get my starter kit, which I already had (and loved!) and only cost $165, I wasn’t too worried about being scammed. I already knew the products were high quality and worked for me and my family, so again I wasn’t worried about scamming people with crappy products! 

In order to earn full commissions you do need to be on the Essential Rewards program spending $100 a month but I was already doing that, because, again, I loved the products and loved all of the perks of this monthly autoship program (free stuff, points back, etc!). We were switching out conventional products for non-toxic, plant based products in our home and loving the changes we were seeing so this was also a no brainer for me. We started getting our cleaning products, supplements, shampoo, etc. all from Young Living. Plus, how many startup businesses can you link of that can get off the ground spending only $100/month?!

Ok, so the pyramid scheme thing. All MLMs are designed in a way that when you look at your team it does resemble a pyramid and Young Living is no different. However, I don’t view this as a scheme because our team is all working together to help one another succeed. One thing unique to Young Living is that they allow you to strategically place your members in different areas of your organization so your upline can actually help YOUR team grow by placing people that enroll with them into your team. So, when those above you are doing well, it actually helps your business and of course every person who joins your team also helps those above you.

We all grow together and supporting each other is definitely the vibe I saw immediately once I joined our private team groups on Facebook. It’s actually pretty remarkable how supportive those groups are and how inspiring the women I work with are. It’s so rare to come across a big online community of women with ZERO cattiness or mommy wars behavior. Of course I can’t speak for every Young Living team out there but the team I joined has become a group of lifelong friendships. 

So how much are people actually earning with a Young Living Business?

How much you earn in your Young Living business is entirely up to you. Some members are content to earn a few extra hundred dollars a month, while others are looking to earn six-figure incomes and beyond. Again, my favorite part is that when those above and below you succeed, you succeed too! It’s definitely a team effort and you never feel like a salesperson out there alone.

Below you’ll see the average monthly income earned by the nearly 1.75 million Young Living members worldwide. Last updated in 2018. Our team is all about helping you reach your goals, whether that be to hit Silver in 6 months, or reach Diamond in 3 years. We have the tools you need to succeed and women who have gone before you and done exactly that!!

I’m currently a Silver leader with Young Living and I’ve been doing the business for a little over a year. My goal is to hit diamond within four years which would be so life changing for my family. First goal for me is for my husband to be able to quit his job and give us the freedom to do more things together as a family. 

(more…)

The Birth Hour’s Know Your Options Childbirth Online Course!

Comprehensive & Evidence-Based Childbirth Course from The Birth Hour

I’m so excited to announce The Birth Hour’s signature online childbirth course. Know Your Options is THE most comprehensive online childbirth course in existence! In this course, we will take you from the final weeks of pregnancy through postpartum and newborn care covering all of the evidence-based information for all types of birth, no matter what you are planning!

If you are worried about navigating today’s birth system have maybe had a bad birth experience where your power was taken away from you in the past, we want to help!

But, despite doing your research, you’re still feeling overwhelmed and unprepared and that’s OK. We have totally been there too. There is still time to prepare and we are confident that we can help you achieve an empowering birth. This is our expertise and passion!

IMAGINE WHAT YOUR BIRTH WOULD LOOK LIKE IF…

  1. You didn’t have to choose between an unmedicated birth and a hospital birth.
  2. You’re informed in every single decision you and your partner make.
    You feel empowered to speak up when it comes to how you labor and birth your baby.

Because THAT is exactly what this course will do: It gives you options so you can choose where and how to give birth based on all of the most up-to-date evidence based information available coupled with learning to trust your instincts and make decisions based on what is right for YOU.

online childbirth class

What exactly do we cover? 12 Incredible Evidence-Based Modules

Module 1: Pre-Labor

  • Intro to decision-making & advocacy in birth.
  • What is evidence-based care, intro into increasing your odds of getting family centered care.
  • Last Weeks of Pregnancy.
  • Cervical exams: what they are, what they do/don’t tell us, when they are useful and when they are not.
  • How to tell the difference between labor and false alarms.

Module 2: Planned Cesarean

  • Gentle or Family Centered Cesarean. What is it?
  • Questions to ask your doctor to make sure you’re on the same page (includes free download).
  • Video of Gentle Cesarean.

Module 3: Early Labor

  • Overview of labor, divided into stages and phases. Normal variations of length of each stage.
  • Early Labor Coping Strategies.
  • Spontaneous labor: When to call your provider

Module 4: Induction

  • Why might your labor be induced?
  • How is labor induced?
  • What are some risks of induction, and how can you improve your odds of your induction ending in a vaginal birth?
  • Risks of induction/cascade of intervention.

Module 5: Active Labor
​​​​​​online childbirth course

  • How can you cope with active labor?
  • When should you leave for your birth location (or ask the midwife to come)?
  • What should you pack, whom should you invite to be there, and how will you make your wishes known in labor?
  • Typical interventions upon arrival at birth location.
  • ​​Coping strategies.

Module 6: Transition

  • How will you cope with the most intense phase of labor?
  • What pain medication options do you have?
  • Why might you need a cesarean during labor, and how can you reduce your risk of needing one?

Module 7: Pushing

  • How can you reduce your risk of tearing?
  • What breathing techniques and positioning are helpful in pushing?
  • What happens if your baby needs help getting out?
  • How can you best advocate for your preferences during labor?

Module 8: Baby’s First Day

  • What interventions might be offered to your baby in the first hours of life?
  • Immediate newborn procedures.
  • Hep B & Circumcision.
  • What is going on with the mother before and after the birth of the placenta?
  • How can you get off to the best start with breastfeeding?

online childbirth education

Module 9: Postpartum Recovery For Mom

  • What are the signs that a parent may be experiencing mood & anxiety disorders?
  • What are the essentials to have on hand for recovery after birth?
    How can you plan ahead and make those first few weeks after birth easier on yourself?
  • Giving yourself time to heal and knowing when to call for help.

Module 10: Establishing Breastfeeding

  • How to establish a robust milk supply.
  • Positioning and latching theory.
  • What tips and tricks can you try to make breastfeeding as comfortable as possible?
  • What signs can you look for to know when things are going well or when you need to call for help?

Module 11: Bottle Feeding

  • What if breastfeeding doesn’t work, or you don’t want to do it at all?
  • Choosing a formula and Safe formula preparation.
  • What is the best way to bottle feed?
  • How do you choose which bottles to use?
  • How and how much to feed.
  • What is paced bottle feeding?

Module 12: Newborn Care Basics

  • Why might your baby cry, and how can you calm them?
  • How do you decide where your baby will sleep?
  • How do you get your baby to sleep?!?
  • Newborn hygiene: diapering, bathing, dressing, nail trimming, snot sucking, etc.

PLUS Bigger-than-a-Bonus: Back-2-Work Breastfeeding Course

pumped milk
Then, we’ve got you covered when you’re going back to work with an additional six module Back-2-Work Breastfeeding Course that you will get completely free as part of enrollment in the Know Your Options Childbirth Course!

This is an additional 6 Module Course designed to take the guesswork, worry, and stress out of maintaining your breastfeeding relationship with your baby when you return to paid work.

We will help you:

  • Identify specific strategies for pumping, storing, thawing, and feeding breastmilk.
  • Troubleshoot ways to boost milk production.
  • Guide you in making plans with your employer, your baby’s caregiver, and your family.
  • Get organized with sample schedules and checklists.

Lifetime Access + MORE Bonuses!

Oh, and you get lifetime access to everything! I’ve actually already had a few mamas who are still in the trying to conceive phase sign up because they wanted to be sure to get in on the course while they can!

Course Workbook

You’ll also get a thirty page Course Planner and Note-Taking Guide that you can print out to keep you and your partner on track throughout the course. All of the key takeaways from each lesson are included with space to jot down any questions you have along the way and make note of any essential info you want to remember down the road!

Bonus Downloads

More than a dozen bonus downloads to help save you time along the way and get organized before going into labor—with everything from a hospital bag checklist to printouts for your fridge of who/when to call when in labor! After baby arrives, you’ll have even more invaluable bonuses as you prepare to soak up the 4th trimester with your new baby.

Go Here For All The Details and Sign Up Today!

Essential Oils in Our Life

Opening up a mentorship for you!!

Join me for an exclusive mentorship as you jump into swapping out toxins in your home for plant-based products. I will walk you through all things health + wellness. You’ll have access to incredibly helpful and exclusive group pages, content and resources (free ebooks, online courses, and more!). You’ll have friends for life and a community to turn to whenever you need support. Our team is more than just essential oils, it is a forever wellness journey. We will be oily besties and I’m always here to help make sure you are feeling confident in using your oils and other products!

If you’re ready to get started with the Young Living Starter Kit (and recieve a free gift!), click here.

Why I’m Sharing Essential Oils

Once I realized how much I was using essential oils in my daily life, it really just made sense to share them with you guys. I really want to help more mamas find all of the amazing ways to incorporate oils into their every day that I’ve grown to love over the last few years. I share more info at the bottom of this page about joining YoungLiving as a “member” which basically just means you purchase a starter kit (which is the perfect intro to all of their oils!) and then you get wholesale prices! Here’s some more info on how we use essential oils with our family and why I now only use Young Living (after many years of buying the random bottles at the grocery store).

2019 starter kit image

You can also stay in touch by following my oils Instagram account: @brynessentials!

What do we use oils for?

For just about everything!! Whether you are looking for oils to help you sleep, for natural immune system support, for energy, for focus, for relaxation, for your kids, for natural alternatives to cleaning products, the list is endless!! And you will learn along the way, there aren’t hard set rules, but part of joining our oils team is that you get access to the most amazing resources & our private facebook community where literally any question you have will get answered.

Why Young Living?

Did you know that approximately 96% of essential oils are diluted or chemically manufactured?!  This means that the essential oils sold in most stores (online and offline) are being diluted or manufactured using synthetic chemicals! Yes, even the ones at your health food store. When it comes to the health of me and my family, I go straight to a source I can trust to make a product that is 100% pure, undiluted, and intended for therapeutic use. Oils will not serve their purpose if they are not made from the actual plants that carry the properties that are so beneficial! YL has an unmatched Seed to Seal process to guarantee the purity & potency of every oil. Each batch of oils is rigorously tested in house for therapeutic viability & they are so confident in their products that you can actually visit the farms & participate in the harvest/distillation process. Many of their oils (designated with white labels) are so safe they can even be ingested! I definitely would not recommend any other brand for use essential oils during pregnancy or with children!

Store Bought Oils 2

How do you use oils?

You can diffuse them (you get a diffuser in your starter kit!) which is great for making your house smell great, helping your babies or kids relax at night for bed, helping you breathe during seasonal changes or when your kids bring home crud from school & more. You can apply topically (some require a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil, you’ll learn all about that later!), you can make rollerball combos (my favorite thing!), creams, sprays, and just about anything!! I keep 3 of my favorite rollerballs in my purse at all times and use them every day throughout the day for relief from head/neck tension, emotional support and more! My kids are huge fans now too and it’s become an amazing tool in my mama tool box when one of them is having a meltdown, tummy ache, boo boo etc!

essential oils roller recipes

How will I learn how to use my kit?

You’ll get plenty of reading material with your kit and you’ll also get access to our exclusive facebook community full of amazing resources like how to use each oil in your kit, which oils to avoid around kids or while pregnant/nursing, and all of the dilution ratios for individual oils. We have classes, books, live facebook hangouts & search functionality that will help you navigate through any questions you might have. I use the search bar in our groups every single day to get questions answered because I’m always learning too and there is SO much knowledge there! It really does matter who you sign up with and the FB groups are a huge perk of joining my team!

What should I get?

A premium starter kit, which comes with 12 of the most commonly used oils + your diffuser (I recommend the Desert Mist which has an amazing candlelight flicker). The premium starter kit is the best value & provides you with everything you need to get started. You’ll get over $400 worth of product for only $165.

young living premium starter kit

Do you have to order more oils monthly or sell them?

Nope! Your kit can be a one time purchase, but along with it comes a wholesale membership, which just means that should you decide to purchase oils in the future, you would get a 24% discount! You will also get a personal referral link should you ever decide that you want to share them, but neither is required. Many people start sharing to cover the costs of their oils obsession and then an accidental business grows from there. Another thing I love about our team is that we are all about just sharing how we are using the oils ourselves and never pushy. We want new members to discover their love of oils organically just like we did so it’s always a positive experience.

To enroll with our team, ORDER HERE and make sure the number 15023809 appears in both the “Enroller” and “Sponsor ID” fields. Sign up as a Member, this does not mean you have to sell oils, it just means you are getting a starter kit & will therefore get 24% off retail prices. Next you can choose to set up your Essential Rewards monthly autoship, we highly recommend this as a way to order those things you wish to have outside the kit and begin to cut toxins from your home with YL cleaning products, baby products & even makeup. Being on Essential Rewards also means you’ll get points back, free products and bonus gifts! It’s fully customizable every month (you can skips months whenever) and basically feels like your birthday each month when the box arrives!

When you sign up as a wholesale member, I will invite you to our private groups on facebook, which is where you can learn everything you need to know about using your oils & connect with an amazing, inspiring community. If you are interested in selling the oils and sharing about the company, this is my newest passion! I want to be a part of helping you earn income to help support their families! You will get access to online courses, videos, FB groups, e-books and more to help you if that’s the direction you want to go! You can see the compensation plan here to get an idea of the possibilities and learn more about the business opportunity from my perspective here! And, of course I’m here to help you along the way!

Where do you order your rollerballs, glass bottles & carrier oils?

You can find all of those goodies here!

A few more FAQs:

Why when I sign up am I called a “Distributor”?
This does not mean you have to sell oils and is a big misconception about Young Living because their is an optional income potential for distributors/wholesale members. You can learn more about the optional income potential with Young Living HERE. We have everything you need to get started including a free mentorship! It’s what we love to do!

Are there any monthly, yearly, or hidden fees?
Nope! No tricks or gimmicks or automatic charges to your credit card whatsoever. Do be aware that in order to keep your wholesale membership with Young Living you will need to purchase at least $50 worth of products every 12 calendar months. If you don’t, you can always buy another Starter Kit to get your wholesale pass back but honestly spending $50/year will be no problem once you fall in love with your favorite oils! Your starter kit takes the place of this requirement for year one!

Can I just buy a few oils instead of the starter kit?
To become a wholesale member you must buy one of the starter kit options. If you simply want to buy individual oils you can create a retail customer account to do so, but you will be paying 24% more when you do (or 50% more in the case of the oils you’d be getting in the Premium Starter Kit).

If I don’t like it can I return it?
Yes. You have 30 days to receive a full refund if you do not like your products.

Why should I buy from Young Living instead of other essential oils companies?
I can’t speak to the quality of other companies, but I can say that Young Living was the only company in my research of essential oil companies that could answer all of my questions about purity in a way that was satisfactory to me. So why I chose Young Living over the other brands? I’ve used a ton, including DoTerra, and in my opinion Young Living is by far the best therapeutic grade on the market. You can read more about it here (click through to explore!), but after trying so many different types, the quality, potency, everything just is so much better with YL. The first time I smelled their lemon and lavender oils from the starter kit I could immediately tell a difference from everything else I’d tried.

Additionally, Young Living is the only company that has their own farms (in the regions where the plants should be grown), could absolutely guarantee that no pesticides or herbicides were used in the growing of any of their oils (they use essential oils for pest control and they do all of the weeding by hand), has their own testing equipment (they do both in-house and 3rd party testing, and use many different testing methods not just GC/MS which only tests for certain chemicals, not whether those chemicals are synthetic or not), and only uses the first distillation of oils instead of adding chemicals to get more out of the plant.

Does Young Living only sell essential oils?
Young Living actually has an entire line of personal care products, supplements, meal replacements, energy drinks, and more! Almost every product incorporates essential oils (for example, frankincense is absolutely wonderful in facial products), but there’s a wide variety of products available.

My favorite products (outside of the essential oils offered through Young Living) are:

  • Seedlings Baby Products (including diaper cream and dreamy linen spray)
  • Thieves household cleaner
  • Thieves Hand Purifier
  • Nontoxic sunscreen!
  • Nontoxic eye cream
  • Thieves toothpaste (Dentra Ultra is my fave)
  • Children’s toothpaste
  • Savvy Minerals Makeup
  • Ningxia Red (antioxidant super drink)

The list seriously goes on and on!

young living products

Join me today (be sure to use this link and that you see my member number 15023809 listed when you sign up so that you get access to me and all of our team resources (private groups, online classes, e-books, mentorships—all FREE!) I would love to help you fall in love with this lifestyle like I have!

*Any suggestions made on this blog/podcast are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please do not stop.

Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

Throughout your pregnancy, have you ever found yourself worrying about all the problems that could arise in those nine months? If so, you’re not alone. Many women worry about things like pain and discomfort, baby’s positioning, pre-eclampsia, swelling, etc.

Although there is no shortage of advice, opinions or articles on “Dr. Google”, there’s one thing that can be a real game changer during your pregnancy that is often overlooked…prenatal chiropractic care.

Now I know what you’re probably thinking…isn’t chiropractic what people use to help with neck pain and low back pain?

Yes it is…but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Women who receive chiropractic during pregnancy report benefits such as; an increase in overall comfort during their pregnancy, less headaches, less swelling, normalizing of blood pressure, decreased labor time, less need for intervention during labor and delivery, and an optimal head down position for baby.

How is it that chiropractic helps in pregnancy?

We know the brain controls all of the functions in the body. It tells your intestines how to digest and absorb food, it instructs your heart when to beat and your uterus how to grow that beautiful baby. In order for the brain to function properly, the spine needs to be in alignment and moving correctly.

Enter: Prenatal Chiropractic.

Chiropractic adjustments to the spine help the joints move better and improve the alignment of the body. This enhances the communication between the brain and the body. Which is why pregnant women see such huge benefits ranging from decreased rib pain to breech babies turning head down!

Another huge benefit of chiropractic care during your pregnancy is for baby’s positioning. Adjustments done to the pelvis help create plenty of room for baby to grow and move around. This also helps the baby to be in an optimal position when it comes time for delivery.

Webster’s technique is a specific technique used by prenatal chiropractors, especially if the baby is breech. This technique involves a gentle adjustment to the pelvis as well as soft tissue work to balance the pelvis. The improved balance and increased communication between the brain and body allows baby enough room to naturally move into an optimal position for delivery.

So ladies, the concerns about if you will feel better come delivery time, or if the results of your gestational diabetes test will be positive, etc. will lessen when you are informed, empowered and supported.

Women who are under prenatal chiropractic care feel that they are ensuring the best possible outcomes for their pregnancy, birth and baby. I hope this has shed some light on just how powerful and, potentially life-changing, prenatal chiropractic care can be for women.

Things you can do at home to support a healthy pregnancy

I often have women asking me if there are things they can do at home to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. Exercise and making sure your joints are getting proper movement is vital to your health, whether you’re pregnant or not.

With that being said, there are specific joints and muscles groups that you want to make sure are functioning properly during pregnancy.

Stretch Your Hamstrings

There are a variety of ways to stretch the hamstrings; I recommend using whichever stretch is most comfortable.

The simplest way this can be done is sitting on the ground with your legs straight in front while leaning forward.

Although the hamstrings are located on the back part of your leg, there is a very crucial connection between this large muscle group and the pelvis. Allowing the hamstrings to be loose and supple will lead to better overall alignment of the pelvis.

Get Upside Down

Ok, well maybe not completely upside down! This second exercise is called the forward leaning inversion.

For this exercise, you can simply kneel on the edge of a couch about 2 ft high. Carefully, lower your hands to the ground while keeping your knees on the couch. I recommend taking 2-3 deep breaths while inverted and then come back to the upright position. (Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before doing this exercise.)

It’s a good idea to have someone help lower you down and bring you back upright.

Incorporating this exercise into your daily routine can help keep baby in the optimal head down position. It can also be helpful to get baby head down if he/she is currently presenting breech. The forward leaning inversion allows certain muscles and ligaments to release creating more room in the lower part of the uterus for baby to move into a great position for birth.

Sources
Spear, David, & Alcantara, Joel. “The Chiropractic Care of a Pregnant Patient Presenting with a Breech Pregnancy.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health. 2016.1 (2016): 32-34.

Spear, David, & Alcantara, Joel. “Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) in a Pregnant Woman with Placenta Previa, Migraines, Neck & Back Pain Undergoing Subluxation Centered Chiropractic.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health. 2016.1 (2016): 18-21.

Resources
International Chiropractic Pediatric Association
Dr. Heidi Haavik
Spinning Babies

This guest post was written by Dr. Lauren Pennetti. Dr. Lauren is deeply passionate about helping people live a well-balanced, healthy life. Her and her husband, Matt, created Prime Chiropractic because they wanted to give their Denver community hope without having to rely on drugs and medication. When she’s not at the office, Dr. Lauren is the “Olivia Pope” of the household and is constantly chasing around her 8-month-old son, Braxton, who she is absolutely obsessed with. Reach out to Dr. Lauren Pennetti at drlauren@primechiropracticdenver.com

Pregnant? First Steps

You’ve gotten your positive pregnancy test! Congratulations! So many feelings set in those first couple weeks—excitement, anticipation, joy, and even some trepidation, fear, nervousness, or being completely overwhelmed. Try to relax, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and our goal is help ease some of that stress for you! There’s no “right” answer here, so inform yourself so you know your option and then follow your instincts. Whatever you decide in the end, know that you can absolutely do this!

So now what? Here’s some first steps to help you get moving in the right direction.

Think about the kind of birth you’d like

What do you know about birth? What opinions or feelings do you have about the kind of care you’d like for yourself and your baby? Some women know right away, but others take time. Educating yourself will be an invaluable tool when it comes time to deliver. Sometimes it’s helpful to talk to your mom, aunts, cousins, sisters and friends but sometimes it will be up to YOU to figure out what is best for you and your baby. And spend some time listening to your intuition.

Read books to prepare

Check out our favorites for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, postpartum and motherhood.

Listen to Birth Stories

Not to toot our own horn but we often hear that this is THE most useful preparation for giving birth. The Birth Hour covers all types of birth stories so you can pick and choose the episodes you want to listen to or binge them all and be prepared for any given scenario.

Decide on a Care Provider

Once you have an idea of how you think you’d like to deliver, make the first appointment with a doctor or midwife. Most care providers will want to see you between 8-11 weeks to be able to hear a heartbeat, confirm your due date, and maybe even do an ultrasound. If you decide to hire an obstetrician, many clinics fill up fast, so even if you are only 4 weeks, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment for a simple interview to see if the OB is a good fit for you.

OB vs. midwife can be a tricky decision. If you want a drug-free birth, a midwife is an excellent option. They tend to deal with low-risk pregnancies (what does it mean to be low-risk), spend lots of time with you during appointments and attend to you during the majority of labor. OBs are good options if you think you’d like pain management, a hospital setting for labor and delivery, or have a higher risk pregnancy.

Remember, nothing is ever set in stone. Just make some choices and start interviewing care providers. If at some point during your pregnancy you feel uneasy about your provider, or the hospital, or the policies, or anything else, it’s completely your prerogative to change your mind—they work for YOU! Advocate for yourself, ask questions (and demand answers until you feel comfortable) and follow your intuition. There are always options, and your safety and peace of mind is the priority and both are integral to a successful birth experience.

first find out pregnant

Buy some prenatal vitamins

That tiny little baby is developing vital organs rapidly right from the get-go. Brain and heart development are specifically important at this stage, and getting enough folic acid in particular can prevent some pretty serious birth defects. By week 8, the fetus structurally has everything that an adult has, even though it’s only 2 inches long. Getting the right vitamins early on helps to ensure proper development. Keep in mind not all vitamins are created equal. A good test is to drop a pill in a cup of water and see if it dissolves. If it does, that means your body will absorb all those important nutrients. If it is still in pill form an hour or two later, get a different brand. These are your new best friends! Start taking those bad boys right away! Theralogix is a brand that we love that offers monthly shipments and their supplements are developed by a team of doctors. (That link will get you 15% off!)

Ditch harmful substances

Say “see you later!” to your favorite cocktail. Pregnancy is a vulnerable time and what the mama gets, the baby gets. Excessive alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome and other nervous system disorders so it’s best to give it up for the next 9 months (although many studies show that the occasional glass of wine is harmless). Just talk to your care provider. The same goes for cigarettes and other drugs. Even second hand smoke can do damage to that vulnerable little baby, so steer clear and talk to your care provider about solutions if you need some help cutting back. Here’s a complete list of things to avoid while pregnant.

Know the basics of nutrition

There are a couple of foods that are off-limits for the next little while, here are the general guidelines.

Things to avoid:
Raw or runny eggs
Fish containing large amounts of mercury like mackerel, shark, swordfish.
Limit white albacore tuna to one weekly serving.
Soft, unpasteurized cheeses like brie, goat cheese, or blue cheese. Pasteurized cheese is ok.
Deli meat, unless it is heated up first.
Limit coffee to 12 oz. per day and tea to 2 cups per day.

In general try to eat well balanced meals from all the major food groups, especially fresh fruits and veggies. Have no fear if morning sickness sabotages your best intentions. Do what you can. Your baby will take what it needs from you. Oh yes! You can get used to that idea. This is just the beginning! It is especially important to get the adequate amount of protein each day and to keep your iron levels up. We recommend this protein powder and this iron supplement.

Do some general lifestyle brainstorming for when the baby is born

Will you continue to work? What is the maternity leave policy at your place of employment? Will you want to potentially take some time off work and what will that entail financially for your household? These kinds of questions can be overwhelming and stressful. Don’t rush into anything at this stage. Just start thinking of possible options and you’ll get a feel for things as time passes and you get used to the idea of a baby coming!

Plan on when to tell your boss

This is a tricky situation and there are countless opinions on what to do. Ultimately there is no right solution, but think about the relationship you have with your boss, and how you anticipate them taking the news. Personally, I am a fan of telling them fairly early on. Your body changes can be unpredictable, especially in the early stages. Morning sickness might be pretty rough, and a boss knowing what’s going on can help if you need a few sick days, or to run out to your car and nap during lunch. Try not to fret too much about this one. There are laws protecting women’s rights, so most bosses are forced to be pretty understanding in this department. Again, follow your intuition and break the news when it feels right to you.

Celebrate!

Go out to a nice restaurant with your significant other or girlfriends. Eat some delicious food (while you can still tolerate it!), talk all about your dreams for your family and for the baby. Go buy a baby outfit or gift for your little one. And one for yourself too. You’re embarking on an exciting, empowering, life-changing journey. Welcome to motherhood!

This post is sponsored by Theralogix, makers of of the TheraNatal line of nutritional supplements.TheraNatal supplements are specifically formulated to meet a woman’s unique nutrient needs before, during, and after pregnancy. TheraNatal prenatal vitamins contain the nutrients you and your baby need to support a healthy pregnancy. All TheraNatal vitamins are dye-free, gluten-free, and cost less than the typical insurance co-pay. Learn more at theranatal.com. Use this link to get a discount of approximately 15% off your purchase.

This guest post was written by Austyn Smith.